10 most-read stories of 2018 from 13WHAM


    Paige Smith was killed in a crash on June 10, 2018. (Photo: Provided)

    (WHAM) - From weather to crime and many things in between, 2018 was another interesting and intriguing year to read and watch the news in Rochester. Thousands of our viewers read millions of pages of our stories throughout this year.

    Based on data from our website, we have compiled the top 10 most-read stories from 13wham.com.

    As is the case every year, we are surprised at what made the list and what did not make the list. This is not an editor's choice list; this is based entirely on what you, the viewers and readers, have clicked on and read the most from our website.

    Thank you for continuing to choose us as a source of news.


    10. Wicked snowstorm closes section of Thruway in WNY

    In early November, a sudden and furious snowstorm overtook western New York. Snow coming off of Lake Erie at a rate of 1-2" per hour made visibility difficult in the region.

    The weather was so bad that the New York State Thruway Authority made the decision to close beyond Exit 61 at Ripley near the Pennsylvania state line.

    Thankfully, the weather cleared within a couple hours and the Thruway was re-opened.


    9. 5LINX case unfolds

    The fall of three co-founders of a Rochester-based multi-level marketing company got a lot of attention. Craig Jerabeck, Jeb Tyler and Jason Guck were each indicted on multiple federal charges related to wire fraud and tax evasion after being arrested in March 2017.

    All three men pleaded guilty to taking $2.3 million directly from one of the company's vendors while they were still with 5LINX. They also admitted to withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax filings.

    Each of the men was sentenced in December to 14 months in federal prison, restitution to the company stockholders, and repayment of their dodged taxes to the IRS.


    8. Police chase, shootout in N. Goodman St. neighborhood

    A terrifying situation unfolded on the morning of October 10 on the streets of Rochester. Police began to search for a UHaul van after it was spotted near the scene of two separate shootings.

    The search spawned a massive police chase that ended in gunfire between police and the suspect, Terrell Blake. Blake was ultimately killed.

    During that chase, Blake fired out the windows of the U-haul vehicle he was driving, pointing his gun directly at 13WHAM News photographer Will Morgan. A number of other journalists and media professionals were at the scene as well, looking to cover a reported shooting near School No. 25 on N. Goodman Street.

    Investigators determined that three people were shot by Blake at two separate scenes: first at 9:40 a.m. on Post Avenue near Arnett Boulevard where a man and woman were shot. The woman was killed; she is believed to have been Blake's ex-girlfriend.

    Shortly after 10 a.m., police said Blake shot his son near School No. 25. The 20-year-old man survived the shooting.

    A short time later, police spotted Blake in the UHaul van and tried to get him to pull over, but he refused, leading them on a chase through the neighborhood. Eventually he fired shots at police, which were returned by law enforcement. The chase ended on Frances Street near North Goodman Street where Blake crashed the van. He died inside the vehicle.


    7. Judge drops wrongful death lawsuit against Tony Stewart

    A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. against Tony Stewart was dismissed by a judge in September.

    Ward was 20 years old when he was hit and killed by Stewart in 2014 during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

    The lawsuit was filed in 2015 and claimed the crash was caused by recklessness on Stewart's part.


    6. AMBER Alert investigation in Rochester

    On December 3, an AMBER Alert was issued for a teenage girl in Rochester. The report said she was abducted December 1 on LaSalle Street.

    By late afternoon on December 3, the girl was found with 41-year-old Robert Gonzalez in Brooklyn with help from the New York City Police Department and FBI. Gonzalez, who lived down the street in Rochester from the girl and her mother, was arrested and extradited back to Rochester.

    Federal prosecutors said the victim's mother told them messages on her daughter's Facebook account indicated the two were in a sexual relationship.

    Gonzalez was indicted last week on multiple child sex abuse-related charges. He also faces federal child pornography charges for allegedly recording sexually explicit material on his cell phone.

    Gonzalez faces a minimum of 15 years in federal prison if convicted on the child pornography charges.


    5. Trooper shot, killed by Steuben Co. principal

    In the early morning hours of July 2, New York State Trooper Nicholas Clark was shot and killed during a call for a suicidal person.

    Trooper Clark had been called to a home on Welch Road in the town of Erwin, Steuben County. Erwin is located approximately five miles west of Corning. Clark arrived at the house, which was occupied by Steven Kiley. Riley, 43, shot and killed Clark, then shot himself dead, according to police.

    Riley was the K-12 principal for the Bradford Central School District.

    State Police investigators later recovered 12 firearms from RIley's home - all of which was illegally owned. The motive behind the shooting was never released by police.

    Clark was 29 years old.


    4. Hilton HS senior killed in crash; friend arrested

    The tight-knit community of Hilton was rocked by a tragedy just two weeks before the Class of 2018 was set to graduate.

