2018 has been a big year in the news business. Our list of the biggest stories of the year is so long. But then we decided to trim the list into some specific categories and I found several stories that land on the list of stories that made us happy in 2018.

TSM

Here's my list of the stories that got us excited this past year.

11. Uber Comes to town

This process has been going on for more than a year. There were several hurdles to get through before Uber could begin rolling in the city. Lyft started last year and now we have Uber in town.

10. Andrea Lee UFC debut

Local fighter Andrea Lee makes the big time. She debutes in the world largest mixed martial arts promotion, the UFC. Not only did she debute, but she kicked butt and won a $50,000 bonus for fight of the night.

9. Legalized medical marijuana

While this has been ongoing for many months, it's finally coming to fruition. We still can not get the medicine just yet, but the clinics are now granting prescriptions for those who meet the state's tight criteria.

8. Naked Man

Back in the summer, everyone in town was talking about the naked man at Diamond Jacks Casino. This guy apparently had a little too much to drink (or was under the influence of something else) and he goes into the bathroom and puts on his birthday suit and proceeds to run around the gambling tables. Bossier Police Officers had to use guns with bean bags to sudue the guy who was identified as 24-year-old Terrence Roquemore.

7. 71th Street

I know this story will make the list of stories that made some people mad, but it also made me happy. It shows that all of us are human. A street sign was put up in the Cedar Grove neighborhood and it said "71th Street". Once it was spotted and posted on social media, the city quickly sent a crew out to take it down and correct the sign.

6. Eastbank District in Bossier

If you haven't visited the new Eastbank District in Bossier, you might want to make a trip down there. Not only will you find a very unique neighborhood, you'll find a great park and several new businesses up and going. And this won't be the end of it. There are plans for loft apartments and even more businesses in the area.

5. Mudbugs win championship

The Shreveport Mudbugs bring home some big hardware in 2018. They won the NAHL Robertson Cup Championship. The Bugs beat Minot North Dakota to take home the title.

4. Sci Port reopens

This has been quite a saga. The hands-on childrens museum was closed last year amid financial troubles. A new board of directors was formed and the facility opened back up on a smaller scale. I hope this is a sign of big things to come for this special place.

3. I-49 opens north of town

October 17th was a big day in our community. The I-49 and I-220 interchange opened to traffic. This project cost about $240 million dollars and took about four years to complete. This will likely be the final stage of I-49 done in our community for many years because funding for the Innercity Connector through Allendale is not yet available and the Federal Highway Administration is continuing the environmental study on this route.

2. Oschner takeover at University Health

In the medical community locally, this was the biggest thing to happen in the past 5-10 years. This puts Ochsner Health System in charge of the safety net hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe. The goal of the management change is to stabilize operations at the hospitals and the LSU Medical School in Shreveport. The thousands of local U-H workers will now be employed by Ochsner.

1. Record snowfall in January

We started off 2018 with quite a blast of winter. In fact, on January 16th, our area saw record snowfall amounts. While this will likely make our list of the biggest stories of the year, it is also one of the stories that made lots of us happy. Some communities in our area saw more than 2 inches of snow on that one day. Benton, Haughton, Bossier City, Elm Grove, Homer, Mooringsport, Minden and several others got that much snow. Shreveport recorded 1.8 inches of snow which is also a record.