FOX23's top stories for 2012

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Updated: 1/02/2013 9:24 am Published: 12/31/2012 9:36 pm

The final day of 2012 is a time of reflection and on a national level the headlines were dominated by the presidential election and sadly the school shootings in Connecticut.

On a local level, some of the biggest stories shocked us, they captivated us and they may have left us wondering what the new year would bring.

A big year for big stories in Green Country from officers arrested for stealing or tazing inmates to bed bugs found in a Tulsa library and a girl going blind meets pop heart throb Justin Bieber.

But a closer look at FOX23’s stories with a lot of buzz reveals the top ten stories in 2013 for Green Country.

The controversy over the proposed Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow. Construction was stopped at 111th and 129th East Avenue only when a federal judge ruled the tribe did not have jurisdiction over the land.

In September, radio listeners lost two legends after 27 years on KMOD’s 97.5. Phil Stone and Brent Douglas called it quits. Then a month later, Phil Stone died from a heart attack.

In March, a gunman fired several rounds outside the Tulsa County Courthouse. Deputies wounded Andrew Dennehy as an amateur photographer caught it all on from an office window. Dennehy will be in court on Thursday.

Inside the courthouse, Tulsa County jurors made some big decisions. All three suspects, Terrico Bethel, Fred Shields and Alonzo Johnson, accused in the murder-for-hire plot of businessman Neal Sweeney were sentenced to life in prison. The mastermind, Mohammed Aziz, will get a lighter sentence for testifying against the defendants.

In November, Oklahomans got the right to openly carry handguns in public with a concealed carry permit.

Education stories were often the lead story. Former University of Tulsa President Geoffrey Orsak was fired in September for unknown reasons. Then former Athletic Director Ross Parmley fired when an FBI investigation revealed he was an admitted gambler. Parmley has not been charged for any wrongdoing.

For Tulsa Public Schools, it was a tough start to the new school year when Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences burned to the ground. In September, a fire destroyed was formerly Barnard Elementary. Eight firefighters were injured and are now back at work.

That same week in September, Victory Christian Center was rocked after a sex scandal. Former janitor, Christopher Denman, was sentenced to sixty years in prison for crimes against three girls as young as 12. Another employee, Israel Castillo, is accused of lewd proposals and five other employees are accused of failing to report accusations of child abuse in a timely manner.

Union members came to an agreement with American Airlines, dropping possible job losses locally from more than 2,500 to a few hundred.

In November, Hostess closed down, costing 160 jobs in Tulsa.

In August, nearly 400 families in Creek County saw their homes burn to the ground because of a massive wildfire.

In September, straight line winds killed a Nowata couple and their great granddaughter who was four months old.

Crime was all over the headlines in 2012.

In March, the robbery and beating of elderly couple Bob and Nancy Strait. Both have since died.

On Good Friday, five people were shot, three of them died. Two men are suspected of targeting them because they were black.

One day after her high school graduation, Kayla Ferrante, was killed in a gang shooting that police say is a case of mistaken identity.

In July, a man shopping with his daughter at a Tulsa Bet Buy was killed by a stray bullet from a gang shooting just outside the store.

It’s important to remember there were also many wonderful things that happened in the Tulsa area this year. The more we reach out and work together, the more we can look forward to in the new year.

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