The ouster of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital CEO Joe Woodin and the reaction that followed topped the list of most-read stories in the Vineyard Gazette for 2017. It was one of several Island controversies that occupied the attention of readers over the past year, on topics ranging from a gas station to the plight of the critically endangered right whales.

Feel good story: police officers pose with their babies, all born within a four-month period. — Maria Thibodeau

And in a year when President Trump stole most of the national headlines, on the Vineyard the return of former President Obama and the purchase by his Secretary of State of an Island home drew interest and comment.

What follows are 10 of the stories that engaged readers in print and online over the past year.

1. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital fires CEO; community reacts. CEO Joe Woodin’s unexpected firing after 13 months on the job drew more than 100 comments on the Gazette website. Hospital trustees repeatedly defended their decision, while a citizens group called on the hospital for more transparency.

2. Former Secretary of State John Kerry buys Island home. Opting for the Vineyard over Nantucket, the former senator bought a waterfront home in Seven Gates Farm. Later during the summer, in a rare public appearance on the Island, he spoke at the Whaling Church to a packed crowd.

Airport Mobil owner Michael Rotondo took legal action to try to keep his gas station. — Mark Alan Lovewell

3. Airport Mobil loses its lease, sues and leaves. The airport commission declined to renew the lease for the Mobil station and car wash at the airport and awarded it to a competitor. After three months of legal wrangling, the station owner finally demolished the building.

4. The Obamas return for their first vacation since leaving White House. The former president spent his first August out of office back on the Island in rented homes in Chilmark, and kept a low profile.

5. Island loses several notable characters. Islanders mourned the deaths of many, including the artist and jewelry entrepreneur Cheryl Stark, Menemsha salt Lynn Murphy who inspired the character of Quint in Jaws, and Gerald Jeffers, a Wampanoag and for many the face of Chappaquiddick.

6. High school mural is painted over, causing flap. A teacher admits to erasing a mural painted by students and depicting scenes of diversity.

Former Secretary of State and new Island resident John Kerry spoke at the Old Whaling Church in July. — Mark Alan Lovewell

7. Baby boom hits Oak Bluffs police force. In one of the feel-good stories of the year, five Oak Bluffs police officers pose for a picture with their babies, all born within a four-month period.

8. Edgartown takes ownership of rundown Yellow House. The long-running saga of the so-called Yellow House, a dilapidated building in the center of Edgartown, culminates in the town taking it by eminent domain.

9. Right whale deaths highlight species at risk. The discovery of three right whale carcasses near Martha’s Vineyard focus attention on the hazards faced by this dwindling species, said to be on the brink of extinction.

10. Federal appeals court hands tribe a win in casino bid. In a sharp reversal of fortune for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), a U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a lower court and upheld the tribe’s sovereign right to gaming on tribal lands.

More from 2017 on the Vineyard:

The Year in Review

The Year in Nature and Science

The Year in Food

Most Popular Photos of the Year

The Year in Photos

Farewell to Beloved Islanders

The Year in Arts

Photos from the Year in Nature and Science