MERIDIAN, Miss, (WTOK) - In part two of our year in review, we look at the last half of 2016.
In July, following a two day trial, the Alabama supreme court voted to remove Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark from office. They found him guilty of willful neglect of duty and corruption in office. Most of the allegations against Clark revolved around his special treatment of an inmate, who was allowed to come and go and sneak contraband into the county jail. The new Sheriff is Brian Harris, the former York Police Chief.
On September 9th, Meridian Firefighter Eric Gustafson was killed and two others were injured when their firetruck rolled over on the way to a fire call. The community showed an overwhelming amount of support for the Meridian Fire Department and those involved. Members of other fire departments volunteered to work while Meridian Firefighters laid Gustafson to rest.
In October, Sandeep Singh was murdered during an armed robbery at the Exxon on Highway 19 North. Despite surveillance video and audio being released of the crime, no one has been arrested.
On Halloween night, three people including two children were killed and several other people were injured when a pickup truck ran into the back of a trailer that was carrying the children trick-or-treating. Those injured were released from the hospital and multiple vigils and fundraisers were held for everyone involved.
Our area experienced severe drought conditions this year. From Sept. 27 to Nov. 7, there was no rain. That's 42 days, much of which were under strict burn bans.
On December 4th Iam David Simon was found shot dead in the cold rain on Russell Drive. The next day, a man was gunned down at George Reese apartments. Four days after that a double homicide in Collinsville. Suspects have been arrested in all of these shooting cases.
Also in December, Raytheon held a special ceremony to officially announce their plans to build a jet manufacturing plant at Kay Field should they be awarded the contract by the Air Force. If they succeed, it would bring in over 400 well-paying jobs to Meridian.
As 2016 comes to an end, so does the career of John Johnson as news director of WTOK. After 32 years in Meridian, Johnson announced his retirement earlier this year.
That wraps up our look at 2016.