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Connect with's top 10 stories of 2009




A look at's most viewed stories in 2009 shows that our readers were drawn to breaking news, the St. Petersburg Times' investigative work, as well as sweet features (think chocolate brown Lab in a BP shirt). Other stories may have piqued your interest due to their bizarre nature, see Man arrested for tossing jellyfish on Madeira Beach.

We'd like your feedback: Take a look at the list, then tell us which story best symbolizes the year in Tampa Bay.

1. FBI outlines retooled scams designed to prey upon people's trust and greed: The FBI generated a list of the latest scams and ways people can protect against becoming victims.

2. Stranger with a metal detector recovers wedding ring of a couple married 68 years: A story about a Port Richey couple and the man who came to their rescue touches hearts.

3. The Truth Rundown: High-ranking defectors provide an unprecedented inside look at the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige.

4. Terrorism that's personal: Photos of disfigured women show the effects of acid attacks on 12 women in the Middle East.

5. Dog in a BP shirt greets customers at BP store: Cody, a happy chocolate Labrador retriever, worked alongside his owner at a Clearwater BP. (The state health inspector later banned Cody from the store.)

6. Associated Press says photo of Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard shows realities of war: A photo shows Bernard being tended to by fellow U.S. Marines after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade during a firefight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Readers posted 1,896 comments on the Times story, most outraged about the photo's publication on

7. Jellyfish tossing helps land Madeira Beach man in jail: A 41-year-old man who witnesses said started drinking at 9 a.m. was arrested after authorities say he created a disturbance by pretending to drown and throwing jellyfish on teenagers.

8. Billy Mays found dead in Tampa home: The TV pitchman whose trademark voice helped sell everything from cleaning supplies to baking soda was found dead by his wife at his Tampa home on June 28.

9. Coast Guard finds one man clinging to boat: Nick Schuyler, 24, of Tampa, was found perched atop an overturned boat about 38 miles west of Tampa Bay. Three of Schuyler's friends -- former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith and former University of South player Will Bleakley -- all drowned.

10. Marine reservist attacked Greek priest he mistook for terrorist: Father Alexios Marakis was beaten with a tire iron, chased for three blocks and pinned to the ground after asking a man for directions in a Tampa parking lot.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 4:01pm]


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