— The Tribune-Democrat’s online content saw nearly 25 million pageviews through 2012, averaging 67,000 views a day – or almost 3,000 clicks an hour. We put together a list of what got the most of your clicks this year:
10. Johnstown police probe murder-suicide (3,310 views)
In late April, police were called to Oakhurst Homes in the city’s West End to investigate a murder-suicide. Demont Morris, 40, allegedly shot his estranged wife, Royale Lee Morris, 38, in her apartment before killing himself.
9. Hundreds of thousands may lose Internet in July (3,400 views)
A widespread hacker scam hijacked thousands of unwitting users’ PCs this year. The FBI put a “safety net” in place to keep infected computers from going to the dark side. When that network needed to be shut down in July, it meant the hacked would, without warning, lose Internet service. Warnings and instructions on how to test PCs for the malware and remove it were widely distributed on the Internet – including on tribdem.com – and the switch caused few problems.
8. Flight 93 video emerges 10 years later (3,910 views)
Although it was posted in September of last year, this video from Dave Berkebile of Shanksville that shows smoke plumes rising from the Shanksville crash site on Sept. 11, 2001, maintained its popularity through 2012. The video caught fire when it was first posted on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, making the rounds on YouTube as well as national TV news outlets.
7. Police: Bank robbery note sought $1 (4,676 views)
AmeriServ tellers in Northern Cambria weren’t sure what to make of a note that read, “Federal bank robbery. Please hand over $1.00,” which was handed to them by Jeffrey McMullen in October. The tellers – who thought it was a joke – told police that McMullen said he would wait for police to take him in. McMullen, who has no prior criminal record in Cambria County, waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
6. Ex-mail carrier sues post office (5,345 views)
In June, a Johnstown postal worker filed suit against the agency, claiming she was sexually harassed, then fired for complaining about it. Hillary Kacian told The Tribune-Democrat that a supervisor repeatedly made remarks about her appearance and asked for bikini pictures. Shortly after being assigned to a new supervisor and an unfamiliar route, she was terminated after the new supervisor caught her driving through an intersection with her door open – a violation of agency rules.
5. Westmont couple inseparable, even in death (5,608 views)
James and Marjorie Landis of Westmont did nearly everything together. James, who was at his wife’s side when she died, was taken by a heart attack only 88 minutes later.
“The last thing he said to her was, ‘It’s OK. I love you. We had many good years together. I will see you real soon,’ ” granddaughter Erin (Landis) Miller of Johnstown recalled.
4. Local couple appears before Pitt bomb threat grand jury (5,871 views)
A Jackson Township transgender couple, subpoenaed in relation to bomb threats made at the University of Pittsburgh, made a loud appearance before a normally quiet federal grand jury in April. Both Katherine Anne McCloskey and her spouse, Seamus Johnston, made separate testimonies before the panel and reportedly espoused traditional strategy by demanding warrants and choosing to speak at length. After another bomb threat was reported during the daylong proceedings, Johnston said he sure couldn’t be blamed for it.
3. Early Africans mated with mystery species of humans (6,505 views)
In July, a new species of hominid was discovered through scraps of foreign DNA found in modern-day Africans. Geneticists postulated that it means Neanderthals mated with this “sibling species” sometime around 20,000 to 50,000 B.C. The hotbed of genetic diversity in ancient Africa gave rise to species of varied physical definition but time produced only one evolutionary victor – homo sapiens.
2. Dude, what’s with the Pirates’ Z? (7,660 views)
It was the hand sign that signified – well, no one was quite sure what it signified. That’s how it became the No. 2 most-clicked story of the year. The “Zoltan” sign shared by the Pittsburgh Pirates during their rallying 2012 season apparently came from slacker comedy “Dude, Where’s My Car?”
“It’s just kind of our team way of bonding, I guess,” said second baseman Neil Walker in July.
1. Crews paint over dead raccoon on Franklin St. (45,508 views)
Surely, the No. 1 most-clicked story on tribdem.com must be a poignant and stirring exposé – a story molded by the nuance of our local culture and an honest critique of the human condition. Unromantically, it was a photo of a road-killed raccoon sporting a bright yellow stripe – courtesy of PennDOT – that came across our desks in August. With our latest viral sensation came an onslaught of social media traffic and a clear-cut No. 1 most-clicked story of 2012 – by nearly a 40,000-vote margin.
Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.
Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.