Top 50 Illawarra stories of 2014 - so far 12 Jul 2014, 3:56 p.m. Countdown to the biggest story of the year. Top 50 Illawarra stories of 2014 - so far 50. Paralysed mum receives car from mystery donor, May: An anonymous benefactor has given some freedom back to an Oak Flats mum left paralysed after the birth of her third child. Jessie Bruton returned home from a family outing to find a Nissan Pathfinder with a big red bow on her front lawn. Story: Lisa Wachsmuth; picture: Sylvia Liber49. Kiama Blowhole idiots risk lives, January: Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler has slammed three stupid men who climbed deep down into the blowhole. "It is very irresponsible, and I deplore that foolhardy activity," he said. Story: Joshua Butler; picture: supplied48. Illawarra's Jean Docherty dies without answers, March: She was the strong, devoted mother who battled for decades to discover why her fresh-faced teen daughter Kay disappeared without a trace from a Warilla street on a July evening 35 years ago. Sadly, Jean Docherty will never find the answers she was looking for, after she passed away with son Kevin by her side. Story: Bree Fuller47. Trail of pain after Fairy Meadow shootings, January: One of two victims of a targeted shooting staggered, bleeding all the way to Towradgi after the attack, leaving a grisly trail of bloody footprints in his wake. Story: Kate McIlwain and Dominic Geiger; picture: Adam McLean46. World Cup fans at the Fraternity Club, June; A 400-plus crowd was at the Frat’s Casino Lounge to watch Australia play Chile. The cheering became deafening when a room full of Socceroo fans screamed after Tim Cahill headed home Australia’s first-half goal. Story: Glen Humphries; picture: Christopher Chan45. Crown St Mall businesses struggling, January: Cino Caffe has shut up shop, with rent increases, disruptions due to the mall redevelopment and the no smoking policy taking its toll. Retailers and business owners, who did not want to be named, said they had concerns more pain was coming their way. Story: Agron Latifi44. Mum's living hell, March: The Department of Housing has repeatedly knocked back a Warrawong mum’s desperate pleas to be moved out of a dangerous unit complex littered with junkies, prostitutes and violent criminals. Despite the Housing Appeals Committee ruling that the mother and child should be moved out of the complex, the department has once again rejected her application. Story: Jodie Duffy; picture: Kirk Gilmour43. Nursing mum told to move: Unanderra mum Jacqueline Estraube claimed she was barred from breastfeeding her infant daughter at Port Kembla Pool. She was asked to move and told it was ‘‘inappropriate’’ to breastfeed 15-month-old Isabella on the pool steps. Story: Kate McIlwain; picture: Christopher Chan42. Wollongong teacher wins appeal on child porn sentence, June: Disgraced teacher Peter Wouters will be a free man, after his two-year prison sentence for child pornography possession was overturned. He was instead given a 12-month sentence with a non-parole period of two months. Story: Louise Turk41. Toddler's brave battle against cancer, February: Doctors told Mount Warrigal couple Renee Miller and Jason Cassar to say goodbye to their baby boy Joshua, who was diagnosed with cancer just after his first birthday. But the brave little boy battled on, with doctors giving him an 80 per cent chance of beating the cancer. Story: Lisa Wachsmuth; picture: Andy Zakeli40. Wall collapses as wild winds wreak havoc, June: A man suffered head and chest injuries when a wall collapsed on him in the Southern Highlands as high winds hit parts of NSW. Picture: supplied39. Heavy rains hit the South Coast, March: Laurie and Cathy Bridge inspect the flooded entrance to Port Kembla Golf Club after the region was drenched by heavy rains. Picture: Sylvia Liber 38. Wollongong's March in March protest, March: A non-partisan nationwide protest against the Abbott Government’s policies attracted 1500 people to a rally at North Wollongong. Story: Jodie Duffy; picture: Robert Peet37. Wild Keiraville party: uni students unrepentant, March: A dozen police cars including the dog squad were forced to break up an out-of-control St Patrick's Day party which attracted more than 300 university students in Keiraville. Party house resident Josh Maheady (in red) said the event was all a bit of harmless fun. Picture: Dominic Geiger; picture: Andy Zakeli36. Alarm raised on octopus in lake, March: An Oak Flats fisherman is calling on people to be wary of what appears, anecdotally at least, to be an increase in numbers of blue-ringed or blue-lined octopus in Lake Illawarra. Story: Alex Arnold; picture: supplied35. Life supervision for Bulli rapist - petition, May: The first victim of Terry John Williamson has called on