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Top ten news articles on the RiotACT in 2016

By Charlotte Harper 27 December 2016

The most-read news stories on the RiotACT website this year reported on tragedies that devastated Canberrans: the death of 8-year-old Jacka boy Bradyn Dillon (father Graham Dillon was later charged with Bradyn’s murder) and the horrific accident at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast that killed four people, including Canberrans Kate Goodchild, 32, Roozbeh Araghi, 38, and Luke Dorsett, 35. Death and crime feature heavily in the top ten, with some brighter moments including the news that Singapore Airlines would commence direct international flights into Canberra.

10 Manuka restaurant site gutted by flames
For lease sign at fire site. Photo: Charlotte Harper
‘A restaurant site in the cinema building on the corner of Franklin Street and Furneaux Street in Manuka was gutted by fire earlier this morning,’ we reported on November 30. Most recently operated as mediterranean restaurant Avesta, the site was formerly home to Tosolini’s, Pangaea, Charlie Black, On Furneaux and Pheast. Part of a building owned by Sotiria Liangis’s Liangis Investments, it had been up for lease after Avesta’s closure earlier this year.

9. Update: Kingston death deemed not suspicious
Forensics team arrives. Photo: Charlotte Harper
‘The death of a 29-year-old woman at a Kingston apartment on Friday, 26 February 2016, has been deemed non-suspicious following a post mortem examination.’ This was the update to our original report that day about a 31-year-old Kingston man assisting police with their investigations into the suspicious death of the woman, whose body was found in an Eastlake Parade apartment.

8. ‘Nige’ Johnson quits Mix106.3 for ESA Media
Nigel Johnson
‘Nigel Johnson is leaving Mix 106.3 after almost 19 years in Canberra FM radio and only months after he switched from 104.7 to Mix following the controversial axing of his then long-time co-breakfast presenter Scott Masters.’ Given our earlier story about Scott Masters’ sacking from 104.7 was one of our most-read stories of 2015, we were keen to update you on the July 19 news of his former breakfast co-host’s decision to leave the radio business.

7. Death in Greenway case non-suspicious: police
Police wrap
‘ACT Policing is treating the death in Greenway yesterday as non-suspicious,’ was our update on an original story in which ACT Policing were investigating the circumstances surrounding an unidentified body found in Greenway on August 29.

6. Obstacle event a disgrace, dangerous: participants
‘Participants in an obstacle course event at Bungendore over the weekend have labelled the event as “disappointing”, “dangerous” and “a disgrace” and set up an online petition calling on the organisers to refund their tickets.’ Facebook posts on the Obstasplash page described injuries to limbs and friction burns sustained during a session of this Bungendore event in February.

5. Students at 5 Canberra schools target of porn ring
School students. Photo: iStock
‘Girls at five Canberra schools – Canberra College, Gungahlin College, Radford, St Clare’s and St Mary Mackillop’s College – are reportedly among those who have been the target of an online porn sharing site where men and teenaged boys solicit and swap graphic sexual images of young women who live in particular geographic areas or attend specific schools.’ ACT Education Minister Shane Rattenbury echoed community sentiment in August when he said that the young men involved in the sharing site needed to know that their behaviour was not only illegal but “completely deplorable”.

4. Canberrans take up #CBRnumberplates challenge on Twitter
Our September 7 story about the ACT Government’s callout for potential slogans for ACT numberplates further encouraged the already frenzied social media sharing of alternative taglines for Canberra. The ACT Government will publish a shortlist and allow us to vote on which of the existing options, such as ‘Feel the power of Canberra’, will stay, and which new ones will be added.

3. Singapore Airlines to fly into Canberra: report
Singapore Airlines
Capital residents were excited on January 12 when the Australian Financial Review reported Singapore Airlines was set to announce plans for direct international flights in and out of Canberra Airport. The story ran for nine months in the lead-up to the first flight landing in September, forming a key plank in ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s re-election campaign.

1. Dreamworld tragedy is ours as three confirmed Canberrans
Roozbeh Araghi, Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett died in the accident at Dreamworld. Photos: Facebook
‘Three of the four people killed in yesterday’s horrific Dreamworld accident were from Canberra: Kate Goodchild, 32, Roozbeh Araghi, 38, and Luke Dorsett, 35, died at the scene together with a 42-year-old woman, the Brisbane Courier-Mail reports.’ We were all in shock to wake up to the news on October 26 that three of the four people killed in the horrific Dreamworld accident on the Gold Coast the previous afternoon were Canberrans. Tributes flowed on social media as the city mourned.

1. Jacka father charged with murder of 8yo son
The Jacka residence in which the boy was gravely injured last night.
‘Jacka man Graham Dillon, 37, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court this morning in relation to the alleged murder of his 8-year-old son last night.’ This February 16 tragedy was one of the key reasons then Attorney-General Simon Corbell established a full royal-commission-style board of inquiry into the Territory’s child protection services and no doubt played a role in Treasurer Andrew Barr announcing a $21.4 million funding package for domestic violence prevention measures in the June Budget.

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