The 12 months has been filled with information headlines: from the COVID-19 pandemic to the contentious election in November, a brand new president-elect and the hope of a brand new vaccine. It is onerous to maintain up!
This is a glance again at a few of 2020’s high information tales right here in Knoxville.
COVID-19 pandemic strikes Knox County – and the world
Greater than 200 Knox County residents have died because the first native case of COVID-19 was found in March. Quickly after, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon declared a state of emergency for town.
Eating places, bars, gyms and industrial venues closed. Knox County Faculties took a hiatus till the autumn semester and Knox County Well being Division Director Dr. Martha Buchanan issued a “safer at residence order,” encouraging residents to shelter at residence as a lot as potential.
Over the following a number of months, Knox County would comply with, and never comply with, recommendation coming from the very best ranges of presidency, together with the White Home and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Over time, native political figures together with Kincannon, the Board of Well being members, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Gov. Invoice Lee would voice opposing views on COVID-19 security measures.
The Board of Well being handed a countywide masks mandate in July and metropolis police started implementing bar and restaurant curfews in November.
Circumstances of the virus reached file highs in November, persevering with a lethal trajectory into December. Knox County Faculties shut down in-person lessons early to maintain households secure earlier than winter break.
Knox County breaks turnout data in presidential election
Election 2020 was a contentious one nationwide, with file breaking voter turnout of greater than 220,000 in Knox County. Of these voters, almost 80 % voted early or absentee poll.
President Donald Trump received over challenger Joe Biden in Knox County about 15 %, in comparison with Trump’s 23 % win over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump acquired about 20,000 extra Knox County votes in 2020 than in 2016, and Biden acquired almost 30,000 extra Knox County votes than Clinton acquired in 2016.
However whereas Tennessee remained Republican, different key states swung blue as absentee ballots rolled in. The Related Press declared Joe Biden the winner of the election via its calculations and he will probably be sworn in because the 46th president of the USA.
Knoxville residents declare Black Lives Matter
Knoxville was totally engaged in Black Lives Matter marches and demonstrations this summer season after tensions boiled over after the March 13 loss of life of Louisville resident Breonna Taylor and the Could 25 loss of life of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.
Protestors marched peacefully in Knoxville on a number of events, demanding justice and accountability for unjust killings of Black People law enforcement officials. Group members gathered to create a mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in entrance of Austin East Excessive College.
Johnny Majors dies at 85
Former College of Tennessee soccer star and legendary coach Johnny Majors died on June three at age 85.
A local of Lynchburg, Tennessee, Majors performed at Tennessee from 1953-56. He starred because the Vols’ single-wing tailback in an period when most packages had switched to the T-formation.
Majors ran, handed, punted, returned kicks and performed protection. He was named the SEC Participant of the 12 months in 1955 and 1956. He rushed for 1,622 yards and handed for 1,135 throughout his profession.
Majors earned consensus All-America honors in 1956, when he rushed for 549 yards and 7 touchdowns and handed for 552 yards and 5 touchdowns. He completed because the Heisman Trophy runner-up behind Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung. He was voted into the Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1987.
Over his teaching profession, Majors compiled a 185-137-10 file in 29 seasons as a head coach at Iowa State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. He guided Pittsburgh to a nationwide championship and undefeated season in 1976 earlier than coming to educate Tennessee in 1977.
In his 16 seasons at Tennessee from 1977-92, Majors compiled a 116-62-Eight file.
Evelyn Boswell discovered useless
Authorities discovered the physique of 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell in March, 17 days after her grandfather reported her lacking. Tennessee, and the entire nation, had hoped she could be discovered alive.
A Sullivan County grand jury charged Evelyn’s 18-year-old mom Megan with 19 costs in her daughter’s loss of life, together with felony homicide, aggravated youngster abuse, mendacity to officers and “abuse of a corpse,” a cost sometimes leveled for transferring or hiding a physique.
