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In with the new, out with 2012 - the year in review

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
January 4th, 2013

As we enter the New Year it is always the time to reflect on the past 12 months and those who touched our lives. While the happenings of the Boundary region don’t really compare on the scale of surviving the end of the world, we certainly had our share of excitement in 2012.

As in most end-of-the-year columns, we can look at the machinations of the year in the area, but we also get the chance to note the changes brought on in the face of our challenges and victories. Have we grown as a community this year? Did we welcome new ideas and celebrate our citizens? Did we join together in challenging situations to help our neighbours? As we look back over the top stories from the year, perhaps you are better situated to answer these questions. This is the year in review based on the stories most read by you, our readers.

The Boundary region celebrated the awarding of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals to four volunteers: Deb Billwiller, James McMynn, Marj Maclean, and Marjean Fichtenberg; the opening of the first of its kind Habitat for Humanity seven-plex for adults with disabilities; welcomed the arrival of the mobile abattoir unit supporting agriculture; and got ready to challenge the school system with a new middle school design.

Christina Lake welcomed new owners for their local pub; encouraged the development of an eco-village; and partied when they discovered just the right milfoil weevils in the lake. But this year also saw great loss for the small community as a freak windstorm took the life of young Richard Fehr at Pines Bible Camp and a river tragedy, a few weeks later, took the lives of Ron and Jackie Legare.

Although deer continue to plague the City of Grand Forks, this was surprisingly not their number one story of the year. The fire that took the Grand Forks Hotel nears the top of the list, followed by the announcement of the demolition of the last standing heritage hotel in the city – the Winnepeg. A woman found on the road with a gunshot wound, and a bomb scare topped the crime list; while sinkholes in slag and granite mining up the North Fork drew the community’s attention with environmental concerns.

Shortly after Greenwood’s water took gold in the Berkley Springs International competition, the news that their reservoir had been tampered with hit the airwaves. Locals also raised the alarm about the loss of Marshall Lake water levels as the province decided to proceed with draining the dam in anticipation of removing a dam that was identified as “high risk.”

The Premier of B.C. visited the Village of Midway, complementing them on their successful recovery with the new mill operation. Locals also lost a lot of weight during the year thanks to a Village on a Diet. While the village is often quite quiet, fire bombs rocked the RCMP detachment when a local took revenge.

Provincial action also hits close to home and this year was no exception. The marijuana debate reopened on a grand scale challenging our provincial leaders to find a way to deregulate. The Greyhound bus services dropped some runs into the region, and the teacher’s strike hit very close interrupting school services.

Here’s to a new year filled with the joys that shape our communities – Happy New Year!