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      A look at the second half of 2012

      Upper Michigan's Source is continuing its look at the top stories from 2012. The second half of the year was dominated by politics and elections. The United States re-elected President Obama. Six ballot proposals in Michigan generated a lot of buzz, but were all defeated. Here are some more headlines from July through December.

      The Fourth of July holiday included tragedy in Marquette. An accident in South Marquette claimed the life of Karin LaChapelle of Marquette and seriously injured her husband, Bryan LaChapelle . 30-year-old Luke Eugene Huotari allegedly hit the two and left the scene. He faces two felonies.

      Later in July, captured images were released of a cougar in Southern Marquette County . According to the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, it may be the clearest photo of a Michigan cougar ever taken. The DNR said it was the 16th sighting in the U.P. since 2008.

      Also in July, charges were filed against two sisters accused of neglecting over 60 animals . 60-year-old Joan and 56-year-old Kathy Khoury were sentenced to 60 days in jail. The same month, an Alger County man was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. But Thomas Murdock was found guilty on a number of other charges stemming from when he hit and killed his girlfriend with his vehicle. Murdock was sentenced to two to fifteen years in prison.

      In August, Eric Dompierre stepped onto the Ishpeming practice fields , after the MHSAA approved a waiver allowing the 19-year-old to play sports in his senior year of high school. Prior to the waiver, Eric wasn't allowed to play sports this year because he exceeded the age limit.

      For the first time ever, the City of Marquette hosted an Ensign National Championship Regatta . Four different nations were represented: the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Japan.

      A case of murder in the Western UP in August. 50-year old Kenneth Wayne Peters faces two counts of homicide in the death of his wife, 79-year-old Ethel Grzena Peters of Bessemer .

      Another murder in August, this one across the border in Wisconsin. 51-year-old Richard Heyer of Crivitz faces charges after allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend to death . Heyer walked into the Citgo convenience store in the Village of Wasaukee and shot Ann Schueller, who was working behind the counter.

      A fire at the Heritage Manor Senior apartment complex in Houghton in August. Forty residents had to be rescued by firefighters.

      In September, Rio Tinto announced they are bringing in an independent environmental group to survey their mining operations in Marquette County . The company will pay $300,000 to the Marquette Community Foundation. That's the amount of money needed to fund three years of studying air quality, as well as ground and surface water.

      An investigation into the suspicious death of a Marquette man still continues . The body of 34-year-old Shawn Dollar was found in an abandoned building Downtown Marquette in September.

      Several bomb threats were made across Marquette County on a Friday afternoon in September. A juvenile was taken into custody after false threats were made at five locations, including Sawyer International Airport.

      A drunk-driving accident claimed the life of a 13-year-old Ishpeming boy in October. Christopher Croley was killed in the crash in Middle Inlet, Wisconsin . 28-year-old Timothy Christ is facing eight criminal counts, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

      In November, a big announcement from Governor Snyder on the Presque Isle Power Plant . A multi-million dollar deal will keep the facility in operation. Construction could begin as early as 2014.

      At the end of November, an NMU soccer player drowned in the PEIF pool . 18-year-old Arianna Alioto was found unresponsive after participating in a coach-led workout with her soccer teammates.

      In December, the Marquette County Road 595 project took another leap forward , when the EPA withdrew one of their objections to the project. The road is a direct route from the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine to the Humboldt Mill.

      The new Grand Marais breakwater was completed in December . Six years of preparations and fundraising went into the project. Construction started in late May.

      Also in December, Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state . Governor Snyder signed a set of laws that prohibit requiring nonunion workers to pay fees to unions for negotiating contracts and other services. The move led to protests across the state.

      The Ishpeming Hematites took a bite out of the 'big apple' in December . After Eric Dompierre's story won a Sports Illustrated contest, the whole team got to go to New York City. It couldn't have happened without the community stepping up and quickly raising money for travel expenses. Their story is one of many to remember from 2012.