By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
10. The Oklahoma State University system became the largest in the state in 2012 in August, powered by a the largest freshman class in state history of 4,298 students.
9. Payne County residents helped fund fire departments and let restaurants sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays with the approval of two county question in the November election.
8. President Barack Obama said he would fast-track construction of the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline during a March speech near Cushing.
7. The Stillwater Board of Education purchased 35 acres north of the high school in April. The site, which includes the Cimarron Plaza shopping center, eventually will become an athletic complex that includes softball and baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts and indoor practice facility and an indoor pool.
6. Stillwater resident Christopher Alden Dawes was charged with murder on Oct. 31. He is accused of the beating death of Jeremy Don Sutherland, 32, of Stillwater.
5. A Payne County jury convicted Oklahoma State University basketball player Darrell Williams on two counts of rape by instrumentation in July. The Rev. Jesse Jackson visits Stillwater to show support for Williams. The defense files a motion for a new trial hours before a sentencing hearing is scheduled. The motion contends new evidence will discredit key witnesses. After reviewing mental-health records of the victims, District Judge Phillip Corley denied the motion for a new trial, but released Williams after giving him credit for time served in the Payne County Jail. Williams moved back to Chicago, and is appealing his conviction.
4. Wildfires erupted throughout Payne County and Oklahoma in late July and early August. A July 31 wildfire destroyed seven houses and burned 1,500 acres in east Stillwater. It was just a precursor to the Aug. 4 wildfire that roared from northeastern Stillwater to Glencoe. More than 2,000 acres burned and 53 homes were destroyed.
3. Nathan Michael Cochran, 22, of Stillwater was charged in December with three counts of sexual battery after Stillwater police launched an investigation into sexual-abuse complaints. The Oklahoma State University student was suspended for three years by Oklahoma State University Office and Student Education and Administration. The university is criticized for not reporting the crimes to police and OSU President Burns Hargis asks a regent's task force to investigate the way OSU handled the situation.
2. Stillwater Junior High School Student Cade Poulos killed himself on the school campus minutes before school started on Sept. 26. Junior high school students are locked down and then evacuated after police determine what happened. Stillwater mourns the death of Poulos at his funeral, and school officials seek ways to better evaluate the mental well-being of students.
1. ASCO Industries, a Belgium-aerospace company, lands in Stillwater, will add 600 jobs to economy. The company made its announcement in July after it had purchased the former MerCruiser manufacturing plant on North Perkins Road.