For Edgecombe County, 2017 was about recovery.
The county continued to pick up the pieces left by Hurricane Matthew while trying to climb out of the years-long economic slump that had hit everyone, especially Eastern North Carolina, hard.
The year kicked off with an announcement from James Knight that he soon would retire as sheriff. Knight was a longtime sheriff and the first black sheriff of Edgecombe County. Local Democrats got to choose his successor, leading to some in-fighting among party leadership.
Clee Atkinson, a retired trooper with the N.C. State Highway Patrol, was selected over two longtime deputies and a retired Rocky Mount police officer. Atkinson already has announced plans to run for the office when his appointed term expires. (Rocky Mount Telegram)