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Thousands of shuttle watchers gathered in South Los Angeles to witness the retired space shuttle Endeavour crawl from LAX to its new home in Exposition Park. The communal event was just one of the more positive stories to come out of 2012.
The past year saw its share of tragedy, but amid the negativity were uplifting stories that inspired generosity, prompted celebration or simply put smiles on our faces. Here are 12 "good news" stories from 2012:
Endeavour Comes Home to LA
Whether they lined the streets of South Los Angeles or staked out in front of their televisions, Angelenos welcomed home the retired space shuttle as it crawled past fast-food restaurants and local landmarks in a bizarre but cherished moment of LA history. Full story.
From Chinese Freighter to LA Home
Ni Hao, the adorable but sick stowaway kitten from Shanghai, recovered in an LA County animal shelter and was adopted. Full story.
Sending Love and Coffee From LA to Newtown
In the wake of a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, CSUN dispatcher Tom Cavanaugh sent 100 cups of coffee to the grief-stricken community. His small act of kindness inspired similar acts across the country. Full story.
LA Great-Grandmother Takes Second Place in Fitness Contest
Determined to end generations of weight-related illness and promote nutrition education in minority communities, an LA great-grandmother took second place in a national fitness competition. Full story.
Clippers Net Franchise-Best Winning Streak
The Clippers ran their franchise-best win streak to 17 games on Dec. 30 with a win over the Utah Jazz that capped an undefeated month for the team with the NBA's best record. Full story.
Bionic Suit Lets Paralyzed Patients Take First Steps Again
Thanks to new technology, people with severe spinal cord injuries are walking again with the help of a bionic suit. Full story.
Off-Duty Firefighter Braves Heavy Smoke to Save Woman
Battalion Chief Chris Rowe says it was a case of right place, right time, right job -- but probably not the right equipment. He was wearing flip-flops when he ran into a burning home and pulled out a 70-year-old woman. Full story.
Kings Bring Stanley Cup to LA
The franchise won its first Stanley Cup after a thrilling run through the playoffs. The celebration turned to disappointment later this year when NHL games were canceled because of a lockout. Full story.
Women's Olympic Soccer Wins Olympic Gold
It was Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan who sent the U.S. into the final with her game-winning header in an extra-time semifinal against Canada. Morgan finished the Olympics with three goals and delivered the cross that set up one of Carli Lloyd's goals in the final against Japan. Full story.
Veterans Reap What They Sew
Disabled veterans joined the mission to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury in the armed forces. Sensors have been developed for troops to wear, and when a Southland small business won the contract for harnesses on which to mount the sensors, the founder committed himself to getting disabled vets on the team. Full story.
Downtown LA Gets Greener
The long-awaited Grand Park opens in Downtown LA, and the new public green space is “for everyone." Full story.
Youngest Survivor of LA Riots Healthy, Thankful
Jessica Elvers, now 20, was youngest victim of LA riots. Her mother was shot when pregnant with her. She came away with a scar on her elbow, and now she says: "I was supposed to be dead. So I have to give God thanks." Full story.