This past year has had its share of ups and downs for Santa Clarita Valley residents.
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While several crashes claimed the lives of several and drew the attention of thousands, there were also milestones of achievement, and stories reflecting events that could change the Santa Clarita Valley forever.
The biggest story of the year was the unfortunate ends to the lives of “Fast and the Furious” movie star Paul Walker and Always Evolving CEO Roger Rodas , which drew international attention and tens of thousands to Valencia.
The official cause of the crash is still believed to be under investigation, and the case is being handled by Detective Jeff Maag of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Traffic Unit.
Investigators are expected to meet with officials from Porsche in mid-January to discuss the Porsche GT Carrera driven by Rodas, which was traveling at a very high rate of speed when it crashed.
The Cemex-Santa Clarita deal that includes legislation to stop a sand-and-gravel mine  from coming to the Santa Clarita Valley drew national attention with a hearing in Washington in front of a Senate subcommittee.
The Santa Clarita Valley landscape would be altered dramatically if a federally supported plan to mine the sand and gravel from Soledad Canyon goes through, according to Senate testimony.
Cemex owns two mining contracts for Soledad Canyon , each 10 years in length, which would yield about 56 million tons of usable aggregate -- a total of 78 million tons of the material used to make gravel and concrete -- over the next 20 years.
What happens next will likely depend on how the bill is “scored” by members of the Congressional Budget Office, who will determine the cost for federal taxpayers.
Another story that captured Santa Clarita Valley residents’ attention is the crash that killed Sarah Alarid .
Sarah Alarid's body was found near her vehicle, which was located by the Sheriff's Department's aero bureau around 9:15 a.m. near mile marker 7.98 off Little Tujunga Canyon Road.
"It appears that Miss Alarid was ejected from the vehicle," said Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau. "All indications are at this time that there was no foul play involved."
There was also controversy surrounding the Saugus Union School District.
Saugus Union School District board members voted 4-1 to vacate the seat of Stephen Winkler  over a question they raised about his residency.
The governing board found they must request permission from the state’s Attorney General’s Office in order to proceed with Winkler’s removal.
There was also controversy surrounding Albert Einstein Academy for the Letters, Arts and Sciences , which repeatedly sought to open a school in the Saugus Union School District, and eventually wound up receiving approval from the Acton Agua Dulce School District.
In other school news, there was also an outbreak of norovirus at CalArts , the world-renowned Valencia art school that has produced countless award-winning artists.
The Powerhouse Fire was another event that captured the attention of Santa Clarita Valley residents everywhere, with 30 homes being destroyed but no one killed.
A few of the top news stories from 2013:
Paul Walker 
Sarah Alarid 
Bryce Laspisa 
Toll Booth  (April Fool’s Joke)
Valencia Brush Fire 
Missing Girl 
Los Angeles Dodgers 
Missing Woman 
Powerhouse Fire 
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A Look At The Santa Clarita Valley's Top News Stories From 2013
Article: A Look At The Santa Clarita Valley's Top News Stories From 2013 
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith