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10 most-talked about stories in Boston in 2016

This year brought legal pot, safer duck boats and murder mysteries.

The presidential election might have made the most noise in the media this year, but Boston had plenty of big stories of its own in 2016.

Vanessa Marcotte went out jogging on an August afternoon in Princeton and was discovered dead later that day. Her killer is still unknown. Marijuana is now legal, and Boston Calling didn't come back.

Here are the top 10 stories out of Greater Boston this year:

Anti-Trump protests

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Students, dissidents and others took to the streets in teh days following the Nov. 8 election that named Donald Trump the president elect. Protests have continued in the weeks since. The biggest protest the day after the election drew over 2,500 people.

Duck boat safety

After a 27-year-old woman was killed and another injured in duck boat crashes in the first half of 2016, the legislature passed a bill designed to ramp up safety on the city's popularduck boats— amphibious World War II-era vehicles. They now have rear-facing cameras, motion sensors and dedicated drivers.

Addiction

Just when we thought Massachusetts' crippling opioidproblem couldn't get any worse, it did. Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate 100 times more powerful than street heroin, is causing a spike in overdose deaths that has set up 2016 to be the deadliest on record.

Charter schools

Educators and policy makers engaged in thegreat debate on whether charter schools could help Massachusetts close achievement gaps in inner-city schools with large immigrant and minority population for most of 2016, but voters had the final word Nov. 8 when they said "no" to Question 2.

Boston Calling scandal

The music festival that takes over City Hall Plaza every Memorial and Labor Day did not return to Boston this fall following allegations of extortion by city officials in Mayor Marty Walsh's inner circle. So far, no evidence has tied the mayor to the schemes, but top officials have been indicted.

Dude, where's my train?

From nonsensical overtime and scheduling systems to people catching naps in the MBTA'smoney room, it's no surprise the trains are always running late with that level of dysfunction going on. It was a year of never-ending scandal as far as the T was concerned. Hopefully the $280 million investment into new train cars will help.

Rising tides

Climate researchers reminded Boston, a waterfront city built partially over the bay, is especially vulnerable to rising tidewaters, a consequence of climate change.

Transgender rights

With the legislature's passage of the transgender equality/anti-discrimination bill to allow trans people to use the bathroom of their choosing, Boston saw passion on both sides of the debate. Several churches even sued— although they later dropped the suit— saying the law violated their first amendment rights.

Vanessa Marcotte

Vanessa Marcotte was visiting family in Princetown when shedecided to take a jog through Princetownwoods at about 1 p.m. on Aug. 7. The 27-year-old's body was found just a half-mile from her mother's home. Her killer is still on the loose.

Marijuana legalization

As of Dec. 15, legal pot is the law of the land in Massachusetts. That means adults over 21 can now carry up to an ounce of marijuana in public, possess up to 10 ounces in their homes and grow up to 12 plants per household. Voters OK'dthe change in the Nov. 8 election, making the commonwealth the first East Coast state to legalize the drug.

 
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