Plenty of 2017 stories memorable

There was no shortage of big news stories in this year.

From the passage of the millage to have a new jail built in Alpena County to the non-stop coverage of President Donald Trump’s first year in office, there were many headlines that had people talking around the water cooler.

JoAnne Hine said the Oct. 1 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, which led to the death of 59 people who were attending a country music festival, was the largest story of the year — and the saddest. Stephen Paddock used modified assault rifles to spray more than 1,000 rounds from a suite at Mandalay Bay into the unsuspecting crowd across the street. It was the most deadly shooting in American history.

Hine said the coverage of the event and the images and stories of the victims were heartbreaking.

“Many of them were so young and just had their lives ripped away from them,” Hine said. “I struggle to think that something like this can still happen in America and that there were no warning signs that the guy was up to something.”

The media coverage of Trump didn’t slow down after his inauguration in January.

Larry Wheterhult said the only way to escape the barrage of Trump news and commentary was to not watch the news at all.

“Everything was, and really still is, Trump this and Trump that. You couldn’t turn on the news without there being breaking news for something he had said or done,” he said. “He gave them a lot of ammunition with the tweeting and with some of his comments, but it got to be too much and I just turned it off.”

In November voters in Alpena County approved a 20-year millage to pay for a new jail to be built on M-32 near the airport. The funds also will help to pay for operations and additional employees.

Travis Roznowski said the election day results and the jet crash at the airport were probably the biggest stories in Alpena.

“I’m sure there are more stories, but I can’t think of them offhand,” Roznowski said. “Getting a new jail is pretty big news, because it has been talked about for some may years and never got done.”

Another national story that made headlines over several weeks was the hurricanes. Three major hurricanes made landfall this year and caused major damage and killed more than 300 people. Hurricane Harvey was a category 4 when it came ashore in Texas and brought a large storm surge with it. The system stalled over Texas bring record setting rainfall, before moving back into the Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall.

Tracy Stevens said she has relatives who live in Houston she was worried about as the hurricane’s destruction played out on television. After the storm moved out Stevens said she learned that her aunt and cousins were safe.

“If I remember right the hurricane got real big real fast and there wasn’t a lot of time to evacuate people who lived further in from the coast,” she said. “I remember people working together to save others who had no way out of the flooding. It was terrible and I’m sure there were a lot of people who lost everything.”

Julie Richardson said her favorite moment in 2017 was easy to choose. She said in June her first grandchild, Grace, was born.

“I became a grandma this year and I’m loving every minute of it,” Richardson said. “We had our first Christmas with the baby and took pictures of her in front of the tree and spoiled her. She’s our little bundle of joy.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.