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Most-Read Arlington Stories of 2018 (#1-5)

The year is nearly at an end, and so is our countdown of 2018’s top stories.

Our list of the year’s biggest news included plenty of crime stories, and a bevy of popular restaurant openings and closings.

But our top five contains a bit of TMZ-related drama, Amazon and (of course) cheesecake.

5. TMZ Publishes Video of NBA Star Cheating on Khloe Kardashian at Darna Lounge (25,512 views)

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson brought a bit of national attention to Virginia Square’s Darna Lounge when he was caught on tape at the night spot. His relationship with Kardashian remains a bit rocky, but things are looking up for Darna after a tough year, at least — the lounge earned the full blessing of county officials to stay in business this fall, after inspectors briefly closed it earlier this year.

4. Elementary School Principal Dies Unexpectedly (25,938 views)

Patrick Henry Elementary School Principal Annie Turner’s sudden passing shocked parents and students alike back in April. The school system subsequently named assistant principal Cameron Snyder to take over on an interim basis. Many, if not all, of the school’s students will move to the new Alice West Fleet Elementary School next year.

3. Hazmat Situation at Marine Corps Headquarters (26,842 views)

Employees at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall got a bit of a scare in late February, when a certified letter was opened in one of its buildings and containing some sort of potentially hazardous substance. Several people began feeling ill shortly after the letter arrived, prompting the full evacuation of the base. 

2. EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Employees Are Very Interested in a Particular Article About Arlington (49,287 views)

It’s rare that a trip through our Google Analytics dashboard yields much more than a few interesting curiosities, but those readership figures helped us break one of the biggest stories of the year back in February. Amazon employees seemed awful interested in a seemingly obscure piece of environmental news about Arlington, providing perhaps the clearest indication yet that Jeff Bezos’ firm was eyeing the county for a new headquarters. Of course, the frenzied speculation proved to be correct in the end, with Amazon tabbing Arlington for half of its vaunted “HQ2,” and 2019 is sure to see plenty more stories as the county braces for the tech giant’s impact.

1. Large Crowd Reported at Clarendon Cheesecake Factory Amid Free Cheesecake Promotion (211,741 views)

Who would’ve ever predicted that ARLnow’s most popular story of 2018 would be about cheesecake? Surprising though it may be, our story describing the frenzied scene at the Clarendon Cheesecake Factory during a particularly poorly managed Doordash giveaway truly went viral, with everyone from cable TV networks to national newspapers picking up the story. 

With nearly 212,000 views, the story stands as one of our most popular stories of all time. But it couldn’t quite beat out last year’s “Public Fornication Leads to Police Altercation,” which remains our leader with more than 253,000 page views.

Here’s to hoping that 2019 helps us top it.

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If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.

Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.

The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84855394419

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