Merrimack Patch has it's first full year in the books and what a year it's been! We re-elected President Barack Obama to another four years, and hey, the Mayan apocalypse didn't happen, so congratulations, we're all still here.
From the opening of the Merrimack Premium Outlets to another Halloween storm that cut power to thousands for days, there's been no shortage of news in town. We've seen businesses and residents in the community doing wonderful things to support their neighbors and communities as far away as Haiti. There's been business growth, and sadly a few closures.
There have been exciting moments in sports with the boys varsity basketball state championship, the baseball team playing, but unfortunately losing their state championship, and the Merrimack Cardinals Midget Cheerleaders win at nationals earlier this month. Another Rock'n Ribfest was written into the books, as was a continually-growing Merrimack Fall Festival and Business Expo, and the midway returned to town on the Fourth of July after a short hiatus.
Join us as we count down some of the top stories of the year between today and Dec. 30. Thank you for making this a wonderful year. Enjoy the final days of 2012, we can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!
8. Gone to Soon
Two stories attracted a lot of attention in the first half of the year, but for tragic reasons. Eleven-year-ol Kierra Walker and 23-year-old Michael Lo Verme share our eighth spot in our 2012 stories of the year in memoriam of two lives that were taken too soon.
Kierra "Kiki" Walker
On Jan. 9, police were called to Walker's home where the sixth-grader was found dead from a gunshot wound. Walker's death sent shockwaves through the community, especially at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, where she was a student.
Walker was remembered by her family and friends as a loving young girl who was a shining star in her family, admired by her friends and known for her smile, according to stories in the Union Leader and Telegraph of Nashua.
Less than two weeks after the young girl's death, classmates and community members gathered at the American Legion to honor Walker and raise money for her funeral expenses with a Bingo fundraiser.
Michael Lo Verme
Lo Verme was the victim of a motorcycle accident on his way home from work in the middle of June. He was riding his motorcycle, merging onto the Everett Turnpike when his bike collided with several cars, police said. The turnpike was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash, and Lo Verme was pronounced dead after being rushed to a local hospital.
Lo Verme was remembered as a "kind and caring individual who was always willing and eager to help others; a loving husband, father, son, brother and friend," according to his obituary. He was married and leaves behind a young daughter.
Read more about Walker.
Read more about Lo Verme.
Catch up on our other stories of the year:
9. Jehovah's Witnesses Get OK to Build