At the end of every year we look back on the most read stories on The Courier’s website. Here are the articles that outperformed the others online in the past 12 months:
1. Perverts in your postcode: Heat map reveals areas where Tayside and Fife’s 724 sex offenders live
Map: Sex offenders by postcode area
Our most viewed story of the year was published back in May. After police records revealed some 724 sex offenders are now living across Tayside and Fife, we put together a map showing the postcodes where the sex offenders are staying.
2. VIDEO: Braeview Academy fire — Emergency services battle blaze at high school
The sad news that part of Dundee’s Braeview Academy had gone up in flames sent shockwaves throughout the city back in September. We were the first media outlet to hear about the devastating blaze. Pupils recently returned to the school after spending three months at Baldragon Academy and Craigie High.
3. Rape victim details nine-hour ordeal at hands of evil Fife rapist Stephen Graham
In October, brave army veteran Carin, waiving her anonymity, shared her story with us following the trial of Glenrothes rapist Stephen Graham. He was sentenced to six years and one month in jail following horrific physical and sexual abuse against her. Carin said she was left “broken” by the ordeal and later hit out at the sentence handed to Graham.
4. PICTURES: Shop makeovers and street closures as Fife village prepares for Outlander filming
When Falkland began getting a major makeover back in January, it sparked a lot of interest. Shopfronts and cafes were completely redecorated and business owners were sworn to secrecy. It didn’t take long for people to realise that the cast and crew of Outlander were returning as filming of season four of the hugely popular show got under way. Just one month later, the limelight turned to the historic Fife village of Culross.
5. Travel chaos as transporter hits railway bridge in Perth, wrecking luxury cars
There were chaotic scenes in Perth city centre when a car transporter struck the railway bridge on Marshall Place on October 24 at about 8am. The accident caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to a number of high-value vehicles, including three Range Rovers and a Jaguar F Pace.
6. Steven Donaldson murder charges: Trio accused of stabbing oil worker with blade before setting fire to body
A teenage girl and two men, all from Kirriemuir, are due to face trial next year on a charge of murdering popular Arbroath man Steven Donaldson in June 2018. The oil worker was described as a “kind, caring person” following his death.
7. Several injured as car ‘mounts pavement’ and hits pedestrians in St Andrews
Luckily nobody was seriously injured in this incident in St Andrews back in January. Four men were hurt after being struck by a Volkswagen Golf on the corner of Market Street and Church Street.
8. Lovat Hotel in Perth shuts without warning
The closure of the Lovat Hotel in late January was a huge blow to Perth. Wedding plans were thrown into jeopardy when the venue suddenly closed, with 50 members of staff immediately made redundant. Then-manager Stuart Shearer was later accused of going into hiding. Come August, the Lovat Hotel had been completely transformed into a new, music-theme family restaurant called Manhattans.
9. ‘Betrayed’: 500 Dundee HMRC staff told no en masse jobs transfer to DWP
In April, the UK Government was accused of a “devastating betrayal” after nearly 500 HMRC staff in Dundee were told the planned transfer of their jobs to the Department of Work and Pensions had been shelved. Employees at Sidlaw House in Dundee Technology Park had been told they would move to the DWP to undertake Universal Credit work.
10. Weather warning issued as “heavy hail” and snow forecast for Tayside and Fife
On January 12, our readers didn’t welcome the prospect of starting 2018 with a winter welcome of heavy hail and blizzards. However, it wasn’t until late February-early March when the Beast from the East struck that locals felt the full force of winter.