If you’ve forgotten the moments that defined 2017 in our region, we’re here to help recap.
In our top nine most-viewed stories of 2017, the Tri-State watched as parts of Downtown Loveland went up in smoke, the nation said “d'aww” when a dog stepped in to raise the zoo’s tiger cubs and people across the globe held their breath as emergency crews carried Hamilton County native Otto Warmbier off a plane from North Korea. These aren't the most important stories of the year, just the most popular ones.
Here's a countdown of the nine most read WCPO.com stories of 2017 -- based on the number of times they were clicked:
9. Body found in freezer at Molly Malone's Bar
In July, would-be bar patrons were shocked to see a notice on the door of a Pleasant Ridge pub that an employee had died.
A co-worker found the body of Brandon Chandler inside the cooler at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant on Montgomery Road.
The employee found the 20-year-old's body at about 9:43 a.m. on July 31. Chandler had been working the night before, and it didn’t appear he had been locked or trapped inside the cooler, according to Sgt. Michael Bell.
Police said no foul play was involved in Chandler's death, but authorities have not yet released his cause of death.
7. Local business owner accused of importing fentanyl
Authorities arrested the founder of a Norwood translation company in June on federal charges of smuggling fentanyl into the Tri-State.
An undercover agent bought 100 milligrams of fentanyl from “a website on the dark web,” according to an affidavit. Officials later arrested Grace Bosworth, founder of Global 2 Local Language Solutions, and James Halpin.
The May 30 purchase led U.S. Postal inspectors to the Cincinnati address of Bosworth and Halpin, who told investigators that both were daily users of fentanyl, the affidavit said.
Halpin admitted to mailing 30 to 35 parcels that contained 50 to 100mg of fentanyl each. Halpin said Bosworth packaged the parcels, and he mailed them to customers.
5. Police: Woman lied about pregnancy, losing unborn baby in mass shooting
A gender reveal party at a Colerain Township home ended in chaos when two gunman walked through the front door and fired 14 rounds, killing one woman and injuring several others -- including three children.
The party was supposedly in honor of Cheyanne Willis and her unborn child. She was shot in the leg and said she lost the baby.
Investigators said they spent weeks chasing leads, only to find out Willis was never pregnant. Police Chief Mark Denney said it's just one example of how much time investigators have "wasted following leads known to be lies."
The July 8 shooting was one of the area’s worst mass shootings. Autum Garrett, 22, of Huntington, Indiana, was killed. The victims included five other adults and three children, ages 2, 6 and 8. The gunfire also injured a dog.
The investigation is lengthy, Love said, as investigators are still sifting through tens of thousands of text messages, emails and other evidence. Police said they expected multiple arrests, some for the shooting and others coming from related investigations. No arrests have been made at this time.
Superintendent Dr. Anthony Strong said he didn’t want to risk kids looking at the sun while on the school bus home.
Problems with fake glasses sprung up across the country. A South Carolina couple sued Amazon, claiming they had suffered vision impairment, including blurriness and distorted vision, because they didn’t know they had purchased fake glasses.
A week before the eclipse, Amazon sent a notice to customers advising not to use glasses that did not meet ISO 12312-2 standards. The company offered a full refund to anyone who had purchased unsafe glasses.
1. Otto Warmbier rescued from North Korea, dies at hospital
The world watched as officials carried Otto Warmbier off a plane at Lunken Airport after he had been held prisoner in North Korea for nearly 18 months.
The 22-year-old died on June 19, just six days after he was released. He had been unable to speak, see or react to verbal commands since his return to Cincinnati, according to a hospital statement.
"He looked very uncomfortable -- almost anguished," family members said. "Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed -- he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that."
North Korean officials had claimed Warmbier contracted botulism and never woke up after taking a sleeping pill. Doctors in Cincinnati said he showed no signs of botulism when he arrived here, though they couldn't say exactly what caused the cardiac or respiratory arrest that led to his unresponsive condition.