Top News Stories of 2016

Stefani Zeiger, Online Editor-in-Chief

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to look back on the news events that shaped this year. Although many tragic events, such as deaths and terrorist attacks, have occurred, there were a few gleaming moments among all the dismay.


  • Jan. 10: Glam rock sensation David Bowie died at the age of 69 after struggling with liver cancer for 18 months. Two days prior to his death, Bowie released his final album “Blackstar” as a parting gift for his fans.
  • Jan. 30: Boko Haram raided a village in Dalori, Nigeria, killing at least 65 people. The group burned the village and kidnapped children. This was not the group’s only attack in 2016; throughout the rest of the year, Boko Haram continued to terrorize many African nations.


  • Feb. 1: The Zika virus outbreak erupted in 2015; however, on this day, it was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). There are currently 67 countries, including the U.S., and territories confirming reports of Zika. “I was nervous that it would spread out to the United States and eventually Illinois. It also made me think that it’s not safe to travel down to Mexico, especially because I had a trip planning to go to Cancun for my honeymoon (I still went),” said Alex Artega, security guard.
  • Feb. 7: The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50. Denver Quarterback Peyton Manning played his final game.


  • March 22: In Brussels, Belgium, three suicide bombings took place: two at Brussels airport in Zaventem and one at Maalbeek metro station. After a search, another bomb was found in the airport. There were more than 30 deaths and more than 300 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack. “It’s scary because the Paris attacks were before that, and I was worried because of terrorist attacks in successive order. I’m worried for my own safety as well as Europe’s,” said Nate Walters, senior.


  • April 21: Pop icon Prince died at the age of 57 after a fentanyl overdose. At the moment, Prince’s record label is suing Jay Z’s streaming site Tidal for illegal streaming of Prince’s discography. “Being a Minnesota native, this was a very sad day for the whole state. Prince was one of the most famous people to come out of Minnesota,” said Krista Alloy, security guard.
  • April 22: On Earth Day, the Paris Agreement opened for signatures. This agreement was negotiated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and covers topics related to greenhouse gas emissions. So far 193 countries have signed this treaty, and 110 have ratified it.


  • May 30 – June 12: The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks in the 123rd Stanley Cup. Out of the six games played, Pittsburgh was the first to win four, opposed to San Jose’s two. Pittsburgh Center Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the series and is considered the best player currently in the game. “I liked how they consider him [Sidney Crosby] the best player so far and how they acted positively during the game,” said Manthis Murguia, freshman.


  • June 2: Brock Turner was sentenced six months for assault with intent to rape. However, Turner was released three months after being sentenced on Sept. 2 and will permanently be registered as a sex offender. “The sentence that Brock Turner got was shocking and surprising considering that other people [commit] the same crime and had a longer sentence. I think he got a shorter time because his family is connected to the system,” said Jaime Lara, security guard.
  • June 12: Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 more in a shooting at the nightclub Pulse. This hate crime was the deadliest act of violence against LGBT people in United States history and the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. “I thought that was awful considering how LGBT is so accepted around the world now and that someone would do that,” said Maggie Abernathy, junior.
  • June 23: British citizens voted to exit the European Union in the referendum entitled Brexit. This event caused the British pound value to fall to its lowest in decades.


  • July 6: Pokemon Go was released in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. This app was downloaded over six million times on its release day, which caused developers of Niantic to postpone releases in other countries. “It was pretty cool at first how it got everyone motivated; [however,] it’s kind of like how people work out in January and then stop,” said Max Basso, senior.
  • July 14: Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhel drove a cargo truck into large crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France. There were 86 deaths and 434 injured.


  • Aug. 5 – Aug. 21: Big winners of the Rio Olympics include Michael Phelps with five gold medals and one silver; the U.S. girls gymnastics team who took home gold with an overwhelming point margin; the U.S as a whole, for leading the medal count with 121 total medals and 46 gold medals. Big losers include U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo, who referred to Sweden’s team as “cowards” after her team lost in the quarterfinals; and Ryan Lochte, who embarrassed himself and U.S.A. swimming by lying about being robbed at gunpoint. “The Olympics this year were different because it was one of the times the U.S. got the most golds and the swim team did really good. It’s cool to witness history because Michael Phelps has [won] the most gold medals,” said Nolan Thier, sophomore.


  • Sept. 18: At the 68th Emmy’s, “Game of Thrones” dominated by adding 12 awards to their already enormous count, giving them the most primetime TV show wins ever with 39 total Emmy wins. Other winners of the night include Rami Malek for Best Actor in a Drama series, making him the first Egyptian-American to win an Emmy and The People V. O.J. Simpson, which raked in nine awards.
  • Sept. 28 – Oct. 10: Hurricane Matthew began near the Windward Islands and wreaked havoc from the Caribbean to the U.S. Matthew made landfall in Haiti and Cuba as a Category 4 storm, hit the Bahamas as a Category 3-4 storm and impacted the Southeast U.S., having one Category 1 landfall in North Carolina but still impacted surrounding states with hurricane conditions.


  • Oct. 25 – Nov. 2: The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in the 112th World Series. Chicago beat its 108-year-long bad luck streak, by being the first to win four games, opposed to Cleveland’s three. Fans rejoiced after this big victory, making the celebratory parade the seventh largest gathering in the world. “It’s awesome [that] my neighbor who’s 90 lived to be able to see [the Cubs win the World Series],” said Stephanie Gutierrez, freshman.
  • Oct. 28: After setting up camp on private property, 141 people were arrested at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest. As protests continue to occur, celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Shailene Woodley, Pharrell Williams, Mark Ruffalo and more have spoken out against the completion of the DAPL.


  • Nov. 7: After a seemingly endless political season, Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected by the Electoral College to be president. However, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. “I was stunned that Hillary Clinton lost; I was so shocked because [of] the polling, because it’s gotten so much more sophisticated. Hillary had so many paths to victory, [and] it’s shocking to the degree of how many swing states [Trump] got,” said Michele Bonadies, American government teacher.


  • Dec. 7: Seventy-five years later the tragic events of the attack on Pearl Harbor are remembered for shocking the nation and throwing the United States into WWII.