San Juan Capistrano's Biggest Stories of the Year

These are the stories you read most. You may be surprised which made the list.

Stewart Wilshire, 21, of San Juan Capistrano died in September in a car crash. Photo courtesy his family.
Stewart Wilshire, 21, of San Juan Capistrano died in September in a car crash. Photo courtesy his family.

When most media give you their top stories of the year, it’s usually a judgment call. Some editor tells you what he thought were the biggest stories of the year, or maybe the most significant.

But when you work for an online-only publication, it’s easy to count the biggest stories of the year. YOU told us. With your clicks.

So here they are, the best read stories out of San Juan Capistrano Patch in reverse order. You may be surprised. I certainly was.


6) San Juan Capistrano Man Dies After Being Ejected From Car

A San Juan Capistrano man was killed when he was ejected from his car during a September collision with an SUV in Tustin.

The accident occurred at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Jamboree Road and Portola Parkway, said Tustin police Sgt. Andrew Birozy. It took the life of Stewart Wilshire, only 21. 

5) Brush Fire Closes Ortega Highway at County Line

The Falls Fire west of Lake Elsinore near Ortega Highway scorched nearly 2,000 acres in August, prompting evacuations and closing off Ortega Highway at the county line.

4) One Vet's Story: Dropping the Bombs on Japan

Of the 30 pilots and copilots who flew in the mission to drop atomic bombs on Japan, only two are still alive. One of them came to San Juan Capistrano the Friday before Veteran’s Day to tell his story.

3) Capo School Board Rejects 'Too Liberal' History Book

The latest edition of a popular world history book leans too far to the left, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously decided in June.

Previously, a panel that reviews textbooks for the district narrowly recommended approving the 6th edition of World Civilizations: The Global Experience for use in AP World History classes.

“The bias was so overwhelming,” said Trustee Ellen Addonizio.

2) SJC Man Tries to Break into Cockpit to Get at ‘Evil’ Pilots

Saying the pilots were “evil,” a San Juan Capistrano man was arrested on suspicion of interfering with a Southwest Airlines flight in May. 

A Texas paper reported that Bryan Ray Allen, 31, told police methamphetamine and alcohol had him convinced he was on a “plane ride to hell” and he had to get into the cockpit because the pilots were evil.

1) 213-Year-Old Painting Uncovered at Mission San Juan

In a never before attempted public preservation effort, Mission San Juan Capistrano Museum staff and conservators carried out an investigative process uncovering artwork in June that has been hidden in the Serra Chapel for the last 40 years.

The original painting, which is one in a series of historic paintings that came from Mexico to Mission San Juan Capistrano in the early 1800s, was uncovered Thursday and said to be in relatively good condition, according to Mission Museum Registrar Jennifer Ring. 


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