2012 Our look back at the trial and tribulations
By Brian Bloom
As the nation reels against the shock of 20 elementary school students dead, as a city mourns the loss of a lady in blue – an officer of the law killed while enforcing the same – we look back upon a tumultuous year that is 2012.
“Evil visited this community today…” Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy said in an emotional press conference.
Adam Lanza, described in news accounts as pale, tall and scrawny by classmates – believed to be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, murdered his mother – a part time teacher at the school at home – before taking her car to Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Conn.
He is believed to have taken three weapons with him, leaving a rifle in the car as he entered the school’s front door. He targeted two classrooms at the front of the school, killing six teachers and 20 students before turning the weapon on himself.
In Memphis, nine-year police veteran Martoiya Lang, mother of four daughters, was killed while executing a search warrant in Berclair.
“This is the textbook example of someone who woke up this morning, came to work and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.
Two men, 21 and 26 years of age, were arrested.
The most expensive election in history provided results mirroring four years prior as “we, the people,” re-elected President Barack Obama. A prohibitive favorite after the Republican primary, Obama was pushed to the hilt by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the first candidate of Mormon faith.
As is typical in yearly round-up, 2012 had its share of tragedies. Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, killed 257 people in seven countries and devastated the nations’ northeastern coastline, with a direct hit on the Jersey shore. Hundreds of thousands were without power for days and thousands more have nowhere to return as their homes were crushed by high waves and strong winds.
The Olympic Games pulled people away from the world’s tragedies long enough to celebrate extraordinary accomplishment. From speedsters on prosthetics to the dazzling darlings that were the US gymnastics team, the London-based games were a spectacle of sight and sound.
In Aurora, Col., what was supposed to be a midnight screening of an anxiously awaited Batman movie, turned deadly.
James Eagan Holmes, suffering from mental delusions, opened fire in the crowded theater killing 12 and leaving 58 injured. Holmes had repeatedly sought help from a number of mental health experts yet was never successfully treated.
Another shooting, this time from a community watch volunteer, led to the death of 17-year-old Treyvon Martin in Florida.
George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch coordinator, allegedly considered the hoodie-wearing Martin a threat. Despite police dispatch orders to stay away, Zimmerman followed Martin and allegedly fought with him before shooting the teenager in a suburban Florida neighborhood.
Penn State finally put to rest a sex scandal that destroyed an athletic program and destroyed the innocence of potentially dozens of young boys.
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison for 48 alleged counts of crimes against children.
Felix Baumgartner’s jump through the stratosphere was both a marvel in mankind’s search for new adventures and the advent of social networking to report the news.
Baumgartner, an Austrian sky diver, jumped 39 km above the earth’s surface in a pressurized suit and reached speeds of 834 mph breaking the sound barrier.
The entire jump was documented on YouTube and sponsored by beverage manufacturer Red Bull.
"When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data. The only thing you want is to come back alive. ... Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are, Baumgartner reflected.
Lin-sanity was the NBA’s savior in what could otherwise have been considered a ho-hum season. Jeremy Lin, a little-known Harvard graduate point guard for the New York Knicks shocked the world with a series of double-digit offensive performances while leading the hapless Knicks to being competitive.
Other national celebrities that took center stage included Whitney Houston who was found dead in her bath tub in an apparent overdoes. The popular gospel and pop star was attempting a comeback after stints in rehab.
Lance Armstrong, America’s biking royalty, was stripped of his Tour de France titles after evidenced proved the use of performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong also stepped aside from his charity Livestrong, which has raised millions towards cancer research world wide.
Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer to ever hit the water, returned to Olympic form with another dominating summer performance. Phelps didn’t match his seven record-setting gold medals of the 2008 Olympics but retired as the nation’s more prolific Olympic medalist.
Future Hall of Fame quarterback Payton Manning continues his comeback from a series of neck surgeries as he’s leading the play-off bound Denver Broncos.
