With the year coming to a close, we’re taking a look back at the most-read stories in 2012 on Collingswood Patch.
Allegations of racism in Collingswood High School athletic department caused an uproar in town, as did their resultant fallout. Business developments in the borough and nearby were also big news. Readers also followed closely several police stories, including the heartbreaking murder-suicide of a young server at the Tortilla Press and her boyfriend.
Here are Collingswood Patch’s most-read stories of 2012:
10. "Keeping Things Casual at Knight's Bistro"
Originally published April 5
Dave Valiante’s column on the new Collingswood restaurant drew attention from lots of readers, with many debating if the bistro was what Collingswood needed before it even opened. The outcry was so loud that Valiante's follow-up piece ("Knight's Bistro: Why the Hate?") still drew a ton of responses.
Originally published June 26
This case made it into the top 10 twice. This story, which follows the decision of the Collingswood Board of Education to not renew the contract of boys basketball coach Joe McLoughlin prompted cries of “shame on you” from his supporters.
8. "Cuthbert Blvd. Soda Bottle Bomber Arrested Monday"
Originally published July 31
This odd case took place on the edge of Collingswood, when 21-year-old Troy Fearn allegedly detonated a small chemical explosive outside his Cuthbert Boulevard home. What may have been done in jest nonetheless resulted in charges.
7. "UPDATE: Sunoco Attendant Shot in Sunday Night Robbery Attempt"
Originally published Nov. 11
A Sunday evening shooting drew a major police response, as two suspects shattered the femur of a gas station clerk in the course of a gas station robbery. The police chief called the suspects—who remain at large—“vicious, cowardly (and) animalistic.” A similar robbery in Camden could be connected.
Originally published May 30
When news came down that he wouldn't be tendered an offer to rejoin the team he had coached to two titles, upporters of (now ex-) CHS boys basketball coach Joe McLoughlin packed a board meeting to sing his praises. It wasn’t enough to save his job, but the outburst of bias allegations led the board to open a special investigation that still has no projected end date.
(With locally focused stories every day, Patch is the most comprehensive news source serving the borough of Collingswood. Sign up for our daily digest and get all the news in town in your inbox every morning!)
5. "Amy's Omelette House Opens New Location on Cuthbert Blvd."
Originally published June 21
Tired of all the breakfast spots in Collingswood? Take a quick drive up Cuthbert Boulevard to a new omelet haven in Cherry Hill, where your meal is only limited by your imagination.
This top story isn’t a story at all, but our ongoing photo gallery. Snap a great shot? Get a picture we missed or just have a photo you want to share? You can add it any time to our Pics & Clips gallery.
Originally published July 19
The unthinkable happened in July when a Tortilla Press worker was shot by her boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself. Friends remembered Michelle Johnson as a hard worker who overcame adversity to build a life for herself that was tragically cut short. Several days later, we took a deeper look into the case with "The Complicated Tragedy of Paul Aldapa and Michelle Johnson".
2. "Cherry Hill Dad Tells YouTube: Teachers Bullied My Autistic Son"
Originally published April 24
Coming in at No. 2, the disturbing accusation that special education staffers in the Cherry Hill school district bullied an autistic student whose father discovered the abuse with covert recordings. After he felt the school district wasn't taking enough of a look into the matter, dad Stuart Chaifetz took his case to YouTube, touching off an international discussion with a video that has hit 4.75 million views. The teacher, Kelly Altenburg, later denied being in the room at the time.
(Note that this story was covered here on Collingswood Patch prior to the launch of our latest sister site, Cherry Hill Patch.)
Originally published June 2
Some things are common in Cooper River—boaters, fish, turtles. Less common are 3-foot-long baby reptiles that turn up on kayaking trips. The animal eventually found a home with an out-of-state reptile sanctuary—by the way, it was an alligator—but not before everyone found the time to overreact to the story.
Thanks for joining us in 2012. We have exciting things coming to the site in 2013. Don’t forget you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story could be on the next most-read list!