Northeast Ohio's Top 20 news stories of 2013: Sports, Movies, Media, Construction & Crime

CLEVELAND - It was a busy year for local news in Northeast Ohio. The NewsChannel5 newsroom took a vote on which stories were the most memorable local news stories of 2013.

Here's our Top 20 list:

20. January 30, 2013 – Cleveland’s historic West Side Market catches fire, forcing several vendors to shut down for more than two weeks while the market is cleaned and repaired. The market re-opened for business on President’s Day and featured a 'cleaner than ever' rehabilitated interior.

19. March 19, 2013 – Former Chardon High School student and convicted killer TJ Lane is sentenced for his crimes in Geauga County Common Pleas. A brazen Lane wore a T-shirt reading "KILLER" and flipped off family members of the victims of the Chardon High School shooting during the sentencing, sending shock waves through the community, which was still on the mend from the murder of three students, Daniel Parmertor and Demetrius Hewlin, both 16, and Russell King Jr., 17 a little more than one year prior.

18. March 24, 2013 – Beachwood resident and mother of four, Aliza Sherman, is stabbed in downtown Cleveland after visiting her attorney. Sherman would later die of her injuries. The homicide, which happened near the Galleria in downtown Cleveland, remains unsolved, despite substantial reward money offered by Crimestoppers and surveillance video of a person of interest from the scene.

17. May 3, 2013Taylor Robinson, 19, of Akron is reported missing by family. Robinson, a Kent State University student, had not been seen since her mother dropped her off at an Akron home where she worked overnight as a home health-care aide. The next morning, Robinson’s coat and shoes were found inside the home, but she was not there. After four months of searches, vigils, family members passing out flyers and even hiring a private investigator, her family receives word that skeletal remains found in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in September are Robinson’s. A homicide investigation by rangers and Akron police is underway, but police have not announced any suspects.

16. May 13, 2013Hernandez Warren is arrested and subsequently indicted for 1984 murder of Gloria Pointer. Warren, 58, is charged with aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping of 14-year-old Pointer, who never made it to school on Dec. 6, 1984. Her mother spoke in December with Leon Bibb.

15. October 18, 2013 – Brimfield’s Police Chief David Oliver becomes an “internet sensation,” garnering more than 136,000 Facebook followers in 2013 despite the city boasting a population just north of 3,200. Oliver publishes his first book, “No Mopes Allowed.”

14. September 3, 2013Ariel Castro commits suicide while in jail just two months after he is sentenced to life in prison without parole for the kidnapping and rape of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.

13. November 18, 2013 – A heroin epidemic sweeps northeast Ohio, making 2013 the deadliest year on record for heroin-related deaths. Following a deadly string of overdoses in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announces a new Attorney General's Heroin Unit, made up of investigators, lawyers, and drug abuse awareness specialists to assist in combating issues associated with the heroin epidemic, such as crime, addiction, and overdose deaths. Later that week, the Cleveland Clinic partners with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other agencies for a day-long summit on combating the heroin epidemic in Ohio, which claimed more than 600 lives in 2013.

12. July 22, 2013Michael Madison of East Cleveland is charged with rape and murder of Shetisha Sheeley, Shirellda Terry and Angela Deskin. Police declare Madison a serial killer, sending chills through a community that is not far from where Cleveland’s Anthony Sowell killed 11 women several years prior. East Cleveland mayor Gary Norton said he believed that Madison may have been influenced by Sowell. Madison’s case is set for trial in 2014.

11. April 9, 2013 & Dec. 18, 2013 – Northeast Ohio’s first Racinos open with expansions at Thistledown in North Randall (owned by Rock Gaming/Caesars) and the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield. The venues are the first of their kind for northeast Ohio and look to capitalize on Ohio’s legalization of gambling to bring new life into the two longtime racing venues.

10. October 11, 2013 – The remains of Christina Adkins, missing since 1995, are recovered from an area underneath a highway overpass near I-90 and Jennings Freeway. A suspect, Elias Acevedo is eventually charged in her murder along with the murder of another victim, Pamela Pemberton, among other charges. On December 30, 2013, he pleaded guilty to 297 charges with a sentence of 445 years in prison without parole.

9. June 14, 2013 & October 14, 2013Cleveland’s new Convention Center and the Global Center for Health Innovation open. The first event held at the new convention center was the Senior Games in July 2013, which saw 35,000 visitors to the brand new center. The Center for Global Health and Innovation (commonly referred to as the “medical mart”) opened in October with the Cleveland Clinic's 11th Annual Medical Innovation Summit, one of the country’s premier healthcare gatherings.

8. Jan. 10, 2013 & Dec. 29, 2013 – Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski is hired, and then subsequently fired in less than one year. Chudzinski (known as “Chud”) led the Browns to a 4-12 season record in 2013 and was the Browns' sixth coach in the past 10 years.

7. September 29, 2013 – The Cleveland Indians make the MLB playoffs for first time in six years after a late-season surge with 10 straight wins—and 21 wins in the month of September—to earn an American League Wild Card spot. The Tribe would go on to lose a one game Wild Card playoff on October 2 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

6. March 4, 2013 – April 30, 2013Strongsville teachers union goes on strike over contract negotiations. The strike, which remained contentious throughout its eight weeks, left residents with mixed emotions upon its settlement.

5. November 9, 2013 – The Innerbelt Bridge, phase 1, is completed with a brand new westbound bridge. Although it is designed to run four lanes of westbound only traffic, the bridge will begin by running traffic, two lanes in each direction, until the new eastbound bridge is completed.

4. July 30, 2013Plain Dealer cuts a third of staff, announces reduction in home delivery to three days a week.

3. May 30, 2013 – The production for the "Captain America" sequel filming in Cleveland shuts down west Shoreway for two weeks and causes major backups for drivers coming in from the west side.

2. April 15, 2013Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam’s business Pilot Flying J is raided by the FBI which leads to an $85 million settlement. Haslam goes on to face lawsuits from several trucking companies throughout the remainder of the year.

1. May 6, 2013 – Missing women Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escape from years of captivity in a Seymour Avenue house. All three women were abducted by Ariel Castro, 52, a former school bus driver, who lived at the Seymour house with the women unbeknownst to anyone until the day Amanda Berry escaped, allowing police to find Knight and DeJesus in the home.

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