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2013 Year in Review, Part IV

We're taking a look back at some of the biggest local headlines of 2013. In this final part IV, the top Valley stories from the past few months. You can check out the rest at mywabashvalley.com

As we continue the countdown to 2014, we are taking the time to look back on some of the major local stories of this past year.

Our Year in Review continues with a look at the top stories from the past few months.

In October, we were first to report about a gruesome find in northwestern Vigo County - ATV riders uncovered two decomposing bodies.

The cause of death for 76-year-old Nevelland Thompson,  Jr. is still undetermined. Police say the female victim was strangled to death.

"So in the future if anyone would come across as a deceased person a body, do not touch anything, do not rummage through the scene. Immediately call the police, and that's what these fellas did," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts.
   
Meanwhile, the Vigo County Courthouse added extra security for a week this fall.

The last time the murder trial of William Mallory made it to court, a brawl broke out among the crowd, so the Vigo County Sheriff's Department added more officers, random K-9 patrols and checkpoints.

"It's just the new world we live in. So having this level of security is probably not as big an inconvenience as it might have been 10 years ago," said Major Jeff Fox of the Vigo County Sheriff's Department.
 
Mallory was found guilty of murder and five other charges, and a judge sentenced him to 111 years behind bars.

"It will not bring my son back, but I hope he sits for a long time and thinks what he did," said the murder victim's mother, Kathy Kelly-Calloway. 

And just days later, another jury convicted Travis Ley for driving while intoxicated, resulting in death. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and five on probation, but plans to appeal.

"I was pretty confident that was going to be the verdict, because the prosecution did a really good job. Still doesn't change a lot of things. My son is still gone and we're still dealing with that," said the victim's father, Wesley Owens.

Mother Nature took her toll on the Midwest this November.

According to the National Weather Service, at least 26 tornadoes tore through Indiana on November 17. That's the third largest outbreak in state history.

"All the windows broken, these two walls ripped off. But we're all okay," said Washington, Indiana resident Denise Yancy.  "All this stuff can be replaced over time. And we've got each other."

And just this past month -- after an emotionally-fought battle -- officials voted 3-2 to close Union High School and Dugger Elementary.

The decision comes amid a tough financial situation for the Northeast School Corporation. School leaders are still working on a plan to move forward for next school year.

"Hopefully with time, time heals most wounds, and hopefully we'll be able to bring them back with the curriculum we'll be offering," said NESC Supt. Dr. Mark Baker.

Union High School parent Greg Ellis said, "It breaks my heart. I've lived in Dugger all my life. In the high school alone I've got four kids going to Union High School. You know, we feel it isn't over."

To see the rest of our Year in Review, click below:

Year in Review, Part II 

Year in Review, Part III 

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