AS WE prepare to step into a new year, the Mail-Times takes a look back at some of the Wimmera's biggest news stories in each month of 2013.
The following are some of www.mailtimes.com.au's most popular stories from January to June.
Horsham Safeway evacuated
The gist: Horsham Safeway was evacuated late one Friday night after a fire started in its electrical room. Fire-fighters and junior staff on the scene described the experience to journalist CASSANDRA DALGLEISH, while photographer PAUL CARRACHER captured the drama.
Read more here: Horsham Safeway evacuated
Bushfire near Goroke
The gist: A bushfire near Goroke that started on private property on January 8 burnt through the Kalingur State Forest and burnt about 900 hectares. A decommissioned windmill started the ﬁre. Wimmera fire authorities used a helicopter ﬁtted with a Forward Looking Infra Red - FLIR - camera, usually for military aircraft, to help black out the fire.
See the coverage here: Initial: Bushfire near Goroke; Kanak blaze erupts; New technology aids fire-fighters with Karnak fire.
Man dies after falling off roof at work
The gist: In sadder news, a 66-year-old man died after a workplace fall in Horsham.
Read more here: Man dies after falling off roof at work
Southern Grampians bushfire
The gist: Lightning sparked a massive bushfire in the Grampians overnight on February 14. It spread across the Victoria Valley, over the Victoria Range and towards Rocklands. At the height of the blaze there were almost 300 fire-fighters from Victoria, NSW and New Zealand and 100 vehicles plus aircraft working in the area. The bushfire burnt more than 35,000 hectares and was officially contained on February 27.
Asafa Powell's impact on Stawell Gift questioned
The gist: The Victorian Runners and Trainers Association voiced its concern on Jamaican sprint sensation Asafa Powell entering the 2013 Stawell Gift. Sports journalist JORDAN McARDLE tackled the issue. The Jamaican felt a hamstring twinge pre-race but finished third in the heats before pulling out of the semi-finals.
Find out more here: Asafa Powell petition questions the Jamaican's impact on Stawell Gift
Pole-dancing becomes popular in the Wimmera
The gist: In a light-hearted affair, sports journalist JORDAN McARDLE and photographer PAUL CARRACHER captured the rise of pole dancing in the Wimmera. The boys even shot a video of the sport.
Watch the video and learn more here: Pole dancing climbs in the Wimmera
Horsham girl, 15, missing
The gist: A teenager went missing and the Wimmera quickly stepped up to help, sharing the Mail-Times story hundreds of times. The girl was found safe.
Check out the coverage here: Horsham girl, 15, missing
Horsham's Commercial Hotel opens after two years
The gist: In a bit of excitement for Horsham people, the city's Commercial Hotel opened for business for the first time in two years. Gary Jelly and partner Wendy O'Connor took on the hotel and gave it a face-lift before it officially opened again.
Read more here: Commercial Hotel opens after two years
Julie-Ann Trenery-Rogers' killer sentenced, jailed
The gist: A former Apsley man who killed Goroke pregnant mother of five Julie-Ann Trenery-Rogers while drunk was jailed for a minimum of 16 years. Michael Terrence Kelly, 48, faced the Supreme Court of Victoria. He shot Mrs Trenery-Rogers dead in February last year, after shooting at her fiance Peter Brown.
Read more here: Goroke mother's killer sentenced, jailed
Double fatality at Pimpinio
The gist: In tragic news, a Dimboola family lost its mother and son in a single-vehicle crash at Pimpinio.
Read more here: Double fatality at Pimpinio
Horsham woman injured in McKenzie Creek crash
The gist: A Horsham woman ended up in a Melbourne hospital after a car crash near McKenzie Creek bridge. The incident was one of many over the Easter long weekend.
Doctor told to go: 'Too old' to stay in Australia
The gist: In what became national news, Horsham doctor Mihaela Guguila, 52, was told she must leave the country because she was too old to be granted permanent residency. Romanian-born Dr Guguila arrived in Australia in 2010 and is a qualified surgeon, general practitioner and skin cancer specialist. On July 12, a new legal instrument that would abolish residency age restrictions for medical practitioners allowed Dr Guguila to become eligible for permanent residency. However the new instrument did not cover paramedical professionals, such as Warracknabeal podiatrist Wendy Cobbold, who was also fighting for permanent residency.
Follow the coverage here: Doctor told to go: 'too old' to stay in Australia; Outpouring of support for Horsham's Dr Mihaela Guguila; Dr Mihaela Guguila could be here to stay; Wimmera fights for Dr Mihaela Guguila; Doctor Mihaela Guguila can stay in Australia; podiatrist Wendy Cobbold must go: Minister
Horsham's Tanya Roll missing
The gist: It was a story with the ending no one wanted. The Wimmera held out hope that missing mum Tanya Roll was okay, but it was an unhappy ending after police found her body.
Man jailed after crash that killed Horsham woman
The gist: The man who crashed his car, killing his passenger Sally Trethowan, 31, was jailed for at least three and a half years. Ewan Hamilton, 29, was driving at more than 200 kilometres an hour along the Henty Highway when he lost control of his black Holden station wagon. He crashed into a wheat paddock four kilometres from Dooen. Hamilton and his passenger Ms Trethowan were taken to Wimmera Base Hospital, where Ms Trethowan died that night.
See more here: Man jailed after crash that killed Horsham woman
WFL investigate Nhill-Stawell brawl
The gist: Nhill's senior football coach Darren Weavell and Stawell club umpire Robert Morris were subject to an investigation after a half-time incident at the Stawell v Nhill match at Central Park, Stawell, on May 11. The following month the pair faced the Western Vic Football Tribunal.
SUSPENDED: Nhill coach banned until 2021, goal umpire out until 2015
The gist: After the Stawell-Nhil game brawl in May, Nhill coach Darren Weavell and Stawell club umpire Robert Morris faced tough bans for their involvement. Nhill appealed Weavell's suspension later in June, and at a Vic Country Tribunal hearing in Ballarat the ban was downgraded to one-and-a-half years.
Homemade explosive shakes Horsham
The gist: Horsham North was rocked by a homemade explosive device that shook windows of homes three blocks away.
See more here: Homemade explosive shakes Horsham
Sex predators caught in Ararat
The gist: Journalist EMMA D'AGOSTINO pitched in with a national story after two men wanted for breaching serious sex offender supervision bonds were taken into police custody in Ararat.
Read it all here: Sex predators caught in country Victoria