Saturday, December 31, 2016

Most Popular Facebook Posts for 2016

It's the time of year to reflect on what's happened over the last twelve months, and to look forward to a new year.

As John McNamara reported in the Bowie Blade-News this week, development projects dominated the news this past year, including stories about the new Bowie Marketplace, the Marketplace apartments, the development plan for the Jesuit Property, the Melford property and the progress on the new indoor sports facility.

Funding for the Route 197 widening project was taken away and later restored.

Long-time Bowie City Manager David Deutsch retired in June, and replacement Alfred Lott was announced in November.

Repairs to the City of Bowie water supply system were estimated to cost $14 million over the next ten years after the city conducted a review of the system.

The Bowie Police Department activated its new 24-hour call center, and officers began patrolling with body cameras.

Renovations at Tulip Grove Elementary School continue to be delayed.

All of those stories were certainly covered on Bowie Living, but popular posts on social media don't always coincide with the biggest news stories of the day.

Below are the ten most popular Bowie Living Facebook posts of 2016 in order of popularity, followed by a few "honorable mentions."

#1: David Bowie Bushes

The top post was a photoshopped picture created by Neil Allen after the passing of singer David Bowie.

Kudos to Neil Allen for creating this masterpiece!
Interestingly, Bowie is a stage name. His real name is David Robert Jones. According to some reports, he changed his name to avoid confusion with David Jones - a popular theater actor in London at the time who would later be known as Davy Jones of the Monkees.
David Bowie claims that he took the name "Bowie" from the "ultimate American knife" - the Bowie Knife. However, the pronunciation of "Bowie" in "Bowie Knife" is the same pronunciation that we use for Bowie, Maryland. So David Bowie took the name, but changed the pronunciation.

Photo Courtesy of Neil Allen

#2: Threat At Bowie High School Brings Extra Police

A Twitter user named "Unknown Kid" posted a threat indicating that shots would be fired at the Bowie High School Annex at 1:55pm on May 18th.  There was a noticeable police presence at both Bowie High School and the Annex that day, and the threat was determined to be a hoax.

#3: City to Sell Belair Mansion

Each year Bowie Living creates its own "fake news" for April Fools' Day.  2016 was no exception.
After owning the Belair Mansion for more than fifty years, the City of Bowie will  be selling the historic property.  The revenue obtained from the sale is expected to help fund the purchase of a property for a new indoor recreation center in the city,

#4 Water main break causes temporary road closures

The fourth most popular post of 2016 was a Washington Post story about a water main break on Mitchellville Road.

#5: Beech trees on Belair Drive

A Bowie Living photo of the Beech trees on Belair Drive after an early-morning snow on March 4th.

#6: FBI involved after two commercial robberies

A crime report from the City of Bowie Police Department on March 15th.
On 03/15/16 at approximately 1014 hours, Bowie Officers responded to the CVS on Laurel-Bowie Road (Route 197) for a robbery. Initial investigation determined that two males entered the store, walked back to the pharmacy and jumped over the counter. Both suspects proceeded to fill their duffle bags with prescription cough syrup. A third male stood guard at the entrance of the door with some sort of pipe. All three males exited the store and fled in a dark color Chevy Camaro, possibly driven by a fourth suspect.
At 1026 hours, Bowie Officers responded to the Walgreens at Hilltop Plaza (Race Track Road) for a robbery. Initial investigation determined the same suspects entered the store with two jumping the counter with dufflebags. A pharmacist attempted to stop them and one suspect stated he had a gun and to move out of the way. Both suspects proceeded to fill their duffle bags with prescription cough medicine while the third suspect stood guard at the door with a pipe. All three males entered the same vehicle and fled westbound on Route 450. A short time later, a Prince George’s County Officer spotted the vehicle and gave chase into DC where they broke off the pursuit.
Prince George’s County CID Robbery was notified and is currently assuming control of the investigation. Also, the FBI responded to the scene to assist due to numerous similar incidents that they are investigating. There were no injuries to report at either location.

#7: Bowie family featured in Washington Post

This post was a link to a story in the Washington Post about Bowie's Fatzinger family.  Click here for the story.
Photo Courtesy of The Washington Post

#8: Bowie Marketplace renovation progressing

Bowie Living featured several stories about the Bowie Marketplace.  This story by John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News is Bowie Living's 8th most popular post of 2016.
Photo Courtesy of John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News

#9: The future of Glenn Dale Hospital

Exploring the shuttered Glenn Dale Hospital is a rite of passage for Bowie's youth, and news stories about the hospital bring out the memories on social media. This was true in February when John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News published a story about the future of the hospital property.
Photo Courtesy of John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News

#10: Melvin Motors Closes

After selling cars in the area since 1946, Melvin Motors closed.  This story by John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News is Bowie Living's tenth most popular post of 2016.

Honorable Mentions

Meteor Suspected as cause of Brush Fire

A meteor was initially suggested as a possible cause to a brush fire in the woods near Whitemarsh Park in April.  The news media ran with the story, but a scientist at NASA said, "not so fast!"
Photo Courtesy of the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department

Tommy the Turtle Back in Bowie

This story by John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News tells the tale of Tommy the Turtle - from his time in the old Belair Shopping Center to his return the the new Bowie Marketplace.
Photo Courtesy of John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News 

The City of Bowie Celebrates its Centennial

Bowie Railroad Museum gets a new Caboose

Photo Courtesy of David Mocko

Governor's Bridge won't reopen until 2019

Story by John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News.
Photo Courtesy of John McNamara at the Bowie Blade-News 

Images of America: Bowie

Pam Williams, Historic Properties Manager for the City of Bowie, co-authored a book that was published in October called "Images of America: Bowie."

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