Long Beach had quite the year in 2015. And the Post was there to cover it all—from a woman being detained for a sign threatening a water gun fight, to intriguing artist profiles and chilling crime.
As a sendoff to 2015, the year many of our current staff began working for the Post, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular stories of the year. Read on, and drink up that bubbly. Here’s to you, 2015.
Top 10 Most Popular Stories of 2015
In March, Mayor Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and DDR Corp., the Ohio-based operator of the rebranded Pike Outlets, announced that Nike and Forever 21 will be joining H&M and an expanded Restoration Hardware outlet at the South Pine shopping center. The move was a precursor to the successful opening of the stores later in the year, openings that elected officials praised and that many saw as the sign of a new era for The Pike Outlets.
Lab Holding, LLC, the innovative company behind The Lab Anti-Mall, the CAMP, the SoBeCa Arts District in Costa Mesa and the Anaheim Packing District made offers on nine of the 12 properties in the Eighth District that were owned by the City of Long Beach’s former Redevelopment Agency, Asia Morris reported in June. All 12 “for sale” properties have received offers from prospective buyers, according to an announcement from Councilmember Al Austin.
An article that went viral along with its accompanying video, occurring last August and involving a man running around naked, claiming to be Jesus Christ. Officers responded to the Cedar Towers apartment building at about 3:00AM on Wednesday, August 26, on the 300 block of Cedar Avenue to calls of a screaming man and glass breaking in the complex’s courtyard, Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokeswoman Marlene Arrona said.
Last month, a 17-year-old Long Beach girl was missing for over a week after she left school without permission, according to authorities. Stephanie Rivera wrote about the disappearance of Brandy Moore, who was last seen at Millikan High School on Monday, November 16, before she cut classes, according to a missing person bulletin released by the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD). She remains missing.
A Long Beach gang member was sentenced to 173 years to life in state prison in June for one murder and four attempted murders, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 25, was convicted February 27 of one count of second-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder, with jurors also finding true a gang allegation, officials announced in a release issued Tuesday. His sentencing involved the 21-year-old Carson High grad and University of Ohio football player Ken McRoyal.
The crime that chilled a neighborhood: In early December, a couple was attacked on St. Joseph Avenue in Belmont Shore after leaving a restaurant on Second Street, leaving one victim with a punctured lung, according to Long Beach police and a close friend of the victims. The altercation ended when a witness intervened and the suspects ran away, the LBPD stated. In a later story, the couple recapped the events: “It’s pretty nuts—you wouldn’t think something like that would happen,” said J.W., a member of the couple. “Belmont Shore, with its restaurants and shops… It’s usually deemed pretty safe. But there are spots throughout Long Beach where people are getting beaten up and robbed.”
Last month, a process that had been trudging on for close to two decades seemed to be inching closer toward a resolution, as Mayor Robert Garcia confirmed. He announced after a meeting with Brigadier Gen. Mark Toy that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has agreed to commence with a feasibility study concerning the future of the Long Beach Breakwater. Dubbed the East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study, it is projected to begin in early 2016 and last about three years. The cost of the study is estimated to be around $3 million.
The power outages last summer were certainly occasions to remember, affecting over 30,000 people at their peak and incurring the wrath of Mayor Garcia and various Long Beach elected officials toward Southern California Edison (SCE). While a report blamed the power outages on a lack of oversight that caused the cable failures triggering the outages, nobody claimed to know the exact cause in July. Our most-read article during the time was released in the midst of the first outage, on its second day, when 2,700 people remained without power. They would stay in the dark for at least two more days.
In June, we featured artist Audrey Kawasaki, a fresh face on the mural scene, who finished her installation at the LBMA that month. A piece by our resident art aficionado Asa Morris explored her third time painting a large-scale piece, and she said she’s still learning, in an in-depth Q&A.
And you’d thought you’d seen it all: In August, Long Beach resident Tammy Hall learned that when posted on a street sign, two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen can amount to several hours of police detention, after a passerby reported a threat warning of an imminent “dihydrogen monoxide” attack. Technically a water fight, Hall was detained for over two and a half hours while police investigated the neighborhood Hall lived in. While rare, Hall’s experience isn’t the only case of a severe reaction to the term “dihydrogen monoxide,” as Post writer Jason Ruiz reported on September 16.