Top Cache Valley stories of 2012

FILE PHOTO

As 2012 comes to a close it is time to reflect back on the year that was. The staff of Cache Valley Daily and News/Talk KVNU have compiled a list of some of the top stories that made headlines this year. Each staff member was asked to submit their own top 10 list. Each story was then scored based on its rank, giving more value to the top stories (ex: the #1 stories received 10 points, the #2 stories received nine points, on down to the #10 stories receiving one point). 

<span>The overall top 10 list, then, is a compilation of all those lists based on the points awarded for each story. Some of the stories were based on singular events, others based on events that spanned several months. So, without further ado, here are the top stories of 2012.</span> 

<span><strong>#1 – Emissions Testing for Cache Valley</strong></span>

<span>An ongoing debate between Cache County, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Department of Air Quality has yet to be resolved regarding how to improve Cache County’s air quality. A Cache County proposed sticker program was devised and then rejected by the EPA, who prefers to impose an ongoing emissions testing program instead. The debate continues as to how to properly deal with bad air quality during cold winter inversions.</span>

<strong>#2 – 2012 Elections</strong>

Local interest was high for the Presidential race with Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket, a record number turned out for local caucuses, an incumbent Republican state legislator (David Butterfield, R-District 4) lost in the primaries to a political newcomer (Bear River Health Department Director Dr. Ed Redd), and a Presidential campaign opened an office in Logan.

<span><strong>#3 – Logan Northern Canal Reconstruction</strong></span>

<span>Following the landslide in Logan’s Island Neighborhood that claimed the life of three people, there has been considerable debate as to how to reconstruct and re-route the canal. Federal funding came available and Cache County was put in charge of overseeing its reconstruction. Home owners who live along portions of the canal have fought the design plan which calls for access to their property and covering the canal.</span>

<span><strong>#4 – TIE: Historic Aggie Football Season</strong></span>

<span>A 41-15 win over Toledo at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl capped an historic season for the Utah State University football team. The success of the football team energized the community from August through December. The team finished 11-2 and will forever be the last football champions of the Western Athletic Conference. Running back Kerwynn Williams also broke the WAC record for all-purpose yards.</span>

<span><strong>#4 – TIE: LDS Missionary Age Change</strong></span>

<span>At the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October, President Thomas S. Monson announced a change in minimum age requirement for young men and young women who desire to serve full-time missions. The age for young men to begin serving was dropped from 19 to 18 upon completion of high school and the age for young women was dropped from 21 to 19. The impact of this announcement has yet to be fully realized but many institutions, including Utah State University, are working to make adjustments to plan for an increased number of young men and young women leaving earlier than what has been historically normal.</span>

<span><strong>#5 – Brigham City Temple</strong></span>

<span>Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Brigham City for the public open house of the new temple built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple open house was a major boon to the Brigham City economy. Additionally, for the first time the LDS church cancelled Sunday services throughout the state of Utah and portions of Idaho so its members could attend one of three temple dedications that were broadcast to church houses from St. George to Malad.</span>

<span><strong>#6 – Gary Andersen Steps Down from USU</strong></span>

<span>After weeks of rumors that football programs in other states were showing interest in having Gary Andersen be their next head coach, Andersen released a public statement reaffirming his commitment to the Aggie football team and the Cache Valley community. In the days following the team’s bowl victory in Boise, word got out that Gary Andersen was going to fill the head coach vacancy at Wisconsin. Aggie fans felt stunned and betrayed by the announcement. USU acted quickly in announcing Andersen’s successor, handing the job to Offensive Coordinator Matt Wells.</span>

<span><strong>#7 – SWAT Standoff in Providence</strong></span>

<span>Homes were evacuated and SWAT teams were placed on and around Providence Elementary School this summer when a man with a gun was holed up in this house and making threats. The standoff lasted several hours and the man eventually surrendered after SWAT teams made entry into the home using tear gas. School was not in session at the time of the standoff.</span> 

<span><strong>#8 – Graffiti Crime Spree</strong></span>

<span>Multiple businesses, signs, storage units and even churches were tagged with symbols of anarchy and even swear words over a several day period. Police turned to the public for help in identifying the perpetrators. Eventually, the examination of security camera footage identified one of the victims by his unique haircut. Three adults and one juvenile were arrested and they remain in the court system.</span>

<strong>#9 – Icy Logan River Rescue</strong>

<span>While the rescue technically happened on Dec. 31, 2011 word really didn’t get out until the next day about the heroics of innocent bystanders. A passenger car rolled into Logan River at a dangerous, accident-prone curve on Highway 89. Immediately, several passers-by stopped and ran into the river to rescue the vehicle’s occupants who were trapped inside, upside down. Three children were rescued from the submerged vehicle aided by an off-duty police officer who shot out the rear windows to gain access into the car and a registered nurse was able to administer CPR to the young victims and helped revive them. The rescuers were recognized nationally for their efforts, appearing on multiple national television programs.</span>

<strong>#10 – Preston Grain Elevator Fire</strong>

<span>An historic grain elevator in the heart of Preston erupted in flames. Fire officials from surrounding communities helped try to fight the blaze and prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings. The elevator burned for many hours. The elevator, owned by Valleywide Cooperative, was used by numerous farmers in the region and plans had to be made with other cooperatives to compensate for the loss and find new ways to provide supplies. </span>

<strong>Honorable Mentions</strong>

<span>Several other noteworthy stories appeared on our lists that didn’t make the top 10, including wildfires in Millville and Riverdale, winter flooding in Wellsville, Mendon and Paradise, USU basketball player Danny Berger’s collapse, school cancelled at Mountain Crest High School because of an overheard threat of violence, deadly LOTOJA, plans move forward for a new ski resort in Richmond, a suspect escapes from a moving Cache County Sheriffs vehicle and a manhunt ensues throughout western portions of Logan City, local movie theaters are bought out by Larry H. Miller’s Megaplex Theaters, whooping cough outbreak, Multicultural Center of Cache Valley closes, Cache Food Pantry renovation, and Brigham City mayor affair.</span>

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