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Most-Read Stories of the Year on West Deptford Patch

Count down with us as we look at the 10 stories of 2012 that captured West Deptford Patch readers' attention.

With the year coming to a close, we’re taking a look back at the most-read stories in 2012 on West Deptford Patch.

Looking at the top 10, it’s clear crime matters to West Deptford residents—with some politics, burgers and, of course, Eagle Point refinery updates thrown in.

Here are the most-read stories on West Deptford Patch in 2012:

10. Red Robin Ready to Sizzle at Deptford Mall

Say it with us: “Red Robin … yuuuum.” Readers couldn’t get enough of the news that Red Robin would open its first area restaurant soon at the Deptford Mall. You’ll have to wait until 2013 to get those burgers, however. Originally published July 28

9. DeHart Bus Driver Allegedly Bullied 7-Year-Old Oakview Student

West Deptford parents alleged a school bus driver bullied their son for three weeks. The bullying included taunting, they said, and led to an investigation under New Jersey’s anti-bullying law. Originally published May 3

8. DEP: Major Leak at Paulsboro Refinery Poses No Health Threat

After 6.6 million gallons of oil spilled at a nearby refinery, residents were somewhat relieved to learn the spill was contained to the facility. Less of a relief was the awful odor, which eventually reached Maryland, that hung in the air post-spill. Originally published Feb. 23

7. Sunoco Demolishing Eagle Point Refinery

If it seems like a long time ago that this news came out, it’s probably because so much has happened with Eagle Point in the meantime. This February report details plans to tear down the refinery. Since then, the committee settled a tax dispute with Sunoco, which prompted state Senate President Steve Sweeney to sue West Deptford. We don’t anticipate a much quieter 2013… Originally published Feb. 16

6. UPDATE: Paulsboro Train Derailment Causes Hazmat Emergency

Our first report after the Paulsboro train derailment shot up in popularity. The Conrail train released toxic chemicals into the air and some West Deptford residents are concerned, though tests have come back normal so far. Originally published Nov. 30

5. Prosecutor: Teen Brothers Strangled Autumn Pasquale

The horrifying case of Autumn Pasquale’s death captured readers’ attention. The 12-year-old Clayton girl disappeared while riding her bike. Her body was found several days later and police say two brothers, neighbors of Pasquale, strangled her. A judge recently denied the media access to their juvenile hearings, though prosecutors will seek to have them tried as adults. Originally published Oct. 23

4. West Deptford Official Charged with Lewdness

The chairman of West Deptford’s planning board, Scott Kintzing, was allegedly naked outside of a school. He told police he was changing after a basketball game at the school. Kintzing will have to answer to a lewdness charge in the new year. Originally published Nov. 19

3. Brian Mertz Found Guilty of Murdering Jennifer Whipkey in West Deptford

Jennifer Whipkey's family waited more than a decade for justice. They got it in October when her killer, Brian Mertz, was found guilty of fatally stabbing her in 2002. Mertz dumped the 22-year-old Whipkey’s body in West Deptford. His sentencing is scheduled for a few days from now. Originally published Oct. 25

2. Dewaine Thornton Arrested in 1992 Unsolved Rape

DNA evidence helped crack a 20-year-old cold case, police say. Dewaine Thorton didn’t go quietly with police, but was ultimately arrested and jailed on rape charges. Police say he later confessed to the crime. In October, he was indicted on related charges. Originally published April 18


This story—by far the most read this year—came a day after the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT, because of a heartbreaking local connection. Among the victims was Mary Sherlach, the Sandy Hook Elementary School psychologist who ran toward the gunman in an attempt to stop him. Sherlach’s daughter and son-in-law live in Deptford. Originally published Dec. 15

Thanks for joining West Deptford Patch in 2012. We have exciting things coming to the site in 2013. Don’t forget you can always reach us at westdeptford@patch.com. Your story could be on the next most-read list.

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