104 editions of Peace Arch News were published in 2014.

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2014 through the pages of Peace Arch News

Here is a sampling of the stories Peace Arch News has published over the past year.

Peace Arch News delivered news to your door 104 times in 2014, and in real time at www.peacearchnews.com

Here is a sampling of the stories that we’ve reported over the past year:

January

The week after Surrey hockey mom Julie Paskall is fatally attacked outside Newton Arena, the killer remains at large and police warn the public to be extra vigilant.

• • •

For the third year in a row, a Semiahmoo Secondary student wins the prestigious Blyth Cambridge Scholarship Trust. The award opened the door for Anmol Jawandha to attend Pembroke College for Engineering.

• • •

A Surrey man who served 16 months of a four-year jail sentence for molesting a boy for years is denied full and day parole because he still poses a risk to society. The man – who was previously named but legally can now only be identified as R.R.B. – admitted in 2012 to sexually assaulting a minor.

• • •

The City of Surrey postpones voting on a contentious South Surrey residential highrise/arts amenity project – proposed for 152 Street and 19 Avenue – citing a need for more time to receive feedback.

• • •

The City of White Rock confirms that a 50-foot tree on private property under development on the city’s west side was intentionally poisoned. Neighbours said they had witnessed a man climb the tree, drill holes in its trunk and pour liquid from a jerry can into the holes.

• • •

BNSF officials say negotiations with Semiahmoo First Nation are the only thing holding up work to replace the Little Campbell River trestle bridge. The deteriorating structure – which sits on a BNSF-owned right-of-way through the Semiahmoo reserve – was earmarked for replacement in 2011.

• • •

Port Metro Vancouver officials tell White Rock council that a new direct-transfer coal facility in Surrey would not increase rail traffic – a statement met with incredulity.

• • •

Epcor says White Rock residents’ water bills will start to show the impact of plans to upgrade the city’s water system. Interim 2014 water rates were estimated to be 21 per cent higher than those seen in 2013.

• • •

A former City of Surrey planner is handed a 15-month conditional sentence for trying to solicit money from a developer. For the first nine months of the term, Akonyu Akolo was to remain under house arrest, followed by a six-month curfew.

• • •

The Surrey Board of Trade is frustrated by the province’s indecision over wording of a transit-referendum question that was promised by Premier Christy Clark during the 2013 election.

• • •

A fire at a mobile home on a rural South Surrey property causes extensive damage, but no injuries. Because the property is located in a ‘no-water’ district – firefighters had to use tankers to shuttle water to it.

• • •

At a town hall meeting at Sunnyside Hall in South Surrey, former solicitor general Kash Heed predicts a regulated market for legalized marijuana is “three to four years” away. Discussion on prohibition dominated the meeting.

• • •

A section of lane behind Columbia Avenue in White Rock is closed to traffic – including emergency vehicles – following fears that excavation threatens its stability.

• • •

A driver who struck and killed a White Rock father as he delivered newspapers with his teenaged son is granted day parole. Allan Simpson Wood served 7½ months of a two-year jail sentence for causing the death of Bryan McCron and attacking Connor McCron as he was calling 911.

• • •

Taxi shootingPolice swarm a taxi near Peace Arch Hospital, opening fire and arresting three people. Investigation into a “known crack shack” led to the shooting, police say. Coquitlam RCMP’s Serious Crime Unit is tasked to undertake an independent investigation to determine “whether the officer was justified” in firing.

• • •

A man who pleaded guilty to punching a woman in the face at a South Surrey party wins an appeal of his four-month jail sentence. Dayne Walter Jones argued the trial judge failed to take into account that he was a first-time offender and didn’t consider whether a conditional sentence order was appropriate in the case. His sentence was reduced to two years probation and 100 hours of community service.

• • •

Two workers fall from an under-construction townhome at 160 Street and 32 Avenue in South Surrey. One fell about 30 feet; the other, approximately 10 feet.

