On social media, I usually gently tease our dear readers for their interest in car crashes, arrests and general bad behaviour from some of our more colourful citizens.
It seems whenever we post a photo of a car accident, it immediately gets thousands of hits, while the ‘good’ news features and profiles see a fraction of that online traffic.
Well, this year … was not so different.
Our top news story from our website was Nanaimo RCMP consider public mischief charges for false abduction report. A woman claimed she was robbed and forced into a vehicle near the 7-11 on Townsite Road. Before police decided her story was fabricated, they spent endless hours and arrested five people, all who were later released.
At second spot was High-risk sex offender back on the street. Although John Ambrose Seward was released in April, he was arrested again in July for allegedly assaulting a woman in Nanaimo. He remains in police custody.
Our one (yes, one) good news story on this list is Nanaimo DJ scratching her way to the top – a profile on Nanaimo DJ Caroline Cecil, also known as Whipped Cream.
The fourth and fifth stories – City of Nanaimo issues water quality advisory and Fires blamed on discarded cigarettes, respectively – relate to the Level 4 drought the Island experienced this summer. The water quality advisory was in response to a massive rainfall increasing sediment in the city’s water supply. Hopefully, this will be one of the last boil water advisories as the new water treatment plant came online earlier this month.
An appeal from Nanaimo RCMP for information on Cristian Kaiser landed at No. 6 on our list. Police seek information on Nanaimo man missing more than two years sought tips from the public on Kaiser’s disappearance in December 2012. That case remains open but no new developments at this point.
At No. 7 was Two charged after drug bust in Nanaimo. Jay Paul Guzina and Misty Nickol Potzkai were charged with fentanyl and cocaine possession after an investigation by Nanaimo RCMP’s Street Crimes Unit. The pair’s case is still before the courts.
Shoppers at Nanaimo’s Real Canadian Superstore were offered hepatitis A vaccines in March after a cashier tested positive for the disease. Island Health urges hepatitis A vaccine for Nanaimo Superstore landed at No. 8 spot.
Readers are really good about sharing information on missing people and arrest warrants – stories such as Arrest warrant issued for Nanaimo man, which came in at No. 9. Robert McGeorge failed to check in at Nanaimo Correctional Centre where he was serving an intermittent sentence. Police eventually found him; he was found guilty of breach of probation.
And last but certainly not least: Nanaimo RCMP arrest man for allegedly stealing taxi at Departure Bay ferry terminal. In July, a passenger disembarked the noon sailing into Departure Bay, jumped into a cab and tried to drive off. He smashed into two shuttle buses, drove through a fence and came to rest on a curb. Witnesses held him down until police arrived. Leslie Brownjohn was guilty of dangerous driving and motor vehicle theft and sentenced to six months in jail and 18 months of probation.
I would’ve shared that one, too.