2012: Top Local Stories

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As we continue to look back at the top stories here in Rutherford County in 2012, one that dominated headlines locally and around the world was the building and opening of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. In May, Chancellor Robert Corlew ruled the county did not give enough public notice given prior to the building permit being granted. A federal judge overturned that ruling and the Islamic Center was occupied. Expect to hear more about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in 2013 since an appeal to the public notice lawsuit is still scheduled to be heard.
Back in may, it took the Chattanooga jury just a few hours to reach a verdict in the Tina Stewart murder trial. Circuit Court Judge Don Ash delivered the jury's verdict against Shanterrica Madden...

Madden was sentenced to 29 years in prison back in July. She is appealing the verdict.
This year's general election went mostly uncontroversial, with two big exception. Accusations of sexual harrassment against then Property Assessor Bill Boner and opposition from local developers because of increased property taxes helped Democrat Rob Mitchell defeat the incumbent. Also, Congressman Scott DeJarlais won re-election to the 4th Congressional District, which now includes Rutherford County. This despite the revelation of alleged affairs and abortions. Already, two Rutherford County politicians, State Senator Jim Tracy and State Representative Joe Carr are considering a run against DeJarlais in 2014.
Other big stories from 2012:
  • After years of planning, the MTSU science building construction received approval with a price tag of 147-million dollars. 
  • Wal-Mart announced plans to expand. A new location on South Church Street was approved and a public hearing for one on Memorial by the airport is planned for early 2013.
  • MTSU announced plans to move from the Sun Belt Conference to Conference USA in all sports, as early as next year. 
  • Nissan expanded production at the Smyrna facility and constructed a battery plant as they plan for production of the new Leaf electric car. 
  • Construction began on Amazon here in Murfreesboro continued for much of 2012. The site, along with a fulfillment center in Lebanon, will bring over one-thousand new jobs to the mid-state.
  • Harry Gill, Junior, stepped down as Director of Rutherford County Schools at the end of the last school year. He was replaced by Don Odom, a longtime assistant under Gill. 
  • Dr. Clark Harrell was named the first principal of Stewarts Creek High School, which will open in August. He will begin work in that position this week. 
  • The T-Double-S-Double-A Board of Control meeting in Hermitage on Monday proved beneficial to the Rutherford County economy. The board voted in favor of a four-year contract extension proposed by the Rutherford County Chamber to hold Spring Fling through 2017 and the Division One girls and boys basketball championships through 2016-2017. 
  • The city of Murfreesboro spent 2012 celebrating its bicentennial birthday. Special events were held all year long in conjunction with the celebration. 
  • Drought conditions and extremely hot weather this past summer prompted local leaders to issue burn bans and Murfreesboro outlawed fireworks during the Fourth of July because of the conditions. 
  • The Murfreesboro City Council discussed for months a proposed expansion of the municipal airport. Opposition to the length of the runway led to the eventual shortening of the expansion and passage by the council.
  • Murfreesboro icon City Cafe was closed back in May for a short time after federal tax liens were filed against owner Scott Perkins. The 112-year old business re-opened with new owners Rusty and Cindy Perkins. 
  • Murfreesboro's Colton Dixon quickly rose to fame on last year's American Idol programs. After finishing seventh on the program, his popularity skyrocketed. He will release his debut album A Messenger with Sparrow Records late January.
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