- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

Here are the top Tennessee stories of 2014, as selected in voting by subscribers and staff of The Associated Press:

1 - Tennessee voters amend the state constitution to make it easier for lawmakers to restrict abortions. The amendment, approved by 53 percent of voters, nullifies a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that said abortion was protected by the state constitution.

2 - Lawmakers approve Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to offer graduating high school seniors free tuition to the community colleges. About 58,000 of Tennessee’s 62,000 high school seniors apply, although officials expect only about 13,000 to actually enroll.

3 - Three years after she goes missing, two men are charged with the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo. The nursing student was 20 years old when she disappeared from her West Tennessee home in April 2011. Her remains were not found until last September.

4 - The truck stop chain owned by Gov. Bill Haslam and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam agrees to pay a $92 million penalty for cheating customers out of rebates and discounts. In return, federal attorneys agree not to prosecute Pilot Flying J as long as the company meets certain conditions.

5/6 (tie) - United Auto Workers narrowly loses a union vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. But the German automaker later adopts a new labor policy that grants the union access to plant facilities and meetings with management.

5/6 (tie) - Dozens of communities approve wine sales in supermarkets after the Legislature budges on allowing public votes.

7 - The 6th U.S. District Court of Appeals upholds Tennessee’s ban on gay marriage along with restrictions in three other states. The ruling runs counter to a string of victories for the gay rights movement and sets up a likely showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court.

8 - Three Democratic Tennessee Supreme Court justices withstand a conservative effort to oust them in retention elections.

9 - A Nashville youth detention center sees a mass breakout by 32 teens followed by riots on the grounds and another breakout by 13 teens, all in the same month.

10 (tie) - Legendary journalist and civil rights leader John Seigenthaler dies. He edited The Tennessean newspaper, helped shape USA Today and worked for civil rights during the John F. Kennedy administration. Later, he founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt with a mission to create a national dialogue around First Amendment issues.

10 (tie) - Former Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker dies. He became known during the Watergate hearings for asking then-President Richard Nixon: “What did the president know and when did he know it?” By the time Nixon resigned in 1974, Baker was a household name with a reputation for fairness and smarts that stuck throughout a long political career.

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