It's that time of year again.
As 2012 draws to a close, Malden Patch will spend the last week before the holidays reviewing some of the year's top stories - five a day through Friday.
While we employed no rigid statistical model in determining which stories made the cut, factors included an article's page views, its level of reader comments and general newsworthiness.
15. Officer Accused of Drug-Related Texts: A Malden police officer faced a disciplinary after investigators allege he bought prescription painkillers from a man police arrested for drug distribution earlier this year. The case continues.
14. Officials Investigate Missing City Funds: Malden city officials and police have investigated the apparent theft of thousands of dollars from the city treasurer in early 2012.
13. VIDEO: Sparks fly over reporter's head during Hurricane Sandy: This was my personal favorite story this year, though my mother is still mad about it.
12. Together to Help: Local businesses offered discounted safes, new security equipment and other services to the Malden Mini-Mart on Main St. after it suffered a series of robberies last March.
11. Mayor's Quest To Tear Down City Hall Underway: Mayor Gary Christenson promised to tear down city hall by the end of his term and made some headway on the initiative this year.