Looking back on the Beaver’s top news stories of 2021

This being the final print edition of the Napanee Beaver for 2021, it only seemed fitting that we look back on the year that was.

Nothing brings back memories of the last 12 months quite like assembling the Beaver’s annual year-in-review. Look for our favourite photos to be posted on www.NapaneeBeaver.ca over the next week while our staff takes a bit of a break to enjoy the holiday season with family. Any breaking news and the latest COVID-19 news will be continually updated online and the print edition will return as normal on Jan. 6 for what will be the Beaver’s 153rd year.

While looking back on the year has always been a fun exercise for this reporter, the launch of a fully operational website in recent years has made the task much easier.

One of the biggest stories of the year came in mid March, when KFLA Public Health announced a mass COVID-19 immunization clinic would be opening at Napanee’s Strathcona Paper Centre. That marked a huge break through in the war on COVID and has no doubt saved countless lives. Here in the final stages of 2021, the waiting list for the third shot is starting to grow but KFLA continues to come up with solutions, holding a very successful drive-through clinic at Kingston’s St. Lawrence College over the weekend. As stressful as it can be for those trying to book their appointment right now, just remember the scramble of last spring and then realize it did eventually calm down before too long.

By late April the buzz around town shifted to the opposition of a proposed permanent asphalt plant just a few kilometres from the downtown core. That’s a story that will bleed into 2022, with public meetings scheduled to take place in mid-February.

In Late May we bid farewell to local favourite Dr. Kieran Moore, who moved from his role as medical officer of health for KFLA Public Health to now overseeing the entire province. Moore’s leadership through the first half of the pandemic will not be forgotten as he was credited with playing a huge role in helping our region weather the first two waves in a rather enviable position. He left big shoes for his replacement, Dr. Piotr Oglaza to fill and he’s continued the trend of being open and accessible to the residents of KFLA. Unfortunately the region has gone from one of Ontario’s best to now one of the hardest hit by Omicron, but it would be unfair to pin that blame on Oglaza. Through it all he’s continued to be a reassuring voice and will hopefully oversee a huge turnaround in the new year.

Bright spots for the year included several successes for the Express on the ball diamond, the Stars and Crunch capturing some tournaments already, Britt Benn representing Canada at the Tokyo Olympics and a triumphant return of the Parade of Lights. And who could forget in May when BobbyJo the cow escaped from her trailer and made quite the scene as she refused to mooove out of the middle of Dundas Street.

While 2021 had its share of challenges, the community found a way to make the most of it and together we hope for a better and brighter 2022.

-Adam Prudhomme

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