Top Tri-City Herald web stories in 2013 dominated by tragedies

Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldDecember 28, 2013 

Tragedy dominates the list of most-read stories on the Tri-City Herald's website this year.

Three of the 10 stories with the most views by readers in 2013 involved the deaths of minors, two of them very young. Other top stories described criminal investigations and court proceedings.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom. A missing Idaho woman was found safe near a Franklin County fruit stand after aerial and ground searches. And our most-read story, about Cassidy Almquist's amazing recovery from a fall, is still being written.

Here are the top stories of 2013, according to the readers of www.tricityherald.com:

1. Kennewick teen seriously injured after fall from rope swing at Oregon camp (bit.ly/12J51ei)

Reporter Annette Cary's initial story on July 16 on the serious injuries sustained by Cassidy Almquist of Kennewick brought tens of thousands of people to our website. This was by far our most-read story online with 44,909 page views. There have been several updates on Cassidy's condition and on the financial and emotional support Tri-City residents have offered her and her family.

Our latest story, published Oct. 26, can be found here: bit.ly/1cG0pjL.

2. 'The Words' great script ruined by lame ending (bit.ly/1fNMfv0)

Gary Wolcott's Sept. 6, 2012 review of the romantic drama starring Dennis Quaid, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde continued to draw strong interest in 2013, to the tune of 34,216 page views.

3. Richland teens reportedly took turns fatally shooting 17-year-old (bit.ly/11nRj6x)

This July 5 story from reporter Tyler Richardson had 14,437 views.

It provided details of the death of Josh Snapp, who was allegedly shot to death by Joshua Hunt, 19, and John C. Young, 18. Court documents said Hunt and Young lured Josh into the desert outside Richland after a party, intent on killing him.

4. Kennewick powerlifter gets 30 months in federal prison for importing steroids (bit.ly/15Ek8xP)

Kamiakin High School graduate Ryan Shawn Kennelly had become known for breaking the world bench press record in 2008. But on Sept. 5, Richardson wrote about Kennelly's sentencing to two-and-one-half years in federal prison for importing anabolic steroids. The story had 13,841 page views. Kennelly's world record was broken this year.

5. Jehovah's Witnesses convention won't return to Tri-Cities in 2014 (bit.ly/19onvFw)

This Aug. 1 story from reporter Loretto Hulse confirmed the annual convention of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses held in the Tri-Cities for years was eliminated as part of the church's downsizing of conventions. The event has pumped millions of dollars each year into the Tri-City economy.

This story had 12,536 page views.

6. Owner of Richland restaurant accused of illegally buying meat (bit.ly/13PzuLK)

Reporter Kristin Kraemer wrote Jan. 19 that the owner of the Golden Palace Chinese restaurant in Richland was accused of purchasing wild fish and game without verifying it was caught legally or came from approved sources. Tai Woan Ng pleaded innocent to one felony count of second-degree unlawful trafficking in fish, shellfish or wildlife, and three gross misdemeanor counts of the same charge in late January.

The story had 11,791 page views.

7. Richland man arrested, charged with manslaughter in baby's death (bit.ly/1090rLs)

Jose Luis Aguilar was arrested at a Greyhound bus station in Barstow, Calif., after fleeing the area. Richardson's June 10 story (9,790 page views) detailed how Serenity Reedy, the 9-month-old daughter of Aguilar's girlfriend, was found dead with a fractured skull and injuries to her vaginal area. Aguilar's trial has been delayed until March.

8. 3-year-old boy found dead at Pasco home (bit.ly/18HpntF)

This short item on Aug. 19 (9,742 page views) reported the death of Lucas Adams, who was found inside a hot car. Authorities believe his death was an accident.

9. Pasco teen nearly abducted, jumps from moving car (bit.ly/19Qi6w1)

An unidentified man reportedly grabbed the youth while the boy was taking out his family's trash and as his father watched. The Aug. 23 story had 9,715 page views.

10. Missing Idaho woman found alive (bit.ly/1cGaJbf)

Rashelle Klontz's vehicle was found abandoned at a Franklin County fruit stand and her purse, cellphone and laptop inside the store, according to this June 17 story (9,570 page views).

She was found lying in a field near the stand a day after she was reported missing.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald

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