    Paige Smith, an 18-year-old senior at the school, was killed on June 10 in a collision with an SUV at Latta Road near Flynn Road. Smith was a passenger in the car being driven by Brianna Scarpulla, 18. The two cheerleaders were friends and were driving around 6 p.m.

    The 64-year-old woman driving the SUV suffered extensive injuries to her left foot and ankle, which required multiple reconstructive surgeries. She was later released from the hospital.

    In September, Scarpulla turned herself into Greece Police and was arrested on manslaughter and assault charges.

    Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan said Scarpulla was driving approximately 70mph in a 40mph speed zone and said there were "other things going in the car" that led to the manslaughter charge. Beyond that, Phelan would not elaborate.

    A trial date has not yet been scheduled for Scarpulla.


    3. Trevyan Rowe search, death and fallout

    Accountability and failure are at the heart of the story of Trevyan Rowe. The 14-year-old young man with autism was a student at School No. 12 in Rochester. On March 8, Trevyan got on the bus to go to his school. When he arrived, he got off the bus and walked away from his school, despite an aide being stipulated to watch for him.

    Trevyan walked toward the Genesee River and eventually walked onto the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony bridge near South Avenue, where he jumped off and into the river. His body was recovered three days later.

    The New York Attorney General's Office is launching an investigation into the death of Trevyan Rowe, the 14-year-old boy with autism who died in Rochester after walking away unnoticed from his school. (WHAM photo)

    In the time in between Trevyan walking away from the school and his family notifying them that the boy never came home from school, eight hours passed. Police eventually began searching for him around 5 p.m. - nearly 10 hours after Trevyan was last seen on a surveillance camera. Hundreds of volunteers came out to search the area near School No. 12 and parts of the city where he was thought to have been seeking shelter.

    At a news conference on March 13, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren admitted to "adult failures" in the wake of Trevyan's death, suspending six city 911 employees who did not follow protocol after multiple people called 911 to report someone on the bridge where Trevyan was seen. Three of Trevyan's teachers also failed to mark him absent in their classes. Updated and reinforced safety protocols were instituted by both the city and RCSD after internal investigations.

    MORE: Trevyan Rowe's family discusses changes made to RCSD

    Carrie Houston, Trevyan's mother, filed a lawsuit against the City of Rochester in relation to her son's death.


    2. Search for Selena and Owen Hidalgo-Calderon

    On May 16, Wayne County Sheriff's deputies were notified about a missing woman and her 14-month-old son who were last seen on the farm where she worked in Sodus. An AMBER Alert was launched within a few days for Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, 18, and Owen.

    Selena and Owen Hidalgo-Calderon (Photos: NYS AMBER Alert)

    Eight days later, Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts held a news conference to announce the discovery of Selena's body buried under brush and dirt a short distance away from the building where she and her son lived near the farm on Joy Road. Selena's boyfriend, Alberto Reyes, was arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence after investigators said he admitted to moving Selena's body.

    The AMBER Alert continued for several more days until it was cancelled due to a lack of new information on Owen's whereabouts. In October, a search team discovered skeletal remains in a shallow grave that had been recently disturbed by animals. The remains were later identified as Owen.

    During the investigation, Reyes remained in custody at the Wayne County Jail, eventually being charged with multiple federal immigration crimes. He had been deported twice and re-entered the country illegally, prosecutors said, and was also accused of having falsified Social Security and alien residency cards.

    On December 18, he was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of tampering with physical evidence. Sheriff Virts and Wayne County District Attorney Michael Calarco have not disclosed what, if any, new evidence led to the new charges being filed. Reyes is scheduled to return to Wayne County Court in January.


    1. Police: Sweden boy, 7, decapitated by mother

    A disturbing and heartbreaking case captured the attention of the Rochester area in April, leading to its designation as the most read story of 2018.

    On April 5, Hanane Mouhib was arrested and charged in the murder of her seven-year-old son, Abraham Cardenas. Monroe County Sheriff's deputies said they were called multiple times that night to a home on Lake Road in Sweden about a suicidal woman with a knife. When three deputies arrived, they found Mouhib holding a knife. They eventually used pepper spray and a Taser to take her into custody. Once inside the home, they discovered Abraham's body.

    Abraham Cardenas (Photo: Provided)

    Mouhib's husband, his mother and the couple's 10-year-old son were all inside the home at the time.

    Investigators said the 36-year-old woman had been released from Rochester General Hospital after staying at their mental health facility from March 8-26. Rochester Regional Health was investigated by the New York State Department of Health and was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in its assessment and release of Mouhib.

    In August, a judge ruled Mouhib incompetent to stand trial and ordered she return to court in November after a stay at a psychiatric facility in the Utica area. She was later assessed again and is now scheduled to return to Monroe County Court on February 11. Her trial date is scheduled for April 9, 2019.

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