Beyond the Headlines

A news cycle to remember

Posted: Oct 12, 2012 5:32 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 12, 2012 5:32 PM ET
 The morning we learned David James Leblanc was arrested on a remote logging road in Northern Ontario I started calling people in the nearby town of Longlac. Police told us Leblanc was spotted by a couple returning home from a camping trip, so being a small town, I figured we had a good chance of finding and talking with them (which we did). I spoke with several people during my search and although many had not heard about Leblanc's arrest everyone knew all about the story of the 16 year old boy from Nova Scotia who had been held in chains for almost two weeks.

It was the first in a string of stories from our little corner of the country that have dominated news headlines across the country.

From the heinous to the bizarre, the tragic to the ridiculous, stories from our province have captivated news junkies from coast to coast to coast.

A good measure of a story's impact are the number of times they are viewed on, our national news website. At one point four of the top ten stories on that site were from Nova Scotia. That means tens of thousands of unique visits from readers around the world.

There was, of course, the manhunt for Leblanc and co-accused Wayne Cunningham. Then Melissa Weeks, the so-called internet Black Widow was arrested and charged with attempting to murder yet another husband.

The sad news that Raylene Rankin had succumbed to cancer was, at one point, the most read story on, a testament to the countless Canadians who have been touched by the music of the Rankin Family.

And, of course, there's our spy. It's not often a Canadian is charged with espionage, and the news Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle was able to steal top secret military documents with apparent ease and sell them to the Russians, continues to dominate the national news agenda as the federal government grapples with questions about our national security.

All serious stuff until we get to the Nova Scotia story that probably received the most coverage not only in Canada but around the world. Yes, I'm talking about Tuxedo Stan, the feline phenom who has thrown his paw into the campaign for mayor of Halifax. Stan's story was covered by news outlets from Arizona to Australia, and you know you've hit the big time when Anderson Cooper takes time away from the U.S presidential race to endorse your candidacy on CNN.

It's been quite the news cycle. Nova Scotia may not be the biggest province or the most prosperous, but we are anything but boring. 
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About the Author

Brian DuBreuil is a veteran journalist with CBC News. He has won two Gemini awards for his work, and neither involved dancing or singing on a reality show.

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