Hallelujah, this year is almost over. At our office we've started to reach the "last one out, turn off the lights" phase of December and I'm about ready to flick that switch in my office for the last time in 2020. Thank you for reading my stories over the past twelve tumultuous months. I'm not a journalist, and I have taken exactly zero writing or English classes since high school... and that was quite a while ago.

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I occasionally struggle with proper punctuation (many thanks to editor Ashley W.) and sometime I sit and stare at this keyboard for an hour, wondering "what the heck am I going to write about today?"  And, "who's going to actually read this?" But you do. Thank you, I appreciate it.

Here are my top ten articles from 2020.

#10 - 13 Billings Area Restaurants that Have Closed in 2020. COVID-19 has been extremely hard on the restaurant scene. This wasn't a happy story to write and it bummed me out. I'm sure I could go back and add at least three or four more to the list. However, new restaurants are coming in 2021 to Billings and we're all hopeful dining restrictions won't last too much longer.

#9 - Worst Reviews of Montana From Awful Tourists. Tourism took an initial hit when COVID first began this spring, but by July and August there were no holding back the throngs of tourists who hit the road and visited our area, looking to escape. Naturally, a number of "Karen's" left nasty reviews of some Montana attractions and they're pretty funny.

#8 Five Things You Didn't Know About Lake Elmo. Blackjack! A bar! Wild parties and motor boats! Yeah, Lake Elmo used to be a pretty crazy place. I enjoy history and this article was fun to research. We can't wait to see what's in the bottom when Montana FW&P's drains it in 2021.

#7. New Reservoir Coming to Billings West End. Go ahead, take another look at the artist renderings of what this new recreational area west of Scheels is going to look like, because it's pretty awesome.

#6. 54 School Aged Kids Currently Missing in Montana. When I wrote this story in June, it blew my mind that there were so many missing kids in Montana. I can't help but look at each of their pictures and wonder about them now. Link in story to see the active list of missing persons in Montana.

#5. 'Restaurant Impossible' is Coming to Billings and You're Invited.  It seems like we get excited anytime TV cameras come to Billings and this event was no different. I got a birds-eye view of the action and got to interview the restaurant owner on my show after the TV cameras left.

#4. Small Montana Bar Defies Closure Recommendations.  Now that we're nine months into the pandemic, stories like bars defying orders to shut down have become almost commonplace. But in the middle of March, when shutdown orders were first issued, this little bar in NW Montana caught my attention.

#3. Come On Montana, We're Better Than This. Remember when everybody went nuts this year and started hoarding everything? Me too. It pissed me off then and when I just re-read this opinioned article I posted back in March, it pisses me off again.

#2. The Great Potato Giveaway. This was one of the coolest things I've been a part of in a long time. Thanks to my brother (the potato farmer) we were able to coordinate the donation of two truckloads of free potatoes to Billings. In all, around 90,000 pounds were given away.

#1. Billings Model in Inked Magazine Cover Girl Contest. If only there was a way to go back to carefree pre-COVID times, when the top story was my article and interview with an outgoing woman covered in tattoos named Ashleigh.

LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020