A sad bear, angry deer and Tom Cruise make year memorable

It was an interesting year on Whidbey Island, as it is every year.

The top story of the year was an April Fools joke from a previous year that turned into reality when Tom Cruise did, in fact, film “Top Gun” 2 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Animals were up to shenanigans. A lonely black bear swam from Camano Island for a visit. Aggressive deer killed a dog and a cat. Whidbey’s only elk got his antlers tangled in a blue tarp. Bigfoot was spotted.

Of course, there were occasional controversies. The Washington attorney general filed a lawsuit against the Navy over EA-18G Growler aircraft based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Also, the Oak Harbor City Council approved a controversial low-income housing development downtown. A developer’s support for council candidates became a hot topic of discussion.

People far beyond Whidbey Island are reading stories about life here on the Whidbey News-Times website. Nearly 1.2 million people read stories in 2019.

Nearly 2.7 million page views were counted, about half of which were on mobile devices.

Based on the number of page views, here’s top headlines of the year:

• ‘Top Gun 2’ to be filmed at NAS Whidbey

• ‘Wandering bear’ spotted on Whidbey

• One man found alive, another dead in water off Whidbey

• Navy announces decision on Growlers

• Peggy Sue got released: TV show recounts sensational Whidbey Island murder

• Johnson completes basic training

• Man kills his ex-girlfriend, calls to tell her mother, then shoots self

• New grocery store, pizza joint planned for Oak Harbor

• Feds bust alleged meth smugglers in Oak Harbor

• With help from HGTV star, couple finds ‘lottery dream home’

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