Another year is coming to a close and it’s time to look back on the Edmonton-area stories Global News readers found the most interesting.
From wild summer Alberta weather, to a bizarre arrest involving a group of naked people, here are the stories that drew the most attention from Global Edmonton’s online audience in 2017.
You can also vote on your most memorable story of the year in our poll at the bottom of the page.
Four days after a house fire in south Edmonton claimed the life of a five-month-old boy this past August, a murder charge was laid in his death.
The deadly fire took place in August in the Ambleside neighbourhood. The baby, a boy named Hunter Brown, died in hospital. His 29-year-old mother, Angie Tang, was taken to hospital in serious condition.
Bronson Woycenko, 19, was charged with second-degree murder, arson: disregard for human life and mischief under $5,000. Jessica Tammerand, 18, was charged with arson: disregard for human life and mischief under $5,000.
The pair previously rented a room in the house, the owner of the home told Global News.
Investigators believe the fire started when outdoor patio furniture was purposely set on fire near the front door of the home.
WARNING: Video contains disturbing images. Edmonton police released security video showing a car ramming into a police officer and the suspect getting out of the vehicle to stab the officer.
This story captured the attention of Canadians from coast to coast.
On Sept. 30, a car rammed into an Edmonton police officer who was sent flying and then stabbed while on duty outside Commonwealth Stadium during an Edmonton Eskimos game. Four pedestrians were also injured when they were rammed by a U-Haul in the downtown core.
The chaos started at around 8:15 p.m. and ended after midnight when a 30-year-old man was taken into police custody.
The suspect, Abdulahi Sharif, was later charged with five counts of attempted murder, five counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, one count of criminal flight causing bodily harm and one count of possession of a weapon.
Sharif has been ordered to undergo two psychiatric assessments, both of which have been delayed due to a critical bed shortage at an Edmonton mental health hospital.
8) Helicopter pilot opens up about Jane Fonda’s oilsands tour: ‘she was being given so much misinformation’
A visit by Hollywood actress and environmentalist Jane Fonda to Fort McMurray in January 2017 caused outrage across Alberta after she slammed oilsands development and spoke out against previous pipeline approval.
The helicopter pilot hired to take Fonda on the Greenpeace-led tour said he felt a bit of the heat, too, but added he used the time to provide the celebrity with a bit of perspective.
“I’ve been here for a lot of the development of the oilsands,” Paul Spring told Global News.
“I fly with industry, I know most of the senior VPs and I can at least tell our side of the story in a factual way, hoping that some of that information will sneak in between the environmental messaging from Greenpeace and Sierra and World Wildlife and actually make it to the celebrity’s brain.”
A video of a young man crashing through the roof of Cinnzeo at West Edmonton Mall went viral in May.
The video — posted to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook — showed two young men jump over the second-storey railing and onto the roof of the Cinnzeo cinnamon bun shop located below.
Police looked into the incident but didn’t launch a formal investigation.
In September, a driver in Sturgeon County took to social media after receiving a ticket for going one kilometre an hour over the posted speed limit.
A picture of the ticket posted to Facebook was shared thousands of times. Officials in Sturgeon County ended up rescinding the ticket.
This story resonated with readers across the city: a four-year-old boy died in hospital after colliding with a vehicle in south Edmonton.
Police said the child was in a cul-de-sac in Kiniski Gardens when he ran out between parked cars and into the side of a passing vehicle. Officers believe the child’s head then hit the pavement.
Police said the boy’s injuries were not consistent with being run over by a vehicle.
In February, a 39-year-old man was charged with six counts of sexual assault and six counts of sexual interference after an incident at the West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark.
Officers alleged a man followed and inappropriately touched six teenage girls while they were swimming. Edmonton police spokesperson Scott Pattison said all six girls who came forward were under the age of 16.
The man charged in the incident, Soleimen Soleimen Hajj, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is set to go to trial in January 2018.
This bizarre story caught the attention of people across Canada in early November when five people — all of whom were nude — were arrested after a crash in Nisku, Alta. south of Edmonton.
Three people ended up being charged with kidnapping and resisting arrest after officers said they found several naked people in a car that had rammed a truck. One of the three was charged with additional offences, including impaired driving and dangerous driving.
No one was hurt in the crash and a relative has said that the accused are good people who unknowingly drank some hallucinogenic tea over breakfast that was brought home from a trip to a foreign country.
The accused are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25.
WARNING: The details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
The second most-read story of the year dates back to April, when a 19-month-old boy was found dead outside a north Edmonton church.
The body of Anthony Joseph Raine was discovered next to Good Shepherd Anglican Church on April 21. Investigators later determined the boy’s remains were left there three days earlier.
After releasing suspect photos and images of the clothing the boy was found in, police arrested and charged two people in the toddler’s death, including the boy’s father.
Joey Stanley Crier, 26, and Tasha-Lee Mack, 25, were charged with one count each of second-degree murder, criminal negligence causing death, assault and failing to provide necessaries of life. Crier was also charged with assault causing bodily harm.
Both Crier and Mack are to appear in court in May 2018 for preliminary hearings.
Edmonton’s most-read story of the year has to do with the wild summer weather faced by Albertans. This particular story started when a severe thunderstorm watch was issued on July 13 for Edmonton and much of central Alberta.
The storm picked up through the day and a tornado touched down near Breton, southwest of Edmonton, at around 5:30 p.m. that evening.
A video captured in the area appeared to show a funnel cloud touching down.
The storm also produced Loonie and golf ball-sized hail, tore down trees and produced funnel clouds in other parts of the province.