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The top local stories of the year

Posted at 2:22 PM, Dec 18, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- 2016 was a remarkable year across Indiana. 

To take a look back at such a unique year, here are the stories you read the most in 2016:

Moving to Mexico

There was perhaps no bigger story in 2016 in Indianapolis than Carrier's decision to move to Mexico. The plant announced in February it planned to relocate 1,400 jobs to Monterrey. A viral cellphone video showed workers finding out about the jobs leaving, which launched numerous investigations by Call 6 and a surge onto the national stage with mentions of the plant in presidential campaigns.

WATCH: Employees react to news that Carrier is moving from Indy to Mexico
Carrier employees, local businesses reel after announcement of move to Mexico

There was speculation and meetings for months after that. RTV6 produced a 5-part documentary series on Carrier, its workers and the impact of the decision. 

Moving to Mexico
CALL 6: Carrier refutes offer of $5.85/hour to stay
Does Central Indiana have jobs for Carrier's 1,400 workers?

The Carrier story came to a head in early December when President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence went to the Carrier plant to announce some of the jobs will be staying in Indianapolis in exchange for a $7 million tax break over 10 years.

Trump: Carrier to keep 1,100 jobs in Indy, invest $16 million in west side facility
Call 6 Investigates Rafael Sanchez denied press credential to Carrier event
Carrier releases details about agreement with Trump administration to stay in Indiana

Amy Beverland's Lost Leader

Hearts in central Indiana were broken in January 2016 when a beloved principal of a Lawrence Township elementary school died after pushing students out of the way of a rolling bus outside the school.

Emotional Amy Beverland video extends thanks for support during their time of need
Principal pushed kids out of way before she was hit by bus
Remembering Principal Susan Jordan

According to investigators, the bus driver was getting ready to leave the loading area with the students when she got out without applying the parking break. The bus moved forward onto the sidewalk, striking principal Susan Jordan.

Amy Beverland students, staff return to school
District responds to petition to rename Amy Beverland Elementary after Susan Jordan

Jordan left behind 806 students at the school. No criminal charges were filed in the incident.

Some schools reevaluating bus idling policy after deadly accident at Amy Beverland
Driver did not apply parking brake in deadly bus crash at Amy Beverland
No criminal charges in the deadly bus crash at Amy Beverland Elementary School

Carl Koontz Killed in the Line of Duty

A Howard County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Russiaville, Indiana in March. When he and another deputy knocked on the suspect's door, the suspect began shooting. The shooting suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Two Howard County deputies shot, one fatally, while serving warrant
Howard Co. Sheriff: 'Deputy Carl Koontz was one of our family'
PHOTOS: Remembering fallen Deputy Carl Koontz

Koontz is survived by his wife, Cassie and his young son, Noah. Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said Koontz was "one of our family." He was also a school resource officer at Northwestern Community Schools. At his funeral, Koontz's widow gave a touching eulogy.
 
"Family was everything to Carl. He would do anything for anyone at any hour of the day," she said.
 
 
Shaylyn Ammerman's Disappearance 

After a 36-hour search, 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman was found dead in a remote area near Spencer, Indiana. Ammerman's father reported her missing from his home in March.

TIMELINE: The murder of Shaylyn Ammerman
Death of 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman ruled a homicide
Shaylyn Ammerman: Case can shine light on child abuse

“Last time I saw, Shaylyn was in her bed and I leaned down and I said, ‘Daddy loves you’ and gave her a kiss and hug good night," Ammerman's father said in an interview with RTV6.

An Amber Alert wasn't issued for Shaylyn because police didn't believe there was enough descriptive information for the broadcast to help in the search. Justin's friend, Kyle Parker, was arrested and charged with the rape and murder of Ammerman.

Prosecutors file five new counts, ask for life without parole in Shaylyn Ammerman case
Court documents: Kyle Parker raped and murdered 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman
GALLERY: Candlelight vigil for Shaylyn Ammerman

Amber Alerts

Four Amber Alerts were declared in Indiana in a one-week period from late September to early October. The first Amber Alert was declared for two Fort Wayne children. The two kids were eventually found dead, and their mother was charged with murder.

Abducted Fort Wayne children found dead in Elkhart, mother charged with murder
Funeral canceled for killed Indiana Amber Alert siblings
Body found in Ft. Wayne related to Amber Alert death investigation, police investigating as homicide

The second Amber Alert was declared for a 7-year-old girl from Greenwood. The girl was found safe. The Center Grove Police Department said they planned to seek criminal charges against the girl's mother, but the Johnson County prosecutor saw differently, saying there was no evidence of criminal intent. Two other Amber Alerts were declared in Sheridan and Hammond, Indiana. Both were canceled after the children were found safe.

Amber Alert canceled for 7-year-old abducted from Greenwood; girl found safe
No charges for Greenwood mom in Amber Alert

Mom Kills Her Children So Divorce-seeking Husband Can't Have Them

A small Indiana town was shaken by the death of two young children late in 2016. Police in Darlington, Indiana responded when a woman called 911 and told the dispatcher “I just stabbed myself and killed my two children.”

Police found 7-year-old Tyler Worley and 3-year-old Charlee Worley with cuts to their necks and their mother, Brandi Worley with a stab wound to her neck in an attempt to take her own life. She was charged with their murder. According to court documents, she killed the children so her husband couldn’t have custody in an upcoming divorce.

Montgomery Co. mother charged with two counts of murder in deaths of her daughter and son
Family releases statement following deaths of Tyler and Charlee Worley
LISTEN: 911 call from Darlington double murder of Tyler and Charlee Worley

Creepy Clowns

One of the weirder (and creepier) stories of 2016 involved an innate fear for many: Clowns. Across the country (and Indiana), there were sightings of creepy clowns, causing people to file complaints to their local police department. Indianapolis police received four complaints of clowns across the city, but none of them criminal.

