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Year in review: Most read stories on KATU.com in 2017

An estimated 100,000 people took to the streets Saturday afternoon for the Women's March on Portland, a protest against President Donald Trump. (KATU photo – Tristan Fortsch)

As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back through the months at some of the biggest local stories you read throughout the year.

Here are the 20 most viewed stories on KATU.com in 2017:

1.

The year started off with a surprise snowstorm that blanketed much of the Portland metro under nearly a foot of snow, snarling traffic and causing closures across the region.

"I've really not ever seen anything like this. This is more like weather that we would see in the Great Lakes area,” Meteorologist Mary Loos said at the time. "It's not something we've seen in Oregon by any means, particularly several storms like this in one winter."

The traffic issues and other damaging effects were enough for both Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to issue a state of emergency.

2.

The fast-growing Eagle Creek Fire swept through the Columbia River Gorge in late September, threatening homes in local communities and several iconic Gorge trails and landmarks.

Investigators said the fire was likely started when a teenager threw fireworks from the Eagle Creek Trail after weeks of dry heat. The fire burned an estimated 48,800 acres.

3.

Two men were killed and a third was seriously injured after being stabbed on a MAX train while trying to de-escalate a situation where a man was harassing two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

Portlanders rallied around the men, Taliesin Namkai-Meche, Ricky Best and Micah Fletcher; calling them heroes for standing up for others in the face of hatred.

The murder suspect in the stabbing has a trial date set for June of 2019.

4.

Three people died and dozens more were injured when a Portland-bound Amtrak train derailed in Pierce County, Washington, sending an engine and train cars onto Interstate 5.

Based on information from the locomotive's black box, the NTSB says the train was traveling about 80 mph before heading into a curve with a 30 mph speed limit.

Oregon's Department of Transportation (ODOT) said Wednesday that none of the Cascades Line's trains have activated positive train control (PTC), a soon-to-be required crash-prevention technology. TriMet made similar claims about its heavy rail trains.

5.

Following the inauguration of President Donald Trump, protesters filled the streets of Portland for several nights of protests.

A record-setting number of people filled the streets the Saturday after Trump took office for the Women’s March on Portland. An estimated 100,000 people were in attendance – one of the largest crowds the Rose City has ever seen.

6.

Millions gazed at the sky on Monday, August 21 as the path of a total solar eclipse passed over Oregon. The event took months of planning for cities in the path of totality, and many people prepped by purchasing disposable glasses to view the event.

It was said to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history, with people staking out prime viewing spots and settling into lawn chairs to watch.

7.

A new distracted driving law went into effect in Oregon that restricted drivers from holding their cell phones or other devices while driving.

The law was a big change for many drivers, as was apparent from the reaction to this story we posted leading up to the October 1 implementation.

8.

Washougal woman called us shortly after the new year claiming three of her dogs got sick and another died after eating canned dog food.

Following our investigative report, the manufacturer issued a voluntary recall on the product.

9.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter helped rescue a missing Dallas, Ore. mother who was found on a cliff along the Oregon coast on August 16, nearly four days after she last talked with family on the phone.

"There can be so many negative outcomes in this kind of situation," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Ali Flockerzi. "To have found her alive after that long, it's incredible."

10.

A golden retriever’s owners thought their dog found a time capsule in their backyard when he started digging one day in August.

Instead, he discovered approximately $85,000 worth of black tar heroin.

11.

A Southeast Portland transgender man gave birth to his child in mid-July.

"I would say it's unique. I understand that people are not used to two men having a biological child between the two of them. So, we know it's unique," Trystan Reese told KATU News after giving birth to Leo.

12.

A teenage girl was booked in the Juvenile Detention Hall in Vancouver back in July after being accused of trying to steal candy from a WinCo store.

A video posted on Facebook of her struggle with loss prevention officers went viral, creating controversy over how her detention was handled.

13.

Those living in the Pacific Northwest were treated to a rare sighting of the Aurora Borealis in mid-July.

All the excitement over the Northern Lights, coupled with a clear forecast, helped push this story into one of the most-clicked stories of the year.

14.

A truck carrying slime eels overturned on Highway 101 this summer, covering the roadway in slime.

Troopers say a Lincoln City man traveling northbound on Highway 101 carrying 7,500 pounds of slime eels failed to stop his truck when an Oregon Department of Transportation worker advised him to do so.

15.

Anger and chaos erupted at a taco festival at Portland Meadows in mid-August after vendors ran out of food and event organizers began turning people away.

Hundreds of attendees demanded refunds from organizers of the Portland Taco Festival when tacos at the highly anticipated two-day event were sold out in reportedly 90 minutes.

16.

Deputies say a 36-year-old man killed his mother and then walked into an Estacada grocery store carrying her head on Mother's Day.

That man is also accused of stabbing a Thriftway employee several times. Witnesses helped hold down the suspect until first responders arrived at the scene.

17.

A contracting company hired in September to renovate the Tacoma, Wash. home where serial killer Ted Bundy grew up said they quickly noticed several strange occurrences as they began work.

Some of the phenomena included jiggling doorknobs and phantom footsteps as they worked. One worker claims he heard a knock at the door, then it opened to reveal no one on the other side.

18.

Deputies found a missing Camas teenager deceased days after his disappearance.

Family of Cole Burbank said he's "been found and God has a new angel in his choir."

19.

Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 24-year-old man who they say doused a Denny’s customer with gasoline and then lit him on fire on April 19.

The 69-year-old veteran who was critically injured in the incident was beloved by his community.

20.

A roadside cross that served as a memorial to a mother who died in a car crash years ago was at the center of a battle brewing over the separation of church and state.

The family later decided to remove the cross.








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