A year like no other Channel 3's top stories of 2015 (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

365 days in Chattanooga

The year 2015 may be remembered by many as the year that Chattanooga lost its innocence.

The Top Stories of 2015

  1. Local terrorist targets Chattanooga military centers; murders five
  2. I-75 crash in Ooltewah claims six lives
  3. Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal
  4. Chattanooga tops 30 homicides for first time since 1997
  5. State requires Cleveland’s Sunset Memorial Gardens to respond to family complaints
  6. Chattanooga named “Best Town Ever”
  7. Chattanooga becomes IRONMAN capital of the world
  8. Judge scolds gang member: "East Lake Courts is not your hood"
  9. UAW vote at Volkswagen
  10. U.S. Women’s National soccer team sells out Finley Stadium
  11. Barge heads down the river to new home
  12. Superior Creek Lodge condemned and closed
  13. Cleveland Police Department riddled with scandal and staff changes
  14. Christmas Day flooding in the Tennessee Valley
  15. Lee University student Jordan Smith wins NBC’s “The Voice”

1. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez fires multiple rounds into the Armed Forces Career Center on Lee Highway, then travels to the Naval Operations Support Center and opens fire a second time, claiming the lives of five U.S. servicemen.

1. Scenes from the July 16 attacks that killed five U.S. military men put a city in shock.
  • Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40
  • Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 35
  • Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist
  • Lance Cpl. Squire D. “Skip” Wells, 21
  • Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26
1. The attacks left lasting marks on the families and the community of Chattanooga.
1. “But, oh, I knew them. Confident, committed, determined, trustworthy, passionate and always, always loyal — I knew them. They were my son.” – Vice President Joe Biden
1. Five months to the day of the July 16 attacks, U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced that the Fallen Five would be awarded Purple Hearts.

2. A semi-truck fails to stop for a construction zone, smashing into 8 vehicles and claiming 6 lives.

2. A semi-truck on Interstate 75 failed to stop in a construction zone, slamming into 8 vehicles and claiming six lives in June.
  • Brian Gallaher, 37
  • Sandra Anderson, 50
  • Tiffany Watts, 31
  • Kelsie Garrigues, 11
  • Savannah Garrigues, 9
  • Jason Ramos, 36
2. Truck driver Benjamin Scott Brewer tested positive for methamphetamine and was declared an "imminent hazard to public safety". The NTSB said that Brewer had also been on duty for 50 straight hours before the deadly crash.

3. A week after Volkswagen was recognized as the world's largest auto manufacturer, VW was found to have installed cheating software in 11 million diesel-powered cars to get improved emissions results.

3. Volkswagens with diesel engines face recalls for emissions that exceed published standards after VW-installed software skirted emissions testing.

3. Uncovered in September, Volkswagen’s diesel-powered engines were found to emit nitrogen oxides that were nine times above accepted levels in the six-cylinder engines and up to 40 times in the four-cylinders.

3. Cheating software was installed on the vehicles as far back as 2008, but the scheme reportedly dates back to 2005.

4. Chattanooga had 30 homicides in 2015, three more than 2014.

4. Three of the thirty homicides in Chattanooga during 2015: mother of three Monica McMillon; Wonsik No, killed during a Labor Day robbery attempt of his East Side Market; Rosa Chatman, who was killed in a brutal attack in College Hill Courts.

4. Chattanooga has recorded the most deadly year in nearly two decades when it comes to homicides.

The last time the city has seen more than 30 homicides was in 1997 when there were 36. Former detectives believe the most homicides ever recorded in the city was 50 during the crack cocaine boom in 1994.

5. Cleveland's Sunset Memorial Gardens criticized for deplorable conditions and odorous graves

5. Families with loved ones at Sunset Memorial Gardens, along with Bradley County and State of Tennessee officials, called for a clean-up of the cemetery and mausoleum after more than 125 complaints were filed.

6. Chattanooga wins "Best Town Ever" 2015 honors

6. Sixty towns around the United States, all with an outdoorsy claim to fame, and one city emerged as the winner. Voters from around the world cast their votes, narrowing the groupings with each round, and in June, the Scenic City came out on top, besting towns like Flagstaff, AZ, Lake Placid, NY and Bar Harbour, ME.

7. Scenic City hosts IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 triathlons

7. Chattanooga became the IRONMAN capital of the world, selected to host the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon. The two-day event is in addition to the city already hosting the IRONMAN in the Fall and the IRONMAN 70.3 in the Spring.

7. The Scenic City beat out Lake Placid, New York and St. George, Utah to host the event.

8. Judge lays down the law to gang member

8. O'Shae Smith (left) appears before Hamilton County Judge Lila Statom in April, where she admonished him from the bench. Smith told detectives he was mad a rival gang was "in his hood," which prompted Statom to explain who owns East Lake Courts to Smith.
"Sir, East Lake Courts is not your hood." – Judge Lila Statom

9. UAW wins vote at Volkswagen to represent 126 skilled trades workers

9. United Auto Workers supporters wave signs as motorists pass the entrance to Enterprise South, home to Volkswagen Chattanooga.

9. The National Labor Relations Board certified the United Auto Workers win in a December union vote among skilled workers at the Volkswagen plant. In 2014, assembly workers voted against union representation at the Chattanooga facility.

10. U.S. Women's Soccer team plays to sold-out crowd

10. Fresh from their 2015 World Cup Championship win, the U.S. Women's Soccer team came to Chattanooga to play a exhibition match against Costa Rica to a sold-out crowd at Finley Stadium.

11. "The Barge" departs from Chattanooga after years on the North Shore

11. Arriving on Chattanooga's North Shore in 2008, the barge was intended to be a floating restaurant and night club, according to owner Allen Casey. But those plans slipped away, and the barge quickly became an eyesore, and was ultimately deemed to be a navigation hazard. Years of legal sparring finally ended when the barge was floated and pushed to Alabama's Gulf Coast in late April.

12. Superior Creek Lodge condemned and closed, displacing hundreds

12. After months of controversy, East Ridge's Superior Creek Lodge was condemned by the city's Code Enforcement, citing structural problems with stairs, balconies and walkways. All of the 1,500 residents were forced out of their rooms when all four buildings were affected.
"We've tried to be good neighbors and like I say, this ain't the Ritz-Carlton." – attorney Jerry Summers.

13. The Cleveland Police Department goes through multiple leadership changes

13. A series of scandals led to several leadership changes at the Cleveland Police Department. Police Chief Mark Gibson, who served as interim chief, was sworn in on a Monday and had fired three officers by the following Thursday.
14. Christmas Day storms soak the Tennessee Valley, flooding roads and homes.

14. Record-setting rains flooded parts of the Tennessee Valley, as roads became impassable and rivers spilled out of their banks.

14. Setting new records for both warm temperatures as well as rainfall, the Christmas Day storms dumped more than 4 inches of rain on the region. The old record from 1973 was 2.01 inches. The deluge added to the annual rainfall with a surplus of 13.78 inches.

15. Lee University student Jordan Smith wins 'The Voice'

15. Each week on NBC's 'The Voice,' Jordan Smith increased the range and the depth of his already incredible vocals. Fans quickly took notice, springing his performances to the top of the iTunes charts, eclipsing artists such as Adele and Justin Bieber.
15. Jordan Smith had Usher timing how long he held a note in 'The Voice' finale that Smith won in mid-December.
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Photos by WRCBtv, NBC and the Associated Press

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