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Top 20 Arlington stories of 2023: #1-5

A wild police chase involving a stolen ambulance. A large explosion heard throughout Arlington.

These two stories made it into the top five most-read articles of 2023, listed below, which cap off our countdown to 2024. To our readers, we are grateful you choose ARLnow as your source of local Arlington news.

Remember, our tip line is always open. If you want to support our work, you can become a member of the ARLnow Press Club, which produces monthly deep dives into public safety, sustainability, development and more.

5. This Arlington restaurant was just named No. 1 in Virginia by Washingtonian readers (Dec. 12 | 49,460 views)

Ruthie’s All-Day in Arlington Heights was named the best restaurant in Virginia by Washingtonian magazine in its 46th annual restaurant survey. The restaurant, known for its breakfast biscuit sandwiches and barbecue plates, has previously won a RAMMY award and was featured in the Washington Post’s Fall Dining Guide.

4. BREAKING: Numerous crashes block I-395 after truck hit-and-run suspect steals Arlington ambulance (Aug. 12 | 52,025 views)

A 30-year-old Maryland man is alleged to have led police on a bizarre and dangerous chase through Arlington after crashing a stolen truck into multiple vehicles on I-66 and I-395 and hijacking an ambulance. Several people were injured and more than 20 vehicles, including a state police cruiser, were damaged before the suspect was arrested in D.C.

3. BREAKING: W-L senior and standout soccer player killed in Fairfax County double homicide (May 30 | 52,052 views) 

Braden Deahl, an 18-year-old Washington-Liberty High School senior and talented soccer player, was killed in a suspected drug-related double homicide in Fairfax County. Deahl, remembered for his joyous presence and impact at school, was one of two young men killed while a teen was arrested and charged with robbery resulting in death.

2. BREAKING: Widespread power outages, trees down and other damage in wake of storms (July 29 | 98,952 views) 

Arlington grappled with extensive damage and power outages affecting some 34,000 customers after severe storms tore through the area, resulting in blocked roads, downed trees and power lines, and numerous structure fires.

1. BREAKING: Large house explosion in Bluemont amid police incident (Dec. 4 | 440,357 views)

Bluemont resident James Yoo fired a flare gun multiple times during a standoff with police that prompted some neighbors to shelter in place and others to evacuate. A few hours later, a large explosion destroyed his home and that of the family in the neighboring duplex. Police later declared that Yoo, who had posted several paranoid rants on LinkedIn, was presumed dead. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. Neighbors were told early on that authorities believe Yoo managed to stockpile some type of explosive material, which is the likely cause of the blast, not natural gas.

This story made headlines in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other national outlets. ARLnow’s article received more views than our No. 1 stories from 2019-2022 — including the fiery crash into Ireland’s Four Courts to buzz about mysterious bug bites — combined.

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