12 of the most read Burbank Leader stories of 2018
Dec 31, 2018 | 5:30 PM
When it comes to news our readers were interested in this year, crime stories came out on top. But that’s not the only genre Media City residents and readers were interested in — below is the top Leader story of each month in terms of pageviews, and they include news about a restaurant reopening, a long-time institution closing and a film crew shutting down a major thoroughfare for a weekend.
Sean Sigler, 53, was accused by a 17-year-old girl of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with her.
According to the Burbank Police Department, Sigler met the girl when she was a fifth-grade student at Gardner Street Elementary School when he was a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
In June, the Leader reported Sigler was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly producing pornographic images of the student when she was 15.
Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. will soon have a new facility in Burbank where customers can order and pick up new vehicles, and it will be located less than a block away from its current showroom.
The Burbank Planning Board voted unanimously to allow Tesla to construct the new dealership and vehicle-delivery center at 633 S. San Fernando Blvd., which is next to the IKEA Burbank store.
The new facility, which will replace a flooring retail store and a film school, will include a 5,050-square-foot sales floor and a 9,250-square-foot indoor vehicle pick-up area. The site will also have 21 vehicle spaces for customer and employee parking.
Lenny Trinh of Burbank was riding his bicycle about 5 p.m. in a designated bike lane on Alameda Avenue between Mariposa Street and Griffith Park Drive when he struck an open car door and was ejected into traffic. Sgt. Derek Green, a Burbank Police Department spokesman, said the car's driver had parked along the curb and opened the door just as Trinh was passing.
Trinh was subsequently hit by a pickup traveling east on Alameda Avenue. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries.
The incident happened at the Burger King on 545. N. Victory Blvd. when a man armed with a knife entered the restaurant and began stabbing a customer seated inside.
Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman with the Burbank Police Department, said it was unknown what prompted the attack as the customer, described as “elderly,” was with a pair of acquaintances at the time.
As the attack was happening, another customer in the restaurant attempted to stop it and got into a struggle with the armed man. Green said the attacker sustained several knife wounds during the struggle that were considered life-threatening.
Across 400-plus theatres, including AMC Burbank 16, a grizzled, unflinching look at the world of professional wrestling hit the big screen with the documentary “350 Days” in mid-July.
Featuring a cavalcade of former sports entertainment superstars such as Bret “Hitman” Hart, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, Stan “The Lariat” Hansen, Wendi Richter and more, the Fathom Events picture, directed by Fulvio Cecere and produced by Cecere, Evan Ginzburg and Darren Antola, was said to offer a beyond-the-ring look at the lives of the performers outside the spotlight.
The U.S. Attorney’s office is accusing 44-year-old Armen Simonyan of unlawfully gaining U.S. citizenship and lying on his passport application. Ben Barron, a federal prosecutor, said Simonyan was already under investigation for his alleged ties to a series of sham medical clinics that were issuing fraudulent drug prescriptions, prompting investigators to look into his immigration history.
Early in the month, we reported Media City staple Full O’ Life, an institution that had been in the city for 59 years, was due to close.
One of the first organic-focused businesses in the city, like many other small specialty shops, had not been able to survive the competition from larger stores, according to its manager.
The last couple of years had not been kind to the family-owned business, which had to compete with big-box grocery stores.
The quaint grocery store and restaurant, which has been at the same location at 2515 W. Magnolia Blvd. since 1959, had managed to survive in this tough market and economic climate.
A half-mile stretch of Burbank Boulevard was shut down the first weekend in October due to filming.
According to a letter sent to residents and businesses to be impacted by the closure, crews would be filming Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
In the last few days of October, Burbank High School sophomore Evie Swierczynski lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
The former John Muir Middle School student was 15 years old.
Evie’s father, Duane, tweeted the next morning that the family’s “hearts are broken beyond words. Thank you for all of your love and support this year.”
“People are blessed to have known her,” Burbank High principal Michael Bertram said. “As a parent, I would never want to think about losing a child, but there is no doubt she left her mark on the high school community. She will definitely be missed.”
Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland got a jolt earlier this month after their plane skidded off a runway as it landed at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Flight 278 from Oakland slid on runway 26, which runs perpendicular to Hollywood Way, according to airport spokeswoman Lucy Burghdorf.
The aircraft continued to slide until it was stopped by an engineered materials arrestor system, or EMAS, near the end of the runway, located about 30 to 40 yards away from the street.