February

A man in his 70s is struck by a train near Oxford Street and Marine Drive in White Rock, after wandering away from a nearby care home. He reportedly suffered from dementia, and was walking in the middle of the tracks when the train crew spotted him. The senior was “grazed” by the lead locomotive.

• • •

A high-risk sex offender with a lengthy criminal history is released to live in Surrey. A public notice regarding Narinder Wasan’s release is issued, describing a “versatile” pattern of offending. Among conditions, Wasan was to be the subject of close monitoring, and not have contact with female youth.

• • •

A public hearing for a proposed complex-care facility on the Evergreen Baptist Home Campus in White Rock hears from 98 people over two evenings. Opponents cited the impact to views and natural light, the loss of mature trees and impact to property values. Those in favour described a need for more, and updated, seniors’ facilities.

• • •

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts reorganizes the city’s Police Committee, describing the removal of Coun. Barinder Rasode from the position of chair as “an interim measure” during restructuring.

• • •

Marvin HuntAfter 23 years, longtime Surrey councillor Marvin Hunt announces he is resigning his city seat to focus more time on his job as MLA for Surrey-Panorama.

• • •

Officials with the cities of Surrey and White Rock vote to apply for intervener status in the upcoming hearings on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline-expansion project. The status would give the cities the most involved level of participation in the National Energy Board hearing process.

• • •

A proposed self-storage development planned for Rosemary Heights raises concerns among nearby residents, who fear the project could impact traffic and attract crime to the area.

• • •

D-Day survivor Douglas Leask, a retired White Rock teacher, is laid to rest in fitting fashion – with a full military funeral. The 92-year-old was wounded while serving as a private with the D Company of B.C.’s Canadian Scottish Regiment.

• • •

A Surrey provincial court judge rules that White Rock police who strip-searched an intoxicated woman breached her charter rights. Judge Jennifer Oulton said evidence justifying the strip search was “unclear,” and that “probable grounds were not established.” Oulton found the woman guilty of resisting arrest, in connection with elbowing and kicking an officer.

• • •

Remediation work gets underway on the former site of Semiahmoo Park, after investigation identified contaminated soil and municipal solid waste.

• • •

Newton rallySurrey RCMP releases 2013 crime statistics that show Newton had the most murder victims – nine of a total 25 – of any community in the city. The neighbourhood also saw more sex assaults and abductions than any other in Surrey.

• • •

A dump-truck driver found guilty of dangerous driving causing death in connection with the head-on crash that killed South Surrey resident Jim Neiss in January 2011 is sentenced to 14 months in jail. (Four months later, Glen Theriault is granted day parole.)

• • •

Surrey’s new city hall – said to cost $97 million – is ready for move-in.

• • •

Police armed with assault rifles surround a White Rock home in response to a suspected hostage situation. The event drew a crowd of bystanders, but was later described by police as a “non-incident,” after it was discovered no one was actually in the targeted home at the time.

• • •

Explosives charges against a man arrested in White Rock more than a year prior are dropped, after prosecutors determine key evidence obtained during a search would likely be ruled inadmissible. Hamish Norman Sutherland had been in custody since January 2013, when police were tipped to chemicals in a Prospect Avenue apartment. Police initially searched the apartment without a warrant.

• • •

Proponents of an eight-storey luxury seniors’ residence in the 15300-block of 16 Avenue in South Surrey confirm plans are back on track – after a seven-year hiatus – for Abby Lane Retirement Residence.

• • •

Conservative MP Russ Hiebert announces he won’t seek re-election for a fifth term in 2015 – but declines to elaborate on the surprise announcement. In a released statement, he said it was never his ambition to be a career politician, and that it “will soon be time for my family and me to move on to new challenges.”

• • •

Dr. Paul Van Buynder, Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer, cautions Port Metro Vancouver not to plow ahead with a final decision on a new coal terminal in Surrey without first letting him review new research on potential health impacts.

• • •

The inaugural Ignite a Dream fundraiser, held at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, raises more than $20,000 for the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society’s Ignite a Dream Educational Awards.

