10 most-read stories of 2017 from 13WHAM
(WHAM) - Each year we have tens of millions of people visit our website to stay updated on the latest news and weather.
There are thousands of stories we share, but some get more attention than others. The attention that some of those stories attract is surprising - to both us and our readers/viewers.
These are the top 10 most-read stories in the Rochester area as viewed by YOU, our viewers.
It was a difficult crash scene in Chili early this year.
Kael Nicolosi, 8, was killed on February 9 after a crash involving a Jeep and a car carrying two women and two boys. David Monacelli was driving on Morgan Road and looked down for a second, looked back up and went through a stop sign at Chili Scottsville Road. His Jeep then slammed into the passenger side of the car. Kael's mother, Tiffany, and his cousin, Keith, were seriously injured. Valerie Lewis, Kael's grandmother, was injured, but not seriously.
Kael was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Monacelli was ticketed for failing to stop at the stop sign. Family members later talked about the importance of avoiding distracted driving.
“The car is like a weapon, I think,” said Carmen Dalba, a cousin of the victim. “Just watch your surroundings, just pay attention to what’s going on."
In August, the NYS DOT announced it would be improve pavement markings, clear brush and trees and install additional signage at the intersection, indicating a stop sign ahead.
There were six men who were arrested in April at a Budget Inn motel in Ontario, Wayne County. The arrests were part of a prostitution sting set up by Wayne and Seneca County Sheriff's investigators.
The woman, who was a heroin addict and told deputies she needed money for the drugs, agreed to help deputies with the sting. They agreed to refer her to substance abuse counseling services as part of the agreement.
Among the six men arrested was Dr. Robert Smith, a family practice physician with F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua.
He took a voluntary leave of absence before returning several months later.
Rochester Police arrested 15 men along Lyell Avenue at the end of August on a "john" detail.
Officers made the arrests in the area of Rutter Street along Lyell Avenue. The men ranged in age from 24 to 62.
At least one of the men was wanted on another warrant; another man had two bags of crack cocaine on him at the time of the arrest.
When a Greece woman didn't show up for work on February 1, her supervisors called police.
Officers later discovered that 63-year-old Margaret M. St. George and 74-year-old George F. St. George were dead in their home on Mt. Read Boulevard in a murder-suicide.
Margaret worked across the street at the Legacy At Park Crescent independent living center. Neighbors say she had recently filed for divorce; one neighbor added the divorce was contentious. She had started moving belongings out of the home and had served her husband with papers that week.
A handgun was found by investigators at the home.
On an evening in late May, calls started to trickle - then pour - into our station about lights in the sky over Lake Ontario.
The lights popped up unexpectedly over the lake during the dusk hours.
Several hours later, officials from the Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed they were conducting training operations the previous night.
During those exercises, the Air Force said they may have caused the visual phenomenon.
A disturbing case in early October turned national attention briefly to the town of Fairport.
On October 4, John Beilman shot and killed his 27-year-old daughter Ncicole before turning the gun on himself in the backyard of their family home on Williamsburg Drive.
Nicole lived with Rett syndrome, a rare non-inherited genetic postnatal neurological disorder. According to Rettsyndrome.org, the disability can affect a person's ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe easily.
Donna - John's wife and Nicole's mother - was inside the home but didn't hear the gunshots. She found out when police arrived at the home.
Sources confirm to 13WHAM News that FBI agents executed a search warrant at the Beilman home the day before the murder-suicide. The details of that investigation have still not been made public.
It's hard to forget this one if you were living in the Rochester area at the time.
Nearly 145,000 homes and businesses had no power, some for a full week, after a once-in-a-generation wind storm swept through western New York. Peak wind gusts at the Rochester Airport hit 81MPH.
Dozens of schools, daycares, colleges, and churches cancelled activities and classes for several days as people hunkered down and tried to deal with the outages. The wind gusts were strong enough that they tore up 150-year-old trees, sending them into houses and stores.
The Towns of Greece and Irondequoit were in a state of emergency due to the outages for at least two weeks.
A report issued in November by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) criticized the response by RG&E and NYSEG after the windstorm slammed the Rochester and western New York areas. The response was labeled as "poor" suggested the companies' owners could face millions of dollars in penalties.
Both utility companies are currently in the midst of appealing with the PSC over the proposed penalties against them.
Rochester's obsession with Wegmans became abundantly clear with this story.
Tens of thousands of people read this story about a two-story Wegmans store, slated to open in spring 2018. The thing is, the store isn't even in New York. It's in Massachusetts.
The 134,000-square-foot Wegmans supermarket in Natick Mall will be opening in a former department store with direct access to the mall. Renderings show a broad range of sections and small stores within the supermarket.
Almost exactly one week after the devastasting wind storm hit western New York, one of the heaviest snowstorms in decades moved into the region and dumped more than two feet of snow on the area.
Thankfully, nearly all of the 145,000 RG&E and National Grid customers who lost power in the windstorm had their power restored by the time the snow hit.
In the first 24 hours from March 14-15, 20.2 inches of snow fell at the Rochester Airport, making it the fifth snowiest 24-hour period in recorded history. One of the biggest signs of the impending winter weather: all three malls in the Rochester area closed by 3 p.m. on March 14.
Snow caused widespread travel delays and shut down schools, businesses and roads across the area. No unnecessary travel was recommended in nearly all of the nine counties in the greater Rochester area.
The interest in this story that made it the most-read story of the year was frankly very surprising to many members of our staff.
Three executives of 5LINX - a Rochester-based marketing company - were charged in March with wire fraud in a multi-million dollar scheme.
Craig Jerabeck, Jeb Tyler, and Jason Guck, were each charged with wire fraud and conspiracy. As part of a stockholder's and purchase agreement set up in 2006, compensation for the three defendants was limited. Anything beyond the established cap required approval by the Board of Directors.
Starting in 2009, Jerabeck, Tyler, and Guck set up fake shell companies and added them as contractors to be paid through their direct sales team. Those accounts diverted money from 5Linx into their own personal bank accounts or debit cards to circumvent the agreements. This continued through at least May 15, 2015.
Prosecutors say as much as $4 million was lost by investors over that time period.
In September, a federal grand jury handed down a 37-count indictment against the three men. The case is still moving through federal courts as of late 2017.
If convicted, each of the three executives face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.