2018 could be classified as a year of development for both the city and schools, with each preparing for major construction in 2019. It also was a year of unexpected events, including two murders in the city and the sale of Huffman’s Market. Here's a look back at five of the top Upper Arlington stories of the year:
* Murders charges: Charles McCoy, 31, of Columbus was stabbed to death in June outside China Dynasty, 1689 W. Lane Ave. Jeffrey B. Harrison of Columbus, is awaiting trial on two counts of murder. The body of 23-year-old Bobbi Renee Simpson of Columbus was found Oct. 14 in a container that had been set afire in Burbank Park. Mohamed Abdullahi, 27, of northwest Columbus is awaiting trial on charges of aggravated murder, murder, arson, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Suspect in fatal Upper Arlington stabbing turns himself in
Upper Arlington: Mohamed Abdullahi charged with aggravated murder of Bobbie Simpson
Outbursts from Bobbie Simpson’s parents interrupt accused killer’s arraignment
* Happy birthday, UA: Highlights of the city's yearlong centennial celebration included unveiling three larger-than-life bear sculptures in Northam Park, centennial-themed July Fourth festivities, identifying hundreds of local trees that are at least 100 years old and placing items in a commemorative time capsule.
Upper Arlington gearing up to party hardy
UA’s centennial: ‘Golden Bear’ statue taking sape
July Fourth in UA: Centennial event a ‘showstopper’
Centennial Cycle caps Upper Arlington’s 100th birthday year
* Development marches on: The Arlington Gateway was approved Aug. 27, paving the way for an expected 11-story mixed-use project at the corner of West Lane Avenue and North Star Road. In September, residents opposed to a mixed-use project on West Lane Avenue withdrew plans for a referendum after revisions by developer Crawford Hoying. The project now calls for a 116-room TownePlace Suites and J. Liu restaurant on Lane, as well as two condominium buildings on Westmont Boulevard.
Arlington Gateway development deal approved – by emergency
Lane Avenue: Larger hotel plan could bring end to referendum
UA rezoning referendum off the ballot
* Schools construction: Upper Arlington Schools officials are planning $230 million in renovations and reconstructions to five elementary buildings, Upper Arlington High School and athletics facilities, with groundbreakings scheduled in April and May 2019.
School district eyes strategic plan, facilities work
Upper Arlington plans for ‘future-ready’ schools
UA school board OKs $2.5M contract for Tremont fields
* Huffman's Market sold: After 31 years running Huffman's Market in the Tremont Center, owner Tim Huffman sold his store to Chicago businessman Raj Patel on July 30.
Huffman’s Market sold, will remain in business
New Huffman’s owner promises no changes