As many of our readers have discovered, the Victoria News and Black Press are about far more than the print newspaper that gets delivered to your door twice a week.
As a growing multimedia news organization, we’ve expanded our web coverage to not only give you the latest in breaking news in a timely fashion, and all of the stories you’ll find in the News’ print edition, but also a broad cross-section of news and community stories happening around the region.
That breadth of coverage is illustrated in our list of top online stories of 2017, the most read items posted to our website, vicnews.com. And it might not be what you would expect.
#1 (April 20) The death of Esquimalt High honour roll student Heather McLean at age 17 from a suspected drug overdose while using cocaine devastates her family, friends and the community. Fentanyl, which has come to be identified in so many opioid overdose deaths in B.C., is suspected in this one as well.
#2 (Dec. 9) A short letter from a Saanich resident about flu shots causing more harm than good gets fellow readers all riled up, as thousands clicked on this story to find out what all the hubbub was about.
#3 (April 25) Sooke couple Cari and Mike Comboye, who also have a five-month-old son, receive the heartbreaking diagnosis that their three-year-old son, Liam, has an inoperable brain tumour. A GoFundMe page is set up by Cari’s sister Lindsay Walper and community members from Sooke to North Saanich are helping raise money to allow the family to be together during Liam’s radiation and chemotherapy treatments in Vancouver.
#4 (June 14) The issue of a Mount Douglas Rams high school football player’s protective gear being doused with urine by teammates strikes a chord with anti-bullying advocates and team sports parents alike. The senior team is suspended for 10 days and the two students determined to be responsible suspended from school temporarily, while the victimized player in the scenario transfers to Spectrum for the 2017 fall season.
#5 (July 14) Coming in as the most viewed story as of late December was our preview coverage of the Royal B.C. Museum’s first-ever adult sleepover event. The educational and fun night included ghost stories and a chance to explore the museum after hours.
#6 (Aug. 25) Confirmation of a tragic end to a young life, that of Euarchol Wanichpan of Saanich, was a very sombre note to the late summer news coverage. The 25 year old had been reported missing in late July and her remains were found buried on the grounds of S.J. Willis Alternative School.
#7 (Aug. 1) What came to be characterized as B.C.’s worst forest fire season wasn’t centred on Vancouver Island. But the smoke from fires burning in the Interior drifted westward over us, creating a haze that lasted for a number of days. Health officials monitored the situation closely for its potential respiratory effect on the elderly and the very young.
#8 (Oct. 22) The story of Sizzling Tandoor chef Khushal Singh Rana’s fight for life after being struck by a vehicle as he walked along Gorge Road ends sadly, when the young husband and father dies in hospital. The outpouring of grief and community support for his wife, who later gave birth to twins, was and has been overwhelming. A recent check of a GoFundMe campaign set up to help the family found that more than $128,000 has been raised.
#9 (Nov. 13) While the residential construction activity in the region would have onlookers believing we are already in a real estate boom, a report from the Vancouver-based Real Estate Investment Network indicates the boom has yet to hit. Based on a set of 17 criteria, the report finds ranks the region as the fourth-best place in B.C. to put your money, stating it is in the middle to end of an economic recovery period.
#10 (Aug. 30) Local comic book dealer Chad Gaudin is trying to find a buyer for a valuable edition of Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man. The 1962 book, up for sale for $500,000, is owned by a Victoria woman who does not consider herself an avid collector. If professionally graded, Gaudin says, the comic could sell for as much as $1 million.