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Stories That Grabbed Bay Area Headlines in 2016

From a contentious presidential election to a devastating fire in Oakland, many people in the Bay Area are quite content to say goodbye to 2016 and start fresh in the new year.

The deadly Oakland warehouse fire, which claimed the lives of 36 souls, was one of the most painful stories of 2016. Crews spent several days pulling bodies from the rubble as the world looked on in shock. The whole ordeal ignited on the night of Dec. 2 as young people enjoyed an electronic dance music performance inside the building, which was described as an artist enclave packed to the brim with wooden furniture and various clutter.

The international community was also glued to the controversial court case involving ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. He was charged with sexually assaulting an unconscious woman and forced to register as a sex offender, but Turner only served three months behind bars. That ruling sparked protests around the country and overseeing judge Aaron Persky continues to face criticism for his alleged leniency at the bench.

Other notable news-related stories included the Loma Fire in the Santa Cruz mountains, Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara and the scarring sexual misconduct case involving various Bay Area police departments.

The year also played host to a number of sports-related stories centered in the Bay Area. The Golden State Warriors rolled to an NBA-record 73 wins during the regular season before suffering a heartbreaking collapse in the NBA Finals.

The San Francisco 49ers dropped to the bottom of the league performance-wise, but it was quarterback Colin Kaepernick who generated a nationwide conversation about racial tension in the United States after he refused to stand for the national anthem. Over in the East Bay, the Oakland Raiders ditched the league laughing stock tag and just kept winning. Not to be outdone, the San Jose Sharks skated their way through a treacherous Western conference and into the Stanley Cup Final.

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