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Posted on Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Top 12 of 2012: Most-read stories on over the past year

By Kyle Mattson


Blimpy Burger owner Rich Magner will be searching for a new home for his well-known burger restaurant in 2013.

Joseph Tobianski |

The year 2012 was a year of a number of notable local and national events that touched us all in some way.

In mid-March a tornado ripped through Dexter destroying homes and businesses, but not the spirit of the small-town community.

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What will the future hold for the downtown Ann Arbor library after a proposal to demolish and construct a new one was defeated?

The extreme weather continued into late spring bringing record breaking temperatures and drought conditions sparking fires, increased water usage, crop damage, and sending everyone looking for ways to keep cool.

Over on the campuses of area schools, the passing of a $45.8 million bond will bring new technology to Ann Arbor students while a fight between two rival high school football teams generated concern across the community.

The leading conversation throughout the second half of 2012 was the election season featuring impassioned debates over ballot items such as the downtown Ann Arbor library proposal, the future of collective bargaining, and of course, who would serve as president of United States for the next four years.

Unfortunately, the past 12 months have been no stranger to tragedy. Three of our top-12 headlines include the heart-breaking deaths of a number of individuals that remind us all to take pause and reflect on the fragility of life.

However, stories like Howard Cooper rewarding employees for their years of service and an Ypsilanti teenager saving the life of his grandfather remind us of the uplifting moments in life.

Of course, no year would be complete without the new annual tradition of an unusual animal sighting. This year's addition was the North Campus Cougar who stole the spotlight from 2011's critter of the year, the Dexter Bear.

So, without further ado, here is the run-down of most-read stories published on in 2012 based on total page views:

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1: Owner: Blimpy Burger must move as University of Michigan buys building

2: More than 70 marijuana plants seized at nail salon inside Meijer near Ann Arbor

3: 2 dead, 5 seriously injured following rollover accident on US-23

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4: University of Michigan featured on Colbert Report as a school 'doing it right'

5: Mother of four killed in car crash west of Ann Arbor

6: University of Michigan's 1st social media director resigns after resume inaccuracy revealed

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7: Obama scheduled to speak at University of Michigan on Friday

8: EMU: Dismissal email sent to students by mistake caused 'undue alarm'


9: University of Michigan officials didn't report child porn to police for 6 months

10: Police investigating EMU student's death as apparent homicide

11: University of Michigan student poses for Playboy's 'Girls of the Big Ten' issue

12: Michigan football picks up commitment from Ohio's No.1 tailback, Deveon Smith



Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Are you consolidating the stories for which there were more than one article? It is my impression that if a story is really popular, there is a followup article and then further followups. Or if a story is spread out over time, like the Burns Park pediatrician, etc. Or are these just the one-off counts?

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

Hi dotdash- The list above is a one-off count of single headlines based on overall views. As you imply there were a number of other significant stories throughout the year that received a large number of views and commentary (ie Jenny's Market, pedestrian crossing saftey, the new underground parking garage etc.) as well as a number of others which I referenced in the commentary above. Was there a specific story that you'll remember from 2012?


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

can't believe the Huron River Nudist didn't make it! OR the 20-lb. carp in the West Park Pond......... ok haters, bring it on.....


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:42 a.m.

All these comments about no "happy" stories there were lots this year, this article is about the "most read" stories so that is a reflection of the readers not

Jim Burdelski

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 3:32 a.m.

How about the Pioneer/Huron football brawl?


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

It appears this article didn't crack the top twelve of 2012. As I'm typing, this article is about 15 hours old and only 14 comments. I guess 15, if you include me.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

Hi Gorc- The tally for this list was based on views not comments, but thanks for adding your thoughts.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

How about the UofM Legal department?


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Indeed, there are a lot of really great stories out there of folks helping folks, etc. I, for one, would love to see more of that type of news. Yes, there will always be auto accidents, robberies, assaults, etc. etc. And, to the victims of those incidents I am saddened. Even more informational articles would be appreciated -- events coming up etc. The lose of Blimpy Burger will be a big one -- it is an icon in Ann Arbor.

Michigan Man

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Let me try again since the thought police are out this AM. Lot of really bad news in Ann Arbor this year according to Would hope 2013 will have more peace, less killing, less violence, more stability and stories of hope and accomplishments not the porn, downgrading of bonds, violence among young people, mayhem on our local highways, etc.


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 11:41 a.m.

There were a lot of great uplifting stories this year, this article is about the "most read" so unfortunately that means a lot of folks only read the bad stuff.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Well, don't hold your breath.But I agree I would like to see more uh.... "happy and uplifting " stories, but of course, the armchair journalists would waste their time complaining and commenting that a article was a waste of time.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Can't believe the multiple Jenny's Market stories was not up there!


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

Not dig at if they can bring up this info why haven't you done a article about the numbers of accidents on area freeways ? like just as a example what is the percentage of days where there are no accidents ? Maybe you are waiting until 20012 is over.I bet that would be a good one.Just wanted to toss that out there


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Kyle...that's all good and fine but I was more just thinking about the freeways just because it almost a daily occurrence.Other than letting people know where the accidents are it's really more of news when there is not one

Kyle Mattson

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

We did take note tdw and considering a few different options going forward for covering accidents on area freeways. At this point it is difficult to generate accurate numbers for an example like you present by just looking back on our headlines as we are simply unable to report ever single incident on the roads so it would be an inaccurate sample. From the continued issue of pedestrian crossings to numerous fatalities we understand the concern in the community for safety on the roads and will continue to look at ways to keep you best informed. Slow down and remember to keep your eyer on the road everyone and hopefully 2013 will yield a safer year out there.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

jcj....I brought that up before and you did.That's why I'm thinking they are waiting until the year is over


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Thanks tdw. We did ask for that and they were going to look at it.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

What about the Ann Arbor Cougar? (Let the cougar jokes begin....)


Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

Two cougars walk into a bar...

Kyle Mattson

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Hi HB- It was up there, but fell just short of this list. Let's not forget about that pesky carp either Hopefully we don't have to report on any serious animal invasion like they are dealing with in Florida any time soon!