• • •

Changes are eyed for White Rock’s Johnston Road, including removal of a northbound, left-turn lane into Central Plaza, and a shift south for a pedestrian crosswalk in that same area.

• • •

TransLink’s new South Surrey Park-and-Ride receives a Teddy Waste Award from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, in ‘celebration’ of the little-used $4.5-million lot off King George Boulevard.

March

White Rock council ponders a return of food carts – and the addition of  food trucks – to the waterfront for the summer season.

• • •

A fuel cap left off of a City of White Rock recycling truck results in a “rainbow trail” through a number of streets, raising concern of area residents.

• • •

Earl Marriot SecondaryLong-awaited Cen’Alien welcome posts are installed at Earl Marriott Secondary, the result of a privately funded partnership between Semiahmoo First Nation, EMS and Surrey School District.

• • •

Surrey announces plans to implement a city-run security force to work with its RCMP, as the city’s top cop confirms a four-year-old policing program’s days are numbered. Chief Supt. Bill Fordy said the Community Safety Officer program is being dismantled in 2015.

• • •

Funding is approved for a mural on the Semiahmoo Arts building in White Rock. Council allocated $21,500 of the city’s public-art budget to hire White Rock-raised, internationally renowned artist Richard Tetrault.

• • •

A sailboat grounded on White Rock’s West Beach in late February is salvaged after three weeks, in a 14-hour operation carried out by a team of four Peninsula residents.

• • •

Criticism of Surrey’s proposed plans for Semiahmoo Town Centre, along with difficulty accessing information and city documents online, prompts council to refer the draft Official Community Plan back to staff.

• • •

First-term White Rock councillor Larry Robinson, 65, succumbs to cancer. He is remembered as a “multitalented, multifaceted” man who showed a “tremendous amount of courage” in his public battle with the disease.

• • •

Speculation arises that Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts is being courted by the Conservatives for a federal run in South Surrey-White  Rock, but electoral district association president Jerry Presley says there has been no discussion at the local level.

• • •

BC Liberal MLAs Gordon Hogg (Surrey-White Rock), Marvin Hunt (Surrey-Panorama) and Scott Hamilton (Delta North) urge Port Metro Vancouver to work with medical health officers in reassessing human health risks from increased coal shipments to feed a proposed new terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks.

• • •

Concerns about spiralling crime in Newton lead to the re-emergence of one of Surrey’s most visible police presences – the Surrey RCMP Bike Squad.

• • •

BC Lottery Corporation decides to pull 150 slot machines from the Newton bingo hall, citing “changing market conditions, which do not satisfy BCLC’s vision to offer outstanding gaming and entertainment.”

April

A Surrey bus driver is punched and injured by a passenger during an unprovoked attack. As a result, Transit Police launches a campaign called Don’t Touch The Operator, but union leaders say it doesn’t go far enough. 

• • •

The City of Surrey announces South Surrey Athletic Park as the first designated site for longboarders.

• • •

Gateway Casinos announces that a planned redevelopment of the 7093 King George Blvd. property – the home of Newton Country Bingo Hall – worth more than $20 million, is on hold, perhaps permanently.

• • •

A preliminary hearing into the case against a man accused of being the “surgical mask bandit” begins. Travis Jensen-Pickford, 23, faces 36 charges in connection with 12 robberies in White Rock and Surrey in early 2013, in which victims were accosted while making transactions at ATMs by a masked man.

• • •

Thieves target Marine Drive restaurant Charlie Don’t Surf, making away with a collectible guitar autographed by Australian hard-rock legends Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC fame.

• • •

Residents of a White Rock condo complex file a petition in B.C. Supreme Court to quash a bylaw amendment that cleared the way for an eight-storey care facility to be built immediately south of their building. Residents of the Belaire building ask that Evergreen Baptist Care Society – who want to develop the 199-bed project at 1550 Oxford St. – be required to apply for a major-development permit.

• • •

Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode cuts ties with Surrey First, saying she is being discouraged from thinking or acting independently. Rasode says that if Mayor Dianne Watts does not run for mayor in November’s civic election, she will.

