VIEWERS saw a glimpse of life off the beaten track as the SBS documentary Struggle Street picked the region for its third series.
It began airing on October 9 and followed the journeys of people across Wagga and the Riverina as they battle drought, crime, homelessness, rural isolation, a lack of health specialists and substance abuse.
But Wagga's MP Joe McGirr came under fire for his blunt take on the series describing it, in NSW Parliament, as "washing my electorate's dirty laundry in public".
Dr McGirr said the TV series was "capturing the heartbreaking challenges" in his electorate and raising issues that fellow MPs "might otherwise see as only numbers on paper".
He later told The Daily Advertiser that his use of the phrase "dirty laundry" was not directed at any Struggle Street participants.
"I think there are people who are making a fist of it in those circumstances but it is difficult for them and I think that's a shame," he said.
October also became witness to a tragedy that left an indelible mark on the region.
Mal Hackett, a father-of-three, was killed in a suspected hit-and-run on the evening of October 26 and has been remembered as a devoted dad, loyal friend and a good man by those who knew him best.
"He was loud, he was caring, loving - he loved all of his friends. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone," said his daughter Brittany Hackett.
In lighter news, the spring and summer whats-on calendar across the region was in full swing by October and the celebrations only ramped up.
Gears and Beers kicked off on the first weekend of October and has proved a success since its inception in 2014.
Founder Phil McIntosh said the event has been growing at an "extraordinary" 20 per cent rate, year-on-year.
This year, about 3000 cyclists registered with many taking on the challenge of the Dirty 130 race - many of which could be easily spotted rolling over the finish line on their dusty, mud stained bikes
"We have become a destination for the Dirty 130 because of the gravel road terrain," Mr McIntosh said.
"The festival started it five years ago and it has since become popular in Australia, so we are lucky to have been ahead of the trend."
Ticket holders received an email on October 23 announcing that the upcoming shows for the Rise of the Demons World Tour have been put on hold.
Concerns about personal security directed towards members of the show had led to the tour's cancellation.
It was revealed in November, by the group's spokesperson, that the administrators would seek to ensure "everyone's tickets were refunded and everyone who is owed money from the tour would get paid out", although it could not be verified.
Bearing witness to heinous crime
Australia's notorious serial killer Ivan Milat died in mid-October after losing his battle with cancer at 74 years of age.
The man was convicted in 1996 of seven counts of murder and died on October 27 at the Long Bay Correctional Centre in Sydney.
In 1992 a regional newspaper photographer had no idea that he was at the ground zero of the hunt for a serial killer.
The Daily Advertiser's senior photographer Les Smith had been working at the Illawarra Mercury years before he found his place in the Riverina.
He was sent off on an expedition following a vague tip-off after seven years working at the coastal paper.
Les said the hunt was on after more graves were discovered in 1993, and he also photographed the raids on Milat's property in 1994 from a subdivision block 500 metres away.
Les said what had happened to the seven victims of Milat has always stayed with him.
"I wouldn't say I am traumatised; we were just a witness to it," he said.
"It did not dawn on me until years later that I was part of history."