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WKYC.com's most-read news stories of 2020

In a year that was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, our top story of 2020 involved a former member of the Cavaliers not named LeBron James.

CLEVELAND — 2020 was a year unlike any other we've seen in quite some time. 

It was a year that brought us a worldwide pandemic, renewed calls for racial justice in our nation, and the election of a new president. And those were just a few of the stories we covered for 3News in the past 12 months. With that in mind, let's take a few moments and look back at WKYC.com's top 10 most read news stories from 2020. 

ALSO: WKYC.com's most-read sports stories of 2020

10. Gov. Mike DeWine offers new insight into May 1 reopening plan

The COVID-19 pandemic that took hold in the United States in March led to Gov. Mike DeWine declaring a stay-at-home order for Ohio. During an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press on April 19, DeWine offered some insight into what Ohioans could expect as the state prepared to reopen.

"We’re going to do what we think is right -- what I think is right -- and that is try to open this economy, but do it very, very carefully so we don’t get a lot of people killed. But we have to come back, and that’s what we’re aiming to do beginning on May 1. Frankly, it’s consistent, it’s very, very consistent with the plan, the very thoughtful plan, that the President has laid out," DeWine told Chuck Todd.

Read the story here.

9. Will you get a stimulus check if you receive Social Security or disability, or didn’t file a tax return?

As the pandemic started to cause millions of Americans to be out of work in March, a $2.2 trillion relief package passed through Congress and was signed by President Donald Trump.

The bill provided one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per individual adults and $2,400 for married couples and an additional $500 for each eligible child.

There were many questions that needed to be answered about the first stimulus package: Will I get a stimulus check if I receive Social Security or if I’m on disability? What about those who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019? 

Read the story here.

8. What happens if Cuyahoga County reaches Level 4 'purple' coronavirus risk level on Thursday?

We all became very familiar in 2020 with Ohio's color-coordinated coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Advisory System that was introduced in July. There are four levels, with Level 4 "purple" indicating 'severe exposure and spread.'

By October 22, no county in the state had yet reached the purple level, but Cuyahoga County was closing in on the threshold. We looked at what that might mean for residents. 

Read the story here.

7. These are the 20 safest cities in Ohio

Where was the safest city in all of Ohio in 2020?

The top honor went to Broadview Heights, according to a survey released by SafeWise.com.

The study ranked 167 different places throughout Ohio based on data surrounding violent crimes and property crimes.

Sagamore Hills, Olmsted Township and Rocky River also landed in the top five.

Read the story here.

6. If you were really sick in January, is it possible you already had the coronavirus? Infection control expert answers your questions

In the early stages of COVID-19, there were all kinds of questions popping up on social media wondering if you were really sick back in December or January with coronavirus symptoms, is it possible you already had COVID-19 and didn't even realize it? And if you already had it, does that make you immune now, too?

We wanted to get the truth behind these questions, so on March 25, we went to Dr. Shanu Agarwal -- an infection control expert with Summa Health -- to get the answers.

Read the story here.

5. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine reveals more orders will come this week, says statewide mask mandate being considered

For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine held off issuing an order calling for the mandatory wearing of masks in Ohio. 

By the middle of July, things started to change. On July 19 during an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press. DeWine was asked if it would be easier for people to follow the mask requirements if there was a statewide order instead of implementing it on a county-by-county basis. 

"We’re going the wrong way. We’re at a crucial time. And so this week you may see a lot more counties under that mask requirement, so we certainly would not rule out going statewide. We’re certainly looking at that, but there’s a lot of things going on," he said. 

DeWine ultimately did issue the statewide mask order on July 22.

Read the story here.

4. Ohio K-12 students will receive 3-week spring break beginning Monday

On March 12, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio students K-12 would receive an extended three-week spring break beginning the following Monday due to concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).

While DeWine acknowledged that children weren't as at risk for death due to the coronavirus, the extended break came as the result of their ability to act as carriers for the virus. DeWine said that he made the decision after consulting with experts and that it would be reviewed following the three-week period.

DeWine would ultimately order the closing of all schools in Ohio for the remainder of the academic calendar on April 20.

Read the story here.

3. Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton breaks silence in interview with The New Yorker

When the pandemic began, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton became one of the faces of the state's response to the coronavirus. She received praise both locally and nationally for her calm demeanor and measured approach, with a New York Times video column calling her "the leader we wish we all had." 

While Acton was lauded by many, she also faced criticism from those who believed the state's response to the coronavirus, which included a stay-at-home order that lasted throughout April, was too severe. 

After resigning in June, Acton stayed out of the public spotlight until a November interview with The New YorkerShe opened up about her time in the position and the country's continued response to the pandemic.

Read the story here.

2. COVID-19 in Ohio: Our daily look at the state's updated information on coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and more

Since the start of the pandemic, the Ohio Department of Health has provided important information on its COVID-19 dashboard every day at 2:00 p.m. This includes the number of total cases, the number of cases over the past 24 hours, hospitalizations, ICU cases, and deaths. 

It has been our goal at 3News to provide you with as much context behind the data as we can. This includes looking at statistics like the 7-day positivity rate, the statewide hospital bed occupancy, and tracking the number of cases in each individual county.

Since March 9 and every day after, you can read the updated COVID-19 data in Ohio here.

1. 'I present to you, Delonte West': Mark Cuban shares heartwarming picture of former NBA guard in treatment facility

The top story of 2020 had nothing to do with the coronavirus, or politics, or social justice. It is a story of hope involving a former member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. (And we're not talking about LeBron James)

In September, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban made headlines when he picked up former NBA guard Delonte West at a Dallas gas station and helped check him into a rehab treatment facility. 

On October 9, Cuban took to Twitter to share an update on the former Cleveland Cavaliers guard, sharing a picture of a happy-looking West riding a horse at the facility. "Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you, Delonte West," Cuban wrote. "A long, long, long way to go, but he has taken the first steps and shared these with all of us as a thank you for the love and support." 

Here's hoping that Delonte's comeback continues!

Read the story here.

MORE YEAR IN REVIEW COVERAGE: 3 Things to Know podcast

From pop culture and politics, to the pandemic, social justice, sports, and so much more, 2020 has certainly been eventful. In a special two-part 3 Things to Know podcast, Stephanie Haney looks back on the year that was with 3News' Russ Mitchell, Romney Smith, and Mark Naymik. Find links to listen and subscribe here.

Year in Review links: