Chelsea Wakelyn hoped a post on Facebook would help her track down the band she and her late fiancé, Kris Noesgaard, stumbled upon one late night in 2011 as the group performed in an underground parking lot in Saanich. (Photo supplied)

Chelsea Wakelyn hoped a post on Facebook would help her track down the band she and her late fiancé, Kris Noesgaard, stumbled upon one late night in 2011 as the group performed in an underground parking lot in Saanich. (Photo supplied)

Saanich’s top stories of 2019

These are the stories that resonated most with our online readers

Here are 2019’s most-read stories from saanichnews.com.

Vancouver Island woman hopes for one more dance with late fiancé

Topping the list is a story that pulled at the heartstrings of our readers.

Chelsea Wakelyn posted to Facebook, requesting help tracking down a band she and her late fiancé, Kris Noesgaard, stumbled upon one late night in 2011 as the group performed George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” in an underground parking lot in Saanich. The group was filming the performance and Wakelyn, who’s tried several times to seek out the footage on her own, hoped to find the video.

“I remember at least thinking and probably said out loud, ‘Is this real life that we stumbled upon a band in the middle of the night playing in an empty, underground parking lot?’ I imagine if there is any audio or video, it would probably have captured our disbelief and delight,” she said. “It was such a magical thing, really.”

Noesgaard died in 2015, and the memory has since gained new importance for Wakelyn.

“I never would have suspected that it would come to have this kind of meaning that it does to me,” she said.

Saanich school grapples with death of 13-year-old

The community came together to mourn the death of a 13-year-old Saanich student, who died after being struck by a tree while on a field trip near Sooke.

Two Grade 8 Lansdowne Middle School students were injured, the other received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

“It’s an incredibly tragic event,” said Shelley Green, School District 61 superintendent. “We certainly extend our condolences to the family, and [we] want to let them know that our hearts are with them.”

Green said the incident remains raw but added that the school would launch a full investigation to find out what happened. With one week left in the school year, the focus remained on supporting the family and the school community at large.

Life in prison for killer of young Saanich couple murdered in 1987

A conviction in a 32-year-old cold case brought some closure for local residents.

A Snohomish County judge sentenced William Talbott II to life in prison without parole for murdering a young Saanich couple in 1987.

Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg’s killer evaded capture for three decades, until DNA revealed a suspect through his family tree, in what was a pioneering investigation.

The pair were killed on an overnight trip from Greater Victoria to south Seattle. Baffling gaps remain in the timelines of the killings. Cook, 20, was found dead under a bridge south of Monroe while Van Cuylenborg, 18, was found in rural Skagit County.

A long-awaited break came in 2018, when a private forensic lab plugged crime scene DNA — from semen on a pair of pants — into a public ancestry bank, GEDMatch. Second cousins on both sides of Talbott’s family had shared genetic profiles in the database. The suspect’s family lines intersected in the marriage of a Woodinville couple. Talbott was their only son.

Two more tests confirmed his DNA matched the semen found at the crime scene. Talbott, 56, has maintained his innocence.

B.C. set to move forward with year-round daylight saving time

A developing provincial story with far-reaching impacts also caught the attention of our readers.

The B.C. government is planning to bring in legislation to move to daylight saving time year-round, Premier John Horgan says, but when and if that takes effect still depends on what U.S. decide.

Horgan made the comment after a meeting with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver in Whitehorse back in September. The two premiers agreed that it’s important that West Coast jurisdictions stay synchronized in their time zones, and Silver said he will watch B.C.’s progress closely.

Judge deems Saanich property not a farm, orders owner to pay $400 in fines for excess noise

Rounding out the top stories of the year is a Saanich resident who was ordered to pay two $200 tickets for two days of excess noise, which one neighbour testified sounded like a “growler jet” coming from her property on Old East Road in Saanich in May 2018.

Nancy Kinney told the courts she didn’t dispute the noise complaints but stated the noise was a normal farm practice and asserted she was protected under the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act. Kinney didn’t present any evidence, nor did she testify at the hearing on Oct. 16.

The Farm Protection Act states any sound of noise caused by farming activity carried out in a reasonable manner on farmland between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. is exempt from bylaws.

Judicial Justice Hunter Gordon wrote in a judgment posted online, that there was no evidence Kinney has a farm business and ordered the payment.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood restaurants can use city property for patios. (Black Press Media file photo)
Temporary patios back on for Colwood restaurants

Council voted to extend temporary permits to 2022

Sidney council approved a broad package of tax relief measures, but concerns about its timing and effectiveness remain. (Black Press Media File).
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney

Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department as well as Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and BC Ambulance responded to a dryer fire on Orchard Avenue. (Sidney Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter)
Dryer fire doused in Sidney

Cause of Monday afternoon remains under investigation

(Black Press Media file photo)
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay

Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read