The year began with Donald Trump assuming the mantle of 45th president of the United States. The day after he was inaugurated, more than 2 million people across the world called for a "revolution" as a bulwark against the new administration they feared would roll back reproductive, civil and human rights. The year that followed was no less dramatic. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was ousted from the White House over his Russian contacts. NFL players continued to kneel. There were multiple data breaches, but none larger than Equifax, which compromised the personal information of nearly half of all Americans. Inevitably, there was a tragedy. The catastrophic 2017 hurricane season brought us Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico will spend years recovering from. New York City saw its worst terrorist attack since 9/11. In Las Vegas, 58 people died in the worst mass shooting in American history. But there was also wonderful. For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse spanned across the country. We celebrated the news that one of our own, California native Meghan Markle, is set to wed Prince Harry and become the first divorced, biracial, Jewish American actress to join the British royal family. In the end, 2017 closes with hope. Women punctuated the year with the powerful rallying cry #metoo, prompting a national reckoning on a culture of sexual violence that has persisted unabated for far too long. ALABAMA usatoday.com Roy Moore and America’s reckoning on sexual violence The eyes of a nation were fixed on Alabama this December to see who the state would choose to take over its open Senate seat in an election that was seen not only as a referendum on President Trump — who supported embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore — but also on the country's tolerance of predatory sexual behavior. Trump was elected in spite of more than a dozen allegations of sexual assault and harassment against him. But Moore, who was accused in November of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple teenage girls when he was in his 30s, was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones.It's the first time in 25 years Alabama has elected a Democrat to the Senate. The special election came during what America has come to refer to as its "post-Weinstein moment,"a reckoning on powerful men who have abused women with impunity, and who, until recently, rarely faced consequences. After reports Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein harassed, abused and assaulted more than 80 women over several decades, women around the country flooded social media under the hashtag #metoo and made public statements about the sexual misconduct they endured. ALASKA wbir.com Alaskans fear of climate change rises after the U.S. leaves Paris Accord In 2017, America became the only country on Earth not part of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement after President Trump decided to leave the pact in June. The Paris agreement, negotiated by former President Barack Obama, aims to combat global warming by gradually reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In Alaska, climate change is always front-of-mind. Many residents of Sarichef Island and an Iñupiaq village of 650 blame human-caused climate change for accelerating the island’s erosion and fear to leave the Paris agreement will supercharge destruction that's already occurring. ARIZONA cnbc.com McCain, battling brain cancer, stops Obamacare repeal It was a tense July night on the Senate floor when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — roughly a week after announcing his brain cancer diagnosis — sunk the GOP-backed "skinny repeal" of Obamacare with a dramatic "thumbs down." Before the vote, congressional leaders had struggled to reach consensus on a plan to replace former president Barack Obama's signature health care law, which the GOP had promised for seven years to expunge the law from the books. Republicans ultimately scrapped a vote on a last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort in September, which McCain also opposed. As for his health, McCain said in September he would continue treatments for brain cancer while also doing his job on Capitol Hill. ARKANSAS nationalpost.com Controversial Ten Commandments monument destroyed after less than 24 hours After years of fierce debate, Arkansas built a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state capitol building. Less than 24 hours later, the monument was razed. Michael Tate Reed, 32, plowed his car through the statue while filming the incident on his cellphone and posting the video on Facebook, authorities said. The 6-foot, 6,000-pound memorial drew the ire of opponents like the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Temple of Satan, who said the monument was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Supporters saw it as a way to celebrate the role the Ten Commandments played in this country’s law. State Sen. Jason Rapert, who led the push to initially erect the monument, vowed to raise funds to build its replacement. CALIFORNIA thesun.co.uk Meghan Markle, America's fairy-tale royal bride Royal wedding bells are ringing yet again. Suits actress and California native Meghan Markle are set to wed Prince Harry, the