Here are some of the most popular stories on Newark Patch in 2012:
The service at New Hope Baptist Church Feb. 12 who died the day before in California. The Houston family had long been active members of New Hope, where Houston first sang publicly as a member of the choir. Celebrities including Alicia Keys and Kevin Costner attended Houston’s funeral, held a week later at the church.
On Nov. 20, police used pepper spray to subdue agitated audience members at a municipal council meeting during the attempted swearing-in of a replacement to fill the council seat left vacant by Donald Payne Jr.. The disturbance was touched off after Mayor Cory Booker joined half the council members in voting for Shanique Speight over the objections of the other half of the council.
A missing 14-year-old Jersey City girl was found safe and was returned to a Newark youth facility July 21.
Hurricane Sandy dominated the news for days after the powerful hybrid storm struck New Jersey Oct. 29, leaving 95 percent of the city without power. In response to the storm, the state initiated gas rationing in Essex and 11 other counties where fuel was in short supply due to power outages at service stations as well as shortages caused by power outages at region’s refineries.
A city man was arrested in connection with a shooting at a restaurant in late September that left one man dead. Two others -- including an 81-year-old woman -- were hurt.
A 7-year-old girl was killed in August after being struck by a car on Central Avenue. The accident prompted residents to demand the installation of a speed bump to control traffic on the busy thoroughfare.
A 20-year veteran of the Newark Police Department Newark police announced.
Five people, including three young children, died in a horrific fire on Brookdale Avenue July 21. The mother of two of the children was in the hospital giving birth when the early morning fire broke out.
On May 14, a Union County juvenile officer was killed outside a Newark bar in what authorities described as a targeted shooting. Another man, also a Union County juvenile officer, was wounded.
A new supermarket officially opened in the city Feb. 28, the first grocery store to open in the Central Ward in two decades.
Newark police raided a S. 20th Street home and recovered more than a dozen weapons and made more than a dozen arrests March 8. One suspect was captured after attempting to flee across neighboring rooftops, police said.
Two Newark women, one of whom was employed at an elder-care facility, were indicted Dec. 4 after they allegedly posted pictures of a patient’s genitals on Facebook, the state Attorney General’s Office announced.
Six people were arrested in late June in connection with the shooting death of a Jersey City woman. The woman’s body was found in a vacant Newark building.
Gerardo Gomez was convicted Nov. 9 for his role in the execution-style shootings of four college students at a city schoolyard in 2007. Gomez was the sixth and final defendant to be convicted in the case, which drew international attention.
An 18-year-old father was shot and killed while working in a bodega Sept. 14. The shooting occurred during the course of a robbery attempt.
Eleven members of a Newark-based car theft ring were arrested in April by a task force comprised of several law enforcement agencies. Unlike most car thieves in the area, authorities said the ring stole cars from throughout the state, especially in the wealthier parts of Bergen County.
CityPlex 12, a refurbished movie theater on Clinton Avenue, held its grand opening shortly before Memorial Day weekend. Among the partners in the business is a firm owned by basketball legend and Newark native Shaquille O’Neal.