The last year has been an eventful one across the Land of Lincoln. Here are some stories that captured our attention around the state in 2018:

Illinois governor election: The costliest Illinois governor’s race in history turned into a rout. Democrat JB Pritzker, a Democratic businessman and philanthropist, soundly defeated incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, putting $161.5 million of his own fortune into the endeavor. His coattails brought with him an enhanced Democratic majority in the Legislature.

Scramble for the mayor’s seat: Eight years was enough for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who announced in September he wouldn’t seek a third term. His decision came amid sagging approval ratings, continued violence and discontent over closings of a bevy of schools in the city. An 18-candidate field seeks to succeed him, led in polls by Cook County Board Chairwoman Toni Preckwinkle and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza

Marking two centuries: Illinois may have plenty of problems, but 2018 was also a year to celebrate. Dec. 3 marked 200 years since Illinois achieved statehood, and the Land of Lincoln spent the year highlighting its notables. Four presidents, civil rights and labor movement pioneers, global corporations, advancements in science, agricultural production that feeds the nation and the world, and plenty of notable history received moments in the sun.

Justice for “16 shots” and long-term reform: A Chicago jury convicted police officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 death of 17-year-old. Van Dyke had originally claimed McDonald lunged at him with a knife, but dashcam video from the scene showed the young man walking away from the officer. That video sparked massive protests when it was released. The incident, among others, helped lead to a judicial consent decree requiring reforms in how the department conducts its business.

AG’s office gets tough with Catholic Dioceses: The Catholic Church in Illinois underreported the number of clergy who were accused of sexually abusing children, a December report from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office alleged. Additionally, Lisa Madigan’s office claims “the Dioceses of Belleville, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield did not take the basic step of publishing a comprehensive list of clergy who had been ‘credibly’ accused until the Office became involved. The attorney general’s office found 500 more Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children than the state’s six archdioceses have publicly identified. According to the report, Illinois Dioceses have received allegations related to sexual abuse for about 690 clergy, a far higher number than the 185 the church had previously identified. Madigan’s office said the Church had failed survivors at the outset by failing to investigate many of these allegations, and later on, by not providing support and services to those who had been abused.

#MeToo in Illinois prompts laws: Springfield had its own #MeToo moment when sexual harassment became a high-profile issue after a number of women accused male lawmakers and their staff of harassment. The situation started in 2017 when Denise Rotheimer, a lobbyist, claimed state Sen. Ira Silverstein was making unwanted sexual advances toward her. This led to investigations and the establishment of an anti-sexual harassment taskforce, which drafted a bill that would make investigation of harassment easier. It passed both houses. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, had a number of issues with his staff and harassment. In February, campaign worker, Alaina Hampton accused Madigan aide Kevin Quinn of messaging her sexual comments in pursuit of an unwanted relationship. She said her pleas for help were ignored. Madigan fired Quinn after the allegation were made public. She is now suing Madigan.

Chicago loses bid to be Amazon HQ: Amazon, the online retail giant held the promise of 50,000 jobs and the possibility of changing their fortunes, to cities seeking to host the company’s new headquarters. Chicago was one of the 20 finalists dangled tax incentives, showcased their workforce and even signed nondisclosure agreements to keep the process secret. In the end, Amazon decided to go with an East Coast headquarters: the New York neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens, as well as a suburb of Washington, in Arlington, Virginia. Despite the loss, Chicago remains a major player in the tech industry.