The biggest local stories of 2012
This year had its share of monumental stories that grabbed headlines locally and nationally. Here are a few, in no particular order.
Monsignor William Lynn convicted
The Philadelphia Archdiocese’s former Secretary of Clergy became the U.S. Roman Catholic church official prosecuted and then convicted for covering up priest sex abuse when a jury convicted him of child endangerment after a three-month trial. He was later sentenced to three to six years in prison.
Sandusky guilty of 45 counts
The former Penn State coach was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys he met through a charity he founded over a 15-year period in a landmark case. The 68-year-old was later sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. The scandal rocked Penn State and was the subject of the Freeh report which criticized top administrators for engaging in an elaborate coverup.
Three cops killed off-duty
Not since 2008 had Philadelphia seen such a deadly year for Philadelphia police officers. Three veterans – Officers Marc Brady, Brian Lorenzo and Moses Walker Jr. – were all cut down while off-duty. Surprisingly, only Walker’s death was a result of gun violence, as two men allegedly gunned him down during a robbery.
Two firefighters killed in warehouse blaze
Lt. Robert Neary and firefighter Daniel Sweeney were killed in April when a Kensington warehouse went up in smoke and collapsed a wall in an adjoining building. The tragedy sparked a debate among city officials about security vacant buildings and cracking down on unresponsive owners.
Court partially rejects voter ID law
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson invalidated most of the state’s controversial voter ID law for the November election after the state Supreme Court bumped the case back down. Voting rights advocates called the law a Republican attempt to disenfranchise minority voters.