Top 8 Local News Stories for 2020 from Alabama News Network
2020 is a year to remember, although most people would rather forget everything that happened this year. Alabama News Network has released its annual list of the Top 8 local stories of the year.
While we normally don’t rank our stories in order — because what’s important to some people may not be as important to everyone — but this year, there’s no question that the coronavirus pandemic had the most impact on people in our area.
We’ve grown used to seeing the regular news conferences from Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. Here’s a look back at how the start of the pandemic affected folks in Camden, Gov. Ivey’s hometown:
Besides the health aspects of the pandemic, the virus took a toll on Alabama’s economy, which had started the year with the lowest unemployment in history. That changed in April, when joblessness shot up from 3% to 13.8%.
Protests were another major story of 2020. People in cities across the country spoke out about the deaths of Black people at the hands of white police officers. In many places, the protests were violent, causing injuries and property damage. That wasn’t the case in Montgomery.
While people took to the streets demanding justice, we lost important civil rights leaders this year. Congressman John Lewis was known as “The Boy from Troy,” and was remembered in Troy, Selma and Montgomery before his national memorial in Washington. We also lost Rev. Robert Graetz, former State Rep. Alvin Holmes and Bruce Boynton, who each played a role in the fight for equal rights in our area.
Auburn fans said goodbye to their legendary football coach Pat Dye, as Alabama fans remembered the life of Ray Perkins, the coach who took over the Crimson Tide after Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
We said hello to newly-elected political leaders in 2020. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville will represent the state in the U.S. Senate, while Barry Moore will represent Alabama’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House. Locally, James Perkins has returned as mayor of Selma, a position he held from 2000-2008, when he became the first Black mayor in the city’s history.
Montgomery Public Schools also celebrated victory in 2020. Voters approved a property tax hike that will give the school system money for building repairs, more classroom options and many other improvements.
Finally, the weather also made news in 2020, as it does almost every year. Hurricanes Sally and Delta brought rain and wind, but it was Hurricane Zeta that left behind the most damage in our area.
Thank you for trusting Alabama News Network to bring you the most local news during 2020. As we ring in a new year, we will continue to bring you News From Where You Live!