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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 12/31/2009

High School Report: From Briar Woods in Virginia, the top 5 stories of 2009

By Valerie Strauss

Which 2009 news story scored the most hits on the web site of 5-year-old Briar Woods High School’s student newspaper, the Falcon Flyer, in Ashburn, Va.?

The answer may surprise you. Find out here by reading the top five news stories--local and national--that rocked the Briar Woods community, as determined by the Flyer’s student journalists.

Here they are:

5. The school’s National Honor Society raised over $2,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

4. The school won its first two state championships in 2009: senior Omar Omokhodion won top honors at the State Track and Field Championship for boy’s discus, and the Varsity Cheer Squad became state champs.

3. A murder and rape in Landsdowne rocked the community in March. Police arrested four suspects from the ages of 17 to 21.

2. The domestic violence case in which musician Chris Brown was found guilty of attacking his girlfriend, singer Rihanna, earned the most hits on the Flyer’s website and was deemed the second most important story of the year. The assault, the Flyer said, led many teens to question their own relationships and the obsession with celebrity.

1. The biggest story at Briar Woods--and everywhere else in the nation--was the swearing in of Barack Obama as the first African-American U.S. president and the unfolding of his administration.

What stories do you think had the most impact on your community in 2009?

I will be doing other reports from student media in the coming weeks. If there is a publication you want me to look at it, email me at

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By Valerie Strauss  | December 31, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  High School  | Tags:  top stories of 2009  
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