In this day and age, looking back on the year that was 2015 wouldn’t be complete without an examination of what people were talking about online.
In our community, based on our own numbers from our social media platforms, here’s what got people talking over the course of the year:
In early February, Campbell River RCMP investigated the theft of a City of Campbell River Fire and Rescue vehicle that was stolen while it was blocking Simms Road with its emergency lights flashing to keep traffic out of the area while crews battled a house fire. The vehicle was later found by RCMP in the Comox Valley, undamaged.
In March, the Campbell River Storm brought home the VIJHL championship for the first time in 11 years with a four-game sweep of the Victoria Cougars. The team was a dominant force during the 2014-15 season, amassing a 51-5-1-4 record, losing only once during regulation in front of their home crowd.
Unfortunately, the celebratory tone on the Mirror’s social media platforms was short-lived, as 18-year-old Cole Anderson was killed on March 21 after slipping off a seven-metre cliff on Blackcomb Mountain, landing on an area with very little snow. Anderson had been a member of the Mt. Washington Ski Club for more than 10 years, and his tragic passing was grieved throughout the community.
That tragedy was followed by another in April when the story of missing 26-year-old Trevor Lyttle ended with his body being found by fishermen near West Thurlow Island. Lyttle had been missing since December 2014 when he was last seen leaving his parents’ home on Steelhead Road to feed some deer he saw in the nearby woods.
In May, Campbell River Search and Rescue (SAR) issues a reminder to the public to stay away from the edge of Elk Falls after photos and videos of people putting their lives at risk by venturing close to the edge began surfacing yet again. “There is no surviving that fall,” SAR manager Grant Cromer told the public, also pointing out that recovering a body from the canyon endangers SAR members, as well.
In June, the public raved about the generous donation of a $2.2-million MRI machine for the new Campbell River Hospital by the Mailman family, owners of Broadstreet Properties and Seymour Pacific Developments and longtime Campbell Riverites with a history of giving back.
Then in July, the focus turned to the wildfire situation in the province. While many places around B.C. were battling blazes, the Campbell River area was seemingly spared. When one fire, later determined to be human-caused, sparked near Echo Lake west of town, it was knocked down quickly by fire crews, but still caused a significant spike in activity on the Mirror’s Facebook page.
The biggest social media spike in August was on Aug. 12 and 13 when the RCMP and coroner’s service were investigating the discovery of two bodies in a Toyota SUV beside the Old Island Highway at Engels Road. The coroner later identified the deceased as Roy Richard Stotz, 54, and Elvira Tagieva, 24, of Campbell River. Foul play was ruled out, but a cause of death was never released.
On Sept. 8, another spike in social media traffic can be attributed to the photos we received from the scene of a logging truck that had rolled over on the Inland Island Highway between Hamm Road and Dove Creek Road, spilling its load and making a terrible mess, but, thankfully, no injuries were reported from the event.
In mid-October, Mirror editor Alistair Taylor attended another heartwarming event which caused a stir online upon its publication. “OPERATION: Get Grannie to the Bridge” celebrated the efforts of Dorothy Goodwin’s friends and family, along with members of Campbell River SAR, to get the 94-year-old to the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge for her birthday.
Our Facebook page went nuts again, as it always seems to do, in early December, when the rains moved in and flooded downtown during high tide.
The combination of the pictures from our own staff and the community at large made Dec. 3 a big day of activity online. A video by Kristen Douglas of the carollers who came to our office got people talking that day, as well, along with the news that the Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper Fund was having trouble acquiring donations.
What’s going to cause an online stir in 2016?
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@CRMirror) to find out.