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Birmingham Patch's 10 Most Popular Stories of 2012

From South Bar, to Mitt Romney, to Sean Combs, these were the stories Birmingham Patch readers read the most.

2012 was a big year for Birmingham, especially if you're into police news.

From the drama at South Bar — including the bar's eventual closure in the spring — to the rifle-toting teen that resulted in a high profile court case, there was plenty of news.

And from the number of comments, Facebook "likes" and clicks, it was also a big year for Birmingham Patch while we strived to provide you with the news and information you need about your city and neighborhood.

Taking a look at those numbers, we've compiled a list of the top 10 stories from 2012. Here's what made the big headlines this year:

1. South Bar to Close Following Monday Morning Shooting in Birmingham

Three men were arrested following the shooting in July, during which no one got hurt, City Manager Bob Bruner said. Afterward, the city revoked the liquor license for the former South Old Woodward hotspot.

2. Bloomfield Hills in the Crossfire in New Anti-Romney Ad

The MoveOn.org liberal PAC debuted a mini-documentary titled "The Man From Bloomfield Hills" about former presidential candidate Mitt Romney in late August in the lead-up to the November election.

3. Police Say Woman Fired Gun Outside South Bar

In early April, a woman who fired two gunshots into the air outside South Bar in the midst of a fight turned herself over the Birmingham police. She was later cited for reckless discharge of a firearm.

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'This situation is layered with many teachable moments,' MSU sociologist says of recent police incidents that have spurred outrage among some residents. The controversy later resulted in the closure of South Bar.

5. Local News Organization Starts Petition to Challenge South Bar's Liquor License

Downtown Publications, which publishes Downtown Birmingham-Bloomfield in Birmingham, created a petition in early April to challenge South Bar's liquor license after a gun was fired outside the bar

6. Rifle-Toting Teen Found Not Guilty; Jury Says 'We Upheld the Law'

In July, a seven-member jury found Troy's Sean Combs not guilty of disturbing the peace and brandishing a firearm after the 18-year-old was discovered carrying a firearm in downtown Birmingham in April.

7. Police Arrest Teen Caught With Loaded Rifle Downtown Friday Night

According to the Birmingham Police Department, an 18-year-old from Troy was carrying a M1-.30 caliber rifle that was loaded with one round in the chamber in mid-April.

8. Sign Promoting 'Free Beer' Leads to Police Citation for South Bar

Alleged liquor law violation reported to state authorities in mid-April. Meanwhile, the former Birmingham bar accuses the city of selective 'targeting.'

9. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse Prepares for June 7 Opening

Former Forte restaurant is reshaped and redecorated as Ohio group spreads to Michigan, becoming the third major steakhouse in downtown Birmingham.

10. Your Guide to Birmingham Restaurant Week 2012

Twenty restaurants participated in this year's annual Restaurant Week in February, an event that gave diners the chance to experience the Birmingham dining scene for a lower cost.

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