2012 Year in Review – Top stories from April to June

Local Walmart greeter saves man's life

Local Walmart greeter Darlene Thomas made national headlines in April when she performed CPR on a man who went into cardiac arrest. What made the story so impressive is that Thomas is a triple amputee who uses a wheelchair. She's since been nominated for national awards and has raised money for Hope Air, a charity that helps pay for flights for children with cancer to get the treatment.

Anti-oilpatch activist Wiebo Ludwig dies of cancer

After being diagnosed with esophegeal cancer in 2011, Wiebo Ludwig, a polarizing figure in the debate over the oil and gas industry, passed away in April. His son Josh said he died at home surrounded by his loved ones. Ludwig always maintained that his farm animals and relatives were made sick by sour gas wells that went up near his property in northern Alberta.

No justice for Fort St. John victims

After a not guilty decision for four of the five men accused in the Beatton River assault, and the acquittal of Andre Paul Dupas in the 2010 murder of Josh Lequiere within a week of each other in May, many residents were left questioning the effectiveness of local courtrooms. Both decisions were based on inconclusive evidence and unreliable witnesses.

New hospital opens in Fort St. John, without helipad

The new Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care project officially opened on June 21, after construction began back in 2009. The new facility has 55 acute care beds, and an expanded birthing centre, as well as 124 beds in the Peace Villa residential care facility. However, it does not have a helipad, despite much public concern. Northern Health says a review process has been initiated.

Push to get WestJet in Fort St. John

After Fort St. John was named as a target for expansion by CEO Gregg Saretsky, the pressure was on to try and get WestJet to start its regional airline in the Energetic City. In June, a team of city councillors and business owners headed to Calgary to try and pursuade the airline to bring their service to the North Peace Airport. Playing off a comment made to Mayor Lori Ackerman by John MacLeod, Vice-President of Network Management and Alliances for WestJet, the campaign was titled "It Just Makes Sense", and included support from several residents and businesses. WestJet expects to be making a decision on whether their regional airline will begin in the east or the west of Canada by January 2013, starting with two to three routes.

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About Erica Fisher 4010 Articles

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.