As 2012 winds to a close, I took a look at the reports to see what stories captured the attention of readers most this year. While the news I covered this year rant the gamut from great kids doing good deeds to homicide, it seems the old newspaper adage is as true as it ever was – "if it bleeds, it leads."
Crime topped the charts for 2012, with a notable nod to the bad economy being the story about the new hospital in East Norriton having job openings coming in at number two.
Take a look at the full list of local stories that grabbed our headlines in 2012:
10. [VIDEO] See Videotaped Confession of Saanvi Venna's Accused Killer – The story of the missing 10-month-old King of Prussia girl ended tragically when her body was found days after she was kidnapped. The footage of family friend Raghunandan Yandamuri's alleged confession to the murders of Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother Satyavathi Venna released in October was a gripping peek into the mind of a killer.
9. Saanvi Venna's Body Found – Law enforcement and volunteers from all over the area searched for days for the missing baby, only to be devastated one her body was discovered days after she went missing.
8. UPDATE: Fourth Victim Found in Trunk of Car at Scene of Early Morning Shooting in Norristown – An early morning shoot-out in the area of Arch and East Moore streets on Aug. 7 sent several men to the hospital over what police believe was a $22,000 drug debt. A norristown women was reportedly used as bait to lure her boyfriend to the Philadelphia men who were gunning for him. She was found bound and gagged in the trunk of a car at the scene.
7 & 6. Authorities ID Victim in Saturday Morning Shooting on Green Street & UDATE: No Suspects in Fatal Shooting on 600 Block of Green Street – The early morning murder of 21-year-old Ryan Ladson-Singleton on Oct. 20 rocked the neighborhood and drew an outpouring of support from the community when large numbers of friends, families and supporters turned out days later for a vigil on the spot where the man died. The event also allegedly touched off a chain reaction of violence that Norristown is still dealing with today.
5. UPDATE: Police Searching for Suspect Who Shot Two Teens Monday Night in Norristown – Less than a month after the Ladson-Singleton murder, police were investigating a shooting at Chain and West Oak streets on Nov. 12 that sent two teens – an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old – to a Philadelphia-area hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. No suspect was ever reported found in that case, though police believe the victims knew their assailant but refused to identify anyone.
4. Norristown Woman Found Dead in Her Home – The sad story of 26-year-old Jennifer Lewis, who was found dead in her home on June 9 from an overdose, was made more tragic by the knowledge that she left behind several small children. The manner in which her death was reported (by a friend who told police he contacted several other friends before calling 911) also caught the attention of reader speculation as to the nature of her death.
3. UPDATE: Plymouth Police Officer Bradley Fox Killed in Line of Duty – The tragic death of Plymouth Police Officer Bradley Fox, who was killed in the line of duty while making a routine traffic stop, affected Patch readers for and wide. Fox left behind a pregnant wife and young daughter.
2. Einstein Now Hiring for New Hospital in East Norriton – A sign of just how bad the economy and job prospects in our area were in 2012, this story about Einstein Medical Center Montgomery's opening in September and their search to fill more than 200 new jobs was one of the most-read stories of the year.
1. UPDATE: Authorities ID Christmas Shooting Victim – It happened less than a week ago, but this deeply saddening story about the shooting death of 24-year-old Paul Brown on Christmas Day was the most widely read story on Norristown Patch in 2012. Police are still searching for suspects and the community is still reeling from the news and the knowledge that something must be done to curb the violence that has plagued Norristown in recent months.
While this list not exactly an uplifting way to end the year, it's an important reminder of the importance and preciousness of life.
Norristown Patch has covered its share of uplifting moments in our community as well. On this New Year's Eve I hope all of you can reflect on just how great our community can be. Here are just a few moments to remember:
Stewart Footballers Volunteer to Spread Holiday Cheer
Back-to-School Haircut Day at PAL Center [PHOTOS]
Norristown Celebrates MLK Day of Service
Viewfinder: PAL's 17th Annual Lt. Patty Simons Food Drive
Norristown Couple's Baby First Born in New Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
Great Photos from the 2012 Pa. State Firemen's Parade
Norristown Native Nominated for Emmy
Ugandan and Plymouth Little Leaguers Hold Summit at RxSport in Norristown
Norristown Little Leaguers Head to Little League World Series
Montgomery County is the Most Generous in Pennsylvania
Librarian Helps Woman Give Birth in Parking Lot of Norristown Hospital
Norristown's Akbar Hossain Earns White House Post
Norristown Police BMX Rodeo & Stunt Show
Gotwals Elementary's Anti-Bully Rally at Montgomery County Courthouse
Great Pics From the Stony Creek Anglers' Trout Tourny
Norristown's Khalif Wyatt Named All-Big 5 First Team
East Norriton Couple Helping New Parents in Crisis
Centre Theater Gets New Marquee
Norristown's Khalif Wyatt Classing Up Atlantic 10 Conference
'Never Forget Norristown'
Norristown Comedienne Has Hit With Philly Fan Video
Norristown Celebrates 200 Years of History
Norristown's Wyatt Named Atlantic 10 Conference 'Player of the Week'
Norristown Voices Hit the Airwaves on WHYY