Augusta, GA (WJBF)- 2021 was full of big stories in the news. In January, we watched a riot unfold at the Capitol in Washington. The trials of Derek Chauvin and the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery dominated headlines. Now, we take a look at NewsChannel 6’s top 6 trending stories on wjbf.com.
#6- Downtown North Augusta Shootout
Coming in at #6 was the shootout in North Augusta. After a police chase that caused an accident, the suspect, 42-year-old, Thomas Arrington, began shooting at police, hitting Lt. Aaron Fittery, causing non life threatening injuries.
“It’s one of those things we didn’t plan on having but occurred and I thank the officer enough who held great restraint in what they did so the training paid off,” said Chief John Thomas, North Augusta Public Safety.
#5- Little Caesar’s Fight
#5 was the fight at a Little Caesar’s on Wrightsboro Road. In the viral video, Brittany Kennedy is seen dragging Emily Broadwater by the hair and stomping on her head.
“I think it was pathetic. It’s too hot to be fighting,” said Shatavia Head of Augusta.
Kennedy was arrested the day after the incident.
#4- Ben Zobrist sues former pastor claiming affair with wife
A lawsuit filed by former MLB star Ben Zobrist is #4 on our list. He sued his pastor, Bryon Yawn, for 6 million dollars, accusing him of having an affair with his wife and defrauding his charity foundation.
#3- Meth Gators
Coming in at #3– a story about meth gators. In January, police in Loretto, Tennessee, issued a plea to people living in area to not flush drugs down the toilet, saying “They’ve had enough methed up animals” to deal with. They said the drugs end up in retention ponds which feed into a creek and they have no way to remove them from the water.
#2- COVID-19 Delta Variant
COVID-19 dominated the news in 2021, specifically the Delta variant, which caused a surge late in the summer. An article about how to figure out if you have the delta variant was the #2 trending story on our website this year.
#1- Gabby Petito/Brian Laundrie Saga
And topping the list at #1– the Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie story. The nation was captivated by the disappearance of Petito, the discovery of her body and the search for Laundrie for questioning. The story ended with the discovery of Laundrie’s body in Florida in late October…autopsy results show he died from a self inflicted gun shot wound.
“Investigators found what appeared to find what appeared to be human remains, along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie,” said Michael McPherson, FBI.
What Viewers Thought
NewsChannel 6 asked viewers what they thought the top local stories of the year were.
Will Douglass says the shootout on Georgia Avenue in North Augusta was a notable story.
David Peltier thinks the indictment of Sammie Sias was a top story.
And the most mentioned story–anything to do with COVID-19.