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East Tennessee's top moments from 2019

From historic flooding to mischievous bears to a T-shirt that inspired Vol Nation, 2019 was full of memorable moments for East Tennessee.

TENNESSEE, USA — As we prepare to ring in a new decade, let's take a moment to look back at some of East Tennessee's top moments from 2019.

We broke it down into nine categories with some of the stories, videos and moments you were most interested in over the past 365 days.


MAY 2019: SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in the US, opens in Gatlinburg

NOVEMBER 2019: Dolly Parton is everywhere these days!! Here's where you can see her many projects


MARCH 2019: Here's a look back at all the times these Vols captured our hearts this season

  • The Vols Football team had a turbulent start to the season after losses to Georgia State and BYU and the dismissal of linebacker Jeremy Banks for controversial comments he made in an arrest video. However, they were able to fight their way back and qualify for the Taxslayer Gator Bowl to finish out the season.

DECEMBER 2019: Vols heading to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl


JUNE 2019: 'Our lives were so blessed by him' | Family, community remembers 8-year-old killed in murder-suicide

  • In April, we were stunned when a man shot two people, killing one and severely injuring another, before fatally shooting himself at Tanger Five Oaks Outlet Mall in Sevierville. 

APRIL 2019: 'The guy shot himself' | 911 calls reveal new details about Tanger outlet shooting


DECEMBER 2019: Records offer chilling details about Knox victim's encounter with possible 'Redhead' killer

  • In October, a man sued Cocke County after he said a correctional officer picked him up and body-slammed him into the floor while he was handcuffed, causing serious injuries as he was being processed into the jail.

OCTOBER 2019: Lawsuit filed after body cam video shows corrections officer slam handcuffed man to the ground


SEPTEMBER 2019: Knoxville woman almost loses arm from flesh-eating bacteria; blames nail salon

  • In April, the East Tennessee Children's Hospital recorded an honor walk for organ donors for the first time. The staff hoped this powerful tribute would demonstrate the level of respect and gratitude they have for parents who choose to donate their child's organs when they pass on. 

APRIL 2019: East Tennessee Children's Hospital provides powerful tribute to young organ donors with honor walk

RELATED: WBIR's top 10 Straight From The Heart moments of 2019


  • February had all of Tennessee contemplating whether to build an ark as historic flooding put us in a state of emergency and seemed to virtually shut down the entire region with toppled trees, washed-out roads and landslides.

MARCH 2019: Here's how much damage flooding did to each East Tennessee county

  • In September, East Tennesseans demonstrated their Volunteer spirit by sending relief efforts to the East Coast as Hurricane Dorian approached after killing more than 40 people in the Bahamas.

SEPTEMBER 2019: 'Selfless heroes': Gov. Bill Lee praises TN emergency personnel


JULY 2019: WATCH: A Cades Cove visitor confronted a momma bear and her cubs, so she charged

OCTOBER 2019: Bears develop taste for hot tub covers


  • Zoo Knoxville had its fair share of cute and cuddly moments. In July, Bea was born to Frances the Giraffe. Bea is the first baby giraffe born at the zoo in 17 years.

JULY 2019: Oh, baby! Frances the Giraffe gives birth at Zoo Knoxville

  • Two months later, in September, the zoo introduced visitors to four adorable baby red pandas. These fuzzy little friends are going to play an important role in the survival of their species.

SEPTEMBER 2019: Red panda cub shown off at Zoo Knoxville


DECEMBER 2019: Knox County Juvenile Court's stuffed animal supply replenished one week after asking for donations

SEPTEMBER 2019: Florida fourth grader's UT shirt design raises nearly $1 million for STOMP Out Bullying

We know a lot more happened in our area in 2019. These were just some of the stories, videos and voices you interacted with the most.