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Here are the top five most-viewed stories out of the 203 original, copyrighted pieces we published in 2017.

Most viewed story of 2017

Bike ride turns to fearful encounter with police

Free Press stories inform and don’t try to inflame. The result is that we generally don’t have a large number of passionate comments even on stories heavily viewed.

But this time it was different.

For this story, there are 117 comments on the site to date, far exceeding any other story on the site.

And that doesn’t count the comments on the police body cam video we posted on Youtube.

Locals were outraged by this and commented.

Some blogs outside Oklahoma picked this up and we received even more views and comments.

It was an extraordinary situation. We caught it early and worked hard to publish quickly.

Only one TV station beat us out with the story, but with far fewer details and background.

Second most views

Parents, students fear NE High Sch principal may be fired

Several dynamics were at work in this story about long-time, beloved principal Sue Starr being walked out of her building by district supervisors in front of students.

Parents of current students, parents of former students and people who have had no students in Oklahoma City Public Schools were upset by the behavior of district supervisors.

Especially in conversations with black residents on the east side we learned this was seen as yet another humiliation of a respected black professional by predominantly white district administrators.

The popular principal has been placed on involuntary leave awaiting a hearing in January. Free Press will be watching this situation and others like it in the new year.

Third most views

At 24, Langthorn is new chair of Okla Dem Party

The divide between more traditional Democrats who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the last election and more progressive members of the party who supported Bernie Sanders came to the surface at their state Convention in May.

Langthorn was only 24 and believed to be the youngest state party chair in Oklahoma history.

But not many were envious of the youthful and energetic Langthorn.

Already badly splintered, the Clinton-Sanders divide drove a sharp wedge between many party activists which showed with open frustrations in most factions of the party by the end of the day.

Fourth most views

From immigrant to award-winning police officer

We were there at the Oklahoma City Council meeting in Jan uary when the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce awarded Officer Matthew Tabai with a commendation for exceptional service.

It followed several commendations within the department for his determined service to the people of Oklahoma City.

What was unique about Tabai is that he came to Oklahoma City as an immigrant in 2002 not long after the horrific 9-11 attacks on the towers in New York City.

He said that he was “quickly absorbed into the community with open arms.”

His division commander, Major Nick Elias praise Tabai as a “solid police officer” who he respects.

Fifth most views

Former Republican to Lankford: “How can we trust you?”

When the Congress took a recess in April few Republican Congress members had town hall meetings because of the strong opposition on the left to the newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s solid hold on both houses.

Fifth District Representative Steve Russell didn’t hold any town halls in the OKC metro, but managed to be seen coming and going from several fund-raising events.

To Senator James Lankford’s credit, he did hold town hall meetings.

But the meetings held at Kamp’s 1910 restaurant were upstairs with a strong private security presence at the base of the stairs, top of the stairs, at the door to the room and posted at corners inside the room.

In addition, a number of his staff were present.

Cards with questions were put into a bucket and Lankford drew out five. He only agreed to answer those questions.

And that was the setting for one of the questions that ended with the challenge, “How can we trust you?”

Thank you!

As always, we thank you for reading, commenting, and most importantly, giving us tips about where to find the news.

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