• • •

Surrey school trustees express frustration following a letter sent to the B.C. Teachers Federation from B.C. Public School Employers’ Association telling the union it would be responsible for funding health and welfare benefits if teachers strike.

• • •

Keen outdoorsman and environmentalist Ron Meadley is named the Surrey Good Citizen of the Year by Surrey City Council.

• • •

White Rock residents complain after a realty firm’s sign is bolted to the city’s iconic “Whaling Wall” mural. Once notified of the ‘for-lease’ sign, Colliers International has it swiftly removed, calling the sign a “terrible mistake.”

• • •

A man dubbed the “Falconridge rapist,” after sexually assaulting two women at knifepoint in Calgary in 2006, is found not guilty of sexually assaulting and choking a teen in Newton in 2012. The jury in the Surrey case was not privy to details of Andrew Aurie Jefferson’s past convictions.

• • •

Surrey’s police committee commits to hiring 95 RCMP officers over the next five years – 35 more than previously included in the city’s five-year plan.

• • •

Three-term Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts announces she won’t seek re-election in the fall.

• • •

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is notified after a 10-year-old Langley boy is found in a 2005 Ferrari that was pulled over by police on 176 Street for driving at 185 km/h. The boy’s father was at the wheel.

May

White Rock strikeUnionized White Rock employees serve the city with 72-hours strike notice – an unprecedented move. However, Mayor Wayne Baldwin expresses concern prior to the notice that city workers could strike over issues that are “so trivial.”

• • •

The Peace Arch Monarch Lions and White Rock Lioness clubs announce they will cease to exist – along with their sponsorship of  the city’s annual Polar Bear Swim – due to declining membership.

• • •

White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers calls for a review of the city’s board of variance procedures, following a decision that enables a home to be built with a three-car garage.

• • •

Farm floodedHeavy rainfall wreaks havoc in parts of South Surrey and White Rock, flooding roads with water and debris. The sudden storm is described as a “100-year event.”

• • •

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin announces that the city’s decision to purchase its water utility will be decided by a referendum.

• • •

BNSF announces plans to replace the deteriorating Little Campbell River rail bridge – with or without Semiahmoo First Nation. Semiahmoo First Nation says any work to address conditions on the rail bridge over the Little Campbell River must go through the proper channels first – including getting the band’s approval.

• • •

Coun. Tom Gill drops from the Surrey First mayoral candidate race, leaving two contenders – Couns. Linda Hepner and Bruce Hayne.

• • •

Fraser Health curtails surgeries in order to avoid an operating-room budget overrun, despite lengthy surgical wait times.

• • •

Weapon charges are upheld after a man found guilty two years ago of having concealed semi-automatic guns in the back seat of his car loses his appeal.

• • •

A manhunt follows a fatal overnight shooting in Cloverdale, spilling into South Surrey after a “vehicle of interest” is discovered on fire in an industrial complex at 28 Avenue and 192 Street.

• • •

White Rock councillor – and BC Ferries and Marine Workers Union member – Grant Meyer decides to respect the city workers’ picket line in front of city hall, a decision that keeps him from participating in meetings at city hall, including one council meeting.

• • •

The White Rock/South Surrey Relay for Life scrambles to make changes as city workers ramp up job action, resulting in the closure of Centennial Arena, where organizers had booked a pre-relay event.

• • •

Police search for two or three attackers after an armed home invasion in Ocean Park.

• • •

Surrey School Board Trustee Terry Allan announces cuts will be made “across the board,” following an $8.5 million shortfall.

• • •

Police arrest and charge Yosef Jomo Gopaul, 27, in connection with the homocide of Surrey hockey mom Julie Paskall.

• • •

South Surrey’s John (Jack) Phillips is among six B.C. veterans honoured with France’s highest honour, the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur

• • •

Semiahmoo Shopping CentreThe parking lot of Semiahmoo Shopping Centre turns into a stage for world-class skateboarders for an event aimed at bridging the gap between youth and seniors.

