2022 in review: May, June, July, and August

With 2023 upon us, everyone is brainstorming their New Year’s resolutions and trying to decide how to ring in the new year. At the same time, many reflect on the year past and what it held – the good, the bad, and the downright strange.

To join in those reflections, we’ve compiled the most-viewed articles of 2022, month by month. In a series of three articles, we’ll look back on the year that was and the things that piqued our readers’ interests, with curated lists of those articles Kingstonist has published that saw the most readers turning to their screens for more information.

Catch up on the most-read articles of January, February, March, and April in Kingstonist’s 2022 in review Part 1.

May 2022

Two collisions occurring at the same time closing down the eastbound lanes of Highway 401, the detection of Anaplasmosis-causing bacteria in ticks locally, a striking construction worker hit by a vehicle while on the picket line, and the announcement of the return of Movies in the Square were among the most read articles of May 2022. Photos by (clockwise from top left) Lucas Mulder, submitted, Cris Vilela, and submitted.

When an accident on the 401 closes a section of Ontario’s busiest highway in the Kingston area, readers often turn to Kingstonist to see what is happening — all the more when there are two accidents. The latter happened on Sunday, May 1, 2022, when two collisions closed down the eastbound lanes of the 401 just before 6:30 p.m. that day. Although the highway remained closed for several hours as emergency responders tended to the incidents, no injuries were reported as a result of the crashes.

Kingstonist readers are often asked for assistance in missing persons or other police cases, and this was again the case in May. Two of the most read articles of the month called for public help locating missing people. An 18-year-old was located on May 10 after her family and friends hadn’t heard from her in weeks. Sadly, however, the most read article of the month involved a 29-year-old woman from Port Hope who had been missing for a month – and was previously believed to be a possible victim of human trafficking – who was found deceased on May 19, 2022.

Other calls for help from Kingston Police saw readers tune in to help identify an individual suspected of making death threats and a woman suspected in a fraud case.

Further in crime reports, a local woman charged by the OPP for stealing narcotics from an Amherstivew business and an incident in which a striking construction worker was hit by a vehicle while on the picket line were some of our most read stories. And a “possible incident” in Mountain Grove had over 10,000 readers wondering what was going on; their curiosity was unfortunately not satisfied since the OPP remained tight-lipped on the case.

In local health news, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health announced the detection of Anaplasmosis-causing bacteria in ticks locally.

But it wasn’t only bad news that had those in Kingston and the area viewing Kingstonist articles: readers clicked with excitement as one of the most-loved events in the city announced its return!

June 2022

A fatal collision at the LaSalle Causeway, the safe removal of two horses from Highway 401, the death of a motorcyclist following a collision, and the arrest of a youth after area schools were put on lockdown were among the most read articles of June 2022. Photos by (clockwise from top left) Kingstonist, submitted, Kingstonist, and Cris Vilela.

Frightening occurrences at area schools, which resulted in the arrest of one youth, dominated our most-read articles in June 2022, with readers following along as Frontenac Secondary School, Module de L’Acadie, and Holy Cross Secondary School were put on lockdown and we shared the accounts of one student present for the events, as well as follow-up information from Kingston Police.

In legal news, a former candidate for MPP in Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston being ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in a defamation case caught the attention of over 15,000 Kingstonist readers, as did the coverage of two Loyalist Township residents charged after scamming nearly $700,000 through a fake lottery scheme.

Readers turned on their screens to learn more about the OPP calling for witnesses after 30 calls for assistance were placed to police within 24 hours, and Kingston Police announcing the release of a high-risk offender into the Kingston community.

In sad news, a fatal accident involving a motorcycle and the death of a male driver after a collision at the LaSalle Causeway were among the most read articles in June 2022.

Other highly-viewed articles in June were the announcement of the water park at the Memorial Centre reopening with a new name and the fine work of the OPP and transport drivers to ensure the safety of two horses loose on Highway 401.

And while it was not the most-viewed article of the month, the sewer main break in Kingston’s west end, leading to Utilities Kingston asking residents to conserve water, was certainly one of the larger stories of June 2022 — and over 10,000 readers agreed.

July 2022

The death of a cyclist on Highway 15, an explosion at the Lennox and Addington Power Plant leading to widespread power outages, the discovery of a deceased male in the grass alongside John Counter Boulevard at Montreal Street, and the search and recovery efforts that took place after a man went missing in the water off of Crawford Wharf in downtown Kingston were among the most read articles in July 2022. Photos by (clockwise from top left) Cris Vilela, Cris Vilela, Lucas Mulder, and Cris Vilela.

July was, unfortunately, dominated by the kind of news no one wants to hear.

An explosion at the Lennox and Addington Power Plant on July 26, which led to widespread power outages throughout the area, had readers wanting to know more – most likely after their power had gone out and they were searching for an explanation.

