We have had a great year here at Jones & Blount. We posted our first news story at the end of May, and by the end of the long state legislative session, the site was cemented as a must-read for North Carolina’s legislative leaders and political watchers. And we ended the year by announcing that Jones & Blount would become part of the North State Journal, North Carolina’s only statewide newspaper. Whew!
So out of the 375 stories we published over the past seven months, what were your favorites? It looks to us like you like scoops. A lot.
Oh, and if you can’t read about breaking news from the capital, you’ll find time to read about North Carolina being awesome at things. Or guns.
So happy New Year to our readers. We are excited to reveal what we have planned for 2016. But until then, enjoy a look back with us at the top 10 Jones & Blount stories from our first year.
Top 10 Jones & Blount stories for 2015
Just making the cut is the story of a gubernatorial candidate’s emails to McCrory Administration officials asking for the life sentence to be reduced for a longtime friend – a Mooresville school teacher convicted of more than 80 counts of molesting boys.
At No. 9 was the news of the acquisition of an RTP company that invented a tiny diabetes medication delivery system that is inserted into patients’ bodies.
News of Jones & Blount’s upcoming move to the North State Journal, a new statewide newspaper beginning publication in February 2016, made the most-read list.
It was big news that sitting N.C. Treasures Janet Cowell, often heralded around Raleigh as a rising star for Democrats, decided not to run in 2016. Jones & Blount was first to report the news in mid-October.
Jeb Bush made a splash in political circles by announcing in August his N.C. leadership team, a group filled with political veterans and elected officials that still out-ranks politicos who have announced for other Republican presidential candidates.
In October, big economic news for northeastern North Carolina was a top five story for Jones & Blount.
4. N.C. Attorney General’s office sanctioned for delaying tactics in case of first-grader killed by log truck
Jones & Blount had the story first when a state judicial panel sanctioned Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office for delaying tactics in the case of 6-year-old Alyiah Morgan. Morgan was returning home from school in Sampson County when a log truck passed her stopped school bus and struck her.
A list of North Carolina firsts was quite popular this year. The Old North State has been first in freedom, first in flight, and first in – who knew? – nursing.
Another story of emails about the General Assembly and the executive branch brought readers to Jones & Blount, this time to learn about a N.C. Department of Public Safety employee and wife of Rep. Nelson Dollar encouraging the FBI to investigate Sen. Bob Rucho after a legislative staffer inquired about a budget provision.
And the top story on Jones & Blount for all of 2015? An article about a firearms bill passing the General Assembly in late July. House Bill 562, which was not controversial by the time it passed the Senate, was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory on Aug. 5.