Year in Review: Top 10 Stories of 2020

Many of us are ready to put 2020 behind us as the clock ticks down to a new and hopefully better year as we prepare to say hello to 2021.

2020 has certainly been a year that is sure to go down in the books and a year we will likely remember for years to come. With all the challenges this past year has brought us, there have been some positive developments. One of them, rolling in at number 10 in our countdown, is the opening of the Mississippi Aquarium.

The wait was long and so was the line when the $100 million facility officially opened its doors in Gulfport on August 29th, the 15-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was on hand for the opening.

Coming in at number nine: state, local, and county officials were on-hand for the unveiling of the Universal Broadwater Hotel and Casino Development in mid-October. It will be home to a U-Music Resort at the site of the historic Broadwater Hotel and Marina in Biloxi.

Ringing in at number eight is the legalization of medical marijuana. Mississippi was one of five states that voted to legalize medical marijuana usage, alongside Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana. Mississippi voters cast their ballots in support of the initiative in the 2020 election.

Number seven, amid nation-wide protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, people gathered in South Mississippi for peaceful protests and rallies headed up by Black Lives Matter. Jones Park in Gulfport was just one of the settings for these peaceful rallies including people from all walks of lives and races.

Next, at number six, controversy over the Confederate statue on the Harrison County Courthouse grounds in downtown Gulfport. Despite several rallies in support of removing the monument and a mid-December split-vote by county supervisors, the statue remains in place.

And at number five – another long-time controversial issue in the Magnolia state has finally come to a close. Mississippi voters casted their ballots to replace the long-standing state flag this year, opting for a new flag with a magnolia design.

Coming in at number four – the 2020 presidential election. Long lines could be seen at many south Mississippi precincts for the November 3rd general election. Nation-wide, there was a historic voter turnout in the tight race between Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden. The AP declared Biden the winner, prompting Trump to file legal challenges to the outcome.

And the chaos continued during the 2020 storm season – catapulting this year’s overall active hurricane season in the number three spot, with a record-breaking 30 named storms forming this year – 12 of them slamming into the U.S., including Cristobal, causing damage here in South Mississippi.

Next, at number two – Hurricane Zeta. The category two hurricane made landfall on the night of October 28th in Southern Louisiana, but South Mississippi was not spared.

And topping our list at number one – COVID-19. The novel coronavirus entered our nation’s borders in early 2020, and eventually made its way to south Mississippi.

Late this year, a vaccine was approved and distributed, sparking hope that things will get better as we head into 2021.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News