Patch Picks: Top Stories So Far in 2012

What was the biggest news in Collingswood during the first half of 2012?

We’ve reached the halfway point of 2012 and what a busy six months in news it’s been.

A caiman—er, make that alligator—in Cooper River, the firing of boys’ basketball coach Joe McLoughlin and the Michael Landon plaque drama all dominated Collingswood news so far this year.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on Collingswood Patch for the first half of 2012:

10. Little House on the Prairie Saga Takes Another Turn

An update from way back in January on the Michael Landon Knight Park memorial was the 10th most-read story so far this year. The story started in 2011, when Collingswood removed a plaque to the late actor. This January update unwrapped more of the mystery. The story came to a conclusion in April, when Landon’s plaque was . Originally published Jan. 5

9. Updated: CHS Student Stands for Right to Sit During Pledge—Your Thoughts?

Chelsea Stanton’s decision to remain seated during the Pledge of Allegiance at Collingswood High School prompted quite the debate in the comments over rights versus the right thing to do. Originally published June 7


The Heights of Collingswood has seen its share of criminal incidents this year, but readers particularly took notice of the arrest of five teens for allegedly carjacking a 64-year-old. Originally published Jan. 26


Among those leaping to the defense of Collingswood boys’ basketball coach Joe McLoughlin (see below) was his assistant coach. Morris Smith said he was “confident that there is not a performance issue” with McLoughlin as coach and urged the school board not to rush to fire him. Originally published May 31

6. Keeping Things Casual at Knight's Bistro

News that a vacant storefront would be transformed into a casual eatery attracted readers’ attention—a prompted a debate over whether Knight’s Bistro really fills a missing part of the Collingswood restaurant scene. Originally published April 5

5. Police Investigating Spate of Crimes at Heights of Collingswood

Several criminal incidents hit the Heights of Collingswood in the early part of 2012 and late 2011, with many targeting older residents. Heights staff eventually held a community meeting with residents and police, and police presence at the huge complex increased. Originally published Jan. 12

4. Defenders of Joe McLoughlin Dominate Board Meeting, Allege Racism

In our first story on the attempts to fire Joe McLoughlin as boys’ basketball coach, we covered a crowded school board meeting where racial allegations first aired. This was by no means our last story (see the full coverage at our Joe McLouglin topic page), and even though the coach was eventually let go, an investigation into the matter just started. Originally published May 30

3. Duke Center Brian Zoubek to "Cream" Competition

Props to our colleague Bill Duhart over at Haddonfield Patch, which first published this story on an upcoming cream puffery opening in Haddonfield. As often happens with social media, the Twitter world happened to pick up our link and this story was passed around so much, it became the third most-read piece so far in 2012. Originally published May 29

2. Cherry Hill Dad Tells YouTube: Teachers Bullied My Autistic Son

Coming in at No. 2 is the disturbing accusation that a Cherry Hill teacher bullied an autistic student. After not getting a satisfying response, Stuart Chaifetz took to YouTube to share audio recordings of the alleged abuse. The story took the Internet by storm. Originally published April 24


Drum roll please… The most-read story so far this year was of the caiman in Cooper River. Except it wasn’t actually a caiman, but an alligator (). Whatever the reptile kind, Collingswood Patch was the first to bring you the tale of this unusual Cooper River encounter. It certainly helped that our parent company, AOL, picked up the story, pushing it to No. 1. Originally published June 2


Thanks for reading Collingswood Patch and here’s to a newsy second half of 2012. If you ever have any story ideas or tips, please contact local editor Matt Skoufalos, matt.skoufalos@patch.com. Yours could be the next big story on Patch.


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