Top ten WSFA.COM stories of 2008

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The year 2008 is rapidly drawing to a close and it's time to pull the website records to see what everyone's been reading.

We posted thousands of stories on the site in the last year, some funny others tragic or incredible, but all are aimed at giving the community the most up-to-date information so you know what's happening.

Here are the top ten most clicked on stories of 2008:
(Note, these are the top ten STORIES on the site this year. There were numerous categories such as Friday Night Fever that were just as popular. They were not included because they didn't involve a single event as much as they were ongoing segments of the site.)

Number 10 - We start our list with a story that didn't actually happen in the last 365 days, in fact, it didn't happen in 2007 either. But it's a story so shocking that even after being archived folks find it and have to tell their friends.

A 19-year-old Marshall County man decided the best revenge he could give his brother would be to rape his own mother. The two men had been fighting over a girl and when the argument was over Gary Helms, Jr. targeted his drunken mother who was sleeping on a couch.

NUMBER 9 - The ninth most read story on WSFA.COM grabbed everyone's attention for the fact that so many people perished. Early October promised the chance to gain new employment for six recruits. While on their way to a job application with the Department of Corrections the six prospective employees and the driver of the van they were riding in were killed in a horrible crash. Thoughts and prayers from the community poured in to the WSFA 12 News room, and many left their replies on the story.

NUMBER 8 - The eighth biggest story on the website this year followed much the same as number 9; a local student with so much to live for was killed, and his passenger seriously injured, when his car was struck by an 18-wheeler. Devin Mackey, 18, and his passenger Marybeth Sewell, 15, were on their way to class at Marbury High School when the accident happened. Hundreds of people flooded WSFA 12 News with emails wanting to know how they could leave condolences. Those letters of prayer were given to the principal of Devin's school.

NUMBER 7 - Billboards are supposed to catch your attention. That's why they're BIG, and really close to the side of the road. In this story our sister station in Huntsville, WAFF-TV, noticed that a sign promoting Alabama native Helen Keller's birthplace generated a lot of buzz.

NUMBER 6 - Fans of the popular "Rick and Bubba" radio show will easily recall this next story. The show changed tenor from being funny to sad and serious for several weeks at the beginning of the year. Rick Burgess often talked about his little boy, nicknamed Cornbread, on the show. Burgess and the entire "Rick and Bubba" family were comforted by listeners as it was learned little Bronner Burgess drown in the family swimming pool.

NUMBER 5 - Numero cinco caused a large storm on the Plains as Auburn's head coach for a decade moved on. WSFA 12 News wrote numerous stories on Tommy Tuberville's departure, but the following story topped the list. Athletic Director Jay Jacob responded to rumors that Tuberville was forced out of his position.

NUMBER 4 - Nothing gets the WSFA 12 News crew up and moving like a fast moving storm. That storm hit Prattville on a Sunday in mid-February. The community banded together and started working to clean up the aftermath.

NUMBER 3 - One of the biggest stories on WSFA.COM in 2008 didn't even happen in Alabama, but the incredible nature of the story propelled it to the top. A Nebraska high school football player broke his neck during a Friday night game and kept on playing! The story made headlines on WSFA.COM's Odd News page, a section dedicated to interesting stories from around the nation.

NUMBER 2 - The second most popular story on the website came very recently and exploded onto message boards around the country. Unfortunately for us, our source turned out to be wrong. (Yes, we admit we aren't perfect, but we do try!)  During the hunt for a new Auburn football coach a reliable source said it appeared Auburn was leaning towards offering the job to South Carolina's Steve Spurrier. Spurrier flatly denied media reports that he was headed Auburn-way. Auburn offered the job to Gene Chizik and the rest is history!


An up and coming college freshman dies after being found in the street, her car found burning in a nearby lot. Shock waves rolled through the Auburn community and much of the nation as the senseless crime became front page news.

WSFA.COM will continue to cover the stories that matter to you as we move into 2009.