(WKBN) – On this New Year’s Eve, we look back at some of the biggest stories covered by WKBN 27 First News.

Nine minutes into the new year, Youngstown recorded its first murder and would finish with 31, including a 10-year-old girl in August, which brought the mayor to tears.

By year’s end, Youngstown also had an additional 137 shootings — up 27 percent, resulting in numerous “Stop the Violence” rallies.

In November, there were protests at Youngstown State University over the cutting of programs while in September, former players of legendary Farrell Coach Ed McCluskey failed to have his name removed.

The political situation in Newton Falls made news all year — the city manager, finance director and law director were all let go, but Youngstown voted to keep its mayor.

Mahoning County voted to raise the sales tax and Tim Ryan announced he’s running for senator.

In May, Reyers announced it was leaving Sharon and in August relocated to the Eastwood Mall, where in October, Boscov’s opened a new store — the same month the Debartolo Commons opened at Southern Park.

2021 was when Meijer opened in Boardman, when Columbiana’s Firestone Park was renovated, when Farrell’s NLMK strike ended, when the Robinson-Shuba statue was unveiled, when the Shenango River was named Pennsylvania’s River of the Year and when Howland’s Yellow House was saved. It was also when Youngstown sued the owner of the Chill Can plant for allegedly breaking promises.

It was a year when a 130-year-old beer bottle was found during the Penguin City Beer construction, when Debbie Barber of Altobelli Realty was named Ohio’s Realtor of the Year and when reporter Nadine Grimley received a fist bump from 92-year-old Veteran Verne Gibson for helping him find his missing ring.

2021 was another COVID-19 year, starting with vaccinating teachers and ending with booster shots. On June 2, all restrictions in Ohio were lifted.

There were protests over students wearing masks and businesses like the Elmton in Struthers were in need of workers

Ten people died in fires, including a young boy in Liberty, a mother and son in Warren, an elderly woman in Austintown and three people in New Castle.

Hubbard’s St. Patrick Church was also heavily damaged in a fire.

2021 was when Steve Burns was let go at Lordstown Motors and when FoxConn was brought in as a partner, when Bishop David Bonnar took over the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, when a plan was approved to remove the Youngstown City School District from state control and when Deputy Dog Warden Dave Nelson was injured while trying to help.

We covered several stories on the stealing of catalytic converters while in November, we helped catch the suspect accused of stealing from a Jackson Township shrine.

In October, we tracked a tornado and the damage one did in Mecca.

There was also the vandalism of statues at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the redistricting of Ohio, the changing of police chiefs in Youngstown and the topping off ceremony at Lordstown’s Ultium Cells plant.

There was a new Rescue Mission, a proposal to rename Mosquito Lake after Donald Trump, a grassroots protest that stopped a Hubbard Township landfill, Al Adi returned home and the Indians became the Guardians.

We also buried Sister Jerome Corcoran, Father Timothy O’Neill, Pastor Chris Gilger, Chris Yambar, Michael Stanley, Lenny Strollo and Ron Carabbia.

2021 — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and as the sun sets on the year, who knows what lies ahead.

According to the staff at WKBN, here are the top 10 stories of 2021:

#1 — The shooting violence in Youngstown
#2 — COVID-19
#3 — All the changes at Lordstown Motors and its stock dropping 82 percent this year
#4 — The St. Patrick fire
#5 — The Indians’ name change
#6 — Redistricting
#7 — The Mecca tornado
#8 — Bishop Bonnar installed
#9 — The Robinson-Shuba statue
#10 — The cuts at YSU