Manning, once thought to never be able to play football again, is having an all-pro season with the Broncos.
Locally the year mirrors national trends.
Bartlett and other suburban communities strived for education separation but have had best-intentioned efforts struck down by the courts.
Voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to provide for independent municipal schools and elected a school board to run them only to find the election moot. Representatives from the municipal governments as well as Memphis Public Schools and the Shelby County Commission, are actively meeting to find resolution to a unified school district.
Longtime Bartlett resident Joe Caronna was charged with first degree murder in the death his wife, Tina Murphy Caronna. Her body was found in the couple's SUV in 2008.
Bartlett resident Courtney Pearson was named the first homecoming queen of African American descent in the University of Mississippi history this fall.
Pearson was voted on the 50th anniversary of James Meredith’s desegregation of the Oxford University. Pearson also broke another stereotype being the first plus-sized queen as well.
The following is the year in review. Here we shall celebrate and find solace in the events that shaped the last 365 days.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris says the budget, redistricting and the economy will top the 2012 legislative session.
“One of the challenges we’re facing in the state is workforce development,” Norris said. “We may have a new business opportunity and we’re short on the skilled workforce it takes to support that.”
Bartlett Police received a $25,000 grant as part of a $1M in grants provided Shelby County law enforcement.
Bartlett’s jobless rate is the lowest since 2009 at 7.3 percent, according to the Tennessee Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development.
Bartlett’s Erin Hatley, the reigning Miss Tennessee, prepared for the Miss America competition. The Bolton High School graduate and University of Memphis marketing student has acted as Governor Haslam’s Spokesperson for Character Development throughout the state.
Hatley finished among the top ten in the annually televised Miss America program. She just missed out on the top five among 52 contestants.
Three Arkansas residents were arrested in Bartlett and charged with promotion of methamphetamine after a pair of unrelated traffic stops and searches. Otto Carter Jr., Derrick Bailey and Amanda Vines were charged in the arrest.
Three high school wrestlers; 108-pound Alex Carroll, 138-pound Know Strawn and heavyweight Adrian Keeley took individual titles at the Region 8 individual tournament in Arlington.
Home sales in Bartlett were down 7.9 percent for the year although median sales prices were up to $156,000.
A study by Southern Educational Strategies, says Bartlett may not have to increase property tax to support its own municipal school. The study released in mid-January proposed that a half cent sales tax could more than cover anticipated expenses. The half cent tax would be in lieu of a 15 cent per thousand property tax increase.
The SES report claimed that if Bartlett opted for the property tax increase a surplus of $793,000 would be created over and above the school’s expense. If a half cent sales tax was enacted instead, that surplus would grow to $1.974 million.
Bartlett’s boy continued their domination of Bolton with a 76-66 basketball victory. Bartlett’s football team had earlier overcome a 19-0 deficit for a 23-19 win in the BHS Bowl.
The Bartlett Education Association awarded $12,074 in grants with the money going to purchase books, equipment, games and other tools for classroom use.
Forty students from Arlington High School are featured at the fourth annual West Tennessee Regional Art Exhibit.
Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center worked with students throughout the area for a circus program called the Starfish Circus.
Four area ladies are preparing to compete for crowns and prizes in the annual Miss Collierville Scholarship Pageant. McKenzie Smith of Arlington, Kayli Webb of Bartlett, Brady Boyd and Ivy Depew, both college students, will vie for more than $15,000 in scholarships and other prizes.
Bartlett United Methodist Church is taking it to the street with a series of exercise regiments designed to get people off their couches. Participants will walk or run, depending on their fitness level for 10 weeks each Saturday morning.
James Scott and Ronald Jones, both from Missouri, are facing theft charges after trying to drain a restaurant’s used oil container.
Jury selection has begun in the case of 47-year old Joseph Caronna. Caronna was charged with killing his wife and leaving her body to be discovered in Bartlett.
