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Year in Review: Top news stories for Global Peterborough in 2018

Paramedics tend to a woman who was reportedly shot in the parking lot of The Home Depot in Peterborough.
Paramedics tend to a woman who was reportedly shot in the parking lot of The Home Depot in Peterborough. Special to CHEX News

A shooting outside a Peterborough Home Depot, the end of General Electrics manufacturing, a naked man stuck in a storm drain and a Peterborough woman found dead on a beach in Australia were among the most viewed stories on Global Peterborough’s website in 2018.

Man shoots wife in Peterborough Home Depot parking lot

A morning shooting outside a Peterborough store in August gripped the city.

On Aug. 22, a man allegedly shot his wife inside a vehicle which was in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Lansdowne Street in Peterborough. She was taken to hospital in Peterborough and then Toronto where she died of her injuries. The victim was identified as Sandra Finn, 70.

READ MORE: Peterborough-area woman dies in Home Depot parking lot shooting, husband charged with murder

Witnesses claim after “three or four pops,” the man placed a firearm on the hood of the vehicle and waited for police to arrive.

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Terrance Finn, 73, was arrested at the scene and later charged with the first-degree murder of his wife.

Shooting at Peterborough Home Depot
Shooting at Peterborough Home Depot

Since his arrest, Finn has made multiple court appearances, claiming he wants to enter a plea but his case still remains before the court.

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GE Peterborough ends manufacturing

More than 126 years of manufacturing history ended quietly in late December as General Electric Peterborough ceased operations.

In August 2017, GE announced it was ending production – a move that was to impact up to 360 workers. The last day of production was Dec. 21. Company reps and Unifor – the union representing employees – did not provide final numbers on how many workers remained until the final day.

READ MORE: End of an era: Final manufacturing shift at General Electric Peterborough

GE announced it would cease operation in Peterborough back in August 2017 and was slowly phasing out operations. A global decline in demand for  At that point, the closure was to affect 358 workers.

Final manufacturing shift at GE Peterborough
Final manufacturing shift at GE Peterborough

About 50 engineers are expected to remain at the site. The company has not announced any plans for its massive property on Park Street.

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GE began its operations in Peterborough in 1892.

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Naked man rescued from storm drain

It’s a rescue the OPP in Quinte West will likely never forget.

In late September, police were called to rescue a man who was found naked and stuck in a storm drain in Trenton.

READ MORE: Naked man rescued from storm drain in Trenton: OPP

Police say the man entered the storm drain on a bet but his friends ran away with his clothes. The 24-year-old man was arrested and charged with being intoxicated in a public place along with trespassing.

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Peterborough woman’s body found on a beach in Australia 

The death of Peterborough woman while on vacation in Australia saw the community rally to support her family.

The bodies of Julie Tutak, 38, and Australian Kurt Butler, 39, were found washed ashore on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast.

READ MORE: Body of Peterborough woman found on island beach off Australia

Brisbane police say they initially thought the deaths were suspicious due to their “unexplained injuries.” However, they later determined the pair were involved in a jetski accident.

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Tutak, a mother of two, was a personal support worker at Fairhaven Retirement residence in Peterborough.

An online crowdfunding campaign to help cover the costs of bringing Tutak’s body home and funeral expenses raised more than $20,000.

There is another connection to Peterborough: The daughter of Butler lives in Peterborough with her mother.

Peterborough connection to Australian death
Peterborough connection to Australian death

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Man suffers shattered teeth while breaking up a fight

A photo of a man in the aftermath of attempting to break up a fight garnered plenty of attention on social media.

The family of 27-year-old Kelly Scott of Peterborough posted the image of Scott in a hospital bed after the incident, which left his face shattered. The altercation happened in May.

READ MORE: Peterborough man suffers shattered teeth, nose, after attempting to break up a fight

During the melee, a man allegedly hurled a metal object at Scott as he stepped in to break up a fight between unknown individuals in a parking lot in downtown Peterborough.

Police a few weeks later arrested a man in connection with the alleged assault.

Peterborough man allegedly assaulted trying to break up a fight Friday
Peterborough man allegedly assaulted trying to break up a fight Friday

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Teenager hailed a hero after pulling man from Otonabee River

A teenager was hailed as a hero after he rescued a man from the Otonabee River in July.

