The election. A feel-good obituary. A tragic murder-suicide. Mormons and caffeine. A BYU student’s ‘inappropriate’ attire. Elizabeth Smart’s next chapter. This year’s most popular stories on sltrib.com are as diverse as our readers; serious, sentimental, heartbreaking, uplifting, and sometimes just silly.
From our editorial board’s endorsement of Barack Obama to Elizabeth Smart’s engagement, here are the most popular 11 stories from sltrib.com in 2012:
1. Obama endorsement: Too Many Mitts
The Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board endorses President Barack Obama over Mormon and 2002 Olympic honcho Mitt Romney. Few Utahns were surprised, but the rest of the world was shocked. Snopes even had to reassure skeptics that yes, it was indeed true.
2. Val Patterson’s obituary
Val “Rocky” Patterson’s candid and funny self-written obituary struck a chord with readers worldwide, most of whom had never met him. The 59-year-old was diagnosed with throat cancer in the fall of 2011 and began working on the obit then, finishing it about a month before his July, 2012, death.
3. Father is ready to turn page on Utah adoption horror story
When Terry Achane took a new post with the U.S. Army away from his Texas home, his wife said she felt abandoned and put his baby up for adoption in Utah days later. Archane discovered what happened, and a lengthy and complicated legal battle ensued.
4. Josh Powell left voicemail before killing self, sons
The long, strange story of Josh Powell got even stranger as horrific details continued to emerge in the days after he set off an explosion that killed him and his young sons. This story, about messages he left and the 911 call placed by a social worker, prompted speculation about whether something could have been done to prevent the tragedy.
5. OK, Mormons, drink up - Coke and Pepsi are OK
After years of confusion, the LDS Church posts a statement clarifying that caffeinated sodas are not off-limits to Mormons, and that the faith’s health code reference to “hot drinks” does not go beyond tea and coffee. No word yet whether Mountain Dew sales are up in Utah.
6. Josh Powell’s last act ‘just evil,’ West Valley police chief says
7. Despite tea party PACs, Hatch cruises to easy win over Liljenquist
8. FBI: most wanted fugitive hiding among Mormons?
9. BYU student scolded for her attire in Valentine’s note
10. Mormon group quits LDS Church en masse
11. Elizabeth Smart gets engaged
Top blog posts
We post a lot of news on our blogs, as evidenced by the preponderance of political and religious items on our list this year. But we also have fun with reality television and baffling BYU wardrobe chastisements. Here, our top 11 blog entries from Salt Lake Tribune bloggers in 2012:
1. BYU student scolded for her attire in Valentine’s note
When Brittany Molina was handed a note on BYU’s Provo campus last Valentine’s Day, she was bemused to discover it was an admonishment of her choice of clothing. So much so, she shared the note, and a photo of her modest attire, on Twitter, sparking an outpouring of support and near-manhunt for the note-giver.
2. Mormon women plan ‘Wear Pants to Church Day’
A group of Mormon feminists declared December 16 as “Wear Pants to Church Day” and called for others to join in, attracting a level of local media attention and public reaction they likely never anticipated.
3. LDS apostle tells Mormons: Stock up on food, not ammo
After a surge in doomsday preparation this fall, an LDS apostle reminded church members that their prepartion program is about storing food and water, not arms and ammunition.
4. GOP big-whigs suggest Romney quietly go away
After the presidential election, Mitt Romney blamed his loss on gifts Obama gave minorities and young voters, prompting Republican party leaders to somewhat dramatically and publicly break ties.
5. Next time Mormons pay tithing, they may notice something new
A small change in a form LDS church members use to pay tithing and other donations got a lot of attention because of this blog item. The new forms allow Mormons to check a box to designate more specifically where their money should go, though the church makes no guarantees it will actually be used that way.
6. Utes to unveil new helmets
7. Trump’s Obama announcement falls flat
8. Jef Holm moving for ‘Bachelorette’ Emily Maynard
9. Lesbian couple selling birthplace of Mormon prophet
10. Picture is worth a thousand slurs? Magazine cover riles Mormons
11. Romney quotes Book of Mormon in speech