Top Local Stories of 2017: By Month

At ABC30 we cover stories from the tragic to the triumphant, but some stories standout above the rest. We've compiled a list of some of the stories of 2017.

Check out our EDITOR'S CHOICE LIST and top stories BY THE NUMBERS.

Each month

January

California landscapes starting to return after drought



This winter's heavy rainstorms have helped bring much of California out of the drought.


MAP: Widespread flooding reported on the east side of Fresno and Clovis



What started in the early morning hours as a steady downpour turned hazardous by sundown.


Merced County Sheriff's Department arrest teacher for allegedly having sex with a minor



A Merced High School Teacher is facing charges after allegedly having sex with a student in a car.


February

EDITORIAL: 8 Ways In-N-Out bests Whataburger



Houston is about to be blessed with its very first In-N-Out. As a result, it seems some employees at our sister station, ABC13, have lost their minds in defense of the celebrated Texas chain Whataburger. They delivered a list of seven reasons Whataburger tops In-N-Out.


Levee break on the Merced River creates major flooding



In Merced County residents are being told to stay away from the Merced River and other waterways. It comes as the US Army Corps of Engineers is increasing the flow of water from Lake McClure in Mariposa County due to forecasted storms and already high water levels in the lake.


Police say 22-year-old Visalia man stabbed to death walking home from work



Police in Visalia are putting a face to a name, with the hopes that someone may say something about a homicide that happened last week. Flowers have been placed near Bridge Street and Houston Avenue, with a card that reads, "J-Forever in our hearts."


March

Visalia man who raped, tortured and murdered 3-year-old girl sent to death row



Christopher Cheary was back in a jail jumpsuit on Monday, two months after his trial ended. That's when a Tulare County jury recommended he be sentenced to death for his crimes against three-year-old Sophia Acosta-his girlfriend's daughter.


Fresno mom kicks cancer during pregnancy, delivers twins, dies a day later



A smile is the one thing Jamie Snider took with her wherever she went. The 30-year-old Bullard High grad flashed it to make friends, and used it to comfort them when they were down.


Visalia businesses feel targeted by Tulare County man filing dozens of ADA lawsuits



A Tulare County man named Jose Trujillo is listed as the plaintiff in 31 federal lawsuits that have been filed since the start of 2017, including ten since the beginning of March.


April

Fresno Shooting Spree




Mother of 4-year-old Porterville girl allegedly killed by aunt speaks for the first time



In Porterville Thursday night, one mother's grief was overwhelming. Just two days before, authorities said Dora Pablo's daughter was killed in her sleep.

Scores of roosters rescued after deputies bust Kerman cockfighting ring



Behind barn doors in Fresno County were nearly 100 roosters, all them taken from an alleged cockfighting ring in Kerman.


May

Overturned tanker causes massive fire in Atwater, driver dies at the scene



A grisly scene slowly restored back to order-- the aftermath of a fiery morning that set the west side of Atwater on fire.


19-year-old shot dead after suspected drug deal goes wrong in Visalia



Four teenagers were arrested for allegedly shooting a man to death in Visalia after a drug deal went wrong Sunday, authorities said.


Visalia man tried to break up fight before being run over and killed, family says



The search is on for the suspects who police say ran over a Visalia man in front of his young daughterlate Saturday.


June

Baby dies after being born following fatal car crash near Five Points



Investigators say 18-year-old Joanne Delgado from Kerman crossed the median, near Highway 145 and Elkhorn, for unknown reasons and collided with another vehicle. The force of the impact caused Delgado to give birth prematurely. She was six to nine months pregnant and she died at the scene.


Mother grieves over son killed by Fresno Police



The incident started with gunshots ringing out on the street. Police said they received a lot of 911 calls, rushed to the scene, and that's when they became targets.


Fresno children who died abandoned buried at Garden of Innocence ceremony



Eleven Fresno children who died without families were buried in the Garden of Innocence.


July

18-year-old woman arrested after live streaming deadly crash near Los Banos



An 18-year-old Stockton woman is in jail accused of driving under the influence during a deadly crash Friday. The live Instagram recording shows Obdulia Sanchez next to a dead crash victim.


Detwiler Fire



Cal Fire says Detwiler Fire sparked by firearms


Bunny Ranch sex worker Alicia Stapleton appears in court, accused of prostituting for Fresno PD officer



Bunny Ranch sex worker Alicia Stapleton came to Fresno court for the first time Tuesday on charges she worked as a prostitute with a Fresno police officer as her pimp.


August

Railroad Fire




Lucy Xiong's boyfriend talks about the concerning final phone call



Time stands still at the apartment complex where Lucy Xiong disappeared. Her parents reliving the same fear every morning while her boyfriend, Xou Hang, gets accustomed to a new daily routine.


2 bodies stuck in the Kings River, rescuers unable to remove them due to dangerous conditions



Fast moving water of the Kings River is rushing through a car trapped in its path. Inside are twopeople, there for nearly two weeks because those dangerous conditions.


September

Five dead in crash on HWY 33 south of Mendota



Highway 33 south of Mendota was closed for hours Tuesday, as officials surveyed the scene of a fiery and deadly crash.


Scott Peterson of Modesto convicted of killing his pregnant wife Laci, Fresno woman helped break the case



It was a case that captivated the nation--a beautiful young mother to be missing, a frantic family and her husband, Scott Peterson, under intense scrutiny.


16-year-old girl dies after being shot outside Selma home



There are few leads in a homicide case out of Selma where a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed Thursday night in front of a friend's home.


October

Fresno Unified substitute teacher arrested after investigators say he applied for another job revealing a disturbing crime



At Vinland Elementary in Fresno, substitute teacher Omar Thomas is accused of inappropriately videotaping a young student. Detectives may have never discovered the crime--if not for his other career goals.


Fresno boy dies after being trapped against electrified fence



Victoria Antunez's grief is shared and felt by everyone who knew her son, Adrien. Many of those friends were playing with him in this very same parking lot Thursday--the day he got stuck between an electrified fence and a concrete wall while trying to retrieve a ball.


Four Visalia residents charged for allegedly setting Pier Fire



According to the District Attorney's Office, four people have been charged for allegedly setting the Pier Fire which burned nearly 37,000 acres and destroyed two homes.


November

Clerk found shot to death at 'Tackle Box' gas station near Madera



Detectives say the suspects stole cigarettes and cash last night and then killed the unarmed clerk on their way out.


Charles Manson, notorious criminal and cult leader, dies at 83



Charles Manson, the mass murderer whose name became synonymous with evil after his followers' 1969 Los Angeles killing spree, died Sunday.


Reedley parents honor son through veterans memorial outside home



Ever since their son Matthew died, Reedley residents Dale and Carmen Martinez have maintained this Veterans memorial in their front yard. It faces the busy street to serve a purpose.


December

Merced man kills ex-wife and boyfriend before killing himself, police say



A Merced woman and her boyfriend are dead, and police say the suspect who did it killed himself hours later.


Former Washington Elem principal is one of two people found dead in Fresno



Deputies have been talking to a lot of people including the estranged husband of Dupras. They were going through a bitter divorce.


7th random shooting reported in Fresno County, authorities say



The victims are grateful they lived to share their experience. The sudden shooting both shocked and scared them.



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