Happy New Year! I hope everybody enjoyed the holiday season.

This week is a good time to take a look back at some of the top stories in Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake in 2012. I thought it would be interesting to see which stories generated the most traffic on our website, www.fallsnewspress.com, in 2012.

The announcement of the first retailers for Portage Crossing and a same sex couple's effort to get a family membership at the Natatorium were the two most viewed stories last year.

Stark Enterprises is planning to build Portage Crossing on the site of the former State Road Shopping Center. The city purchased the property for $10.2 million in 2008 and demolished it the following year. In April 2012, it was announced that Giant Eagle, Michael Symon's B Spot Restaurant and Chipotle would be among the retailers that would set up shop in the development. The story about that announcement generated the most views on www.fallsnewspress.com.

During the year, Menards was announced as another anchor store at Portage Crossing, but those plans changed later in the year, and now it appears a Cinemark movie theater is interested in operating there. However, Menards is still expected to set up a store in Cuyahoga Falls in the "immediate area," according to Mayor Don Robart.

The first story about an effort by Shane and Coty May to receive a family membership at the Natatorium was the second most-viewed story on the newspaper's website in 2012. The two men were married in Washington, D.C., in October 2011. They each had been individual members at the fitness center, but when they tried to acquire a family membership, a Natatorium spokesperson said they did not qualify for membership as a married couple. The couple started an online petition demanding that the Natatorium allow same-sex married couples to qualify for a family membership. Eventually, the city's Parks and Recreation Board took up the issue, but, in both March and May, the body rejected proposed changes to the Natatorium's rate structure which would have allowed same-sex couples to receive a family discount.

Stories about vehicle accidents and a preview of a visit by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Cuyahoga Falls rounded out the five most viewed stories on www.fallsnewspress.com in 2012.

In April, a car traveling along Richmond Road failed to stop at the Issaquah Road intersection and ended up crashing into a home on Issaquah, according to Falls Police.

Two women -- the 65-year-old driver of the car and a 37-year-old inside the home -- were injured and transported to the hospital. Both women had "incapacitating" injuries, according to the police report. The woman who was sitting inside her home was struck by debris in the crash, the report said.

The 65-year-old woman was cited for failure to control.

The first story about this accident was the third most viewed story on the website this past year.

In July, a Ravenna man was killed when police say he lost control of the dump truck he was driving and rolled it into the Cuyahoga River near the Cuyahoga Falls border. Christopher Burgess, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene after the truck he was driving was pulled out of the river near the intersection of Portage Trail and Akron-Peninsula Road. An investigation determined the truck had "ineffective brakes," said Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards. The initial story on the accident was the website's fourth most viewed story.

In October, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a campaign stop at the Natatorium parking lot. The story previewing the appearance made the No. 5 spot on the most viewed list. City safety officials estimated that 15,000 people gathered in the grandstands and the parking lot area to listen to Romney discuss a five-point plan that he intended to implement if he was elected president.

We will look back at 2012 more in next week's edition. I'd like to invite readers to go to our Facebook page and share their thoughts on the top news stories from the past year in Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake. We will share that feedback and more in the Jan. 13 paper.

Email: pkeren@recordpub.com

Phone number: 330-541-9421