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Top stories of 2012 from the Lowcountry

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — 2012 is in the rear view but there are a number of stories that stood out during they year. Below are a look at the top ten stories to make headlines for the year that was.

10. Folly Beach Alcohol Ban

An Independence Day brawl on Folly Beach left several officers injured and a number of others behind bars. By early September, City Council banned alcohol on the beach permanently in an effort to make the beach more family friendly.

9. Goose Creek Gators Disqualified

In November, the South Carolina High School League disqualified Goose Creek High from the playoffs for using an ineligible player with a transcript in question.

"These boys did nothing wrong. They earned the right to be in these playoffs," said one upset parent at the time.

Despite pleas from their fans, appeals by the school and the district, and talks of legal action, the high school league stood by their decision.

8. Sheriff Booked Inside Jail Bearing His Name

A high-speed chase in early 2012 involving driver Timothy McManus and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

"This subject is crazy. He's driving cars off the road," said Sheriff Al Cannon at the time.

Once the suspect was stopped, a confrontation ensued. Sheriff Al Cannon would later admit to slapping the driver.

"I accept full responsibility for having committed that act," he said.

The sheriff was charged with third-degree assault and battery, booked and jailed in the building named after him.

7. Murder of Dara Watson

After weeks of searching, the body of 30-year-old Dara Watson was discovered in the Francis Marion National Forest. Deputies said her fiancé killed her and dumped her body there before killing himself in their Mount Pleasant home.

6. SCDOR Internet Hacking

Millions of SC residents' personal information was stolen after the SC Department of Revenue was hacked. Companies doing business in the state were also compromised. A third-party credit monitoring service worked with Gov. Nikki Haley to offer every state resident and business coverage, a deal that cost the state millions of dollars.

5. Disappearance of Gayle McCaffrey

In 2012, a West Ashley mother of two disappeared.

"Something unusual happened for her to go away and leave those children unattended in their beds," said a friend of Gayle McCaffrey.

McCaffrey's husband said the couple fought, he left town for the night only to return to find Gayle gone.

Sheriff Cannon ruled the case a homicide and named Robert McCaffrey a suspect.

"Nothing suggests anybody else," said Cannon.

To this day, McCaffrey remains missing.

4. Deadly Fire at Pine Harbour Apartments

The lives of many people who called the Pine Harbour Apartment complex home would be forever changed due to a massive fire.

"There's just like this big blaze going from the roof top, just awful," recalled one resident.

The fire killed three people, including a 4-year old, and left many more homeless. A federal grand jury indicted two people. Fire officials said the blaze was likely started by a meth explosion.

3. Murder of Dana Woods and June Guerry

In August, two young women were reported missing. Days later Dana W'oods body was discovered in the forest in Cordesville and June Guerry's body down a dirt road near the Alvin community. Both women had been shot to death. Arthur Chavis and Caleb Matlock were charged with their murders.

2. Save Baby Veronica

It is a story that has attracted the attention of the national media. In July, the state Supreme Court ruled that Veronica be taken from her adopted parents on James Island and returned to her biological father, citing the Indian Child Welfare Act which protects Native American children from adoptions. The Capobiancos are now hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their case.

1. Skip Reville Scandal

This was a story that rocked the community and forever tarnished those impacted by a man some called a devil and master manipulator.

"Skip Reville molested my son in his car and molested our son in a church," said one parent in court last year.

Reville, a Lowcountry coach and church youth leader was convicted of molesting 22 boys in June. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

"I'm the only one to blame for the pain and suffering of the victims, their families and the community," said Reville.

Two other stories worth mentioning include the shooting death of Marley Lyon and the resignation of Lt. Governor Ken Ard. His resignation paved the way for state senator, Glenn McConnell to take over Ard's position.

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