CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – It’s New Years Eve and a time where many people reflect on the past year’s events. From Babydog to workers strikes, some people say they’ll be happy for a new year. But others found happiness in the midst of the pandemic and other challenges.
It was a year full of COVID-19 testing and vaccines. “You got to help me. You got to help me get the people vaccinated. Its our only way out of this,” said West Virginia Governor Jim Justice in one of his many coronavirus briefings this year.
Kids went back to school full time as masks always remained a topic of controversy. “It’s filthy. I don’t want that on my kid’s face. He was forced to wear it in gym class,” says a mother at a Putnam County School Board meeting.
West Virginia’s capital city had a special visit from the first lady of the United States. “This community found ways to come together, even though we’ve been apart for really so long,” said Dr. Jill Biden when she stopped at Capital High School in May.
The local sports scene made a huge comeback as the Thundering Herd became national champs in men’s soccer.
And the West Virginia Power became the Charleston Dirty Birds. “I grew up in this area so I remember the Power when they first became the power in this area so to change names and be apart of it, yeah its an exciting time,” says Arik Sikula, a player for the team who grew up in West Virginia.
We saw workers go on strike for weeks on end at Cabell Huntington Hospital and Special Metals in Huntington.
It was a year of new faces to the 13 News team. “I am so excited to be back on the air, doing what I love in a place I care about so deeply,” says Amanda Barren when she accepted an anchor position with us in November.
It was also a year of giving back, as 13 News Anchor Hannah Goetz gave back to the community with an award each month. “Jacob is right behind me and has no idea we’re about to surprise him with our 13 Gives Back Award,” she said as she surprised a young man.
As we look back on 2021, we know that it wasn’t easy, but it’s the community’s resilience that has gotten us through and will continue to get us through the years to come.