McDonald’s All American senior Anthlon Bell scored 32 points to lead the Panthers to a 59-52 victory over Millington.
Meanwhile, the lady Panthers couldn’t get closer than four as they fell to the Trojans 44-40.
Bartlett’s Taylor Hasley and Stephanie Hochu were among others that attended the USA Volleyball High Performance Camp in Colorado Springs.
The Shelby County grand jury returned an indictment against Christopher Minton, charged in a crash killing 14-year old Bolton High School student Rachel Lutrell. Minton was found to be under the influence and traveling up to 70 mph in a 35 mph zone. Two others, Dillon Koonce and Mallory McCord recovered from their injuries.
In the first month of January Bartlett police arrested 19 people for purchasing more pseudoephedrine products than state law allows. The practice, called “smurfing” as the offenders gather the products containing the key ingredient needed to make methamphetamine.
Three St. Anne Catholic students donated their birthday presents to charity. Allie Replogle and Gabrielle Rye along with Alyssa de Jong donated to the Missionaries of Charity and LeBonheur Children’s Hospital respectively.
Arlington headquartered Wright Medical Group named Daniel Garen as Chief Compliance Officer.
Rich Products Corporation of Arlington was awarded a $25,000 state grant for training.
Zachary Cyganek of Bolton High School was awarded honors at the Scholastic Mid-South Art Competition. The art was displayed at Brooks Museum of Art.
Bartlett resident and Christian Brothers High School graduate Jacob Moody was named Player of the Year by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association.
Home sales are rising in Bartlett with January sales up 23 percent from the year previous. Lakeland had 10 homes sales, up 67 percent from a year ago.
Suburbanites say trust is their motivating factor in supporting municipal schools over consolidation.
Twelve wrestlers with Bartlett connections advanced to the state championships. Christopher Dalrymple from Bolton,108; Andrew Zarshendas and Luke Cardwell from Bolton and Arlington respectively, 120; Cameran Hall from Arlington and Jaren Holt from Bolton, 126; Alex Lineberry from Arlington at 132; Kristopher Strawn from Bartlett and Corey Hunt from Bolton at 138; Brandon Townsend and Caleb Ellenburg from Bartlett and Arlington at 145; Kevin Reeves from Bartlett, 160; and Adrian Keeley from Bartlett at 285.
William Speight, an Arlington Police Officer, was arrested for DUI while driving in the area of Chimney Rock and Berryhill.
Bartlett’s girls basketball team fell in the title game of District 14-AAA as Arlington won 52-42. Rachell Hughs led Bartlett with 18 in the season-ending loss.
Bartlett boys took the region’s top honors with a 57-51 beating of rival Cordova. Marquarious Boddie led the Panthers with 24 on the evening.
The City of Bartlett distributed free seedlings for Arbor Day.
A public hearing on the proposed municipal school district will be held May 10. All six municipalities are creating ordinances providing for the districts.
A robbery victim was reported driving from one bank to another when a 60-year old black man force him to withdraw funds from an ATM.
Ivy Depew of Bartlett was crowned Miss Walking Tall and will compete in the Miss Tennessee competition. The former Miss Memphis and Miss Chattanooga is a senior sociology major at the University of Memphis.
Two dozen minors were busted by Shelby County Sheriff’s officer in Lakeland and a vandalism spree led to arson in Bartlett.
The Lady Panthers earned their first trip to the Region 7-AAA tournament with a 61-54 win over Munford. Arlington also advanced with a 56-39 win over Hardin County.
Two men are sought in an attempted robbery of Colton’s Steakhouse. No cash was taken in the attempt.
Bartlett students are taking part in the Shelby County Youth Court program. Students serve as jurors and even dole out punishment.
Betty Collier released her second book “Angel in my Room.” The Bartlett resident shares a true story of love, compassion and forgiveness.
A fourth murder suspect in the killing of a Bartlett resident was arrested in Chicago. Demetreous Santiago is charged in the murder of 57-year old former police officer Charles Jones.
