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W ILKES-BARRE -- Readers who also like The Times Leader page on Facebook were quick to offer their input on the most important stories of 2012.


From the end of the 2012 election to the string of mass shootings across the nation, readers' picks were not far from a list pulled together from editors at The Associated Press.


Facebook subscriber Brendan Pryor of Paramus, N.J., emphatically said that the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was one of the most important stories of this year.


The attack derailed the hopes of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to become the new secretary of state.


In mid-December, a damning report that blamed management failures for a lack of security resulted in the resignations of State Department officials Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security; and Raymond Maxwell, the deputy assistant secretary of state who oversees the Maghreb nations of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.


Mass shootings

Scranton resident Nelson Antonio Salcedo Sr. and Paul J. Reedy suggested that the mass shootings across the United States were the most important occurrence in the country this year. Salcedo specifically mentioned the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children, six staff members, the gunman himself and his mother dead on Dec. 14.


Other mass shootings occurred in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire at the midnight opening of The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, on July 20.


The shooter in that instance appeared in court a week later and faces charges of first-degree murder for each of the 12 theatergoers who died and attempted murder for each of the 58 people who were injured. A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Jan. 7, according to recent reports.


Days before the Sandy Hook massacre, another gunman used a stolen rife to kill two people and then himself inside a Portland, Ore., mall.


Reedy, who also cited the attack in Benghazi, suggested the 2012 election as another significant event, particularly the re-election of President Barack Obama in the most costly election cycle to date.


Gay marriage, marijuana

Politics aside, the election may be remembered as one of the most liberal ever as Maine, Maryland and Washington became the first states to legalize gay marriage via popular vote. Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana.


Facebook fan Matthew J. Harden said the possible death of the Twinkie should be a top news bite. Hostess, maker of the iconic sponge cake, announced plans to liquidate assets and employees in November, citing troubled negotiations with one of its top unions.


The obit for Twinkie the Kid is fairly preliminary, however. In bankruptcy court in December, Hostess said it was narrowing down the bids it received for its brands and expects to sell off its snack cakes and bread to separate buyers.


Amid all of the bad news, readers Donna Fernandes Selner and Amy Smith hope the horrible headlines of 2012 make us treat each other a little better in 2013.


Everyone is tired of sad and disturbing news. 2013 needs all good stories, Fernandes Selner wrote on The Times Leader wall.



TUESDAY:
A look at what we're likely to see in 2013.




Amid all of the bad news, readers Donna Fernandes Selner and Amy Smith hope the horrible headlines of 2012 make us treat each other a little better in 2013. Everyone is tired of sad and disturbing news. 2013 needs all good stories, Fernandes Selner wrote on The Times Leader wall.




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