It was an eventful 2018 in the Olentangy Valley, with a new high school, a controversial tax proposal and, as usual, Powell traffic making headlines.
Here's a quick look back at five of the year's biggest stories:
Claws up! -- With great fanfare, Berlin High School, the Olentangy Local School District's fourth high school, opened Aug. 5 as the latest step in the district's battle against growing enrollment. The $69 million school is themed around its blue color scheme and "Claws Up" motto that matches its bear mascot.
Berlin High School’s opening: District pulls out stops in celebration
Motorists on Berlin Station Road push through growing pains
Can’t Bear-ly wait
Year of the Bear begins
Tax hike goes down -- In a resounding vote, Powell residents in November shot down a proposal to increase the city's income tax to fund infrastructure improvements. The city attempted to raise its income tax from 0.75 percent to 1.15 percent in the Nov. 6 election; the defeat left the city scrambling for a new plan to fix roads, sidewalks and sewer lines.
Proposed income-tax increase: Ballot drubbing sends Powell to square one
Income-tax toughie tops ballot bounty in Powell area
Proposed income-tax increase: Powell concentrates on facts, figures
Powell leaders say income-tax hike best way to rip off ‘Band-Aid’
Feedback on Powell tax hike: ‘The time is now’
Powell income-tax hike necessary, panel says
Major development -- Ohio State University announced this year it would develop a new ambulatory-care center at the northeast corner of Home Road and Sawmill Parkway. The largest project in Powell's history has received initial approval and is expected eventually to employ up to 1,000, with a payroll potentially nearing $88 million.
OSU medical center in Powell: Project could bring superlatives
Powell annexation slowly clearing way for Ohio State medical facility
Annexation for Ohio State University medical center inches forward
OSU project not financial ‘bonanza,’ Powell warns
Turn, turn, turn -- As part of the city's Keep Powell Moving initiative, Powell police in September and October held three "targeted traffic enforcements" at the intersection of Liberty and Olentangy streets, known as the Four Corners, handing out about 30 tickets for illegal left turns between 4 and 7 p.m.
Powell’s Four Corners: Left-turners’ grace period is at an end
Powell’s Four Corners: City soon could put full ban on left turns
Four Corners blitzes wrap up with Powell police encouraged
Students speak out -- In March, several black students addressed the Olentangy school board to share the jokes, comments and racial epithets they've experienced in schools. Students later formed the Black Students of Olentangy, and the district updated its handbook to explicitly state that racially based intimidation, bullying or harassment will lead to harsh punishment.
Olentangy’s black students: ‘Racial aggression’ common
Olentangy district in motion after appeal from students
Forum aids push for diversity, support
Olentangy handbook changes clarify penalties for bullying
Black Students of Olentangy group gives black teens new podium
Black Olentangy says it wants students to feel ‘at home’ in district