DOYLESTOWN, PA — With 2020 coming to a merciful close, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back at the most read stories by our Doylestown Patch readers this year.
Whether it was the COVID-19 pandemic forcing non-essential businesses to close, a dueling Trump parade and women's march in Doylestown or a senseless fatal shooting in Nockamixon State Park, a variety of stories caught our readers' attention this year.
Without further ado, here are the most read stories on Doylestown Patch in 2020:
It should come as no surprise that some of the most read stories this year were related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing shutdowns of schools, bars, restaurants, gyms and retail stores across Pennsylvania. On March 19, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to close by 8 p.m. At the time, the state had only 185 cases of coronavirus and one confirmed death. As of Tuesday, there have been 631,333 total cases and 15,672 deaths, according to state data.
The "Lost Boys of Bucks County," a true crime special exploring the gruesome 2017 Cosmo DiNardo murder spree, aired on Investigation Discovery on June 22. DiNardo's family owned the farm where the bodies of four men, who all went missing within days of each other, were buried. In confession tapes, DiNardo admitted to the killings. He is serving consecutive life sentences for the murders. MORE
In November, the Robbins Companies submitted plans for 200 upscale apartments and a parking garage in the Doylestown Shopping Center to the Doylestown Borough Zoning and Planning Committee. Some residents reacted harshly to the proposal, calling it another sign of overdevelopment in the borough. The project is still awaiting approval from borough planners. MORE
High winds and heavy rain caused extensive damage to the Children's Village at Doylestown Hospital on Aug. 4. Hospital employees and local first responders were able to safely move all children and teachers out of harm's way. The children were later transported to Lenape Middle School to be reunited with their families. MORE
Eighteen-year-old Jason Kutt, of Sellersville, was watching the sunset with his girlfriend at Nockamixon State Park on Saturday, Oct. 24, when he was shot once in the back of the head. Moments later, his girlfriend saw a man in an orange vest standing about 550 feet away look in their direction before leaving the area. Kutt was later pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem.
On Dec. 30, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announced the arrest of Kenneth Troy Heller, 52, of Warminster, in connection with the incident. Weintraub said Heller voluntarily turned himself in and has agreed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter when a formal arraignment takes place in April. He described the killing as "an awful mistake" and said Heller has expressed remorse for the crime. MORE
Two dueling political rallies converged at the intersection of Main and State streets in Doylestown Borough on Saturday, Oct. 17, just a few weeks before the November election. Despite a few tense moments between the groups, the demonstrations remained peaceful throughout the day, with supporters of the Biden/Harris ticket lining the sidewalks as a pro-Trump parade drove through the center of town. More than 6,000 vehicles registered for the parade, according to People 4 Trump Founder Jim Worthington. MORE
In August, developers announced plans for a "Mercantile at Doylestown" to fill the space formerly occupied by Bon-Ton, which closed its location in the Doylestown Shopping Center in 2018. A grand opening celebration was held in November, and the 25,000 square foot space currently houses artisans, vendors and small business owners, who sell and showcase their products. Brooke Henningsen, founding partner of Arrow Real Estate Services, the company managing the shopping center, calls it "a Mecca of unique shopping experiences unlike anything around the area." MORE
Bar Louie, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, closed dozens of locations this year, including its Warrington restaurant. MORE
One year after he was forced to close his restaurant, Franco Federico is once again bringing fine Italian cuisine to Doylestown. The 59-year-old Italian immigrant has run 24 restaurants in his lifetime, mainly specializing in the Italian and Mediterranean cuisine he grew up eating in Calabria. While he has no plans to retire, Federico believes his newest restaurant, La Dolce Vita Da Franco, is his swan song. MORE
The remains of a young father of two who disappeared 16 years ago were found in January in a Bucks County quarry. Adam Brundage was 26 when he was last seen on Oct. 4, 2004. Investigators located his remains in a Chalfont quarry on Jan. 16. Daman Andrew Smoot, 36, who was Brundage's roommate at the time of his disappearance, was charged with criminal homicide in connection with the man's death. He was later sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison. MORE
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