The Compass - - Front Page -

Each year, we’ll come across sto­ries they may not have a di­rect im­pact on lots of peo­ple, but still man­age to cap­ture the at­ten­tion of many.

Whether it’s re­gard­ing a per­sonal achievement, a good deed for oth­ers, or an un­ex­pected loss, these sto­ries find a way to draw in readers.

For this fea­ture high­light­ing sto­ries that touched readers in 2017, we re­lied on web traf­fic data.

1. Har­bour Grace cou­ple liv­ing with­out power for over a year: The story of Tammy Whalen and her part­ner Richard For­ward grabbed the at­ten­tion of thou­sands of readers. The cou­ple was sur­viv­ing with­out power at their home in Har­bour Grace for over a year, en­gaged in a dis­pute that in­volved New­found­land Power and the Town of Har­bour Grace.

2. Emo­tional scene as Har­bour Grace Re­gatta re­mem­bers Jen­nifer Kelsey: The un­ex­pected death of rower and coxswain Jen­nifer Kelsey shortly be­fore the Har­bour Grace Re­gatta was sched­uled to get un­der­way hit a lot of peo­ple in the area hard. Re­gatta or­ga­niz­ers took time dur­ing the event to pay trib­ute to Kelsey in a cer­e­mony that in­volved crews she was sched­uled to cox and her fam­ily.

3. C.B.N. hockey com­mu­nity mourns loss of Val Slaney: The day be­fore he died, Val Slaney was out on the soc­cer field in Har­bour Grace help­ing out with the big fi­nale of the Har­bour Grace Ocean En­ter­prises CeeBee Stars Chase the Ace game. Mem­bers of the lo­cal hockey com­mu­nity im­me­di­ately felt the im­pact of his death. Val was also the dad of CeeBees cap­tain Robert Slaney and a for­mer Up­per Island Cove town coun­cil­lor.

4. Dead po­lar bear washes up in Bris­tol’s Hope: An un­usual dis­cov­ery was made along the shore­line of Bris­tol’s Hope in June. Mem­bers of the wildlife divi­sion of the Depart­ment of Fish­eries, Forestry and Agri­foods ar­rived shortly after lo­cal res­i­dent Ann Ped­dle in­formed them about the dead bear, which was re­moved with help from her hus­band, Ch­es­ley.

5. North River res­i­dent ac­cepted into dream pro­gram: Erin Mackey was all smiles about the prospect of leav­ing home in the fall of 2017 to move to Mon­treal. That’s be­cause the North River na­tive was ac­cepted to the National The­atre School. A per­former since the age of three and vet­eran of lo­cal the­atre pro­duc­tions, Mackey told the Com­pass this was some­thing she’s dreamed of for years.

6. Bay Roberts woman pays it for­ward with wedding dress: Kim French’s plans to wear her wedding dress ul­ti­mately fell through, but she didn’t want to let it go to waste. So, the Bay Roberts woman de­cided to post an ad on Ki­jiji look­ing for some­one in need who could make good use of the dress, which she orig­i­nally pur­chased for $2,000.

7. Holy Redeemer stu­dent sur­prised with award-win­ning an­nounce­ment: Cara Cal­la­han didn’t know what was go­ing on when, in the mid­dle of a school band practice, the Grade 9 stu­dent from Holy Redeemer El­e­men­tary was told she’d won a NUFSICISUM Youth Lead­er­ship Award. “I’m over the moon ex­cited right now,” she told the Com­pass shortly after learn­ing she was one of six win­ners for the award, mak­ing her a Youth4Mu­sic Am­bas­sador.

8. Re­becca Babb’s daugh­ter makes noise at national level: Har­bour Grace sib­lings Re­becca and Josh Babb had quite the run to­gether as com­pet­i­tive ice dance skaters in the 1990s, win­ning a national junior ti­tle in 1998. Now her daugh­ter is fol­low­ing in mom’s foot­steps, and hav­ing some suc­cess at the national level as well.

9. Shearstown actor Evan Mercer nom­i­nated for Cana­dian Screen Award: Evan Mercer of Shearstown made an im­pres­sion in the fea­ture-length film “River­head,” so much so that he earned a Cana­dian Screen Award nom­i­na­tion for best sup­port­ing actor. Pri­mar­ily a the­atre actor, Mercer thought ev­ery­one did great in the film, which was par­tially shot in the Con­cep­tion Bay North area, but he was sur­prised to be sin­gled out.

10. Car­bon­ear hos­pi­tal staff ex­ceeds ex­pec­ta­tions with po­lar dip: Look­ing for a fun way to reach out and help the com­mu­ni­ties they served, staff from Car­bon­ear Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency room de­cided to take part in a po­lar dip at Sal­mon Cove Sands last Fe­bru­ary. The ul­ti­mate re­sult ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions, with over $7,000 split be­tween food banks in Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear.


Tammy Whalen and Richard For­ward were in a bat­tle with New­found­land Power and the Town of Har­bour Grace over the lack of elec­tri­cal ser­vice to their home on Har­vey Street.

Cara Cal­la­han didn’t know what was hap­pen­ing when she was un­ex­pect­edly pre­sented with a youth lead­er­ship award at Holy Redeemer El­e­men­tary in Spa­niard’s Bay last May.

Emer­gency room staff from Car­bon­ear Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal took a frosty dip in the ocean at Sal­mon Cove Sands for a good cause.

A dead po­lar bear that washed up along the shore in Bris­tol’s Hope proved to be sad news in June.

This photo of Jen­nifer Kelsey with her jersey draped over the side was on dis­play for the 2017 Har­bour Grace Re­gatta. The Bris­tol’s Hope na­tive, a rower and coxswain, died shortly be­fore the event.

Readers were in­stantly drawn to the story of Kim French, a Bay Roberts woman who de­cided to donate her un­used wedding dress to a per­son in need.


A story about the fig­ure skat­ing suc­cess of Re­becca Babb’s daugh­ter touched a lot of readers, given the Har­bour Grace na­tive had quite the ca­reer her­self on ice.


Evan Mercer of Shearstown re­ceived national ac­co­lades in 2017 for his per­for­mance in the fea­ture­length film “River­head,” earn­ing a best sup­port­ing actor nom­i­na­tion for the Cana­dian Screen Awards.

The death of hockey vol­un­teer Val Slaney in 2017 at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion.

Erin Mackey of North River re­al­ized a per­sonal dream in 2017 with her ac­cep­tance into the National The­atre School.

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