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Akin's gaffe tops a busy year in Missouri news

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 25, 2012 at 11:47 am •  Published: December 25, 2012

Obama delivered a high school commencement address a day before the anniversary of the twister that killed 161 people. Declaring that they had "already defied the odds," he urged the graduating seniors of Joplin High School to hold close the lessons they learned in overcoming adversity as they enter the next phase of their lives.

"You are from Joplin. And you are from America," Obama said. "You will not be defined by the difficulties you face, but how you respond — with strength, and grace, and a commitment to others."

—5. Republicans won veto-proof majorities in both the Missouri House and Senate for the first time since the Civil War era while Democratic Gov. Nixon and other incumbent executives also won re-election.

—6. Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and committing suicide in front of team officials. Belcher's actions orphaned the couple's 3-month-old daughter, and later reports showed Belcher had been feuding with his girlfriend and complaining about her to another woman.

—7. A bronze bust of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh was added to the Missouri Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians despite protests, mainly from women's groups. A security camera was installed to keep watch over the bust.

—8. Missouri lawmakers overrode a veto by Nixon to enact a new religious exemption from insurance coverage of birth control.

—9. Bruce Cole, the CEO of the failed Mamtek artificial sweetener factory in Moberly, was charged with theft and security fraud for allegedly misleading financiers about the company's troubled operations and diverting revenue from city-backed bonds to make payments on his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

—10. Cindy and Mark Hill, high school sweethearts from the northwest Missouri town of Dearborn, became one of two winners of the record $588 million Powerball jackpot. The couple vowed the money wouldn't change things too much.

"We will still be going down to the corner cafe for breakfast or fish day. I can guarantee you," Cindy Hill said. "You know it's just us. We're just normal human beings. We're as common as anybody. We just have a little bit more money."