Top stories of 2007
By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9
It was Oklahoma's Centennial year, but it may be remembered as much for its disastrous weather events. Oklahoma had eight Presidential disaster declarations, the most any state's ever had in one year.
The December ice storm at its worst knocked out power to more than 600,000 customers across the state.
The Panhandle was in the grip of ice and snow for more than a month.
Who can forget the terrible flooding in August that produced harrowing and heroic moments like the one SkyNews9 HD recorded in Kingfisher. It also led to the death of a Putnam City student, Phillip Jones, at a swollen Lake Overholser.
2007 became the state's wettest year on record, with just under 57 inches of rain.
Let's not forget about the severe weather. Tornadoes wiped out the high school in Sweetwater, did one and a $1.5 million in damage in El Reno, and raked northwest Oklahoma City.
Opponents of immigration reform had their day, but supporters won the day, easily passing House Bill 1804 into law. 1894 was a controversial law that prevents undocumented immigrants from receiving various government benefits and penalizes anyone who transports, harbors or conceals illegals.
Of course, 2007 was our Centennial year, capped off on statehood day with a reenactment in Guthrie, and a spectacular at the Ford Center.
There was also the big centennial parade in October, and then in December, the dedication of the memorial to the USS Oklahoma, one of the biggest Centennial projects.
In 2007, we learned thousands of Oklahoma guard members would be sent to Iraq, and in October families said good-bye, as the troops headed to Fort Bliss for training.
In April 2007, Oklahoma City said good-bye to the Hornets, but in November Sonics owner Clay Bennett gave fans reason to believe it might not be too long before the NBA is back.
"We intend to relocate to Oklahoma City," Bennett said.
Also in November, ORU's embattled president, Richard Roberts, resigned in the wake of allegations of misuse of school funds.
Lauren Nelson became the second Miss Oklahoma in a row to be named Miss America in 2007.
Pokes coach Mike Gundy got national attention when he went off at a post-game news conference.
While not one of the year's biggest stories, the Skynews Nine-aided rescue of a deer stranded on an ice-covered lake last January, certainly produced one of the most lasting images.