Top 10 local stories of 2012
In March the Mega Millions lottery hit a record $656 million. Baltimore resident Mirlande Wilson told the world she'd won but lost the ticket. Three teachers were the real winners in Maryland. Then in November Powerball hit $588 million, and on surveillance video a man in Upper Marlboro celebrates after showing customers what he said was the winning ticket. He didn't really win either.
Millions have watched this video of Batman getting pulled over in March on Route 29 in Silver Spring for not having a license plate on his Batmobile. Turns out Batman is a kind man named Lenny Robinson who visits kids in the hospital. He was not given a ticket.
For six days in September, we were all excited about the baby panda born at the National Zoo. Sadly the little cub passed away less than a week after its birth.
DC gave the world go-go music, and the "godfather of Go-go" was Chuck Brown, who passed away in May after a long hospital stay. Fittingly, fans remembered him through his music.
In February former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely of Chevy Chase was convicted of the 2010 murder of former girlfriend, Yeardley Love of Cockeysville, Maryland. In August a Charlottesville judge sentence him to 23 years in prison.
Thousands stopped what they were doing one April morning to watch as the Space Shuttle Discovery was flown around DC landmarks. It landed at Dulles and is now on public display.
In November Maryland voters approved controversial referendums on the Dream Act, gay marriage, and a new casino in Prince George's County. The gambling referendum also allows new games and longer hours at the Maryland Live casino, which opened in Anne Arundel County in June.
Former DC Council member Harry Thomas resigned in January, admitting to embezzling 350 grand in public money. He's now in prison. In June, Council Chair Kwame Brown resigned and pled guilty to bank fraud charges. Two staff members on Mayor Vince Gray's 2010 campaign pled guilty to charges, but Gray himself ended the year under investigation but not charged.
"RG3, RG3!" For once DC had a good sports year. After being drafted in April RG3 has worked wonders, as both the Skins' and Nats shattered expectations by winning their divisions, and the Caps made the playoffs. On the downside, the Nats lost a playoff heartbreaker, the Wizards are in last place, and the NHL now isn't playing. And Maryland made a controversial decision to leave the ACC for the Big 10.
Near the end of D.C.'s hottest June day ever, it only took a few minutes for the fast moving storm to destroy countless trees, homes, and cars. Over a dozen people in our region died. Some people lost power for over a week, living with no AC as temps soared over 100. For its widespread impact, the derecho is our top story of the year.