world's most eligible royal bachelor. The couple announced their engagement in November. Markle, who was raised in Los Angeles, will make history as the first divorced, biracial, Jewish American actress to join the British royal family. After they wed, Harry will likely receive a new royal title as a duke from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Markle will, like Duchess Kate, be known as a titled royal duchess, HRH Meghan, Duchess of so-and-so. Also in royals: Prince William and Kate Middleton announced they are expecting their third child. Sister Pippa Middleton's May wedding was the A-list event of the year. COLORADO azcentral.com Baker's confections vs. gay couple's affections In 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins went into baker Jack Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., to buy a cake for their wedding. But Phillips doesn't do cakes for same-sex weddings. Craig and Mullins said Phillips' refusal violated a Colorado anti-discrimination law. Five years later, their disagreement over a cake went all the way to the Supreme Court in a case testing the Constitution's guarantee of free speech and religion against state laws prohibiting discrimination. The court, bolstered in April by the addition of stalwart conservative and fellow Coloradan Neil Gorsuch, appeared split down the middle when the justices heard oral arguments Dec. 5. The decision, which will likely hinge on Justice Anthony Kennedy, isn't expected until next year. CONNECTICUT nbcnews.com Hate crime or roommate feud has gone too far? In late October, former University of Hartford student Briana Brochu was charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief for tampering with items that belonged to her roommate, who is black. Brochu admitted she licked Channel "Jazzy" Rowe's eating utensils and smeared bodily fluids on her backpack. Rowe posted a Facebook video about the incident, which quickly viral, and prompted the backlash on social media as many questioned whether Brochu's actions were racially motivated. The Connecticut NAACP and others called on Hartford prosecutors to file a hate crime charge against Brochu, but Brochu's lawyer, Thomas Stevens, told the Hartford Courant he does not believe the charge will be added. Stevens told the paper there was nothing "racial that motivated" the incident and said they were simply roommates who did not get along. DELAWARE buzzfeed.com Beau's death convinced Joe Biden not to run for president Had he run for president, Joe Biden believes he would have taken the oath of office Jan. 20 rather than the train home to Wilmington. The former vice president and Delaware senator, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom days before leaving office, revealed in his emotional book that he originally considered staying out of the 2016 race to pave the way for his son Beau's budding political career, and Beau’s death following a brutal bout with cancer ultimately convinced him it wasn’t the time to make the run. So what about a 2020 push? He hasn’t ruled it out quite yet. FLORIDA theglobeandmail.com Irma devastates the Gulf coast Hurricane Irma sawed up Florida's Gulf coast in early September, the strongest hurricane the Sunshine State had faced in a decade. Its slow crawl toward Florida caused a run on hardware store and grocery essentials, while evacuation orders through the state's highways to a standstill. After it pummeled Key West, the storm struck the Naples area, taking down trees and causing flooding across the state. All told, millions lost power and dozens died, including 14 people at a Hollywood nursing home, where a power outage left residents in sweltering conditions for three days. It sparked a criminal investigation in which 12 of the deaths were deemed homicides. Now, state lawmakers seek laws requiring assisted living facilities to have generators. GEORGIA bloomberg.com Equifax data breach leaves millions of consumers vulnerable Atlanta-based company Equifax once trusted to handle our credit scores, has become a pariah in the financial world since hackers stole the vital information of 145 million Americans in Equifax’s system. The breach announced this September included Social Security numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth. How did Equifax get into the mess? A security patch for a known system bug was issued but Equifax hadn’t installed it. Lawmakers asked questions, the CEO resigned, and a good chunk of America freaked out. One way consumers tried to protect themselves was by freezing their credit, but since everyone tried to do it at once, there were problems. Here's how to protect yourself from a breach. HAWAII gettyimages Trump travel ban found trouble in paradise The Aloha State was not a welcoming place for President Trump's plans to ban travel from a group of predominantly Muslim countries. The administration issued three versions of the ban in 2017 and all three were blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii. But despite the Hawaii bench’s best efforts to thwart the ban, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this month that Trump’s order can take full effect while legal challenges against the latest version are still tied up in courts. By allowing the full travel ban to take effect, for now, the justices may be