Year in review: Top stories of 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – There have been several moments in 2011 that have grabbed the attention of our WECT viewers.  From natural disasters to fatal accidents, the reports drew you in.

In an effort to see what piqued our viewer's interest this year, we checked our resources to determine the top 15 stories on WECT according to web hits.

2011 top stories on

15 – Explosion at Sutton Plant takes life of one employee
An employee of the Sutton Plant in Wilmington was killed in March during an explosion.  Cory Rogers, 24, was performing routine maintenance on one of three coal fire steam units when it exploded.

14 – Powerful winter storm headed our way
Snow covered the eastern part of North Carolina in January causing transportation concerns, school closings and power outages.

13 – Mother: 'Jasmine was picked on'
Authorities say 10-year-old Jasmine McClain hanged herself in November.  Her mother said she was picked on before her death.

12 – Teen was hunting when accidentally shot to death
David Purifoy, 14, was accidentally shot to death in February while hunting squirrels after school in the Ash area.  David was talking on his cell phone in a tree stand when the gun fired.  A bullet struck David and he fell out of the tree.

11 – Family of four killed in car accident
Four people died in an accident involving a school bus in the Supply area in March.  Neighbors said both parents had lost their jobs, and the family was going through a tough time.

10 – NWS: Tornado tossed umbrellas, caused minor damage in CB
A tornado touched down in Carolina Beach in August leaving behind minor damage.

9 – Father, son killed after crash on River Road
Ronald Doolittle and his son Trey were hit on River Road in April while riding their bicycles.  They were both killed in the accident.

8 – Funeral held for baby killed in dog attack
9-day-old Addyson Paige Camerino was killed in Clarkton after a dog attack at her home.  There were five dogs in the home at the time, with one or more of the dogs attacking her.

7 – Holly Shelter fire 20 percent contained
A wildfire burned more than 21,000 acres in the Holly Shelter gamelands in June.  Officials believe it sparked from a lightning strike.

6 – What is causing the booms?
Something is shaking the southeast and has been for quite some time, but where do they come from?

5 – Terminally ill woman fights for custody of her children
A terminally ill woman fought for custody of her children this summer.  An official document shows social workers found the woman's terminal medical condition impacted her ability to take care of her kids.

4 – Sign smashed after peaceful protest
A man smashed a sign at Sea Gate Community Chapel after Wilmington Pride protested the sign's message. The damage happened well after the protest was broken up by police.

3 – Great White Shark spotted off Wrightsville Beach
Matt Garrett, who is visiting from Boston, and some of his friends were on a routine fishing trip, just 25 miles from the coast of Wrightsville Beach when they spotted a Great White Shark.

2 – Crowd gathers for K-9 memorial service
A memorial service was held in July for a K-9 companion with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.  Viper was killed after encountering a large amount of cocaine during a drug raid.

1 – Hurricane Irene leaves the east coast
Hurricane Irene dumped heavy rain and wind on the Carolinas in August leaving behind damage, flooding and widespread power outages.

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