2014 YEP Review of the Year: October to December

Royal Armouries Armistice Day. PIC:  Jonathan Gawthorpe
Royal Armouries Armistice Day. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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OCTOBER’S headlines included the inspiring story of a young amputee who had become a model after being forced to have her legs removed due to a medical condition.

Lizzy Holmes, 24, from Oakwood, said: “While I am fit and young I can adapt to my new life. I don’t let my disability stop me from doing anything.”

* Police uncovered a drugs operation in a Leeds suburb that is home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents. Cops found cannabis plants with a potential street value running into tens of thousands of pounds when they raided a five-bedroom detached house off Ling Lane in Scarcroft.

* Fundraiser and Leeds councillor Ryk Downes, 50, completed a string of gruelling challenges – including the climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro – in aid of the Lily Foundation. The charity funds research into mitochondrial disease, whose sufferers include Ryk’s 18-month-old grandson Cory.

* Striking plans were revealed for the redevelopment of the old Yorkshire Evening Post site at Wellington Street in Leeds city centre. The proposed mixed-use scheme could include offices, a top-class hotel, a residential tower, restaurants and easy-on-the-eye open spaces.

* A group of university students were handed anti-social behaviour orders after a raucous house party in Leeds. The nine housemates had hired speakers and strobe lighting for the bash at their digs on Brudenell Avenue in Hyde Park.

* Neil Redfearn became Leeds United’s third permament head coach of the season following the sacking of Darko Milanic after just six games.

* A jogger found himself in hot water after a run-in with David Cameron during a visit by the Prime Minister to Leeds.

Dean Farley, 28, sparked a security scare when he appeared to bump into Mr Cameron outside a rail scheme launch at Leeds Civic Hall.

* Police and council chiefs in Leeds revealed they were planning a crackdown on the trade in laughing gas amid growing fears about its use by youngsters as a party drug.

Experts had voiced concerns that the substance – which leaves users feeling light-headed when inhaled – could cause serious health problems and even death.

NOVEMBER saw Will Cornick, 16, being sentenced to life after he admitted the fatal stabbing of Leeds schoolteacher Ann Maguire.

Cornick was told he may never be released after a court heard how he had developed a “deep-seated and irrational hatred” of the popular member of staff at Halton Moor’s Corpus Christi Catholic College, where he was a pupil.

* Leeds came to a standstill as it marked Armistice Day, 100 years since the start of the First World War.

One moving ceremony was held at the Royal Armouries, where a bugler played the Last Post as poppies fell from the rafters of the museum roof.

* Minibus driver James Johnson, 64, was jailed for six years for his involvement in a motorway crash which claimed the life of Bethany Jones, 18, from South Elmsall. Miss Jones was among a group of 20 hen party pals travelling on the “sitting duck” minibus when it was struck by a lorry.

* The phased closure was announced of the Polestar Petty printing factory, on Whitehall Road in Leeds. The factory had been part of the fabric of city centre life since Petty & Sons first opened in 1865.

* Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield was at Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE from the Duke of Cambridge.

* Business tycoon Sir Richard Branson pledged to “revolutionise” rail travel between Yorkshire and London after a consortium including his Virgin Trains group got the nod to take over the running of the East Coast Main Line.

DECEMBER’S people in the news included special constable Lee Deighton, who was hailed as a hero after rescuing a woman from the River Aire in Leeds.

Lee, from East Ardsley, dived into the water and pulled the 21-year-old woman to safety near Leeds Bridge with the help of a member of the public.

* A report revealed that the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire had boosted the county’s economy by more than £100m. The report also said that the Broad Acres should receive a further £24m lift from Tour fans returning over the next two years.

* Leeds City Council announced it would be consulting on plans to reduce its staff by 475 as it attempts to find more than £75m of budget savings.

* A have-a-go hero told how he overpowered a gun-wielding robber who had stormed his elderly neighbour’s home.

Bernard Ryan, 68, rushed to the aid of the 94-year-old woman after hearing her cries for help as the intruder ransacked the bungalow in Cross Gates.

* The YEP threw its weight behind growing calls for Leeds to join the race to be named European Capital of Culture in 2023.

* Cash tills were ringing across Leeds as 4.5 million people thronged the city centre in the space of just three weeks. Cameras in shopping hotspots such as Briggate and Albion Street recorded the highest footfall the city had seen during the run-up to Christmas for three years.

* Leeds’s biggest bus operator, First, announced a round of fare rises, to take effect from Sunday, January 4.

The firm said the increases were needed to help it deal with rising costs.

* Jon Sharpe, a 73-year-old grandfather famed for the festive illuminations he puts on at his home in Featherstone, was given the all-clear from cancer.

His wife, Jennifer, said: “It is just the most wonderful Christmas present anyone could have given us.”