NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Here is a look at the top 10 Tennessee stories of 2018, according to an Associated Press survey of reporters, editors and broadcasters.
1. NASHVILLE MAYOR RESIGNS
Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry revealed in January that she had a prolonged extramarital affair with her former bodyguard, Robert Forrest. The two pleaded guilty separately to felony theft charges related to the affair in March, and Barry resigned. David Briley, then the vice mayor, was quickly sworn in as mayor and won his first mayoral election in May.
2. WAFFLE HOUSE SHOOTING
In April, four people were fatally shot and four others were wounded at a Waffle House in Nashville. Travis Reinking was charged in connection with the shooting. James Shaw Jr. was heralded as a life-saving hero for wrestling the gun away from the shooter and remains a nationally known activist because of it.
3. GOP SWEEPS ELECTIONS
Republicans kept a stranglehold on politics in Tennessee in the November elections, despite the best slate of hopefuls put up by Democrats in years. Former GOP U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn beat ex-Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in a nationally watched open U.S. Senate race, while Republican businessman Bill Lee defeated former Democratic Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in the open contest for governor. Republicans also didn't drop any congressional seats and lost only one net seat in the state Legislature to maintain their supermajorities.
4. AMAZON PICKS NASHVILLE
While picking the New York and Washington areas for two highly sought-after 25,000-employee headquarters, Amazon also announced in November that it picked Nashville for a previously unannounced 5,000-job operations hub. Gov. Bill Haslam called it the single largest jobs commitment made by a company in Tennessee's history. Amazon says it will receive up to $102 million in performance-based incentives based on the creation of 5,000 jobs with an average wage exceeding $150,000 in Nashville.
5. TENNESSEE RESUMES EXECUTIONS
Tennessee put three inmates to death this year, marking the first executions in the state since 2009. Billy Ray Irick died by lethal injection in August, Edmund Zagorski by electric chair in November and David Earl Miller also by electrocution in December. The executions occurred amid legal challenges, including a failed lawsuit that sought to declare the state's new three-drug lethal injection mixture as unconstitutional torture. Zagorski and Miller chose electrocution over lethal injection.
6. POLICE SHOOTING IN NASHVILLE
Nashville police Officer Andrew Delke, who is white, was charged with homicide in September after surveillance video showed he chased and fatally shot 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick, who is black, in July as Hambrick ran away. An arrest affidavit says Delke was pursuing a car that he mistook for another and wasn't sure the man he killed was connected to either vehicle. Delke's attorney and the local Fraternal Order of Police have promised to fight the charges.
7. TVA COAL ASH CLEANUP OVERTURNED
In September, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a massive coal ash cleanup order at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant. The case drew plenty of outside interest over how the Clean Water Act was applied. Eighteen largely Republican states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, national coal industry interests and more than a dozen other groups weighed in against the lower court's cleanup ruling, saying it would have wide-reaching, expensive consequences. Democratic attorneys general for four other states warned that overturning the order would threaten the Clean Water Act.
8. TURMOIL, TURNOVER AT UT
University of Tennessee Knoxville campus Chancellor Beverly Davenport was ousted in July in a $1.3 million buyout after less than 1½ years at her post, a tenure that included a tumultuous search for a head football coach, backlash from Republican state lawmakers over her support for the school's LGBT center, and other controversies. In the fall, former university system President Joe DiPietro announced his retirement, stepping down from active service in mid-November. The board opted to replace him with failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd as interim president. The wealthy Knoxville businessman helped Gov. Bill Haslam craft his higher education legacy, including a program to offer free tuition at community colleges.
9. MORRISTOWN IMMIGRATION RAID
Almost 100 people were taken into custody in April during a federal immigration raid at an eastern Tennessee meat processing plant. During the crackdown on Southeastern Provision, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said 11 people were arrested on criminal charges and 86 were detained for being in the country illegally. Civil rights activists at the time said the raid may have been the biggest employment crackdown under President Donald Trump's administration.
10. NASHVILLE VOTERS REJECT MASS TRANSIT PLAN
Nashville voters in May overwhelmingly rejected a plan to pay for a $5.4 billion mass transit system that called for a new light rail system, expanded bus routes and the building of a downtown underground tunnel.
Here is a look at the top stories of the previous five years:
— 2017: Republican Bob Corker engages in a war of words with President Donald Trump and makes a surprise decision to retire from the Senate after two terms.
— 2016: Wildfires roar out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, torching hundreds of buildings and leaving 14 people dead.
— 2015: Four Marines and a sailor are shot and killed in Chattanooga.
— 2014: Voters approve constitutional amendment to give Tennessee lawmakers more power to restrict abortions.
— 2013: Federal agents storm the Knoxville headquarters of Pilot Flying J, sending shockwaves through business, sports and political worlds.