AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The holiday season is often a hectic one, between organizing family gatherings, shopping, and other end-of-the-year scheduling and obligations. However, some weeks are busier than others, such as Thanksgiving week in 2021.
Here’s a look back at the top stories from Thanksgiving week in 2021, including the latest updates.
In November 2021, photos flooded social media accounts around the Amarillo area as stars performing in a spinoff to the hit show “Yellowstone” were spotted at local businesses. The 10-episode season of “1883” has since aired on Paramount Plus, and its series as a whole has continued to grow in 2022.
After airing in December 2021, “1883” received a number of nominations, including three Primetime Emmy nominations, and won the Bronze Wrangler award in 2022 for Best Fictional Television Drama. Paramount Plus has since ordered new episodes of “1883” as well as another “Yellowstone” origin story, “1932.”
On Nov. 19, 2021, a bus from Andrews High School was driving in Howard County when it was hit by a vehicle driving the wrong way on Interstate 20. Three people were killed in the crash, including the Andrews High School band director, Darin Kimbrough Johns. As noted in previous reporting, 12 people, including 11 students, were hospitalized after the crash.
In April 2022, the Andrews Mighty Mustang Band premiered a new piece during its spring concert in memory of Johns and Marc Boswell, the driver of the bus who was also among those killed in the crash.
Nearly 200 state legislators signed an open letter in 2021 calling for “forensic audits” of the “corrupted 2020 election” and urging states to decertify some electors, circulated by Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers. As seen in the photos of the letter circulated by Rogers, Texas legislators at the time that signed on included Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-73), Rep. Jeff Cason (R-92), Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-2), Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-94), Rep. Steve Toth (R-15), and Rep. James White (R-19).
While the letter went viral at the time with its list of signees and claims of election corruption, there is no evidence that widespread voter fraud impacted the 2020 election results.
Since 2021, some states including Texas have adjusted voter registration restrictions, voting methods, poll hours, and voter ID laws. Texas Senate Bill 1, which was signed into law in September 2021, was framed by legislators as a follow-up to measures taken during the 2020 election. Opponents of the Texas bill argued that the law is “voter suppression,” while supporters argued that the law makes it “harder to cheat.”
Thomas Brown, a teenager in Canadian, left his house for the final confirmed time on Nov. 23, 2016 – the night before Thanksgiving. His disappearance six years ago led to a joint investigation with state and federal officials, the creation of the Texas Attorney General’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, at least one podcast, and updates from private investigators that conflicted with information released by officials.
In 2021, Brown’s family and friends marked the fifth anniversary of his disappearance with a demonstration outside the 31st District Attorney’s office at the Gray County Courthouse. According to the preceding announcement about the event, it was put on with the hope of, “moving forward efforts” to pursue justice in the case. Among the wishes of the family noted in the announcement were the intentions to, “know of the chain of custody of Thomas’ remains, where they are now, and be given a path to petition for his return.”
Brown’s remains were taken into custody for forensic investigation, according to the Texas Attorney General’s office.
The investigation into Brown’s death was suspended by the Texas Attorney General’s office a few months after his remains were found, with the note that there was no viable evidence of foul play. The office also later released an investigation summary in 2021, according to officials, because of the amount of public interest, the amount of time that had elapsed, and “the amount of erroneous information” that circulated about the investigation.
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