January: A City Council liaison's sexual harassment lawsuit against a second liaison grabs headlines. The legal system takes that suit seriously, but not the one I filed about the egregious lack of an eggnog fountain in City Hall's lobby.
January: Blogging company Tumblr opens its second U.S. office in a hip Manchester loft. Tumblr came to Richmond, company officials said, because they believe this is where they lost the letter E in their name while out partying one night.
March: Led by head coach Shaka Smart, the VCU men's basketball team captures the heart of the city as it advances to the Final Four before succumbing to Butler. Afterward, the team demands $20 million in unmarked bills and a private jet to Argentina in return for the safe release of the city's heart.
In April, philanthropists give a $25 million gift to VCU, then the biggest gift the school had ever received. Then in August, other philanthropists donate $45 million, topping the earlier gift. This move causes the $25 million philanthropists to get all mad and challenge the $45 million donors to a philanthropist cage fight, which will be broadcast live on HBO next month.
May 3: Developer Justin French gets 16 years in federal prison for real estate fraud. The once impeccably dressed French seems fine with the time behind bars, away from his friends and family, but worries how he'll go that long without his beloved hair gel.
June: The Fed flies a gay-pride flag at its downtown headquarters for LGBT month, drawing praise from civil-rights advocates and complaints from social conservatives. The central bank defends the decision, saying the rainbow flag symbolizes the Fed's commitment to the values of acceptance and diversity, not to mention how their friends Dave and Ben seriously throw the greatest parties.
July: The city awards an advertising contract for Richmond's department of economic development to a firm in Denver. The company plans to promote the Richmond region's quality of life, its pro football team and its close proximity to the Rocky Mountains.
Aug. 23: A 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Mineral rattles the East Coast, taking much of the hard work away from those who were churning butter at the time.
Aug. 26: Hurricane Irene cuts a large swath of destruction through Central Virginia. State officials say that not since their aunt got drunk at a Christmas party in 1976 have they seen damage this extensive caused by something named Irene.
On Sept. 9, Obama speaks in Richmond, shutting down highways and snarling traffic with his motorcade. Then he comes back one month later and shuts down everything again . Who does this guy think he is, the president of the United States?
Sept. 10: Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson makes an appearance in Richmond on the same night as Patti LaBelle. Unfortunately, they get their directions crossed, and Branson winds up performing an evening of soulful R&B, while LaBelle is forced to give a keynote on space travel.
Sept. 21: The city wins the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, a nine-day cycling event that will bring millions in economic benefit and, one can infer, a nine-day rise in the number of people here who wear spandex shorts.
Sept. 28: An inmate is inadvertently set free from the City Jail and tries to rob a bank. In the inmate's defense, however, he asked really politely if he could inadvertently be set free to go rob a bank for a little while.
Filming began in September on the Abraham Lincoln biopic, with Daniel Day-Lewis playing the role of the 16th president and Steven Spielberg directing. Traffic had to be rerouted around the city after crews shut down several streets for filming of the movie's elaborate giant robot-fighting sequences.
In October, protesters take to the Richmond streets as a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, an international demonstration against social and economic inequality. The group stops rallying in late October after its main demand is met when McDonald's brings back the McRib.