West Hartford’s Top Stories of 2015

Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

We-Ha.com looks back at West Hartford’s most read stories of 2015.

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

As the calendar year comes to an end, I always think it’s interesting to take a glance into the rearview mirror to see which West Hartford stories and issues attracted the most attention.

We-Ha.com celebrated its first anniversary in September, and this first full year in business has certainly been a busy one! During 2015 we published more than 1,600 stories, and you, our readers, logged nearly 750,000 page views.

Stories covered a wide range of topics, including business openings and closings, events, features on residents, sports, school activities, missing persons, burglaries and other crimes, sports, animals, and weather.

These stories touched everyone’s lives in different ways and left impressions that won’t soon be forgotten.

Here are the 15 most read and most talked about stories of 2015. Are you surprised? We’d love to hear what you consider the top stories of the year.

I chose to highlight 15 stories, because that number went well with 2015, but as I read through this list I realize that what I consider to be some of the top stories didn’t quite make the cut. There were some other food-related stories that just missed getting top billing (Posh Tomato’s opening, NoRA Cupcake Company’s openingDamon’s Tavern’s closing), as well as some major retail news such as the opening of West Elm and plans by Bluemercury to open in what is now the former Lululemon space at the corner of LaSalle Road and Farmington Avenue.

There were some other major police stories like the three bank robberies that happened within a week’s time (all solved) and the Dec. 15 story about the robbery of a gas station that was solved when the suspect not only left his ID behind but also stole a cellphone equipped with the “Find My iPhone” app.

There were multiple stories published about the Board of Education vote to retain the Warrior and Chieftain names at Hall and Conard high schools but require new logos. Added all together, the topic would have probably made the top 15, but even on on its own the story about the Board of Education’s decision was read by several thousand people.

There were also a few heartwarming stories that certainly deserve mention, including Rob Bouvier of Bouvier Insurance’s donation of a wheelchair van to a handicapped man in Enfield whose life was transformed when he was once again able to leave his house. The West Hartford community also rallied to support resident and cancer survivor Kim Green when several of her friends set up a GoFundMe campaign which to date has raised more than $16,000.

We don’t cover the weather on a regular basis, and certainly won’t send out a breaking news alert when a few snowflakes fall in January, but we will keep you informed about weather-related issues like road conditions and school closings. And if a major weather event is forecast, we will bring you all of the needed information like we did with West Hartford “blizzard central” when a blizzard appeared certain to hit West Hartford on Jan. 26.

I’m still in search of a moose story, but we did have a few major animal stories in 2015, including my up-close-and-personal encounter with a bear that was removed from West Hartford yard after being tranquilized. I also learned a lot about raptors through the stories about “Baby Delamar“ – multiple videos and stories about the red-tailed hawk dubbed “Baby Delamar” that was hatched in a lone pine tree left on the construction site of the Delamar West Hartford Hotel. We reported on the hawk’s hatching and watched as it grew and was nearly ready to fledge when it became ill. I watched the West Hartford Fire Department and a wildlife biologist from DEEP rescue the young hawk from the pine tree. It was whisked off to Tufts Wildlife Clinic but sadly died 10 days later.

I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring, and look forward to another year of bringing hyperlocal news to West Hartford!

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We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

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