Help choose the top local news story of 2013 (updated)Thursday, January 02, 2014 by: SooToday.com Staff
From heart-wrenching tragedies to inspiring victories to intense debates, there was no shortage of interesting, defining and thought-provoking news in the Sault and area throughout 2013.
SooToday.com invites our faithful readers to review the 10 local news stories below assembled by our news team.
You can then help us choose the top local news story of 2013 by casting your vote in our homepage poll.
Idle No More
Inspired by the actions of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and in protest of the cultural and environmental impact of Bill C-45, the local Idle No More movement was particularly active during the first part of 2013.
Actions saw Batchewana Chief Dean Sayers attend meetings in Ottawa, as well as a number of peaceful rallies, protests, and information sessions.
Unfortunately for one Garden River First Nation resident, a police investigation was launched after she received threats sparked by her involvement with the Idle No More movement.
Additional SooToday.com Idle No More reading:
OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis on Idle No More criticism (video)
Seen today at the International Bridge (updated, photos)
Idle No More protesters enter Civic Centre (photo)
City Hall response to Idle No More surprise tepid (14 photos)
Pointe Estates subdivision controversy
A local hot-button issue since 2007, controversy over the development of a parcel of land in the Pointe Louise area continued to simmer throughout the year.
As proponents on both sides of the argument - one pushing for the development of 91 estate lots, and the other claiming the project will destroy valuable wetlands - refused to back down, and Sault Ste. Marie City Council weighed in on the situation.
And then it got ugly as the land developer took those against the project to court.
Additional SooToday.com Pointe Estates reading:
Court rules in favour of Pointe Estates developer over legal costs
Avery optimistic Pointe Estates will happen
Pointes Protection Association to fight on
Pointe Estates: Opposing sides reach settlement
PUC and the City's tap water issues
From the unpleasant taste and odour to its sometimes unappetizing colour, PUC representatives were kept busy fielding complaints from residents regarding the quality of the City's tap water.
Although explanations for the discolouration were offered, many concerned residents remain unsatisfied.
So much so, that a class action law suit against the PUC has been threatened.
Additional SooToday.com reading on this issue:
PUC responds to letter, 'Would you bathe your children in brown water?'
Open letter to PUC customers
Unhappy PUC customer calls for picket today
Solution to water problems should come in 2014, PUC says
Area wind farm projects
Both the Bow Lake and Goulais wind farm projects have been met with strong opposition for a variety of reasons.
Although both projects have been approved, the fight continues between those that support the developments and those that feel they will have a negative environmental impact on the area.
Additional SooToday.com reading regarding these projects:
Anti-wind energy crowd will like this
Renewable energy approval granted to Bow Lake Wind Farm
Goulais Wind Farm decision expected by April
From Team Jacobs' victory at the 2013 Tim Horton's Brier, to capturing the silver medal during the World Men’s Curling Championships in Victoria, the Sault has enjoyed a number of celebrations honouring the accomplishments of skip Brad Jacobs, lead Ryan Harnden, second E.J. Harnden, third Ryan Fry, and coach Tom Colterman.
Most recently, the local curling rink dominated the Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials in Winnipeg to earn the privilege of representing Canada during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Additional SooToday.com Team Jacobs reading:
Team Jacobs recognized in Commons today
More praise as Team Jacobs prepares for World Championships
Why we're (still) proud of Brad Jacobs
A hero's welcome for Team Jacobs (photos, video link added)
The tragic death of Jesse Roach
In the early morning hours of October 13, local authorities were called to the scene of a fatality on Highway 17B near Bell's Point Road.
It was later revealed that the victim was 22-year-old Jesse Roach of Garden River First Nation and our community mourned the tragic loss of a young man many described as 'good listener with a big heart'.
Charges were laid in relation to the incident, but friends and family of Jesse Roach were far from satisfied.
Additional SooToday.com reading on this topic:
Justice for Jessie - May the truth be told
Close the highway at Echo Bay to prevent further death, Chief Sayers says
Torrential rainfall that began the evening of September 9 sparked a local flood warning and resulted in a number of highway and road closures.
Washouts and extensive property damage was reported following wide-spread flooding throughout the Algoma District, including a culvert collapse that rendered a section of CN rail line impassable.
Local states of emergency were declared in a number of locations as residents waited for the water to recede.
On September 23, City Council passed a resolution requesting a disaster declaration for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
Additional SooToday.com reading regarding the September floods:
Peter Reynolds is a 'wonderful and selfless man', says neighbour
Flood relief $$$ available for some homeowners
Information session for Root River residents affected by flooding
Algoma gets flood recovery funding
Fire at Northern Breweries
On February 7, a fire broke out at the abandoned Northern Breweries site, closing a portion of the City's downtown core.
Sault Ste. Marie fire crews battled the blaze over night and into the following day.
Following a police investigation, two area residents faced charges of arson and the City wondered when the absentee property owners would demolish the gutted building.
City Council finally decided to take the matter into its own hands.
Additional SooToday.com reading on this topic:
Fire damaged brewery coming down soon (6 photos)
Wait and see for brewery site
Another Sault Ste. Marie landmark bites the dust (5 photos, video)
Elliot Lake Mall collapse inquiry
On June 23, 2012, a portion of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake collapsed, killing two and injuring more than 20.
A public inquiry into the deadly collapse launched on March 4, 2013 and included testimony from an area engineer as well as the property owner who was reportedly negligent in turning over hundreds of documents related to the incident.
The Mall's original architect denied responsibility for the alleged 'shoddy' design and construction of the rooftop parking structure.
The final judicial inquiry report is due no later than October 31, 2014.
Additional SooToday.com reading regarding this inquiry:
Elliot Lake Mall collapse hearing adjourned to Tuesday
Labour ministry denies mall collapse responsibility, Mantha says
Owner felt badly misled about ill-fated mall
Mall owner had cash but not to spend on roof
Christa Lukenda Michaud struck and killed by alleged drunk driver
On the evening of August 31, Police were called to the scene of a collision on McNabb St. at Algoma Avenue involving a pick up truck and a cyclist.
Christa Lukenda Michaud was transported to the Sault Area Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
Michael Casselman was charged with consuming over the legal limit causing death in relation to the incident.
As a result of the investigation, Casselman faces additional charges of impaired driving causing death and dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing death
On September 7, 2013, Christa Lukenda Michaud's family launched a campaign which asks: "Are you a zero?" in reference to the amount of alcohol they believe should be in a person's bloodstream when he or she gets behind the wheel of a car - zero percent.
Despite this tragedy and the publicity it received, Sault Ste. Marie Police Services continues to report a number of drivers charged with impaired driving each week.
Editor's note: The original article was an earlier incomplete version that was published by mistake. SooToday.com apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused. The hompage poll has been reset to reflect the corrected article.