A look back: Here's what you clicked on most in 2017

Crashes, fires and all that snow top monthly lists

BEND, Ore. - There are many ways to reflect on one almost-done year that’s about to hand off to a fresh, new one – what sticks in the memory, like flinging endless shovels of wet, heavy snow so high over house-tall mountains of white. Or skipping that morning ride or afternoon walk once again because that thick pall of brown wildfire smoke just won’t go away. Or hearing the world go quiet and feeling an unearthly chill as you stare through those special glasses at a mesmerizing sight, so rarely seen by any swath of humanity on our spinning globe – but indeed, this was our turn!

Indeed, 2017 has been that kind of year.

But on the Internet, where the choices are endless but the focus can be on your street, your city, your region, the ranks of editors and columnists and commentators who try by votes, lists or editorial judgment to wrap up a year in a neat bundle or list – in other words, always somewhat artificially – now have another way to slice and dice the data.

Just break it down: What got the most clicks?

Granted, as coldly concrete and unemotional as that way of cataloguing a year may be – divorcing it from both fuzzy feelings and fading memory – it also avoids trying to decide for others what was more “important.” Besides, in our everyday lives, a fine meal with a friend or loved one, a hilarious joke caught online or a favorite, satisfying TV show – or even a really good, productive day at work, traveling with the family, etc. -- can be what we really measure and treasure our minutes, days or even years by. As it should be.

But collectively, in terms of what grabbed our attention, the numbers are another way to look back. And so, here’s a look at the Top 5 most-clicked news stories on KTVZ.COM, organized by month.

It’s a beleaguering list, at first glance. Sure, January was snowed in (as roofs caved in), and the summer brought wildfires and the like. Some things are oh, so predictable

But look at all those deadly crashes! Oh my, is that all people cared about? Really?

No, of course not. Not really.

But … when you hear those sirens, and you’re about to leave for work or home or school, or you see the police or fire folks rushing somewhere, it’s human nature – and was, long before the Web – to want to know what’s up. Is it someone you know? Do you need to take another route? (And later, perhaps, you decide to weigh in on or just read some of the inevitable discussions about how people need to SLOW DOWN and there needs to be median barriers, etc., etc., and look for thoughts you share. Or just to offer a prayer or condolences to the families so much like our own.)

So of course, a bare-bones, mathematically driven look at simply the most-clicked news is going to have a lot of tragedy to it. Good news stories – and we did have them, I promise – rise and fall in quick, fleeting fashion. But problems linger.

Heck, even the eclipse didn’t make the August Top 5. Perhaps that was because all those dire warnings of many days of gridlock or worse thankfully didn’t happen. Thank the (over?) prepared first responders and their drumbeat of warnings that may have kept many off the roads. A good thing? Or over-kill? Opinions, as always, vary. It’s always hardest of all to judge the news that didn’t happen – we rarely if ever hear about the tragedy avoided, the horrific-looking crash that all walked away from, etc.

This is not an attempt to reward “click-bait,” which along with “fake news” has a meaning that’s far more in the eyes and minds of those who voice such labels. It’s just another way to frame a year, as the celestial odometer clicks over to the next 12 months.

Beyond the worrisome crimes, crashes, fires and tragedy that can top such a list and draw our attention, you probably had some pretty good days this year, too. And hopefully, when you look back, they’ll eclipse the tragedies that you were thankfully, blessedly not a part of. Or perhaps you were, and for that, there were plenty of prayers and condolences offered. And of course, many of you lent your support to those who were the victims, making something a bit better out of something truly awful.

Sometimes, for an infinite variety of reasons, we’re really glad to close the book on a year, and hope we can make sure the next one is a whole lot better.

Another Olympics year is upon us. Another election year (starting in January?) And we’ll keep on looking for the breather of those “slow news days” that allow the fun and inspiring and quirky and laugh out loud so-called “soft” news to out-shout and out-rank the all-too-familiar sights, sounds and feelings stirred by scenes of first responders rushing into calamity as others rush to safety, the tearful tales of survivors and the like. A change of year doesn’t prevent it, any more than changing the channel.

Still, bottom line: We all made it through another year. If that’s not a reason to raise a glass and give a toast of “Happy New Year!”  – then, what is?

Hope it’s a great one for you – and indeed, for all of us.

