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The Compass' top news stories of 2016: Part 2

The Quinlan Brothers fish plant fire in Bay de Verde was The Compass' top news story of 2016.
The Quinlan Brothers fish plant fire in Bay de Verde was The Compass' top news story of 2016.

There's was no shortage of major news events to cover last year in the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region.

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. We present today entry numbers five all the way down to one.

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. We present today entry numbers five all the way down to one.

Allan Potter, left, and Daniel Leonard, right, are accused of murdering North River resident Dale Porter.

5. Arrests made in 2014 murder: For more than two years, people waited for police to make an arrest in the mysterious murder of North River resident Dale Porter. In late September, RCMP arrested two suspects with ties to an outlaw motorcycle gang. Their case returns to court Feb. 17.

SEE RELATED:

‘Second accused killer of Dale Porter appears in court’

'10 men with biker gang affiliations arrested'

‘Tense scene as crowd confronts man accused of killing Dale Porter’

'Arrest made in 2014 Dale Porter murder'

Family and friends of the late Hannah Thorne held pictures of the girl outside the courthouse in Harbour Grace.

4 (tie). New Harbour teen killed in crash: The tragic death of 18-year-old Hannah Thorne in a two-vehicle accident will likely remain in the news for months to come. Just over two months after her death in July, two men were charged with street racing causing death. Steven Mercer and Brian King entered not guilty pleas through their lawyers on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.

SEE RELATED:

‘Co-accused in death of New Harbour teen Hannah Thorne plead not guilty’

‘Advocacy group to ‘S.T.A.N.D.’ for Hannah Thorne’

‘Alleged street racer in fatal crash Brian King denied bail’

'Street racers accused of causing girl's death appear in court'

'Fatal accident on New Harbour Barrens'

Thousands of people came to Bay de Verde each week for the Chase the Ace game of chance.

4 (tie). Bay de Verde Chase the Ace: Assumption Parish of Bay de Verde couldn’t have imagined how fruitful its Chase the Ace fundraiser would turn out to be. Week after week, the coveted ace remained in the deck. Down to three cards by late September, a group of 10 from the Conception Bay South area finally managed to claim the massive $733,000 prize.

SEE RELATED:

‘Ace captured in Bay de Verde’

‘Thousands chase the ace in Bay de Verde’

Brenda Seymour (right) talks to supporters in Spaniard's Bay in winter 2016.

3. Spaniard’s Bay firefighters resign: More than half of Spaniard’s Bay’s volunteer firefighters resigned at a council meeting last January to show support for Sheri Collins, council’s liaison to the department who resigned at the same meeting. Earlier that day, Coun. Brenda Seymour gave an interview to CBC alleging harassment within the fire department. Protests ensued, the Bay de Grave fire chief was demoted, and Bay Roberts provided temporary fire protection services until new firefighters in Spaniard’s Bay were trained and ready to fill out the local brigade. Council is set to vote on a harassment policy early in the New Year.

SEE RELATED:

‘Spaniard’s Bay orders fire department review’

‘Spaniard’s Bay ready to move forward’

‘Bay Roberts brigade responds to first fire call in Spaniard’s Bay’

'Spaniard's Bay restaffs fire department'

‘Town apologizes to Seymour; seeks applicants to rebuild fire brigade’

'Trainer who played porn video replaced as fire chief'

'Hundreds attend rally in support of former Spaniard's Bay firefighters'

'Spaniard's Bay left without fire department'

Quinn Butt

2. Quinn Butt murder case: The call to respond to a fire on Hayden Heights in Carbonear proved to be a particularly hard one last April. The discovery inside triggered a chain of events leading to a charge of first-degree murder against Trent Spencer Butt in the death of his five-year-old daughter Quinn. The girl’s death shocked people across the province. A preliminary inquiry is scheduled to begin later this month at Harbour Grace Provincial Court.

SEE RELATED:

‘Preliminary inquiry into Quinn Butt death moved to January’

‘Quinn’s Place opens’

‘Father accused of murdering Quinn Butt appears in court’

‘Carbonear firefighters coping well: chief’

‘The hardest week’

‘Thousands turn out to celebrate life of Quinn Butt’

‘Carbonear father charged with murder to appear in court next month’

‘Police holding tragic scene in Carbonear’

Quinlan Brothers officials and Bay de Verde council members assess the damage to the fish plant.

1. Bay de Verde fish plant fire: April 11, 2016 will be a memorable date for years to come in the Trinity Bay community of Bay de Verde. The Quinlan Brothers plant was destroyed that day by a massive fire. Coming at a particularly awkward time given it was the start of the fishing season, the company managed to make temporary arrangements for most of its plant workers. Remarkably, Quinlan Brothers expects to have a new plant ready to operate this spring.

SEE RELATED:

‘Feds commit $13 million to Bay de Verde harbour upgrades’

'Quinlan Brothers ready to rebuild in Bay de Verde'

'Displaced Bay de Verde plant workers finding shifts elsewhere'

'Mayor optimistic about Quinlan Brothers' future in Bay de Verde'

‘Fish plant fire worries store owners’

‘Sleepless night for Bay de Verde fire chief’

'A big loss for Bay de Verde'

Grace Centre recreational therapy specialist Tara Power, left, and programming manager Cindy Clarke show off the room at the new facility where clients will be able to work with plants or paint as part of their recovery process.

Honourable mentions

Addictions treatment centre officially opens in Harbour Grace

Turmoil in Cupids as mayor, multiple councillors resign

Harbour Grace town manager guilty of fraud

LPN pleads guilty to stealing methadone from Carbonear hospital

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