Take a look at some of the most memorable stories NBC 5’s reporters worked on in 2016—a whirlwind year of election upsets, sports history and everyday people in extraordinary circumstances.
My favorite story was about three movers who hid a woman from an ex-boyfriend who showed up at her office with a gun. The three men say instinct kicked in when the woman came running to them in the alley asking for help. They took her and got into the back of their moving truck and hid her as the gunman lurked outside. A short time later the gunman took his own life. The quick thinking and heroism of these three young men exemplified the kind of courage that saves lives. Thanks to them – that woman is alive today.
Mary Ann Ahern
In the most unpredictable political year ever—my favorite story has to be the presidential election and all that surrounded it. From the Iowa primary forward—including covering the protestors at the Republican convention (basically living in a minivan for a week), to the debates and election night in New York City. I certainly didn't predict the outcome, but looking back the signs were there for a voter upset.
The most powerful story of this year, I'd agree with Mary Ann, was the election of 2016. Why? Because the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton challenged every conventional assumption reporters, voters, pundits and pollsters make about the so-called "process." If ever there was—and still is—a teachable political moment, this was it.
The story that sticks out the most to me is one of our earliest NBC 5 Responds stories—peeling furniture.
We started with one woman's story and expecting to move right on to the panoply of other consumer issues we were dealing with.
And then: wham! More than 800 similar complaints bombarded the NBC 5 Responds hotline. We unwittingly uncovered a pattern of, at worst, defective and, at best, disappointing products that consumers said were not worth the money they invested in them. We've helped consumers recover in excess of $100,000 related to these product.
The story I remember most this year was about Jonathan Annicks, a Walter Payton College Prep student who was shot while taking his cell phone charger out of his car. Annicks and his family are so strong because they are not seeking justice or revenge for what happened. Jonathan cannot walk because of the shooting. He is now a freshman at Loyola and he wants to enter the world of broadcasting. He and his family have an amazing spirit. Chicago police are still searching for the shooter.
The NBC 5 Responds team shared the story of a local man with cerebral palsy who had been waiting months for a new elevator to be installed at his house. He showed us how difficult his life had become while waiting for the elevator’s construction. We returned soon after the elevator became operational to witness his family’s relief and happiness.
My favorite story of 2016, was my last one. This is where a local chef, from Alsip, bakes cakes for children who are battling cancer. This story touched me and everyone who saw it—this is a classic example of how one person is "Making A Difference."
Among the stories of shopping and sales, there was this wonderful story of a child really showing us the meaning of the season. Donald Woods III found a way to bring joy to so many children this Christmas and I will always remember the hug between him and one of the children in the shelter. They were so happy and so excited to get Christmas gifts.
There wasn’t just one day that I recall more than the others during the World Series.
In fact, the whole last week of October was a roller coaster. One day we were definitely going to take it. The next day, someone or something would bring us doubt. The whole time I watched the hope in the eyes of so many Chicagoans I interviewed during wall to wall coverage. I remember thinking, in November on several occasions, “We really need this for Chicago.”
On the night of the win, I was beneath Progressive Field waiting to rush it, the players, and the fans. In that crazy sixth inning, I watched hope drain from some Chicago press. The World Series gear even made its way to the Indians’ side, presuming they would win.
The unbelievable feeling after that rain delay is hard to put into words.
I’m not a lifelong Cubs fan, by any means. But when I saw the fans screaming, holding each other, crying and singing in the rain, covering nearly one third of the stands, I had to catch my breath. I was exhausted. It had been three days of work in another city with a total of seven-and-a-half hours of sleep, but we bounded to the field to speak with countless fans who shared such inspiring stories.
Some coming with family and children who’d skipped school. A group of guys in an RV who were housed by the Cleveland fire department even though they were Cubs fans. People waiting for hours for a chance for tickets. A 108 year old woman who died days after seeing her team win.
It was a great time for Cubs fans.
At a time when violence has been so prevalent in our city, fans spent hours inside the ball park with smiles and hope that led to one of the happiest weeks many had seen in years.
My favorite story has to be of the young Aurora boy who called 911 and ultimately saved his mother’s (and dog’s) life after they fell into an icy pond earlier this month.
It always makes me happy to see young heroes step into action.
And I always love a good ending to what could have been a tragic outcome.
The Chicago Cubs victories leading up to the incredible World Series championship win were my most memorable stories of 2016. I loved being a part of all the coverage. It was a dream to witness history and such a sweet break from covering sad and heart-wrenching news stories.
My most memorable story of 2016 would be when Sky 5 worked with Evanston Fire Department to find a windsurfer that was stranded in Lake Michigan.
Hands down, my favorite story I reported on this year was on the emotional tug Jason Kipnis and his family experienced during the World Series.
I had a personal attachment to it (I grew up playing baseball with Jason’s brothers Blair and Todd), plus it involved one of Chicago’s greatest sports stories: the Cubs back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
When I interviewed Jason after his 3-run homer helped the Indians win Game 4 and take a 3-1 lead, I remember him telling me how hard it was going to be to win one more game and close out the Cubs. He was dead on. The rest is history.