published Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Suggest what you think were the biggest news stories of 2011

What leaps out when you think about the major news stories of 2011?

Was it the devastation and recovery from the April tornadoes? The shooting death of Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin?

Maybe your interest was caught by the Gail Palmgren story. Perhaps it was the first Passat rolling off the line at the VW plant.

And let’s not forget gang violence, the recall effort against Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield and the ongoing heartache of North Georgia’s carpet industry.

Whatever your opinion, the Chattanooga Times Free Press wants to know your choices of the biggest stories of the year. Tell us what they are, number them in terms of their importance, if you like.

Readers can nominate stories until Dec. 12 in comments below or our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. From the suggestions, we’ll compile a list that you’ll vote on. Voting will be open from Dec. 14 to Dec. 21.

You can also mail your list to: Kate Harrison, c/o The Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403. Final picks will run in the newspaper on Dec. 31

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eileen said...
  1. The most absurd story this year for me was Erlanger sending a deceased infant home in a styrofoam cooler. That story was so inhumanly disturbing, it has stayed on my mind for weeks.
  2. The violence in Chattanooga, apparently mostly gang related, has me considering a life-changing move away from the city I have called home for 40 years. Therefore, the series of news stories has significantly impacted my personal life. I find myself constantly instructing my grandchildren on ways to stay alert when in public. I do not want them to fear life outside the home, but I do want them to always be alert to the possibility of wrongdoing nearby.
  3. I was on my way to Rib & Loin to pick up lunch for my family on the day Sgt. Chapin was killed. As I approached the site, I could tell something had gone seriously wrong by the number of police cars, ambulances and activity in the area. Since this event occured so close to home (less than 2 miles) this too keeps me wondering about maintaining a home in Chattanooga.
  4. I followed the Gail Palmgrem story from the start. I did not know her or any of her family, but the events and circumstances never made sense, which was intriging and worthy of additional thought. Even with the recent news of finding her remains and car, and the immediate request (press release) for exoneration from her spouse (through his attorneys)regarding his involment, continues to make me wonder. And no, I do not watch CSI or any other criminal investigation television show. I haven't watched television in more than 25 years.
  5. The painstakingly slow demise of the City of Dalton GA was and continues to be worthy of my attention. The economy hit the area hard and it has devastated so many working families who are now without jobs. It seems so many of the workers were from South American Countries and Mexico, leaving them without extended family support to help them through difficult times.
  6. Although the destructive tornadoes created trauma to all our residents (directly or indirectly) it is ranked lower on my list, as it was an act of nature. There was nothing we could do to prevent it. Our ownly avenue was to react after the fact by trying to find ways to help those in need. The individual family stories were heartbreaking and stories about how the entire area became involved in helping was uplifting and showed the true spirit of the people "in the South." However, the story can't compare to the absolute lack of concern and civility that Erlanger personnel demonstrated to the young African American woman who endured her 3rd miscarrage; who got to hold her tiny baby boy for a few minutes, gaze into his eyes and tell him she loved him; and then be handed his deceased body in a styrofoam cooler.
December 3, 2011 at 10:55 a.m.
dl said...

On a more positive note - Amazon and VW in Chatt. Hopefully the start of an influx of industry.

December 4, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.
jesse said...

locally, the ongoing palmgrin story and the recall and the ramifications for chatta.

nationally , the killing of osama!

December 4, 2011 at noon
MtnSteve said...

U.S. Troops to leave Iraq at years end. The rising and falling GOP stars. The possible collapse of the EU.

December 5, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
bfontana said...

April tornado devastation really hit home for me, so it was by far one of the most impacting news stories I followed and read about this year. I had multiple family members who lost their homes and nearly everything in them, so for me that is at the top of my list.

Another that sticks in my mind is the story of the two young people who were struck and killed by a train.

December 6, 2011 at 9:16 a.m.
jimmiedee said...

Our Cleveland police Cheif Wes Synder doing a big coverup and and saying the Chattanooga Free Press repotins are false. Dont think so Synder must be fired.

December 7, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.
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