A common theme tying many of the stories together was how busy Inland Empire attorneys and judges found themselves, while residents made their voices heard on issues such as controversial high-voltage power lines in Chino Hills and the rejection of a funeral home in Rancho Cucamonga.
The following is a roundup of the major stories from 2012:
• The city faced a lot of turnover as City Manager Patrick Glover announced his retirement Jan.
2012: The year in review
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• The city's final redevelopment project broke ground in October. Slated to be completed in 2014, Ivy at College Park will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for low-income families on a 6.7-acre site within the College Park master plan, near Chaffey College's Chino campus.
• City officials and residents continued a fight against high-voltage power lines running through the city. The city has spent $2 million fighting Southern California Edison over the project. In early December, Edison released a preliminary report on the cost of installing the underground transmission lines.
• City officials also have their hands full with a Chinese maternity hotel reportedly being run in a home at 15250 Woodglen Drive. City Attorney Mark Hensley filed a public nuisance complaint with West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga against Hai Yong Wu and Yi Wang, the owners of the house.
• City officials took steps to acquire Golden State Water Company's assets in the city. Claremont has long been at odds with the water company after Golden State asked the Public Utilities Commission to approve a rate increase of more than 24 percent in 2013 and additional increases in 2014 and 2015.
The City Council also determined hours and fees for Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. Construction of the park's expanded parking areas was also started to accommodate increased interest in the park's trails.
• U.S. Soccer has named Alex Morgan, a Diamond Bar native and forward on the U.S. Women's National Team, the Female Athlete of the Year. The award is the highest honor for soccer players in the United States.
• A $6 million marijuana-growing operation was busted in Diamond Bar in October. Police found more than 2,000 plants in three homes in Diamond Bar and Rowland Heights. Electricity was reportedly was being illegally taken from Edison equipment at all three houses. Two men were arrested.
• Retail giant Walmart's decision to build two supercenters here drew some opposition - even though those stores might not open until 2016, or even later. One of the nearly 200,000-square-foot supercenters is set for south of the 210 Freeway at Sierra Avenue, with the other planned south of the 10 Freeway near Sierra and Slover avenues.
• Workers at three Kaiser Permanente hospitals in the Inland area picketed facilities in December to protest the upcoming layoffs of more than 500 medical professionals across Southern California. Union leaders say they were informed by the medical provider that 530 positions will be eliminated. The layoffs could include more than 150 nurses and other workers at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Fontana, Riverside and Ontario, union officials said.
• On Nov. 12, more than 1,500 citizens dedicated the first phase of the La Verne Veterans Memorial to recognize military veterans who served in war and peace. The memorial is at Bonita and Wheeler avenues in La Verne.
• A $25 million residence hall opened at University of La Verne, and a $4 million renovation of the University of La Verne's football stadium was completed in early August.
• In a contentious race, City Council incumbents John Dutrey and Carolyn Raft won the Nov. 7 election against newcomers Sean Brunske and Richard Beltran, as well as write-in candidate Philip Ruiz. The race was centered on pension costs.
• The Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, in which former Laker Earvin "Magic" Johnson is a partner, made a $25.7 million investment in a joint venture with an affiliate of GLJ Partners for the acquisition and development of The Paseos, a transit-oriented apartment development in north Montclair.
• Allegations of misconduct surrounded Ontario Convention Center management officials in July. The findings of an investigative audit performed by Pennsylvania- based SMG World, which operates the center, led to a mass exodus of key management staff on Wednesday, including the center's general manager and CEO, Bob Brown. The City Council approved a five-year extension to the firm's contract on May 1.
• City officials in October finally moved dirt after a multiyear battle to build a Walmart in the city. The 119,000-square-foot supercenter, which is being built at the northwest corner of Mountain Avenue and Fifth Street, is set to open in the fall.
• Library hours changed this summer after the implementation of personnel and service cuts. Plans had called for temporarily closing the library at 625 S. Garey Ave. for a year as part of a cost-cutting effort.
• Council members also approved plans in July for a new waste transfer station in the 1300 block of East Ninth Street. Construction is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months from the approval. Residents had expressed concern over the number of trucks that would be in the area and health problems they say could result from their presence and their numbers.
