Aaron Guillen

Jimmy Miller (left) and members of the WestShore Skatepark Coalition were at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre’s parking lot Sunday for a bottle drive to raise funds to build a skatepark on the West Shore. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

PHOTOS: West Shore skatepark dream inches closer to reality one bottle at a time

WestShore Skatepark Coalition keeps pushing forward

Jimmy Miller (left) and members of the WestShore Skatepark Coalition were at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre’s parking lot Sunday for a bottle drive to raise funds to build a skatepark on the West Shore. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke’s Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, died after the pickup truck they were travelling in was swept into the Sooke River due to unprecedented flooding in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park late January. (Facebook)

Loss, love and light: Here are Sooke’s top stories of 2020

Community mourns loss of three young Sooke men, free meals handed out amid pandemic and more

Sooke’s Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, died after the pickup truck they were travelling in was swept into the Sooke River due to unprecedented flooding in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park late January. (Facebook)
Bacon, an eight-month-old puppy, is in a splint after she was kicked by a random stranger on Christmas Day on Beecher Bay Reserve in East Sooke. (Facebook/Ronnie Marie Tejano)

Puppy kicked by stranger in East Sooke on Christmas Day

Dog currently in splint, X-ray and surgery bill to cost around $5,700

Bacon, an eight-month-old puppy, is in a splint after she was kicked by a random stranger on Christmas Day on Beecher Bay Reserve in East Sooke. (Facebook/Ronnie Marie Tejano)
Sooke’s Timothy Durkin has been granted a brief pause on his admissibilty hearing after revealing that he applied for Canadian citizenship eleven months ago. Durkin, who is facing potential deportation based on claims of alleged involvement in a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme in the United States, will meet with the deciding board in April 2021. (Canada Border Services Agency photo)

Decision to deport former manager of Sooke Harbour House pushed until April 2021

Timothy Durkin awaits decision on citizenship application, submitted in January

Sooke’s Timothy Durkin has been granted a brief pause on his admissibilty hearing after revealing that he applied for Canadian citizenship eleven months ago. Durkin, who is facing potential deportation based on claims of alleged involvement in a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme in the United States, will meet with the deciding board in April 2021. (Canada Border Services Agency photo)
Metchosin Museum Society is looking for three vintage doors for the old Metchosin Schoolhouse, located at 4475 Happy Valley Rd. (Bob Burgis photo)

Metchosin group seeking vintage doors for 148-year-old building

Metchosin Schoolhouse in midst of facelift

Metchosin Museum Society is looking for three vintage doors for the old Metchosin Schoolhouse, located at 4475 Happy Valley Rd. (Bob Burgis photo)
Langford’s Heather Charlton had dozens of her custom cookies featured in two Hallmark holiday movies. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

How one Langford baker got her homemade cookies featured in Hallmark films

Film company ended up ordering over 11 dozen cookies

Langford’s Heather Charlton had dozens of her custom cookies featured in two Hallmark holiday movies. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count has finished with a total of 142 individual bird species spotted within a single day. (Mark Byrne photo)

Rare bird usually found between Oregon and South America seen in Central Saanich

Greater Victoria birders spot more than 140 bird species within a single day

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count has finished with a total of 142 individual bird species spotted within a single day. (Mark Byrne photo)
Colwood’s Nevaeh Bowman, 10, rewrote the lyrics to Jingle Bells to fit what she calls the theme song of 2020. (Chantelle Bowman photo)

VIDEO: Colwood girl rewrites Christmas classic into ‘theme song of 2020’

Songwriter hopes for microphone or MP3 player for Christmas

Colwood’s Nevaeh Bowman, 10, rewrote the lyrics to Jingle Bells to fit what she calls the theme song of 2020. (Chantelle Bowman photo)
Colwood’s Sangster Elementary music teacher Chris Poynter has compiled the voices of around 240 students to recreate the final song that would take place at the end of their Christmas program. (YouTube)

VIDEO: Colwood teacher shares Christmas song with more than 200 student voices

‘Although we’re separated this year, we’re still together,’ says music teacher

Colwood’s Sangster Elementary music teacher Chris Poynter has compiled the voices of around 240 students to recreate the final song that would take place at the end of their Christmas program. (YouTube)
Koda, a rescue mix dog, has been missing since Dec. 18 when she didn’t come back to her owners at Sooke Potholes near the third parking lot around 12:15 p.m. She’s around 50 pounds with mainly black and brown marks and white patches. (Facebook - Katrina Whitney-Griffiths)

