Most popular news stories of 2020 in Georgia

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We’ve given our list of the top 20 stories of 2020 in Georgia, highlighting the news issues and events that shaped the Peach State in 2020. However, the stories that are important and carry significant statewide impact are not always the stories that get the attention of readers.

What follows is a rundown of the most popular stories of 2020 according to the readers of The Georgia Sun. These are the stories that were “trending” or “the most read” throughout the year. These are the stories you — the reader — gravitated to in 2020.

Sheriff Talks Tough

In May, Butts County Sheriff Gary Long drew quite a bit of attention when he called out violent criminals and vowed to put an end to violent crime in the county.

The sheriff was responding to a rash of violent crime in the city of Jackson. “If you are involved in this type of criminal behavior, my advice to you, is leave Jackson now, as my Deputies are coming for you like you have never seen,” he said in a Facebook post.

The sheriff’s message to criminals in Jackson may have gotten caught up in widespread frustration with violent protests in Atlanta and readers flocked to the story of the tough talking Georgia sheriff.

Missing 12-Year-Old Found

In July, a the story of a missing 12-year-old who was found in Florida with a 20-year-old man captivated the attention of readers throughout the state.

The missing 12-year-old girl from Cornelia was located and was safe in Palm Beach County, Florida with local authorities. The child’s family told authorities they believed she had run a routine errand but she did not return home.

Gwinnett Stays Home

In late March, Gwinnett County went into a lockdown and was one of the first counties in Georgia to do so.

Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash and the mayors of the cities in Gwinnett issued the stay at home orders for their respective jurisdictions as a means to protect the health, safety and welfare of Gwinnett County residents. 

Officials said the move was a coordinated effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to preserve the community’s capacity to provide essential governmental and healthcare services. Gwinnett’s stay-at-home order came just days before Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a similar order for the entire state.

First Fallen Hero

In April, a nurse died from COVID-19 and became the first nurse in the state to die from coronavirus. The story of her death was not the most read story. A second story the next week when the hospital the nurse worked at was revealed was the one that made the most read stories list.

Who’s the Richest of Them All

In August, Wall St. 24/7 released a report on the richest small towns in America. The report revealed that Avondale Estates is the richest small town in Georgia, and readers were particularly interested in which Georgia town earned this distinction. You were also interested in the poorest town, which appeared next on the list of most popular stories.