Earlier in the month, a joint OPP and Kingston Police investigation resulted in over 70 charges being laid against Kingston man Michael Haaima, who is accused of luring victims into human trafficking, among other crimes.

In happier news, Kingstonist readers clicked and shared information after 73-year-old Michael McDonald was reported missing from the Stone Mills area; McDonald was found safe the following day, prompting the OPP to thank all those who aided in the search.

But the tragic deaths of three individuals drew the attention of over 40,000 readers, many expressing heartbreak and sadness: readers turned to Kingstonist to find out why John Counter Boulevard was closed to traffic at Montreal Street on July 28, only to find out that a male had been located deceased in the grass alongside the busy intersection. And readers were saddened by the news of the passing of a 90-year-old cyclist who was struck by a vehicle on Highway 15 on Saturday, Jul. 9, 2022.

The most read story of the month also had a tragic end when a man who went into the water off Crawford Wharf could not be located by the three Good Samaritans who jumped in to try to save him. As readers followed along, the search and rescue efforts of local police turned into search and recovery efforts, and sadly the man’s body was recovered from the water the following night, July 5, 2022.

August 2022

An arson that saw flames engulf one of the oldest buildings in downtown Kingston, a transport truck falling from the highway and exploding in a fiery crash on the CN rail lines below, a mysterious foamy substance covering Bath Road in Kingston’s west end, and the robbery of a local credit union location were among the most read articles of August 2022. Photos by (clockwise from top left) Mathew Freeman, Lucas Mulder, submitted, and Kingstonist.

The beginning of the month saw thousands of readers following along as a beloved building – and one of the oldest – in downtown Kingston went up in flames on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Home to Modern Primitive and Amanda’s House of Elegance, the lower Princess Street building, which backs onto Rochleau Court, was the target of arson, police later determined; the fire caused over $300,000 in damage.

Near the end of August, another fiery incident captured readers’ attention when a tractor trailer drove off the side of Highway 401 and burst into flames on the CN train tracks below. Later, charges were laid against the transport driver.

Unfortunately, coverage of fire incidents did not end there. Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022 saw a home in Kingston’s east end destroyed in a massive blaze, and two days later a family in Kingston’s west end was displaced after another large fire. Luckily, no injuries were reported in either incident.

Theft and crime reporting continued to have readers shaking their heads in disbelief throughout the month.

A break and enter at a credit union location in the Clock Tower Plaza in Kingston’s west end commercial district had over 10,600 readers following along as the story unfolded throughout the day on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 – and ended with police removing the automated teller machine (ATM) safe from the financial centre.

Three days earlier, the OPP descended on the rural town of Northbrook, where an incident had occurred at the Bank of Montreal location in the Lennox and Addington community. While police later confirmed that a robbery had taken place, they would not expand on what type of robbery it was.

In an instance of incredible luck, a driver was uninjured after crashing his vehicle into the side of a transport truck, crushing his car on impact. In fact, the driver was uninjured enough to flee the scene on foot… but his luck ran out, as he was arrested quickly afterward a short distance away and charged with impaired driving.

As always, Kingstonist readers tuned in when Kingston Police requested assistance, which occurred throughout the month. On August 9, police requested help to identify the suspect in an assault that occurred at a downtown bar/restaurant involving a glass thrown in the face of the victim, who then required medical attention due to facial injuries. On August 17, readers clicked to find out more about an identity fraud suspect police were trying to identify after she had cashed fraudulent cheques at multiple local banks. And on August 29, the OPP requested public assistance in their investigation after four males were arrested in connection with an assault that occurred on Highway 401 near the Westbrook Road overpass; the shocking assault case saw over 12,000 readers tune in to help.

One of the most read articles of August 2022 was about a vehicle that drove through the encampment adjacent to Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub (ICH) on Montreal Street, causing multiple injuries. Readers were shocked by the incident, which saw the arrest of the 36-year-old driver.

In what has become a common occurrence, the Wolfe Island ferry service was disrupted once again in August – and the cancellation of an entire day of service was only narrowly avoided. While many readers learned of this ongoing issue on August 7, most local people are now well aware that the troubles with staffing and mechanical issues continue to plague the essential travel route for some 1,400+ Wolfe Island residents.

The oddity of the month took place on August 8 in the form of a foamy, sudsy substance covering the roadway on Bath Road between Collins Bay Road and Centennial Drive. As Kingstonist investigated, readers followed along to find out what the heck the substance was.

But perhaps equally odd – and our most read story of the month with over 20,000 views – was that the OPP had to issue a public warning after a months-long phone scam occurred locally where the caller claimed to be from Odessa-based business Glen Lasher Home Comfort Service. Instances of these strange calls impersonating the secretary of the business began in April, police said, but the warning to residents was issued on August 4.

Part 3 of 2022 in review is available here.

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