15 Sep 2014
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YOUR TURN: What Was the Biggest Story of 2012?

Malden Patch's editor put together his top 25 stories of the year - but what's your take?

YOUR TURN: What Was the Biggest Story of 2012?

2012, incredible year that it was, is finally coming to a close. 

Malden Patch is using this time to look back, and we want to know what you think the biggest story of the year was - both locally and nationally.

Give us your thoughts in the comment section below - and feel free to consult our list of the 25 top stories of the year: 

25. A New Year and New Mayor for Malden: Mayor Gary Christenson was sworn into office during the city's 130th inaugural, becoming the city's first new mayor in 16 years. 

24. : A renegade photographer's urban exploration of the abandoned Malden Hospital was widely shared by readers, making it one of the site's most read articles of the year. Some readers expressed surprise at the condition of the interior of hospital, including graffitti, though officials with Hallmark Health said a number of precautions and improvements had taken place since the pictures were originally captured in 2009. 

23. Officials Close Pearl St. Drug Rehab Clinic: City officials issued a cease and desist order to a drug rehabilitation clinic at 405 Pearl St. last March, saying the facility lacked an occupancy permit and was not operating in compliance with the building's pre-existing medical use permit.

22. Maine's 4.0 Quake Felt in Boston Area: Small tremors were felt in the Greater Boston area after a 4.0 magnitude Earthquake near Lake Arrowhead, Maine last October. No injuries were reported in the Commonwealth. 

21. Teacher Suspended for Porn Background Won't Return: Exposed as a former pornographic actor during a 2011 Fox 25 news segment, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School teacher Kevin Hogan will not return from his then indefinite suspension, a spokesman said. The school did not comment further. 

20. Residents Form Union To Fight 22%-58% Rent Hikes: Residents in both Malden and Medford formed a tenant's union to fight large increases in rent after their properties were purchased by Allston-based Alpha Management. The cases remain in litigation. 

19. Teen Center Opens to Cheers:The teen center, an early initiative of the Christenson Administration, opened it's doors in December. 

18. Nearly 400 Speak Out Against MBTA Cuts in Malden: Hundreds of residents turned out to criticize proposed cuts in MBTA service in the city. Ultimately, many of the proposed cuts were shelved, though some fare increases were implemented. 

17. Famed Malden Catholic Hockey Coach Dies: Chris Serino, 63, had stepped aside from the program after his diagnosis last November, according to the  Boston Herald. The team would later become the season's Super 8 Champions, dedicating their season to their coach and saluting him on a memorable photograph from the floor of the TD Garden. 

16. Malden Coyote Shot By Police Near Mill St.: A coyote spotted near schools was a hot topic of conversation this year. Police ultimately shot the animal after it was found in a residential garage. 

15. Officer Accused of Drug-Related Texts: A Malden police officer faced a disciplinary after investigators allege he bought prescription painkillers from a man police arrested for drug distribution earlier this year. The case continues. 

14. Officials Investigate Missing City Funds: Malden city officials and police have investigated the apparent theft of thousands of dollars from the city treasurer in early 2012. 

13. VIDEO: Sparks fly over reporter's head during Hurricane Sandy: This was my personal favorite story this year, though my mother is still mad about it. 

12. Together to Help: Local businesses offered discounted safes, new security equipment and other services to the Malden Mini-Mart on Main St. after it suffered a series of robberies last March. 

11. Mayor's Quest To Tear Down City Hall Underway: Mayor Gary Christenson promised to tear down city hall by the end of his term and made some headway on the initiative this year - but not without some controversy. 

10. : Several councillors championed a pit bull muzzle law that would require all such breeds to be muzzled in public. After outcry from residents and advocacy groups, Mayor Gary Christenson vetoed the ordinance. 

9. Former Malden High School Asst. Principal Passes Away: Long-time former Malden High School teacher and assistant principal Brendan Duffy, aka "Mr. Duff," passed away this September. 

8. YOUR TURN: Malden's Rich History: Malden is  full of interesting history, and we asked to hear your favorite historical tidbit about the town. The comments section had some pretty interesting gems. 

7. Task Force Seeks Alternatives to Blue Bags: This was a story everyone was talking about in 2012 - what will Mayor Christenson do about the city's Pay As You Throw trash system? 

6. : Several local law enforcement agencies took part in several 'comprehensive' K-9 sweeps of Malden's 'playgrounds, parks and other public areas.

5. Minor League Baseball Stadium Proposed in Malden : The massive project just took another step forward last week, when Field of Dreams President Alex Bok signed a letter of intent with National Grid representatives last week. Though the plan saw some scheduling hurdles this year, officials hope the city will be home to the massive facility - and an associated economic shot in the arm - in spring 2015. 

4. Two Shot in Separate Incidents on one Saturday: While the city grappled with a number of shootings this year, this pair in August - one by Ryan's Family Amusements and another late night driveby incident near Ferryway School - galvanized both city politicians and Malden Patch readers.

The mayor offered a seven-point proposal to fight crime and held a public meeting ; city councillor D'Arcangelo organized a peace summit with the Malden Rotary club  and readers submitted comments and letters about gun violence in the city . 

3. Teenage Victim Shot on Bike Near Malden High:Students were placed on temporary lockdown at Malden High School after a teenager was shot on his bike in broad daylight just down the street. Another teenager, Tyrell Berberena, Jr., 17 of Malden, was arrested in connection with the attack . 

2. Beloved Malden High School Staffer Killed in Crash: Malden High School Student Supervisor Paul Famiglietti loved his students, and they loved him back - despite being on school vacation, kids quickly took to social media to organize impromptu candlelight vigils and other memorials to the popular staffer upon news of his passing. In fact, Famiglietti got so much attention on social media that the topic's hashtag - #RIPMrFam - became a trending topic on Twitter in the Greater Boston area. 

Though tragic, the genuinely moving response from Malden High students – along with the strength and compassion they displayed toward one another – made this one of the year's most compelling stories.

 1. IN DETAIL: Our Timeline of the 500 Broadway Shoot-out : An armed bank robbery in Saugus led to a police chase in Malden, where police exchanged fire with suspects just outside of 500 Broadway. A subsequent manhunt recovered two accomplices in nearby residential complexes.

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