Amelia Powell, who has worked as a bikini barista, is seen here in November 2017 in Seattle. (Rikki King / Herald File)

Amelia Powell, who has worked as a bikini barista, is seen here in November 2017 in Seattle. (Rikki King / Herald File)

The Daily Herald’s most-viewed online stories of 2019

From bikini baristas to pistol permits, the top 10 spans a wide variety of topics.

The most-viewed stories published online by The Herald in 2019 include tales of the lost, the found and the unbelieved, of bikini baristas, a flat Earther and even Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Coming in at number 10 is a Feb. 4 story about arguments before a U.S. appeals court in Seattle on the legality of Everett ordinances regulating dress at coffee stands. The hearing was one of the latest chapters in the ongoing saga between the city and bikini-clad baristas.

A Dec. 1 story about a youth pastor from Marysville being charged with molesting a child for years while she attended his church is the ninth-most-viewed story of 2019. Snohomish County prosecutors charged Kyle Brown, 25, with second-degree child molestation. The alleged abuse occurred between 2011 and 2015, when Brown was a youth pastor at Marysville First Assembly Church, according to charging papers.

At number eight is a column by business contributor Tom Hoban, about a random seat re-assignment on a cross-country flight that placed him next to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

The seventh most-viewed story is a May 1 report of a man reportedly jumping off the 41st Street overpass a little after 12:30 p.m. that day and landing in the middle of southbound I-5.

At number six is a Dec. 7 story about authorities finally identifying a skull found in the woods on the Tulalip Reservation in 2016. Dental records showed the skull belongs to Tyler Sullivan, an expectant father who grew up in north Snohomish County and lived in Tukwila when he went missing in 2013.

A Sept. 23 account of the sudden death of Marysville Olympian Jarred Rome is the fifth-most-viewed story. Friends found Rome dead Sept. 21 at the Tulalip Resort Casino. He’d been in town that week for his induction into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame. Authorities later determined Rome died of a fentanyl overdose.

A Jan. 15 story about a Whidbey Island man who doesn’t believe the Earth is round proved the fourth-most popular. Mark Sargent said he believes the planet is more dinner-plate shaped, with Washington sitting near the middle and Antarctica acting as a frosty rim. And it doesn’t spin, he said.

“The entire Apollo program is a fabrication. NASA was created to keep this thing under wraps,” he told a Herald reporter. “We are living in a structure, a planetarium, a terrarium, a Hollywood back lot, like ‘The Truman Show.’”

Number three is a June 19 story about authorities finding the body of an Everett man who had been missing for eight months. Gavin Johnston, 28, told his father Oct. 17 he was heading to the Pacific Crest Trail for a two-month backpacking trip. His family said he had almost no hiking experience and may have had a mental health crisis. His body was found in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area south of Stevens Pass.

Coming in at number two on the list was a Sept. 10 story that previewed a Netflix series debuting that week about a Lynnwood woman whose story of being raped as a teen in 2008 initially was not believed by authorities. Only later did they realize she was the victim of a serial rapist.

The most viewed story of the year ran Aug. 29 and detailed how getting a concealed pistol license had just gotten a lot easier in Snohomish County. The story noted that the old paper license was being replaced by a plastic card similar to a driver’s license and how the county was one of the first in the state to allow people to apply online for a new concealed pistol license or to renew an old one from home or by cellphone.

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