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A year in news: A look back at 2021's most-read stories

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 06:00:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the new year approaches, KSHB 41 wanted to take a look back at some of the biggest news stories of the year.

In a year that included a Chiefs Super Bowl, the Capitol Riot, Olympics and an ongoing global pandemic — here's what stuck out to Kansas City most.


It may seem like a long time ago, but January was full of big news and goodbyes.

The most-read story of the month was about the All American Auto Mart in Edwardsville, Kansas, closing after 34 years of business. It wasn't the only closure grabbing attention, either.

January also brought the announcement that Kansas' largest public housing project, Juniper Gardens, will close in the coming years.

Finally, the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was big news nationally and locally. The update that several people lost their lives in the event drew a lot of eyes to D.C.


The Kansas City Chiefs were big news in February, but not because of their back-to-back Super Bowl appearance.

Assistant coach Britt Reid, son of head coach Andy Reid, was involved in a crash that left a child with life-altering injuries and resulted in his arrest. News about the crash and some of the updates in the following days were the most-read stories of the month.

Rounding out the top stories of the month was news that power companies were instating rolling blackouts across the Kansas City area to combat the strain put on the energy grid when the extreme cold hit the area and winter weather shut down much of Texas.


Kansas City just can't seem to shake the excitement around getting Whataburger restaurants.

The announcement that the burger chain was planning stores in the area took the top spot in March.

And as always, spring storms and coronavirus remained popular topics.

Updates on severe storms on March 15 drew lots of eyes as tornado warnings were issued and residents reported damages.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also drew a lot of attention when he boasted that the state lowered COVID-19 cases without implementing a mask mandate.


Britt Reid was back at the forefront of Kansas City news in April as he was officially charged with DWI in the crash that severely injured a child.

However, not all Chiefs news was negative. April brought a public appearance of the newest member of Chiefs Kingdom — Sterling Skye Mahomes. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and fiance Brittany Matthews welcomed the little girl to the world on Feb. 20, and she attended her first major league baseball game on April 1.

Finally, news that Kansas City, Missouri, would relax some COVID-19 health and safety guidelines drew a lot of eyes as many hoped the news was the beginning of the end of the pandemic.


May was led by some not-so-pleasant news that a Lee's Summit female soccer coach allegedly sent inappropriate pictures to an underage male student.

Meanwhile, the Covid pandemic was wreaking havoc on the workforce and the supply chain.

News that stimulus checks could encourage people not to work and that items like lumber were becoming hard to find and expensive to purchase highlighted the start of a rocky summer.


With summer in full swing, Kansas City residents appeared eager to get out and travel as news that Amtrak was resuming twice-daily service to St. Louis took the top spot of the month.

Readers were also interested in a shady payday loan operation where the owner was sentenced to fraud and forced to pay restitution.

On a brighter note, news that the newly opened Overland Park ice cream shop, Golden Scoop was booming with business was shared widely. The shop provides employment opportunities for the disability community and received overwhelming support from the community.


The world was gripped by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July, despite the event being held a year late.

Local gymnasts Kara Eaker and Leanne Wong traveled to Japan as Team USA alternates, but a positive COVID-19 test dashed their dreams and broke the hearts of fans back home.

Readers also took interest in Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado using her platform for a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Aside from the Olympics, big breaking news included an FBI investigation on a Grain Valley property that resulted in the discovery of human remains and sparking a wide-reaching investigation.


Tragic news led the August headlines, as it was announced Missouri State Rep. Sarah Walsh's husband died from COVID-19.

The Olympics also remained in the spotlight, with a Missouri woman being selected to swim in the Paralympics and a transgender weightlifter making history in Tokyo.


With football season in full swing, the Chiefs were once again taking the interest of readers in September.

News of coach Andy Reid falling ill after one game had fans worried and looking for updates.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes also had to address a viral video involving his younger brother, Jackson Mahomes, pouring water on an opposing team's fans.

The Rae's Cafe saga also had the community waiting to see what would happen next.

The cafe was told to close for refusing to follow Jackson County Health Department guidelines. It attempted to reopen as a private club, and legal battles ensued.


October's most popular stories were a little spooky.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and other NFL bosses were fined over the decision to move the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles.

In other Chiefs news, the home game against the Buffalo Bills was delayed by lightning, which prompted a temporary evacuation of the stands.

People also spend a lot of time reading up on the University of Missouri's decision to suspend all fraternity activities after one fraternity hosted a party that resulted in a student being hospitalized.


A Kansas City, Missouri, police officer found guilty in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb was the most interesting story of November. Former Det. Eric DeValkenaere faces prison time for the conviction.

As the holiday season began, another popular headline was the announcement that Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu pulled out of lighting the mayor's Christmas tree.

A tragic DUI crash that took the life of a Kansas City woman in Columbia also drew eyes.


As we wrap up December, it's obvious that the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is on most people's minds. The fast-spreading strain made its way to the Kansas City area and quickly took root.

Also grabbing attention was the news that a crash involving a Kansas City, Missouri, firetruck and and the SUV took the lives of three people and caused a partial building collapse in Westport.

In some more bizarre news, readers were very interested in the arrest of rock band Tool's drummer being arrested at the Kansas City International Airport.

2021 overall

Though each month brought its own interests, there were three stories that were read more than any others throughout the entire year.

The unfortunate crash involving Britt Reid was the most-read story of 2021, with more than 579,000 people taking a look.

An update on the condition of Reid after the crash took second, with more than 150,900 people keeping tabs on the unfolding story.

Finally, people were really interested in the closure of the Edwardsville car dealership and the ensuing vehicle auction.

Kansas City experienced a variety of highs and lows in 2021. Here's hoping that 2022 includes more of the former.


Editor's note: The top stories are pulled from data tracking browser visits to the website. It does not include data on stories read via the mobile app.