Megan Boswell is accused of killing her daughter below two separate authorized theories — that the kid’s loss of life resulted from an act of kid abuse or that the kid’s loss of life resulted from an act of kid neglect, a Knox Information evaluation of the presentment exhibits.
Sullivan County District Lawyer Barry Staubus is predicted to announce in January whether or not prosecutors will search the loss of life penalty in Boswell’s case.
Dolly Parton lifts spirits with philanthropy and positivity
East Tennessee nation music legend Dolly Parton made headlines over and over in 2020.
Her star-studded Netflix sequence, “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” acquired an Emmy nomination in late June, and in July, she partnered with American Greetings for line of greeting playing cards offered at Walmart.
She partnered with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” favourite Nina West to launch a “Kindness is Queen,” collaborative assortment to learn youngsters’s literacy and LGBTQ+ youth and households.
Throughout among the most tough moments of 2020, she continued her observe file of philanthropy and positivity that made her one in all USA TODAY’s Girls of the Century.
In a Billboard interview revealed in August, Parton defended Black Lives Matter protests after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“I perceive individuals having to make themselves recognized and felt and seen,” she mentioned within the interview. “And naturally Black lives matter. Do we expect our little white asses are the one ones that matter? No!”
Within the interview she additionally defended her 2018 determination to take away the phrase “Dixie” from Dolly Parton’s Stampede attraction in Pigeon Forge.
She additionally donated $1 million towards discovering a COVID-19 vaccine. Along with her backing, Moderna went on to develop one which was greater than 95 % efficient towards the virus.
Parton ended the 12 months spreading some vacation cheer together with her first full size Christmas album in 30 years, “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” with a vacation particular the identical identify airing on CBS.
Clayton helicopter crashes into river
Clayton Houses co-founder Joe Clayton, 84, died in an Aug. three helicopter crash. His brother and fellow Clayton Houses co-founder Jim Clayton was piloting the helicopter when it crashed into the Tennessee River, based on federal investigators.
Jim, together with native businessman John McBride and Jim’s grandson, Flynt Griffin, have been rescued pontoon boat. Rescue crews recovered Joe’s physique about two hours later inside a number of toes of the crash website.
“I’m devastated and fully heartbroken the lack of my fantastic brother, Joe,” Jim mentioned in a information launch. “Joe and I have been as shut as two brothers will be, and, as solely siblings, we now have supported one another since rising up collectively on a farm in West Tennessee and as enterprise companions for many years.”
A number of ladies killed at Knox County Pilot Journey Heart
Three ladies died and a fourth individual was injured in a stabbing spree at an East Knox County truck cease in April.
Deputies shot and killed Idris Abdus-Salaam, a 33-year-old truck driver from Durham, North Carolina, after he stabbed a buyer and three staff of a Pilot Journey Heart on Strawberry Plains Pike, authorities mentioned.
Suspect’s mom: ‘He isn’t a violent individual’
The shopper survived the assault.
Knoxville Heart Mall finds a brand new objective
Knoxville Heart Mall, recognized to many as East Towne Mall, closed at first of the 12 months.
The rezoning is a part of a $30-million constructing plan from Hillwood Enterprises, which develops e-commerce success facilities throughout the nation for shoppers reminiscent of Amazon and Wayfair.
Resort Knoxville closes
Considered one of downtown Knoxville’s most recognizable buildings, the trapezoid-shaped Resort Knoxville, closed in March.
Open as a Hyatt Regency in 1971, the lodge was Knoxville’s largest, boasting 378 rooms and 26 assembly areas.
A month earlier than its closure, the constructing was solely reserving at about 20 % occupancy, based on earlier Knox Information reporting.
The property modified palms twice this 12 months, first being bought or $8.three million in March BSPRT Knox Proprietor LLC.
Months later, Melrose Knoxville LLC purchased it for $16.Eight million.
Melrose shares an handle with Omninet Capital, the non-public funding agency of Beverly Hills-based billionaire Neil Kadisha.
Omninet owns greater than 7 million sq. toes of business property throughout the nation. The Knoxville lodge is its first industrial buy in Tennessee.