2014 was a year of major, sobering news stories in Snohomish County, and that’s reflected in our annual list of most-read local stories on HeraldNet. Here are our top 14 of ‘14:
14. Marysville shooting victims were targeted, sheriff says: In the days after the Marysville Pilchuck shootings, it became clear the victims were not chosen at random. Diana Hefley wrote this account.
13. Machinists OK Boeing offer, sealing 777X deal: Dan Catchpole wrote about the narrow and still controversial contract vote.
12. Coffee stands raked in millions through sex trade, prosecutors say: Diana Hefley wrote about how lucrative Carmela Panico’s espresso stands were, since they were selling something hotter than coffee.
11. ‘Most wanted’ escapee lived quietly in Gold Bar, police say: Diana Hefley and Eric Stevick reported on the strange case of Dennis “Slick” Lilly, a fugitive who managed to hide in plain sight for three decades.
10. ‘There was no racing,’ father says of fatal I-5 crash: Initial reports indicated racing may have caused the crash on I-5 that killed 24-year-old Jourdan Bradley. Her father, who was driving behind her at the time, told The Herald’s Chris Winters that those reports were simply untrue. In a follow-up story last week, police said they still don’t know what caused the crash and haven’t found the other vehicle involved.
9. U.S. 2 crash kills one man and injures another: Eric Stevick wrote about a fiery crash that killed a Snohomish man.
8. Woman attacked; suspect allegedly objected to short shorts: In the one true oddball story on this list, Scott North wrote about a company barbecue gone terribly wrong.
7. Ominous messages sent minutes before Marysville shootings: Diana Hefley, Scott North and Rikki King wrote about text messages that indicate Jaylen Fryberg may have planned the Marysville Pilchuck shooting for days.
6. Break silence on shooter’s crimes, 2 victims’ families say: The mothers of Nate Hatch and Andrew Fryberg recently told The Herald’s Andrew Gobin that Marysville school shooter Jaylen Fryberg should be held accountable for his crimes rather than being described as a victim.
5. Oso mudslide kills at least 3; flood threat looms: Chris Winters and Rikki King’s initial reporting from the Oso mudslide, before the full scope of the tragedy became apparent. The total killed in the mudslide eventually was confirmed at 43.
4. 2 dead, 4 wounded in school shooting; Marysville grieves: Our first-day account from the Marysville Pilchuck shootings on Oct. 24, by Eric Stevick, Rikki King and Kari Bray.
3. 3 remain in critical condition after Marysville school shooting: Kari Bray and Rikki King wrote this follow-up in the days after the shootings.
2. Marysville Pilchuck surprises Oak Harbor with Wesco 3A North trophy: After the tragedy at Marysville Pilchuck, Oak Harbor’s football team forfeited the game against MP that was to decide a league champion. MP players then returned the favor, surprising Oak Harbor by delivering the championship trophy at practice. David Krueger wrote this account of an inspiring display of sportsmanship.
1. School shooter raised in Tulalip traditions; his actions defy explanation: Andrew Gobin wrote from a personal perspective about Jaylen Fryberg after the Marysville Pilchuck High School shootings. His story was the most-read of 2014.