2020 in review: top stories on Crossroads Today

2020 presented countless challenges, but there are some reasons to smile

VICTORIA, Texas- Whew! We made it. Even if it was by the hair on your chin, you’ve made it to day 365 out of 365. As we stand on the precipice of another twelve months let’s take a moment to remember the lessons and victories we experienced in 2020.

Crossroads Today is our online hub for breaking news and instant updates on what is happening in our community. We’ve shared some big stories, jaw-dropping stories, and stories that made you smile on our website, and social media pages. As the Executive Digital Producer at Newscenter 25, I’ve curated a list of some of our most read and talked about stories on our website.

Watch the video above and you can click on the articles below to remember these moments we shared as a community.

Emmy Saenz

In February we met Emmy Saenz. The 20-year-old became a quadriplegic after an awful car crash in late 2019. Sanez and her family opened their home to give us a glimpse into what her new life was like. It was an honor to share her inspirational story. Read the story here.

We were devasted when Sanez’s family announced her passing on her 21st birthday. Her legacy will live on in the community and beyond. #EmmyStrong

COVID-19 Pandemic

We set up our Coronavirus HQ nav bar on our homepage to make it easier for the community to find important information regarding how the spread of the coronavirus is impacting our community.

Face masks became our new accessory

Thanks to a mother-daughter duo, many healthcare providers in Victoria were able to be protected in style. Read the story here.

Train with Victoria’s Mr. Miyagi

Due to social distancing requirements, the American Karate Institute had to suspend in-person classes. Coach Evans brought the Dojo to everyone’s living rooms by offering free classes online. Most remarkably, the class is led by a 12- year- old second-degree black belt, Fabian Jimenez. Fabian has been practicing Karate for eight years and became a black belt at ten years old. Read the story here.

A 70-year-old bakery gets a second life

There was almost an audible gasp in the community when the news broke that Halepaska’s Bakery was closing permanently. We sat down with Mr. Halepaska to take a look back at where the journey all began. Read the story here. There was a resounding cheer when we found out that another local family would be carrying the torch. Read the story here.

No Justice No Peace

The world was once again unified in the fight for justice and protection for Black lives. For weeks on end, millions of people marched and protested the long history of prejudice and racism against Black lives the world over. The heinous murder of Geroge Floyd in Minneapolis, MN was the catalyst for a movement that has lead to real change and important conversations in many cities including Victoria. Jodi Yancey-Sandoval organized a 15- block march down Navarro Street in honor of the 15 Black lives that had been slain by police brutality in 2020 thus far. Read the story here.

Make your voice heard

In just 24 hours our election results page received more than 1,800 page views and 1,200 engaged minutes. This was a highly contested election year with eyes on both national and local races. See our election results page here.

Welcome Robert Arredondo

Victoria hired a new Chief of Police this year. Roberto Arredondo joins VPD from the Dallas Police force, and his first day was November 30th. Read the story here.

Daily polls

We also had the opportunity to engage with you using daily polls on our website. We implemented Megaphone in September on our website and it’s been a great way for us to engage with you on the go and on the air. The poll that received the most engagement, with more than 4,000 unique users was the question where we asked  “Do you think we should have a national mask mandate to curb the spread of covid-19?” Fifty-seven percent voted yes and 43% voted no. Vote in our daily poll here

The first glimmer of hope

The COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Victoria on Thursday, December 17, 2020. While the future of the pandemic is uncertain, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines offer the first path to returning to our normal lives. Read the story here.

Stronger together

The past twelve months have been unprecedented in many ways, and 2021 is still shrouded in a bit of uncertainty. But no matter what happens over the next twelve months, remember that we are stronger together.

Happy New Year, Crossroads.