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A look back

Exeter Times-Advocate Editorial

In addition to delivering you the latest news, this week’s Times-Advocate features our annual look back at the top headlines from the past 12 months.

A perusal of 2012 shows that in many ways it was the year of the wind turbine. As T-A readers know, there are a number of large industrial wind turbine projects planned for the region. No recent local issue we can think of has been so controversial and divisive, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Anti-wind turbine groups have been formed, protests have been made, email campaigns have gone forward and some municipalities have passed motions calling for moratoriums on further industrial wind turbine projects until the results of a Health Canada study are released.

Some municipalities have also imposed large turbine fees on the companies. The Municipality of Bluewater, for example, has set fees at close to $1 million per turbine. The turbine companies are not amused and we likely haven’t heard the end of this story. NextEra has already told the Times-Advocate such large fees aren’t enforceable.

And while industrial wind turbines dominated the headlines in 2012, that trend will probably continue in 2013. NextEra has public meetings scheduled Jan. 9-10 for its Goshen project, and construction for that 63-turbine project is expected to go ahead in the fall of 2013, with a completion date sometime in the second quarter of 2014.

Those who have concerns with wind turbines probably aren’t going to have their worries put to rest anytime soon, and only time will tell how these projects go.

Another major project yet to come to fruition is the Grand Bend sewage treatment plant, discussed by Lambton Shores, South Huron and Bluewater for years without any construction.

After several false starts, delays and disagreements between the three municipalities, South Huron and Lambton Shores have agreed on a plant and it appears as though things will go ahead.

Disappointing news for many local residents was the closure of two schools — Usborne Central and Zurich Public. Both schools were an integral part of their respective communities and they are missed.

Political matters aside, 2012 had its moments of excitement in the sports world, particularly when we cheered on Mount Carmel’s Melanie McCann who competed in the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games and set a Canadian record with an 11th-place finish in the modern pentathlon.

Family and friends gathered at the Oakwood Inn in last August to cheer on the area’s Olympian. McCann has since been back to visit area schools and talk to students about her experience.

Those highlights and more can be found in this week’s T-A. We look forward to reporting more headlines in 2013 and we wish our readers the best in the upcoming year.

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