Indianapolis police say they have taken four complaints about 'creepy' clowns, all of them unfounded
Creepy clowns are scaring people in multiple states
Fishers police identify 'creepy' clown, find out clown is not so creepy

You never know who's going to be the harmless prank and who's going to be the one with the knife and do something violent and hurt you," Kristen Chastain said. .

Unsurprisingly, the mysterious clown sightings died down after Halloween.

IMPD Threats

Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department faced unique threats in 2016. First, in July, somebody fired shots at an officer's house and vehicle while his wife and 10-year-old son were sleeping inside. Witnesses told police they saw a man get out of a car near the house, yell "F--- the police," and shoot at the house and car. A suspect was arrested later that day.

IMPD officer's house shot 5 times, man in custody

In October, somebody fired shots at IMPD's Northwest District and North District headquarters. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said two officers were targeted in the incident. Police also found handwritten notes at the scenes. A man was arrested and charged in connection to both incidents.

Damoine Wilcoxson: Suspect in police HQ shootings formally charged
Shots fired at IMPD Northwest District Headquarters
Shots fired at IMPD's North District Headquarters, police believe same suspect shot NW District

Kilroy's Manager Goes Viral

It was more true than ever in 2016 that everything is public, and you never know what can go viral. A customer at the Kilroy’s in Indianapolis said her New Year’s Eve had been ruined by watching a dead person wheeled out after an overdose, and felt the restaurant had treated her poorly.

However, according to the restaurant’s manager, the "dead person" had actually suffered a heart attack. The manager’s response garnered attention for sticking up for his employees. His response read, in part: “But I can completely understand why you think being intoxicated ***holes that didn't understand your bill should take priority over human life. I especially appreciate you making your server (who doesn't curse) cry as well. I'm sure she really enjoyed working on New Year's Eve just to deal with people such as yourself.”

Woman's post on Kilroy's Facebook page goes viral

Trump Sign Thief

Probably the biggest story of the year across the country was the 2016 Presidential election. Its polarizing candidates led to some heated exchanges between voters on both sides. That sentiment was evident in one of the most watched videos of the year here at RTV6: An attempted theft of a Trump campaign sign that was foiled by some fishing wire.

Karma comes swiftly for would-be Trump sign thiefR

The homeowner put up the fishing wire and painted it green. A camera he set up showed the would-be thief trying to steal a sign, but she ran out of string in the wire, falling on her face. 

Kokomo Tornadoes

In August, an major tornado outbreak tore through the central Indiana, destroying homes and disrupting lives around the region. Fortunately, no one was killed and no serious injuries were ever reported. The most striking scene from the aftermath of the outbreak was of a Starbucks in Kokomo that was leveled in the path of a EF3 tornado.

'Particularly dangerous situation' in Kokomo results in major, EF3 tornado damage
Violent tornadoes flatten Starbucks, blow roofs of houses in Indiana

Over the course of the day on August 24, eight tornadoes touched down in central Indiana, from Crawfordsville, to Indianapolis, to Kokomo, and as far north as Peru, Indiana. 

INTERACTIVE MAP: The 8 tornadoes in central Indiana
AERIAL VIEW: SkyCam 6 surveys the path of Kokomo's EF3 tornado
WATCH: Videos capture the violent tornado outbreak across Central Indiana

Joey Feek's Legacy

Joey Feek, a country music singer and Indiana-native, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Through her husband's blog, everybody was able to join the family throughout their battle fighting the disease. We watched Joey and Rory's last dance in their living room, their daughter Indiana's first birthday and we shared in Rory's emotion as he lost his partner in music, and in life. 

Saying goodbye to Joey Feek
Joey Feek passes away after battle with cancer
Joey Feek gives daughter 'one last kiss'
Rory Feek wishes Joey a Happy Mother's Day
Joey Feek's daughter is her best medicine

"My wife's greatest dream came true today," he wrote. "She is in heaven. The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry."

While she was in hospice, Joey and Rory were nominated for a Grammy Award. A documentary was also made about their lives together. 

Rory Feek makes a documentary film about his life with Joey
Rory Feek: We are trying to adjust to new life

Bryan Clauson's Last Race

One of central Indiana's own, Bryan Clauson, had his promising race car driving career cut short by a dirt track crash in August in Kansas. 

IndyCar driver and Noblesville resident Bryan Clauson dies from injuries sustained in crash
Racing community mourns the loss of one of its finest, Bryan Clauson

Clauson was an organ donor, and his organs went to five patients in need.

"All of us have felt Bryan’s generosity throughout his life," his family said. "The gift of life is the most amazing gesture and Bryan will live on not only through us and all the people he touched along the way, but from the lucky individuals that will benefit from Bryan making a decision to be a donor."

A snapshot of a prodigy's career cut too short: Bryan Clauson aimed to be the best
IndyCar driver Bryan Clauson's family says his organs went to five patients

Indy 500 

A race more than 100 years in the making, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 was one for the history books. For the first time in more than 60 years, the local Indianapolis blackout was lifted, and people in central Indiana could watch the race on RTV6 live.

PHOTOS: The 100th Running of the Indy 500
PHOTOS: Famous faces at the race
Crashes during the 100th Running of the Indy 500
Trash at the 500: There's a lot of it

An estimated 350,000 people showed up to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the race, leaving behind trash to clean up, but making memories to stay with them forever. Rookie Alexander Rossi won the race on an empty gas tank.

Rookie Alexander Rossi wins the 100th Indianapolis 500 on an empty gas tank
How many people will be at sold-out Indy 500?
So, why was the Indy 500 blacked out at all?