Each month, we look back to see which articles resonated most with readers and then share that insider information with you. Our website was viewed 12,945 times in August, and that’s in addition to the 8,709 people our Facebook page has reached in the past 28 days.
Here’s a look at the most-read articles on Lowell’s First Look, based on website views, during September 2019.
5. Here Are Your 5 Lowell City Council Candidates
We didn’t include a link to this article above because it’s actually from 2017, and we don’t want anyone to confuse it as coverage of the current election. People are obviously searching for information on the candidates for this year’s election, and we published an overview of the 2019 candidates and ballot proposals last week. We’ve also begun publishing weekly candidate profiles and Q&As so keep an eye open for those.
As a fun fact, this article had only one view more than the sixth most-read article for September. The story in the number six spot outlined discussions regarding if and how to add full-time firefighters to the Lowell Fire Department.
After a one month hiatus, the Police Beat is back on the list of top five articles. In August, the department received 235 calls for assistance, and notable cases included alcohol complaints, a dog bite and an investigation into contaminants discharged into the Flat River.
Lowell City Council heard from residents who were both for and against the development of 44 condos on the site of the former Unity High School building. However, they didn’t have any response to concerns raised and made it quite clear they wouldn’t be answering anyone’s questions. Then, they went into closed session and, afterward, agreed that they would all support a rezoning request to facilitate the condos. The rezoning request was officially approved at the council’s first September meeting.
Proving that the Lowell City Council doesn’t take direction from us, they approved the PUD rezoning for the Unity High School property without answering all questions – or any questions, really. Our editorial outlining our concerns about the PUD development was the second most-read article in September. While the development seems to be a done deal now, we continue to have concerns about a project that puts 44 residential units on the Riverwalk but only includes 49 on-site parking spots.
We also can’t help but wonder why the city is rolling out the red carpet for developers who are suing it and, in turn, its taxpayers. At the very least, we certainly hope developers have been billed for all the consulting fees the city incurred while trying to meet their demands for an ill-fated land swap.
The National Weather Service says there were no tornadoes, but boy was there damage. A fast-moving storm rolled through Lowell on September 11, 2019, sending area residents to their basements for 30 minutes while tornado sirens blared. The damage was largely confined to fallen branches and uprooted trees, and this article about the aftermath was the most viewed story on Lowell’s First Look in September 2019.
Did your favorite article make the list? Which story did you like best last month?