The top five online: Tahoe-Truckee’s most-read stories, week of Feb. 9-15 |

The top five online: Tahoe-Truckee’s most-read stories, week of Feb. 9-15

The waves on Lake Tahoe were robust the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 6, amid the big wind storm.
Courtesy Chris Turner / |


“The top five online” is a weekly report of the top five stories the previous week at, in terms of overall page views and reader interest as shared through social media.

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TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Below is a recap of the top stories from Feb. 9-15 at

1. Parents remember South Lake Tahoe teen Dejon Smith

In an interview filled with sorrow and pauses, Taneka Smith and Deshawn Smith last week wandered down memories of their son Dejon’s life, nearly two months after the tragic afternoon on Dec. 12 when he was killed by a tree that fell over during a major windstorm.

“I love you mom. I love you dad,” were the last words Smith, 14, said to his parents as he left his home the day before. Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, “Dede” Smith loved what the area had to offer, and he especially liked swimming, his parents said.

Originally published: Thursday, Feb. 12

Number of page views: 2,294

2. Tahoe’s water level rises nearly 5 inches; resorts report 2-4 feet of snow

A pair of wet storms hammered the greater Tahoe-Truckee region Friday, Feb. 6, through Monday, Feb. 9, causing roving power outages, huge waves and the closure of Old Highway 40 due to a major rock slide. Thankfully, no injuries were recorded.

The storms offered the region a much-needed break from an unseasonably mild winter and helped push up Lake Tahoe water levels by nearly 5 inches. Ski resorts also reported as much as 2 to 4 feet of snow at high-elevation areas — although the snowpack figures to be short lived as the region continues to endure sub-60 degree high temperatures.

Originally published: Tuesday, Feb. 10

Number of page views: 1,904

3. New details surface in ex-fire captain child porn case

A federal indictment presented Thursday, Feb. 12, against former South Lake Tahoe Fire Capt. Mark McLeod Wygant revealed a connection between Wygant and the victim involved in the six counts related to child pornography Wygant faces in federal court.

The indictment, which charges Wygant with five counts of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of sexual exploitation of children, states that Wygant “knowingly permitted the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct … for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.”

Originally published: Friday, Feb. 13

Number of page views: 1,672

4. Rock slide closes part of old US 40 near Sierra’s Donner Pass

A 3-mile stretch of old Highway 40 near Donner Summit between Truckee and the Sugar Bowl Resort was closed for several days because of a big rock slide that occurred Friday, Feb. 6.

No one was injured after several very large granite boulders covered the road. Large construction equipment was brought in from Caltrans, and its crews, as well as those from the California Highway Patrol, help clear the highway. Old 40 was reopened by Friday, Feb. 13.

Originally published: Monday, Feb. 9

Number of page views: 1,451

5. Truckee carjacker gets 180 days in jail despite victim’s objection

A Nevada County Superior Court judge sentenced Nathan Daniel Jones, 29, to 180 days in county jail on a plea agreement related to his violent carjacking attempt at the Beacon gas station in Truckee in October 2014. Jones was also found to be under the influence of a stimulant and continued to act out violently after he was taken into custody.

He was sentenced despite the victim, Rebecca Oestreich, 29, objecting because she believed her rights had been violated and that he should have been charged with attempted homicide.

Originally published: Tuesday, Feb. 10

Number of page views: 1,384

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