Floods, fatalities and fun historic photos – 2016 has been an intriguing and emotional year for the Bombala Times.
Below we look back on the Bombala Times website’s 10 biggest stories for the year, as indicated by the most unique users recorded by Google Analytics.
There were articles that received higher page views than these, but rather than have a top 10 list filled with multiple weather photo galleries and Bombala Cup Day socials, these are the stories that saw more individual readers engaged.
#1. Ando crash claims Delegate brothers’ lives
June, 2321 unique viewers
The region mourned after a tragic crash on the Monaro Highway resulted in the deaths of Delegate brothers Lawrence and Walter Armstrong, both aged in their 70s.
Initial reports suggested two cars crashed head-on. As well as the loss of two lives, a woman with head, chest and limb injuries was airlifted to the Canberra Hospital in a serious condition, and a man with chest and back injuries along with a woman with hand injuries were also taken to hospital, but were soon released.
#2. Brown Mountain highway closure
November, 1334 viewers
An alert for motorists about roadworks on Brown Mountain and temporary lane closures came in at number two for the year in terms of popularity with readers.
The Snowy Mountains Hwy is a key traffic route between the Monaro and the South Coast so the extensive roadworks taking place after heavy rains and landslips certainly captured attention.
#3. Dash cam video bust
June, 1006 viewers
Continuing the interest in the region’s roads, at number three is a court case in which an 84-year-old Cooma man was busted for a dangerous overtaking move recorded on camera.
The video depicted a white station wagon narrowly missing a B-double truck as it overtakes another vehicle.
#4. Delegate gun theft investigated
January, 780 views
Police reports were on your radar right from the start of 2016. News of firearms being stolen from a property at Delegate drew readers, particularly as they were stolen from a gun safe. Investigations were underway.
#5. Two injured in Bombala home assault
March, 770 viewers
A serious home invasion being investigated by local police made up part of a selection of reports from local cops. Two people at the address were assaulted with one taken to hospital and the other person receiving minor injuries.
Also in the police report was a logging truck rollover on Bucky Springs Road and a motorcyclist killed in a crash with another vehicle near Adaminaby.
#6. Bombala, Cooma-Monaro and Snowy River merger confirmed
May, 675 viewers
The end of the Bombala Council makes it into the top 10 stories for the year, with the state government’s decision seeing the amalgamation of the three Monaro councils into one entity.
Bombala had argued it was the most financially secure of the three councils, but it had been undone by a small ratepayer base and slow growth prospects. Outgoing mayor Bob Stewart was disappointed in the way the merger had been handled, saying their had been a lack of transparent communication. Meanwhile, the Snowy Monaro Regional Council was born under the administration of former Cooma-Monaro mayor Dean Lynch.
#7. Golden Oldie first grade football premiers
July, 590 viewers
The Golden Oldies have been incredibly popular additions to the Bombala Times, both online and in print. This particular one from July had more interest than most as readers trying to put names to faces on a photo of Bombala’s first grade football premiership team of 1979.
That year, Bombala defeated Bega 14-2 and in the same year the Bombala Reserve Grade defeated Bega 17-12.
After the photo was published, we heard from past player and club strapper Merv Gumbleton, who shared his memories of his days with Bombala Rugby League Football Club.
The Golden Oldie is sure to return in 2017.
#8. Burnima’s Unreal Estate
August, 585 viewers
The historic Burnima Homestead was named as a feature property to be part of Channel 9’s new series Unreal Estate. Owner Steve Ricketts said the show’s producers were looking for something out of the ordinary and Burnima’s amazing early history caught their attention.
Burnima Homestead is rare in that it is a complete example of a Victorian homestead which has escaped the ‘50s and ‘80s updates.
It’s an 1890s late Victorian Gothic style homestead built by grazier Henry Tollemache Edwards. Burnima comprises of the typical Victorian morning room, withdrawing room, formal dining, entrance hall, study, smoking room, billiards room, servants quarters and 10 bedrooms.
Mr Ricketts said he believed the homestead to be a rare time capsule.
#9. Celebrating Australia in Delegate
January, 559 viewers
A photo gallery celebrating how Delegate marked Australia Day in 2016 snuck into the top 10 in terms of unique viewers, but they certainly enjoyed what they saw, clocking up 17,500 page hits between them.
For the first time, Bombala Shire Council held its Australia Day celebrations at Delegate Showground. Throughout the course of the day the annual Bombala sheep shearing competitions were also held.
#10. Bombala River in flood
June, 557 viewers
June huge storm caused widespread rainfall, flooding and damage – including seeing more than 380mm falling on Bombala in one weekend.
The Bombala River broke its banks and the Bombala Caravan Park was evacuated, many residents trapped on their properties by rising waters.
There’s nothing Bombala people like better than the annual race day – except of course for checking out the photos afterwards!
A photo gallery of Bombala Cup socials and fashions from the October event drew 518 unique viewers and a massive 28,840 page hits!