What a wild year it’s been

As the sun sets on 2019 and we look toward a new year, it’s time to reflect on the year that was. This year could only be described as wild, both on the local and national level.
President Donald Trump becoming only the third sitting president to ever be impeached has to top the news stories for the year, even though this one is definitely going to spill into next year. On Dec. 18, the U.S. House of Representatives formally approved articles of impeachment on Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A trial must now take place in the U.S. Senate, which will likely acquit Trump along party lines. This isn’t going to be decided by the new year, however.
This year also gave us Trump declaring a national emergency to allocate funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico; 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, being charged with offenses related to a college admissions cheating scheme; the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft;amid concerns over their involvement in two major plane crashes less than six months apart; the release of a redacted version of the Mueller Report on Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and the rise and controversy surrounding “The Squad,” U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.
It was in 2019 where we saw mass shootings on consecutive August days, the first in El Paso, Texas. The gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, opened fire at a Walmart store, killing 22 people. The next day in Dayton, Ohio, 24-year-old Connor Betts, opened fire in a popular nightlife district, killing nine people. It’s the year Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking and later died while in jail, officially of suicide, although questions abound in the public eye.
 Locally, 2019 brought us the closure of the local Shopko store, exceptionally wet and snowy weather (the single-year precipitation mark was shattered), a revamped Gold Discovery Days, the demolition of the former Flintstones buildings at Buffalo Ridge Resort, a bevy of new businesses, several local residents being inducted into various halls of fame, a few significant retirements, the devestating Aug. 2 flood, the fall of SLIC-e and much more. Look for all of the things (mostly good) that happened in Custer County in our Jan. 15 issue, which will feature our annual “The Best” special insert that documents all that happened in 2019.
By the time you pick this issue up, it will be 2020. We hope it’s a prosperous year for all, and that our nation can come together, even in the face of a presidential election. We could be in for another very wild ride.

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