Renton Reporter’s top stories for 2018

Renton Reporter wishes everyone a happy 2019!

We hope you have enjoyed 2018 with us — we transitioned to a new reporter halfway through the year and just recently moved into a new office.

We hope you stick around for many years to come. You are more than welcome to share with us what you want to see more or less of — email our editor Sarah Brenden at sbrenden@rentonreporter.com or reach her by phone at 425-336-4959.

As we say good bye to 2018 and enter the new year, we look back on some of the articles that folks buzzed about the most.

Through analytics, we’ve narrowed down the top eight most-read stories in Renton. So here’s what you, the readers, looked at most in 2018.

8. Married couple booked into King County jail for killing

In September, the King County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a married couple was arrested for the slaying of a 67-year-old unincorporated Renton man in his home. The victim was found deceased in a shed on his property, the husband and wife allegedly burglarized his house and then set his car on fire.

7. Sonic Drive-in now open in Renton

Over the summer, Rainier Avenue got a long-awaited new fast food joint, the Sonic in the Walmart parking lot, and readers were excited to hear the news.

6. City moves forward with Sunset area plans

Renton folks wondering what was happening to the Hi-Lands Shopping Center learned that the area would be remodeled into a mixed use property, with shopping, 670 residential units including 152 townhomes, a daycare, and two new public streets. It was part of many projects in the Sunset area the city continued work on in 2018.

5. Robert Morrison enters guilty plea to all charges

The former martial arts studio owner, Robert Morrison, pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to five separate counts.

He pleaded guilty to three felony counts of rape of a child, one felony county of communication with a minor for immoral purposes and a gross misdemeanor count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

His plea came less than a month before his trial was scheduled to begin.

Then Oct. 25 during Morrison’s sentencing hearing, he was sentenced to 60 months for each of the four felony counts to run concurrently. If he is released prior to the five years in prison, he will serve up to 36 months probation.

He was sentenced to a suspended 364 days for 24 months for the gross misdemeanor.

4. 21 year old charged in death of Renton man

A recent December story made it to the top eight most-read articles. An altercation at a Renton apartment complex turned deadly as Cristian A. Magana-Arevalo was charged in the shooting and killing of Jason Philip-David Hobbs Jr. Police believe Magana-Arevalo’s motive for killing Hobbs was because he believed Hobbs was involved in a prior shooting that targeted Magana-Arevalo’s family. People who knew Hobbs have shared the story and mourned his loss.

3. New red-light safety cameras come to three Renton intersections

In May the city installed three new red light cameras at main intersections: Park Avenue North and Logan Avenue North, Talbot Road South and South Grady Way, and Talbot Road South and South Puget Drive. The city offered a 30-day grace period and now $124 citations are issued to drivers running red at those intersections.

2. New sonic restaurant coming to Hardie Avenue

This story from 2016 popped back up in the radar of readers, and became the second most-read story in 2018. The views came from folks in Renton wondering why, two years later, they had yet to receive a Sonic restaurant. The building was redesigned by developers to match certain city standards before it opened in summer 2018, which may have added to the delay.

1. Local teen makes it on ‘The Voice Kids’ in Germany

In March, a 13-year-old Maple Valley kid had a chance to win a $20,000 record deal when he landed a spot on “The Voice Kids” in Germany. Recruiters for the show reached out to Benicio “Beni” Bryant after watching his YouTube channel. Bryant ended up getting second place on the show, and next summer he will head back to Germany to record with one of the coaches from the show.

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