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 little incident.
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.
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 supposedly came from slacker comedy “Dude, Where’s My Car?”
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. Considering it was something we simply handed off to our summer intern, Josh Byers, it was born in the true spirit of Internet journalism: Money for nothing.
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Sewer board squabble: Residency issue raised as qualification to fill vacancy
Controversies surrounding Johnstown Redevelopment Authority’s sewer projects and its embattled former director have heightened interest in a seat on the board that opens Jan 1.
Survivors gather at Pearl Harbor to honor and remember
About 50 survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor paused Saturday at the site to honor those killed and remember the moment that plunged the U.S. into World War II.
Locked-out union members demonstrate at Penelec Altoona headquarters
About 100 locked-out Penelec workers and family members spent more than an hour in Saturday’s biting cold demonstrating along busy West Plank Road near the company’s Altoona headquarters.
Guilty plea in Moxham murder
A Johnstown man faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty Saturday to third- degree murder in the Feb. 6 shooting death of Joshua Scott Price in a Cypress Avenue home.
VIDEO | 140-year-old church in Mineral Point to close for good
The bell will soon toll for the more-than-140-year-old United Methodist Church in Mineral Point – specifically, the bell that’s swung in the church’s belfrey for over a century. This bell – which survived the church’s total destruction, twice – will ring for the final time this month, as the church doors will be closing for good on Dec. 29.
'Dickens of a Christmas' festival draws crowd to park
Sleigh rides, traditional crafts, period costumes and an old-fashioned puppet show helped whisk Dickens of a Christmas visitors back in time Saturday for the Ebensburg community’s holiday celebration.
T-D Leadership Seminar | How Blacklick Valley student leaders organized a successful 2013 food drive
Blacklick Valley School District students who took part in The Tribune-Democrat’s 2013 Leadership Seminar put a youthful spin on the district’s annual food drive as part of a service project they were required to plan during the summit of local student leaders.
The result was what high school guidance counselor Brian Gibson called the most successful food collection at the district to date.
MICHELE M. BENDER | Shop until you drop
Is it my imagination, or have advertisers dialed back the Christmas hype this season?
Painting honors fallen National Guard "brothers"
It was a bittersweet reunion Saturday when about 100 members of a Johnstown-based National Guard helicopter unit came together for the first time since returning in August from deployment to Afghanistan.
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- Sewer board squabble: Residency issue raised as qualification to fill vacancy