The top 25 stories of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, we look back at the top 25 stories impacting southern Arizona.  These are "editor's choice" picks, are presented in no particular order.  Each was selected based on number of reads, shares, comments and viewer feedback. Some provoked laughter; some brought tears.  Still others left us sitting in shocked silence

  • In April of 2012, 6-year-old Isabel Celis was stolen from her bedroom in the still of the night. First Tucson and then the nation, waited with baited breath for search teams to locate her and return her to her family. Sadly, she has yet to be found. Still, hope abounds and the search continues... (full story)

  • Every parent beams when they find out their child is singled out for a special award. But in the case of one 3rd grader at Desert Springs Academy -- her mother was far from thrilled when she came home with a "catastrophe" award. (full story)

  • A Tucson teen did what many would rarely think to do. 18-year-old Briana Delcampo donated her kidney to a toddler who had endured renal failure most of his life. (full story)

  • A city-wide texting ban went into effect in March - and police began ticketing offenders of this controversial new law. (full story)

  • A white, blinking object floating in the sky had a lot of people in Nogales curious. It turns out that "aerostat" wasn’t what was so unusual, but rather the equipment strapped to it: cutting edge surveillance technology for use in securing our border. (full story)

  • A Yuma mother gives life to her daughter - not once - but twice. 1-year-old Aliyah Negrete was born with a rare condition called biliary artresia that affects the liver. She was released from UA Medical Center in May after a successful liver transplant - donated by her mother, 26-year-old Venessa Negrete. (full story)

  • Endeavour embarked on it's final voyage and we all turned out in droves to take pictures. (full story)

  • 9 On Your Side was contacted by Tucson Water customers who were soaked by BIG water bills. After in-depth coverage, Tucson Water launched a program in the spring of 2012 to help alleviate the pain for those who couldn't handle such an unexpected expense. (full story)

  • Connie and Shaba, the Reid Park Zoo's Asian and African elephants were to separate after 30 years as Connie went to San Diego and Shaba stayed to join a new African herd. Then, the zoo changed their plans and sent both to San Diego. (full story)

  • In October of this year, Border Patrol in pursuit of suspected drug smugglers in Nogales, responded to thrown rocks by opening fire on suspects who had fled to the Mexico side of the border. A 16-year-old boy in Mexico was shot and died. (full story)

  • Arizona's first dispensary for medical marijuana opened its doors in Glendale in early December. (full story)

  • A ruling in September by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton cleared the way for police to carry out SB1070's requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. (full story)

  • Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was involved in a one vehicle accident near the town of Williams in September. Sheriff Dever did not survive. He was 60 years old. (full story)

  • Jeg, a DPS drug sniffer, had to be euthanized in July after his officer/partner forgot him in a hot patrol car. (full story)

  • First there were five, then there were ten Pima County Corrections Officer's being investigated for a brutal bar beating outside of the Buffet on Ninth Avenue - all caught on tape. Corey Masterson gave a play-by-play account of the beating he and his fathered received. (full story)

  • The Nogales and Tucson communities sought justice and grieved together for 25-year-old firefighter Sterling Lytle, who was killed in a hit and run accident on June 28th. (full story)

  • Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the House and received a standing ovation from her colleagues. Her resignation came more than a year after she was gravely wounded. (full story)

  • A federal judge sentenced Jan. 8 shooter Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive life sentences plus 140 years in prison. He received one life sentence for each victim killed plus one for attempted assassination of Former Rep. Gabby Giffords. (full story)

  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol lost one of their own with the death of border patrol agent, Nick Ivie, in October from what turned out to be friendly fire. (full story)

  • David Nicholas Delich was sentenced for the 2008 killing of Tucson Police Officer Eric Hite. Delich's total penalty came to 116.5 years before he has any possibility for parole. He will be serving 91.5 years, in the state mental hospital. He also pleaded guilty, with no claim of insanity, to one count of first degree murder. For that he will serve life with no chance of parole for 25 years. (full story)

  • The TUSD voted to end its Mexican American studies program earlier this year because the program was in violation of a state law that bans programs that teach ethnic solidarity. (full story)

  • Perla Morales (25-years old) was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail for 2 counts of First Degree Murder in the death of her children, 17-month Richard Rosovich Jr. and Emma Rosovich (4-years old). (full story) photo courtesy Tucson Police Department

  • Former Daily Wildcat cartoonist, D.C. Parsons was fired for "the cartoon heard 'cross the country," four panels of drawings that left everyone stunned. (full story)

  • The controversy over TUSD's Mexican-American studies program was in the national spotlight when Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart took a satirical stab at the story. (full story)

  • The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. Adam Lanza, 20, killed 27 people, including 20 children, before killing himself on Friday, Dec. 14th, 2012. (remembering the victims)