Immigration Battles, NFL Protests, Cosby: Here’s What We Read This Year in Philly

A look at some of the biggest stories of 2017 in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, based on the most-read stories on this year.

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Immigration issues dominated headlines in 2017. In January, President Trump ordered "new vetting measures" to keep "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States. The travel ban hit snags in courts throughout the year. Amid the uncertainty, relatives of the Assali family from Allentown, who were entering the country with proper immigration approvals from Syria, were detained at Philadelphia International airport and sent back to Syria.
In December, a New Jersey couple who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico three decades ago was deported, leaving behind three American-born children. After last appeals with federal immigration officials to stay in the country were denied, Oscar Campos and his wife boarded a flight back to their native country.
In August, a family headed to Cape May found themselves in a situation right out of our nightmares when the Middle Thorofare drawbridge lifted right underneath their vehicle. The driver hit the gas and jumped the gap. He and his wife and daughter, who were also in the vehicle, were not hurt.
Several major crimes that occurred in the Philadelphia area made national headlines. Among them was the violent death of a Chester County high school graduate. 18-year-old Bianca Roberson was gunned down during an alleged road rage incident along a busy highway. 28-year-old David Desper stands accused in her death.
Matt Rourke/AP
In early July, four young men went missing from the same area of Bucks County. Within a week, grisly details of their deaths was revealed as their remains were recovered from a farm in Solebury Township outside New Hope. Cousins Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz stand charged in the murders of Mark Sturgis, Tom Meo, Dean Finocchiaro and Jimi Tar Patrick.
Bucks County District Attorney's Office
Another crime story from the area that made national headlines was the death of 14-year-old Grace Packer in Montgomery County. The girl's adoptive mother, Sara Packer, and mother's boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, stand accused of raping and killing the girl before dismembering her body to dispose of it.
The beating and strangulation of a 22-year-old Temple University student drew national attention to the region. Investigators allege Jenna Burleigh was killed inside her Philadelphia apartment before 29-year-old former Temple student Josh Hupperterz used a ride sharing app to transport her body. Burleigh's remains were recovered on the Poconos property of Hupperterz's grandmother, investigators said.
Possibly the most shocking death for the area was that of legendary Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy "Doc" Halladay. The 40-year-old died in November when the plane he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa.
Getty Images for Randy Travis
In September, a helicopter crashed in a field near Flying W Airport in Burlington County, NJ. One half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, Troy Gentry, was killed in the crash. The pilot was also killed.
Bradley Funeral Home
In March, Tony Luke Jr., one of the founders of the cheesesteak franchise Tony Luke’s took to social media to announce the death of his son Anthony James Lucidonio III. Lucidonio III was 35 years old.
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2017 has been a record-breaking season for the Philadelphia Eagles as they flew their way to a division title. There was some heartache along the way when, in week 14, MVP candidate Carson Wentz tore his ACL, ending his season way too early. "Saint Nick" Foles took the reigns, looking to lead the team to a Super Bowl.
The Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins joined other players to make a statement about racial equality during the playing of the National Anthem. Jenkins stood with a fist in the air during the preseason. Some NFL players knelt. The protests gained the attention of President Trump who called for the players to be fired. Jenkins stopped his protests, but joined a group of players who have lobbied for criminal justice reform.
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The City of Brotherly Love was once again in the national spotlight when the NFL Draft came to the Rocky steps. In April, hundreds of thousands joined Roger Goodell on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to watch as new talent was selected for teams across the league.
All eyes were glued on a Montgomery County courthouse over the summer as former TV dad Bill Cosby fought a sexual assault charge. On a Saturday in June, jurors declared they were hopelessly deadlocked and a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors vowed to retry the case.
In February, inmates took over part of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Dover for nearly a day. In the end, authorities used a backhoe to smash through a barricade and end the hostage stand-off. One guard was killed in the incident. Sixteen inmates face charges.
Vince Lattanzio / NBC10
In June, NBC10 took on an unprecedented effort to cover suicide prevention, raising awareness, removing stigma, growing mental health literacy and shining a light on what local government and health organizations are and are not doing to attack the issue. As part of our reporting, Tina and David Attryde talked about their son Ryan, who died by suicide at 16.
All eyes were on the sky across the country and here in our area as a rare solar eclipse could be seen on a clear August day.
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