COVID-19 was the top story of the year, making headlines throughout 2020.
The pandemic was part of a tragic mix of stories involving death, destruction and crime.
But with the bad came some good – more than most folks probably remember.
New job announcements, advancements in education and other feel good stories brought smiles to the faces of readers throughout the year.
In February, the Biggersville community welcomed home 13-year-old Alyson Montgomery who received severe burns in a house fire in May 2019. Montgomery was burned on 68 percent of her body and spent many months in a hospital bed.
Longtime overseers of the Jacinto Courthouse made an exit in February. Beth Whitehurst, the foundation director, announced she would be leaving after 19 years. Her mother, Betsy, who remained an active volunteer and was director from 1976 through 2001, also stepped away from activities.
Peaceful protests are held on the steps of the courthouse. A large crowd gathered in May for racial unity in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and a much smaller group rallied in July in support of the now-abolished Mississippi state flag.
Mail carrier Abby Puckett rescues jogger Tess Lancaster from a dog attack on a county road in August.
ACE Power connects the first 100 customers during their countywide rollout of new fiber-optic-based internet service in September.
Several years in the making, the Crossroads Museum opens a display structure and train viewing platform at the depot in October. The display houses the city’s 1924 antique fire engine.
County school leaders hand out new iPads to all seniors and juniors in January. The devices are part of a 1:1 initiative ensuring all students have access to their own device. The district later receives $700,000 in CARES Act relief money and buys new MacBooks and iPads for all remaining students and teachers. Money is also used to upgrade WiFi networks on campuses and add 11 free hot spots at public locations around the county.
Bill Brand becomes the first appointed superintendent of the Alcorn School District.
Corinth schools Superintendent Lee Childress appears before the Senate Education Committee in November to talk about the advantages of a year-round calendar.
Alcorn County’s state lawmakers are given leadership roles for the next four years. Being announced in January, chairmanships go to Rep. Bubba Carpenter, Military Affairs; Rep. Nick Bain, House Judiciary B; and Rep. Tracy Arnold, Interstate Cooperation.
Alderman hire a Kansas-based debris removal contractor in February to begin the citywide storm cleanup process from Hurricane Olga in late Oct. 2019.
Three of the five local legislators vote to change the Mississippi state flag in July. A bill passes to retire the flag with the Confederate emblem and allowing people to vote on a new design in November.
Alderman adopt boundaries for a new neighborhood conservation overlay district to add more guidelines for what can be built in the downtown historic district.
In March Democratic primary results, President-elect Joe Biden receives a huge win in Alcorn County with over 79 percent of the vote. Turnout was about 17 percent of the county’s 24,803 registered voters. President Donald Trump easily wins the GOP ticket.
The General Election in Alcorn County was “near historical” with over 16,000 ballots casted including a record 1,900 absentees. The final count was up about 1,000 votes over four years ago. On a statewide level, a new Mississippi state flag is approved along with a initiative to legalize medical marijuana. Alcorn County backs President Donald Trump for re-election. Days after the election, Democrat Joe Biden reaches 270 Electoral College votes to win the race for The White House. The nation’s first female vice president, Kamala Harris, shares the ticket.
The Alliance announces the addition of Mission Forest Products to the RailHub. The project brings a $160 million investment to the area and is poised to create 130 new jobs.
Kimberly-Clark announces expansion with plans to add 33 full-time jobs to their Corinth nonwoven facility.
New retail construction begins on Five Below in Harper Square and Planet Fitness at Fulton Crossing. Planet Fitness opens before the end of the year, while Five Below has still not moved in. Closing businesses include Ruby Tuesday, Tad’s Pizza and Jimmy John’s.
Crime and sadness
Phyllis Marlar, 55, is charged with her husband’s murder. The shooting happened on Jan. 3 when she shot and killed William Marlar, 65, inside their Main Street residence. Police said financial distress appeared to be the motive.
The last remaining structure of the old Liddon Lake property went up in flames in April. The abandoned Bon Air cafe stood at the entrance to the iconic lake property.
Two are killed in a Highway 72 wreck in June. The crash claimed the life of popular Pickin’ on the Square musician Gerald Kennedy and his wife Shelby.
An armed robbery at Culver’s Grocery led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit across north Mississippi and into Fayette County, Tenn. on July 14. The men were armed and left the store with a money bag.
Tropical Depression Laura blows into the area knocking a network tower to the ground and causing major damage to Corinth Coin Laundry in August. Although people were inside the business at the time of the storm, no injuries were reported.
Tax Collector Larry Ross is indicted for embezzlement and fraud in December.