Illawarra residents to support her in a campaign to keep him under supervision for the rest of his life. Story: Jodie Duffy34. Dapto-inspired YouTube video goes viral, March: Bogan characters from a viral animated video are fast gaining cult status. The video is the creation of 23-year-old Wollongong animator Michael Cusack, who used a photograph of Dapto station to draw the platform where Damo and Darren's 2½ minute exchange takes place. Story: Angela Thompson33. Call to sell off waterfront public housing, March: Wollongong Liberal councillor Bede Crasnich wants the NSW government to look into selling off the region's waterfront public housing blocks to make way for private development. Story: Kate McIlwain; picture: Sylvia Liber32. Rocksalt restaurant placed into administration, January: The Wollongong restaurant has ceased operating and was handed over to administrators. Story: Kate Walsh31. 'Overdressed' mum barred from pool, January: A Dapto mum who was not allowed to swim at Port Kembla Olympic Pool because she was wearing too much clothing for the lifeguard's liking has lodged a complaint with Wollongong council, citing discrimination. Story: Angela Thompson; picture: Orlando Chiodo30. Dognappers strike fear in breeders, March: Karen Sloane woke early to hear her dogs frantically barking. Thieves had broken into her Berkeley backyard and stolen two 11-week-old American staffordshire puppies from their enclosure. Story: Emma Spillett, picture: Kirk Gilmour29. Illawarra singer feels 'exploited' by The Voice, June: Contestant Nicole Martini says she was exploited, left open to vicious cyber-bullying, then discarded “like a used tissue” after her performance aired. Story: Joshua Butler; picture: Christopher Chan28. First look at Albion Park's indoor go-kart track, April: Boasting a fleet of 28 electric go-karts, Australia-first motoring facility C1 Speed opens. Story: Joshua Butler; picture: Adam McLean27. Dapto Tarzan Andrew Ucles finds his Jane in the US, April: Wildman Andrew Ucles’ new flame is US adventurer Laura Zerra, a bow and arrow-toting expert in primitive survival techniques, whose skills have been showcased on the Discovery Channel’s extreme reality show, Naked and Afraid. Story: Angela Thompson; picture: Jack Rowell26. Overnight flood rescues in Illawarra, March: The State Emergency Service undertook at least 15 flood rescues in the Illawarra as heavy rain swept through the region, causing flash flooding. Picture: Kiama SES25. Sydney father's body dumped in Jamberoo bush: Homicide detectives said John Gasovski was shot once in an "execution style" killing and his fully-clothed body was dumped in Illawarra bushland. Police say he may have been killed by organised crime figures whom he had become involved with. Story: Dominic Geiger24. A tribute to Wendy Hughes, March: The Australian acting community has united in love and loss, with an outpouring of grief following the death of acclaimed actress Wendy Hughes. Ms Hughes, who lived at Wombarra, passed away after a battle with cancer. Story: Joshua Butler23. One complaint puts Wollongong swim school at risk of closure, June: Parents are outraged a Smith Street swim school, which has been open for more than 45 years, will be forced to close after the council received a complaint about parking outside the complex. Story: Dominic Geiger; picture: Robert Peet22. Mary's memories of Sean Ross Abbey home, January: Like many other unwed and pregnant teenagers in 1940s Ireland, Figtree woman Mary found herself at the convent in Roscrea for the course of her pregnancy and birth of her son, Eddy. The way she tells it, her Edward Patrick, her "backbone", may not have survived without the help of the nuns at Sean Ross. Story: Kate Walsh; picture: Greg Totman21. Pair found guilty of murder, April: Bradley Max Rawlinson and Michelle Sharon Proud have been found guilty of murdering Katie Foreman (pictured). The solicitor perished when a deliberately lit blaze tore through the master bedroom of her Corrimal home. Story: Shannon Tonkin20. Mangerton home sells for record $3.6m, May: A home in the leafy Wollongong suburb has set a new benchmark for prices in the Illawarra’s hot property market. Story: Louise Turk; picture: Kirk Gilmour19. Cars, $450k in drugs seized in South Coast raids, April: Lake Illawarra police have swooped on an alleged drug dealing ring, seizing motorbikes, cars and cash under proceeds of crime legislation. Story: Dominic Geiger; picture: supplied18. McDonald's chicken nuggets leave a bad taste, June; A five-year-old boy has sworn off chicken nuggets after he was served a near-raw six pack from a McDonald's Drive Thru at Woonona. Story: Angela Thompson; picture: Kirk Gilmour17. Wollongong's Three Chimneys opens its doors, February: Setting up shop in