Year in Review: A look at the top local stories of 2019

(WHSV) — The year of 2019 brought monumental shifts to Virginia politics, terrible destruction from fires, Shenandoah Valley crimes that captured national attention, tragic losses in devastating crashes, and more that WHSV was there to cover.

Here is a look at some of the biggest stories of 2019 in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond:

1. Massive fire destroys Southview Apartments in Harrisonburg

2. Dozens of Virginia counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries'

3. Democrats win full control of Virginia statehouse

4. JMU apologizes for hypnotist show that left some in a trance

5. Dozens hospitalized after mail truck, tour bus collision on Afton Mountain

6. Police investigating murder of Cynthia Dellinger

7. Betsy Hemp to serve no jail time for killing, dumping six puppies

8. Timberville man shot dead after allegedly attacking officer with sword

9. Virginia's top mental health official dies after crash that killed Staunton teen

10. Two adults, child from New Jersey killed in crash along Rt. 340 in Page County

Those top stories are based on a survey and voting by WHSV staff. In addition, here are the top stories of 2019 based purely on the amount of traffic to our website:

Top WHSV stories in 2019 according to website data

1. New law requiring rear-facing car seats for kids 2 and under goes into effect July 1
2. Veterinarian warns of dangers from a grain-free dog food diet after FDA study
3. Kindergarten class takes field trip to visit classmate who suffered a stroke
4. Harrisonburg community rallies to support students displaced by fire
5. A roundup of the new Virginia laws taking effect at the start of July
6. Criminal complaint reveals new details in murder of missing West Virginia girl
7. Sheriff: Mother's boyfriend murdered missing West Virginia girl
8. Two adults, child from New Jersey killed in crash along Rt. 340 in Page County
9. Police ID motorcyclist killed in crash with car
10. Police: Rockingham County man charged after fatal crash in Page County
11. Waynesboro man accidentally shoots rifle, kills sister
12. Facebook says mass outage was caused by 'server configuration change'
13. Social media hero who bought $500 of Girl Scout cookies arrested by the DEA
14. Investigation continues into murder of Shenandoah County woman
15. Former elementary school teacher pleads guilty to recording students changing
16. JMU apologizes for hypnotist show that left some in a trance
17. Grottoes man arrested in shooting at Harrisonburg Walmart
18. Disturbing details emerge in toddler's death, alleged sexual abuse by mother
19. Most patients released from hospitals after mail truck, tour bus collision
20. Police: Timberville man shot dead after attacking officer with sword
21. Police identify 2nd driver killed in Rt. 211 crash near Luray
22. Stretch of Blue Ridge Parkway reopened after weeks-long closure
23. Shenandoah teen killed and 3 seriously injured in crash near Elkton
24. Law enforcement issues warnings about international phone scam
25. Amber Alert issued for missing Louisa County girl in extreme danger