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Most viewed of the year at Stories 1-5

About this series

The Forsyth County News concludes its three-day look back at the top 15 most viewed articles at Today, we present the top 5. For stories 6-15, and more on each of the news events, as well as related content, visit our website. For the top three stories, see Page 4A.

FORSYTH COUNTY — Despite what some national pundits would have us believe, those in the news media can’t actually predict what’s going to happen. Like the rest of us, they likely hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

In that vein, 2015 was as unpredictable as most years. A quick scan of the headlines from the Forsyth County News’ most viewed stories offers evidence of that.

With few exceptions, the articles reflect breaking news posted online at as it unfolded.

Join us now as take a look back at the fifth through first-most viewed stories.


5 — New high school in south Forsyth named


May 21, 2015


Forsyth County’s sixth high school officially has a name: Dr. Leila Denmark High School.

The Forsyth County Board of Education voted on the name — it will be known as Denmark High School — Thursday night at its monthly meeting after receiving input from the community and the school naming committee.

More than 6,000 votes were tallied from the district’s online school-naming poll open to the public in April. Union Hill came in second, with Clement getting the fewest votes.

Southwest Forsyth’s new high school, which is set to open in August 2018, will be named after Denmark, one of the first female pediatricians in Georgia. She lived and operated her last medical office adjacent to the 118-acre campus between Fowler and Mullinax roads.

Denmark worked with Eli Lilly and other researchers at Emory University, helping develop a successful vaccination for whooping cough in 1932.

After becoming the oldest practicing physician in the nation at the time, she retired at age 103. She died in 2012 as the fifth-oldest living person in the world. She was 114.


4 — Suspects sought in shooting near Cumming


Feb. 2, 2015


Authorities are looking for two suspects following a shooting Monday morning at a home near Lake Lanier northeast of Cumming.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, a woman was shot three times, including at least once in the stomach, after she encountered the suspects robbing her house and exchanged gunfire with them.

The woman underwent surgery for her wounds Monday afternoon. Authorities have not released her name, saying only that she is an older woman.

According to the sheriff’s office, the woman had been asleep at the time of the incident. She was awakened from the noise and either came out or they went into her bedroom. She either had a gun with her or retrieved a gun and shot back.

The suspects have been described only as a black man and woman. Both remain at large. Authorities do not know if they were wounded in the shootout, however, they have “zero reason to believe” they are still in the area.”


3 — North Forsyth Middle teacher resigns in wake of drug charge


March 27, 2015


A North Forsyth Middle School chorus teacher resigned earlier this week after her arrest on Sunday in Gainesville for drug charges, authorities said.

According to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Alisen Nicole Mooney of north Forsyth faces several counts, including possession of amphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of oxycodone and drug-related objects.

She also has been charged with two counts of possession of controlled substances in connection with her March 22 arrest.

Jennifer Caracciolo, a spokeswoman with for the Forsyth County school system, said Mooney's last day on campus was March 20, but she resigned from her position as a chorus teacher a few days after the arrest, citing personal reasons. She added that Mooney is a 2005 graduate of North Forsyth High.

According to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Mooney and a male suspect were arrested about 6:30 p.m. March 22 in the parking lot of Kroger on Jesse Jewell Parkway, north of Gainesville and near Interstate 985.

According to a spokeswoman with the sheriff’s office, an off-duty deputy saw the pair consuming drugs in a parked vehicle. The responding deputies searched the car and found 3.5 oxycodone pills, 5.5 buprenorphine pills, half of a tizanidine pill, four tramadol pills, two rolled up dollar bills and an empty package of Suboxon, a drug used to treat opioid dependence.

Arrested along with Mooney was 27-year-old Robert Tyler McClain of north Hall. The sheriff’s office said he likely is Mooney’s boyfriend.


2 — Victims, suspected shooter in murder-suicide identified


July 22, 2015


Authorities have released the names of the five family members who were shot — four fatally — in their south Forsyth home Wednesday morning in what authorities have ruled a murder-suicide.

The three murder victims include Rebecca Manning, 37, and her juvenile sons, Jared and Jacob Smith. Manning’s 75-year-old father, Jerry Manning, was also shot and remains in critical condition.

The suspected shooter, Matthew Fields, 32, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Fields was either Manning’s boyfriend or husband, according to authorities.

Both juveniles were students at Johns Creek Elementary School, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, a spokeswoman with Forsyth County Schools.

Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said the children and the shooter were pronounced dead on scene when emergency personnel arrived to the residence on the 5500 block of Old Atlanta Road. Rebecca Manning died a short time later at the hospital.

Jerry Manning was taken to an area hospital in critical condition from multiple gunshot wounds.

Deputies were apparently “familiar with the residence,” having responded to a domestic call at the house on Tuesday evening.


1 — Opinion: Green's finish disqualified for headband with Bible verse deemed logo


Nov. 11, 2015


(Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of a column by sports writer Michael Foster.)


On Saturday, West Forsyth’s John Green was the third runner out of 226 to cross the finish line in the Class AAAAAA state championship race at Carrollton High School. Soon after collapsing from his effort and offering, as well as receiving, high fives from opponents as they walked by the cool-down tent, Green found out he placed 226th out of 226.

The Georgia High School Association’s inconsistent enforcement of a vague, incorrigible rule is to blame for stripping Green from his greatest race in his senior season.

Green was disqualified by GHSA officials for sporting a white, plain head band with “Isaiah 40:30-31” written across the front — the same head band the Forsyth County News has photos of him wearing when he was not disqualified in last year’s state meet.

According to West head coach Clayton Tillery and others involved in the West program, two GHSA officials cleared Green’s headband before the race. Then, a third man who was not in an official uniform or credentialed made a comment about the headband at the starting line and walked away.

When I approached GHSA officials on Saturday to discuss the ruling I was told “it was a uniform violation,” but when I asked to see in a GHSA handbook where the rule is I was shooed away.