2018 in St. Louis: A look at moments,events and stories we’ll remember
ST. LOUIS, MO- As you might expect, the end of the year brings with it the typical News and Sports Stories of the Year. But as we looked at the stories that made a big impact, we were still left with a cornucopia of other moments, events, and inspirational stories….some important, and others not so much, that had St. Louis talking over the past year, or had the world talking about St. Louis. Here’s a look
The Fabulous Fox Theatre was the “Room Where It Happened”
In April, the ‘Hamilton’ phenomenon arrived in St. Louis, with sold out audiences at the Fabulous Fox Theatre to see the off-Broadway national tour version of the hit musical. The show is slated to return here during the 2019-2020 season, although a specific date has not been announced.
St. Louis has ties to the Mars InSight Lander
After a trip of almost seven months to get another rover onto the Red Planet, who could forget the handshake seen around the world?
The viral celebration of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab, it turns out, featured Parkway Central and Mizzou grad Brooke Harper (right). But there were other local ties to the project. Project Engineer Fernando Abilleira graduated from St. Louis University and is already working on a Mars 2020 project.
If that wasn’t enough….the batteries powering InSight were manufactured by Missouri’s EaglePicher Technologies, out of Joplin.
Ryan O’Connor’s Remarkable Recovery
Considering what happened in December 2017 to Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor, any day in 2018 could be considered a blessing. O’Connor suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was shot by a burglary suspect. Doctors wondered then if he’d survive, but as FOX2’s Jasmine Huda has been reporting, O’Connor has made great strides in the year since. Literal strides, like learning how to stand and walk again.
“The more he does it, the better he’s getting,” O’Connor’s wife Barbara told Huda of walking without a spotter. “He’s unstoppable.”
Rodney Lincoln freed
One of the last things now-former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens did before leaving office was to call Rodney Lincoln and tell him that Lincoln’s two life sentences in prison were being commuted. Lincoln had maintained for years that he was not responsible for the death of Joanne Tate in 1982. The television program Crime Watch Daily took up the case, and Tate’s daughter recanted her testimony. After more than 30 years in jail, Lincoln tasted freedom and rushed to the arms of his family on June 1.
Laila “Found Her Match”
FOX2’s Martin Kilcoyne introduced us to a brave 10 year old in October who is up against some tough odds. Laila Anderson was diagnosed in 2017 with an illness attacking her immune system that has only been found in 15 children worldwide. In need of a bone marrow transplant, Anderson’s story touched the hearts of the likes of Joe Buck, Kelly Chase and others, inspiring a push to find a donor match. We’re thrilled to tell you that a match was in fact found.
Soldiers Memorial Renovation
It may have been overshadowed by the newly-opened and re-imagined Arch grounds and museum, but the $30 million in renovations to the Soldiers Memorial unveiled in November is worth your time and attention.
The Day Snoop Dog Visited FOX2
We’ve had plenty of famous folks pass through the halls here over the years….but October 19 will be a day long-remembered, when Snoop Dogg stopped by to promote a stage play about his career. Shirley Washington talked with him about pursuing his dreams. We were also pleasantly surprised when a check of his social media feeds showed him sporting a FOX2/KPLR11 T-Shirt.
Losing streak snapped
The St. Louis College of Pharmacy men’s basketball squad made national headlines for nailing down it’s first win in YEARS, when it defeated Lindenwood University-Belleville in late November. The Eutectics had not tasted victory since November of 2014. The W got mentioned in outlets around the world, including a SportsCenter shout-out.
The team lost the next game against Harris-Stowe, but broke that losing streak in MUCH faster fashion, beating Lincoln Christian University on December 3.
Game recognizes game
So, basketball observers in St. Louis have known for a while that Chaminade grad Jayson Tatum was special…It was no surprise to us that he won all the hardware you can think of in high school locally and nationally, then went off to Duke for a year, and excelled as a rookie when the Boston Celtics selected him with the third overall pick of the 2017 draft.
But it still had to take your breath away a little when he broke out in the Eastern Conference Championship series against LeBron James in May.The Celtics lost the series to the Cavs, but the embrace between James and Tatum afterward signaled to the world that Tatum had arrived.
Trolley takes to the tracks
2018 was the year that Loop Trolley FINALLY came to life. After YEARS of planning and teasing, and still more debate over the investment in public funds, it took to the street between the Loop and the History Museum, with actual paying customers in late November.