Choosing the top-five stories of 2016 in Licking County isn't as easy as it sounds, but we have compiled the best topics the ThisWeek Licking County News covered throughout the year.

Choosing the top-five stories of 2016 in Licking County isn't as easy as it sounds, but we have compiled the best topics the ThisWeek Licking County News covered throughout the year.

Here's what made the cut, in no particular order:

Amazon delivering for Etna

Amazon found prime real estate in central Ohio, with fulfillment centers in Etna and Obetz and data centers in Dublin, Hilliard and New Albany, and it's already changing the landscape in southwestern Licking County.

A state Route 310 widening project near the Etna Amazon building should help facilitate an anticipated boom in local economic development, state Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) said in May.

Market sets selling point for Newark

Newark's Canal Market District opened June 3 and was held Tuesdays and Fridays through Oct. 28 at 36 E. Canal St.; an average of 1,500 customers attended each market day, according to market director Bryn Bird.

As many as 46 vendors packed the permanent, block-long pavilion, peddling fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and baked goods.

Newark not quite going 'green'

Newark mellowed out on its marijuana-possession penalties when a decriminalization initiative that passed Nov. 8 removed penalties for less than 200 grams, which would constitute a minor misdemeanor.

Still, Law Director Doug Sassen said, charges would be filed under state code, meaning those caught with less than 100 grams of marijuana or paraphernalia face a maximum fine of $150 and loss of driving privileges.

Addicts offered carrot, not stick

The Newark Addiction Recovery Initiative, announced in June by police Chief Barry Connell, invites addicts to the Newark police station to seek help and treatment; officers will connect them to the appropriate community resources and act as a liaison in the process.

Six months in, the program had welcomed more than 45 addicts seeking help.

Granville schools get the lead out

Granville Exempted Village Schools officials were dazed and confused after high lead levels were found in school drinking fountains last spring.

Some fountains were removed, valves were replaced with lead-free fittings, filters were added and a schedule was created to flush water lines.