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Ten Top Stories From the 2010s in Athens

No one can seem to agree on whether the decade ended this year or last, but just in case, here is one local story that dominated headlines for each year from 2011-2019, in addition to our year in review for 2020.

2011: The manhunt for drug kingpin and cop-killer Jamie Hood made national news until his surrender on live television. Representing himself at trial, Hood was later sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison.

2012: Michael Adams stepped down after 15 years as president of UGA. He’d be replaced by his former provost, Jere Morehead, the following January.

2013: Selig Enterprises’ much-loathed downtown Walmart project went belly-up, only to be replaced by massive luxury student apartment complex The Mark.

2014: Athens was obsessed with “Party Down South,” a reality show about eight alcoholic rednecks that filmed a season here. (It wasn’t our proudest moment.)

2015: A recipe card from the Confederate-themed bar General Beauregard’s featured a drink named after a racial slur, shining a light on discrimination at downtown student bars.

2016: An alleged sexual assault at Cedar Shoals High School rocked Athens. Charges were eventually dropped against three students, but not before backlash did in National Superintendent of the Year Phil Lanoue.

2017: Demond Means took the reins of the Clarke County School District with high hopes for addressing racial inequality, but his tenure would prove divisive, and by the end of 2019 he’d be gone.

2018: A progressive wave at the polls swept Mayor Kelly Girtz and five new commissioners into office. On the state level, Stacey Abrams energized Democrats while nearly upsetting Kemp in the governor’s race.

2019: ACC police shot six people in six separate incidents, killing five, prompting Chief Cleveland Spruill to implement new policies for responding to calls about weapons or mental-health issues.