FEBRUARY was not lacking in the news department, which saw juvenile detainees gaining access to the roof, forces putting a strain on small business and national companies questioning their future in Wagga.
The Wagga Boat Club made the tough decision on February 21 to shut down its restaurant catering to combat financial woes caused by Lake Albert's environmental issues.
Commodore Mick Henderson said the closure of the lake due to the blue-green algae and faecal bacteria problems struggled to keep them afloat.
"We felt it was the best decision for the club and its members," Mr Henderson said.
He cited the inconsistent and fluctuating trade as a result of the decreased activities at the lake.
"The use of the lake dictates our membership," he said.
"There was a fair bit of smell around the lake during the Christmas period so that put people off and it has a flow-on effect on the club.
"Some Sundays we could trade 40 people. Other Sundays, we trade eight."
External forces also took a toll on Knights Meats & Deli, with a lack of parking due to the levee bank upgrade.
This influenced the owners' decision later in the year to scale down and close its butchery and grocery sections, with only the deli remaining.
Owner Deanna McNaughton said on February 25 that the iconic butcher may be forced to close due to an ongoing parking dispute with Wagga City Council.
"You can't leave a business four or five months without parking and expect it to remain profitable," said Knights Meats' Deanna McNaughton in February.
"How can a business sustain itself for that long without adequate parking?"
Ms McNaughton said since the parking was closed on January 14, "you can actually see them driving away now, because there just isn't anywhere to park, or because they assume we're closed."
However, Bathurst-based adult store chain started to prepare its opening in the main street, despite its lack of approval from council.
The 'Flirt' Adult store owner Jeff Oliver told The Daily Advertiser he was confident of the application's approval and had begun posting job advertisements for sales staff.
On February 13, two high risk juvenile detainees gained access to the roof of the Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre and were found throwing rocks and passing cars on Glenfield Road.
February also saw a woman's life tragically lost in a deliberately-lit house fire on Tichborne Crescent in Kooringal on February 25. The woman's sister managed to escape the home engulfed in flames.
Wagga man Michael Georgiou devoted to his family and community
TOWARDS the end of February many paid their respects to remember a devoted family man, a hard-working businessman, a passionate supporter of Wagga and a cornerstone of the city's Greek community.
Michael Georgiou, the former deputy mayor, died aged 78 on February 23 surrounded by his family at the Calvary Hospital.
His funeral service was held at the Greek Orthodox Church five days later.
He had been married to wife Dawn for 54 years and the couple have a son Nicholas, who described his father simply as "awesome".
Mr Georgiou came to Australia after World War II had ravaged Europe and people were looking for a fresh start.
After leaving Cyprus in 1947 he arrived in Wagga two years later at the age of nine, without speaking a word of English.
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey's links with Mr Georgiou go back to South Wagga Apex and Wollundry Rotary.
"He certainly was devoted to the community," he said.
"Michael never forgot his links to Cyprus, but he was also loved in Wagga."
What got readers commenting in February
After weeks of controversy, Charles Sturt University vowed to not proceed with a proposal to change its name after a vicious backlash from staff, students and members of the public. It had floated in January the possibility of changing its name to Sturt University - to avoid confusion with other institutions with the CSU initials, such as California State University in the US.
An Adelong woman woke up to one of the most common dreams on the planet - becoming a millionaire overnight. She was one of 12 division one winners in a $20 million Lotto Superdraw, pocketing a cool $1.67 million.
Councillors moved quickly to reassure people that digging up remains after as little as 25 years to reuse grave sites is highly unlikely to happen in Wagga. Community reaction to council even listing the issue on its agenda for one of the February meetings brought a swift and negative reaction.
After 45 years on Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga's iconic Knights Meats & Deli butcher declared it may be forced to shut up shop due to an ongoing parking dispute. As part of council's levee bank construction, the car park across the street had been closed, which the business says has led to a dramatic 30 per cent reduction in their consumer traffic, and forced the laying off of at least seven casual staff members. Six months later, the Wagga landmark dramatically slashed operations.
"A lot of people also knew David and I from around town so when they heard we were here, they popped in to try it out."
David and Sonya Dean reflected on their first 12 months after taking over the Turvey Tavern, where they plan to see out their life behind the bar after years of flipping pubs around the Riverina.