It was a tumultuous news year for Bainbridge Island.
As we enter the new “news” year, the newsroom of the Bainbridge Island Review gathered to pick our top stories of 2012.
Though many of the biggest stories that captured the attention of readers revolved around strife within city government, there were also stories that inspired and gave us hope.
Here’s our rundown of the news that shaped our island in the past year.
1. Ostling Civil Rights Trial: A jury in the federal court case finds that a Bainbridge Island police officer was justified when he shot and killed a mentally ill man who confronted police with an ax, but the jury also awards the Ostling family $1 million in damages and attorney fees.
2. Manager Fired: Bainbridge Island City Manager Brenda Bauer is fired by the council, despite her earlier success in rescuing the city from financial ruin.
3. Gay Marriage Approved: Washington voters legalize same-sex marriage. R-74 passed with 78 percent of the vote on Bainbridge.
4. Fehlman Leaves: Police Chief Jon Fehlman resigns after a vote of “no confidence” from the police guild and an investigation that largely exonerates him from allegations of misdeeds.
5. The New Wilkes: The new-and-improved Wilkes Elementary opens — late, but great.
6. Bag Ban: Bainbridge Island bans plastic grocery bags.
7. 122 Fire: The beloved downtown nightclub goes up in flames.
8. State Champs: The Bainbridge High School girls lacrosse team wins yet another state title, the boys soccer team wins a state crown, and members of the Spartans’ swim team also win titles.
9. Rory Wilson Conquers the Sea: BHS math teacher Rory Wilson crosses the Pacific Ocean in a one-man boat.
10. The New Guy: Doug Schulze is hired as Bainbridge Island city manager.