Let’s face it. 2020 was quite the year from a worldwide pandemic to the third highest flood in Whitley County and Williamsburg history. Just in Whitley County alone, we were pretty much a war and a famine short of having our own Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse…LOL.
Maybe 2020 wasn’t quite that bad, but it was a rough year folks.
On the front page of last week’s News Journal, we detailed the top 10 COVID-19 related stories of 2020, and this week we are detailing the top 10 non COVID-19 stories of 2020 on our front page.
Of course, you just can’t fit all the news from one year into a top 10 list, so here are some other headlines that made news in 2020.
• January – Williamsburg’s Shannon Barman named Kentucky Mother of the Year; WWE takes over Corbin; Whitley County Fiscal Court passes Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.
• February – Whitley County Health Department gets $635,000 grant to battle opioid abuse.
• March – Auction of old Corbin school buildings brings in $525,000; and Kentucky State Police investigating officer involved shooting in Gray.
• April – Wind damage causes widespread destruction.
• May – Fire near Corbin claims life of 16-year-old boy; Man accused of trying to kill trooper.
• June – Search crews save woman at spillway; Missing man’s body found in Laurel River; City of Corbin officials eliminate downtown manager position.
• July – Woman pistol-whipped in assault case; Corbin man gets 25 years in sodomy, sex abuse case involving young relative; Julie Osborne hired as new Whitley County High School principal.
• August – Market Place on Main & Third businesses now starting to open.
• September – Corbin’s Zack Horvath completes 100-mile ultra-marathon; Keeneland announces new plans for Corbin, Williamsburg facilities.
• October – Downtown Williamsburg getting new park via grants; Couple accused of robbing Williamsburg bank, fleeing police; Doctor, who led police on 140 mph chase, enters plea deal, but DUI charge dismissed; Williamsburg woman struck, killed by train; 2020 Gateway to the Cumberlands Jeep Jamboree is once again largest in the country; Kentucky Consular Center celebrates 20th anniversary in Williamsburg.
• November – U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft addresses Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon.
• December – Crashes kills two over three-day period; COVID-19 mask dispute leads to assault case; Corbin breaks ground for Miller Park project.
Before I conclude this column, let me touch one other subject.
I know that some have expressed outrage recently over elected officials or former elected officials being at or near the front of the line in terms of getting the COVID-19 vaccine first, and I will concede that in some cases there is deserved anger.
In the case of the Whitley County Health Department giving COVID-19 vaccinations to Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. and Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison last week, I think some perspective needs to be considered here.
There are several people both locally and nationally, who are concerned about getting COVID-19 vaccinations. While local residents rightfully might not trust most of the politicians in Washington, D.C. any further than they can throw them, local residents overall have quite a bit of confidence in their local leaders, who are in many cases their friends and neighbors.
I can attest based on conversations I had with Whitley County Public Health Director Marcy Rein that her motivation in getting these elected officials to publicly get their COVID-19 vaccinations early on was to try and instill confidence in the general public that it is safe to take these vaccines.