 --Barney Lerten, digital content director, KTVZ.COM


Jan. 7

OSU-Cascades, COCC close for the day as more snow falls

BEND, Ore. - After a snowy, icy weekend that brought a fatal Sunday crash on Highway 97 in La Pine and two large roof collapses, more snow arrived in Central Oregon Monday, prompting school closures and delays -- and a midday shutdown of all COCC and OSU-Cascades campuses and classes.

Jan. 10 

Digging out: Most C.O. schools closed again as snowfall ebbs

BEND, Ore. - The latest in a string of major snowstorms was starting to move out on Wednesday, leaving very cold temperatures in its wake, but the snow it's left behind on area roads and sidewalks prompted almost all Central Oregon schools to close again.

Jan. 10

C.O. agencies coordinate response to snow emergency

BEND, Ore. - With the threat of yet another foot or more of heavy snow, Bend-area government officials issued a joint message Tuesday, urging people to stay home unless you have to go out, and to reschedule non-essential appointments.

Jan. 4

Record cold hits after big snowfall; schools resume classes

BEND, Ore. - Central Oregonians awoke to bitterly cold temperatures -- well below zero in many places -- but no new snowfall Thursday, allowing the dig-out from a major snowstorm to continue and most schools to resume normal schedules, although there were some delays and other cancellations.

Jan. 11

Two more roof collapses at Bend storage building

BEND, Ore. - Two more large portions of a vehicle storage and former KorPine mill building in Bend's Old Mill District collapsed Thursday, less than a day after a big part of the Hooker Creek facility collapsed under the weight of snow with a roar heard from some distance.


Feb. 12

Sunriver suspicious-death investigation continues

SUNRIVER, Ore. - Sunriver police and other agencies had little new to share Monday as the continued to investigate how a man in his mid- to late 30s was found dead on a bike path in the resort community on Sunday morning.  (Editor's note: It was later ruled a suicide.)

Feb. 18

Bend hit-and-run victim urges driver to turn self in

BEND, Ore. - A Bend woman shared her memories Tuesday from a shocking, painful Friday night downtown when she was struck in a crosswalk by a pickup truck that police said fled the scene.

Feb. 16

Drug agents arrest Bend 19-year-old, Xanax, gun seized

BEND, Ore. - Central Oregon drug agents arrested a 19-year-old Bend man near an Old Mill fast-food restaurant Wednesday evening and later raided his nearby home, seizing more than 700 Xanax pills and an illegally obtained handgun, authorities said.

Feb. 15

This year's tax refunds are coming late for some

REDMOND, Ore. - Filing taxes can be tough and confusing for just about everyone, and it's especially tough to keep up with the new laws affecting you specifically. In Melissa Hartman's case, a slight change in the law has set the Redmond woman back financially. She just got word that her tax refund might not come in for another few months.

Feb. 4

SW Bend burglary suspect stabbed during confrontation

BEND, Ore. A burglar who entered a southwest Bend home night thought it was unoccupied, but one of the two occupants stabbed him during a confrontation, police said. (Editor's note; Suspect Blaiase Winchell Butcher was arrested in April.)


March 15

Arrested Bend day care provider never certified by state

A Bend day care operator arrested Wednesday for leaving seven young children alone while she went to a tanning salon made her first court appearance Thursday, while a state official confirmed to NewsChannel 21 she has never been certified by the state as a day care provider.

March 30

OSP IDs Eugene boy, 11, killed in Century Drive crash

An 11-year-old Eugene boy suffered fatal injuries and his father and older brother were injured Thursday morning when their SUV slid into the path of an oncoming van and they collided on Century Drive near the entrance to Mt. Bachelor, Oregon State Police reported.

March 24

Standoff ends; SW Redmond assault suspect surrenders

REDMOND, Ore. - Police searched for and attempted to arrest a suspect in a reported assault on a woman in southwest Redmond that involved at least one gunshot Friday afternoon. The incident led to a lockout at nearby Obsidian Middle School, followed by the evacuation of all students to a nearby elementary school. Police surrounded a home and negotiated the suspect's surrender in the late afternoon.

March 7

Semi smashes into beloved Crescent business

CRESCENT, Ore. - The owners of a well-known Crescent business are picking up the pieces after a semi truck ripped through their store Monday night.

