2020 was quite the year for the people of Bancroft and beyond.
COVID-19 dominated headlines this year, starting with the first positive case in the Bancroft Area. The case prompted Hastings Prince Edward Public Health to issue a clarification that there was no community transmission at the time. During the pandemic, many cases came from areas around CFB Trenton as they dealt with those infected on cruise lines, according to HPE Public Health. COVID-19 prompted a burn ban across the province to help protect the safety of residents and firefighters.
However, our website’s most read stories didn’t deal with COVID, but with cottagers. Our most read story of 2020 came as Doug Ford urged travelers to stay out of cottage country, citing stress to local services and healthcare. The comments prompted Bancroft mayor Paul Jenkins to say that the “cottager vs. permanent resident” debate needed to end. He said that the conversation was serving nobody.
A number of crime related stories also topped headlines this year. Bancroft OPP conducted an extensive search after reports of a suspicious death rocked the town. A suspect was eventually arrested after the search. Early in the year, police executed a number of search warrants regarding several break-and-enters in the area. Police were also called out in February when a snowmobile went through the ice on the York River, resulting in one death.
Other widely read stories this year include changes to Bancroft’s off-road bylaw and plans for the former IGA property. The town also came out to bid farewell to Rob Greer, who ended his 33 year run as Bancroft’s Purolator delivery man this year. And finally, 91-year-old Betty Brett made headlines after winning half a million dollars playing Instant Chrome from OLG.