The top 10
By Chad Ingram
As is an annual tradition around here, here are the top 10 news stories of 2016 for Minden Hills and Algonquin Highlands.
10. Algonquin Highlands office
Originally scheduled for end-of-summer completion, an expansion of the Algonquin Highlands township office on North Shore Road remains incomplete after the contractor defaults on the job.
9. Shipping containers
After four drafts, Algonquin Highlands council passes a bylaw regulating the use of shipping containers as storage buildings in the township. The structures are not permitted on residential properties.
8. Fire hall
A project nearly a decade in the making, Minden Hills awards the $2-million contract for the construction of a new fire hall along Highway 35 to Huntsville's Greystone Construction. The new building will open up the downtown space occupied by the current fire hall for other purposes.
7. Kennedy killers sentenced
Three of the four men accused in the 2011 killing of county resident Ryan Kennedy are sentenced after an initial mistrial. Sentences range from 11 years to life in prison.
6. Service Ontario
In the spring the paper discovers the province has plans to close the Minden Service Ontario office along with eight others by the end of November. After outpourings of anger in these communities, the province says the closures are on hold pending reviews, which are still ongoing.
5. County fair
The Haliburton County Fair, more than 150 years old, is in jeopardy of folding as its board of directors tries to replenish itself with new members.
4. Boshkung Brewing
In a banner year for Carnarvon's Boshkung Brewing, the company's beers become available in LCBOs and Beer Stores throughout the province. Boshkung Brewing buys the former Minden Beer Store location along Water Street, where it will have a production and retail facility.
3. MNRF base/Todd Bros.
After a years’ long process, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry opens its new fire response base at Stanhope Airport. A judge rules in favour of Algonquin Highlands township in a lawsuit from Todd Bros. Contracting Ltd. over the cancelled runway project at the airport.
2. Bob Lake
Residents of Bob Lake approach Minden Hills council after a private landowner blocks access to the lake's lone public boat launch, which, it turns out, was never actually public, despite being used by lake residents for generations. In a $10,000 process, Minden Hills makes arrangements with the landowner to allow residents to remove their boats in early October. Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin says the township is working on a long-term solution to the situation but as of yet, there have been no details.
1. Beaver Theatre
Minden is abuzz as the former Beaver Theatre, which has sat vacant along Water Street for several years, gets a new owner. The intention is for a not-for-profit society to become a tenant of the building, with Minden Hills township as a partner in the project. Minden Hills councillors, however, believe a number of requests being made are premature.