From pandemic news to car crashes, drug busts to standoffs, here are the top 20 stories that captured your attention during 2021.

It was a busy year, with drug busts, pandemic news, and pedestrian accidents. Working in news, I can tell you that it's always interesting to see what captures people's attention and what doesn't. Some stories that you think will grab a lot of attention fall flat, while other stories will get shared all over social media. So putting this list together was interesting. I can't say that it was fun because, in news, the topics are seldom upbeat. But there's more than one on the list that made me say, 'Oh, I forgot about that story!'

You've probably heard the saying, 'if it bleeds it leads.' This, of course, refers to the fact that people are most fascinated by gory tales of accident scenes and murders. But there are other topics that will grab the public's attention, too. The pandemic is a big one right now, and not the case counts, but rather the news about guidelines and restrictions. Money is another big motivator for folks to click on a story. Everyone wants to know how they can get a little more.

Remember when we were all saying that we couldn't wait for 2020 to end. We hoped for a better year in 2021, with fewer restrictions, less COVID, and more of our freedoms returned to us. Has it worked out that way? I guess, in some ways, that's a matter of opinion. But I've sure heard a lot of people saying they can't wait for 2021 to end, as well. Here's hoping for sunnier news in 2022.

The Top 20 Maine News Stories of 2021 You Clicked on the Most

There were some surprises on this list of the top 20 news stories you clicked on in 2021.

20 Maine News Stories that Have Shocked Us Since the Year 2000

These 20 news stories, from the past 21 years, had an impact felt around the state. Here are the stories that captured our attention are listed in no particular order.

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Anyone with information about any of these crimes is encouraged to contact the Maine State Police.