June

Striking City of White Rock staffers return to the job after 100 employees represented by CUPE 402-01 ratify a new four-year collective agreement.

• • •

Students and parents call for an end to the “feud” between the B.C. Teachers Federation and the provincial government, following rotating strikes.

• • •

B.C.’s anti-gang unit announces charges against two individuals in connection with a raid on a South Surrey home that produced drugs, weapons and cash.

• • •

Fraser Health CEO Dr. Nigel Murray steps down from the health authority, citing family reasons for returning to New Zealand.

• • •

A City of White Rock glitch is at fault for an overestimation in senior homeowners’ tax bills. In order to receive an adjustment, those affected must fill out a form.

• • •

Minister of Education Peter Fassbender announces that the teachers’ strike will not affect final exams for graduating students.

• • •

Semiahmoo Bottle Depot’s Heimin Lee says Multi Material BC’s recycling rules are leaving him with mounds of glass and plastic that will end up in the garbage.

• • •

Boat launch gateWhite Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin is livid after he says a Transport Canada inspector has ordered the city to close off its West Beach boat launch and for trains to  blow their whistles from dawn to dusk.

• • •

Second World War hero Jack Miles, 96, is robbed of five medals during a break-in.

• • •

B.C. teachers vote 86 per cent in favour of a full strike in order to put maximum pressure on the provincial government.

• • •

More fencing goes up on White Rock’s West Beach in order to curb trespassing.

• • •

The White Rock Events Society says it’s hoping a synergy of community pride and volunteerism – as well as momentum generated by the 65th anniversary of the celebration – will result in a revived and reinvigorated White Rock Sea Festival.

• • •

NDP leader John Horgan calls for Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk to resign, citing a violation in spending rules as a university board member in 2010-2012.

• • •

A phone call for assistance leads police to a South Surrey neighbourhood and the body of 52-year-old homicide victim Timothy Szabolcsi.

• • •

The Surrey School District announces cuts to 135 full-time positions in an attempt to shave $9 million from its operating budget.

• • •

The chain-link structure blocking off the West Beach boat launch is removed following completion of safety improvements at the site.

• • •

Linda Hepner announces she is Surrey First’s choice as mayor heading into the November civic election.

July

The City of Surrey adopts amendments to its Dog Responsibility Bylaw July 7, imposing fines on drivers who leave dogs and other animals in locked cars in the heat. The move follows the death of six dogs in the back of a truck in May, while in the care of a dog walker, in a neighbouring community. The maximum fine for leaving a dog in a locked car without adequate ventilation becomes $500 in Surrey, compared with $150 in White Rock.

• • •

The idea of having a pedestrian-only area at the entrance to uptown White Rock is “just not reasonable,” according to White Rock’s Johnston Road Reconstruction and Beautification Task Force chair, Coun. Al Campbell. The idea was posed for discussion by Coun. Louise Hutchinson at a June 17 task-force meeting, and was strongly endorsed by a show of hands.

• • •

Semiahmoo First Nation voices concern that construction of protective fences on White Rock’s waterfront will trespass on significant centuries-old native burial sites.

• • •

The City of Surrey’s annual costs rose $100 million in 2013 over 2012, according to a July 7 statement of financial information. Much is due to a jump in volume of payments to third-party suppliers as a result of the city’s “extremely aggressive” Build Surrey program, including a new city hall and recreation centres and pools.

• • •

A South Surrey woman is in hospital with “life-altering” injuries – and her German shepherd is dead –  after they were were struck while walking in the 3400-block of King George Boulevard. The Mercedes SUV was driven by a 17-year-old girl.

• • •

A seven-month review of the Fraser Health region concludes that primary, community-based care could reduce pressure on hospital emergency rooms, where, according to Health Minister Terry Lake, staff are too bogged-down “putting out fires.” He adds that patients are suffering worse outcomes than peers in other regions. 

