2012 Year in Review

As the semester and year come to an end, The State News has compiled a list of the top 12 in '12 - the stories that had people talking all year


Basketball wins Big Ten Championship
After earning a share of the regular season Big Ten title next to Michigan and Ohio State, MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo made a vow that the Spartans would go into the conference tournament and “win our championship back.” Izzo and the Spartans followed through, topping the Buckeyes 68-64 in the title game, earning Big Ten Tournament championship rights for the first time since 2000, and locking up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans would eventually fall to Louisville in the Sweet 16, but a conference championship certainly helped send-off Big Ten player of the year Draymond Green smiling.

Obama defeats Romney to win second term
President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House after a decisive victory over Republican Mitt Romney on election night, Nov. 6. Although a Democrat will retain control of the White House for the next several years, Republicans also held strong in the U.S. House and on the state level, where all 110 representatives were up for election. In the 69th state district, which includes East Lansing and MSU, former East Lansing mayor Sam Singh won a seat in the state House and will soon become the first Indian-American representative in Michigan history.

Broad Art Museum opens
After being delayed seven months because of manufacturing problems with the building’s glass panels, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum opened to the public on Nov. 11 after about five years of planning. In 2007, the museum’s namesake, Eli Broad, and his wife, Edythe, kicked off the project with a $26 million donation. They later added $2 million more to help fund the museum’s cost. Even with the couple’s donation, the museum had difficulties meeting its fundraising goal of between $40 million and $45 million. Two days prior to the opening, the museum met its goal.

File photo / The State News

Football falls on hard times
After an 11-3 season which saw the MSU football team win its first bowl game since 2001, the Spartans followed up their historical performance with a disappointing 2012 campaign, going 6-6 overall, 3-5 Big Ten and barely backing into a bowl berth. The Spartans lost a total of five games by 13 points, but the close losses didn’t help ease the pain, especially when MSU lost to rival Michigan, 12-10, for the first time in four years. The Spartans have one last chance to salvage the season with a winning record when they play TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Dec. 29.

East Lansing plagued by assaults
Two MSU students, journalism sophomore Zachary Tennen and advertising junior Brandon Carmack, were both featured in high-profile cases this fall. Tennen originally claimed his jaw was stapled shut, eventually to have his family request the case be closed. Charges later were dropped in Tennen’s case by county law officials. Carmack currently is facing trial for multiple counts, including a felony for falsifying a police report.

Families find peace after losing sons
The grief-stricken journey of Darren Brown Jr.’s and Owen Goodenow’s families reached a turning point with the conviction of Ben French and the guilty plea of David Marion Jr. for the murders of Owen Goodenow and Darren Brown Jr. Goodenow and Brown Jr. were murdered in their Lansing home in March 25, 2010. Marion Jr. pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40-60 years, while French’s conviction was a life sentence.

Dog killer sentenced, avoids jail
After allegedly killing 13 dogs, former MSU graduate student Andrew Thompson did not receive the maximum penalty of four years in prison and was sentenced to probation on June 13. He accepted a plea bargain and was convicted for killing three Italian greyhounds — two dogs in East Lansing and another in Okemos. Thompson must perform 400 hours of community service, continue to receive psychological treatment, have no contact with animals, maintain 30 hours per week employment and pay more than $5,000 in court fines and restitution.

City Center II on hold
Last June, the $105 million City Center II project was deemed financially infeasible by city officials. Soon after, Strathmore Development Co. pulled all involvement with the project. The future of the site, which is owned by both the city and private investors, still is uncertain.

Two men on trial for death of MSU student
Journalism freshman Olivia Pryor was found dead in her dorm room March 19 after an alleged night of drinking with her roommate and two Detroit-area residents. The two Detroit-area residents, Dishon Tyran Ambrose and Marquez Dominique Cannon, since have been arrested and face charges related to the death of Pryor. Cannon and Ambrose currently are being tried in Mason’s 30th Circuit Court.

Mental breakdown brings MSU into national spotlight
MSU professor John McCarthy reportedly had a public mental breakdown in the Engineering Building on Oct. 1. The story went viral after social media reactions and pictures were posted on the Internet. In the days after, a column written by MSU alumnus Aaron Schafer sparked reflection about mental illness throughout the MSU community.

New scoreboards spruce up stadium
At its January board meeting, the MSU Board of Trustees approved a $10 million upgrade of the scoreboards in Spartan Stadium. The upgrade featured three new scoreboards, including a 5,300-square-foot video board at the south end zone. The scoreboards, which debuted this season, replaced the previous boards that were installed in 1998.

Student dies of rare disease
On Feb. 10, family and community services sophomore Carly Glynn, 19, died of meningococcal disease. After showing signs of flulike symptoms and a rash, she was taken to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Although Glynn’s immunizations had been up to date, she contracted the only strain of the disease the meningococcal vaccine does not protect against. The Ingham County Health Department checked 15 people who might have been in contact with Glynn.

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