People may say they prefer to read happy news, but the numbers don't lie. Stories about crime, tragic death and violence were the most-read on Union City Patch in 2012.
Here's a recap of the biggest news of the year, judged by how many people clicked through to read the stories.
- Student Wounded in Shooting Near Logan; School No Longer on Lockdown (April 24): A 15-year-old James Logan High School student was critically wounded in a shooting near the campus on April 24. The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution, and students and staff were advised to take refuge inside of classrooms. The victim recovered but the shooter was never located.
- (Feb. 22): Churchgoers were stunned the morning of Feb. 22 as they arrived for Ash Wednesday mass at St. Anne's Catholic Church. A vandal had struck overnight, knocking over a cross on the church's front lawn, spray painting over the faces of the Holy Family statues and writing satanic messages. The culprits were never caught.
- Missing Logan Teacher Found Dead (Oct. 12): The body of veteran James Logan High School teacher Christopher Ryan was found at the bottom of a ravine in San Mateo County. Ryan, 54, of Redwood City, was reported missing two days prior and was believed to be at-risk after his car was located nearby with his medication and cell phone inside. However, it was later announced that he died of natural causes.
- Six Charged with 2007 Murder of 14-Year-Old at Barnard-White Middle School (April 5): After more than four years, local authorities made a breakthrough in the shooting death of 14-year-old Vernon Eddins, who was slain in front of Barnard-White Middle School on Dec. 21, 2007. Six men were arrested and charged with murder for the benefit of a street gang: Robert Yim, who was also arrested and charged with the 2010 murder of 17-year-old Samuel Nava III in Hayward, Eric Anthony Camacho, Jovencio Luis Camacho, Richard Antonio Corona, Alexis Alfonso Pamiroyan and Derek Justin Rodriguez. The case is still ongoing and all are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11, according to online court records.
- Business Owners Devastated by Strip Mall Fire (Oct. 10): A four-alarm fire destroyed about seven independent businesses — including a beauty salon, a travel agency and multiple restaurants — at the Alvarado Place Shopping Center, leaving many business owners devastated. The wreckage remains in place and the investigation continues as the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.
- Letter to the Editor: "Reclaim Your Schools" (June 13): Logan band instructor Ken Karlin sent in this controversial letter alleging that the New Haven Unified School District used Measure H as "a political ploy."
- (April 2): A tragic shooting spree at an Oakland’s Oikos University claimed the lives of seven women, among them 23-year-old Grace Kim of Union City and 21-year-old Lydia Sim of Hayward, who graduated from James Logan High School. The shooter, One Goh, was arrested the same day and remains in custody. His criminal case has been delayed in order for Goh to receive a mental evaluation.
- Remembering Zoe Inciong (July 6): After a long bout with a rare bone cancer, inspirational 16-year-old Zoe Inciong succumbed to her illness during the early hours of July 5. Zoe's courage, strength and perseverance touched the lives of many.
- Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run ‘Loved by Community’ (Jan. 25): Henry Rodriguez, Jr., a 40-year-old mentally disabled Union City resident, was killed in a hit-and-run accident the morning of Jan. 22. Rodriquez, who helped out at La Bakery Mejor, was well known in the community and described as a fun-loving man with a young heart. Friends shared their memories of Rodriguez with Union City Patch in this article, which itself turned into an online memorial as readers left comments in tribute to Rodriguez.
- Flea Market Reality TV Show Not So Real After All? (May 23): It sounded too good to be true, and it was. A Bay Area resident claiming to be a reality show producer set his sights on James Logan High School for a new TV pilot “Flea Market Wars,” which he said was going to air on a major network. The initial story gained heavy traction in Union City and got the town buzzing with excitement. But after a few runs as a weekly flea market, the school district pulled the plug and a further investigation by Union City Patch revealed that many of the claims made by the “producer” were untrue (including the spelling of his name, which matched that of a convicted scammer).
What were other big news stories this year in Union City? Which Union City Patch story was your favorite? What would you like to see more of in 2013? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.