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The Compass' top news stories of 2016: Part 1

<p>Supporters of Whitbourne Elementary hold signs outside the local Lions Club on June 2.</p>
<p>Supporters of Whitbourne Elementary hold signs outside the local Lions Club on June 2.</p>

2016 was a remarkably busy one for major news events in the Trinity-Conception-Placenta area.

There were some happy stories scattered about, but by and large the big ones tended to revolve around tragic events and conflict.

Editor Andrew Robinson and former reporter Nicholas Mercer reviewed the biggest stories The Compass covered in 2016 and came up with this list. Below you'll find entries 10-through-six.

There were some happy stories scattered about, but by and large the big ones tended to revolve around tragic events and conflict.

Editor Andrew Robinson and former reporter Nicholas Mercer reviewed the biggest stories The Compass covered in 2016 and came up with this list. Below you'll find entries 10-through-six.

From the left, Adam Stagg, Troy Dobbin and Jennine Porter are charged with extortion and robbery in connection to an incident early Tuesday in Carbonear.

10. A date-gone-wrong in Carbonear: A man from Winterton thought he was out on a typical date one night this fall in Carbonear. But police believe he was lured as bait for an armed robbery. Four people —Adam Stagg, Troy Dobbin, Jennine Porter and a male youth who cannot be identified — face multiple charges. Stagg has pleaded not guilty.

SEE RELATED:

‘Adam Stagg pleads not guilty in date-jacking case’

‘Suspects in online date gone wrong bicker with each other in court’

'Online dating experience goes bad for Winterton man, ends in robbery'

'Carbonear group of four charged with armed robbery'

Evan Fry takes a seat prior to an appearance at St. John’s Provincial Court.

9. Judge finds Evan Fry guilty in home invasion: Evan Fry chose not to go the same route of his alleged accomplice Josh Burton, who was sentenced to over 6 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges in relation to a 2015 home invasion. Following a lengthy trial, the judge ultimately found Fry guilty. The Crown prosecutor is looking for an eight-year sentence, while Fry’s lawyer wants 30 months. A decision is due Jan. 20.

SEE RELATED:

‘Crown seeks lengthier sentence for Evan Fry than co-accused’

‘Evan Fry convicted for armed robbery, break and enter’

‘Evan Fry verdict hinges on co-accused’s testimony in home invasion case’

This is one of the first cars to cross the new Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge in Placentia.

8 (tie). New Placentia lift bridge opens: A sight that residents awaited with baited breath for years, the new lift bridge in Placentia finally came to be Sept. 23. It replaced a temperamental, aging bridge that had given the community countless troubles over the years. The final cost came in at nearly $50 million.

An RCMP officer leaves the scene of a stabbing in Bay Roberts.

8 (tie). Dollarama employee stabs woman at Bay Roberts Mall: Blood was visible just outside the main entrance of the Dollarama store at the Bay Roberts Mall in late March. Police allege Jason King, who reportedly worked at the store, stabbed a woman inside. King is charged with attempted murder. A one-day preliminary inquiry is scheduled for Jan. 23.

SEE RELATED:

‘Jason King’s lawyer to test evidence in preliminary inquiry’

'Emotional scene in court as Jason King appears'

'Spaniard's Bay man charged with attempted murder in Bay Roberts stabbing'

'Bay Roberts stabbing suspect to appear in court Wednesday'

Harbour Grace Provincial Court.

7. Harbour Grace courthouse closure: To start off 2016, Harbour Grace Provincial Court moved out of the historic courthouse and into the Babb Building. In the provincial budget, government announces the closure of multiple courts, including the one in Harbour Grace. As a result of lobbying and a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, government reversed the decision at the 11th hour in July.

SEE RELATED:

Harbour Grace court services saved at the last minute

Legal Hail Mary for Harbour Grace Court to be heard July 26

Harbour Grace pressuring government on courthouse

Harbour Grace court closure 'mind boggling': Sheriff's Officer

Harbour Grace courthouse closure about money: justice minister

Wade Smith chairs the Help Whitbourne Elementary Committee.

6. Whitbourne Elementary saga: There were too many twists and turns to keep track of for Whitbourne Elementary. First the provincial board of trustees voted to close the K-6 school. Then a legal challenge overturned that result. The trustees held another review and vote, once again electing to close. A vocal opponent of the decision runs locally for a seat on the board, is believed to be the winner, and then learns of uncounted ballots that give the victory to another candidate.

SEE RELATED:

‘Wade Smith weighs his options following school board election defeat’

‘School community ready to fight impending Whitbourne closure in court’

‘Actions on school amount to ‘vendetta against Whitbourne’: Wade Smith’

‘School closure on hold’

‘Whitbourne parent group launches court challenge to school board decision’

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