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Top Stories of 2012 (#1-5)

by ARLnow.com December 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm 8,191 20 Comments

So far this week we’ve taken a look at top stories #6-10 and #11-15 for the year — now it’s time for the top 5.

The following stories received the most page views on ARLnow.com in 2012. All of these articles, with the exception of No. 5, benefited to varying degrees from links from national websites like Drudge Report and Reddit.

"Happy 420" sign in N. Arlington (photo courtesy James D.)5. Road Sign Wishes Passersby a ‘Happy 420’ (18,012 views) — Some pranksters hacked into a road sign near the Madison Community Center in north Arlington on April 20, and 3,500+ Facebook shares later the article had a very “high” page view count.

4. Crime Report: Man in Wheelchair Robs CVS (27,341 views) — A man in a wheelchair tried to shoplift an electric razor and some bottles of wine from the CVS Pharmacy in Courthouse, according to police. When an employee tried to wheel the alleged thief back into the store, police said, he brandished a knife and made a getaway — that is, until cops caught up with him at the Courthouse Metro station.

Screenshot of the TLC program Strange Sex featuring an Arlington resident with the world's largest breasts3. Video: Arlington Resident Has the World’s Largest Natural Breasts (33,061 views) — Fairlington resident Annie Hawkins-Turner raised some eyebrows around town when she appeared on the TLC show Strange Sex to talk about her size 102ZZZ chest, recognized as the world’s largest natural breasts. While much of the traffic for this story was local, coming from email links and social networking sites, Reddit also contributed several thousand views.

2. Man Questioned for Molotov Cocktail at Mall (55,372 views) — The much-maligned Ballston Common Mall briefly made national news, but for all the wrong reasons. A man threw a Molotov cocktail-like incendiary device into the mall’s food court, but the flammable liquid inside failed to ignite after it hit the floor and no one was injured. The FBI and the ATF came to investigate the incident, but good old fashioned police work — acting on a tip from a citizen — led to the arrest of a suspect near the county government building by ACPD officers.

Andrew Dziuk mugshot (photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department)1. Crime Report: Pulling Guns on the Ritz (65,535 views) — We wish we could claim it was the semi-clever headline, but really it was a link from the Drudge Report that led more than 60,000 people to read the strange tale of Andrew Dziuk, a 29-year-old Centreville man. Dziuk was accused of brandishing a pair of loaded handguns, apparently in a drunken state of incredulity after learning the room rates at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Our No. 1 article’s 65,535 views makes it the second most-viewed article since the launch of the site in January 2010. The most-viewed ARLnow.com story of all time remains our article about former Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Gene C. McKinney, who was accused of hitting a person with his car after what his passengers described as the slug line ride from hell. The article has received 74,188 views, thanks in part to the Drudge Report. McKinney pleaded guilty to reckless driving and disorderly conduct late last year and was ordered to serve 10 days in jail.

  • Chris

    Let me take this opportunity to wish the ArlNow team a great 2013.

    ArlNow has really been an enrichment to my life in Arlington, it makes me feel more connected and it’s great to know what’s going on locally.

    It is hard to judge as a reader how successful the site is financially but I hope you guys are making enough money to keep going for a long time.

    • Thanks, Chris. We’re continuing to grow our business with the hope that we’ll be able to hire a second reporter full-time by the end of 2013.

    • Hear, hear! Arlington Now is a valuable resource, it’s too bad AN is reporting so much violent crime nowadays.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Agree with Chris 100%. Thank you, ArlNow!

    • drax

      Also agree. Great site.

  • Rover

    I’m a little bit skeptical about the number of views for the top story of the year… 65,535 is exactly 2^16-1 (in hexadecimal or binary, equal to FFFF or 1111111111111111 respectively; thus, a coincidence like 99,999 would be in decimal). Can the counter being used count higher than that? Just wondering.

    • fmrARL

      Ha! I had to read that question 4 times to understand that! No I can’t count any higher

      • Rover

        … by “counter” I meant whatever program tracks the page views. I sure hope it’s not done manually…

    • Jon

      Good catch. Unsigned 2-byte integer. I don’t know much about web software, but most normal compilers I’ve used automatically select 4-byte integers, and even the Gangnam Style YouTube video is only about half way to that count.

    • CourthouseChris

      Nice catch; could just be an amazing coincidence – the counter on that article is now above that number in the story, probably due to the story.

    • drax

      Only a complete nerd…..

    • Ricardo

      I came here to post the exact same comment, except that I might have added octal 177777 as well.

  • Daniel

    Also agree with Chris, thanks ARLNow.

  • Dodge

    Thanks for some great reporting!

  • Summarize proust

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t think any of our contestants tonight succeeded in encapsulating the intricacies of Proust’s masterwork. So, I’m going to give the award to the girl with the biggest tits.

    • Marcel

      Anybody got a spare Madeleine.???

  • Not Andrew D

    On hotels.com, the Ritz Pentagon City is only $169 next weekend .

  • JimPB

    What does the type of stories that got the most views say about “our” interests?

  • MariaC

    Thanks for the recap, Arlnow. When does the new report about which restaurants owe the most county taxes? I’d love to see it.

  • Kolohe

    I too, love this site’s reporting and this site’s commentariat, and wish Alexandria had something half this vibrant. Keep up the great work! (seriously!)


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