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Stories that got Charlotte area clicking in 2010

By David Enna
denna@charlotteobserver.com

Here are the most-read news stories on CharlotteObserver.com during 2010, measured by page views. Stories on this list typically went 'viral' - capturing readers from around the world, sometimes for months after publication. Some were featured on aggregation sites like DrudgeReport.com and Fark.com. Some got thousands of 'likes' and 'shares' on Facebook.com.

Our top story - about a Brixx waitress who lost her job after posting a complaint on Facebook - has generated 413,458 page views through Dec. 30. It was published May 17 and yet still sometimes pops up in our daily top 10 lists seven months later. It shows the power of the Internet to create a buzz.

1. Facebook post costs waitress her job
Ashley Johnson had a good job making good money as a waitress at Brixx Pizza on Sixth Street in uptown Charlotte. But that changed about a week ago ...

2. Report: Woman eating pig's feet in bed cuts friend
A woman who was eating pig’s feet in bed accidentally cut her friend in the arm, police say. The 52-year-old Rock Hill woman told police she accidentally cut a friend in the forearm with a knife ...

3. Missing woman's body found; murder warrant issued
The body of Valerie Hamilton, the 23-year-old daughter of Concord's police chief, was found Saturday night in a storage unit on Monroe Road in southeast Charlotte, police say. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have issued a murder warrant for 34-year-old Michael Neal Harvey ...

4. Robbery suspects shot dead by east Charlotte Pizza Hut employee
A pizza deliveryman who shot two would-be robbers to death in east Charlotte said Tuesday that he didn’t draw his concealed pistol until the last possible second, when he thought he would be killed. ...

5. Cleveland County man reports encounter with Bigfoot
He was 10 feet tall, with a long beard and yellowish-blond hair, Tim Peeler says. And in the early-morning hours of June 5, Peeler told authorities, the creature – a Cleveland County version of Bigfoot – wandered onto Peeler’s property in the rural northwest part of the county. (with video)

6. Charlotte to DNC: We're the 'new American city'
Leaders of Charlotte's bid to win the 2012 Democratic national convention wrapped up meetings with party officials Wednesday, promising they can deliver the millions of dollars needed to host the event.

7. Verizon iPhone could be announced next month
The agonizing months of rumors that have teased consumers waiting for Apple's iPhone to join Verizon may soon come to a close. Moves from AT&T and Verizon suggest the first quarter of 2011, which is broad, but at the least an announcement could come in the first week of January 2011.

8. Mark Mathis out at Fox Charlotte
Mark Mathis, whose wacky weatherman act early in the decade energized newscasts and is still in reruns on YouTube, was abruptly fired this week from WCCB (Fox Charlotte, Channel 18).

9. Murder suspect arrested in Niagara Falls
The man sought by police in connection with the murder of Valerie Hamilton is in a New York jail after being arrested Monday morning while sleeping on a couch at a friend's house in Niagara Falls, authorities say.

10. Violated by TSA at Tampa airport
On Dec. 3, my friend and I flew back to Charlotte from Tampa, where my friend had been to see a medical specialist. At the Tampa airport, we were both randomly selected to go through the full-body scanner. Going through the scanner was uncomfortable and a bit creepy, but I didn't think it was a big deal until I tried to leave the scanner.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

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