A couple caveats about this list: It only includes Herald articles, and some breaking news stories may not have made the list because their headlines were updated. (Our counter starts over when the headline changes.)
OK, with that out of the way, let's begin the countdown of the 12 most-read stories of 2012 on HeraldNet:
12. The least-wanted list: Invasive animals: Our Need to Know blog listed the critters that have set up homes in Snohomish County but don't belong here. Among them are bullfrogs, starlings and gray squirrels.
11. Everett mother shares tragic loss to fight sex trafficking: Eric Stevick's compelling story about Sarah Collins, whose daughter vanished in 2009.
10. Boeing parking overflowing into wetland park's lot: Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary near Paine Field is a popular spot, but not because people are clamoring to see ducks.
9. Homeowner fatally shoots suspected burglar south of Everett, police say: The January shooting by a homeowner was later ruled to be self-defense, and no charges were filed.
8. A year after Jayme Biendl's death, her family sees reminders of her everywhere: A nicely written story by Eric Stevick on the anniversary of the 2011 killing of the Monroe corrections officer.
7. Mukilteo 'glass monstrosity' draws a lot of attention: Luckily the couple that owns the "crazy wormhole" showed a good sense of humor when talking to The Herald's Amy Daybert. The house appears to still be on the market for a cool $1.89 million, but interest rates have fallen. With no money down, your payments will run you about $8,500 a month.
6. Aaron Reardon used public resources to raise campaign cash, records show: A monthslong investigation by The Herald's Scott North and Noah Haglund found Reardon used his county-funded cellphone for fundraising.
5. Child dies hours after social workers close case: A terribly sad story, nicely told by Diana Hefley.
4. In the blotters: Naked shopping, bad driving and beverage stealing: Rikki King collects odds and ends for our Sirens blog -- in this case, very odd.
3. Both drivers killed in collision near Arlington: One of the victims of this terrible crash was well-known local gospel singer James Arneson.
2. Everett Clinic fires 13 for snooping: Sharon Salyer's story about the workers fired under the clinic's zero-tolerance policy on peeking at patient records.
1. 6-month sentence in stabbing death of parrot: Rikki King's story about the Everett man's sentencing was our most-read story of the year.
Those are my last words for 2012. The parrot's last words? Those remain a mystery.
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