The year 2013 saw no shortage of compelling news stories. CBC Thunder Bay has compiled a list of it top-10 stories of the year that were most clicked on by our website readers.
1) Native Canadian women sold on U.S. ships, researcher says
A story that resonated across the country was one about an American researcher who said First Nations women from Thunder Bay were being sold on ships in the harbour at Duluth, Minn.
Christine Stark said the port at Duluth is notorious among First Nations people as a site for trafficking women.
The masters student at the University of Minnesota Duluth said she has anecdotal reports of women, teenage girls and boys, as well as babies being sold on ships for sex.
2) Python killing of 2 New Brunswick boys baffles experts
One of Thunder Bay's most clicked-on news stories hailed from New Brunswick — and baffled reptile experts across the country after a python attack in an apartment that left two young boys dead.
Noah Barthe, 5, and Connor Barthe, 7, were killed by the large African rock python while visiting an apartment upstairs from Reptile Ocean in Campbellton in early August, RCMP reported.
Steven Benteau, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, told CBC News that African rock pythons are not permitted under the province's Exotic Wildlife Regulations.
A criminal investigation into the matter was launched.
3) Dog dies after saving his owner from bear
Scores of CBC readers flocked to a story about a 42-year-old Thunder Bay, Ont., man who was saved by his schnauzer during a black bear attack at a provincial park in northwestern Ontario.
The man was attacked by a mature black bear while he was camping at Sand Bar Provincial Park in August. The dog died following the ordeal.
Ontario Provincial Police in Ignace said the man was on a walk with his two dogs and taking a break near the water when he was attacked from behind by the bear.
4) Suicides prompt First Nation to declare state of emergency
A small First Nation in northern Ontario declared a state of emergency after seven deaths and 20 suicide attempts in Neskantaga over the course of 12 months.
Leaders in the community, which lies in Ontario’s remote James Bay lowlands about 480 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, said pressures from nearby mining development are contributing to the problems.
About 400 people live in Neskantaga, and a recent health report said about half of them struggle with addictions — three quarters of them younger people.
5) Collision near Thunder Bay leaves 5 dead
A tragic highway crash that left five men dead also brought many readers to CBC Thunder Bay's website.
Ontario Provincial Police were called to the scene of the multi-vehicle accident on Highway 17, about 15 kilometres east of English River, on a late October evening. They found a westbound pickup truck had collided with an eastbound commercial vehicle.
The driver of the tractor trailer and the occupants of the pickup were all killed in crash. Police identified the driver of the commercial vehicle as 43-year-old Sukhwinder S. Thandi of Cambridge, Ont.
6) Red Lake plane crash leaves community with 'heavy hearts'
In early November, the mayor of Red Lake had to face the media over some tragic news.
He said his town was devastated by a plane crash that had just killed five people near the local airport.
"This isn't a very large community. There's 4,500 of us," Phil Vinet said "We all have heavy hearts today. Very heavy."
Vinet said he's seen aviation incidents in Red Lake before, but nothing of this magnitude.
Two passengers survived the crash of the Bearskin Airlines twin-engine turboprop, about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, just after 6:30 p.m. local time on Nov. 10. The plane crashed on approach to the Red Lake airport and burst into flames.
7) Manslaughter conviction tossed over lack of aboriginals on jury
A convicted killer was told he would get a new trial after Ontario's top court ruled June 14 that the provincial government violated his rights by failing to ensure aboriginals were properly represented on jury rolls despite knowing about the long-standing problem.
In a split decision that quashed a manslaughter conviction against Clifford Kokopenace, the Ontario Court of Appeal chastised the province for its inaction.
"The integrity of the process was fundamentally compromised by the inattention paid by the state to a known and worsening problem, year after year," the court ruled. "What the state knew or ought to have known was considerable; what the state did in response was very little."
A non-aboriginal jury in Kenora, Ont., convicted Kokopenace in 2008 of stabbing a friend to death on the Grassy Narrows reserve.
8) First Nation invites strangers to live on Ontario reserve
More than 40 "ordinary Canadians" answered an invitation issued earlier this year to visit a remote First Nation 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.
The guests, mostly non-aboriginal people from southern Ontario, flew into Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) in June and spent a few days in the community.
Young people from the First Nation put out the call for visitors in an attempt to break down misconceptions about what life is really like on a reserve.
9) Child prostitution victim warns of sex trade on ships
CBC Thunder Bay's top story of the year online evolved to include another report from a First Nations woman who claimed she was a child prostitute.
An Anishinabe woman spoke out after reports from an American researcher saying indigenous women are being sold on ships in Lake Superior.
The researcher, Christine Stark, said her 'exploratory' research includes interviews with First Nations women who say they were trafficked on ships between Thunder Bay and Duluth, Minnesota.
Bridget Perrier recalled working as a prostitute on ships in Lake Superior. She said police need to do more to keep indigenous women safe.
10) Northern Ontario university bar 1st in Canada to offer pregnancy tests
CBC Thunder Bay's 10th most popular online story in 2013 came from a campus pub at Lakehead University, which was the first bar in Canada to install a pregnancy test dispenser in its bathroom.
Healthy Brains for Children, an organization dedicated to preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, hopes other bars across the country will follow the Outpost's lead and do the same.
The chair of the Canadian chapter of Healthy Brains for Children, based in Thunder Bay, said the campaign is an effort to lower the number of women who drink without knowing they are pregnant.