The biggest and most tragic news story came a week before the Christmas holidays, when Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother before gunning down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Primary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

After returning to world number one status, snooker star Mark Selby celebrated with the biggest title of his career by beating Shaun Murphy 10-6 in the final of the UK Championship at the Barbican.

Also at the Barbican, John Warburton celebrated 50 years as conductor of York Community Carol Concert.

Earlier in the month hundreds of clergy and dignitaries witnessed the ceremonial installation of the Very Rev Vivienne Faull as the Minster’s 76th and first female Dean.

Another senior York churchman, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, joined Julia Unwin of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to launch the UK Living Wage, arguing a more equal society is a happier society – and that you can judge how healthy a society is by how it treats the most vulnerable people.

We agree and to highlight the effects of austerity Britain, The Press also launched a campaign.

Stamp Out Poverty aims to find ways of making life a little better for those hardest hit by the recession. It was inspired by our report of the death of baby Telan Carlton in a damp council flat.

Richard III may have made the news in early summer when his remains were found under a car park in Leicester, but in December another extraordinary find from his reign was made. This time a copper-alloy mount in the shape of a boar that may once have belonged to the king was found on the banks of the Thames. Richard had strong links with North Yorkshire and took the white boar as his sign.

As Christmas drew closer the nation celebrated news of another baby when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they were expecting their first child.

Joy over news of the royal baby was marred however when Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse at the King Edward VII hospital in London where the Duchess was being treated for extreme morning sickness, apparently killed herself after putting through a hoax telephone call from two Australian radio DJs.

Weather-wise, thankfully the threatened beast from the east turned out to be a storm in a teacup and, surprise surprise, the promised snow turned out to be yet more heavy rain and yet more floods.

At least we’re not complaining this time. It may have seen the wettest summer since records began but thankfully there’s no repeat of 2010’s bleak mid-winter – so far, at least.

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