Top 10 stories of 2018 on

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Over the 365 days of 2018, we at published thousands of stories in our mission to provide coverage you can count on. As we look back at the year that was, these are the stories you cared most about.

Here are the Top 10 stories on of 2018:

Tinsley cold case closed with arrest

Fort Wayne’s most notorious cold case was broken open in mid-July, when on a quiet Sunday authorities announced they had made an arrest in the 1988 abduction, molestation and killing of 8-year-old April Marie Tinsley. John D. Miller, a 59-year-old from Grabill, was tied to the case through DNA. In December, he pleaded guilty to murder and child molesting charges and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

Issues with spoiling Walmart milk arise

It started with a tip from a local Walmart customer concerned about milk spoiling before the expiration date. The story became our most-viewed of the year with more than 1 million views as shoppers from around the country shared similar experiences. A 15 Finds Out investigation found that those “use by,” “sell by” or “best by” dates on products like milk are estimates and are not federally regulated, and milk that spoils before those dates could likely be caused by post processing contamination.

Man dies in road rage fight on US 30

It was early August when police responded to U.S. 30 near the US 33 interchange for a fight. There, they found 60-year-old Orlando Fernandez in serious condition. Fernandez would die a short time later of a heart incident. Witnesses told police that two vehicles were jockeying for position on the highway then pulled onto the shoulder and a man – identified as Brandon M. Cook – got out of a Dodge Ram and punched Fernandez. Cook then drove off. Cook was eventually arrested in Florida and brought back to Indiana to face a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He’s set to stand trial in February of 2019.

Homeowner dies when home explodes

It was the early morning hours of Nov. 13 when a home in the 5100 block of Wallen Road exploded. When crews arrived on scene, they found the two-story home fully engulfed, and it eventually fell and was leveled. Hours later, the body of 55-year-old Nathan Sliger was discovered. It’s still not clear how the explosion happened, though the family told fire investigators the had been working on the boiler of the home at the time.

Giraffe escapes from Fort Wayne zoo exhibit

One of the more wild stories of the year was that of an escaped giraffe. It was April 23 when Thabisa, a young reticulated giraffe, broke through cables of her exhibit at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and roamed around an adjacent, zoo-owned area for more than two hours. As dozens watched along Wells Street, zookeepers eventually were able to lure the animal back to its exhibit. 

Five hurt in Thanksgiving night shooting

One of the year’s most violent events unfolded Thanksgiving night, when three people were killed and two others were left hurt in a shooting in a Downingtown Drive. One of the surviving victims told police that two men went into the house and tried to rob the people inside. Kameron Joyner and Gerald Pinkston were identified by one of the victims and another person who was inside the house at the time of the shooting. Joyner and Pinkston have both been charged with three counts of murder. 

Red River deals with trash collection woes

Red River Waste Solutions took over the city of Fort Wayne’s trash and recycling contract at the beginning of 2018, and spent much of the year in turmoil amid complaints of missed collections. The city has fined the contractor more than $710,000 since it was hired. In November, Red River revamped its pick up schedules and changed driver routes to alleviate missed pick ups, and reported a “dramatic” improvement.

President Trump visits Fort Wayne

The day before the 2018 General Election, Fort Wayne was the epicenter of the political landscape. President Donald Trump visited the city for a rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun at the Memorial Coliseum. The event drew perhaps the largest crowd in Coliseum history, with more than 11,000 packed into the arena, while thousands more watched from the Conference Center and in the parking lot – watching the rally from a jumbotron. Braun would win the Senate seat over Sen. Joe Donnelly the following day.

Amish midwives arrested for illegally practicing medicine

A pair of Amish women were embroiled in one of 2018’s most controversial stories when they were arrested for serving as midwives without any certifications or formal training. Sylvia C. Eicher and Lydiann S. Schwartz claimed they’d delivered thousands of babies in the Amish community around Adams County, but police became involved after discovering veterinary medicine had been administered to women during during child birth, and at least one child died after their care. In the end, Eicher and Lydiann were each handed two years probation and ordered not to practice midwifery or medicine.

Girl fighting cancer sells bracelets

Olivia Stoy stole the area’s hearts in 2018. The 14-year-old Angola girl had been diagnosed T-lymphoblastic lymphoma, and launched a drive to raise $350,000 to pay for her treatments. She met her goal in one week. There was more good news, though. In September, a PET scan came back clear and young Olivia was found free of cancer.

Those are our top stories of 2018. But we want to know what YOU were most interested in in 2018. What did we miss? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #WANETop10.

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