A look back at North Tahoe-Truckee’s Top 5 web stories of 2014

Kevin MacMillan

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Most editors will take stock of certain things as a new year beckons and develop solutions to the challenges of how we go about better informing our readers and becoming better community partners.

It’s something we’ve been focusing on at the Sierra Sun and Bonanza, and I hope that as 2015 continues, readers continue to hold us accountable for our mistakes and how we can better do our job.

Another thing a year’s changeover allows us to do is look back at several things we did in 2014. With that in mind, I want to share with readers the Top 5 Sun/Bonanza web stories of the year, as published on, based on Google analytics and internal stat-keeping.

No. 1: “15-year-olds missing after Tahoe ski trip found safe,” Feb. 18. This story told of the search for two teens who ran away during a church youth group ski trip to Squaw Valley. They were eventually found safe. In all, that story garnered 35,903 reader hits on our website, and more than 4,100 likes and shares on Facebook.

No. 2: “King Fire up to 76,376 acres; ‘no immediate danger’ to Tahoe-Truckee,” Sept. 15. Our coverage of the fire and its smoke impacts came to a head here, and we updated the story more than 15 times across two days, providing maps, web links and more. It ate up 18,879 hits those two days, and more than 1,000 Facebook likes/shares.

No. 3: “Truckee High baseball coach, 46, dies over weekend,” April 7. This heartbreaking tale of the sudden death of Truckee High School baseball coach Mike Ellis and the legacy he left on his students and the community recorded 11,448 hits and more than 800 Facebook likes/shares.

No. 4: “Truckee woman killed had headphones on, couldn’t hear train coming,” April 9: Just two days after sharing Elly’s story, we covered the tragedy of 27-year-old Janaki Rose Hayes’ death on the Truckee train tracks; it saw 8,346 hits and more than 375 Facebook likes/shares.

No. 5: “Low water levels taking toll on Lake Tahoe rec businesses,” July 22. Lastly, this story that brought the worsening drought conditions home with the reporting of shuttering boat ramps and Tahoe rafting company closures brought with it 7,228 hits and 60 Facebook /likes shares.

Kevin MacMillan is managing editor of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. Reach him for comment at

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