CharlotteObserver.com's top 10 stories of 2013

Here are the most-read news stories on CharlotteObserver.com during 2013, measured by page views. Some of the stories on this list went 'viral' - capturing readers from around the world, sometimes for months after publication. Our top story, about a Good Samaritan killed in an I-77 wreck, was published May 7 and generated 475,297 page views over two days of updates.

1. Good Samaritan, driver killed in wreck overnight on I-77

Antonio Thorpe 34, was killed on I-77 northbound near Westinghouse Boulevard early Tuesday as he tried to pull Charlotte resident Ninh Nguyen, 64, to safety after a wreck.

2. Move is afoot to make government less open

An Observer editorial: Sen. Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw said a mouthful with just 13 words on Tuesday. “I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.”

3. Charlotte’s Emily Maynard on life after ‘The Bachelorette’

It’s been almost a year since ABC revealed Emily Maynard’s engagement to Utah entrepreneur Jef Holm in front of nearly 9 million viewers of “The Bachelorette.”

4. Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick: 16,000-square-foot house is gift from God

Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick told his congregation Sunday that he was sorry for any uncomfortable conversations they may have been forced to have about his controversial new Waxhaw home. This was a follow-up to another heavily read story: Elevation Church pastor building big home in Waxhaw

5. 'Vine-famous,' this 15-year-old has 1.4 million followers online

Nash Grier needed just 12 minutes to win the loyalty of 1.4 million people. A 15-year-old Davidson Day sophomore, he has rocketed to online fame with the Twitter-powered app called Vine, in which users post six-second, looping videos.

6. Heading to Hawaii for dolphin-assisted birth

Last month, Adam Barringer, 29, and his pregnant wife Heather, 27, boarded a plane for Hawaii. The couple traveled over 4,500 miles in the hopes of welcoming baby Bodhi into the world during a dolphin-assisted birth in Pohoa, Hawaii.

7. A special gift from Carolina Panthers' QB Cam Newton

Pat McIntosh knew what her daughter wanted late Tuesday morning. Shelley McIntosh, 33, has been in a wheelchair for nearly all her life and can’t speak due to her cerebral palsy, but she was able to communicate to her mother that she wanted to meet Cam Newton.

8. Gov. Pat McCrory gives his cabinet generous salary hikes

Gov. Pat McCrory gave his cabinet secretaries pay hikes as large as $13,200, far more than anything afforded to typical state employees in recent years. The Republican’s cabinet makes a combined $1.1 million – an 8 percent increase from his Democratic predecessor.

9. Child found handcuffed to porch with dead chicken around his neck

A Union County social worker was one of two adults charged with intentional child abuse Friday after deputies found a child handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck.

10. After nearly 65 years together, couple die hours apart

Eleanor and Frank Turner were born within 26 days of each other in July 1926. They wed 22 years later, starting a marriage that lasted nearly 65 years. So it seemed fitting, relatives said, that the two would ultimately die hours apart from each other.

Top 5 blog posts

1 Inside the Panthers: Clock miscue is latest Panthers-Patriots controversy

The clock operator for the game allowed 4 extra seconds to run off after Ted Ginn Jr. scored the game-winning touchdown with (officially) 59 seconds left in the game.

2 Scott Says ...: Former Panther Jeff Lewis dies at age 39

Former Panther quarterback Jeff Lewis died Jan. 5 in Phoenix at age 39.

3 Scott Says ...: Does Nike even know where Charlotte is?

This T-shirt, since taken down off the Nike website, is geographically challenged. I apologize that the close-up view isn't clearer, but it shows the "NC" letters on a silhouette of South Carolina, along with a Panther logo in the S.C. silhouette.

4 Inside the Panthers: 'Small melee' disrupts Panthers camp

Well into the second full week of camp, the Panthers had their chippiest practice Tuesday morning, when a number of dust-ups led to what coach Ron Rivera described as a “small melee” involving several players during team period

5 Inside the Panthers: Steve Smith has choice words for Rams CB Janoris Jenkin

Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had some choice words for St. Louis cornerback Janoris Jenkins following Carolina's 30-15 win.

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