It’s the third year I’ve written this annual list of our most popular stories, and every year I have started the column the same way: National news in (insert year) was relentless. And it’s not looking any better this year.
2017 ended with Kim Jong Un’s playground taunt that his “nuclear button is on his desk at all times.” And President Trump’s response that his “nuclear button” is “much bigger.”
We slipped into 2018 during a government shutdown that would become the longest in U.S. history.
And now 2019 has closed with the 45th president of the United States being impeached by the House of Representatives.
But don’t despair. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has made a compelling case for why 2019 was actually a good year for the world, perhaps the best in history, in his column printed to the left of this one.
Axios crunched the data to see exactly how fast the frenzied sprint of news was in 2019. The takeaway: It’s not your imagination. “In the era of President Trump and social media, surges of Google interest in the biggest events of the year only lasted about a week before the public’s attention was drawn elsewhere.”
It’s exhausting, which is why I am once again grateful to work at a weekly where we can take a bit more time digesting the news and grateful to be covering local news in a city filled with such wonderful people.
Here are the 10 most-read stories on ElPasoInc.com, beginning with No. 10. Note that these are the stories that were clicked on the most, not necessarily the ones I would have picked (our biggest scoops and most in-depth stories).
El Paso restaurants desperate for staff (Posted Feb. 17)
When Julio’s Café Corona opened its far Westside location, it was only open for lunch and Sunday brunch because the local chain struggled to find the workers needed to open for dinner. Julio’s wasn’t alone, and restaurants nationwide faced a worker shortage that was among the worst in almost two decades.
New Vista Market grocery coming to Eastside (Posted Sept. 10)
If the popularity of stories about grocery stores, restaurants and food television (see below) is any indication, El Pasoans love food. The Vista Market is now open on the Eastside at 1960 George Dieter. An Albertsons is also coming to the Eastside and is scheduled to open at the intersection of Zaragoza and Pebble Hills sometime this year.
El Paso companies shut down in alleged multimillion-dollar telemarketing scheme (Posted July 30)
Few things are more aggravating than unwanted phone calls from telemarketers, which probably explains why this story about a federal court in El Paso shutting down two schemes that allegedly bilked millions of dollars from consumers struggling with credit card debt was so popular.
Rage Against the Machine coming to borderland (Posted Nov. 8)
The band, whose music is often billed as “political rock,” is reuniting for a comeback tour that is set to kick off in El Paso on March 26. Other big acts coming include Pitbull on Feb. 22, Cher on March 6 and Kiss on March 9.
Column brings back memories of Lee Trevino (Posted Oct. 18)
The legendary sportswriter and El Paso Inc. columnist Ray Sanchez shared memories of golfer Lee Trevino in a column rich in nostalgia.
Guide to (not another movie) date night in El Paso (Posted June 25)
Hopefully, our guide to some “fun, romantic, outside-the-movie-theater” date ideas helped many El Pasoans find true love – or at least have a romantic evening.
Abundant Living Faith Center buys Tricky Falls concert hall (Posted Feb. 4)
Before it closed in October 2018, Tricky Falls brought some of the biggest acts to Downtown El Paso, everything from Marilyn Manson to Khalid. So many were surprised when El Paso megachurch Abundant Living Faith Center bought the 105-year-old building at 209 S. El Paso.
Trouble at Tipsy Tiger: Unpaid taxes, lawsuit (Posted Jan. 27)
The Texas comptroller’s office conducted an audit of the Legendary Tipsy Tiger, then one of El Paso’s highest-performing bars, which found it owed the state $411,850 in unpaid state taxes.
El Paso eateries heating up Food Network (Posted July 19)
The only thing El Pasoans love more than stories about food and new restaurants? Local restaurants featured on the Food Network. Guy Fieri zoomed across the borderland in his convertible in March, stopping at a handful of El Paso eateries.
El Paso iFly remains open as it faces foreclosure (Posted June 23)
The most clicked on story last year, it once again shows just how much interest El Pasoans have in new attractions. The indoor skydiving center, El Paso’s first, opened in April 2019. Fans can breathe a sigh of relief: After hitting some turbulence, iFly remains open at 430 Vin Rambla.