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Readers' Choice: Newsday Westchester's most popular local stories and photo galleries of 2012
Newsday Westchester reporters made their picks for the year's most unforgettable and strange stories, but there's no better way of signifying which stories really sum up the year than by looking at those that were most popular with readers. Below are the most-viewed stories and photo galleries of 2012:
1. Connecticut shooting: Sandy Hook victim Anne Marie Murphy mourned by Katonah parents - Among the 26 lives taken by shooter Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was special-education teacher Anne Marie Murphy, a Katonah native. Murphy's parents' memories of their daughter, who died tragically while trying to protect a group of 6- and 7-year-olds, was Newsday Westchester's most-read story of the year.
Hudson Valley's 10 most shocking stories of 2012
| 80 unforgettable images from 2012
| Newsday Westchester's top 10 stories in 2012
VIDEOS: Residents discuss design for new Tappan Zee | Portofino's recovers from Sandy | Residents remember Playland
MORE: Newsday Westchester's top 10 stories of 2012 | 10 of the strangest local stories of 2012 | Top 10 local celebrity tweets of 2012
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar on 'X Factor': Finale live coverage - From her first audition, 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar of Mamaroneck enthralled "X Factor" viewers and judges alike. Readers followed along as she made it to the final three and our live coverage of her just missing out on the top prize was our second-most popular story of the year.
3. Metro-North, MTA remain closed; service to be phased in - For Hudson Valley commuters, the nightmare was nowhere near over after Hurricane Sandy had passed. The entire Metro-North and MTA system remained at a standstill the following day. Those who needed to make their way to work clamored for updates.
4. Hurricane Sandy: States of emergency declared in NY, NJ, CONN - The weather was the big story of the year in the Sandy-wrecked Hudson Valley, where Westchester and Rockland counties were declared official disaster areas, and more than 150,000 homes and businesses in the region were without power during the week after the storm.
5. Artie Lange on sobriety, Howard Stern and Hudson Valley shows - Former Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange proved as popular as ever with readers, who made this telling interview with the stand-up comic consistently one of the most read articles on Newsday even months after the Rockland County gig Lange was promoting had passed.
6. Rosie O'Donnell's fiancee developed desmoid tumors - When Nyack resident Rosie O'Donnell announced in August that her fiancee Michelle Rounds was diagnosed with desmoid tumors, O'Donnell was not alone in her concern for her partner's health. Readers followed along, expressing their well wishes as Rounds, a SUNY New Paltz grad, battled the rare tumor and later in August when O'Donnell suffered her own health scare in the form of a heart attack.
7. Secession petitions filed for New York, Florida, Texas - Following the re-election of President Barack Obama, many disheartened voters from across the not-so-united nation took their frustration out by signing petitions on the White House's website asking for permission for their state to withdraw from the United States. A secession petition for New York included signatures from Westchester, Rockland, Ulster, Orange, Dutchess and Putnam counties.
8. Hurricane Sandy: Free apps for storm tracking - As Hurricane Sandy approached the region, this handy guide of the best free apps to download to track the storm's progress proved priceless to readers.
9. Mary Kennedy was found dead by AA sponsor: Officials - A family that is no stranger to tragedy suffered another heartache this year when Mary Richardson Kennedy -- estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. -- was found dead at her Bedford estate. In the days that followed, more details emerged about Kennedy's bitter divorce as separate wakes were held by dueling family members, and her body was dug up and transferred to a different burial plot -- unbeknownst to her side of the family.
10. 'America's Got Talent' runner-up Tom Cotter tells all - Rockland County comic Tom Cotter had "America's Got Talent" viewers glued to their sets all season and readers glued to their screens when he opened up to Newsday about his journey from Stony Point resident to a runner-up in the televised contest, after gaining a famous friend in judge Howard Stern.
1. Hurricane Sandy pictures of aftermath in the Hudson Valley - A 150-photo record of Hurricane Sandy's destruction of property and disruption of daily life, and the rebuilding that followed.
2. Sandy hits New York City - A gallery of photos illustrating the devastating impact Hurricane Sandy had on New York City and the surrounding area.
3. 101 movies filmed in Westchester - More than 30 years' worth of movie magic made right here in the Hudson Valley.
4. Celebrities from Westchester and the Hudson Valley - A look at the many major celebrities who have called Westchester County, Rockland County or the Hudson Valley home over the years.
5. Carly Rose Sonenclar - A chronicle of the journey of Carly Rose Sonenclar, the 13-year-old from Mamaroneck who made waves as the runner up on singing competition "The X Factor."
6. 35 things to do in the Hudson Valley before summer ends - A list of 35 must-do activities in the Hudson Valley before Labor Day.
7. 30 things to do this fall in the Hudson Valley - Thirty Fall-tastic ideas for having fun while the leaves change color in the Hudson Valley.
8. Hudson Valley celebs on the scene - A continuously updated gallery of the escapades of celebrities with Hudson Valley ties.
9. Mary Kennedy's funeral, wake - Photos from the funeral service and wake in honor of Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who took her own life in May at her Bedford estate.
10. TV stars from the Hudson Valley - Actors, talk show hosts, comedians and producers who have called the Hudson Valley home.