It was the worst of years, it was the best of years: Without a doubt, 2016 was hard on Verona, and the hardest part of the year came in the latter months. An incoming high school freshman committed suicide, a favorite business owner was killed in a senseless traffic accident and two well-known, well-loved families each lost two family members within days of each other.
Yes, there were high points and bright spots, too, from sports championships to simple acts of human kindness, and MyVeronaNJ.com captured them all. These were the 10 most-read stories on MyVeronaNJ.com for 2016:
- Vanya Citrano, 15: A rising national fencer and mountain biking enthusiast commits suicide and the community mourns with his family.
- Verona Business Owner Killed In Hit And Run: Matthew BeneduceMcGrath was loved for his craftsmanship, musicianship and sense of humor.
- Why Vincent Lombardi Plays Himself In ‘Sully’: After Capt. Chesley Sullenberger landed a USAirways flight on the Hudson seven years ago, a Verona High School graduate got the plane’s passengers back on dry land. This year, he got a role in the movie about it all.
- Roseann McEvoy, 48: The 1986 graduate of VHS had built a loving career as a teacher of special needs children.
- Newark Man Arrested, Charged In Fatal Hit-And-Run: Verona and Essex County police forces combined to identify a suspect in the death of Matthew BeneduceMcGrath.
- Pay Your Verona Taxes, Water Bills Online: CFO Matt Laracy brings simple household payments into the modern age.
- Verona’s Oldest Houses: After two pre-1900 houses fell to the wrecking ball. MyVeronaNJ.com set out to catalog all the others that still stand. Preservationist readers and history buffs applauded.
- Verona Teen Arrested In Gas Station Burglary: An unwise decision was caught on a security camera, and police broke the case swiftly.
- Annin Lofts Developer Starts Demolition: A century-old building that was once home to the world’s best known flag maker begins its journey towards a new purpose.
- The Verona Diner, Reinvented: After decades anchoring the Verona food scene, an old diner learns lots of new tricks, some of which include kale and quinoa.
You can read the top stories for every month of 2016 by clicking on the “Top Stories” tag below.