March 18

Prineville man killed, 2 hurt in Hwy. 26 crash near Mitchell

A 31-year-old Prineville man was killed and two people were injured Saturday morning in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 26 west of Mitchell in Wheeler County, Oregon State Police reported.


April 7

Fierce windstorm hits C.O., toppling trees, poles, lines

BEND, Ore. A fierce windstorm raked the High Desert and much of Oregon Friday, sending numerous tall trees toppling onto power lines, roads and homes, as power outages affected more than 200,000 residents around the state.

April 21

Sad update: Searchers find missing Bend woman's body

BEND, Ore. -A search for a missing Bend woman that covered about 500 acres northwest of the city ended sadly Saturday morning with the discovery of her body, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

April 6

Neighbors react to Redmond murder by abuse arrests

BEND, Ore. - A Redmond couple was arrested Thursday on murder by abuse, manslaughter and criminal mistreatment in the December death of their 5-year-old daughter, authorities said.

April 11

Bend family mourns loss of Third Street crash victim

BEND, Ore. - A 39-year-old Bend woman was struck and fatally injured by an SUV on Northeast Third Street Tuesday night, police said Wednesday.

April 13

Two shots fired in Bend Walmart; gunman eludes capture

BEND, Ore. A man fired two shots from a handgun in the Bend Walmart early Thursday morning, apparently trying to shoot out the locks on electronics gear, then ran and eluded a manhunt in the area, police said. No one was wounded, but the shots prompted police to impose a “lockout” on the store and two nearby businesses.


May 28

Driver arraigned in fatal car-motorcycles crash near Fossil

FOSSIL, Ore. - A driver was arraigned Tuesday in The Dalles on two counts of criminally negligent homicide and other charges after her car crossed into the oncoming lane of state Highway 19 near Fossil late Saturday night and struck a group of motorcyclists, killing two and seriously injuring several others, authorities said.

May 26

170-acre Cougar Butte Fire now fully contained

BEND, Ore. -- Firefighters had the 170-acre Cougar Butte Fire fully contained by midday Monday, but officials said crews will be continuing mop-up work on the blaze 11 miles west of Bend for the next few days.

May 18

St. Charles nurses file labor complaint; hospital defends 'buddy system'

BEND, Ore. -Nurses at St. Charles Bend have filed a formal staffing complaint against the hospital with the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Nurses Association announced Thursday. The hospital defended its use of a "buddy system" for nurses taking breaks that is the focus of the complaint.

May 27

Bend man killed in Hwy. 27 rollover crash

BEND, Ore. -A 51-year-old Bend man was killed Friday night in a rollover crash of his pickup truck on state Highway 27 in Crook County, Oregon State Police reported.

May 15

Sutherlin woman killed in Santiam Junction crash

SISTERS,  Ore.-A 63-year-old Sutherlin woman was killed Monday when the pickup in which she was riding with her husband turned into the path of another pickup at Santiam Junction, near Santiam Pass west of Sisters, Oregon State Police reported.


June 25

OSP releases names in Hwy. 20 crash that killed 2

BLACK BUTTE RANCH, Ore. -- A Bend man and a Eugene woman were killed and two other people were injured, one critically, in a multiple-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on U.S. Highway 20 near the entrance to Black Butte Ranch, Oregon State Police reported Monday.

June 21

Gaston woman killed, four injured in Hwy. 97 head-on crash

A Madras woman’s SUV crossed into the oncoming lanes of Highway 97 north of Redmond Wednesday afternoon and collided head-on with an oncoming car, killing a passenger in the car and injuring herself and three others, two seriously, Oregon State Police reported.

June 28

Redmond man jailed in pursuit that led to Hwy. 126 crash

REDMOND, Ore.-A Redmond man wanted on an outstanding warrant was arrested Friday, accused of fleeing police Wednesday and sparking a manhunt in which a Redmond police officer and two others were injured when his patrol car was rear-ended, officers said.

June 18

Redmond couple killed in Hwy. 22 head-on crash

DETROIT, Ore. - A Redmond couple were killed Saturday evening when their SUV crossed the center line and struck another SUV head-on on state Highway 22 west of Detroit, Oregon State Police reported.

June 5

OSP IDs Silverton man killed in Hwy. 97 pickup-tanker crash

La PINE, Ore. - A pickup truck collided head-on with a tanker truck hauling apple juice on Highway 97 north of La Pine Monday afternoon, killing the pickup's driver, a 69-year-old Silverton man, and closing the highway for six hours, authorities said.


