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Goodbye 2017: The year’s top stories at

Top story - An armed robbery of the RBC branch in Drayton was one of the Wellington Advertiser’s top news stories of 2017.  Advertiser file photo

Goodbye 2017: The year’s top stories at

by Olivia Rutt

WELLINGTON CTY. - At this time last year, the Wellington Advertiser noted that 2016 was regarded by some popular culture pundits as one of the worst years ever.

By those standards, some are calling this year one that should also be forgotten.

In 2017, it seemed never-ending bad news, from conflicts to natural disasters, seemed to just roll on throughout the year.

While most of the Advertiser’s top news stories from 2017 did reflect the “negative” side of news, its top story shows just how much readers also enjoy more heartwarming and “good news” stories.  

The following is a summary of the articles that received the most page views on the Advertiser’s website over the past 12 months.

Top five stories of 2017

1. Rockwood women offer co-living alternative (May 19).

Four Rockwood women over the age of 55 came up with the idea of co-living in their retirement years. The goal is for six people to co-own a house together, theoretically splitting the cost of the mortgage, maintenance and utilities by six. The Advertiser received many positive comments, stating this was a “wonderful idea.”

2. UPDATE: Police say two people caught on camera are not suspicious fire suspects (July 28).

With about 30 fires in Wellington County labeled “suspicious” by police in 2016-17, residents were eager for any news that would lead to an arrest of a suspect or suspects. In July, police released a photo asking for the public’s help in identifying two teenage boys caught on surveillance camera at the site of a suspicious fire. After nearly 700 engagements on the Advertiser’s twitter account alone, police then stated the pair was not suspected of setting the fire.

3. RBC Branch in Drayton allegedly robbed at gunpoint (Aug. 4).

It’s understandable that an armed bank robbery was one of the top stories, as it doesn’t happen often in Wellington County. On Aug. 1, OPP responded to a report of a robbery at the RBC branch in Drayton. The male suspect was wearing a disguise and stole and undetermined amount of cash. About a week later, two suspects, Duane Jeffery Martin, 45, of Brampton, and Taylor Brum, 19, of Brampton, were charged in connection with the robbery.

4. End of Fergus Truck Show marks ‘a very sad day for the community’ (Feb. 10).

After 31 years as one of the most popular events in Wellington County,  Fergus Truck Show organizers announced in February it would no longer continue. Citing a number of reasons, including rising costs, declining attendance, declining support from volunteers and sponsors, and a shrinking number of volunteer board members, officials thanked everyone for the last three decades.

5. House destroyed by fire; fire officials worried about whereabouts of residents (Jan. 20).

After an overnight house fire in January, Erin Fire Chief Dan Callaghan said the department was worried about the whereabouts of the residents. The structure, located in a rural area in Erin, was already destroyed when firefighters arrived. Police announced two days later that unidentified human remains found at the scene were sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for analysis. Results were never released.

Top stories by category

The following is a list of the Advertiser’s top online stories for each category on its website. They can be viewed by searching the title at

Sports: River Bug proposal endorsed by council (June 9).

Arts: Fergus pianist to perform at Invictus Games in Toronto (Sept. 15).

Rural: Breakfast on the Farm will provide fresh perspective on agriculture (June 16).

Top stories by month

The following is a list of the Advertiser’s top online stories for each month.

January: House destroyed by fire; officials worried about whereabouts of residents.

February: End of Fergus Truck Show marks ‘a very sad day for the community.’

March: Woman found dead on Fergus street.

April: Linton: building empty, Elora spa has ‘left town.’

May: Rockwood women offer co-living alternative.

June: Man falls into Elora Gorge, taken by air ambulance to Toronto hospital.

July: UPDATE: Police say two people caught on camera are not suspicious fire suspects.

August: RBC branch in Drayton allegedly robbed at gunpoint.

September: Arthur boy honoured as hero.

October: Guelph-Eramosa man charged in connection to suspicious fires.

November: Driver killed in crash, OPP investigating.

December: Elora woman in ‘grave’ condition after crash; driver faces impaired charges.

For more information or to view the full articles, search the titles on the homepage at

December 29, 2017


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Wellington North Guide 2017-2018

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