Several big news stories swept through Greenfield in 2012, from tragic to disappointing to exciting.
Here is a recap of some of the most important stories from the last 12 months:
1. For the second straight year, a Greenfield resident was murdered.
On July 14, Christopher Gish fatally stabbed Maggie Litwicki, the mother of his two children in Litwicki’s home in the 4400 block of West Morgan Avenue.
Gish was caught early the next morning and admitted being angry with Litwicki, whom he said was going to take the couple’s two children and not allow him to see them.
Gish pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree reckless homicide in October.
The stabbing occurred 13 months after and less than a block away from murder of Vincent Rath, who was shot to death by his wife Regina Rath.
2. Following the election of three new school board members in April, at least one teacher and several school board members publically criticized leaders of the Greenfield School District over what they considered bad decisions and bad practices.
The rift between the factions came to light when one teacher called her unwanted transfer from an elementary school position to a middle school opening “unethical” and continued when board member Russ Spahn called into question the district’s “culture” and raised concerns over resignations among teachers and other employees.
More public criticism came as the district hammered out its board-staff communications policy and during .
3. Greenfield police officer David Young resigned his position with the department after he was accused of exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a suspect in a jewelry theft case in September.
Young, who had more than five years with the department, reportedly had contact with the suspect while he was on-duty and the two texted each other photos.
4. Falcon Field, with a price tag of more than $6.5 million, opened on a Sept. 7, the crown jewel of a Whitnall School District facilities upgrade project.
The beautiful new stadium is equipped with field turf, a video scoreboard and large concourse area that features a concession stand and team locker rooms.
Greenfield Patch was there to capture opening night in a photo gallery and on video.
The Falcons christened the new stadium with a 19-6 win over crosstown rival Greenfield. Making the season even more special, the Falcons won their half of the Woodland Conference and qualified for the playoffs in coach Jeff Wallack’s first season.
5. Three people died in traffic-related incidents in 2012.
David Budge, a 54-year-old South Milwaukee man, was struck by a vehicle and killed when he was walking on Loomis Road on Oct 15, causing some to question whether or not the city needs more sidewalks.
Budge was struck and killed while walking on the east side of the street that does not have sidewalks; the west side of Loomis does have sidewalks.
One month earlier, Diane Chart, a 51-year-old woman from Winchester, died in car accident on 27th Street. She was the host mother for Tomas Saravi, an exchange student from Argentina, who died about a week later from injuries he sustained in the crash.