July 1

9-month-old infant killed in Hwy. 97 crash near Culver

CULVER, Ore.--A 9-month-old baby was killed and a Culver man was injured when he turned left into the path of a sign company truck late Friday afternoon on Highway 97 north of Terrebonne, Oregon State Police reported.

July 23

Man drowns in Deschutes River in Bend

BEND, Ore.-A police drone helped searchers recover the body of a man who drowned after jumping from a footbridge into the Deschutes River Sunday afternoon.

July 25

'Suspicious' 10,600-acre fire NE of Madras 30 pct. contained

Firefighters kept working Wednesday to build and bolster lines around two wildfires that merged into one six miles northeast of Madras and raced across more than 10,600 acres by Wednesday morning, but a containment estimate was reduced from 40 to 30 percent after an aerial inspection of the fire's status, officials said Wednesday night.

July 8

'Suspicious' Summer Lake wildfire now 50 percent contained

SUMMER LAKE, Ore. --The Oregon State Police Arson Unit asked the public for information Tuesday after being advised the nearly 6,000-acre Ana Fire near Summer Lake "may have started under suspicious circumstances," officials said.

July 11

Redmond man turns self in, cited in fatal dog attack

A 41-year-old Redmond man went to authorities amid public and media scrutiny and was cited for his dog's fatal attack on another dog last month at Cline Falls State Park, officials said.


Aug. 16

Mili Fire update: 7,000 acres, 600 people evacuated

SISTERS, Ore. --Strong winds pushed the Milli Fire across a containment line Friday afternoon, pushing the now-7,000-acre fire two to three miles east-southeast toward subdivisions on the western outskirts of Sisters and prompting evacuation of about 600 residents, officials said Friday night.

Aug. 29

Fire near Santiam Pass at 50 acres; travel still limited

A wildfire that broke out Tuesday afternoon in brush and timber south of Highway 20 has burned about 50 acres and continued to restrict travel over Santiam Pass on Wednesday, officials said.

Aug. 1

Cinder Butte Fire remapped at about 52,000 acres

HAMPTON, Ore.--The Cinder Butte Fire east of Hampton was reduced by new mapping to 52,223 acres on Friday as crews continued to work to build and improve fireline, officials said.

Aug. 20

Wind shift: SW Oregon wildfire smoke streaming into area

The Milli Fire west of Sisters continues to grow, topping 11,000 acres by Tuesday -- but thanks to a wind shift fro the southwest much of the smoke blanketing the region later in the day was coming from big fires in southwest Oregon and Northern California -- and hampering firefighting efforts on the Milli Fire. Still-smoky Sisters, meanwhile, has delayed the start of school by a day.

Aug. 11

Few new smoke reports as fire crews battle on

The Central Oregon Dispatch Center received several reports of smoke on Monday, but only one new fire that burned 3/4 of an acre, about 4 1/2 miles northeast of Crane Prairie Reservoir.


Sept. 27

FBI-DEA-CODE raids take down major Madras-Redmond drug ring

MADRAS, Ore.--A joint operation and series of raids early Wednesday involving the FBI, DEA and Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team resulted in the federal arrest of nine people charged with participation in a drug distribution network operating in the Madras/Redmond area, the agencies announced Thursday.

Sept. 4

Gorge fire nearly 31,000 acres; cooler weather aids crews

HOOD RIVER, Ore.-Despite a dramatically larger size, managers on the 30,000-acre Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge had some good news to report Wednesday, including more moderate fire behavior and saving the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge.

Sept. 28

Bend restaurant asking patrons to limit their time there

BEND, Ore. - Guests at one downtown Bend restaurant are being greeted by cards on their tables, telling them they have a time limit on their meal.

Sept. 1

C.O. wildfire update: Smoke shifts, fires grow, merge

REDMOND, Ore.--Although air quality conditions improved Friday for a second day in a row, wildfires throughout Central Oregon showed increased fire behavior and the smoke was returning to many areas late in the day, fire managers said.

Sept. 2

OSP identifies motorcyclist killed in Hwy. 26 semi crash

PRINEVILLE, Ore.--A motorcyclist ran a stop sign and was struck and killed by a semi-truck early Saturday morning on Highway 26 west of Prineville, Oregon State Police reported.