• • •

White Rock residents are expecting a better night’s sleep after Transport Canada reinstates a quiet zone along waterfront rails during nighttime hours, clarifying a June order that stipulated signals must be sounded from “dawn to dusk,” which some crews had interpreted as beginning at 4 a.m.

• • •

A former Southridge School student appears in a California court in connection with the death of a high-ranking Google executive from a heroin overdose in 2013. Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, described in a statement as “a high-priced outcall prostitute,” is charged with manslaughter.

• • •

Surrey’s Sikh community is stunned when one of its leaders, Baldev Singh Kalsi, is charged with attempted murder after his wife, Narinder, is found in severe medical distress in their South Surrey home July 13. Kalsi, 66, president of the Gurdwara Brookside Temple, was arrested at the 32 Avenue home and originally charged with aggravated assault. The charge was upgraded to attempted murder three days later. One week after the attack, Kalsi’s wife is taken off life-support and he is charged with second-degree murder. 

• • •

Organizers are optimistic about a revived 65th anniversary edition of the White Rock Sea Festival after the city confirms a matching grant that brings city investment in the festival to some $107,000. The festival, which took place on the August long weekend, is counted a success, with attendance well up from 2013.  

August

A BNSF freight train comes to a sudden halt on the White Rock waterfront after youths were observed lying on the tracks.

• • •

Two women are injured and a 61-year-old man is dead after an altercation in the street and at a home in the 900-block of Ash Street in White Rock. The victim is identified as Bruce Ridout, 61, who witnesses say was stabbed coming to the defense of one of the women. Jeffrey Caille, 22, appears in Surrey Provincial Court charged with second-degree murder.

• • •

Port Metro Vancouver announces it will approve a long-proposed coal-transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks, saying that all “public, municipal, agency, First Nations and other stakeholder concerns and questions” have been addressed.

• • •

Parents are told to prepare to make child-care arrangements, in anticipation that a resolution of the teachers’ strike and government lock-out will not be reached in time for schools to re-open on Sept. 2.

• • •

The Aug. 28 Party On The Pier fundraiser, celebrating the 100th anniversary of White Rock’s iconic landmark and the 40th anniversary of Semiahmoo Arts, attracts close to 500 people to the heritage structure.

September

Teachers strikeTeachers are back walking picket lines on what should have been the first week of school, as the impasse between B.C. teachers and the provincial government continues. As of Sept. 8, 74 per cent of parents of eligible children have signed up for the province’s offer of a $40-per-day payment to offset child-care costs. 

• • •

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin says trains could be relocated off the waterfront to inland alternatives in five years.

• • •

Surrey mayoral hopeful Linda Hepner tells media that she is firmly behind rail relocation from South Surrey’s waterfront. Her position reverses statements the previous November in which she called the idea of a waterfront without tracks a “utopia.”

• • •

White Rock residents complain about cutbacks to TransLink’s shuttle service.

• • •

Three-term Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts announces her plans to run for  the Conservatives in the South Surrey-White Rock riding in the next federal election.

• • •

A man charged with killing 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch is revealed to be a high-risk sex offender whose release from jail led to community outrage. Raymond Lee Caissie, 44, was arrested in Vancouver Sept. 20 for the murder of the Sullivan Heights Secondary student, whose body was discovered near railway tracks in the 14600-block of 66 Avenue on Sept. 16.

• • •

A long-awaited coroner’s report on the July 2013 death of Anita Lewis, 42, who was struck by a passenger train in the East Beach area of White Rock, rules her death “accidental.” Coroner Cynthia Wicks noted the jogger was wearing headphones that could have prevented her from hearing the train, and a baseball cap with a brim that may have affected her peripheral vision.

October

A task force in White Rock forms with a goal to rename the Marine Drive “hump” to something more meaningful. The leading suggestion for a new name? Eagle Hill.

• • •

White Rock council approves spending $20,000 to hire a consultant to look into the application process for relocating the BNSF rain line off the city’s waterfront. 

