Calgary stories that made an impact across the country and around the world in 2016
From tragic tales to teleportation — a look back at some of the most-read online stories of the year
It's been a busy year for news in Calgary and southern Alberta, with local stories garnering attention across the country — and around the world.
Here we take a look back at some of the stories that drew the biggest online audiences over the past 12 months.
Many of them involved death and tragedy, but there were some uplifting stories too, and some that were just plain weird.
The most-read story of the year was a sad one — the end of the Amber Alert that was issued for five-year-old Taliyah Marsman in July.
The Amber Alert was issued in the early-morning hours of July 12. Later that same day, police revealed Taliyah's mother, Sara Baillie, had been found dead.
The search for the little girl captivated Canadians for three days but the story ultimately ended in tragedy when, on the night of July 14, police announced they had found a body believed to be Taliyah's by a rural road near Chestermere, Alta..
Police later charged 46-year-old Edward Downey with two counts of first-degree murder.
But those were far from the only deaths that made headlines in 2016.
The death of former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, who was killed in a plane crash in October along with Ken Gellatly, Sheldon Reid and Jim Kruk, captured national attention.
Prentice had also been a high-profile MP for many years in Stephen Harper's cabinet and was well-known to Canadians across the country.
He was later honoured as "a great Albertan, a great Canadian" at a state memorial in Calgary.
Funerals were, unfortunately, a common theme in the news this year.
Jordan and Evan Caldwell died after sneaking onto the bobsled run at Canada Olympic Park for a joyride, not realizing a gate was closed on the track below them.
At a funeral service attended by hundreds of Calgarians, the twin brothers were remembered as playful pranksters and at the same time, "very deep" young men who liked to discuss political, social and religious issues.
Another death was also back in the news in 2016 — that of 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan.
Young Ezekiel died back in 2012 but it took until 2016 for his parents' trial, in which they were convicted of failing to provide the necessaries of life to their son.
Court heard how David and Collet Stephan tried treating Ezekiel's bacterial meningitis with holistic remedies and didn't involve doctors until it was too late.
The trial caught worldwide attention, in part because of how adamant the parents were that they had done nothing wrong.
Topics other than death did make the news in Southen Alberta this year, too, and the economy was a persistent theme.
One of the most well-read stories from the CBC Business team in Calgary was this one.
So-called "jingle mail" refers to when a homeowner who's underwater on a mortgage simply gives up on the debt — and the home — by mailing the keys back to the bank.
It happened a lot during the last big real estate crash in the 1980s and, as we learned, the federal government has been worried about it happening again.
The Department of Finance commissioned two separate reports on the topic that CBC obtained through the an access-to-information request.
All depressing stuff so far but there were some lighter stories that went viral this year, too.
OK, so it still technically involves a crime and a court case, but for most people it wasn't seen as a bad-news story.
Daniel Boria's publicity stunt captured national attention when strapped more than 100 "industrial-sized" helium balloons to a lawn chair and floated high above the city — even soaring above the flight paths of commercial airliners.
He had hoped to land at the Calgary Stampede but winds pushed him off track and he parachuted to the ground, injured his ankle and wound up under arrest.
This all happened in 2015 but Boria was in court earlier this year, pleading guilty to dangerous operation of an aircraft and just last week he received his sentence — a $5,000 fine and an order to make $20,000 in donations to charity.
It's not often that stories about esoteric scientific research make a most-read list, but who doesn't love a tale about teleportation?
In what they described as a "major step" toward practical quantum networking, researchers at the University of Calgary successfully demonstrated the teleportation of a light particle's properties between their lab and the city's downtown area, six kilometres away.
The "spooky action at a distance," as Einstein once dubbed the nature of quantum mechanics, proved fascinating to readers, who shared the story tens of thousands of times.
But the readership on the teleportation story was dwarfed by that of this next one.
Who doesn't love a greasy breakfast after a night of heavy drinking?
Colin Ross is definitely a fan of the hangover cure and he found a healthy dose of it at Whitbie's Fish & Chips in Lethbridge, Alta., one morning in August.
During his visit, he struck up a conversation with the shop's friendly 69-year-old owner, John McMillan, who fixed him three-pieces halibut on a bed of fries. He learned from McMillan that business had been "terrible" recently and vowed to help the shop out with a positive Facebook review.
That review was quickly shared more than 8,000 times and, within a few days, there were lineups out the door.
"Our business has just gone right through the roof to the point where we've got people waiting an hour and a half to an hour and three-quarters for their dinner," McMillan said.
But don't take our word for it. Listen for yourself as McMillan and Ross reminisce about their fateful encounter: