Firefighters at the scene of a Port Hardy blaze that killed an elderly woman.

Firefighters at the scene of a Port Hardy blaze that killed an elderly woman.

Fire fatality mars first month of new year

If we were to grade the year 2011, we’d give it a C.

If we were to grade the year 2011, we’d give it a C.

It’s a middle of the road score because the year ‘s been pretty average with only a couple of highs and, better yet, fewer lows.

So, enjoy the North Island’s year in review on the following pages and let’s all hope for a great 2012.

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More court trials were stayed because of limited court resources, according to Justice Delayed: A Report of the Provincial Court of British Columbia.  That was the case in Port Hardy Court when charges against a man accused of sexual assault — which had been before the courts for more than 19 months — were stayed.

• A sea lion— dubbed Kaouk — that made a surprise appearance in a Port Alice trailer park was rescued. A Port Hardy fisheries officer, an RCMP constable and a conservation officer “rassled the little fella” into a container and shipped him off to the Vancouver Aquarium where he healed and later released back into the wilds.

• A year after it was ordered demolished, the old Seagate Hotel finally came down.  The newer hotel building across the street was ordered repaired but no work has been done on the building.

• The board of trustees for School District 85 voted unanimously in favour of changing the makeup of two Port McNeill elementary schools.  It was decided Cheslakees Elementary would house kindergarten, Huckleberry House Children’s Centre — programs for three- and four-year-olds — and StrongStart. Sunset Elementary School would be home to Grades 1 through Grades 7.

• The North Island’s first baby of 2011 came into the world Jan. 15. Zachary Anthony Kyle Thornton, son of Cassie Waugh and Justin Thornton, of Port Hardy, hit the scales at a respectable six-lbs.

• Lori Anderson died in a fire Port Hardy fire that also destroyed a mobile home on Hunt Street. Two men in the home at the time of the blaze survived.

• Port Hardy Coun. Stan McLennan resigned after 19 years. He said he was upset by “the way the mayor is leading the town and how the administrator is helping her do it”. McLennan gave his resignation verbally at a regular council meeting Jan. 25 after no one seconded his motion to consider a letter from former mayor Hank Bood  recommending fellow former mayor Russ Hellberg be appointed to the official community plan committee.

• Bill Passmore ran for his life after wrestling his dog from the jaws of a wolf. Passmore was steelhead fishing on the Nawhitti River near Port Hardy with his two young cougar hounds, Huey and Lucy, when the wolves attacked the hounds. Passmore manage to get himself and his pets to safety.