The most read stories of 2019 at were:

1. Payton Rose. The 11-year-old died in his sleep, and his family does not know why. This story took less than 12 hours to become the most-read story of the year. You can read it in print on page A6.

2. House fire on 11th. May 2, a fire caused major damage to a home in the 500 block of East Eleventh Street in Newton. Though eight people lived in the home, no one was home or injured in the fire.

3. Car show ends. Launched in 205, the Newton Downtown Car Show announced in 2019 it will no longer operate.

4. Thieves pilfer a smoker. In March, thieves stole a smoker — but not just any smoker trailer, a 100-year-old trailer that was the heart and soul of Le-J's Barbecue at the Newton Retail and Outlet Shops.

5. Farmhouse to restaurant.  Joetta and Dave Whitcomb were looking for something to do after retiring, so when friends told them of an old farmhouse for sale in Moundridge, they decided to turn it into a restaurant.

6. The Daddy/Daughter Dance. A photo gallery, and short attached story, about the annual Daddy/Daughter Dance at Chisholm Middle School on Feb. 15 was a social media darling and led to the event being one of the most viewed items at

7. Amtrak train strikes jeep. One man was killed near Peabody when the Southwest Chief, a passenger train that stops in Newton each day, struck a jeep that was on the tracks.

8. Hemp comes to Newton. The opening of Sunnyland, and industrial hemp drying operation in the Newton Industrial Park, was one of the most viewed stories at in 2019.

9. Chief retires. On May 17, the city announced Eric Murphy, the chief of police, would retire. He did so in an immediate fashion, not coming to the office that day.

10. Deep roots. The Jaso family celebrated 100 years of living in Newton with a reunion in October.