September 1:

NEWPORT man Richard Wallis was found guilty by a jury at the city's crown court of the murder last January of Polish man Jan Jedrzejewski.

A seven-week trial was told that Wallis, 43, of Keene Street, kicked 41-year-old Mr Jedrzejewski in the head as he lay defenceless in the gutter in that street, after an altercation outside the nearby Cromwell Stores, on the evening of January 12.

Wallis was later sentenced to life imprisonment and will serve a minimum of 16 years in prison.

Three teenagers, all from Newport, were cleared of any involvement in the violence inflicted upon Mr Jedrzejewski.

September 4:

FOUNDING minister of Newport's King's Church, Ray Bevan, described the terrifying ordeal of being part of a Christina delegation ambushed by around 100 gunmen during a visit to Iraq.

The 12-strong delegation had been invited by the prime minister of Kurdistan ahead of an independence referendum and 10 of them were travelling to the city of Mosul when they were confronted at a checkpoint.

"We had 17 bodyguards against 100 men," said Mr Bevan, who added that their assailants tried to provoke them into a gunfight before the prime minister's officials calmed the situation.

We were all shook up by the incident. It was very scary."

September 7:

A 226-home development on the site of the former Llantarnam comprehensive school would be called James Prosser Way, it was announced, in honour of a Cwmbran soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Private Prosser was a former pupil of the school who joined the army aged 20 and served in Afghanistan, where he died during a tour of duty in 2009.

A memorial plaque had been placed at the old school, which his family had not wanted to be closed - but mum Sarah Adams said she was grateful to Torfaen council for its "heartfelt" decision to name the road after him.

"I think every borough and every town should do something like this for our heroes," she said.

September 9:

RETIRED Newport bus driver Alan Hartley described how he got behind the wheel of a coach on the stricken Caribbean island of Saint-Martin to help residents and fellow holidaymakers escape after it was ravaged by "brutal" Hurricane Irma.

Insisting he was not a hero, but just someone who felt he could help, Mr Hartley made nine trips taking people to the tiny island's airport, after spotting coaches in a garage at the resort where he and wife Pat were staying.

From the airport, people were flown by helicopter to the neighbouring island of Saba, which was not so badly affected.

Mr and Mrs Hartley had earlier endured a night in an underground shelter at the resort, as the hurricane wreaked havoc.

September 12:

THE £5m inpatient unit at the St David's Hospice Care headquarters in Malpas, Newport, was officially opened by health secretary Vaughan Gething.

The 15-bed unit - funded by a combination of Welsh Government investment and backing from a range of grant-making bodies - replaced the 10-bed facility at the nearby former St Anne's Hospice site.

The charity's chief executive Emma Saysell called it "a landmark day for hospice care in Wales."

Mr Gething said the Sta David's Hospice Care team has developed "a palliative care model which is universally recognised as an example of first class care."

September 16:

A FARMER who illegally felled around 200 trees in an act of "revenge" over a planning dispute, was fined a total more than £112,000 in fines and costs by magistrates in Newport.

Keith Smith, 63, was found to have to have cut down the 200-year-old beech trees at Pen y Fan Farm, near Oakdale, early last January. He had no licence to carry out the felling of trees described as providing a valuable habitat for wildlife.

September 17:

AN APPEAL was launched to fund specialist medical equipment for 14-month-old Pippa Atkinson, whose skin condition epidermolysis bullosa leaves her in constant pain.

He skin blisters and tears at the slightest touch, and her parents Damian and Rhiannon Atkinson want to buy her a special bath that injects microscopic air bubbles into the water to gently exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin and scabs. They also want to build an extension at their Ponthir home to accommodate the equipment and changing facilities.

"Even putting clothes on and taking them off - that amount of friction causes blisters," said Mrs Atkinson, who added that Pippa requires morphine and sedatives to help cope with the pain.

The family slammed social media giant facebook later in the month after it banned as 'negative and undesirable' a photo used to help highlight Pippa's plight.

September 21:

ARMED police were back in view in Newport, as two people were arrested, streets were closed, and houses searched as part of the Metropolitan Police investigation into the London underground bomb attack the previous week, which injured 30.

Streets in Maindee and Baneswell were cordoned off as forensic officers carried out searches at properties in the aftermath of the arrests.

Six days later it was revealed that the arrested men had been released with no further action.

October 2:

A PLAN for a £100m automotive technology park in Ebbw Vale - announced by the Welsh Government in the aftermath of its decision not to financially support the Circuit of Wales project - received its first tangible backing.

Funding for a 50,000sq ft industrial building in the town's enterprise zone was revealed by economy secretary Ken Skates on the day he visited Ebbw Vale to meet apprentices and the zone's board members.

"We have had a significant number of inquiries from automotive companies looking to move to Ebbw Vale. I am confident that the development of this new facility will help us to start to meet demand in the market," he said.