Oct. 13

OSP IDs Bend man killed in Redmond Hwy. 97 crash

REDMOND, Ore.--Oregon State Police on Saturday identified a 58-year-old Bend man killed when his pickup truck left Highway 97 in Redmond, struck a guardrail and overturned Friday evening.

Oct. 21

Two killed, 3 seriously hurt in Crook County rollover crash

PRINEVILLE, Ore.--Two young men died and three other people were seriously injured early Saturday morning when their car left a rural road south of Prineville and flipped several times, throwing all of them to the ground, Crook County sheriff’s deputies said.

Oct. 22

Prineville shooting victim named; man questioned, released

PRINEVILLE, Ore.--Prineville police on Monday identified a 56-year-old Prineville man who they said was shot and killed by another man Sunday afternoon during an altercation in front of the second man’s home on Northwest Second Street. But they also said the resident was released after questioning while the investigation continues.

Oct. 9

More police, but half the students absent at quiet Mtn. View HS

BEND, Ore.--Mountain View High School in northeast Bend held somewhat normal classes on Tuesday, with an increased police presence and about half of the student body staying away due to a rumored threat of a school shooting that spread like wildfire on social media the previous night.

Oct. 12

Armed subject who entered SE Bend business found dead

An intoxicated person with a gun walked into a southeast Bend business Thursday morning, prompting a police SWAT team call-out and the closure of streets in the area for about three hours, until the person was found dead in the building, officers said.


Nov. 20

Police identify cyclist killed in NW Bend crash

BEND, Ore.--Bend police on Tuesday identified a 31-year-old Bend bicyclist killed in a collision with a FedEx semi-truck at a northwest Bend intersection late Monday morning.

Nov. 2

OSP identifies 2nd driver killed in crash near Santiam Pass

Oregon State Police on Thursday released the name of an Ontario man, the second of two drivers killed two weeks ago when a car was struck by a van that crossed the centerline of U.S. Highway 20 about a mile east of Santiam Pass.

Nov. 3

Sunriver resident shot by police improves to fair condition

MADRAS, Ore.--An 18-year-old Sunriver resident shot and wounded by police when he allegedly confronted them with a gun after a 50-mile two-county high-speed chase last week improved to fair condition Monday at St. Charles Bend.

Nov. 23

Crook County SO identifies Juniper Acres homicide victim

PRINEVILLE, Ore.--Authorities on Friday identified a 51-year-old resident of the rural Juniper Acres subdivision as the man found dead on Thanksgiving in an apparent homicide at his home, and said they had interviewed a person of interest in the case.

Nov. 16

SE Bend tiny home development causing controversy

BEND, Ore. - A tiny home development off Benham Road in southeast Bend is slated to go on a 3.1-acre parcel that wraps around an already-existing neighborhood.


Dec. 16

Hwy. 22E closed indefinitely by fatal, fiery tanker crash

IDANHA, Ore.--A Redmond man was killed in the fiery rollover crash of his fuel truck on icy Highway 22E near Idanha late Friday night, Oregon State Police said Saturday. The intense heat damaged the roadway and more than 11,000 gallons of unleaded gas spilled on the road, its shoulders and some into the North Santiam River.

Dec. 3

Redmond boy, 9, dies in crash on snowy Highway 26

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore.--A 9-year-old Redmond boy returning from a Portland youth basketball tournament with his family was killed and several others were injured in a head-on crash on snow-covered Highway 26 east of Government Camp Sunday afternoon, Oregon State Police said Monday.

Dec. 13

OSP identifies Bend man killed in Hwy. 20 crash

BEND, Ore.--A Bend man was killed Wednesday morning when he tried to turn left at an intersection on Highway 20 east of Bend and was struck by an oncoming pickup truck, Oregon State Police said.

Dec. 6

OSP seeks witnesses of driver in fatal Hwy. 97 crash

SUNRIVER, Ore.---Oregon State Police said Wednesday they want to hear from anyone who witnessed a minivan being driven recklessly on Highway 97 before it struck the rear of a pickup on Highway 97 near Sunriver last week, causing a crash that killed a Bend man.

Dec. 19

Bend father hopes son's story will prevent bullying, suicide

BEND, Ore. - A Bend family is mourning the loss of their son, Deshaun Adderley, who killed himself last Thursday, and hopes that sharing his story could shine a much-needed light on the issues of suicide and bullying.

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