Chelsea Wakelyn hoped a post on Facebook would help her track down the band she and her late fiancé, Kris Noesgaard, stumbled upon one late night in 2011 as the group performed in an underground parking lot in Saanich. (Photo supplied)

Chelsea Wakelyn hoped a post on Facebook would help her track down the band she and her late fiancé, Kris Noesgaard, stumbled upon one late night in 2011 as the group performed in an underground parking lot in Saanich. (Photo supplied)

Saanich’s top stories of 2019

These are the stories that resonated most with our online readers

Here are 2019’s most-read stories from saanichnews.com.

Vancouver Island woman hopes for one more dance with late fiancé

Topping the list is a story that pulled at the heartstrings of our readers.

Chelsea Wakelyn posted to Facebook, requesting help tracking down a band she and her late fiancé, Kris Noesgaard, stumbled upon one late night in 2011 as the group performed George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” in an underground parking lot in Saanich. The group was filming the performance and Wakelyn, who’s tried several times to seek out the footage on her own, hoped to find the video.

“I remember at least thinking and probably said out loud, ‘Is this real life that we stumbled upon a band in the middle of the night playing in an empty, underground parking lot?’ I imagine if there is any audio or video, it would probably have captured our disbelief and delight,” she said. “It was such a magical thing, really.”

Noesgaard died in 2015, and the memory has since gained new importance for Wakelyn.

“I never would have suspected that it would come to have this kind of meaning that it does to me,” she said.

Saanich school grapples with death of 13-year-old

The community came together to mourn the death of a 13-year-old Saanich student, who died after being struck by a tree while on a field trip near Sooke.

Two Grade 8 Lansdowne Middle School students were injured, the other received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

“It’s an incredibly tragic event,” said Shelley Green, School District 61 superintendent. “We certainly extend our condolences to the family, and [we] want to let them know that our hearts are with them.”

Green said the incident remains raw but added that the school would launch a full investigation to find out what happened. With one week left in the school year, the focus remained on supporting the family and the school community at large.

Life in prison for killer of young Saanich couple murdered in 1987

A conviction in a 32-year-old cold case brought some closure for local residents.

A Snohomish County judge sentenced William Talbott II to life in prison without parole for murdering a young Saanich couple in 1987.

Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg’s killer evaded capture for three decades, until DNA revealed a suspect through his family tree, in what was a pioneering investigation.

The pair were killed on an overnight trip from Greater Victoria to south Seattle. Baffling gaps remain in the timelines of the killings. Cook, 20, was found dead under a bridge south of Monroe while Van Cuylenborg, 18, was found in rural Skagit County.

A long-awaited break came in 2018, when a private forensic lab plugged crime scene DNA — from semen on a pair of pants — into a public ancestry bank, GEDMatch. Second cousins on both sides of Talbott’s family had shared genetic profiles in the database. The suspect’s family lines intersected in the marriage of a Woodinville couple. Talbott was their only son.

Two more tests confirmed his DNA matched the semen found at the crime scene. Talbott, 56, has maintained his innocence.

B.C. set to move forward with year-round daylight saving time

A developing provincial story with far-reaching impacts also caught the attention of our readers.

The B.C. government is planning to bring in legislation to move to daylight saving time year-round, Premier John Horgan says, but when and if that takes effect still depends on what U.S. decide.

Horgan made the comment after a meeting with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver in Whitehorse back in September. The two premiers agreed that it’s important that West Coast jurisdictions stay synchronized in their time zones, and Silver said he will watch B.C.’s progress closely.

Judge deems Saanich property not a farm, orders owner to pay $400 in fines for excess noise

Rounding out the top stories of the year is a Saanich resident who was ordered to pay two $200 tickets for two days of excess noise, which one neighbour testified sounded like a “growler jet” coming from her property on Old East Road in Saanich in May 2018.

Nancy Kinney told the courts she didn’t dispute the noise complaints but stated the noise was a normal farm practice and asserted she was protected under the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act. Kinney didn’t present any evidence, nor did she testify at the hearing on Oct. 16.

The Farm Protection Act states any sound of noise caused by farming activity carried out in a reasonable manner on farmland between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. is exempt from bylaws.

Judicial Justice Hunter Gordon wrote in a judgment posted online, that there was no evidence Kinney has a farm business and ordered the payment.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Metchosin woman’s trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop is changing owners with longtime owner Odean Long transferring ownership Dec. 1 to William Matthews. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Longtime owner of Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop closes chapter with sale

Odean Long and her late husband moved the business to Sidney in 1996

Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can show their charity through Light Up the City

Drive-thru food bank and toy donation dropoff sites open up this Saturday around region

Victoria police arrested a man in a Yates Street grocery store Nov. 27 after he refused to wear a mask. (Black Press Media File photo)
Belligerent man arrested in Victoria grocery store after refusing to wear mask

Officers fined the man $230 under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

The Town of Sidney will receive $2.75 million in direct grant support from the provincial government to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A report before council Monday recommends a “cautious and measured approach” in using the funds. (Black Press Media File)
Staff suggest Sidney be cautious spending $2.75 million from province

Staff also warn of financial ‘uncertainty’ and raise prospect of tax increase

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read