Halifax’s top 10 stories of 2016

Halifax’s top 10 stories of 2016

Halifax’s top 10 stories of 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the stories you found most interesting throughout the year.

From a hoax airplane crash to a major teachers’ dispute to shocking crime, here’s a list of our most-read stories of 2016.

10. Premier Stephen McNeil snaps at Global News reporter when asked about carbon pricing

Before the Nova Scotia government announced a cap and trade program to deal with the federal government’s plan to phase out coal by 2030, Nova Scotians were in the dark about the province’s plan.

During a media scrum in October, Global News reporter Marieke Walsh questioned Premier Stephen McNeil on what he’d pitched to the federal government. The premier went on the attack.

“You’re acting like an opposition leader, which is quite odd to me,” McNeil said as part of his heated response. “We’ve said, we’ve provided some options to the people of Nova Scotia, when we get to what is a solution we’ll bring that to Nova Scotians.”

9. Halifax pediatrician facing child pornography charges

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Halifax pediatrician Dr. William Richard Vitale was charged with a slew of child pornography offenses after police searched the doctor’s St. Margaret’s Bay home in February.

Police said at the time that while Vitale, 72, was a pediatrician working in the city, they didn’t believe any local children were involved.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia suspended Vitale’s license and immediately started an investigation.

8. Suspicious alarm salesman attempts to pull teenage girl from home in Dartmouth

A young woman got a scare on a February night, after a man posing as an alarm system salesman attempted to pull her from her home in Dartmouth.

Police were called to a home on Topsail Boulevard, after a 17-year-old girl said the suspect asked her to go for a drive, then when she said no he tried to pull her out the doorway by her arm.

7. Halifax Fire warning homeowners to check for recalled thermostats

After responding to a fire started by a recalled thermostat, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency issued a warning to homeowners to check if they had the recalled devices on their walls.

In addition to the warning, officials were also reminding people to register their home electronics so they get notices of recalls if they apply to devices in their homes.

“These devices are in your home. It can burn your house down,” Fire Prevention Chief Matt Covey said at the time.

6. RCMP release video pleading for help locating murder suspect Marissa Shephard

Twenty-year-old Marissa Shephard, wanted for murder in the death of Baylee Wylie, evaded police for months before finally being arrested in Moncton and charged.

In a desperate attempt to find her, or information about her whereabouts, New Brunswick RCMP released a video pleading for information about the woman, who was known to change her looks.

Shephard was eventually arrested and charged with first-degree murder and arson.

5. N.S. man loses half his body weight, now hoping to inspire others

A Cape Breton man who lost nearly half his body weight in less than a year inspired readers with his weight-loss success story.

Weighing in at nearly 400 pounds, 24-year-old Ryan Clarke was told he’d likely be dead by his 30th birthday if he didn’t make a major lifestyle change.

In just 10 months, Clarke lost 183 pounds. The change was not only good for his physical health, but his mental health too.

4. Search crews stand down after finding no evidence of plane crash near Terence Bay

Search and rescue crews, police and emergency crews from several towns between Halifax and Peggy’s Cove rushed to Terence Bay, Nova Scotia on March 1 after receiving reports of a plane going down.

The report was eventually deemed a hoax when no evidence was found, but that’s not before an extensive search of the land and waters along the coast.

The search involved a cormorant helicopter, navy ship HMCS Halifax, coastguard ship CCGS Sambro and a coast guard auxiliary boat.

3. Police say body discovered in Dartmouth has been there “for quite some time”

Halifax Regional Police made a grim discovery on Jan.9, when they found a body in a wooded area they say had been there for a long time.

The body was discovered on Pleasant Street by a man walking in the area at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

It was later determined the body found was 59-year-old Gerald Gallant, who had been reported missing Oct. 28, 2015.

2. Nova Scotia teachers’ 16 contract demands and what the province says they cost

The provincial government and Nova Scotia’s public school teachers have been locked in a contract dispute for months.

That dispute reached high points near the end of 2016 when the teachers voted in favour of a strike mandate, taking work-to-rule job action a day after the government closed schools for a day.

The teachers have 16 contract demands, including to have working conditions included in their contract and to keep the long-service award. The province is refusing to have working conditions included in a contract, and wants to freeze the long-service award retroactive to 2015.

1. Halifax yoga community mourns murder victim Kristin Johnston

The city of Halifax, particularly the yoga community, was in shock to learn popular yoga instructor and studio owner Kristin Johnston was the victim of homicide in her Purcell’s Cove home in March.

Johnston’s body was found in her Oceanview Drive home after police responded to a 911 call from inside the home. She was the owner of former fitness studio 42 Degrees Fitness & Wellness, formerly called Bikram Yoga.

Johnston’s live-in boyfriend, Nicholas Butcher has been charged with second-degree murder in her death and is due to stand trial in April 2017.

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