signaling that they are likely to uphold it on the merits at a later date. IDAHO time.com Bergdahl avoids jail time for disappearing from Afghanistan base Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. Army soldier who disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, avoided jail time despite pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior in front of the enemy. Former President Barack Obama won freedom for the Idaho native in 2014 by negotiating a prisoner swap with the Taliban militants. His case even became the subject of the second season of the podcast Serial. Bergdahl faced a life sentence for abandoning his post, but a military judge ruled to reduce him in rank to private and dishonorably discharge him. President Trump slammed the decision in a tweet, calling it, "a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military." ILLINOIS telegraph.co.uk Conspiracy, obstruction charges in Laquan McDonald killing The dash cam footage was chilling. Sixteen shots fired at Laquan McDonald as the 17-year-old walked away from police. Now prosecutors say three Chicago police officers were trying to "conceal the true facts" in McDonald's death. A Cook County grand jury indicted the officers in June with state charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and misconduct. "These defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial 'code of silence,'" special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said of the alleged coverup. Officer Jason Van Dyke previously pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges. INDIANA bbc.com A canceled wedding, but love prevails When an Indiana couple called off their $30,000 wedding a week before the big day, they were stuck with a non-refundable reception. What did would-be bride Sarah Cummins do? She invited guests from four area homeless shelters. Her generosity inspired a local man to donate suits for guests, his tailor donated a few more and another local business contributed dresses and accessories. The July dinner, which included chicken, salmon, wedding cake and even a late-night snack of pizza, turned a painful situation positive, Cummins said. She now volunteers for a center for homeless families in Indianapolis. IOWA ksdk.com A giant wave connects sick kids to the outside world The new children's hospital practically hangs over the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Before the season kicked off, a fan named Krista Young had an idea: "Kinnick should hold a ‘wave to the kids' minute during every game." The Facebook post went viral and on Sept. 2, when the Hawkeyes' football team hosted the Wyoming Cowboys, 68,000-plus fans rose, turned to the hospital and offered a long, sustained wave to sick children — some of whom haven't left in months — gathered near the windows to watch the game. Kristen Brown, a nurse at the Stead Family Children's Hospital, said the now-regular waves connect kids to the outside world. "Anytime we can make them feel normal and a part of something, it's very meaningful," she said. KANSAS CBS News Principal resigns after student journalists questions her credentials A team of high school journalism students in Kansas published an investigative story questioning their incoming principal's qualifications. And then she resigned. The student reporters received national recognition after they revealed that Amy Robertson, their would-be new principal, received her master's and doctoral degrees from Corllins University, an unaccredited online school. Robertson, who currently works with an education consulting firm in Dubai, said she received her degrees from the university lost accreditation. The Pittsburg School Board accepted Robertson's resignation in April. KENTUCKY chron.com Passenger's removal from United flight sparks uproar On April 9, Kentucky doctor David Dao was shown on video being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville. Dao was among four passengers scheduled to be removed to accommodate crew members. The footage of Dao screaming as he was pulled from the plane went viral. Days later, Dao's lawyer said he suffered a concussion and broken nose. The incident prompted United to make changes to its passenger policies. Two security officers involved in the incident were fired. LOUISIANA huffingtonpost.com I'm back': Steve Scalise returns to Congress after shooting With two words, "I'm back," Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise (R) made his remarkable return to the U.S. Capitol after a gunman critically wounded him during a congressional baseball team practice on June 14 just outside D.C. Four others were shot before the gunman was killed. Scalise spent six weeks in the hospital and was discharged to go through a process of intensive rehabilitation. On September 28, he got back to work. "I'm back," he tweeted, along with a photo of him and his wife Jennifer looking out at the National Mall from the Capitol. His return to the House floor was met by a standing ovation. "You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people's House." MAINE wtop.com Thousands send Christmas cards to dying Maine boy Jacob Thompson just wanted to celebrate one more Christmas. The 9-year-old from Maine, who had been diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in February 2014, made a simple