Floods dominate most-read stories on Observer website
FLOODS, deaths and accidents dominated the list of the most-read stories on The Observer website this year.
The most-read story on our website was a list of roads that were closed across the region because of flooding.
The Need to know: Updated list of road closures story was updated regularly to keep residents in touch with the unfolding situation during the Australia Day floods and for weeks afterwards.
The second most-read story was our rolling coverage of the floods on Australia Day.
Our coverage started at 5.55am that day and continued until 9.30pm to give readers all the information they needed to stay safe. It included videos and photo galleries.
Coming in at number three on the list was the shock death of boxer Billy Ward.
The teen Olympian took his own life on August 4.
Ward was born in Bundaberg, and attended Miriam Vale and Yarwun primary schools, and Gladstone State High School, before competing in the London 2012 Olympics.
Australia's boxing community mourned with the Gladstone community, saying the young man "couldn't see the bright future he had ahead of him".
Australian boxing team captain Luke Jackson confirmed the sad news on Facebook.
"Gutted to get a phone call from the national coach tonight, to tell me.. that one of my team mates and good friends Billy Ward had taken his own life today," Mr Jackson wrote.
In fourth spot was a column by The Observer's Man About Town offering tips on how guys can tell if a girl is interested in them.
The Six signs that a girl really is interested in you story is one of many helpful pieces penned by Man About Town this year to help guys and girls wade through the mysteries of dating.
In fifth spot was the news that a woman's body had been found in a Philip St, Gladstone residence.
The body of 45-year-old Tracy Ann Beale was found on January 21. Her husband James Andrew Beale, 36, was charged with murder.
Residents were rocked by the incident in what was usually a quiet part of Gladstone. Three young children were in the home at the time of the incident.
Mr Beale faced Gladstone Magistrates Court in October, where he was acquitted of the murder charge, but was committed to stand trial in Rockhampton Supreme Court on the lesser charge of manslaughter.
In sixth spot was our rolling coverage of the January floods on January 27, as the situation was starting to ease in Gladstone.
Seventh spot was taken out by a report on a fatal traffic accident at Tannum Sands on June 30.
A 31-year-old man died after being hit by a four-wheel-drive on the Old Tannum Rd.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene after police and ambulance officers arrived.
Authorities had been notified by another motorist at 6.07am, who reported a man lying on the road.
In eighth spot was another fatal traffic accident, this time a report about a nine-year-old boy from Nambour who was killed in an accident at Bororen on October 8.
The boy was killed after being flung from the vehicle.
A four-year-old boy was flown to the Royal Children's Hospital after the crash in a critical condition, with life-threatening head injuries.
The driver of the Toyota LandCruiser, a 36-year-old woman, and three other children were transported to Gladstone Base Hospital with serious injuries.
In ninth spot was a flood story on January 27 about Lake Awoonga's saddle dam being close to breaking point.
The dam had the potential to break at any time after rainfall sent water toppling over the maximum spillway early on the Sunday morning.
Around 1am the rising water level had tipped 8.3m over the auxiliary spillway.
Gladstone Area Water Board CEO Jim Grayson said a part of the dam's infrastructure was designed to break away if it accumulated too much water.
Rounding out the top 10 list was a report about sex offenders in the Gladstone region.
More than 50 convicted sexual offenders, including several who have targeted children, are living in the Gladstone region, according to Queensland Police data.
Police monitoring of sex offenders in the community shows 53 sexual offenders living in Gladstone and surrounds.
Of those living in the Gladstone area, three were high-risk offenders, 19 were medium-risk and 31 were deemed low-risk.