MRN Top 50 stories: Behavior of adults in prep sports, Bliefnick case lead list of most read in 2023

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Listed below are the most-read stories on Muddy River News for 2023. The rankings are provided by our analytics, not anyone’s opinion.

Not surprisingly, the tragic murder of Becky Bliefnick by her estranged husband, Tim Bliefnick, and his subsequent trial were the dominant overall news stories of the year. But as far as one singular story or column that had the most overall traffic, high school sports-related content — or we should say the behavior of adults involved in high school sports — took two of the top three spots.


1. A Sunshine Law request to the Palmyra School District finally revealed why the four educators had been placed on unpaid leaves of absence two weeks earlier.

Texts between fired Palmyra teachers filled with racial, homophobic comments, disregard for co-workers, students

PALMYRA, Mo. — A review of three years of text messages between Palmyra teachers and administrators on a school-issued cellphone revealed multiple racial and homophobic comments, as well as comments showing disrespect and disregard for some of the students under their supervision and the teachers they worked with. The texts were provided to Muddy River…
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2. Quincy first learned of the death of Becky Bliefnick on Feb. 23, and the story dominated the headlines for the next several months.

3. Attorney Casey Schnack was in the spotlight much of this year as Tim Bliefnick’s lawyer, and her letter regarding the actions of parents at a volleyball game gained attention as well.

4. Van Ness, a popular news anchor at WGEM for more than a decade in the early 2000s, died unexpectedly while on vacation in Florida with her family.

5. The story wasn’t very long, but it was the community’s first look at Tim Bliefnick’s arrest mug shot.

6. Steve was amazed that Carrie Underwood made approximately $17 million an hour for her work.

7. A month later, Makenzi Henderson found a new home at WDAY, the ABC affiliate in Fargo, N.D. — which is closer to her hometown of Minneapolis.

8. Muddy River News readers certainly get excited with the announcement of new restaurants, with this one replacing Ruby Tuesday at Quincy’s busiest retail intersection.

Raising Cane's, national restaurant chain specializing in chicken fingers, coming to 36th and Broadway

QUINCY — Now that Target has finally opened its doors, Quincy shoppers want to know what businesses will be filling three parcels of property on the northeast corner of 36th and Broadway. Muddy River News has confirmed through multiple sources that Raising Cane’s, an American fast-food restaurant chain specializing in chicken fingers, will be built on a…
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9. Quincy learned of the death of Bob Lansing, who owned Lansing Construction and established the first medical marijuana distribution facility in Quincy.

10. Six days after Becky Bliefnick’s death, officers with the Quincy Police Department conducted search warrants on Tim Bliefnick’s car at 20th and Hampshire and the home he rented at 1641 Hampshire.

The rest of the top 50

  • 11. Former Quincy woman, now living in Florida, charged with stealing $150,000 from Ursa business 
  • 12. Whoa, Nellie! Quincy man arrested for having sex with horse in Melrose Township (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: If this list had been based on personal preference and headline creativity, this would’ve been number one. JRG)
  • 13. Galesburg pizza joint that ranks No. 1 in Illinois, No. 40 in nation owned by Quincy native 
  • 14. UPDATE: Police identify 16-year-old QPS female student as victim in Wednesday morning shooting. 
  • 15. FRANKIE SAY: After 27 years, Robert Stellino says goodbye to Quincy 
  • 16. CourtTV experts call Jones’ closing ‘excellent,’ say Tim Bliefnick had ‘worst possible defense ever’ 
  • 17. Former WGEM anchor takes new position at ABC affiliate in Fargo, N.D. 
  • 18. ‘This is mind blowing’: Quincy girl, 6, gets cameo appearance in Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance’ movie 
  • 19. Continuing to profess innocence, Yohn receives 130-year sentence from judge who calls him ‘reprehensible’ 
  • 20. Two found dead in apartments on Spring Street 
  • 21. Four staff members in Palmyra School District placed on paid leave; School Board meeting tonight 
  • 22. Former Quincy business owners facing theft charges arrested in Florida; due in Adams County court Oct. 17 
  • 23. Bliefnick removed from QU Sports Hall of Fame; is McClain’s removal from QU Legal Hall of Fame next? 
  • 24. Six arrested for vehicle thefts, burglaries 
  • 25. Adams County, Ill., paramedic arrested in Monroe City for possession of morphine, drug paraphernalia 
  • 26. Maples in, Cornish Jr. out at WGEM 
  • 27. Palmyra man facing second-degree murder charges after running over Hannibal man with SUV
  • 28. Court sets hearing for temporary restraining order regarding Bliefnick assets in probate case
  • 29. County Market at 48th and Broadway to close, rebrand 
  • 30. Ten arrests made Tuesday as part of criminal narcotics enforcement detail 
  • 31. Mid-century home of famous Quincy architect restored, now listed for sale; open house set for Thursday
  • 32. ‘The most stunning thing I’ve ever witnessed’: Quincy man says flooding, mud didn’t affect enjoyment of Burning Man event 
  • 33. One person shot in incident on Cheswick Road 
  • 34. Quincy man dating Becky Bliefnick details relationship, when they last spoke during Tuesday afternoon testimony 
  • 35. Grand opening for Wahlburgers restaurant in HyVee on Broadway set for April 18 
  • 36. ‘He was nothing but difficult from day one’: Sheriff says Yohn was nightmare during 20-month stay in Adams County Jail 
  • 37. ‘This is just huge’: Quincy man creating three-acre lake on farm to provide free water for Cedar Crest golf course 
  • 38. One dead in Camp Point, Clayton teen arrested following shooting 
  • 39. UPDATE: Clayton teen charged with first-degree murder after shooting in Camp Point street; bond set at $3 million 
  • 40. Forensic pathologist says despite 14 gunshot wounds, Becky Bliefnick was alive ‘for at least several minutes’ 
  • 41. BLIEFNICK TRIAL: Opening statements and first witnesses for the prosecution 
  • 42. ‘We have only one chance to get it right’: Yates asks for patience as Bliefnick investigation continues 
  • 43. One-day narcotics investigation by West Central Illinois Task Force leads to arrests of 26 people
  • 44. Former football coach and his replacement among four to resign from Palmyra School District 
  • 45. One dead in Camp Point, Quincy teen arrested following shooting 
  • 46. ‘Your boys will realize that their father did not love them’ 
  • 47. University of Illinois student from Quincy charged with grooming, sexual exploitation of a child – Muddy River
  • 48. ‘This is what local legends are made of’: Property with an underground cave system for sale near Louisiana, Mo. 
  • 49. An apology as we wrap up our coverage of the first week of the Bliefnick Trial 
  • 50. Quincy man who allegedly hit Harrison Pub patron, putting him in medically induced coma, pleads not guilty 

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