As we look back on 2022, many challenges and opportunities arose for the Capital City.
But readers agree certain issues and events resonated more than others. From Dec. 9-28, the News Tribune asked readers to vote on the top 10 local stories of the year out of 21 options picked by our staff.
Voting through an online poll, readers chose these stories as their top picks.
1. Double homicide at downtown bar: A man was charged with murder and three other crimes in connection to a shooting at Nov. 26 at J Pfenny's that left two people dead. The victims were Corey Thames, who was involved in a fight with the shooter, and Skyler Smock, an employee at J Pfenny's who tried to break up the fight, according to the probable cause statement.
2. Capitol Avenue homes: How to address blighted, but historical, homes is the crux of an expansive redevelopment plan along Capitol Avenue. The city for years hoped some homes in the area could be restored through private developers, and it seems during the course of the next few months, its plan could come to fruition. It has already been decided by officials that three houses are reprieved from demolition after receiving interest. For five homes in the areas, however, demolition looms.
3. Capital Region Medical Center targeted in cyber attack: A cyber attack in December 2021 left Capital Region Medical Center nearly mute for more than two weeks. In June, CRMC sent a news release stating it was reviewing files to find out whose records and what information hackers accessed and would notify any individuals affected.
4. Workforce housing: When Cole County fell in line for more than $7 million planners hoped would go toward workforce housing, Jefferson City divvied up the revenue between three developers, who hoped to use the money as leverage to get tax credits from the federal government. All the developers needed was a resolution of support for each project from the city. Five council members voted for each resolution and five voted against. The meeting got heated, and comments shocked and angered developers and nonprofit leaders. Mayor Carrie Tergin broke each tie by casting votes in support. But the damage was done. Several council and community members vowed to send letters of opposition to the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which they did. Although Jefferson City projects were among the highest-scoring in the state, the commission kicked them out of consideration earlier this month because of the opposition.
5. Housing study: A study released at the end of August identified key findings and opportunities to address a shortage of affordable housing in Jefferson City. The findings set some wheels in motion and spurred talk about the need for more housing options in the Capital City.
6. John Moseley named Lincoln University president: Although he'd been at the helm for more than a year and a half, John Moseley was officially named Lincoln University's president near the end of January. Moseley, the university's former athletic director and head basketball coach, had been serving in an interim capacity for about eight months before the Board of Curators offered him the permanent job. Under his leadership, Lincoln has filled most of its open administrative seats, started a $17 million renovation of its largest residence hall, restructured scholarships to provide automatic awards, reversed a decade-long trend of declining enrollment with a 2 percent increase in the fall and started on a salary survey to compare employee wages to those of their peers at other universities. He's been credited with bringing a fresh atmosphere to the university.
7. Congressional redistricting: With the use of parliamentary maneuvers a day before the Legislature adjourned, Senate leadership pushed forward a map maintaining the state's 6-2 representation in Congress with some alterations to district boundaries. It was quickly approved in the Missouri House and signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson. Parson was frustrated with the Legislature's long, drawn-out process for congressional redistricting and said it likely killed other legislative priorities. He signed Missouri's new congressional map in May after venting his frustrations with the General Assembly's handling of the process. After hours of filibuster and months of negotiations, the state Legislature passed the new congressional map in the final days of the legislative session.
8. The Foot named a Historic Legacy District: Lafayette Street and the Historic Foot was named a historic legacy district last month, a new codification that was created to preserve and recognize the area and the stories of a marginalized community that once lived, socialized and did business there.
9. State budget: Missouri lawmakers created and passed a record-breaking $49 billion budget this year. The budget fully funded the state's share of school transportation costs for the first time in 20 years, fully funded Lincoln University's land grant match for the first time, temporarily subsidized an increase in teacher salaries, directed $2.5 billion to expand Medicaid eligibility and appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars for water infrastructure improvements, broadband internet development and construction projects at 13 university and college campuses, among other requests. Passage of the largest budget in Missouri history, which was negotiated for much of the session, came down to the wire as state lawmakers gave final approval just hours before the deadline imposed by the state Constitution.
10. Pro-choice and pro-life rallies: On June 24, the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, dozens gathered on the steps of the Missouri Supreme Court to rally in support of the decision. Two days later, pro-choice advocates took to the state Capitol to fight for abortion rights.