Bartlett’s boys’ basketball team fell a game shy as they lost to East 87-77 in sub-state action. Arlington’s girls also fell in sub-state play, 75-56, to Central.
February homes sales spiked 75 percent across Shelby County and Bartlett alike.
A proposed redistricting plan would provide an additional suburban seat on the county commission.
Shadowlawn Middle School teacher Glenda Mayhan was accepted at the prestigious Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
Arlington High School’s pom and dance team were named the nation’s best at the 2012 championships.
Shelby County 4-Hers are collecting dollars to help animals find a home. “Buck and Friends” is a fund raiser to rescue abandoned animals in the Ghost River area.
Dispatcher Debbie Stewart, a 10-year employee, was one of 20 national finalists for the Smart Communicator Award. Stewart was honored for her help in finding the suspects in former police officer Charles Jones.
A Trail of Tears ceremony, showcasing Bartlett’s part in the historic route, was held at the Bartlett Public Library.
Bolton students put together their first senior select show with their artwork displayed in downtown Memphis.
Saint Francis Hospital held their annual Doctor Appreciation Day with Dr. Melvin Payne III receiving the leadership award.
Kenny Crenshaw, owner of Herbi-Systems was honored as entrepreneur of the year by the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce.
Three Bartlett artists were chosen to show their work at the Shops of Saddle Creek exhibit. Sculptor David Day, jewelry maker Beth Prussia Day and clay artist Jen Winfrey all showed their work.
The Transformations Autism Center moved to Bartlett at 6761 Stage Road.
The Bank of Bartlett has invited residents to “name the Tiger” that adorns the headquarters’ front lawn.
The City of Bartlett honored its employees of the year in each department. They include: Detective Christopher Golden, Lt. Blake Boros, Herman O. Nails, Laura Smith and Tim Laughlin.
Bartlett Station will once again host a farmer’s market under the direction of Beverly Holmgren.
The Bartlett Arts Council hosted “Chalk the Walk” a sidewalk art project in conjunction with the annual St. Anne Church block party.
Arlington Square hosted its annual festival with face painting, moon bounces, food, arts, crafts and more.
Bartlett Performing Arts presents “Barefoot in the Park”
Alex Eilers, a Bartlett woman, and manager of education at the Pink Palace, went to Antarctica to assist the seal population.
Appling Middle School unveiled the Nodya Hair Memorial Reading Garden to honor the long time school librarian who passed away in 2011.
Tennessee Titans football player Jared Cook spoke to Bon Lin students as part of the team’s caravan across the state.
Bartlett teachers were recognized as part of National Teachers Day.
Joey Elkins was inducted into the National Bowling Hall of Fame. Elkins, from Arlington set multiple bowling records from the 1960s to the 1980s, many of which still stand.
Debbie Stewart was awarded the Smart Telecommunicator Award.
Bartlett’s Community Concert Band was invited to perform at the National Cemetery with congressman Steve Cohen and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton in attendance.
Bartlett playwrite Howard Pries had his play, “The Comfort Zone,” performed at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center.
Appling Middle School students raised $11,800 for the American Heart Association in their annual Hoops for Heart fundraiser.
Pam Kendrick was highlighted as the general manager of Memphis International Speedway. A Bartlett resident, she is a rare female manager in the motorsports world.
Bartlett Patrolman Brian Hanson was one of 28 officers honored by the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
Amateur radio enthusiasts will meet in Bartlett this June to hold their annual field day. Sterling Ledger LLC and Calabash Restaurants both held ribbon cuttings.
Elizabeth Scheiderer and Samantha Hall were honored as Rivercrest Elementaries' top math students.
Arlington’s girls’ softball team captured district honors with a 2-1 win over Bolton.
Former Bartlett first lady Irene Yates passed away.
Bartlett Missionaries including Debi Gray and Brenda and Wayne Carson went to Sichibeya, and impoverished village in Zambia, Africa.