October 4:

A CAMPAIGN to fund a statue of Newport boxing legend David Pearce was within sight of its £35,000 within a year of the start of fundraising.

A dinner at Tredegar Park Golf Club, which raised £5,500 was the latest in a series of events that had brought the total raised to date to £30,000, a achievement described as "remarkable" by Luke Pearce, nephew of the former British and Welsh heavyweight champion.

By the end of October the total raised had risen to £36,000, but it was revealed that a further £8,500 was required to prepare the ground and erect a plinth for the statue of Pill-born Pearce - who died in 2000 aged 41 - on Newport's riverfront.

October 5:

IT was announced in an Argus exclusive that Newport is to host the first Wales Marathon - backed by Associated British Ports - an event that is set to develop into one of the country's biggest sporting occasions.

The first ABP Wales Marathon will take place on Sunday April 29 on a course that will begin on the city's riverfront, before heading out onto the Gwent Levels and back into Newport for the finish.

It is being organised by Run4Wales, the team behind the Cardiff Half Marathon and Velothon Wales, which says the course - designed by former Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace - fast and flat.

Hosting the event is a major sporting coup for the city, and it is backed by the Welsh Government and by Newport City Council.

"As you would expect from a Welsh city we are passionate about sport, and we are very excited to be hosting the ABP Wales Marathon," said council leader Debbie Wilcox.

"By expanding our events programme, we hope to raise the profile of the city and attract more visitors and investment.

"I look forward to welcoming top runners, and know that many of our local athletes will relish the opportunity to pounds the streets of their home city."

Sunday April 29 falls in what the organisers call an "ideal window" for marathon running in the UK, and provides a "perfect opportunity" for those missing out on a place in the London Marathon earlier in April to run a world class course.

More than 2,500 runners signed up for the marathon on the first day that entries were open, including 600 in the first 10 minutes. Among those early entries were runners from Switzerland, Luxembourg and Greece.

"There is obviously a huge appetite for a world class marathon race here in Wales. We are delighted at the enthusiasm shown by runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and standards," said Run4Wales chief executive Matt Newman.

A course starting and finishing on Usk Way will head over the Southern Distributor Road bridge and out as far as Magor, before returning to the city via Redwick and Goldcliff, taking in a close-up view of the Transporter Bridge shortly before the end.

The route, road closures and other information, including how to enter, are detailed at

October 16:

MORE than 35,000 people were caught speeding on cameras on the M4 through Newport in the first year of enforcement, it was revealed.

And almost 8,600 of those caught had currently settled by way of a £100 fine and three penalty points, meaning nearly £860,000 had been collected to date by the Courts and Tribunal Service.

The cameras operate between junctions 24 and 28 and were seen as controversial by many when they were introduced. But the charity Brake believes such measures are "a cost-effective way of reducing deadly collisions."

October 17:

CHEPSTOW mum Shelley Herniman described having to learn to speak again after a serious fall almost a year previously nearly cost her life.

The 46-year-old knew she had hurt herself after slipping on ice and banging her head - but it was only 12 days later after worsening problems with mobility and speech, that she was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome which left her unable to speak for three months.

Even then, speech only gradually returned, but "I had lots of words missing and couldn't fill the gaps," she said.

"I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't say it. It was horrendous."

Speech and short term memory problems persisted, but Mrs Herniman returned to work as a railway guard and hopes eventually to make a full recovery.

October 17:

PLANS to cut the number of MPs in Wales from 40 to 29 were revealed as involving the creation of a single constituency for Newport, instead of the current two, and abolishing Islwyn altogether.

The Boundary Commission's proposals also included a number of changes to the boundaries of existing constituencies, to even up as far as is practical the number of voters within each.

If the proposals are ratified, a large number of voters across Gwent will find themselves in different constituencies in future.

October 21:

EIGHTEEN-month-old Seren Adams was "becoming a very healthy toddler" said mum Emma Crook, 10 months after she underwent seven-and-a-half hours of open heart surgery.

Born with a defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot Seren, from Blackwood, was severely restricted in what she could do before her surgery in Birmingham. But Miss Crook said she had since made "amazing" progress and was "full of life, like any other toddler."

She praised the skill of the surgeons and nurses who had cared for Seren, and the support she and Seren's dad Paul Adams had from family and friends.

October 27:

THE medieval roof at Newport Cathedral - one of the oldest in Britain - was described as having been restored to its "former glory" after a 10 years of fundraising and painstaking repair.

Dean of Monmouth and Newport the Very Reverend Lister Tonge said work had taken place inside and outside, with tiles being replaced and the beams - trees for which were felled in the early 1400s - received extra special attention.

He praised the skills of the restorers, and efforts of fundraisers who had done "amazing things" to raise money.