request when he has admitted to the hospital this October and was told he had only a month to live: Send Christmas cards. Tens of thousands of cards flew into Jacob's small hospital room as the boy's story captured the hearts of people across the nation. Having a love for penguins, he even got a special visit when the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut brought the tuxedo birds to meet their young fan. Thompson died Nov. 19. MARYLAND abcnews.go.com The day the NFL took a knee NFL players responded in full force on a Sunday in September after President Trump repeatedly called for punishing players who didn’t stand during the national anthem. In the first game that day, a number of teammates from the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars either knelt or locked arms at a high-profile game in London. Landover, Md.-based Washington Redskins players stood with arms locked, though some players chose to kneel. And across the league demonstrations spread, as many players broke out of their routine by joining the protests or engaging in team-wide displays of unity. The protests first began in the 2016 season, when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said it was his way of speaking out against racial injustice and police brutality. MASSACHUSETTS seattletimes.com Michelle Carter gets prison time for texting boyfriend to commit suicide You can't think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it." Michelle Carter, 20, sent dozens of texts like this encouraging her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, 18, to commit suicide, which Roy eventually did after Carter instructed him to get back in a truck filling with carbon monoxide. Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, of which she'll serve 15 months. The case was the first to determine the legality of telling someone to commit suicide. Legal experts are concerned that it could set a bad legal precedent. MICHIGAN inquisitr.com 90s grunge lost another icon: Chris Cornell Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell's distinctive, nearly four-octave wail was nearly synonymous with the grunge-music era of the 1990s. Just hours after performing for a Detroit crowd in May, the 52-year-old was found unresponsive in his hotel room. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death a suicide by hanging, although his family questioned the findings. Cornell was just one among many celebrities we lost this year. MINNESOTA yahoo.com #MeToo movement hits Minnesota hard Democratic Senator Al Franken announced his resignation after more than a half dozen women said he touched them improperly or made unwanted sexual advances. Franken disputed some accusations and suggested he was being held to a different standard than President Trump. Franken became the second member of Congress to announce his resignation due to sexual harassment allegations in 2017. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., a civil rights icon first elected to the House in 1964, stepped down after several women accused him of harassment. Franken's fellow Minnesotan Garrison Keillor, the iconic Prairie Home Companion host, was fired in November after allegations of "inappropriate behavior/" MISSISSIPPI apnews.com Bringing 'insane asylum' dead back to life Up to 7,000 dead bodies are buried underneath the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus. They are former patients of the state's first mental institution, called simply the Insane Asylum, built in 1855. Underground radar shows the coffins stretch across 20 acres of the campus. UMMC discovered 66 coffins while doing construction on the campus in 2013, but has since detected thousands more. UMMC is now teaming up with a professor from Millsaps College in Jackson for a possible National Endowment of Humanities grant that would fund a study of the asylum and its history as well as engage families whose ancestors lived there. The center is looking at exhuming the bodies and preserving as well as studying the remains. MISSOURI yahoo.com Abby Wilson, 14, was hunting alone when she said she spotted a very large white-tailed deer and pulled the trigger. The problem? It wasn't a deer. It was an elk. Her father, Donald White, immediately called the conservation department upon realizing his daughter's mistake. Because there's no elk hunting season in Missouri, the animals are protected and wildlife officials are determining whether or not to issue any citations or warnings to the young hunter. After the story went viral, White said comments directed at her, including that she should be locked up, amounted to bullying. MONTANA kgmi.com Montana body slam shows just one of many threats facing journalists The first year of the Trump era was a tough one for American journalists. On top of competing with "alternative facts" and being labeled the "enemy of the American people" by the president, some reporters were physically stopped from doing their jobs. In May, wealthy businessman Greg Gianforte, who was running for Montana's open House seat, was arrested for assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of the election. Gianforte won over Montana voters but apparently lied to investigators after the body slam. NEBRASKA twincities.com Sasse sasses Trump It's no secret that Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse took his fair share of jabs at President Trump this year. The young Republican from Plainview recently asked the president if he was "recanting" his oath of office following an apparent threat of the freedom of the press. He also called out Trump for his Twitter attack on the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe, saying "it's beneath the dignity of your office." Sasse's and other GOP legislators', well, sass, highlights Trump's struggle to make nice with Republicans on Capitol Hill. NEVADA businessinsider.com On Oct. 1, America changed forever when a gunman shattered his hotel windows at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas and opened fire on 22,000 country music fans at the outdoor Route 91 Harvest Festival. Fifty-eight would die in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Nearly 500 were injured. The gunman's motive remains a mystery. A wounded country came together again in November when a gunman killed 25 people, including a pregnant woman whose unborn baby also died, during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas. With that, 2017 earned a bitter honor of being the most deadly year for mass killings in the U.S. in more than a decade. Three of the five largest mass killings — in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. — have taken place since June 2016. NEW HAMPSHIRE time.com Voter fraud or bogus claims? Following the 2016 election, President Trump called for a crackdown on voter fraud. Trump claimed he lost New Hampshire because thousands of Massachusetts residents were bused to New Hampshire to cast illegal votes against him. The solution? A voter fraud election commission was set up to investigate the matter. To date, legal experts and the New Hampshire deputy secretary of state said there is no evidence of voter fraud and the commission itself seems to have gone dark in recent weeks, with the last meeting held Sept. 12 in the Granite State. NEW JERSEY teenvogue.com Chris Christie feels the heat over 'beach gate' Just before the Fourth of July, Governor Chris Christie was spotted lounging outside his residence on Island Beach State Park. The only problem? He'd just closed that beach to the public — and all the other state parks in New Jersey — thanks to a state government shutdown. The photo became the source of endless memes, and New Jersey residents told the governor to "get the hell off the beach!" A few weeks before "beachgate" a poll found Christie's approval ratings had sunk to 15%, making him the least popular governor in any state in the past 20 years. After legislators struck a deal in ending the three-day shutdown in time for the holiday, Christie announced he was headed right back to the beach. NEW MEXICO newsweek.com Plague found in New Mexico. And this isn't the first time The plague once called the Black Death, wiped out nearly half of the European population in the Middle Ages. And while it sounds like a disease that should have no place in modern times, each spring and summer cases pop up, often in Western areas. In late June, New Mexico confirmed a total of three cases of the plague in Santa Fe County. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, all three were hospitalized and later released. So, how does one get the plague? It’s typically transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, and while terrifying sounding, it can be treated if the symptoms are recognized early. NEW YORK theguardian.com Terror in NYC It was New York City's worst terrorist attack since 9/11 and occurred just a few blocks away from where the iconic twin towers crumbled. This November, Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan with ties to the Islamic State, ran down cyclists and pedestrians on a busy bike path before crashing into a school bus, killing 8 people and injuring 12. Saipov's killings occurred mere hours before the city's annual Halloween parade was to kick off, but revelers were undeterred. Amid heavier police presence, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio joined a million people who marched and danced down 6th Avenue in defiance of terror. De Blasio said, "What New Yorkers showed already is we will not change, we will not be cowed, we will not be thrown off by anything." NORTH CAROLINA cnbc.com Gerrymandering struck down in North Carolina case, but what’s next? The United States Supreme Court in June struck down dozens of state legislative districts in North Carolina because of the disadvantaged black voters. Then, federal judges rejected a request by North Carolina voters to hold special elections next March in new districts once lines are redrawn to eliminate illegal racial gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the deliberate process of redrawing lines to sway electoral outcomes in favor of a certain political party. As Karl Rove once said: "He who controls redistricting can control Congress." The issue has also been disputed in other states across the USA this year, particularly Wisconsin, which has a gerrymandering case before the Supreme Court with far-reaching national implications. NORTH DAKOTA kkcb.com Dakota Access Pipeline flows amid controversy After months of protests from environmental groups and Native American activists, the Army said it would allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the disputed project. The 1,200-mile pipeline began transporting crude oil on June 1 from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution hub in Illinois. Activists renewed calls to shut it down after a federal judge ruled the Army Corps of Engineers complied with some, but not all, requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act before issuing a permit. The developer of the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has since filed a $1 billion federal lawsuit against several environmental groups accusing them of fraud, eco-terrorism, and participation in a criminal enterprise. OHIO washingtonpost.com Otto Warmbier's death, and a year of high-stakes tension with North Korea The death of Ohio native Otto Warmbier was a heartbreaking moment in a year of marked tensions with North Korea. Warmbier, a college student at the University of Virginia, was arrested in North Korea on charges of trying to steal a poster. The 22-year-old was returned home in June in a coma; he died shortly thereafter. Pyongyang denied it tortured or mistreated him, claiming Warmbier contracted botulism and was given a sleeping pill. Throughout 2017, President Trump and Kim Jong Un, whom Trump dubbed "Little Rocket Man," exchanged even more heated threats over North Korea's rapid development of nuclear weapons that could strike the U.S. mainland. OKLAHOMA mprnews.org Another blow to Black Lives Matter "Hands up, don't shoot," became a rallying cry after Michael Brown was killed in 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Terence Crutcher had his hands up. Police shot. In May, a jury acquitted of first-degree manslaughter white Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby, who says she fired out of fear last year when she killed 40-year-old Crutcher. His family burst into tears at the verdict. In a video of the incident, the Tulsa Police Department can be heard saying Crutcher "looks like a bad dude." Crutcher's twin sister later said, "That 'big bad dude' was a father ... a son." The controversial verdict led to protests from Black Lives Matter. Shelby has since resigned from the Tulsa Police Department. OREGON eclipse.org The Great American Eclipse captivates a nation For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse spanned across the country. Americans paused and enjoyed some unity as the moon passed between the sun and the Earth. Many traveled to the path of totality to experience the eerie darkness. From coast to coast, Americans watched — hopefully while wearing eclipse glasses — as the moon's shadow traced its 67-mile wide path across the country starting in Oregon. Those 2-3 minutes of darkness brought millions of tourist dollars to hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and museums in cities in the eclipse path. PENNSYLVANIA bostonglobe.com They gave him 18 drinks. Then, left him to die The horrifying death of a 19-year-old fraternity pledge captured on video exposed dangerous hazing rituals by members of Penn State University's Beta Theta Pi. After frat brothers gave Timothy Piazza 18 drinks in less than one hour and 22 minutes, his blood-alcohol content was about four times the legal limit for driving. Piazza was found unconscious in the basement the next day and later died. At least two dozen face charges in the case. Three other pledges across the nation died this year in Greek-related drinking incidents. RHODE ISLAND dailymail.co.uk Michael Flynn, and the role of Russia in the 2016 election Despite being one of the most vulnerable figures in special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn remained beloved in his Rhode Island hometown in 2017. Flynn was ousted from the White House just weeks after President Trump's inauguration over his Russian contacts, and in December, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Flynn is among four campaign aides charged so far in Mueller's investigation. Flynn is the only one who served in Trump's administration. The only other guilty plea is George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign associate Rick Gates have been charged and pleaded not guilty. In addition to Mueller's investigation, three Congressional committees are looking at Russia. SOUTH CAROLINA themaven.net Governor stands with Trump amid sanctuary city crackdown South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster made it clear in October that the Palmetto State would not tolerate any cities acting as sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. The governor's strong condemnation of sanctuary cities came months after President Trump's executive order cracking down on cities that limit cooperation with immigration agencies. Following the order, leaders of some of the nation's biggest cities, including New York City, Chicago, and Boston, flatly stated they would not cooperate with the president. In November, a federal judge permanently blocked Trump's executive order in sanctuary cities. SOUTH DAKOTA nydailynews.com Old gold mine might hold treasured info on why we exist Researchers are in search of a different kind of treasure in a rural South Dakota gold mine: potential secrets explaining how the universe was created. The mine in Lead, S.D., that once hosted gold rushes in the 1800s will serve as home to scientists participating in the largest U.S.