By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

2022 has come to a close, and the Navarro County Gazette gets ready to move into 2023. Before we fully shift gears, we wanted to highlight a few of the events that made up the greater narrative of Corsicana and the Navarro County area. While not a complete selection of stories, this list highlights some of the meaningful, interesting, and impactful news pieces of the year.

1. She Can, She Will, She Must: Season Two of Cheer Premieres

As Season Two of Netflix’s Cheer premieres, Guy Chapman interviews Navarro College Cheer Coach Monica Aldama.

2. February Shooting Spree Claims Lives in Multiple Homicide

A multiple homicide-suicide took place on W. Second Ave. in February, claiming the lives of six individuals; its tragedy deeply affecting the lives of Corsicana residents.

3. Ground Broken for New GW Jackson Legacy Park

Groundbreaking took place for the new GW Jackson park in March, located at the corner of 708 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fifth Street.

4. City of Corsicana Confirms New Fire Chief, Michael Ryan

After Chief Paul Henley stepped down in 2021, Fire Chief Michael Ryan was confirmed in March after serving the City of Duncanville Fire Department for 27 years.

5. Riot Blockchain Bitcoin Mining Facility Expands Operations to Navarro County

Attendance was packed in the Corsicana Library’s Nancy Roberts Meeting Room as Chad Harris, CEO of Whinstone, took to the stage, and announced a large-scale, 1 gigawatt bitcoin mining development in Navarro County. Reaction to the announcement has been controversial and mixed with groups such as Concerned Citizens of Navarro County actively protesting and opposing the development.

6. Joe Brooks Honored By the City of Corsicana

Mayor Don Denbow declared April 11 as “Joe B. Brooks Day” to honor his long history of continued community service for Corsicana.

7. The Tastes of Corn Dog 7 Return To Corsicana

During Downtown Corsicana’s new “Food Truck Friday” event, the tastes of Corn Dog 7 returned to Corsicana for the first time since College Park Mall. Tymeka Hay of SnoBiz of Dallas food truck had the recipes to recreate the famous treats, and the attending crowds followed.

8. Mayor Denbow Denounces Hate Crime at City Council Meeting

June is Pride Month, and the Garner/Dowler family household flew rainbow flags to celebrate the occasion. Shortly after, vandals destroyed and burned all flags leading up to their doorstep. During a city council meeting later in the month, Mayor Don Denbow spoke out against the crime, saying “There is a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for bullying and violence, or even the threat of violence. The City values and respects every citizen, and practices that continuously.

9. Corsicana Begins Its 175th Anniversary Celebration

2023 marks the 175th anniversary of Corsicana, with the event being announced in July of 2022. The yearlong celebration kicked off with November’s lighting of the Christmas tree in Downtown Corsicana, and will continue through the fall of this year.

10. Remembering Brad Haynie and Babbette Samuels

Corsicana lost two of its more prolific residents this year: Brad Haynie, known as “Mr. Corsicana” or “Mr. Derrick Days” because of his involvement in and love for the Corsicana community, and Babbette Samuels, recognized for her numerous volunteer services, including her work on the library board and Parks & Recreation advisory board, as well as her involvement in school and civic duties, and the art community.

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