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Top 10 Stories on McLean Patch in 2012

A look back at the most widely read stories on the website.

Top 10 Stories on McLean Patch in 2012 Top 10 Stories on McLean Patch in 2012 Top 10 Stories on McLean Patch in 2012

A lot happened in McLean in 2012. Lucky for you, McLean Patch has rounded up the most popular local stories of the year in one convenient place.

Some of them are exciting, happy stories. Others are tradegies. They are all part of 2012.

Happy New Year. We look forward to reporting the news and connecting with you all in 2013.

10. "College Student from McLean Found Dead in Syracuse U. Dormitory"

  • A college student from McLean was found dead on March 24 in a Syracuse University dormitory room.
  • Courtenay Nash was a first year student in the College of Arts & Sciences, majoring in economics.
  • McLean Patch also covered Nash's funeral service.

9. "Funeral Services Today for McLean Fire Haz Mat Technician"

  • Technician Mark Baban, president of the Asian Association of Firefighters and a member of the McLean Fire Station, died on Jan. 30. His funeral service was held on Feb. 3.
  • Baban, 51, was found dead at his home in Chantilly.
  • Baban will also be remember as a avid piper. "His pipes have been played in funerals, schools, firehouses, musical shows and other events. He  enjoys  sharing the world of piping whenever he gets a chance. His passion led to opening up a business that would be a service to pipers and drummers...he definitely has made a lot of friends through piping."

8. "Space Shuttle Discovery Lands Today at Dulles- Full Schedule of Welcome Events"

  • Did you see the space shuttle Discovery fly over McLean and Washington on April 17? 
  • The shuttle looped over the metro region several times on the back of a modified 747 before reaching its final destination in Dulles at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, where it is now on permanent display.

7. Chipotle Restaurant To Open in Downtown McLean

  • McLean apparently loves burritos—a lot.
  • The chain restaurant officially opened at the end of November in the space formerly occupied by by Mae's Dress Boutique, which closed in March.

6. "Five Juveniles Arrested for Public Drunkenness Following Friday's McLean-Langley Game"

  • Fairfax County police arrested five juveniles in McLean and charged them with public drunkenness during a series of disturbances involving hundreds of students from McLean and Langley following their crosstown game on Feb. 11. The worst incidents occurred at the downtown McDonald's.
  • “We were outnumbered tremendously. We had three officers available  and  the crowd was being unruly. It was unsafe situation” for the community, Capt. Daniel Janickey, commander of the McLean Police District, said the following week.
  • The names of the students were not released because they were minors.

5. "

  • Alan J. Dabbiere, a McLean resident who is prominent in three businesses, paid $8.2 million for Hickory Hill, one of America's best known addresses—and certainly the most famous home in McLean. The house is currently undergoing renovation.
  • Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy first owned it. Then Jack and Jackie Kennedy moved in. They didn't stay very long. Then Bobby and Ethel Kennedy moved in and raised their 11 children. The address became legendary for its parties, its owners and its family. (Ethel Kennedy talks about those legendary parties in a documentary released by HBO this past October.)

4. "

  • Before June 29, virtually no one in McLean or Northern Virginia even knew what a derecho was. But after the deadly storm swept through the region, hundreds of thousands were left without power during one of the hottest weeks of the year.
  • It took up to five days to restore power in some parts of the community. Even the local McLean police precinct was in the dark.

3. "Police Respond to Fatal Crash on Lewinsville Road"

  • McLean resident Cheri Cusumano lost control of her minivan and hit a tree on Lewinsville Road on Sept. 18.
  • The minivan caught fire. Police found Cusumano "trapped inside the charred vehicle," according to a police report.
  • "She was one of the most positive and caring people I have ever met," said Greg Scarbo, a lifelong friend who grew up with Cusumano in Oak Hill, WV. "She loved to laugh and always showed sincerity and kindness to others. Everybody loved Cheri no matter where she went or who she was with. She was a special person".
  • Cusumano is survived by her husband Joseph and three children, Michael, John and Laura.

2. "Election 2012: Virginia Constitutional Amendments"

  • While the country was busy electing a president, Virginians were also contemplating two amendments to the Commonwealth's constitution.
  • The first amendment, known as Question 1, prohibits local governments from using eminent domain for economic development and job creation. Instead, the seizure of private land would be strictly for public use, such as parks and school buildings. The amendment also requires full compensation of the owner.
  • The second amendment allows the General Assembly to delay its veto session by up to one week in order for the session to avoid interfering with events such as religious holidays.
  • Both amendments passed. (You can look up how your local McLean precinct voted on these issues and other state and local offices.)

1. "Republican Presidential Candidate Takes Out Series of Mortgages on $2M Great Falls Home"

  • A search of land records for the $2 million Great Falls home of Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Richard Santorum turns up a series of mortgages that at times equaled and exceeded the sales price of the property.
  • The two-story brick house, north of the village of Great Falls, was built in 1977. It has four bedrooms, four baths, a swimming pool and sits back from the road in a serene setting.
  • This article was published on Jan. 18, months before Santorum conceded the Republican nomination for president.

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