I took a look back over the local year in news that was 2017, and gathered up what I determined to be The Nor’wester’s best stories.
I am sharing them with you again for you to remember or to highlight them in case you missed them the first time around. Some may be the biggest news or events of 2017, while some may just hold a special place in my heart because of the people they featured or the stories those people had to tell.
If there are any stories you would like to read again, you should be able to find them online or at www.thenorwester.ca. I hope you enjoy.
Top 10 (in chronological order)
1. Residents of Baie Verte outraged over shared ambulance service (Jan. 26)
People on the Baie Verte Peninsula are concerned about the ambulance service they are receiving from Central Health.
The belief is the system that has been used for some years now is inadequate for local needs. The fear is, due to lack of resources, people could be put in danger or die because an ambulance cannot respond in a timely manner under certain scenarios.
2. Jamaican LPN embraces Baie Verte and all it has to offer (Feb. 2)
Kerrian Johnson has turned in her “ya mans” for “yes b’ys,” and that is just fine with her.
The licensed practical nurse (LPN) at the Baie Verte Peninsula Health Centre from Jamaica came to town in October 2015 to make a pair of dreams come true. The first was to work in the health care profession. The second was to come to Canada.
3. Daughter in B.C. struggled with impact fire at Baie Verte home had on her father (April 13)
Residents of Baie View Manor, and their families, were stressed and upset dealing with the fallout of the fire that flattened their home on April 6, but they realized there was still much to be thankful for.
Their personal care home on Home Street was all but destroyed, as were many of their prized possessions and life-long treasures. However, the 21 residents at the Manor were in the eating area for supper when the alarm rang out.
They were quickly evacuated, even before signs of the eventual inferno that would engulf the large building became evident.
4. Jason Skinner’s family devastated by what they feel is lenient sentencing for his killer (May 25)
Years of struggling to deal with the killing of their family member, the extended Skinner family was devastated again last week because of what they believe is a lenient sentencing for one of his killers.
Pamela Pike, who stabbed Harbour Round native Jason Skinner to death in Grand Falls-Windsor in 2013, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison last week.
With time already served, she now has five years left to serve of that sentence. In a video-recorded message shared by the family, Skinner’s father (Melvin) - for the first time publicly - spoke about the loss of his son and the sentence that was imposed upon Pike.
5. King’s Point artist named Tourism Ambassador of the Year (June 1)
David Hayashida is Adventure Central Newfoundland’s Tourism Ambassador of the Year.
The Pinnacle: Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award “recognizes an individual or organization who gives selflessly of their time and energy to champion the interests of this industry.” Hayashida, co-owner of King’s Point Pottery: Newfoundland Craft Shop and Gallery, is honoured to take the title.
6. Jordan Hillyard: Springdale’s superhero (June 15)
Jordan Hillyard claims to want to be a superhero when he grows up. Thanks to perhaps some unexplainable powers, he still has that chance. Like some of the superheroes he worships, he does have a weakness to his armour - a kryptonite, so to speak. He is an asthmatic, something he has struggled with throughout his short life.
7. Desperate fishers get stuck in ice off La Scie (June 15)
Baie Verte crab fisher Lawson (Lot) Sacrey felt helpless as he watched five men abandon their sinking boat off the coast of La Scie. The men, who abandoned their boat in the pack ice June 7, were picked up by a search and rescue helicopter and crew shortly afterwards.
8. Philpott ready to lead Baie Verte as newest mayor (Oct. 5) and Springdale’s new mayor all about the team (Oct. 12)
— Brandon Philpott (left) entered municipal politics in Baie Verte part way through last term knowing full well he would put everything he had into the role. As a rookie politician, he knew little of what to expect. He certainly didn't anticipate becoming the next mayor.
— Like he’s lived his life, Dave Edison plans to bring a team approach to the mayoral seat in Springdale.
9. Bouzane family stands strong 10 years after death of their son in Afghanistan
It has been 10 long years since a small family from a tiny Newfoundland and Labrador community received word that their only son and brother, Cpl. Stephen Bouzane, was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb. The Bouzanes are doing “OK” now, says the father of that family from Little Bay — a small Green Bay town located in Notre Dame Bay.
10. Longing for the Island (Nov. 30)
A recent trip to the town of Lushes Bight-Beaumont-Beaumont North revealed the uniqueness and beauty on Long Island found in Notre Dame Bay. Here is a chance to meet some of the warm and friendly people who make up the population and get a glimpse into their lives.