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2014-01-01 at 10:43

2013’s most read

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Here is our final list of the top stories of 2013.

Unlike the lists we’ve published before, this one had nothing to do with the editorial staff of Instead of going through old headlines and stories and then using our news judgement, the most read list is exactly what it sounds like -- a list of the most read stories of 2013.

And now, here are the stories that had your attention in 2013.

10. Costco Anyone? The city’s mayor was becoming frustrated with the number of people he believes flee this town to shop in the U.S.  That frustration led to a Facebook post he openly wished for, among other things, the city to land a deal with Costco. The mayor was swiftly met with cheers of support, and roars of scepticism.

9. Wolf attack. Tyler Allen took his boxer, Marshal, out for a walk in the field behind his house, which is near Kakabeka and Stanley, in May. The 16-year-old took Marshal off leash and let him run off ahead. He laid down to enjoy the sunny day when he said he heard a noise.

“I came over the hill and there were five wolves surrounding him and another three or four up on the hill,” he said. “I grabbed a nearby stick. The biggest one was maybe 20 feet away from me and he started walking towards me. He got pretty close to me and I swung at him. He then decided to turn around. I didn’t really think much at first. I just kind of did it. After it happened, it kind of set in and started to sink in. I’m a little uneasy.”

The seven-year-old boxer would be treated by a vet and the expectations were for a full recovery. But that didn’t stop the 16-year-old boy’s fight to protect his canine friend from becoming one of the year’s most read stories.

8. Fuel frustration: Rumours of a gas shortage, combined with confirmation that there was a bottleneck in the local and regional gasoline supply chain, had people talking just before Christmas. While many were sceptical a serious gasoline shortage was looming, the thought of such a situation had many residents rushing to the pumps. That did result in many gas bars running out of fuel.

7. Gas leak evacuation: When construction crews working on the city’s northside struck a gas line, the leak led to the evacuation of an entire neighbourhood. Thunder Bay Police Service officers and Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue firefighters evacuated people away from the site of a gas leak on Red River Road, near Rupert Street, on a June morning. Roads near the gas leak, including Rupert, Elizabeth, High and Beresford Streets were closed off to traffic as a result of the leak.

6. Tragedy on the Highway: A cross-country cycling trip came to a tragic end for a married couple in late July.

Robert Booth, 65, and Irene, 69 were struck and killed by a pickup truck travelling east on Highway 11/17 near Red Rock Tuesday afternoon. The couple from North Glengarry, Ont. were part of a Cycle Canada group of around 25 cyclists travelling from Vancouver to St. John’s called Tour du Canada.

5. Declaring an Emergency: With the May 2012 flood still fresh in our minds, any heavy rainfall had area residents on edge. In May 2013, one such series of rain storms reminded us all that our nervousness was justified.

Chief Georjann Morrisseau said in late May that between 100 and 170 people, about 60 families, were set be evacuated from the community following a heavy rainfall that dropped up to 60 millimetres of precipitation on the Thunder Bay area in less than a day.

“It’s very bad,” Morrisseau said. “Many of our roads have been washed out. There is a road closure at the entrance to Chippewa Park. We’re hoping that we don’t have to see any more road closures that limit access to the First Nation and from the First Nation. “It’s pretty bad, and with the rain that going to come and downpour, we don’t know how much worse it’s going to get. So we’re all on high alert right now.”

4. The other parking police: Bad parking will always get people talking. So when David Laframboise and Kevin Cernjul used Instagram and Facebook to create Thunder Bay Park Jobs, it was an instant hit. The page featured photographs of some particularly awful attempts at parking in and around the city.

“The (page) has only been up for three or four days and people are already saying ‘I wish this group was up a long time ago’ just because of the bad parking they’ve seen around town,” Laframboise told in April. “The pictures we’ve received so far are laugh out loud horrendous. Cars are parked and blocking other cars. Even I’ve been a victim. I had to get in through my passenger-side door.”

3. Five killed in crash: It was a sad day in November when it was revealed that five people had died in a plane crash near Red Lake.

Officials with the OPP said the victims included the two pilots, a 25-year-old man from Mississauga and a 34-year-old man from Winnipeg. The deceased passengers included a 53-year-old woman a 53-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman, all from Red Lake

2. Bridge blaze: Despite its massive impact on the community, the major fire of the James Street Swing Bridge was only our second most read news story of 2013. But despite that, we believe this story will still be making headlines well into 2014.

1. Anonymous threat: The year 2013 began with a youtube video from a  group of hacktivists under the banner of Anonymous threatening to reveal embarrassing facts about the local police force. The threat came after accusations of a serious sexual assault in the city and the people behind the Anonymous threat, later known better for their Operation Thunderbird name, believed the Thunder Bay Police Service was not taking the sexual assault case serious enough.

The actual threat of revealing embarrassing information never came to fruition, but Operation Thunderbird supporters promised to continue pressuring the police force to make more progress in the sexual assault case.

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