As 2011 winds down, Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Patch takes a look back at the newsmakers of the year and the most popular stories of the year on the site.
1. Topping the list in page views was the NCAA tournament bracket competition story that featured local high school coaches making their predictions in March Madness.
2. and 3. The next two most popular stories dealt with the tragic death and shortened life of Justin Burris, who crashed a stolen motorcycle and died in North City in August. Burris left a young family behind and was only 26, when he led police on a high speed chase before crashing into a car at the intersection of 15th Ave. N.E. and 175th St.
4. The search for Sky Metalwala was a story that sparked regional interest and the story from Bellevue Patch on the tips in the case involving the still missing boy garnered the fourth-most page views.
5. Patch writer Jennifer Planeta studied abroad in Perugia, Italy, scene of the Amanda Knox saga and became a supporter of Knox. Her column on studying abroad in the post-Knox trial era was the fifth-most popular Patch story.
6. A house fire in November in Richmond Highlands was the next most popular story. The couple inside escaped but their home was completely destroyed. The fire started from fireplace embers on placed in a bucket on a deck. A fire caused in similar fashion killed five people in Connecticut on Christmas.
7. The seventh-most popular story of 2011 was Shoreline firefighter Mark Peterson's stint on the Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. Peterson fished with Northwestern skipper Sig Hansen in the 1980s and 1990s up in Alaska and was invited to come back in the fall of 2010.
8. Shoreline Police shot and killed former Shorewood student David Albrecht on his 22nd birthday, after a call to police from his father that Albrecht was suicidal and had a knife. Police said Albrecht emerged from his Echo Lake home with a shotgun which he refused to drop. Albrecht, was the youngest son of Russian immigrants and had battled cancer, but also had several prior run-ins with police. A King County inquest into the shooting may still be pending.
9. Daniel Gocus, a 10-year old special education student at Brookside Elementary who loved playing footbal, died in tragic accident at his home in January while playing hide-and-go-seek. Gocus climbed inside a cardboard box and suffocated before anyone could find him. A memorial service attended by hundreds honored him and he was recognized at the Shorewood-Shorecrest football game in September.
10. When New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught sending inappropriate Twitter photos to his female followers by Republican attack dog Andrew Breitbart, Shorecrest graduate Gennette Cordova, the recipient of one of the unsolicited photos got caught in a controversy that ended with Weiner resigning. A link to her interview with the New York Times was the 10th most popular story on Shoreline-LFP Patch this year. In September, Gennette joined the Shoreline-LFP Patch freelance staff as a writer.
Happy New Year from Patch!