-based particle physics experiment. The experiment will determine whether particles called neutrinos help explain our existence. Over the next 10 years, workers will remove more than 870,000 tons of rock and install a four-story, 70,000-ton neutrino detector. The collaboration will involve 1,000 scientists from more than 30 countries. TENNESSEE nytimes.com Tuition-free community college Tennessee students can put away their checkbooks if community colleges are in their future. In May, the southern state became the first to offer a tuition-free education to nearly every resident without a degree. Even though Tennessee was the first state to pass the measure, it isn't without precursors. New York legislators passed a budget in April that covered tuition for families making less than $100,000 a year. In February, San Francisco voters passed a tax measure that would cover community college tuition for anyone who lived in the city for more than a year, though the state of California did not follow suit. TEXAS footwearnews.com Hurricane Harvey hit hard Hurricane Harvey's historic downpour brought destruction to the Texas Gulf coast. Harvey killed dozens, dumped more than 50 inches of rain and drove thousands from their homes. Its effects will be felt for months and years into the future. Amid the destruction, people stepped up to help. There was Houston Texans star J.J. Watt raising more than $37 million in online donations, human chains pulling people to safety and an impromptu gospel singing performance at a shelter. Watt perhaps puts it best: "When times are the toughest, humanity stands at its strongest." UTAH guampdn.com Outcry over nurse's arrest for refusing to draw unconscious patient's blood A Utah police officer was fired after he arrested a nurse who refused to let him draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant. Body cam footage of the arrest shows Detective Jeff Payne dragging Alex Wubbels from University Hospital while she sobs "this is crazy." An investigation was opened after video of the arrest went viral, and Wubbels received a $500,000 settlement from the city and the university that runs the hospital. She said she would give a portion of the settlement to the nurses union and help lead a campaign to stop the physical and verbal abuse of nurses on the job. VERMONT nydailynews.com This 13-year-old wants to run Vermont Ethan Sonneborn, 13, has some lofty political ambitions. The young Democrat announced this summer that he's running for governor in 2018, and with Vermont's founders imposing no age requirement for its highest office, his path to power is a little easier. The Bristol resident follows the news closely, chooses his words deliberately and sees his age as an asset, not a liability. "We elected our oldest president ever," Sonneborn said, "and he tweets like a kindergartner." His views on the president echo those of prominent Vermont progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, who told USA TODAY one year after the election that Trump's presidency is an "unprecedented disaster." A hot topic Sonneborn would have to address if elected: recreational marijuana. Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a legalization bill in May, a decision with which Sonneborn took issue. VIRGINIA msnbc.com White supremacy in Charlottesville It's 2017, and there were neo-Nazis in the streets. In August, hundreds of white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis descended upon Charlottesville, Va., for a "Unite the Right" rally to protest the removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. The rally turned violent when James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, who had expressed support for neo-Nazi positions, drove his car at high speed into a crowd of protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. President Trump was reticent to condemn the white supremacists, saying "many sides" were to blame for the violence. After his comments, Heyer's mother said she wouldn't take phone calls from the president. The rally was headlined by far-right white nationalist Richard Spencer, who returned to the city for another protest in October. Here's why Charlottesville has become ground zero for white supremacists. WASHINGTON vanityfair.com Amazon's new dome home Amazon joined Apple and Google in the race to build futuristic tech headquarters, introducing the Spheres, three (you guessed it) spheres that will "round" out the Seattle cityscape. The tallest of the glass and metal orbs rises 90 feet and is more than 130 feet in diameter, with two smaller spheres on each side. Space will host up to 800 employees for potential meetings, meals, and mingling. It will also feature plenty of plant life, along with tree-house meeting rooms, a river and waterfalls, and a green "bird's nest" conference room. The rest of the public can visit through shops located near the entrance or by signing up for tours once it opens next year. WEST VIRGINIA nydailynews.com Coal country digs Trump West Virginia, once a Democratic stronghold, is now Trump country. West Virginia’s conservative shift has been so pronounced that Gov. Jim Justice changed his political stripes in August and flipped from Democrat to Republican after just seven months in office. The state