A Few Clouds
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2012 has been a year of triumph and tragedy. As we turn the page to 2013, we look back at some of the stories in Nebraska that made headlines.
2012 ended with justice for the family of Kailee Clapp. Stathis Kirkpatrick was sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of the 14 year McCook teenager.
Back on January 21st of 2011 Kailee went missing and later that night her body was found burnt in Bartley.
September 26th of 2012 is a day no Husker fan was looking forward to.
Dr. Tom Osborne stepped down as athletic director at the University of Nebraska after five years.
In that time, Osborne has helped rebuild the football program back into a winner.
His final day of work was December 31st.
We couldn't talk about the year 2012 without mentioning the weather.
We had a mild winter and the summer didn't bring much relief in the form of precipitation for the Cornhusker state.
That left local farmers in a tough spot when it comes to their crops.
We went weeks and even months in certain areas of Nebraska without rain.
Since January 1st we've had just 11.55 inches of precipitation in Grand Island. That's over 15 inches below their yearly average. Over 77 percent of Nebraska falls under the exceptional drought category.
Throughout the summer those drought conditions made it a dangerous one for firefighters across the state. From Sutton to western Nebraska acres of land had been charred.
Two of the fires in Northwest Nebraska burned nearly 80,000 acres of land.
Don't expect much help in 2013 either as climatologists say we'll need about 100 inches of snow to make up for a lack of moisture.
We usually see an average of 30 inches of snowfall in a year.
And, that snowfall landed here in Nebraska the week before Christmas dropping over 8 inches in Hastings.
2012 is one the city of Grand Island would like to forget. At times it turned out to be a circus at city hall. Problems from hiring a new fire chief to the back and forth vacated city administrator position.
And, who could forget the censuring of Mayor Jay Vavricek and a recall against the Mayor.
The City of Grand Island is hoping for a smoother 2013.
We transition into the race for Washington. Nebraska state senator Deb Fischer was an afterthought at times in the race for the republican seat during the primary election. She came from behind to defeat State Treasurer Don Stenberg and Attorney General Jon Bruning.
Fischer's remarkable run didn't end there as she defeated former Governor Bob Kerrey in November.
The Senator elect will take over for the departing Ben Nelson on January 3rd.
2012 proved to be heartbreaking for the communities of Broken Bow and Blue Hill. On June 1st, 3 people were killed and 8 injured when a Broken Bow school van collided with a truck on highway 2 near Ansley.
The van was returning from a summer basketball clinic when basketball coaches 38 year old Zane Harvey and 24 year old Anthony Blum were killed along with the driver of the truck Albert Sherbeck.
But, Broken Bow wasn't alone in grieving.
On September 5th the community of Blue Hill also was devastated by a crash this one involving a school bus and tractor trailer. That accident happened just south of Blue Hill killing 4 people and injuring 5. Two of the four killed in this crash were students at Blue Hill.
While this crash is something that the community will never recover from, members of Blue Hill did not let the crash defeat them. In fact, the community only got stronger in remembering the ones they lost.
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