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Ryan McIlwain, 16, was taking a break from Lakefield Foodland when he heard cries for help from the nearby Otonabee River just north of Peterborough.

READ MORE: 16-year-old hailed a hero after saving man's life from Otonabee River

He sped his car down the road to the spot nearest the man in the water. There, he took off his work uniform, dove in and swam about 25 metres to the 18-year-old-man.

“I grabbed him, told him to lay on his back, focus on his breathing, just calm down,” McIlwain said. “Once I grabbed him he was still [flailing] around. I think he was just really shocked on what was going on.”

McIlwain said it was hard to grab the man, but once he did, he swam him to shore where a passerby helped get the pair to shore.

Teen hailed a hero after saving man from Otonabee River in Lakefield
Teen hailed a hero after saving man from Otonabee River in Lakefield

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The $7 million decision for a Peterborough man

So would you rather $1,000 a day for life or a lump-sum payment?

The debate rages on after a Peterborough man claimed the OLG’s Daily Grand Draw top prize of $1,000 a day for life in June.

However, John Wedlock opted for a lump-size prize of $7 million instead.

READ MORE: Peterborough man opts for $7M instead of $1,000 a day for life in lottery win

The 59-year-old’s decision had many people debating on social media over his decision. And at the time of claiming his prize, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with his financial windfall.

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The odds of winning the grand prize are 1 in 13.34 million.

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Family receives private zoo tour in Peterbrough after son with autism accosted 

The Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough welcomed a mother and son to a private tour after she said they were targets of discriminatory comments in June.

Ashley Wright and her son Logan, 13, were at the zoo when she said her son — who has severe autism — was getting agitated. Wright says a man nearby then questioned her, “Why do people bring kids like that out in public?”

READ MORE: Family receives private zoo tour in Peterborough after son with autism was target of discrimination

Wright wrote a 1,000-word post on Facebook outlining her shock and dismay at the man’s “ignorant and hurtful” words.

The post caught the attention of zoo staff. They invited the family back to the zoo for a private tour to be up-close with the animals, including the camels — Logan’s favourite animal. The Peterborough Police Service also attended to show support for the family.

“This meant so much to me, not only seeing Logan, but Brinlee, too, and seeing how happy they were,” Wright said. “Being able to come back and just seeing how happy he was to pet the camels and to feed some of the animals was just amazing.”

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Family receives private zoo tour after son with autism was discriminated against
Family receives private zoo tour after son with autism was discriminated against

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Student drowns at University of Toronto Survey Camp in Minden

Tragedy struck the University of Toronto in the new school year when a student drowned at a campus survey camp just south on Minden in September.

OPP say the body of 18-year-old Anand Baiju was pulled from the lake and transported to hospital without vital signs.

READ MORE: OPP probe student drowning at University of Toronto Survey Camp on Gull Lake in Minden

In a statement, the university said it was mourning the loss of an engineering student who was among a group taking part in a course.

The university bought the 175-acre property on Gull Lake in 1919 as a site for engineering students to learn surveying and project management. The university says the site is now used to teach land surveying, integrated water systems and geology.

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Body of missing boater recovered from Pigeon Lake

The search for a missing swimmer gripped residents in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

In early July, OPP were deployed to Pigeon Lake near Bobcaygeon after reports that a man swimming near his houseboat was struggling in the water after helping another woman.

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READ MORE: Body of missing boater recovered from Pigeon Lake near Bobcaygeon

“The male was attempting to assist a female swimmer who was struggling in the water,” OPP stated. “The female made it back onto the boat but the male did not.”

The victim was identified as Todd Simpson, 40, of Clarington.

Drowning in Pigeon Lake near Bobcaygeon
Drowning in Pigeon Lake near Bobcaygeon

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Racial slurs shouted during downtown brawl

**Warning graphic content**

A video circulating on social media captured a racially-infused brawl which broke out in downtown Peterborough in mid-August.

READ MORE: Racial slurs shouted during brawl at Peterborough park

Peterborough police called the incident a “large disturbance” at Del Crary Park involving 20 to 30 young people

This story contains language some readers may find offensive.

‘Get back to your country, Paki!’ Racist slurs hurled during fight at park in Peterborough, ON
‘Get back to your country, Paki!’ Racist slurs hurled during fight at park in Peterborough, ON