YEAR IN REVIEW: 2021’s most important community news in stories and photos | News

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As the community ushered in 2021, they did so with a collective sigh of relief to have made it through a historic 2020.

Athens and Limestone County greeted the new year with high hopes, determination and optimism despite the ongoing pandemic.

Now, as the year comes to a close, we look back — in no particular order — at the stories that most impacted our community in 2021.

Saying goodbye: Hugo ‘Bubble Gum Man’ Bates leaves a legacy of love

On Jan. 4, 2021, the community learned of the passing Hugo Bates. Known by many as the “Bubble Gum Man,” Bates’ impact on the community is everlasting. Perhaps former Athens softball and basketball coach Randy White said it best, “I’ve never seen anybody like…

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