Paws to Read at Berkeley Public Library allows children to practice oral fluency, and spend time with a friendly dog. Photo: Kaia Diringer

The city’s first murder of the year was, inevitably, one of our most read stories this week. Zontee Jones, 34, of Berkeley, was killed shortly after 11 a.m. on Monday on Delaware Street just west of San Pablo Avenue in west Berkeley. Witnesses said he was shot while walking down the street, and that a gold-colored car that may have been connected to the crime sped off afterward. BPD said it had been working on the homicide “virtually non-stop” since it occurred, but so far there have been no arrests.

A house fire on Feb. 6. Photo: Kelly Walter

A dramatic house fire on Keith Ave. in the Berkeley hills that broke out on Wednesday (right) caused black, billowing smoke to be seen from many vantage points around the East Bay. A portable heater that set fire to a bed mattress was the cause, and BFD estimated the home sustained $800,000 worth of damage.

Our comprehensive article surveying the city’s plans to build as many as 1,000 new apartments, centered on the downtown area, was very well received. At last count 225 comments saw readers vigorously discussing this future housing boom.

But in terms of sheer numbers, it was a photo story combining cute kids with adorable dogs (top) that had the most impact this week — at least measured by those that share what they read on Facebook, with the Paws to Read report garnering 666 “Likes” as of this writing.

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