May 30, 2024

My 11 most-read trending articles on in 2023

CLEVELAND — It can be difficult to believe, but another year has already come and gone. And every single day throughout 2023, there were countless stories to be told. Some stories, however, drew more eyes and attention than others.

As a reporter covering trending news from both a local and national perspective, I’m always seeking viral, relevant stories to share with readers of and The Plain Dealer. With that in mind, here are the Top 11 of my most-read articles of 2023 based on online page views:

1. Two Ohio cities named Top 100 Best Places to Live in U.S.

Spoiler: The cities are Parma and Cincinnati. Both Ohio cities made this year’s list of 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. from Parma, Ohio, ranked 35th on Livability’s list of best U.S. cities to live in with an overall livability score of 767. Cincinnati, Ohio, meanwhile, ranked 81st with a livability score of 712. The top-ranking city on Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. list was Johns Creek, Georgia, with a livability score of 877.

2. Student loan forgiveness coming for 3.6 million borrowers; See if you’re impacted by IDR

Student loans have been a hot topic of debate all year, and that only intensified in the months, weeks and days leading up to student loan payments restarting Oct. 1. With that, millions of student loan borrowers across the U.S. have sought any kind of relief to alleviate the financial burden of monthly student loan payments (plus interest, of course). This story from March addressed the Biden administration’s decision to forgive some student loans through income-drive repayment (IDR) account adjustments, which were first introduced by the Biden administration in April 2022.

3. Top 10 baby name trends of 2024

As is the goal with every headline, this headline pretty much sums it up. If you’re planning for a new addition to your family in the new year, this list from offers a range of names and name categories to choose from. Some of the most popular baby name trends for 2024 include girls names for boys (Morgan, Carmen, Jade, etc), atmospheric names (Aura, Celestial, Sol, Sunny, etc) and gentle parenting names (Alba, Ansel, Casper, Willa, etc).

4. Two Ohio restaurants named Top 100 Burger Spots in the U.S.

Spoiler (again): The two restaurants are Bareburger in Columbus, Ohio, and Northstar Café, which has six locations across Ohio, including one in the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights. Bareburger was ranked 51st on Yelp’s Top 100 Burger Spots list, while Northstar ranked 100th. Read more for details about each restaurant’s burger reputation.

5. Ohio city named among ‘Happiest Places to Live in U.S.’

Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the 15 Happiest Places to Live in the U.S., according to Outside magazine. The publication highlights a few of the Queen City’s attributes, including its temperate climate, geographic position along the Ohio River, vibrant LGBTQ+ community and abundance of breweries, all of which contribute to the city’s “amicable vibe.” Read more about Cincinnati and to see Outside’s full list of the 15 Happiest Places to Live in the U.S.

6. Student loan forgiveness: New bill would refinance interest to 0% for existing borrowers, cap interest for future borrowers

This student loan story is from August, when a pair of federal lawmakers introduced the Student Loan Interest Elimination Act, which would lower the cost of college for both current and future federal student loan borrowers. The legislation, also known as H.R. 4986, would refinance student loans for existing borrowers to 0% while also capping interest rates for future borrowers. After it was introduced in Congress, the bill was referred to both the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on the Budget.

7. Car goes airborne off tow truck ramp on Georgia highway (video)

This story – and the video accompanying it – is about as bizarre as it sounds. The video is from May 24, when a Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a car accident on U.S. 84 in Georgia. While the deputy was at the crash scene, his body camera recorded a Florida woman who drove her car up the ramp of a parked tow truck and flew more than 100 feet before landing, flipping, and rolling over in the process. The driver – a 21-year-old woman from Tallahassee – suffered serious injuries and was transported to South Georgia Medical Center for further medical treatment, according to reports.

8. New student loan debt help: How to apply for forgiveness program SAVE

On June 30, the Biden administration finalized the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan in an effort to alleviate financial pressures on student loan borrowers. The SAVE plan was introduced just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden administration’s $400 billion plan to cancel or reduce student loan debt.

9. Dick Goddard’s 20 signs a harsh winter may be ahead

Late meteorologist Dick Goddard, who died in August 2020, was an icon in Cleveland who earned a reputation as one of the city’s most revered television personalities. Goddard curated his own list of “20 Signs of a Hard Winter Ahead,” which was published by Farmers Almanac in August when it released its 2023-24 winter outlook. Here are of Goddard’s signs that a harsh winter is ahead: Pigs gathering sticks, the early migration of the Monarch butterfly, woodpeckers sharing a tree, mice chewing furiously to get into your home, and more. Read more for Goddard’s full list to prepare for the winter season.

10. 3 Ohio metro areas among most likely to be impacted by newly invasive species, report says

The newly invasive species is the spotted lanternfly, which is native to China and is a threat to fruit cops and trees, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Given that the spotted lanternfly was first detected in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014, a report from TruGreen pointed to three Ohio cities among those likely to be impacted by the invasive species. Those cities are the Cleveland-Akron-Canton metro area, Youngstown and Columbus.

11. 3 Ohio towns among Top 50 Rattiest Cities in U.S., report says

Rat infestation is more problematic in some areas than others. New York City, for example, in April hired a “Rat Czar” to mitigate the city’s rat population. While New York may be in its own echelon when it comes to rat infestation, Cleveland isn’t far behind, ranking as the 10th-rattiest city in the U.S., according to a report from Orkin, a national pest control company. Columbus, meanwhile, ranked 18th on the list, while Cincinnati ranked 31st.

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