|Ellen Wulfhorst and Sebastien Malo1/9 |Ellen Wulfhorst and Sebastien Malo
|Metro file photo2/9 |Metro file photo
|Staten Island Zoo3/9 |Staten Island Zoo
|Getty Images4/9 |Getty Images
|Bess Adler, Metro7/9 |Bess Adler, Metro
|New York City Department of Design and Construction8/9 |New York City Department of Design and Construction
As we get closer to closing up 2015, we look back at some stories that not only captivated readers with words but also through photographs.
Even though we are ending the year without any snow, we definitely started 2015 with a storm of god-like proportions — or at least only by name.
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Winter Storm Juno hit New York City in January and was first forecast to be what some were calling “snowmageddon” and brought school closures, flight delays, an MTA shutdown and a lot of worrying — ultimately causing the city to “shut down.”
However, Juno was not as big and apocalyptic for New York City — with the storm shifting east at the last minute — and dumped only a little over six inches of snow in most areas.
On March 26 two East Village buildings were turned to rubble after a gas explosion, which killed two and injured about 20 people.
The two men killed — Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locon — were both at Sushi Park, located at 121 Second Ave. when the explosion occurred.
Initial investigation found a gas line was illegally hooked up at the site.
Registration opened up in April for businesses looking to fill five slots to dispense medical marijuana in New York.
Organizations interested in opening a dispensary had to outline their plan to the state health department, pay a nonrefundable application fee and registration fee.
The drug will only be allowed to be available in non-smoking forms, such as edibles and vaporizers.
A rare animal — sharing the cuteness of both pandas and lambs — was born at the Staten Island Zoo this past April.
Earl, a lamb which has black circles around his eyes just like a panda, was born at the zoo and surprised zookeepers with its similar look to a panda.
The lamb, who is said to love to explore, also has black markings on his ears and is black and white throughout its body.
Thousands of members of law enforcement from throughout the nation gathered on May 8 to attend the funeral of 25-year-old Brian Moore, an NYPD police officer who was shot while on patrol.
Moore, who was a decorated five-year veteran, was gunned down in Queens after he attempted to question a man — later identified as 35-year-old Demetrius Blackwell — who then fired into the officer’s unmarked car.
The shooting of the 25-year-old police officer, who died of his wound a few days later, made him the fifth NYPD member to die in the line of duty since December 2014.That month a gunman also killed police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on a Brooklyn street.
Earlier this year, the city announced an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease — a pneumonia-causing bacteria — in the South Bronx area.
In August, the outbreak claimed the lives of 12 people and infected over 100 others.
The city’s Health Department officially declared a cooling tower at the Opera House Hotel on East 149th Street was the source of the outbreak.
A month after the city announced the outbreak was over, one person died as a result of the latest group of 12 people identified in the Bronx to have been infected. This outbreak was concentrated to residents and visitors to Morris Park Community Association.
In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio created a multi-agency taskforce to tackle the problem of body-painted topless women and costumed characters in Times Square.
The taskforce — which included representative from the NYPD, Department of Transportation, NYC & Company, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and others — were asked to study the law behind the performers and report their findings.
After visiting Washington D.C., Pope Francis came to New York City for a three-day visit in September as part of his trip to the United States.
Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists packed Manhattan streets to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father as he made his way up Fifth Avenue on the Popemobile.
During his visit, Pope Francis led an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, addressed the United Nations General Assembly, participated in a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial, visited students at an East Harlem school, greeted New Yorkers whiling riding a motorcade through Central Park, and finally celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden.
Pope Francis then departed to Philadelphia, where he spent his last days in the United States.
Workers at a site for construction on a water main in Washington Square Park were in for a surprise this November when they discovered two burial vaults, which could date back to the 19th century.
Construction at the site was suspended and the city medical examiner, Landmarks Preservation Commission and archeologists and anthropologists examined the vaults.
New York City welcomed Christman Eve this year with record-breaking temperatures in the low 70s — beating a high of 63 degress back in 1996.
Temperatures this December are about 11.7 degrees above normal — with numbers normally only reaching the low 40s — making it the warmest December on record for the city.