Kingston’s top news stories of 2018
These are Kingston’s most significant and most viewed stories as covered by Kingstonist in 2018:
Chance Macdonald, under the alias Andrew Macdonald, was engaged by Queen’s University as guest lecturer for a Smith School Of Business Accelerated MBA class in May of 2018. MacDonald, a former Queen’s student who was convicted of Assault in 2017, was initially charged with confining and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a 2015 incident. He subsequently pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of Assault and was sentenced to 88 days in jail and 2 years of probation.
Kingston residents performed their civic duties twice in 2018, first with the June election of our provincial MPP Ian Arthur, and then worked through significant technological challenges to re-elect Bryan Paterson as mayor as well as a mixture of rookie and incumbent city councillors in October.
A serious sexual assault involving a female victim and a male suspect in downtown Kingston on the evening of August 17 and early hours of August 18 prompted Kingston Police to reach out to the public for assistance in identifying the suspect. Kingston Police located and charged the suspect a few days later.
The builders for Kingston’s long-anticipated third crossing were announced on August 22nd. Construction is on track to begin in the summer of 2019.
On August 31st, Kingston Police rescued a toddler that had been left in a hot vehicle in the Walmart parking lot on Midland Ave. Eyewitnesses said that the child was in obvious emotional distress and crying loudly, prompting Kingston Police to break one of the rear windows of the van and remove the child from the vehicle. The child was then handed over to Frontenac Paramedics for treatment and precautionary transport to hospital.
39-year-old Jean-Guy Vincent died in Kingston’s first and only homicide at Kozy Inn Motel in the early morning hours of September 5th. The first suspect, 19-year-old Aaron James Lewis, was arrested shortly thereafter, and charged with second degree murder. His brother, 21-year-old Logan Lewis, and the wife of the victim, 41-year-old Shannon Ainsworth, aka Shannon Vincent, were also arrested a few days later and charged with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and a variety of weapons offences.
Two area retirement homes were initially ordered to vacate residents and subsequently officially ordered to close in September following several allegations of unsafe conditions and failure to pay suppliers and staff. The closure left area organizations scrambling to find adequate accommodations for the residents, with some residents being relocated to hospital rooms at KGH.
A serious collision at Princess St and Bayridge Dr on September 14th sent three high school students to hospital. Two were released shortly thereafter but one student remained in hospital for a prolonged period with-life threatening injuries.
A massive storm that swept through much of Ontario on Friday, September 21st tragically claimed the life of Kingstonian Darren Smith. Smith, a long-time and well-regarded City of Kingston employee, sustained critical injuries at his home when a large maple tree fell on him due to the strong storm winds. He succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter. He was 46 years old.
A Code Silver was declared after shots were fired at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s Kingston General Hospital in mid-November. The culprit, an inmate who had been brought in for treatment, started a fight with supervising Correctional Service Of Canada officers, took an officer’s handgun and fired several shots, injuring one person in an adjoining area. The inmate, Corey Ryan Ward, is now facing attempted murder charges and several weapons-related charges from the incident.
A serious multi-vehicle collision involving a tractor trailer and a car just east of Odessa closed the 401 in both directions for several hours on November 22nd. Eyewitnesses said that the tractor trailer involved in the collision clipped a cube van, starting off a chain reaction that included the rollover of a passenger vehicle and several fuel fires.
The release of Lucas Tyler Petrini, a convicted sex offender, into the Kingston community prompted Kingston Police to issue a safety notice regarding the release of the high-risk sex offender. “This notice is being issued as Kingston Police believe he may pose a risk to the community, particularly those under the age of 14. Petrini has a residency condition and will be monitored,” Kingston Police told local media on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.
Area schools were deemed safe after receiving multiple threats over several days in early December. The SWATing threats, allegedly perpetrated by twitter user GoredTutor43 (since suspended), continue to be investigated by Kingston Police in collaboration with other international police forces.