Friday, March 31, 2023

Looking Back: Top stories of 2021

In a busy year dominated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there were plenty of other big news stories — some better, some worse — in southern Denton County in 2021.

Vehicles line up for drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination appointments at Texas Motor Speedway in February, photo courtesy of Denton County

Two of the three most-read stories of 2021 at involved a celebrity. The most-viewed article, by far, was the April 26 report about actor Charlie Sheen suing Itamar Gelbman, who was then running for mayor of Flower Mound. The next most-read story was about Dr. John Gomez of Argyle succumbing to COVID-19, and the third-most-popular story we broke was Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten being named head coach of the Liberty Christian School football team.

Early in the year, many of the most-read stories were coronavirus-related, as vaccines became available and Denton County set the standard for vaccination clinics. Then, along came February’s Winter Storm Uri. Throughout the year, our coverage of crime, automobile crashes, development and new restaurants continued to get the most clicks.

Here are the most-read and most-talked-about stories on this year:

Flower Mound High School Principal Chad Russell shared this photo of himself on Twitter in February when he announced he was finally heading home after six weeks in the hospital due to COVID-19.

Jan. 5: Flower Mound principal moved out of ICU

Jan. 10: Denton County COVID-19 vaccination hub opens

Jan. 17: Local doctor passes away from COVID-19

Jan. 20: Yaser Said’s son pleads guilty to concealing father from arrest

Feb. 1: Jason Witten named head football coach at Liberty Christian

Feb. 1: Northlake police: Woman, girl die in crash on I-35W, suspect flees

Feb. 1: State’s largest drive-thru vaccine clinic to open in Denton County

Feb. 13: Harvest, Justin residents identified as victims of Fort Worth crash

Winter Storm Uri in Lantana.

Feb. 16: Rolling power outages continue after coldest night in 72 years

Feb. 26: Man dies after driving car into Lake Grapevine

March 2: Abbott ending mask mandate, allowing businesses to reopen 100%

March 3: 2 more River Walk restaurants announced

March 15: Man smashes Argyle store door for a soda

March 19: Flower Mound man stabs, strangles other drivers after crash

March 25: After that winter storm, don’t give up on your plants too soon

The back of the Downing Middle School yearbooks

March 30: Alligator spotted near Argyle

April 4: Corinth-area kidnapping suspect arrested

April 17: Furst Ranch heading ‘back to the drawing board’

April 26: Charlie Sheen takes legal action against Flower Mound mayoral candidate

May 24: Local principal apologizes for yearbook cover

May 27: Police identify, charge man who shot Flower Mound officers

June 1: Flasher arrested after several incidents in Highland Village area

June 1: Macy’s coming to old Stein Mart location in Flower Mound

June 4: Former Flower Mound councilman charged with sex crimes against child

A large alligator crosses the I-35W exit ramp at Crawford Road near Argyle, photo by Amanda Maestas, courtesy Denton County ESD No. 1

June 7: Photo of alligator on I-35W ramp reignites concern

June 17: Judge orders Gelbman to pay Charlie Sheen’s legal fees

July 3: Former Guyer teacher pleads guilty to improper relationship

July 6: Sisters identified as Lake Lewisville drowning victims

July 6: Town of Flower Mound, fire chief part ways

Aug. 21: Authorities investigating death of Denton County Jail inmate

Aug. 26: Charges filed against 4 men after Highland Village police chase

Aug. 30: Yellow Rose Steak and Chophouse closes

Sept. 7: Woman charged after leading Flower Mound police on chase

Sept. 14: Denton County fire marshal dies of COVID-19

Sept. 27: Furst Ranch owner seeks rezoning

Sept. 30: Fitness trainer from Flower Mound charged with invasive recording

Oct. 7: Marty B’s Coffee coming soon to Bartonville

Oct. 12: Residents hear pitch for apartments at Shops at Highland Village

Oct. 13: Police investigating report of sexual assault at high school

The Flower Mound Rebels peewee football team.

Nov. 19: Flower Mound peewee football team benched for being ‘too good’

Nov. 23: Flower Mound approves new subdivision on LISD land

Nov. 24: Braum’s coming to FM 407

Nov. 24: Teens from Argyle, Northlake die in Sanger crash

Dec. 6: Flower Mound Council rejects residential development on LISD land

Dec. 14: Flower Mound police arrest juvenile for hoax threat

What will 2022 have in store for us? We wouldn’t want to even try to guess, but we do promise to continue our mission to keep you informed and engaged as we have for the past 43 years. Happy New Year!

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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