1 of 5
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Elizabeth Smart waits to speak to the media after Brian David Mitchell was found guilty on all charges at the Frank E. Moss United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City on December 10.

SALT LAKE CITY — The trial of Elizabeth Smart kidnapper Brian David Mitchell, which ended with a guilty verdict last week, was the news story of the year in Utah, right?

Well, maybe not.

The Deseret News and KSL are asking readers and viewers to rank the top Utah stories of the year. Simply visit the online tool and make your own selections. Then, later this month, check deseretnews.com, the Deseret News, KSL and ksl.com to see how you and your fellow readers voted.

Casting votes will not be easy, as it was a year of triumph and tragedy in Utah news.

For example, in addition to the Mitchell verdict, among the possible stories of the year are:

Two deputies (Josie Greathouse Fox and Brian Harris) were shot and killed, and a park ranger (Brody Young) was critically injured, in separate incidents this year.

Scandal rocked the Utah Legislature. Before the session began, Senate President Sheldon Killpack was arrested on suspicion of DUI and later resigned. At the end of the session, Utah House Majority Leader Kevin Garn resigned after acknowledging he paid a woman to keep quiet about a nude hot-tubbing incident 25 years ago.

Rogue Department of Workforce Services employees compiled a list of more than 1,300 supposed illegal immigrants and sent it to media and law enforcement.

America's tea party movement rolled through Utah, and Sen. Bob Bennett became the first incumbent to fall victim to a growing anti-Washington sentiment.

Letters revealed the state of Utah paid out a $13 million settlement to one of the unsuccessful bidders for a record $1.7 billion Utah County road contract.

Both BYU and the University of Utah announced their departure from the Mountain West Conference.

Oil spilled from a Chevron pipeline near Red Butte Creek — twice. In June, 800 barrels flowed into Salt Lake City waterway. And in December, a failed valve on the same line leaked between 350 and 500 barrels of oil.

A fast-moving fire started by Utah National Guard gun training burned thousands of acres, destroyed three homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in Herriman.

Schools were plagued with budget cuts and layoffs in the first full year after the Jordan District split.

Vote now, and remember to check back later this month for the results and a roundup on the stories of the year.

e-mail: gkratz@desnews.com