The Hyattville area saw its share of big news in 2012. Now, with five days to go before the end of the year, let's look back at some of the biggest local stories of the year. The following list shows the top 10 most-read local stories of the year.
DeMatha students and staff struggled to deal with the grief left by the sudden passing of 17-year-old Alabama State football recruit Rico Webb, who died suddenly in late February.
About the only thing the Hyattsville City Council could agree on at its March 19 meeting was the Pledge of Allegiance. After reciting the pledge, the City Council tried but failed to approve an agenda for the night's meeting, effectively stopping the meeting dead in its tracks. After about an hour of debate and two recesses to consult with the city attorney by phone, Mayor Marc Tartaro adjourned the meeting. Afterwards, a baffled Councilor Shani Warner (Ward 2), who spoke for many city residents when she said "I'm not quite sure what happened, but I don't think it was Hyattsville's finest hour."
8 - Superstorm Sandy Live
She might not have dealt a lot of damage in Hyattsville, but Sandy made her presence known. Residents tuning in for live updates as Patch's local editors revved up into emergency news mode across the city, county and state made this story one of Hyattsville's most read.
7 - Spice 6 Opens in Hyattsville
For months, residents had wondered what exactly "modern Indian" cuisine was coming to downtown Hyattsville as the owners of Spice 6 prepped their store. Then, in late May, we all learned that it was Indian food in a "fast casual" environment. The restaurant has since won its devotees, lured in by the sweet taste of naan wraps and chutney.
6 - Trail Rapes Rattle West Hyattsville
A series of brutal sexual assaults throughout the first half of the year had police cautioning users of the Northwest Branch Trail near the West Hyattsville Metro Station. Police did eventually convict one suspect on rape charges related to one of the attacks. But police don't believe the attacks were all the work of one man.
5 - Prince George's Principals Get Ready For School
County principals spent four days in the summer before the school year began prepping for the months ahead. Battling high turnover among principals, school officials tried to impart lessons about leadership skills and professional development at the conference.
4 - Election 2012
While not an exclusively local story, thousands of Hyattsville area residents interest in election news–both local and national–made our county election guide the fourth most read article of the year on Hyattsville Patch. For those of you keeping track, Hyattsville area voters overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates and causes in the last election.
3 - DeMatha Football Players Cut After Prostitution Scandal
When five student-athletes were expelled from DeMatha after they reportedly brought prostitutes to their hotel room after a road game in Durham, NC, school officials stood behind the coach and trip chaperones, but said they were "saddened and hurt" by the scandal.
2 - Former Hyattsville Cop Sues City in Sexual Harassment Case
Back in June, former Hyattville City Police Department officer Marsha Lessard sued the city in federal court alleging that she had been subject to sexual harassment during her time on the force. The city tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, but the judge disagreed. Now, both parties are preparing for what could be an extended court process.
Back in late May, an 8-year-old girl died from injuries sustained after her mother backed into her with an SUV in Lewisdale. Four other children, ranging in age from two to 11, were injured as well. Police determined that Maria Anna Cruz Lopez, age 33, hit the children accidentally as she tried to leave her apartment in the 2200 block of Hannon Street. She was not charged in relation to the incident.