Local News

Remember this? Snakehead fish, racist outburst most read stories of 2019

Posted December 23, 2019 4:00 a.m. EST
Updated December 23, 2019 11:49 a.m. EST

— Snow, public outbursts, barbecue and romantic gestures -- all among the most read stories on WRAL.com in 2019.

Here are the stories that collected the most page views this year.

'I would say it again'

A July dinner at Bonefish Grill in North Hills ended in accusations and a racial slur, and the Raleigh woman who uttered it said she would say it again.

The story outdid others by far, bringing more than 650,000 page views to WRAL.com

Our readers love romance! brought almost 500,000 page views to the site in July. On a similar note, also performed well.

Fayetteville girl survives human trafficking scheme

A 4-year-old girl from Fayetteville who had been missing for more than two months was found safe in Texas in August. Police say Aubriana Recinos' mother, Carmen Lowe, was arrested as part of an FBI investigation of a human trafficking operation. The little girl was found in a home in Lewisville, Texas – about 1,200 miles away from Fayetteville – with members of a human trafficking operation.

Durham man hits 1 million miles

Dexter Mills lives near Southpoint in Durham. The self-employed vehicle inspector travels across the state to various shops and dealerships and estimates he logs about 65,000 miles a year. Last spring, his 2000 Honda Accord hit 1 million miles on its odometer.

'Kill it immediately'

Ever heard of a northern snakehead fish? This creepy looking fish went viral after someone spotted one in Georgia. The rare fish is long and thin with snakeskin-like scales and can grow up to 3 feet long. It can also breathe air and survive on land, officials say. A bizarre statement from wildlife officials asked people who find a snakehead to "kill it immediately," as it can reproduce at a high rate and kill tiny animals, disrupting the balance on land and in water.

Our main question -- if we see one, how to we kill it?

Classroom assignment spun out of control

In November, more than 300 people have signed a petition to get a South Johnston High School teacher back in class after she was suspended for dividing students in class based on personal beliefs. Her students said the story was spun out of control.

This freak accident could happen to anyone

Lee Dingle, a Raleigh father of six, was only 37 when he died in an accident at Oak Island in July. He was in the ocean playing with his children when a wave forced his head to the ground, his wife said on social media.

Woman finds alligators in surf

JoAnn Groeger from Ayden found alligators in plain sight on North Topsail Beach in June. She said she has been visiting North Topsail Beach for 20 years and has never seen an alligator gator there. The sight, she said, was amazing and shocking.

Man beaten to death in Brier Creek parking lot

On Nov. 23, police officers found William Edward "Billy" Allison, 65, beaten outside a Papa John's in Brier Creek. He was rushed to WakeMed but died at the hospital. Two people were charged.

Apex man wins $8.3M for 'unlawful arrest'

In September, an Apex man won an $8.3 million verdict against three Wake County deputies who he said violated his civil rights during an arrest six years ago.

Young murder suspect escapes custody

Here's another odd one -- a 13-year-old boy accused in a double murder escaped while in custody of the Department of Public Safety in November wearing leg restraints and no shoes. He was back in custody in Cumberland County the next day after spending the night in the woods.

Snow ALWAYS wins

In November, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner explained how computer models help us predict and track wintry weather. The mere mention of snow in the headline brought over 100,000 page views.


Diana Taije Mems, 50, was cited in April with reckless driving, illegal passing and impeding traffic after months of complaints about her Ford Focus with the recognizable license plate "STAYUMBL."

Wilber's Barbecue closes then reopens

In March, the North Carolina Department of Revenue announced the closing of a popular Goldsboro barbecue joint, and customers and locals were heartbroken. Wayne County officials said the Revenue Department filed six tax liens against Wilber’s, totaling $70,647.98 in tax liability.

In November, it was announced that Wilber's Barbecue was sold to a group of local investors and will reopen in the spring.

You can also check out other top content from 2019, including sports, videos and restaurant news, and last year's most popular stories.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.