By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Worldwide: The year 2020 will not only be a year to remember, but also a year that has changed us all in many different ways, putting us through a rollercoaster ride of emotions as well as affecting lives locally, countywide, statewide, nationwide, and worldwide.
Here are a few of what occurred over the past 12 months in 2020.
- January 2020:
The impeachment of United States President Donald Trump was held on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The vote split nearly along party lines, and the president was acquitted on Feb. 5.
On January 14th, a water line broke underneath on the Lillyhill Drive side near a bridge crossing over Interstate 40. The break caused a big hole in the roadway, flooding along lanes of eastbound Interstate 40 and caused other eruptions in the system on that day and days after. Full repairs were finally completed in later October 2020.
On January 26th, Retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter were among nine people who were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
- February 2020:
The Kansas City Chiefs won their second Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday in Miami, beating the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl LIV. Trailing 20-10 at the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs rallied in the fourth to beat the 49ers 31-20.
- March 2020:
We began hearing murmurs about a novel coronavirus spreading rapidly around the world, causing a potentially deadly respiratory illness called COVID-19.
In efforts to slow the spread of the virus, local and state leaders issued stay-at-home orders in mid-March that saw businesses shuttered, streets deserted, and universities scrambling to move classes online.
The order to stay at home triggered a rash of panic shopping, leaving store shelves bare. Cleaning supplies became hard to find, but the item in shortest supply across the country was toilet paper.
- April 2020:
Restricted to only takeout and delivery, the Bay Area’s restaurant industry laid off nearly its entire workforce, leaving chefs and owners to cook alone in their kitchens.
From Zoom and FaceTime happy hours, a culture of virtual events emerged that saw musicians and comedians hosting interactive performances online.
New health guidelines began to recommend wearing a mask or face covering when out in public. The issue quickly became politicized, and divided the nation.
Though he won California’s Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders hadn’t fared so well in other parts of the country. He ended his bid for the White House and endorsed Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee.
- May 2020:
Much of the Bay Area remained shut down as the world quietly moved through springtime and into summery weather. Hikes and socially-distanced park hangouts became the focus of social activities.
On May 17th, City of Needles confirming two cases of COVID-19 were recorded in two visitors from Los Angeles, California after they were tested at a local clinic in Needles, California.
On May 23rd, City of Needles confirms first local resident case of COVID-19 recorded in Needles, California.
On May 25, George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police while he was in their custody. Onlookers recorded video of Floyd complaining he couldn’t breathe and begging for his life for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while an officer sat with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Demonstrations occurred soon after protesting the in police custody death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department. Sadly, riots, violence, fires and looting would also occurred soon after in several cities across the nation, including in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, leading to destruction, arrests, injuries and deaths. Local officials in Minneapolis–Saint Paul prepared for the possibility of continued unrest in 2021 with the trial of the four officers responsible for Floyd’s death scheduled for March 2021.
- June 2020:
Protests erupted nationwide in response to the killing of George Floyd. Demonstrators blocked freeways, painted giant murals across city streets, and demanded systemic change to law enforcement, education and other public institutions whose structure can be unfairly stacked against people of color.
A peaceful protest was held at Locomotive Park in Downtown Kingman, Arizona, the first for the area. No arrest occurred among those who attended as many in attended were friendly and respectful to local police officers and county deputies who also stand with the peaceful protesters. But during the peaceful protest, a man was booked for aggravated assault with deadly weapon and disorderly conduct with firearm after pointing replica AR15 airsoft rifle at peaceful protesters, which was captured on camera by ZachNews who was reporting on the peaceful protest.
President Trump defended his decision to send in federal police officers to cities where prolonged protests had taken over downtown areas. Protest organizers said the officers were poorly trained and did nothing but escalate the situations.
Restaurants in states across the nation begin serving food to customers seated outdoors. As life came back to the streets, a flurry of construction saw temporary parklets springing up across neighborhoods, and a regional shortage of patio heaters and propane.
- July 2020:
As a consequence of the widespread demonstrations, a movement emerged to support Black-owned businesses.
On July 22nd, the City of Needles asked citizens and businesses to conserve water as crews repair primary water well that went down near the Needles Bridge. The City of Needles stresses the need to replace all of their important infrastructure.
A civil rights pioneer who was instrumental in the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Louisiana, Congressman John Lewis was 80 years old when he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.
- August 2020:
On August 4th, a major explosions rock Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing widespread damage and casualties. At least 204 deaths, 6,500 injuries, caused $15 billion (United States Dollars) in property damage, and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety measures for the previous six years, after having been confiscated by the Lebanese authorities from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus. The explosion was preceded by a fire in the same warehouse, but as of November 2020, the exact cause of the detonation is still under investigation.
While some private schools experimented with holding classes outdoors, most public schools began the school year with a return to online instruction.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump were officially nominated as their parties’ candidates for president. Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), an Oakland native, as his running mate.
- September 2020:
Wildfires raged throughout California, as smoke and haze blanketed the Bay Area for nearly a month. On Sept. 9, the smoke was so thick that the sky remained orange and nearly as dark as night, long into the afternoon.
Man accused of pointing replica AR15 airsoft rifle at peaceful demonstrators during protest held at Locomotive Park in June 2020 enters plea agreement.
