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YEAR IN REVIEW: Touching stories of 2017

Tammy Whalen placed this sign on her front door following issues regarding unpaid bills.
Tammy Whalen placed this sign on her front door following issues regarding unpaid bills. - Chris Lewis

Each year, we'll come across stories they may not have a direct impact on lots of people, but still manage to capture the attention of many.

Whether it's regarding a personal achievement, a good deed for others, or an unexpected loss, these stories find a way to draw in readers.

For this feature highlighting stories that touched readers in 2017, we relied on web traffic data.

1. Harbour Grace couple living without power for over a year: The story of Tammy Whalen and her partner Richard Forward grabbed the attention of thousands of readers. The couple was surviving without power at their home in Harbour Grace for over a year, engaged in a dispute that involved Newfoundland Power and the Town of Harbour Grace.

Sheena Martin, a member of the Bella Photography and Beauty boat, hugs Jennifer Kelsey's brother Brian after presenting him with his sister's jersey at the Harbour Grace Regatta on behalf of the team. Jennifer, right, died suddenly July 19, 2017 at the age of 37.
Sheena Martin, a member of the Bella Photography and Beauty boat, hugs Jennifer Kelsey's brother Brian after presenting him with his sister's jersey at the Harbour Grace Regatta on behalf of the team. Jennifer, right, died suddenly July 19, 2017 at the age of 37.

2. Emotional scene as Harbour Grace Regatta remembers Jennifer Kelsey: The unexpected death of rower and coxswain Jennifer Kelsey shortly before the Harbour Grace Regatta was scheduled to get underway hit a lot of people in the area hard. Regatta organizers took time during the event to pay tribute to Kelsey in a ceremony that involved crews she was scheduled to cox and her family.

The death of hockey volunteer Val Slaney in 2017 attracted a lot of attention.
The death of hockey volunteer Val Slaney in 2017 attracted a lot of attention.

3. C.B.N. hockey community mourns loss of Val Slaney: The day before he died, Val Slaney was out on the soccer field in Harbour Grace helping out with the big finale of the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars Chase the Ace game. Members of the local hockey community immediately felt the impact of his death. Val was also the dad of CeeBees captain Robert Slaney and a former Upper Island Cove town councillor.

A dead polar bear that washed up along the shore in Bristol's Hope proved to be sad news in June.
A dead polar bear that washed up along the shore in Bristol's Hope proved to be sad news in June.

4. Dead polar bear washes up in Bristol's Hope: An unusual discovery was made along the shoreline of Bristol's Hope in June. Members of the wildlife division of the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods arrived shortly after local resident Ann Peddle informed them about the dead bear, which was removed with help from her husband, Chesley.

Erin Mackey of North River realized a personal dream in 2017 with her acceptance into the National Theatre School.
Erin Mackey of North River realized a personal dream in 2017 with her acceptance into the National Theatre School.

5. North River resident accepted into dream program: Erin Mackey was all smiles about the prospect of leaving home in the fall of 2017 to move to Montreal. That's because the North River native was accepted to the National Theatre School. A performer since the age of three and veteran of local theatre productions, Mackey told the Compass this was something she's dreamed of for years.

Readers were instantly drawn to the story of Kim French, a Bay Roberts woman who decided to donate her unused wedding dress to a person in need.
Readers were instantly drawn to the story of Kim French, a Bay Roberts woman who decided to donate her unused wedding dress to a person in need.

6. Bay Roberts woman pays it forward with wedding dress: Kim French's plans to wear her wedding dress ultimately fell through, but she didn't want to let it go to waste. So, the Bay Roberts woman decided to post an ad on Kijiji looking for someone in need who could make good use of the dress, which she originally purchased for $2,000.

Cara Callahan didn't know what was happening when she was unexpectedly presented with a youth leadership award at Holy Redeemer Elementary in Spaniard's Bay last May.
Cara Callahan didn't know what was happening when she was unexpectedly presented with a youth leadership award at Holy Redeemer Elementary in Spaniard's Bay last May.

7. Holy Redeemer student surprised with award-winning announcement: Cara Callahan didn't know what was going on when, in the middle of a school band practice, the Grade 9 student from Holy Redeemer Elementary was told she'd won a NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Award. "I'm over the moon excited right now," she told the Compass shortly after learning she was one of six winners for the award, making her a Youth4Music Ambassador.

A story about the figure skating success of Rebecca Babb's daughter touched a lot of readers, given the Harbour Grace native had quite the career herself on ice.
A story about the figure skating success of Rebecca Babb's daughter touched a lot of readers, given the Harbour Grace native had quite the career herself on ice.

8. Rebecca Babb's daughter makes noise at national level: Harbour Grace siblings Rebecca and Josh Babb had quite the run together as competitive ice dance skaters in the 1990s, winning a national junior title in 1998. Now her daughter is following in mom's footsteps, and having some success at the national level as well.

Evan Mercer of Shearstown received national accolades in 2017 for his performance in the feature-length film "Riverhead," earning a best supporting actor nomination for the Canadian Screen Awards.
Evan Mercer of Shearstown received national accolades in 2017 for his performance in the feature-length film "Riverhead," earning a best supporting actor nomination for the Canadian Screen Awards.

9. Shearstown actor Evan Mercer nominated for Canadian Screen Award: Evan Mercer of Shearstown made an impression in the feature-length film "Riverhead," so much so that he earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for best supporting actor. Primarily a theatre actor, Mercer thought everyone did great in the film, which was partially shot in the Conception Bay North area, but he was surprised to be singled out.

Emergency room staff from Carbonear General Hospital took a frosty dip in the ocean at Salmon Cove Sands for a good cause.
Emergency room staff from Carbonear General Hospital took a frosty dip in the ocean at Salmon Cove Sands for a good cause.

10. Carbonear hospital staff exceeds expectations with polar dip: Looking for a fun way to reach out and help the communities they served, staff from Carbonear General Hospital's emergency room decided to take part in a polar dip at Salmon Cove Sands last February. The ultimate result exceeded expectations, with over $7,000 split between food banks in Bay Roberts and Carbonear.

Honourable mentions:

Spaniard's Bay softball player cries foul over tournament's gender divide

Tiffany Butt wins $193,290 Chase the Ace jackpot in Harbour Grace

Father-son duo, German shepherd help find dog missing for one week

Crime Stoppers NL announces finalists for police and peace officer of the year

SEE RELATED: Harbour Grace officer likes having a community presence

Trent Butt's house torn down in Carbonear

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