Benchmark Human Services and Dollar Savers held their ribbon cutting. Bartlett Vision celebrated their 20th anniversary.
Andrea Stark Bishop released her romance novel Cloud Shadow. Bishop is an adjunct professor of writing at SW Tennessee Community College.
Phil Johnson has been appointed Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce’s director of economic development.
The Daughters of the American Revolution honored WWII veterans at Singleton Community Center.
Bartlett Chamber of Commerce presented its Barty Awards to a variety of individuals and businesses.
Nicole King Rollins of Bartlett was among a team of cheerleaders that traveled to the Olympics to cheer for the US Olympic men’s basketball team.
Erik Proseus of Bartlett created a mobile weather application designed to assist people learn about impending storm alerts.
Lauren Hall, of Bartlett, took home the title of world champion in an American Taekwondo Tournament in Little Rock.
Frances Bruce, centenarian and publisher, received a key to the City of Bartlett from Mayor Keith McDonald. Bruce, still active at 100, wrote the story of her life growing up in Alamo, TN in 1985.
Shelby County voters are being asked to pass a half cent sales tax increase. If passed, it would override the vote of the six municipalities that supported a municipal school system in each community.
The Holiday Inn celebrated its 60rh year with a celebration on Hwy 64 in Cordova.
Kelly Rogers of Bartlett was presented the “Barbara McAndrew Herald Award” recognizing individuals who actively promote the profession of pharmacy.
Bartlett High School graduate Kyle Cartwright won his fifth poker title and will compete in the World Series of Poker.
Shelby County Commissioners overrode Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s veto and supported a county-wide half cent sales tax initiative.
The Bartlett Express unveiled their new website Bartlett-Express.com. The web offering will allow Bartlett to provide up-to-the-minute news in a daily format.
Bartlett’s Parks and Recreation hosted their annual Small Fry Tri amidst intermittent showers. The program instills the need for fitness in children.
Memphis Grizzly guard Mike Conley hosted a bowl-n-bash at Andy B’s Bowling Center in Bartlett. Proceed went to Methodist Hospital’s Sickle Cell Center.
Neighborhood residents voiced concerns on the changing of the historic Cedar Hill into a Bed and Breakfast.
Bartlett’s Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual A la carte with hundreds in attendance.
The City of Bartlett is considering the annexation of five parcels, increasing the cities’ geography by more than 20 percent and more than 6,000 residents.
Calling Shelby County the economic engine that drives the state, Senator Mark Norris urged area businesses to pull together in a talk to the chamber of commerce.
Former mayor Bobby Flaherty provided insight to the Bartlett Historical Society and Sharon Jasper of Bartlett won the blue ribbon at the Delta Fair’s Pie Baking Championship.
Curves, Ervin Hypnosis and St Francis all hosted ribbon cuttings
Bartlett author Elaine Meece, a former elementary teacher, is living her dream as a writer.
Smith and Nephew hosted an energy conference “The Reality of Green” promoting clean energy and affecting the bottom line for businesses.
Bartlett saw a loss in the jobless rate in September, down a half point to 6.5 percent.
Area athletic directors and coaches are concerned that a unified school district could mean monies raised locally for school equipment could be siphoned off elsewhere.
Bartlett United Methodist Church hosts their music at noon program with a series of artists.
Bartlett held its annual fall festival and Bolton bounced Bartlett High School 41-6 in the annual BHS Bowl.
Mayor Keith McDonald spoke of Delta Airlines, at-risk high school students, housing permits and more in his annual state of the city address to the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce.
Bolton students were in the pink as they support breast cancer awareness in their game against Dyer.
Bartlett Extreme Team swimmer Mila Sesay won more than a race when her father Yayah Sesay surprised her by returning home from his tour in Afghanistan.
A trail, dedicated to the memory of Kathy Lawhon was unveiled at Bartlett Elementary. Lawhon Lane was funded by a grant to the school and was in honor of the longtime teacher who passed from pancreatic cancer.
