Top 10 U.S. Stories of the Year

There were many noteworthy national news headlines of 2006 — some made us cry, some caused anger and outrage, and others showed us true examples of courage and a strong human spirit. Here is a list of the Top 10 U.S. stories, as compiled by, counting down to the top story of the year.

10. August 27: A Comair commuter Flight 5191 crashes shortly after taking off from the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., on a runway that was too short for the plane, killing all but one of the 50 people aboard — the pilot.

9. July 26: Andrea Yates is acquitted by Houston jury and committed to a Texas mental hospital for 30 days. She is found not guilty by reason of insanity in the June 20, 2001, drowning deaths of her children in a bathtub. She was sentenced to life in prison, but that conviction was overturned last year.

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8. October 26: A 60-square-mile, 10,000-acre wildfire in Southern California kills five firefighters, and investigators later say arson was the cause. Those killed were: Mark Loutzenhiser, 43; Jess McLean, 27; Jason McKay, 27; and Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20. Pablo Cerda, 23, was hospitalized in critical condition with burns over 90 percent of his body and lived for several days before dying. Raymond Lee Oyler, 36, was arrested on other arson charges and is being held as a person of interest in the huge Esperanza fire.

7. August 28: Warren Jeffs, the fugitive leader of a polygamist Mormon sect, is arrested in just outside of Las Vegas three months after being put on the FBI's Most Wanted List. He faces charges of arranging marriages between underage girls and older men. Jeffs has led the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2002 and is said to have at least 40 wives and nearly 60 children.

6. October 11: A plane carrying New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and an instructor crashes into a high-rise apartment building on the Upper East Side of New York City, killing the two men.

5. May 3: Federal jury sentences Zacarias Moussaoui to life in prison for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks. He is serving his at the federal ADX Supermax prison in Florence, Colo.

4. October 2: Charles Roberts kills three girls and critically wounds eight at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa., before killing himself. Roberts left a note to his wife and three children, alluding to the fact he was still upset over the death of his newborn baby nine years ago and that he molested young relatives 20 years ago and dreamt of molesting again. It was the third shooting at a U.S. school in a week.

3. August 16: John Mark Karr is arrested in Thailand and called a suspect in the Dec. 26, 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, who was found strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colo. Doubts about Karr's claims arise after he publicly claims he was "with her when she died." DNA evidence later clears him, and no charges are filed.

2. April 18: Two Duke University lacrosse players — Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann — are arrested on charges of raping a stripper hired to dance at an off-campus party. A third player, co-captain David Evans, was charged later. All say they are innocent, and DNA tests would later fail to conclusively link any of the players to the alleged rape.

1. January 2: A methane gas explosion in the Sago Mine in West Virginia traps 13 miners. 12 of them die by the time rescuers find them. Rescuers found notes written by some of the miners saying they didn't suffer in death. The sole survivor is Randal McCloy Jr. Since then, Congress has held hearings on mine safety, and companies have taken another look at the air safety packs provided to miners.