As 2013 winds to a close, we look back at the top five stories OPB readers visited during the year.
Last summer, about 60 people gathered in a Target parking lot to sing songs and make prayer flags to memorialize thousands of bees killed by pesticides in Wilsonville. Just this month, the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture fined the pesticide company and four employees $2,800 in the incident.
Eric Marcoux and Eugene Woodworth married in Vancouver after 60 years together. The men had been together since they the day they met in Chicago in 1953. Woodworth told the judge, “… we met 60 years ago, and this is the first legal thing. It’s such a pity that we had to wait that long.” Woodworth, who had been suffering from congestive heart failure, died just a short time after their marriage.
When the Portland International Airport announced plans to change its iconic carpet in a couple of years, they found out just how loyal the following for the old carpet was. T-shirt and sock makers have used the design, and it has inspired many a traveler to take a “selfie.” The carpet even has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. But the airport says the new carpet is coming in 2016.
In October, just days after speaking with Think Out Loud, Joe Bell, the father of Jadin Bell, died while walking across the country. His son, who was gay, died after bullying incidents in La Grande. Bell was trying to raise awareness about bullying and suicide with his trek, but was hit by a truck in Colorado.
With a measure on the ballot in May to help fund more law enforcement, OPB’s Amelia Templeton brought us the story of a Cave Junction woman who called 911 the year before, but who couldn’t get help because she was calling on a Saturday and no local staffing was available. The State Patrol was also unable to help, but after the man assaulted her, he was later arrested by them.
No list of OPB’s top stories would be complete without a mention of our Glacier Caves project. Thousands read and shared our multi-media story of a system of caves that may be the largest glacier cave system in the lower 48 states.