You answered: 2013's most memorable local stories



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Posted on December 31, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 31 at 11:28 PM

AUSTIN -- From moments that took your breath away, to those that showed the power of people, 2013 was filled with triumphs and tribulations.

We asked our Facebook friends on The KVUE Insider for the most memorable moments of the year, and here’s what they said they won’t forget. 

2013 will forever be remembered for change. From the drought to a deluge, so many lives were forever changed because of the weather.

Families are still trying to rebuild after the Halloween floods in Onion Creek. So are the people in the town of West. 15 people died in the West fertilizer plant explosion on April 17.

Our trust was tested a lot this year. Lance Armstrong admitted he lied.

"I didn't live a lot of lies, but I lived a big one," he told Oprah Winfrey.

Former Capitol aide Gabrielle Nestande was convicted of criminally negligent homicide then sentence to a 180-day jail term after killing Courtney Griffin in 2011. The sentenced sparked a cry for tougher sentences for people who flee the scene of a hit and run crash.

Lawmakers passed a bill that strengthened the penalty for hit-and-run fatalities so that they’re equal to that for intoxicated manslaughter. Before it was a third degree felony, carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The new law raised the offense to a second degree felony, with a maximum penalty of 20 years. Another new law made failure to stop and render aid after an accident that may have caused injury punishable by up to 10 years.

People whose job it is to uphold the law found themselves on the other side of it. A judge ruled that Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg could keep her job after a DWI arrest earlier this year. She pled guilty and was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail, but got out for good behavior in about half that time.

Others in power were stripped of it.

Former Williamson County prosecutor Ken Anderson resigned his position as judge in September. He was faced with a civil lawsuit and criminal charges so accepted a plea deal. Anderson served a 10-day jail term for his role in sending Michael Morton to prison for nearly 25 years for a murder he didn’t commit.

So much of what we've known is about to change. Gov. Rick Perry announced he wouldn’t run for Texas governor in 2014.

"The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," said Perry.

And University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown announced he would step down as the head football coach.

"We've had 16 great years here," said Brown.

This year, we also saw the power of this community we call home.

The Austin Humane Society was flooded with donations when a rescued puppy named Danny needed life-changing cataract surgery.

Neighbors put themselves at risk to save others when their neighborhood flooded.

We put them in the boat and pulled them back across,” said Christian Martinez.

We also saw how those who serve us deserve to be honored.

Perez Gorda suffered a traumatic brain injury on his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. It left him a paraplegic. The nonprofit Homes for Our Troops built a house for Gorda and his family in Dripping Springs. They moved in just before Christmas.

So many things to be grateful for that don’t ever change here in Central Texas.

Click through this slideshow to see what commenters on The KVUE Insider chose as 2013's top stories..

What would you add to the list? Tell us on The KVUE Insider.