• • •

The Surrey mayoralty race heats up, with candidates trading shots over proposed policing policies. Linda Hepner accuses former Surrey First team member Barinder Rasode of endangering the community with her plan to hire 200 community-safety personnel, who are trained like police officers but unarmed.

• • •

The year-long Surrey Six trial comes to an end as two men, Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer, are convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder, in the killings of drug-dealer Corey Lal, his brother Michael, Eddie Narong and Ryan Bartolomeo, as well as innocent bystanders Ed Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan. 

• • •

In Surrey Provincial Court, South Surrey’s Janet Olson pleads guilty to four of 38 dog-theft charges. Olson, the 60-year-old founder of A Better Life Dog Rescue, was one of two women arrested in late 2011 in connection with the theft of a bulldog. 

• • •

South Surrey Second World War veteran John Mitges, 93, is announced as the recipient of the French Legion of Honour for his efforts during the Battle of the Liberation of France. The award – France’s highest military honour – is awarded for bravery and service. 

• • •

South Surrey homeless couple Roy Mercer and Darlene Fox are told that, after nearly 10 years living in a camp made on private property, they have until Nov. 1 to move out. Surrey bylaw officers explained that the order came after a complaint about the couple’s living conditions. 

• • •

It is announced that Surrey will add 47 more police officers, on top of the 95 additional officers already promised by the city over the next three years.

• • •

A planned television debate for White Rock’s two mayoral candidates is cancelled after one candidate, David Bradshaw, turns down the invite after learning he would not be told of the debate questions and topics in advance. He later changes his mind, but it is too late to reverse course. 

• • •

A Diwali Integration Festival is held on White Rock’s waterfront, drawing 20,000 to 25,000 people.

November

Police announce an arrest in the gangland shooting of Craig Widdifield, who was killed in South Surrey April 24, 2013. Brody Robert Paterson, 20, is charged with first-degree murder, and police declare that more arrests are expected.

• • •

A misprint on the Surrey civic election ballots causes nearly an hour-long shutdown of advanced polls.

• • •

The Surrey First slate – led by mayoral candidate Linda Hepner – sweeps the city’s civic election, winning spots on council and school board.

• • •

In White Rock’s civic race, incumbent Wayne Baldwin holds off challenger David Bradshaw for the mayor’s chair. The council lineup is shaken up with three new faces – Megan Knight, David Chesney and onetime councillor Lynne Sinclair – winning spots.

• • •

Little Campbell train trestleAfter being a subject of concern for years due to its age and deteriorating condition, the rail trestle over the Little Campbell River is replaced.

December

Former White Rock resident Gillian Rosenberg – described as the first foreign woman to join the fight against terrorist group ISIS – is reportedly captured. However, the 31-year-old pilot soon responds to the claims via social media, announcing that she is “safe and secure.”

• • •

The body of eight-year-old Teagan Batstone is found in the trunk of a car after the vehicle was involved in a routine motor-vehicle incident in South Surrey. The girl’s mother, Lisa Deanne Batstone, is charged with second-degree murder. 

• • •

Fifteen-year-old Earl Marriott Secondary student Dario Bartoli is killed after being assaulted by an estimated four or five others in the early-morning hours of Dec. 13. 

• • •

Property taxes in Surrey are set to go up in 2015 – the equivalent of 10 per cent – it is announced. The tax hike, mainly due to new fees and levies, is largely a result of a civic-election promise to add extra RCMP officers to the city’s ranks. 

• • •

More than 10 months after a plainclothed officer opened fire on a taxi in White Rock, RCMP officials confirm charges will not be forthcoming. According to taxi driver Rashid Ahmad, he was cut off by the driver of an unmarked car, after which time a “shabbily dressed man” got out, drew his gun and fired. In a civil claim, Ahmad alleges he was roughed up and that the incident was the result of negligence.

• • •

A Surrey father is charged in connection with the assault and abandonment of a three-year-old boy at a bus stop near 64 Avenue and 152 Street. Witnesses claim they saw a man strike and push the boy, before getting on a bus.

 

 

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