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Top 10 Stories of 2020

Each year, we traditionally feature the top 10 stories of the year. Last year we included stories which published online only and this year we are continuing the addition. They are noted as online only. Even so, nine out of 10 were in print and one was from the year 2019. This marks the first time a story from the previous year made the Top 10 list. It is also the first time an obituary made the Top 10 list as well. The mixture of stories making the list reflect just what a roller coaster the year 2020 has been for all of us. The top stories were determined by the ones with the most views online.

  1. Top 10 Signs of the end of Times 4: Seven year peace plan (July 27, 2019)

Faith columnist Karen Y. Stevens wrote a series on the Top 10 Signs of the End of Times in 2019. During the COVID-19 Crisis, the series was highly searched, requested and read. Part four of the 10 was the most popular of the series at orangeleader.com in 2020.

  1. Orange County makes emergency declaration effective Tuesday morning

As COVID-19 Crisis began, an emergency declaration was declared effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and extend for a duration of 30 days, and may be extended or amended as necessary as any event greater than 50 persons will cease in Orange County as the county judge issues an emergency order as residents prepare for self isolation from the coronavirus.

Eric Williams/Orange Leader

  1. Part of Hwy. 12 closed as SWAT responds to man shooting at deputy (online only)

Part of Hwy. 12 between Farm to Market Roads 1132 and 1136 were closed as SWAT responded to reports of a man firing at a deputy on April 1, 2020.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

  1. President Donald J Trump approves Texas emergency declaration

FEMA announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the state of Texas to supplement state and local response efforts to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Tropical Storms Marco and Laura, beginning Aug. 23, 2020, and continuing.

  1. UIL announces next step for student groups effective June 22

As COVID-19 Crisis continued, student activities remained a hot topic. UIL is announcing the next step in allowing students to re-turn to campus for UIL related summer strength and conditioning activities and marching band rehearsals.

TEA released updated information allowing student groups such as cheerleaders, drill teams, music groups other than marching band, and others to begin practices, at local school administration discretion, in school indoor facilities on June 9, 2020 within these guidelines.

Mayor Larry Spears Jr

  1. A letter from the mayor

Orange Mayor Larry Spears Jr. submitted a letter to the editor which was published on the front page in order for all to have an opportunity to read it. The letter began: I wish to convey several thoughts about our mutual feeling of frustration concerning the horrific murder of Mr. George Floyd. I also wish to convey what we as a community must do to help improve and establish a stronger sense of unity here in Orange, Texas.

  1. Bonds set on two arrested in connection to murder of 17-year-old

Clifton Hawthorne, 21, and Davion Riggs, 17, had bonds set at $1,000,000 each for the murder of Trey Chanley Gibson, 17.

Gibson died from a gunshot to his chest.

On Saturday, April 4, Orange Police Department received a report of a shooting victim at 1321 16th Street in Orange at Exceptional Emergency Center.

Gibson was pronounced deceased by Judge Price.

  1. Obituary: Colleen Elizabeth Pachuca

Colleen Pachuca, 54, of Orange, passed away on March 3, 2020 in Houston surrounded by family. A much-loved member of the community, her obituary was the most read obituary for the year as well as one of the top 10 stories for 2020. Her impact remains greatly missed. She, with her husband Mark, shot many of our sports photos, and Football covers over the years.

Karen Stevens

  1. Look at Israel for the prophetic time clock

Faith columnist Karen Y. Stevens wrote an article concerning how God has already written the end, and He gives us glimpses of it, in the book of Revelations.

  1. Dean Granger passes away at age 60

Dean Granger, 60, of Orange, passed away on March 21, 2020. Granger was co-owner of Granger Chevrolet and helped spearhead Shop Orange County initiative with the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.