A look back at 2020: Coronavirus, protests, elections and more in Arizona

Jan 1, 2021, 4:50 AM | Updated: 4:10 pm
(AP Photos)...
(AP Photos)
(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — 2020 was full of memorable news stories.

From the coronavirus pandemic to civil unrest to an election year, the KTAR News 92.3 FM team brought readers and listeners a variety of stories.

KTAR News’ Arizona Morning News host Jim Sharpe took a look back at some of the top events and news throughout the year.

KTAR News Host Jim Sharpe looks back at 2020

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona Morning News Host Jim Sharpe tackles taking a look back at 2020. Sharpe takes a look at handling coronavirus as a dad and a news host to examining the effects of the 2020 elections.

Coronavirus in Arizona

By the end of 2020, more than 500,000 Arizonans tested positive for the coronavirus and over 8,400 lost their lives to the virus. KTAR News’ Taylor Kinnerup and Luke Forstner discuss what it has been like to report on the pandemic.

Arizona’s coronavirus response

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ led the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic. KTAR News reporter Peter Samore discusses what it was like to cover the governor’s press conferences as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded.

Coronavirus and education

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced on March 15 a statewide closure of schools for at least two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. That closure would extend to the rest of the spring semester. The battle would continue into the fall semester when school districts attempted to navigate in-person, hybrid or virtual learning.

KTAR News reporter Griselda Zetino discusses how parents, students and schools in Arizona navigated the coronavirus pandemic this year.

Sports and coronavirus

When schools and businesses started to shut down from the coronavirus pandemic, collegiate and professional sports were quick to hit the pause button as well. KTAR News’ Luke Lapinski and Jeff Munn discuss how the sports world fell silent amid the pandemic.

Voting in 2020

The 2020 election in Arizona marked the first time the state elected a Democratic presidential candidate with President-elect Joe Biden for the first time since Bill Clinton in 1996. While the state went blue at the national level, the trend was not reflective for the rest of the ballot overall.

KTAR News’ The Think Tank host Mike O’Neil discusses the political narratives from this year.

The Election in 2020

From the presidential race between Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat President-elect Joe Biden to the Senate race between Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Mark Kelly, Arizona saw its fair share of political action. KTAR News host Jim Sharpe, KTAR News Director Martha Mauer and Executive Producer Joe Huizenga discuss the bizarre election season —  which felt like years — in Arizona.

Civil unrest and protests

On Memorial Day, two men — George Floyd in Minneapolis and Dion Johnson in Phoenix  — were shot and killed in separate incidents with law enforcement officers. KTAR News’ Gabriel Gamino and Taylor Kinnerup explain how Arizona handled protests this year, from Black Lives Matter to alleged election fraud in the fall.

Looting in Scottsdale

Protests erupted in downtown Phoenix at the end of May to protest police brutality and advocate for racial equality. A handful of protesters took the opportunity to loot and damage multiple stores at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. KTAR News’ Peter Samore and Jim Brinson discuss reporting on the night of protests in Scottsdale.

Wildfires and record breaking heat

KTAR News reporter Jim Cross discusses wildfire season in Arizona, which torched more than 950,000 acres this season. Additionally, the state saw the hottest meteorological summer on record this year and shattered countless heat records.

The weekend of Cave Creek fires and protests

The end of May was anything but quiet for KTAR News reporters. KTAR News reporter Ali Vetnar discusses the May weekend filled with wildfires, protests and remembering a fallen Phoenix police commander.

Stories you may have forgotten about

With the coronavirus pandemic, protests and an election, there were stories that you might not remember. From the train derailment at Tempe Town Lake to a shooting at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, here are some news stories from 2020 you might have forgotten about.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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A look back at 2020: Coronavirus, protests, elections and more in Arizona