Social media plays a big role in getting the news out in the modern world, so we turned to Facebook to ask our readers what they felt were the biggest stories of 2016.
Number one on the list was Hurricane Matthew’s flooding and aftermath in October. Most of the respondents pointed out how, even in the worst parts of the storm and recovery, they were struck by people reaching out to one another to lend a helping hand.
“The community coming together after Hurricane Matthew,” Jennifer Holcomb of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism wrote. “Local business owners have lost weeks of revenue, lost entire inventories, have had to lay off employees, and some have lost their life investment. These business owners are our friends and neighbors.”
“Hands down, Hurricane Matthew had the largest impact on the residents of Columbus County and its neighbors,” said Doug Simmons. “The devastation was widespread and its effects long lasting.”
Sharon Kelly Nobles and Jacqueline Jo Andel Pierce also remembered the hurricane over everything else.
“The devastations of the flood waters from Hurricane Matthew,” Nobles wrote.
“The flooding in downtown Whiteville, Fair Bluff and across Columbus County due to Hurricane Matthew,” Pierce wrote.
Jackie Whitehead said she was struck by the images from Fair Bluff.
“For me (it) was pictures of Fair Bluff underwater,” she wrote. “Fair Bluff has always reminded me of a grand southern lady somehow.”
Politics also played a big role in memorable news this year, according to readers.
“How about our county electing Republicans to the N.C. General Assembly?” wrote Peter Yurgel.
“The voters in North Carolina approved a bathroom bill that homosexuals did not like,” wrote Vern Collins. “The liberal press thinks the majority of voters are stupid.”
Kathy Jackson of Lake Waccamaw expressed the emotions of many regarding the contentious presidential and state elections.
“Wow. Just wow!” she wrote.
Katie O’Rear-Kornegay joined others in her shock of “The horrible stabbing death of Carol Greer” in Whiteville.
Alana Lee was one of several who thought of the fire at Cherry Grove Baptist Church.
Stephen Mancos and Doris Edwards remarked on some of their favorite columns in The News Reporter this past year. Edwards was so struck by one piece that she clipped it for future reference.
“I cut out and kept Ray Wyche’s article, ‘Tough, but we did it”,” she wrote. “It took me back down memory lane of days working in tobacco and what hard work it was. I thought, one day my grandchildren will never know how hard the generation before me worked and made us what we are today.”
“The one that keeps coming to mind is this,” wrote Mancos. “When Jefferson Weaver was struggling with high water from Hurricane Matthew, he encountered folks (wanting) to help others.”