Here is your local news year in review, based on the following criteria: stories place if they are relevant to Virginia, and are posted in order of most web traffic. This round up doesn’t boast the happiest of stories, but we will post a top ten good local news stories round-up before the year is through.
1. CHILD DIES AFTER FIREWORKS SHOW
The story of seven-year-old Brendon Mackey’s tragic holiday death was the most viewed story this year. On July 4th a large crowd had gathered over by the Swift Creek Reservoir, in the Brandermill area, to watch fireworks. As Brendon walked through the Boathouse parking lot with his dad, he collapsed. His father saw blood and thought he may have hit his head.
At the hospital doctors made the startling discovery of a bullet wound in the top of Brendon’s head. To this day, the person who shot off the celebratory gunfire has not come forward, nor been found.
FULL COVERAGE: http://wtvr.com/2013/07/05/child-shot-midlothian-fireworks/
2. STUDY: 60 PERCENT OF RICHMOND FAMILIES ARE SINGLE PARENT
First Things First, an organization dedicated to keeping dads involved in kids’ lives, reported in June that 60 percent of all families in the city of Richmond are single-parent households. Within the African-American demographic, that number spikes up to 86 percent, a number that surpasses the national average.
3. FORMER EMPLOYEES SURPRISED BY AMAZON’S HIRING ANNOUNCEMENT
Online retail giant Amazon has shown up in numerous news reports since two distribution centers opened in the Richmond area. This particular story was big online after Amazon announced plans Monday to hire 7,000 workers for its U.S. operation, with most jobs offering pay and benefits far above typical retail wages.
The rub, for several locals, was that they were told they couldn’t get the hours they wanted, and were often sent home. That report here: http://wtvr.com/2013/07/29/amazon-hires-extra-employees/
For more Amazon reporting, click here: http://wtvr.com/tag/amazon/
4. DOG OWNER: CHESTEFRIELD TEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED DOG
Everyone was pretty stunned by this one. The owner told us he is still coming to grips with what he saw the teen doing to his pregnant pit bull in the normally sleepy Chesterfield County neighborhood tucked away off Robious Road.
“I heard the dogs raising a ruckus in the backyard,” he said. “This boy was standing there. His pants were unzipped and exposed.”
5. GOVERNOR MCDONNELL PAYS STATE THOUSANDS FOR ITEMS GIVEN TO KIDS
It’s been a long year filled with words like “embattled” and “embroiled” for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, as authorities investigate the relationship between the McDonnell family and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.
Also under investigation, for embezzlement, was the former Excecutive Mansion Chef Todd Schneider, who was accused of taking food and other goods from the Virginia Executive Mansion. In the court documents for his own case, Schneider alleged that the governor’s family took items from the executive kitchen.
In July Gov. McDonnell wrote an almost $2,400 check for an invoice that included cases of water, Gatorade, paper towels and toilet paper, turkey, Hot Pockets, bleach, plastic silverware, dish detergents. Most of the items were given to the three McDonnell children when they returned to college after weekend or holiday visits.
6. TRUCKERS GEARING UP FOR ‘RIDE FOR THE CONSTITUTION’
No one REALLY had a clue how many truckers would participate in the “Ride for the Constitution” rally around the DC beltway. No one knew if it was a hoax or not but a lot of people felt really passionate about it. We found more than a dozen rigs in Doswell, from all around the country.
7. GREAT WHITE SHARK SURFACES AT KITTY HAWK
Terrifyingly fascinating, this story quickly climbed into the top ten. The Great White Shark known as Katherine was spotted in the surf off Kitty Hawk–a splendid and favored vacation spot for Richmond locals–in December. And though this one has a tracking device, basically what experts said is that the Great Whites abound off the coast of Hampton Roads.
8.Gun show crowd lines up for guns, ammo
It was a sensitive time for our nation, as the debate over gun control grew heated in the shadow of the horrific Newtown school shootings. That tension coincided with a gun &E Gun Show that has been held in Richmond for the past 20 years.
With that national discussion on strengthening gun control laws as a backdrop, close to a thousand people came the Showplace on Mechanicsville Turnpike Saturday.
Here’s what they had to say: http://wtvr.com/2013/01/13/busy-saturday-for-gun-show-in-richmond/
9. ‘BATMAN’ THREAT CLOSES VIRGINIA SCHOOL
This was a wild story that put Virginia on a map, literally. This was just a few weeks after the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown. But school for a Virginia town was canceled after an online article titled “The Next School Massacre Target?” raised concerns about safety.
10. EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: DRONE CRASHES INTO CROWD AT GREAT BULL RUN
Expectations were high for the first ever American Bull Run that kicked off its national tour in Dinwiddie. Although people anticipated a rogue bull or participant goring, it was a drone crash that stole the show and made national headlines.