Here are the top 10 most-read stories that made headlines online in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region in 2019.
A 50-year-old man died following a violent incident in downtown Parksville on Thursday, Nov. 14. Oceanside RCMP confirmed the man was airlifted to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and succumbed to self-inflicted injuries.
BREAKING: Incident downtown #Parksville causes an individual to be airlifted to hospital by @BCAmbulance Thursday afternoon. RCMP say investigation is ongoing, no danger to the public, media release to come tomorrow. @ParksvilleNews pic.twitter.com/5R2jZ6SKeG
— Emily Vance (@Emily__Vance) November 15, 2019
A teenage girl, Sara Picard, intervened in a dispute between the man and a woman. After Picard ran over to pull the man off the woman, he pulled out a knife and stabbed himself in the chest. Picard was later recognized as a hero by the city of Parksville and given an award for bravery.
A 32-year-old Parksville man was struck and killed by a vehicle in the early hours of Saturday, Aug. 24, according to Oceanside RCMP. The man, later identified as Spencer Moore, was struck by a driver in the 200 block of Hirst Avenue. Police later seized a black Ford F-250 in relation to the crime. At the time of publication, the case is in front of provincial prosecuting attorneys.
An Ontario man, Doug Bradley, and five American friends went searching for a man named Dave from Vancouver Island whom they had spent time with in Europe in 1969. The group of travellers met in Germany, and gathered to watch the moon landing together on the floor of the U.S. embassy outside of Bonn, Germany.
Thanks to press coverage and the power of social media, Bradley was successful in locating Dave Tryon two days after publication. The group of seven former travelling buddies reunited in California in early June.
Founder of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and former director of RDN Area G (French Creek) Clarke Gourlay died in a mountaineering accident on Saturday, June 29 in Strathcona Park. Gourlay was an avid hiker who fell from “quite a distance” from Mount Donner, according to his wife of nearly 30 years, Nancy Gourlay.
Rusted Rake Farm Eatery in Nanoose Bay closed its doors after the Agricultural Land Commission rejected its application for non-farm use of their ALR property in early September.
Popular farm to table eatery #RustedRake Farm closes its doors today after the #ALC deemed its operation "non-farm use." The restaurant has been packed all day with customers and friends expressing their support and disappointment. @ParksvilleNews #bcpoli #alr #vanisle pic.twitter.com/sCfEkex9JX
— Emily Vance (@Emily__Vance) September 8, 2019
The popular eatery, which served a variety of farm-to-table cuisine, served up its final dishes on Saturday, Sept. 8.
A home surveillance camera in the neighbourhood of Parksville’s Foster Park caught a cougar roaming in a driveway in the early morning of Saturday, March 16. A nearby resident expressed concern for children and pets in the neighbourhood. The article drew plenty of commentary from readers concerned with the safety of both people, small animals and the cougar itself.
The Oceanside RCMP put out a call for the public’s help in finding a missing Parksville woman. Tracy Kelly, 39, was reported missing after last being seen on Jan. 23. On Feb. 14, it was reported that Kelly was found safe.
A map was made by the Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers (OCSV) that pinpoints all the locations of current and previous property crime in Parksville-Qualicum Beach. The map is colour-coded with different pins – green for crimes on the current crime watch report, yellow for the previous report, and red for incidents three weeks or older. Check out the map here.
A Parksville senior on a motorized scooter got stuck in the snow on Sunday, Feb. 10, and got a tow home from a Good Samaritan driving a Jeep. PQB News reporter Michael Briones was on scene, and drove behind the senior while the Jeep towed him safely to his front door a few blocks away.
A fire at Parksville’s River Green Resort that sparked on June 6 burned a building to the ground and was attended by firefighters from multiple departments, including Parksville Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire crews wrap up early Friday morning after huge blaze at Parksville’s River Green Resort. pic.twitter.com/8WIR2tPsL3
— Philip Wolf (@philipwolf13) June 7, 2019
Crews were able to contain the blaze to one building, and an investigation later uncovered that the fire was a result of flammable gas combusting while being used to extract oil from cannabis.