While those stories were among the most-read on WKBN.com, other stories also garnered a lot of attention.
WKBN put together a list of those top stories, in terms of page views, in 2017:
- Youngstown triple murder defendant jumps off courtroom balcony, dies: Youngstown triple murder defendant Robert Seman was set to go to trial for the death of 10-year-old Corinne Gump and her grandparents. He was accused of raping Gump and then setting fire to the family’s house before she was set to testify against him. Before Seman’s case could go to trial, however, Seman leaped from the fourth-floor balcony in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, killing himself. He was on his way back to the Mahoning County Jail from the courthouse, where he appeared for a last-minute status hearing.
- Prosecutors: Social media feud prompted Howland shooting: A February shooting at a Howland home led to a discussion about self-defense laws. Nasser Hamad opened fire outside of his house, killing two people and injuring three others. Hamad claimed that he shot the group in self-defense after they came to his house and said he feared for his life. Prosecutors said, however, that Hamad coaxed the group to come there and fired at them, at one point, going inside the house to reload. He was later convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 36 years.
- Fire destroys building at Rogers Flea Market in Columbiana County: A fire destroyed a building at a popular flea market in Rogers. The fire started on a night in May in a building where vendors sell their goods. Business resumed quickly after clean-up.
- 9 arrested during Mahoning County sex sting: Nine men were arrested as part of an investigation into prostitution and sex trafficking in Mahoning County by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and local police departments. The men were picked up after police said they responded to advertisements placed by law enforcement. The suspects exchanged messages with the officer, arranging for a sexual encounter for-hire with an adult female, according to investigators. Police said one man believed that he was meeting a 15-year-old girl.
- Officer shot in Girard dies at hospital; Suspect shot dead: The city of Girard mourned one of their own after the officer was shot in the line of duty in October. Thirty-one-year-old Justin Leo was killed while responding to what was reported as a domestic situation. He was put to rest after a huge outpouring of support from the community.
- Beloved New Castle sports announcer killed in fiery I-76 crash: A New Castle sports announced was killed after a crash involving five vehicles, including three semi-trucks, in North Jackson. The chain-reaction crash happened on I-76 westbound near the Route 45 overpass in June. Mark Schaas, a sports broadcaster for WKST Radio and an announcer for games around Lawrence County, was killed. Others were injured.
- New PA law makes leaving animals in cold felony: As winter neared, humane agents wanted to remind animal owners of a new Pennsylvania law. The law could make pet owners felons if they mistreat or neglect dogs and other pets — that includes leaving them outside in the cold for too long. According to Libre’s Law, a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some exceptions to the law, including tethering the dog for hunting or sport.
- Police: Warren teen caught having sex with wiener dog – again: A teenage boy from Warren was charged after police said he was caught naked in bed with the family’s dog. It was the second time that the 17-year-old boy had been caught having sexual contact with the dog, according to police. He faced animal cruelty and bestiality charges, as a result.
- Mansion for sale at bargain price... so why is no one buying? A historic home in Youngstown went on sale, but the home built in 1918 wasn’t selling. A realtor spoke to WKBN earlier this year about the 15-room house on Tod Lane, which faced Crandall Park. It was listed at $76,900, but it needed a lot of work. The mansion was eventually purchased by Rob Osborn and his aunt, Lisa Murphy, who planned to renovate it. It sold for just under its asking price, at $73,000.
- Big changes to Ohio conceal carry law take effect Tuesday: Charges to Ohio’s concealed carry laws took effect earlier this year, and people on WKBN.com were curious to read about them. Senate Bill 199 allows anyone with a concealed carry license to carry their firearm in more places, including daycare facilities, non-secure areas of airports and private planes. Gun rights advocates believed the change would make pick-up time at daycares easier on parents who have concealed carry licenses, while others believed guns around children could be more dangerous.
For a look at some of the other top stories that WKBN has covered this year, read more here.