Kent Reporter’s most viewed website stories of 2021

Kaiser Permanente’s purchase of former Kmart leads the top 10 list

Kaiser Permanente’s primary care facility on Kent’s East Hill. The company plans to open a facility in the Valley after tearing down the former Kmart, but has not released a construction timeline. COURTESY PHOTO, Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente’s primary care facility on Kent’s East Hill. The company plans to open a facility in the Valley after tearing down the former Kmart, but has not released a construction timeline. COURTESY PHOTO, Kaiser Permanente

A decision by Kaiser Permanente to buy the former Kmart store and replace it with a health care facility dominated the most read stories in 2021 on the Kent Reporter website.

A SeaTac girl charged with murder for allegedly hitting a Maple Valley jogger with her vehicle also received a lot of pageviews, according to Google Analytics.

Here are the top 10 most viewed stories on the Kent Reporter’s website for 2021, according to Google Analytics:

1: Kaiser Permanente purchases former Kmart property in Kent

43,522 pageviews/Jan. 13

Summary: A Kaiser Permanente facility will replace the former Kmart store in Kent. Kaiser Permanente purchased the 8 acres at 24800 W. Valley Highway in December 2020 for $15 million, according to King County property tax records. Kmart closed in 2018 and the site has remained vacant. Kmart opened the store in 1978. Kaiser Permanente hasn’t released a timeline yet for construction of the facility or the specific services it will offer. A company spokesperson said in a Dec. 23 email that the timeline and mix of services are still under review. Kent Mayor Dana Ralph noted in her Dec. 16 virtual town hall that the old Kmart might be torn down in the next month or two.

2: SeaTac girl, 15, charged with second-degree murder in jogger’s death

22,373 pageviews/Sept. 16

Summary: A 15-year-old SeaTac girl allegedly tried to bump a jogger with her vehicle to “scare him” on an early Sunday morning in July in Maple Valley when she reportedly struck the man and killed him. King County prosecutors filed charges of second-degree murder and hit-and-run on Sept. 14 against the girl, who is not being named because she is being charged as a juvenile. The girl reportedly was driving a 2004 Toyota Camry that hit and killed Gregory Moore, 53, of Maple Valley just after 6 a.m. July 18 in the 23800 block of Southeast 216th Street. She is scheduled to return to juvenile court on Jan. 20 when a trial date could be set, she could enter a guilty or not guilty plea or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.

3: Man jumps to death from freeway overpass near Federal Way

20,991 pageviews/April 12

Summary: A man in his early 20s died after jumping from a freeway overpass near Federal Way on Monday afternoon. At about 1:30 p.m. April 12, Federal Way officers were dispatched to a possible suicidal man near the South 375th Street overpass of Interstate 5, according to Cmdr. Kurt Schwan of Federal Way police. As officers were arriving, they witnessed the victim jumping from the bridge onto the freeway below, Schwan said.

4: Kent man, 23, charged with first-degree murder for stabbing woman

18,010 pageviews/Jan. 27

Summary: King County prosecutors charged a 23-year-old Kent man with first-degree murder and second-degree assault for allegedly stabbing to death Nyaruot Chuol, 20, and assaulting a second woman with a knife Jan. 24, 2021 at a Kent apartment complex. Ahmed Hassan Osman pleaded not guilty. He has a court hearing on Jan. 24, 2022 when a trial date could be set or attorneys will ask for more time to prepare the case.

5: Three Kent Police officers turn in resignation letters

11,218 pageviews/Aug. 27

Summary: Three Kent Police officers recently submitted letters of resignation, including one moving to a Minnesota police agency and another one joining a fire department. The resignations are part of a trend Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla explained to the City Council in July when he said 13 officers were resigning this year and eight retiring out of a 160-member department.

6: SR 509 extension to bring major changes to Kent intersections

10,318 pageviews/March 22

Summary: A major portion of the extension of State Route 509 from SeaTac to Interstate 5 near Kent remains in the design stage this year, but expect lots of construction to start in 2022 with an anticipated finish in 2025 for much of the work. The project will include major changes in Kent to the State Route 516 interchange with I-5 and the extension of Veterans Drive from Military Road South underneath I-5.

7: Des Moines man, 32, jumps to death off Tukwila overpass to I-5

10,142 pageviews/Feb. 12

Summary: A 32-year-old Des Moines man apparently jumped to his death from the Klickitat Drive overpass in Tukwila onto northbound Interstate 5. The incident occurred at about 7:58 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, according to the Washington State Patrol. Four vehicles struck the man in lane one. Kumphi Ek died at the scene, according to the State Patrol.

8: Ravensdale author pens update on Judith Mawson, ex-wife of the Green River Killer

9,667 pageviews/May 17

Summary: Nearly 20 years ago, King County deputies arrested Gary Ridgway, the man who would go on to receive 49 life sentences after confessing to killing dozens of women and girls in the Puget Sound area. Since then, many of the lawyers who prosecuted and defended the Green River Killer have died. Ridgway, 72, has spent the last 20 years of his life behind bars. New victims have been identified, bringing some measure of relief to their families. But few have changed as much as Judith Mawson, the woman wed to Ridgway for 14 years – a time in which he led a double life, playing the role of the hardworking, stable husband while continuing his killing streak.

9: Tukwila man fatally shot in Kent identified as Avery Wilcox Jr.

9,352 pageviews/March 25

Summary: Avery Wilcox Jr., 25, of Tukwila was fatally shot March 21 at a parking lot on the East Hill in Kent. He died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Wilcox worked as a barber at Nine Thousand Hair Studio in Tukwila. King County prosecutors charged Anthony Dexter Ford, 35, with first-degree murder. Ford, who pleaded not guilty, has a court hearing Jan. 21 and a potential trial date of Feb. 17.

10: Auburn, Kent hit hardest by high temperatures, says heat mapping project

8,201 pageviews/June 25

Summary: King County released the results of a new heat mapping project showing Auburn and Kent are disproportionately affected by high temperatures. The project began on July 27, 2020, when volunteers recorded over 110,000 temperatures across King County in the morning, afternoon and evening. The goal was to examine which areas retained heat the longest. The results show that during the day, heat is more or less evenly distributed across the county, but in the evening, more urbanized areas — specifically Auburn, Kent and portions of Seattle — hold on to the heat longer than areas with more tree canopy and natural landscapes.

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