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A new decade has begun, leaving behind the 2010s. The 10 years were eventful in The T&D Region. But just how so?

Today we begin a special T&D series looking back at the years 2010 through '19. We'll identify the big stories as selected by The T&D at the end of each year, then offer perspective on those stories with the luxury of hindsight.

When we're done, you'll get a chance to weigh in. We'll ask you to vote via our Facebook page on a story of the decade and give us your reasoning. We'll conclude with an editorial comparing our choice and yours.

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In 2010, the nation mourned with Orangeburg after the discovery of two toddlers inside a vehicle submerged in the North Edisto River on Aug. 16. The tragedy was selected as the story of the year locally.

Authorities found 18-month-old Ja'van T. Duley and 2-year-old Devean C. Duley after their mother, Shaquan Duley, told authorities she was in an accident and her car went into the river.

A day later, she was charged with murder in their deaths. Authorities alleged she suffocated them at an Orangeburg motel before strapping their bodies in a car and pushing it into the river.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams, who has since died, said Duley confessed.

National media and approximately 80 relatives, friends and curious onlookers attended Duley's first court appearance on Aug. 18. And then more than 700 mourners attended the double funeral service on Aug. 20 for the toddlers.

Circuit Court Judge Ed Dickson denied bond for Duley on Sept. 13 after her attorney argued his client faced severe depression and "suicidal tendencies" the day her two toddlers died.

First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe said during the September bond hearing that he had not ruled out seeking the death penalty for Duley.

Duley's attorney, Carl Grant, confirmed his intention to launch an insanity-related defense during the Sept. 16 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Grant said Duley was diagnosed with "severe depressive disorder" within hours of the tragedy.

The case often is compared to the 1994 Susan Smith case in which the Union County woman pushed her car into a lake after strapping her two small sons inside.

In March 2012, nearly two years after the boys died, Duley was sentenced to 35 years in prison after a guilty plea two weeks earlier to murder in their deaths.

By law, the time she spends in prison will be the entire sentence, minus 592 days she had served prior to sentencing. There is no probation, no early release for good behavior.

The 30-year-old Duley could have been sentenced to life in prison. Also by law, she could not get less than 30 years in prison after pleading guilty.

Other big stories of 2010:

  • Sheriff Williams died on Sept. 21 at age 53.
  • GOP state Rep. Nikki Haley, a Bamberg native, was elected governor. She went on to be re-elected in 2014 before resigning to accept the position of United Nations ambassador in the Trump administration.
  • S.C. State trustees voted 7-4 on June 15 not to renew the contract of President Dr. George Cooper. The ouster came amid a fiscal crisis at the university that would grow to critical proportions in the ensuing years, with state lawmakers threatening to close the institution before installing an all-new board to set the university on a new course.
  • About two-thirds of Orangeburg County voters responded to the call by officials to reinstate the 1% capital projects sales tax on Nov. 2. Months earlier in May, the Orangeburg County Aquatic Center opened on St. Matthews Road. The county built the $9 million water park and gymnasium using money from the 1-cent capital sales tax and the county's capital fund. A second aquatic center has since been built in Santee.
  • Orangeburg County's largest manufacturer, Husqvarna, announced it would invest $105 million at its Old Elloree Road plant. The $30 million first phase is complete and the second phase involves a $75 million investment to be completed by 2024.
  • And there was snow. The region awoke Feb. 13 to a deep, white blanket. Between 4 and 8 inches fell but, thankfully, not much damage was reported.

Next Sunday: 2011

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