Gerber: The top stories of 2012: Help us pick 'em

Gerber: The top stories of 2012: Help us pick 'em

November 18th, 2012 by Alison Gerber in Opinion Columns

There was no shortage of big news stories in 2012.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield avoids recall.

Vols fans rage about UT's lackluster season; coach Derek Dooley's future is in question.

Volkswagen adds jobs. Erlanger cuts jobs.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee gets a new chief executive officer.

City officials start a comprehensive effort to curtail gangs.

The cityscape transforms as workers widen U.S. Highway 27.

And two sets of young brothers died tragically - two killed in a go-kart accident and another two who died when their body temperatures reached 109 and 103 degrees after they were left in an enclosed space.

The Times Free Press is again asking readers to help pick the top local stories of the year. Starting today until Nov. 25, you can vote for what you think are the top 10 stories of the year. Voting is easy - go online at or to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed to pick your top 10. Or fill out a ballot that will appear in the Metro sections of this week's papers and mail your picks to: Metro Editor Chris Vass, c/o The Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403. The final list will appear in the Times Free Press 2012 Year in Review special section on Dec. 23.

You may also vote for your favorite photo and cartoon of 2012 online.

So go ahead and share your views on the stories that shaped this community this year - and the ones that made you mad, made you weep or made you chuckle.

To keep up with Black Friday shopping craziness, visit or go to the Times Free Press Facebook page. We'll have updates on traffic, long lines, which doorbusters are drawing the biggest crowds. Send your Black Friday photos to webeditor@timesfree for a chance to win an iPad.

And be on the lookout for the Very Merry Gift Guide, an 84-page shopping guide that publishes Thanksgiving Day and is designed to fit in your purse.

A few folks in the newsroom are moving seats.

Mark Kennedy will move from Life editor to Opinions editor, where he will work with the staff of the Times and Free Press opinion pages. Kennedy still will write his popular Life Stories column on Sunday and do car reviews for the business page.

Veteran journalist Shawn Ryan, who has worked as an assistant metro editor here for about five years, will become the feature editor, heading up the staff that writes for the Life section.

Lisa Denton has been named editor of ChattanoogaNow, the paper's Thursday entertainment section. Before that she was the muscle behind the Current section.

Wes Hasden, who started work at the Chattanooga Times as a teenager in 1963, retires Monday. Hasden worked part time when he was still a student at Central High School and started full time in 1965 while he studied at the University of Chattanooga. He still remembers that his first paycheck was $69.34 for a week's work.

Over the years, Hasden has held positions in all parts of a newsroom, including features editor, assistant managing editor and assistant to the publisher at the Times. In recent years, he's served as associate editor of the Times page.

He's always been a fount of knowledge about Chattanooga, the go-to guy with questions about this community and its history.

Now that he's leaving the newsroom, he will get to more fully enjoy the city he loves.

Alison Gerber is the managing editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Reach her at Send suggestions to readerfeed