Ohio Associated Press top 10 stories of 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A list of the top 10 stories of 2012 from the Ohio Associated Press, as voted on by member newspapers and broadcasters around the state:

1. The 2012 presidential election campaign targeted Ohio with President Barack Obama going on to clinch the state's electoral votes and win re-election. Obama, Republican opponent Mitt Romney and their surrogates logged dozens of visits to Ohio throughout the fall and spent millions blanketing the state's airwaves with ads. In the end, Obama won Ohio by 107,000 votes with a strong showing in the state's urban centers to capture its 18 electoral votes.

2. Three students are killed and three wounded in a shooting at Chardon High School in northeast Ohio. Prosecutors say 17-year-old T.J. Lane admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol to the school and firing at students in the cafeteria on Feb. 27. A sheriff's deputy testified Lane was wearing a T-shirt with the word "Killer" when he was found. Lane, now 18, is being tried as an adult and has filed an insanity plea. His trial is set for Jan. 14.

3. The casino industry arrives in Ohio with gaming halls opening in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus. One more will open in Cincinnati in the spring. Ohio voters approved the casinos in 2009 to raise revenue and create jobs in the state. The first three opened with great fanfare, and millions have visited since — although the latest numbers show revenue continuing to level off six months down the road. Some Ohio cities have asked for citizen input on how to spend the extra tax revenue.

4. Millions of Ohioans were left without power as storms struck the state amid a heat wave in late June and early July. As many as three people died, and damage was estimated at more than $433 million as Obama declared a federal emergency in the state. Some households were without electricity for weeks as the extreme heat and more storms in July hampered the efforts of power company crews. It was the worst storm damage in Ohio since the state was battered by the remnants of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the third-costliest disaster ever here.

5. Expectations were sky high as Ohio native Urban Meyer came home to coach the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. He and the 2012 squad — led by quarterback Braxton Miller — delivered in a big way with a perfect 12-0 season. However, Meyer and the team are sitting home this December as Ohio State serves a bowl ban as the result of a cash-for-tattoos scandal involving players that cost former coach Jim Tressel his job. They weren't eligible to play for the conference title either, but were ranked 3rd in the AP top 25 heading into the bowl season.

Filling out the top 10 Ohio stories are:

1. First man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, dies, prompting tributes and memorial services.

2. Teen sentenced to life in prison and his adult mentor awaits trial in killings of men lured with fake Craigslist job offers.

3. Ohio drivers banned from sending text messages from behind the wheel under new law that includes stricter rules for teen drivers.

4. Gov. John Kasich imposes regional moratorium on deep-injection wells after New Year's Eve quake strikes Youngstown, state lawmakers pass new well regulations.

5. Sixteen Amish convicted of hate crimes for cutting hair and beards of fellow Amish.

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