hasn't gone Democrat in a presidential election since 1996, and Hillary Clinton lost there by more than 40%. President Trump, who promised to bring coal mining jobs back, also got 77% of the vote in the Republican primary there. Trump took a lot of heat for politicizing the Boy Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia in July (prompting an apology from the Boy Scouts) but he was right back in the state the following week to rally the base and tout an end to "war on beautiful clean coal." WISCONSIN foxnews.com Blacked-out vacationers suspect tainted booze Abbey Conner went on a family vacation to an all-inclusive Mexican resort in January, but shortly after arriving, she was found face down in the pool, brain dead. Connor's death days later sparked a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation that found 100-plus people saying they blacked out from moderate to light drinking at Mexican resorts. Some were robbed. Others were raped. Few ever found justice. The State Department issued an alert about possibly tainted or counterfeit alcohol. Mexican officials swept tourist spots and claimed to seize 10,000 gallons of illegal booze from a shoddy distributer. They reported no such evidence at the resort where Connor drowned. WYOMING mexiconewsdaily.com Trump national parks moves met with backlash This year may have been your last chance to visit Yellowstone without doling out $70 to do so. The Trump administration in October proposed a price increase for the Wyoming landmark and 16 other national parks. Trump also faced criticism — and legal action — for his decision to shrink federally protected land by about two million acres in Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah earlier this month. In April, Trump signed an executive order to review more than a dozen national monuments across the USA. WASHINGTON, D.C. wfaa.com Nation's capital becomes epicenter of the #resistance Home to the most massive manifestations of opposition to the Trump agenda in a year that saw #resistance protests and marches against the administration across the country, Washington, D.C., became a hotbed for public demonstrations countering the president. The Women's March on Washington was the first and fiercest, coming the day after Trump's inauguration (which did NOT draw the biggest crowd to the National Mall in history, despite some claims to the contrary) and drawing an estimated 500,000 people angered at a president accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct. Huge crowds also gathered for the March for Science, the People's Climate March and the March for Truth. Forgot about September's pro-Trump, Mother of All Rallies? It's understandable. Only a thousand folks turned out and it was held the same day as the historic Juggalo March. PUERTO RICO 9news.com Maria devastates Puerto Rico, fueling feud with Trump Hurricane Maria pounded Puerto Rico in late September, causing unprecedented devastation to the island of 3.4 million people. The storm knocked out the majority of Puerto Rico's power and sparked a feud between the island and President Trump. For those unclear, Puerto Rico is indeed part of the United States — it's a commonwealth — and yes, its residents are U.S. citizens. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz took shots at Trump for the government's response to Maria, which she called "inadequate." Trump publicly bashed Cruz, saying she had "poor leadership ability." Months after the storm, large parts of the island remained without power, prompting Washington to seek efforts to modernize Puerto Rico's power grid. GUAM foxnews.com Priest $ex abuse cases shatter faith on Guam The predominantly Catholic island of Guam was rocked when a Pacific Daily News investigation unearthed decades of sexual assault, manipulation, and intimidation against children reared on the remote U.S. territory by some of its most revered men, the Catholic clergy. At least 143 cases of child sexual abuse have been reported against Catholic priests tied to Guam. Of those cases, 87 involve a single former priest and scoutmaster, Louis Brouillard, who allegedly committed horrendous sexual crimes against children, including accounts of rape, drugging and even tying up a boy before forced sex acts. Also among the accusations: a boy fondled on the way to his grandmother's burial, and another molested for the first time on his seventh birthday, then raped or assaulted 100 more times. U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 9news.com The Virgin Islands ravaged by back-to-back hurricanes Before Hurricanes Irma and Maria made their way to Florida and Puerto Rico, they tore through the U.S. Virgin Islands, a cluster of American islands in the Caribbean. Weeks after the back-to-back September storms, Virgin Islanders – who are Americans by birth – were in the grips of a long and painful recovery. Thousands went without power, and telephone and internet coverage remained spotty. Many fled – perhaps never to return. When USA TODAY reporter Fredreka Schouten returned home, she found family and friends' houses torn apart, and her former school with windows blown out and metal littered about. The destruction brought back memories of past devastating storms – Hugo in 1989 and Marilyn in 1995. 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