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Tragedy, triumph dominate ND's top 2016 stories

An eclectic mix of stories rounded out the biggest headlines in North Dakota during 2016 as oil, agriculture, politics, sports and money dominated the landscape and conversations in the Peace Garden State. Add a fatal shooting and a drug epidemic...

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An eclectic mix of stories rounded out the biggest headlines in North Dakota during 2016 as oil, agriculture, politics, sports and money dominated the landscape and conversations in the Peace Garden State.

Add a fatal shooting and a drug epidemic, and the top 10 stories in North Dakota reveal a year filled with tragedy, triumph and storylines that will continue to play out into the new year.

These are the top 10 stories compiled by Forum News Service and ranked by editors across the state.

1 - No story received more coverage than the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, a movement that swelled in September as thousands set up camp near Cannon Ball, N.D., to oppose the $3.8 billion project where it would travel underneath the Missouri River.

2 - Doug Burgum's stunning rise as challenger to the Republican establishment in the spring led to a convincing win in the June primary, where he soundly defeated Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem for the party's gubernatorial nomination. The Fargo businessman cruised to a victory over Democratic and Libertarian candidates in the November general election to become the state's 33rd governor.

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3 - Slumping oil and farm commodity prices hit North Dakotans hard in 2016, reversing the state's and individual farmers' financial picture.

4 - A state budget shortfall led then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple to order a 4.05 percent spending cut last spring and another 2.5 percent in cuts mandated by the North Dakota Legislature during an August special session. State agencies have since been told to brace for additional spending cuts for the next biennium.

5 - Carson Wentz's ascension up the NFL draft board helped the Bismarck-native and former North Dakota State University quarterback lock up the second overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. As the Eagles signal caller, Wentz started in the season opener and gained accolades from players and experts alike for his veteran skillset.

6 - In February, Fargo police responded to a domestic situation, where Marcus Schumacher - a man with a violent past - fatally shot officer Jason Moszer. Officers from hundreds of departments across the nation attended his funeral.

7 - Opioid addiction in North Dakota killed more than a dozen statewide and prompted warnings from police, emergency responders and health care officials about the dangers of drug use. Numerous communities hosted forums in an effort to educate the public about the powerfully lethal substances and overdose dangers.

8 - In early January, NDSU traveled to Frisco, Texas, and won another FCS championship. It was a win for the ages - making NDSU the first team in the modern era to win five consecutive national football titles.

9 - With thousands of fans in Tampa and watching around the country, the University of North Dakota won its eighth national hockey title - and first since 2000 - in April. Jubilant fans gathered in the streets of Grand Forks to celebrate their team's return to hockey dominance.

10 - Universities statewide grappled with mandated cuts due to the state's budget shortfall, and the North Dakota University System faces another 15 percent cut in its budget, along with hundreds of jobs, after Dalrymple released his budget proposal in early December.

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after Dalrymple released his budget.

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Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum asks for the NDGOP endorsement for governor during the during the NDGOP convention Saturday, April 2, 2016 in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

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Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum asks for the NDGOP endorsement for governor during the during the NDGOP convention Saturday, April 2, 2016 in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

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