As 2017 comes to a close, we look back at some of the top stories. (Photos: Staff/Contributed)

From a solar eclipse to a controversial firing, 2017 brought plenty of newsworthy events.

Here’s a look at some of the year’s top business and government stories.

Where do we get solar eclipse safety glasses?
Ahead of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, which allowed many in the area to see total coverage, thousands of people were on the hunt for safety glasses.

Some local stores sold out, and some online retailers sold glasses that didn’t meet the needed safety requirements.

Businesses gave away glasses, prompting many to wait in line.

In the end, it seemed like most people figured out a way to watch the event, which was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for some.

Business openings, closings
Hixson Pike’s Rivermont area got a new restaurant called SideTrack, and Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom opened in Hamilton Place.

A new boutique that offers eyebrow microblading also came to the North Shore.

Last year also brought numerous business closings.

Downtown nightclub Raw closed, 212 Market ended its 25-year run, The English Rose Tearoom ended business after two decades, and Lamar’s quietly shuttered its doors.

Beer board addresses sex acts at business
An unusual story about Christy’s Sports Bar being disciplined by the Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board for allowing sexual acts at the business attracted many readers.

WUTC reporter fired
Several of the most-read government articles were about the firing of a WUTC-FM reporter, who recently settled a lawsuit with UTC.

Jacqui Helbert was fired March 21 after she reported a story about a high school gay-straight alliance that visited lawmakers in Nashville to discuss proposed “bathroom bill” legislation.

She said she went there wearing press credentials and full radio gear, but she didn’t explicitly identify herself as a reporter to lawmakers.

Some UTC officials and state legislators were upset that she didn’t clearly identify herself.

UTC faced backlash over the firing, which also prompted protests.

The situation also prompted discussion about journalism ethics.

Politics
Dr. Danielle Mitchell, a board-certified primary care and sports medicine physician, announced her candidacy for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District.

Her bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee, in the 2018 midterm elections attracted Nooga.com readers’ attention.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker also attracted attention for his comments about President Donald Trump.

He drew national attention in August when he used an opportunity at a Chattanooga Rotary Club meeting to criticize Trump.

Earlier, he had discussed the president’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Corker and Fleischmann drew attention after a Politico investigation found potential conflicts of interest among several members of Congress, including the two from Tennessee.

Tuition-free college
Tennessee became the first state in the country to offer high school graduates and older adults the chance to earn a postsecondary degree for free and at no cost to taxpayers.

“In Tennessee, we’ve determined that the best jobs plan is an education plan,” Gov. Bill Haslam said in a prepared statement at that time. “If we want to have jobs ready for Tennesseans, we have to make sure that Tennesseans are ready for jobs, and there is no smarter investment than increasing access to high-quality education.”