FOX21’s 2020 Year in review

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STATEWIDE — 2020 was a historic year across the world and in southern Colorado.

Within the first month of the new decade, the Pikes Peak Region community came together to search for 11-year-old Gannon Stauch. His mother, Landen Hiott, provided media interviews pleading for the safe return of her only son.

“I can’t get to him and you kind of feel like a failure, when you can’t,” Hiott had said.

Five weeks after Gannon was reported missing, his stepmother Letecia Stauch was arrested in connection to his disappearance and murder.

“Justice will be served, and ill make sure that justice is served because my boy did not deserve any of this to happen to him,” Hiott pledged after learning of the arrest.

In February, at age 97, we said goodbye to one of the last remaining pearl harbor survivors, Donald Stratton. Then in March, COVID-19 made its way to the Rocky Mountains. Within weeks, El Paso County had the first COVID-19 related death in the state.

“This is the first,” Governor Polis said after learning the first Coloradan lost their life to the new virus. “There will be more; there will be far more Coloradans who recover successfully from this virus.”

Shortly after, our world changed after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. People engaged in panic buying after Polis ordered a state-wide Stay-At-Home order.

“We are issuing this stay at home in order to save lives,” Polis said days before the order went into effect in April.

On Mother’s Day, the search began for Suzanne Morphew in Salida. The case was put under the national spotlight, but her whereabouts remain unknown.

It was an unprecedented summer as a southern Colorado community stood up against police brutality.

“In the case of George Floyd, I don’t know anybody who says it’s an appropriate use of force to kneel on somebody’s neck,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers after the city erupted in protests.

The protests lasted weeks, prompting a city-wide curfew to go into effect this summer.

“We’ve had rocks, bricks, bottles, and firecrackers thrown at police officers,” declared Suthers during a press conference in July.

However, the unrest and the pandemic didn’t stop the July opening of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

Colorado Springs also made strides in placing a bid for the permanent home of U.S. Space Command.

Wildfires ran rampant in our state, with the state seeing three of its largest wildfires in history.

COVID-19 cases began to surge this fall, prompting further restrictions, including another city-wide curfew but this time in Pueblo.

“We should not remove the curfew if the cases are still increasing,” said Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar after receiving backlash for imposing the curfew.

November brought turmoil after American elected a new Commander-in-Chief. Claims of election fraud brought many to Colorado Springs during a ‘Stop the Count’ protest in November.

We bid a final farewell to pioneer, Frank Macon.

‘The Tuskegee Airmen the first original black pilots in the Army Air Corps at the time we got training at Alabama,” said Macon during one of his final interviews.

And ended the year with a sign of hope as a COVID-19 vaccine was made available.

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