2012 Year in Review - National

WI Staff | 12/26/2012, 9:26 a.m.

In 2012, the majority of stories in this election year focused on the hard-fought battle for the White House between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The ideological and other differences between both candidates and parties made the race a bitter one and produced an increasingly contentious race.

Other issues The Informer covered included the lingering effects of the 2008 recession; the attempts by the GOP to implement widespread voter suppression tactics; the steady uptick of poverty in the country; the Occupy movement; the changes brought about in the Middle East by the Arab Spring; the murder of 17-year-old Travyon Martin and the national outrage and protests that ensued for 44 days until the man who shot and killed him was jailed; the gridlock that brought Congress and much meaningful political activity to a standstill; and the global economic meltdown in parts of Europe and countries around the world.

Sandusky Sentence Well Deserved, the Public Says - As he has read and listened to televised accounts of the abuses the disgraced former Penn State University defensive coordinator visited on defenseless young victims, Del McFadden said he has one recurring question: How could this have gone on so long without Jerry Sandusky being detected? That is just one of a number of questions the public is left to ask following a high-profile trial after which Sandusky was found guilty in 45 of 48 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over the course of 15 years. The 68-year-old convicted pedophile could spend the rest of his life in prison if his appeals are rebuffed.

FAMU Still Reeling from Hazing Death - Robert Champion's death was totally unnecessary and as details of his death emerge, has cast a pall over two renowned institutions: the university and the famed Florida A&M Marching 100. Champion, an Atlanta resident, died last November after what police described as an incident of hazing. He died after witnesses said he ran a gauntlet where he was beaten with drum fists, bass drum mallets and drumsticks. Champion, 26, is alleged to have entered a bus in a parking lot in Orlando at the Florida Classic football game in the hopes of gaining his peers respect by enduring the abuse.

President Obama Delivers Third Address to the Nation - President Barack Obama delivered the third State of the Union of his presidency before a joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives, and for much of the hour-long address he spoke of his determination to help restore the fortunes of America's beleaguered middle class.

Supreme Court Considers Health Care Reform - Supreme Court convenes hearings on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and affordable Care Act, dubbed Obama Care. The case was considered the most significant since Brown vs. Board of Education - a landmark case that led to the end of legalized school segregation 50 years earlier.

Smiley and West Shine Spotlight on Poverty - The 48-year-old mother of one tentatively approached the microphone at the conclusion of The Poverty Tour 2.0 stop at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., and captivated the crowd with her story. "I am a single mother, unassisted. I have no support from the system. I want to work. What am I to do?" she asked plaintively. "I feel like I'm being punished by the system. To have no support from the system. I grew up in Alexandria, I went to public school here. I have excellent credit but I can't get a home because I don't make $30,000 ... my daughter deserves better. Every child does."