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Cemeteries, Ice Cream And Hyperloops: WOSU's Most Read Stories Of 2017

Gabe Rosenberg

This has been quite the year of news, with no shortage of surprises and drama in politics and entertainment. At WOSU, though, we were excited to see the wide variety of stories that our listeners gravitated toward in 2017: Health care, campus speech, refugees, food, the opioid crisis, yoga, soccer, and more than a few cemeteries.

After launching our Curious Cbus series last year, we've pushed ahead in answering questions from our listeners - several of our most-read articles originated from your ideas. (Here's how you can ask your own questions.) And in 2017, WOSU joined with a number of other stations to form Side Effects Public Media, reporting on health news and issues all over the Midwest.

We also launched Chasing The Dream, a collaboration between 89.7 NPR News, WOSU TV and our digital teams, exploring poverty, jobs and income inequality in Columbus.

Here are the top 10 stories of 2017. See you next year!

1. Unaccompanied In Pain: Gaps In Ohio Law Hurt Teen Moms

In Ohio, rates of teenage pregnancy are higher than the national average. But reporter Esther Honig found that state law prevents mothers under the age of 18 from consenting to epidurals. You may have heard this story on NPR’s national programs as well.

2. Rep. Pat Tiberi Will Quit Congress Early

Rep. Pat Tiberi, who represents Ohio’s 12th Congressional district, announced suddenly in October that he would resign from the U.S. House. A Congress member since 2000, Tiberi was influential in the Republican push for tax reform.

3. Columbus Named Hyperloop Contest Winner, With Route Connecting Midwest

Despite it being a long-shot proposal, readers could not stop obsessing over news that Columbus was named a finalist for the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. The possibility of a 29-minute ride to Chicago was just too good to pass up.

4. Ice Cream With A Sprinkle Of India, From An Immigrant In Columbus

“It's like my passion. When I'm making ice cream, I'm in the zone. Nobody bothers me.” Esther Honig’s profile of Mardis Gras ice cream shop and owner Mita Shah provided a refreshing taste of spring, with hints of guava and saffron.

5. Curious Cbus: The Tragic Story Behind High Street's Hidden Tunnel

WOSU’s Curious Cbus project, where listeners ask questions about Central Ohio, answered 19 of your curiosities this year. Our intern Dan Timmerman dove right into Rachel Shininger’s question about mysterious stairwells descending beneath High Street.

6. Dublin Built A Traffic Circle To Reduce Accidents. The Opposite Happened

Reporter Adora Namigadde was surprised to learn that a roundabout installed in Dublin, Ohio, actually made an intersection more dangerous. That only seemed to confirm the suspicions of our readers. “This roundabout is horrible and I will drive out of my way to avoid it,” one commenter said.

7. A Tower Will Rise Above North Market. Below, A Graveyard Awaits

It was a good year for cemetery stories. After Columbus announced a business and residential tower would take the place of North Market’s parking lot, reporter Sam Hendren found that hundreds of bodies from the city’s original graveyard still remained. Creepy.

8. Ohio's Ghoulish Gambit Against Grave Robbing: Coffin Torpedoes

Speaking of cemeteries, digital news editor Gabe Rosenberg took a turn for the macabre in this history of grave robbing in Ohio. The tale involves medical schools, improvised explosives, angry mobs, and a former U.S. Senator.

9. Curious Cbus: What Was The Continent Like In Its Heyday?

“Everyone knows The Continent has fallen on hard times. But once, it bustled the way Easton Town Center does now. Once, visitors would stroll through quaint, European–style streets, or sit and dine in open-air cafes.” Curious Cbus took a look back at The Continent, Columbus’ original shopping destination.

10. Ohio State Suspends 37 Fraternities From Social Activities And Recruitment

Ohio State University indefinitely suspended 37 all-male fraternities from social and recruitment activities. The move followed a spike in Student Conduct violations from the fraternities this year.

(Oh, and if you love the 89.7 NPR News socks in the photo above, you can get a pair of your own by becoming a WOSU member.)