It’s been a whirlwind eight months for The Frontier staff. From our start in early April to the final days of 2015, we’ve posted hundreds of stories — some before we even had a functional website.

So how was our first year? Pretty great, and pretty unexpected. When 2015 started, no one could have predicted that longtime Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s reign would end before the year would; or that Richard Glossip, a controversial Oklahoma death-row inmate, would avoid not one, but two dates with the execution chamber.

While we can’t predict what’s in store for 2016, we can look back at our five favorite stories from this year. Enjoy.

Former Reserve Deputy Robert Bates
Internal affairs investigation into Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates 

This is where it all started. Before our website was ready, we had our first big scoop of the year: Sources provided The Frontier with what had been the secret Internal Affairs investigation into Robert Bates, a reserve deputy who, earlier that month, had accidentally shot an unarmed man during a botched undercover sting. Bates was eventually charged with second-degree manslaughter, and the ensuing drama claimed the job of longtime Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz, who was indicted months later by a grand jury, as well as four high-ranking sheriff’s office employees who were either fired or resigned.

Rogers County Hustle

Diana Thurman wanted only to keep her son, who had several drunken driving arrests, out of prison. To do so, she found herself caught in a scheme intended to set up Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. The Frontier’s Rogers County Hustle investigation has it all: Politics, sex and small town behind-the-scenes maneuvering that would make network TV proud.

9 lives
The nine lives of Terry Simonson 

As controversy burned at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office this year, a familiar face emerged from the flames. Terry Simonson, a survivor of almost countless past controversies, became the face of the sheriff’s office as outside groups worked to remove Sheriff Stanley Glanz. How did Simonson get there, how did he survive his past brushes with controversy and where is he headed next?

Dr. Steven Anagnost, seen here at the Oklahoma Pain & Wellness Center in Tulsa, is seeking to overturn his disciplinary settlement with the state. BRANDI SIMONS / The Frontier.

Dr. Steven Anagnost: State’s case against spine surgeon ended after two governors intervened

For a time, Dr. Steven Anagnost was a wildly successful surgeon. But, as he found himself accused of unsuccessful surgeries that left his patients paralyzed, in pain, or dead, he found himself at the center of a battle over his medical license.

So Anagnost, a financial backer of then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the future presidential candidate, who, in turn, called Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. And just like that, a three-year, $600,000 state investigation came to an end.

Monroe Bird III "Trey" in his hospital bed at the Kaiser Rehabilitation Center in Tulsa, OK. Tuesday May 12, 2015. Bird was shot and paralyzed by a security guard in the parking lot of the Deerfield Estates Apartments when Bird was spotted in the car with a girl earlier this year.  Photo by Brandi Simons for The Frontier.
This isn’t the story I wanted to write about Trey

Monroe “Trey” Bird was by all accounts a kid with a loving family who was just trying to find his place in the world. But earlier this year, while in a car outside a south Tulsa apartment complex, Bird found himself in an altercation with an armed security guard.

What happened next is disputed, but it ended with Bird being shot through the neck and paralyzed. As his family fought against an insurance company who decided not to cover the hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills and a law enforcement community who decided not to arrest or charge the man who shot their son, Trey, confined to a bed in the family’s tiny home, died.