A look back on 2018

Here are the first half of the most read stories of 2018, according to analytics compiled by the Reporter.

Covington-Maple Valley-Black Diamond Reporter wishes everyone a happy 2019!

As we enter into the new year, we look back on some of the articles that folks buzzed about the most, from tragedies to triumphs, and see what was going on in the area over the past 12 months.

Through analytics, we’ve narrowed down the top 10 most-read stories.

So here are five of the top 10 most read stories of 2018. Check back in tomorrow for the top five most read stories.

10. Covington gets state funding for projects

By Kayse Angel

In mid-January 2018, the city of Covington announced it had received a total of $1.4 million in state funding for two projects.

Those projects are the Town Center Project and SoCo (South Covington) Park project.

It was reported that $820,000 would go toward the town center and $592,000 would go toward the park project.

With $2.2 million in reserves and the state funding, the city was hoping to purchase about eight acres from the Kent School District for the new town center.

In early 2018, the town center was still in the beginning stages of planning.

The SoCo Park project will enter the planning phase in 2019.

According to the city’s best-case scenario, the construction phase for the park will be 2022-2023.

9. Kentwood science teacher charged with two counts, remains in custody

By Sarah Brenden

Timothy Sean Brennan, a science teacher at Kentwood, was charged in January 2018 with two counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

He was placed on administrative leave in November 2017 when the Kent School District first heard about the incident.

An 11th grade student spoke with a King County Sheriff’s Office deputy in November 2017 reporting Brennan had reportedly been inappropriately contacting her via Snapchat during her freshman year, September 2015 to June 2016.

8. Early results are in, a number of levies failing while recall is passing

By Kayse Angel and Sarah Brenden

The February 2018 special election saw two school districts levies in trouble and a recall of a city council member passing.

Tahoma School Districts three levies and both of the Kent School Districts levies were failing late election night with the first count of ballots.

While the one proposed levy from the Enumclaw School District was passing.

And voters voted to recall Black Diamond City Councilwoman Pat Pepper with 68.27 percent (late election night).

The final votes were certified Feb. 23.

7. Confusion, sadness and hope

By Kayse Angel

Over the course of a year or so, three Tahoma High School students killed themselves.

In the first installment of a series relating to suicide, Laurie Sypole, mom of Garrett Sypole — who killed himself in the summer of 2017 — and Haley Armstrong, current Tahoma senior and friend of Garrett’s, decided to join forces and make a difference.

Last year, Kione Gill, a former Tahoma student, and a current student, Kylee Snyder, killed themselves within a week of each other.

Laurie started the “Live for Garrett Foundation” with the intention of helping everyone —parents, teachers, coaches and students. The foundation helps people understand suicide prevention, how to deal with someone’s suicide or to just talk.

6. Chick-fil-A opening festivities begin tomorrow

By Kayse Angel

Excitement behind the opening of the new Chick-fil-A in Covington also brought concerns of traffic.

The Covington location features a 4,600 square foot building with a two-story indoor play area for children.

To prepare for an increase in traffic, the city of Covington implemented a detailed traffic plan to ensure opening day and those to follow would run smoothly.

The city looked at what other cities like Bellevue, Lynnwood and Tacoma did but also predicted there might not have been as much traffic as those cities saw due to the smaller size and less regional location in Covington.

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