• Some residents fought a plan to build a funeral home in their Etiwanda neighborhood. The council denied the project from Service Corp. International. City leaders said a major factor in the denial of the permit came from the emotional distress that residents testified would occur if the funeral home was built near their homes.
• Some residents in the city's largest landscape district say the idea of another election over a rate increase is unnecessary because people already decided the matter in 2011. But city officials said they're giving residents an opportunity to decide whether to hold another one because some residents expressed that not enough property owners in the area were aware of the consequences if significant service reductions are made.
• The investigation of former Mayor John Pomierski came to an end in 2012, with his sentencing in August to two years in federal prison for accepting a bribe. Pomierski pleaded guilty to accepting a $5,000 payment from the property owner of Chronic Cantina restaurant in Upland in exchange for helping him get a conditional-use permit.
• Former Upland City Manager Robb Quincey was charged in October with felonies including unlawful misappropriation of public money, gaining personal benefit from an official contract and giving false testimony under oath. He pleaded not guilty Dec. 20 in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga.
• The region garnered national attention when authorities announced they had arrested four Inland Empire men suspected of conspiring to plot terrorist attacks against U.S. overseas targets. The four pleaded not guilty this month during an arraignment in federal court. Sohiel Omar Kabir, 35, of Pomona - the suspected ringleader whom prosecutors say recruited two of the defendants to embark on a holy war against the U.S. - faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. The other three defendants, Ralph Kenneth Deleon, 23, of Ontario, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, of Upland, and Arifeen David Gojali, 21, of Riverside, each face a maximum of 15 years in federal prison.
• Aaron Sandusky, a former Upland-based dispensary owner, faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and could receive as much as a life sentence, according to federal prosecutors. Sandusky was convicted of conspiracy to grow marijuana, to possess marijuana with intent to distribute it and to maintain a drug-related premises. He will be sentenced Jan. 7 in U.S. District Court.
• Westminster police detective and former Marine Anthony Orban, 33, was found guilty in June of kidnapping a woman at gunpoint on April 3, 2010 in a parking lot at Ontario Mills and later beating and raping her for about an hour in Fontana. Orban killed himself in jail just before his sentencing.
• Ervin McKinness, 21, of Ontario was killed Sept. 2 on Haven Avenue in the car crash that garnered worldwide attention due to Twitter posts he made just before the crash. A Twitter message was posted by @ink2flashyy that read "Drunk (expletive) going 120 drifting corners," at 1:19 a.m. Sept. 2. The post ended with the acronym YOLO, which means "You Only Live Once." Marquell Bogan, 23, and Dylan George, 20, both of Ontario and JaJuan Bennett, 23, of Rancho Cucamonga were also killed in the crash at Creekside Drive and Haven Avenue.
• Two men - Steven Carter and Michael Andre Hall - have been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of three men in an apparent home invasion robbery in southwest Ontario on Nov. 26. Three men reportedly broke into a South Magnolia Avenue when a gun battle occurred. Two of the intruders and a resident died in the fight.
• Most public schools districts' revenue comes from the cash-strapped state of California, which has been turning the faucet off, bit by bit, throughout the recession, as well as performing accounting tricks like delaying payments to local districts and forcing districts to pay for short-term loans to cover the resulting shortfalls. As a result, nearly all of California's public school districts have had to lay off teachers in recent years.
• After years of cuts to public education, resulting in shorter school years, fewer courses and increasing tuition, 54 percent of California voters gave a thumbs-up to Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase, Proposition 30. The proposition adds a new quarter-cent sales tax and increases income taxes on individuals making more than $250,000 a year.
• State Sen. Gloria Negrete- McLeod defeated veteran Rep. Joe Baca for the honor of representing the 35th Congressional District, which includes much of the Inland Valley. McLeod and Baca are both Democrats who competed under new California rules that allow candidates of the same party to run against each other in a general election. Baca, first elected to Congress in 1999, raised more money than McLeod, but the latter candidate benefited from more than $5 million in outside spending from Independence USA, a Super PAC controlled by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
• The redistricting process ensured hundreds of thousands of Inland Empire residents would have new Congressional representatives before a single vote was cast. Long-serving Reps. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, and Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, decided to retire after the Citizens Redistricting Commission finished drawing new district lines in 2011.