This week’s No. 1 story came out of nowhere. I was totally blindsided by it.

And it was so dominant that it got four times as many pageviews as the daily COVID-19 update. Think about that for a moment. That update has been No. 1 nearly every week since March and then a story comes along and gets four times as many pageviews.

OK, ready to be surprised? This week’s No. 1 story shot to the top because of a video of a man on a skateboard who is drinking cran-raspberry Ocean Spray juice while singing “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.

The overall story was about the career of Stevie Nicks. But within that story is a Tik Tok video of a man who had to skateboard to work because his truck broke down. But instead of being upset, he chills out and films his video with the song.

And that video went viral. Because we had it on our website, tens of thousands (soon to be hundreds of thousands) of people visited that story.

Like I said — I was totally blown away. I never saw this coming.

If you, too, would like to read the story and view the video that so many people are talking about, visit: bit.ly/3iLYLRi

OK, I’m almost out of breath talking about that. Let’s move on to the No. 2 story — one that is rarely at No. 2.

2 Latest COVID-19 Stats — For Here & Florida

In a rarity, coming in at No. 2 is our daily COVID-19 update. As you know, this has been the most-read story on our website nearly every week since March. I now get to boast that I, personally, have posted the update more than 200 days straight. (Yes, sometimes my eyes glaze over.)

I truly hope I’m not still posting the update next March but I guess everything depends on when a vaccine (or more than one type) gets released and how quickly they get disbursed.

I’ve mentioned this before but I still get surprised when I post these numbers from the state on Facebook. People verbally attack me, accusing me of making up the numbers. One woman found my personal Facebook account and continued her attacks there. These numbers come from the Florida Department of Health. Yes, I know there can be controversy over how the numbers are gathered but please don’t attack the messenger.

If you are not one of the gazillion people getting the daily COVID-19 update around noon every day, you can sign up for it for free by choosing your newspaper’s “Breaking News” newsletter at: YourSun.com/newsletters

3 Port Charlotte’s Town & Country Plaza sells for $7.1 million

We don’t often hear about large strip shopping centers being sold — much less being sold during the middle of a pandemic. But that’s what happened when the Port Charlotte Town & Country Plaza sold for $7.1 million


If you’re trying to figure out in your mind where that shopping center is located, it’s in Port Charlotte on Tamiami Trail near Edgewater and is home to Pet Supermarket, Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts, Dollar General and a bunch of other stores.

In reading the story we wrote about this sale, my favorite part is the quote from the company that made the sale happen. The quote is full of big, blustery words when something much simpler could have been said. Here is the quote:

“Through our proven marketing process and blanketed exposure, we built a market and high level of demand for the asset, generated numerous offers and created a true competitive environment,” said Jim Shiebler, in a press release. “This transactional timeline did not unfold without its challenges, particularly during the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

You still awake? OK, if you’d like to read the complete story and see a photo of the plaza (in case you still can’t picture it in your head), visit: bit.ly/3iOzUMW

4 Teen drowns off Stump Pass

This was such a sad story, and because it was about a local teen, the story got shared tens of thousand of times.

Here is what happened. A boat had anchored itself in the Gulf off Englewood. When the boaters got ready to leave, the anchor got stuck. So a teen jumped into the water and dove down 40 feet to dislodge it. He had done this before.

This time, though, he did not come back up. He drowned. We later learned he was Andrey Put, a senior at Venice High School.

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe funeral fund and get more details on the story, visit: bit.ly/2SI8ldv

5 DeSantis kills $300 benefit for unemployed

Never has a Daily Sun editorial (an opinion piece that runs on our Opinion pages) made the Top Five. This is a first.

We wrote about Gov. Ron DeSantis killing the extra $300 in weekly benefits being offered through the federal government’s Lost Wages Assistance Program. In one of the strongly worded statements, that editorial said:

“It seems to us the state has forgotten its unemployed as DeSantis focuses on recovery from the pandemic and reopening businesses and schools.”

This editorial seemed to sum up what tens of thousands of you already thought, and it was shared across the internet.

If you would like to read what the newspaper’s editorial said, visit: bit.ly/2GDu83M

Ronald Dupont Jr. is the digital editor for the Daily Sun. You can reach him at ronald.dupont@YourSun.com.

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