Tampabay.com's top 10 stories of the year
They included the tale of a feral child rescued by a Florida family, a Truth-O-Meter ruling on Barack Obama's birth certificate and the politics of Sarah Palin. These tampabay.com stories moved you, maybe angered you or stunned you. In any case, they're the stories that the click counters say you -- the tampabay.com readers -- clicked on the most.
Here are tampabay.com's 10 most popular stories of 2008:
1. Girl in the Window: A heart-wrenching tale of a girl neglected since birth. A Plant City police officer rescued a 7-year-old girl -- pale, skeletal and unable to speak -- from a roach-infested home. A Florida family adopts her, hoping to make up for a lifetime of neglect. Tampabay.com readers and bloggers worldwide were captivated by this tale, generating nearly a million page views and more than 1,000 comments.
2. Politifact.com: Obama's birth certificate: Is Barack Obama a secret Muslim? Did his name include Muhammed? Is he truly an American citizen? There may not have been more pressing questions during the presidential election -- at least for our readers. For those still unsure, PolitiFact's extensive research showed his name is Barack Hussein Obama and that he was born in Hawaii.
3. Vote drives defended, despite fake names: The Drudge Report linked to this story nearly as soon as we posted it. Readers must have been anxious to find out what happens when Mickey Mouse tries to register to vote in Florida.
4. One thought pushes fence-sitters to the left: Sarah Palin: HuffingtonPost readers were drawn to this Times report on how Sarah Palin had swayed one group of undecided voters toward Obama.
5. Voter surveys litter I-4 roadside: Highway workers discovered hundreds of papers with voter information on Interstate 4 in Tampa. Readers shared their theories on the source of the littering.
7. Gov. Charlie Crist says he's getting married: Our bachelor governor announces his engagement. Readers chimed in from The Buzz, Drudge, TalkingPointsMemo, Wonkette, TheAtlantic and other political sites to say congrats (and more).
8. Confederate group plans giant flag in Hillsborough: Readers from both sides of the debate had lots to say about this one, posting more than 1,000 comments on this offbeat story.
10. Dade city teen charged in mother's allergic shock: Pasco deputies say the 16-year-old girl spiked her mom's food with an ingredient that she knew could cause a severe allergic reaction. Thanks again to Drudge readers who couldn't resist this one.
Hey, we didn't pick 'em! You did!