By Managing Editor Molly Barrieau

It’s been a little while since you last caught up with us here at the newspaper, but while we were all out enjoying our break, Nanaimo was still making headlines. Here are a few of our favourites:

1. Beekeeper in Nanaimo finds first instance of zombie-like bees

Starting off with a doozy, finally our apocalyptic fantasies are closer to reality with this recent insect-based parasite. Sarah Wallbank, a beekeeper outside Nanaimo, reportedly heard tapping on her porch at night, and awoke to find her normally hibernating bees “smashing themselves into her porch light”.

Turns out, there is a parasitic maggot (Apopcephalis borealis) that infects the honeybees, causing abnormal zombie- like habits. The bees come out at night, head for the light, fall to the ground in maddening circles, and die a few hours later. Sounds like the makings of a sub-par screenplay, if you ask me. The citizen science project, “Zombee Watch Program”, out of San Francisco has been tracking these happenings, if you come across any “zombees”, you are advised to “collect the dead bees, take a series of pictures, and submit them online,” according to a CBC article.

2. VIU’s prehistoric palate pleasers

We all know about our fishy friends upstairs in the Hatchery (bldg. 385), but recently, word has spread about VIU’s new plan to market the unique seafood to local restaurants as a sustainable and delicious way to share the aquacultures longstanding project. According to VIU, when the tanks on campus get too full, the fish are smoked locally at St. Jean’s cannery, and sold to retail shops and restaurants like Westwood Bistro in Nanaimo and Edible Canada on Granville Island.

Let me know if you find sturgeon on the cafeteria menu.

3. “Nanaimo hole-digger” wins big

Yeah, you read that right. Two weeks ago, Bill Laherty gathered up a cool $21 million from an online lottery ticket. Laherty, who has lived in Nanaimo for most of his life, quit his job as a excavator for telephone poles as soon as he found out. One of the first purchases he made—before even cashing the oversized cheque:“I bought two BMWs. One for me and one for my friend,” according to the Vancouver Sun. Laherty is unmarried and has no children to share the winnings, but will be helping out his brothers and sisters, and their children.

Turns out, Laherty has surpassed Nanaimo’s previous largest lottery win at $7.6 million in 2010.

4. Cozy Calico Cat Reunion

After a three year long wait, a Nanaimo girl was finally reunited with her cat early this August. In CTV’s Sawatsky Sign-Off three minute video, hearts melted at the sight of a little girl clutching on to her feline friend as her missing cat was found. Little Claudia has been calling for her cat “half her life” because “he’s cute and adorable”, she says in her CTV interview. After months of searching to no avail and telling all of those around her to look for her “delicate little flower”, the cat was eventually picked up by the SPCA. In the video that started it all, we see the little girl being handed her Calico cat and the exclamations as she recognizes her long lost friend are sure to pull some heartstrings: “Cursor, I miss you so much!” she says tearing up. In awe, she thanks the SPCA attendee, “Thanks for giving my kitty back”. What’s not to love but a feel good story to warm up this breezy September.

5. Trufino

Is it getting hot in here? No, that’s just our Prime Minister. Spotted on vacay in our favourite spot, taking in the art, and crashing weddings. Justin Trudeau has a way of making the news in ways that would make Harper blush. After photobombing the wedding in a half-zipped wetsuit, PM JT appeared at the Tragically Hip’s final concert in Kingston, Ontario in a perfect Canadian Tuxedo.