Needles Eagles Aerie 2599 hosted 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Downtown Needles, California, the first ceremony to be held in the community since the California “Stay At Home” order was put into affect cancelling many ceremony as well as events in Needles, California for the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Firefighters from multiple fire departments agencies responded on September 11th to a vegetation fire that is burning off Aztec Road just to the south of the Avi Resort and Casino. According to Don Gibson with the Mohave Valley Fire Department, the fire has burned 45 acres; haft on Nevada side and haft on the California side, the fire is under control and the cause of the fire was human cause relayed to fireworks.
On September 13th, The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health confirmed the first confirmed death in Needles, California related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On September 19th, Set Free Church of Needles held their 8th Anniversary Party and “Born Again” Thrift Store Grand Opening Celebration in Downtown Needles, California, the first event to be held in the community since the California “Stay At Home” order was put into affect cancelling many ceremony as well as events in Needles, California for the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 87 year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court justice who spent her career breaking down barriers to gender equality, passed away on Sept. 18 after a long battle with cancer. Her death triggered a race to fill the vacant seat on the court, culminating in the October confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Candidates Trump and Biden faced off in their first head-to-head debate, punctuated by interruptions, interjections and accusations. Widespread criticism of the debate led to new rules for subsequent debates about when candidates can interrupt each other.
- October 2020:
Vegetation fires in Australia began due to prolonged droughts around the country. Over the next few months, the vegetation fires spread fast and wide, showing no signs of stopping. With time a state of emergency was declared in Queensland and New South Wales in November, and slowly all the other states followed as the fires continued to spread. Also known as Black Summer, the vegetation fires were deemed as one of the biggest natural disasters. The extent of damage ranged from an estimated 18 million hectares burned over 9000 buildings and homes destroyed, and 400 deaths (directly or indirectly).
The NFL embarked on its strangest season ever, with many teams playing in empty stadiums. Seats in the end zones were filled with life-sized plastic cutouts of fans, and the league undertook an ambitious project to enhance television broadcasts with the sounds of fake cheering.
October 10th, the National Day of the Republic of China 2020 was celebrated in Needles, California with a 10-10 ceremony and luncheon, the first City of Needles event to be held in the community since the California “Stay At Home” order was put into affect cancelling many ceremony as well as events in Needles, California for the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On October 24th, ZachNews broken the news that United States President Donald Trump will be at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport for a rally.
On October 28th, 2020, United States President Donald Trump speaks at a packed “Make America Great Again Victory Rally” held at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport.
Voters turned out in record numbers to drop off ballots at early voting centers across the country. Early voting also occurred across San Bernardino County, California, including in Needles, California, starting on October 31st.
- November 2020:
With many jurisdictions straining to count an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, the Nov. 4 presidential election did not have a clear winner on Election Night.
President Trump prematurely declared victory, alleging without evidence that there had been widespread voter fraud. Demonstrations followed occurred protesting the election results.
In Needles, California, voters cast their votes for who would be their next Needles City Council Members and Needles City Mayor. The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters election voting results showed that Incumbent Tona Belt, Kristen Merritt and Ellen A. Campbell were in the lead to take the three seats on the Needles City Council, and that Incumbent Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams was in the lead to be mayor of Needles, California over Sandra Queen Noble.
After three days of continued counting, multiple media outlets called the election in favor of Joe Biden, and celebrations flooded streets in some cities. Refusing to concede, President Trump announced his intent to request recounts and file lawsuits in key battleground states. At this moment, none of those efforts resulted in a change to the election outcome.
- December 2020:
With hospitalizations breaking new records, and ICU capacity rapidly dwindling, state and local authorities issued a new stay-at-home order that mandated the shutdown of dine-in restaurants, salons, museums and other businesses across California.
On December 15th, newly elected members of the Needles City Council were officially sworn into office following win during City of Needles Election 2020. The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters final certified the election voting results on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, and the voting results showed that Incumbent Tona Belt, Kristen Merritt and Ellen A. Campbell won the elections to fill three seats on the Needles City Council, and that Incumbent Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams won the election in Needles, California against Sandra Queen Noble. Jeff Williams was sworn into office via telecommunication back on December 18th.
Days before the orders were given, Gov. Gavin Newsom attended a birthday party at an exclusive restaurant last week, thereby ignoring his own state’s advisories on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and the first doses began to arrive in California. Healthcare workers and residents of long-term care homes were among the first to roll up their sleeves.
Recreational vehicle bombing that occurred early Christmas morning on Friday, December 25th, 2020 in Downtown Nashville, Tenseness injures three people, caused damaged to 41 buildings and kicked the bomber. Deaths from the general public were prevented thanks to five Officers and one Sergeant from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Large vegetation fire occurred on the night of December 29th near the Colorado River just east of Five Mile Road, burning between 80 to 100 acres, which the cause is still under investigation.
At the end of the year 2020; United States and International COVID-19 Counts: Total World Cases: 83,809,705; Total World Deaths: 1,825,869; and Total World Recoveries: 59,326,615. For the United States: Total Cases: 20,445,654; Total Deaths: 149,018; and Total Recoveries: 9,883,461. May we all send our thoughts, prayers and condolence to the families and friends who loss their loved ones from COVID-19, and know we all with you, stand with you and you are not alone.
May you all say goodbye to the year 2020, learn from what occurred in 2020, remember the many people we loss in 2020, give thanks to the many people who helped, cared for, protected and saved lives in 2020, and wish you all a healthy, safe, respectful and better new year 2021.