As 2019 comes to a close, we're looking back at what made headlines.
And by that, we mean our most-read stories. We did a deep dive into our analytics to see exactly what resonated with our readers.
This list may surprise you. You may agree or disagree with it. Regardless, let us know in the comments below.
On July 23, news broke that the two teens who were first considered missing in northern B.C. were actually suspects in the death of three individuals. At the time, police informed the public that Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, were to be considered dangerous and were last seen in northern Saskatchewan, but were believed to be near Gillam, Man., nearly 1,100 km northeast of Winnipeg. A lengthy manhunt ending in the suicide of both suspects ensued.
In July, Surerus Murphy (the contractor tasked with building the Kamloops section of the Trans Mountain expansion project) announced it was hiring. Heather Eddy, Surerus Murphy's director of human resources and management, estimated more than 600 workers would be needed during peak construction. The bulk of the jobs would be labourers and operators, she said, while mechanics, welders, environmental advisers, health and safety personnel and procurement specialists would be hired as well.
Everyone loves a good lottery story. This one didn't disappoint. In the summer, two winning tickets were sold for the $19-million jackpot in the June 14 Lotto Max draw. Someone in the Prairies and someone in Ontario picked up $9.5 million each.
Feb. 17, 2019 marked one year since Ryan Shtuka disappeared. The then-20-year-old was last seen at a house party on Burfield Drive in Sun Peaks. His parents, Scott and Heather, came to Kamloops for the one-year anniversary. A press conference was held at the Kamloops RCMP detachment to renew the plea for information. "Our hope with this media availability is that...perhaps it will jog somebody's memory, perhaps somebody was in Sun Peaks a year ago," said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie at the time.
In November, YouTuber Brian Lawson uploaded dashcam footage of a heart-pounding moment between an SUV and a semi. The vehicles got a little too close for comfort at the highway on-ramp, on the western edge of the city, near Copperhead Drive.
It appears Kamloopsians love their A&W root beer. On July 20, the fast-food chain held Free Root Beer Day. For one day only, you were able to get your hands on a frothy mug of the sugary drink for zero dollars.
Call it a local, 24-hour mystery. In September, Pinantan resident Crystal Loughlin dropped by the KamloopsMatters office and shared that someone had parked a 2005 Chrysler 300 on her property on Sept. 14 and left it there. After we ran a story about the mystery car, Loughlin was contacted by a local dealership. Staff informed her the car belonged to the dealership and was in the process of being repossessed when it was dumped.
This YouTube video takes the cake for the most nail-biting footage on the internet. Rodney Thompson uploaded the one-minute clip in June, of a near-miss at the corner of Highway 97 and Highway 97 near Cache Creek. A white Toyota Corolla is seen making a left turn while a logging truck comes inches of T-boning the sedan. Luckily, the truck driver brakes and manages to avoid the car. Phew!
A UVic master's graduate was recognized in Ottawa this year for her research. Sandra Frey studied how animals shift their behaviour when humans disturb their habitat. She used image data collected by cameras installed in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta.
You read that right. A thief ditched a stolen truck on a ridge in Lac du Bois last month. Travis Bussard spotted the pickup while exploring the area, and took a photo of it. It was later determined the truck was stolen in Kamloops on Nov. 20.