Family continues search for missing dog last seen at Sooke Potholes

Koda, 7, around 50 pounds, has black, brown and white patches

Koda, a rescue mix dog, has been missing since Dec. 18 when she didn’t come back to her owners at Sooke Potholes near the third parking lot around 12:15 p.m. She’s around 50 pounds with mainly black and brown marks and white patches. (Facebook - Katrina Whitney-Griffiths)
The Royal Beach waterfront in Colwood, owned by Seacliff Properties, has been temporarily closed to the public after stormwater runoff has eroded the foreshore. (Chelsea Garrod photo)

Heavy erosion closes Colwood’s Royal Beach access to waterfront walkway

Resident estimates significant drops, around six feet

The Royal Beach waterfront in Colwood, owned by Seacliff Properties, has been temporarily closed to the public after stormwater runoff has eroded the foreshore. (Chelsea Garrod photo)
The Grade 5 John Muir Elementary class in Sooke has prepared gift bags for the Sooke homeless shelter, which the residents will open on Christmas Day. (Annette Jacobsen photo)

Grade 5 class in Sooke create gift bags for homeless

Bags stuffed with hand warmers, personal hygiene kits and a handwritten note

The Grade 5 John Muir Elementary class in Sooke has prepared gift bags for the Sooke homeless shelter, which the residents will open on Christmas Day. (Annette Jacobsen photo)
Drivers along the Malahat are at a standstill after a semi-truck spun out near Shawnigan Lake Road Monday afternoon. (Adina Joy photo)

Traffic along Malahat at standstill after semi-truck spins out

Crews working to plow, salt and sand roadways

Drivers along the Malahat are at a standstill after a semi-truck spun out near Shawnigan Lake Road Monday afternoon. (Adina Joy photo)
Newborn Kenneth Louie received burns along his right foot and ankle after being in care at Victoria General Hospital. His mother, Tracy Louie, says he is slowly recovering and will return back to hospital for a check up in a week. (Tracy Louie photo)

Three-day-old baby receives burns while at Victoria General Hospital

‘It was the loudest cry I’ve ever heard,’ said Victoria mother

Newborn Kenneth Louie received burns along his right foot and ankle after being in care at Victoria General Hospital. His mother, Tracy Louie, says he is slowly recovering and will return back to hospital for a check up in a week. (Tracy Louie photo)
The Sooke Region Communities Health Network has launched a survey to figure out the food security needs for residents living in and around Sooke. The deadline for the survey is set for Dec. 31. (Black Press Media file photo)
The Sooke Region Communities Health Network has launched a survey to figure out the food security needs for residents living in and around Sooke. The deadline for the survey is set for Dec. 31. (Black Press Media file photo)
Santa Claus stopped by Colwood City Hall to help ring in the holidays with members of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Members collected donations for the Goldstream Food Bank while spreading some holiday cheer. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Santa helps Colwood firefighters collect donations for food bank

City Hall gets drive-thru style event to spread holiday spirit

Santa Claus stopped by Colwood City Hall to help ring in the holidays with members of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Members collected donations for the Goldstream Food Bank while spreading some holiday cheer. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)

Greater Victoria birders tasked with specific areas for annual count

Christmas Bird Count takes place in Greater Victoria on Dec. 19

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Representative from the Sooke Firefighter’s Association and Sooke’s IAFF Local 4841 presented the Sooke Food Bank with a cheque for over $36,000 on Dec. 17. The funds raised will go towards feeding those in need across the Sooke region. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke Christmas Bureau gifted with $36,000 donation by firefighters

Santa Run raised over $11,000 in a single night

Representative from the Sooke Firefighter’s Association and Sooke’s IAFF Local 4841 presented the Sooke Food Bank with a cheque for over $36,000 on Dec. 17. The funds raised will go towards feeding those in need across the Sooke region. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke council has unanimously voted to hike their salaries by five per cent in 2021. Also, they are directing staff to investigate creating a formula for future mayor and council pay wages. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke moves ahead with five per cent pay hike for council

Councillors ask staff to come up with formula for future pay raises

Sooke council has unanimously voted to hike their salaries by five per cent in 2021. Also, they are directing staff to investigate creating a formula for future mayor and council pay wages. (Black Press Media file photo)
The Town of View Royal is looking for the best Christmas light displays until Dec. 23. Then, five winners will receive a prize from a local chocolate shop. (Black Press Media file photo)

View Royal offers prize for best Christmas light displays

Nominate a home, business or yourself until Dec. 23

The Town of View Royal is looking for the best Christmas light displays until Dec. 23. Then, five winners will receive a prize from a local chocolate shop. (Black Press Media file photo)