the laneway behind the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, the cafe’s sprawling open-plan layout lets customers watch the bread being baked or coffee beans roasted. Story: Joshua Butler, picture: Andy Zakeli16. Graffiti vandals sabotage Otford train, June; Police say a brazen gang of vandals stopped a train at Otford station on a Saturday morning so they could spraypaint a mural on the side of one of the carriages. Story: Glen Humphries; picture: supplied15. Topless shopper busted in Koonawarra, March; A 25-year-old Woonona woman has been busted for going topless while shopping for groceries at a Koonawarra supermarket. Story: Dominic Geiger; file picture14. Sister's plea after teenage girl left for dead, April: April-lee Gillen is fighting for her life in hospital after being the victim of a suspected hit and run at Lake Heights in the early hours of a Sunday morning. The girl’s sister took to social media with an impassioned plea for assistance to locate the driver. Story: Dominic Geiger; main picture: Christopher Chan13. Woman, 23, faces court over Helensburgh hit-and-run that left a cyclist in hospital with a broken back., February: A woman appeared before court charged with negligent driving occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to stop and assist after a car accident. Story: Bree Fuller12. The Garden, a new nightclub for Wollongong, June: Co-managers Katie Collings and Trent Elliott are hoping The Garden will attract people from all walks of life and musical tastes. Story: Jamie Radford; picture: Christopher Chan11. Family mourns beautiful René, June: René White, 28, died in a head-on car crash on Appin Road while driving back to the Wollongong home she shared with boyfriend Glen Gulisv. Story: Dominic Geiger; picture: supplied10. Man dies in Princes Highway crash at Gerringong, May; Tragedy struck a Gerringong family after a 54-year-old man died in a crash north of the town. Story: Dominic Geiger; picture: Adam McLean9. Truck rollover at Fairy Meadow McDonald's, May: The prime mover with a mobile crane on its trailer lost control travelling east on Mount Ousley Road about 3.30pm, hitting a roundabout at the intersection of the Princes Highway and overturning in a busy ring road between the McDonald's restaurant and a petrol station. Story: Angela Thompson, Joshua Butler; picture: Sylvia Liber8. Tributes flow for teen killed in forest crash, June: A 15-year-old Illawarra girl killed in a four-wheel-drive crash near Oberon has been remembered as a kind and beautiful girl who lived life to the fullest. Story: Bree Fuller7. Kiama girl taunted online before death, March: The mother of Courtney Love, who took her own life, says social media has made it too easy for suicidal people to make the ultimate mistake. Story: Cydonee Mardon; Picture: Andy Zakeli6. Wollongong trampoline park opens, January. The latest venture from the team behind Hangdog Climbing Gym, Hangtime Trampoline Park is the first facility of its kind in the region. Story: Joshua Butler, Picture: Christopher Chan5. Police put Royal National Park hoons on notice, June: Responding to community concerns, police crackdown on hoons who treat the roads of the northern Illawarra like a racetrack, with some dangerous drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h. Story: Dominic Geiger, Picture: Kirk Gilmour4. Truckie terror on Mount Ousley, February: A rogue truckie has been caught on camera driving dangerously and smashing the side view mirror of a fellow motorist while travelling up Mount Ousley Road. Picture: supplied3. Male driver dead after Lake Heights police pursuit, June: A young man died following a police pursuit on Northcliffe Drive at Warrawong. A critical incident team from Wollongong Local Area Command will investigate all circumstances surrounding the incident. Story: Dominic Geiger; picture: Christopher Chan2. Man jailed for 'sickening' refugee attack, May: Timothy Williams, 26, has been jailed nine years for the vicious and unprovoked assault of an African refugee at Wollongong railway station last October. Jamiee Lee Haynes, the woman who acted as a lookout, has been jailed for two and a half year for her role in the attack. Story: Shannon Tonkin; picture: CCTV1. Boom! Port Kembla stack comes down, February: The iconic stack spent its final hours firmly in the limelight; a beacon for photographers, the sentimental and people who like to see things – especially big things – explode. Story: Angela Thompson; picture: Kirk GIlmourTweetFacebook of ╳exitCountdown to the biggest story of the year.As we begin the second half of the year, it is time to take a look back at the first half of 2014 and see what everybody was reading. Flick through to the last photo for the most-clicked story from January to June.