Bartlett alumni Craig and Tony Yarbrough were honored at a Bartlett High School football game. Weeks later, the two brothers honored the school with a donation of a new sound system for the football field.
Bartlett’s board of aldermen approved the annexation of five different geographies, expanding Bartlett by nearly 21 percent.
The board also approved a special use permit for a proposed bed and breakfast for historic Cedar Hall.
Brianna Wilkinson was crowned homecoming queen at Bartlett High School.
Rev. Dr. Clyde and Suzanne Getman and Jari Dykstra, a Bartlett educator, all travelled to Serabu to dedicate seven wells and educate the population on safe drinking water.
The Lady Panther volleyball team finished their season undefeated in their district and won the district 14AAA championship
Bartlett High School students learned the dangers of texting while driving from 21-year old Fletcher Cleaves. Cleaves was paralyzed when an oncoming motorist forced him into the ditch. The motorist was texting and left the scene of the accident.
Ellendale Elementary was named a rewards school by Gov. Bill Haslam.
Lt. Rory Mack retired from his position with the Bartlett Police Department after 35 years of service.
Bartlett aldermen approved nine of 13 proposed changes in the storm water ordinance.
An assistance dog is part of St. Anne first grade classroom. Teague works with first grader Jayla Dorsey who suffers from health issues.
Bartlett’s girls’ 24th ranked volleyball team fell in the first round of state tournament action.
Paula Sedwick defeated Jason Sykes for the lone aldermen seat and five others earned what turned out to be short-term school board seats in local elections. Jeff Norris, Erin Berry, Shirley Jackson, Donald Woodruff and David Cook all won seats in school elections.
Jeanette Rainey was remembered as a servant to the city after passing. She was actively involved in Bartlett City Beautiful and the Bartlett Historical Society among other committees.
Christian Brothers University packed 12,000 meals to be sent to Haiti as part of the nursing program’s mission trip to St. Vincent’s School and Orphanage.
Ellendale students raised $665 for the kids at Le Bonheur and St. Agnes Academy won their first state championship in volleyball.
David Bradley retired from the fire department after 31 years as a fireman and fire marshal.
Bolton coach Tommy Miller was named district coach of the year after leading his Wildcat football team to the playoffs.
Maria McClendon left the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce as its marketing manager. Ribbon cuttings were held for C1 Inc and Bartlett Floral Gallery.
LaBria Wimberly was named one of five finalists for the Youth Leader of the Year Award. She is a senior at Bolton High School.
Bruno’s Italian opened in Bartlett at the Old Pig-N-Whistle location.
Trevor Thompson was honored for his work with Sickle Cell and 125 special athletes competed at the St. Anne Special Athletes Fun Day.
Judge Samual Mays ruled against the opportunity for Municipal schools paving the way for a consolidated school system. Local elected officials continue to meet with the county opposition to find center ground on the issue.
Andy B’s bowling lanes officially re-opened in Bartlett with expanded alleys and a VIB room.
Bartlett’s jobless rate rose one tenth of a percent but remains the second lowest rate among Shelby County communities.
An Arlington man, Richard Trey Rush, completed a 14-day outdoor training program in the Teton Valley of Idaho.
Bartlett High School baseball coach Phil Clark was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Clark has the most wins of any coach in Tennessee baseball history.
The City of Bartlett is seeking more than $29 million in road project funds for a variety of repaving and expanding projects. The city is also in the middle of revamping its sign ordinance to allow staff to make more decisions without having to go for approval.
Forty-four children were served in the annual Cops and Kids program allowing children to get gifts for Christmas this year.
Above and Beyond Electric is putting on a synchronized light display for individuals to enjoy this holiday season.
Kimberly Harvey was sentenced to three years for identity theft in US District court. Saint Francis earned an A for patient safety by the Leapfrog group.