(JAN 3, PAGE 2) – AN ALLOA couple enjoyed a special gift over the festive season with the arrival of their baby boy on Christmas Day.

Natalie Wharton and Gary Love welcomed their son Kai into the world at 9.21pm on December 25.

Weighing in at eight pounds and one ounce, the little star immediately stole their hearts.

(JAN 10, PAGE 8) - A SAUCHIE woman’s dog ended up an internet sensation after it was videoed trying to sing along to Auld Lang Syne.

Fabio the Chihuahua was sitting on his owner’s lap when he heard the song playing in the background, before raising his head and howling along.

Apparently, the talented canine has been ‘singing’ since he was a pup after hearing the siren of an ambulance.

(JAN 17, PAGE 3) – A RETIRED Wee County superintendent who shared a passion for classic cars with his late wife is preparing to take part in the annual Monte Carlo rally in her memory.

Gordon Best and his wife Moira had planned to enter last year’s event, but she sadly died three months before.

But now, Gordon plans to take part to fulfil the pledge she made him make, claiming: “She made me promise to enter the rally – she wanted me to fulfil our dream.”

(FEB 7, PAGE 4) – A CLACKMANNANAN joker who was brought back from the brink of death by comedy is looking for a potential publisher for his jokes.

Dad-of-three Mohammed Ashraf suffers from epilepsy, and during a spell in hospital two decades ago he was given a joke book to pass the time.

Since then, he has been hitting out with his own one-liners and doing stand up at pubs around Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Wee County.

Now, he has built up a list of hundreds of jokes and hopes someone might be keen to put them in a book.

(FEB 7, PAGE 10) – A KINCARDINE couple had a holiday to remember after getting an invite to the Prime Minister’s (PM) official residence while on a trip to Barbados.

Pauline Douglas and her husband Trevor received the invite as part of a programme marking to 50th anniversary of Barbados’ independence, and in particular the contribution visitors make.

When speaking about PM Freundel Stuart, Pauline said: “He was absolutely charming.”

(FEB 28, PAGE 14) – A DOLLAR student was shortlisted for a prestigious nursing award, in recognition of her emerging value to the healthcare sector.

Leanne Patrick, currently completing a mental health nursing degree at Stirling University, was nominated for the Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs and Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year categories.

Incredibly, she has been juggling her studies with being a stay at home mother and full-time carer to her youngest daughter, who is autistic.

(MAR 7, PAGE 4) – THE Beast from the East brought most of the country to a standstill, but failed to stop one determined Clacks couple from getting married.

Angela Beardsley and her now husband Cameron had been gearing up for their big day at a venue near Lock Lomond – but a thick blanket of snow ruined their plans.

Undeterred, and keen to tie the knot before their upcoming honeymoon in Budapest, the pair went ahead with their wedding in the car park of Stirling Castle.

(MAR 14, PAGE 10) – A WEE COUNTY woman who led a trailblazing law enforcement career received the Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her work.

Chief Superintendent Gillian Emery rose through the ranks during her 30-year service, and in the latter stages of her career she progressed national standards of investigation into rape, female genital mutation, forced marriage and honour-based violence.

Gillian told the Advertiser she was “very proud and very grateful” to have been recognised for her incredible work.

(MAR 28, PAGE 12) – AN ALVA man planned to take on a blistering 158-mile ultra-marathon through the Sahara Desert to raise funds and awareness for MND Scotland.

Stewart Bell, 35, also wanted to complete the race in memory of his grandfather Charlie and Aunty Joy, who both sadly died from MND.

Stewart said he planned to draw on the strength shown by the pair to complete what has been described as “one of the toughest footraces in the world”.

(APRIL 4, PAGE 7) – A TILLY man received an OBE to mark his contribution to health and safety standards for decades – carrying on while facing off MS over the past few years.

Dr Stewart Arnold, 55, led an exemplary career with the Health and Safety Executive and used his mechanical engineering expertise to investigate industry accidents and make recommendations to drive up standards.

Dr Arnold said he was “thrilled and humbled” to have received the award.

(APRIL 11, PAGE 3) – WEE COUNTY hero Duncan Scott made Commonwealth Games history by winning an incredible six gold medals at this year’s Gold Coast games.

The 20-year-old became a record breaker by becoming the only Scot to have earned six podium finishes at a single Commonwealth Games.

The University of Stirling student said he was “absolutely delighted” with his achievement.

(APRIL 25, PAGE 7) – A WEE COUNTY darts team have announced they will strip off in the name of charity to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

James Anderson and The Old Brewery team have organised a naked calendar with their counterparts in Darlington following a crazy idea from one member as they brainstormed how to raise funds.

James told the Advertiser: “All the boys were willing to do it. It was one of those ideas which snowballs, and then suddenly you can’t get out of it.”

(MAY 2, PAGE 9) – A MENSTRIE mum pounded the streets and roads of Stirling as part of the village’s efforts to feed poor children in Africa.

Lisa Ford laced up to run the Stirling Half Marathon and raise funds for the Menstrie Mums for Malawi Mums group, who hope to feed a whole school for a full year through the charity Mary’s Meals.

Despite feeling achy the next day, Lisa managed to raise some much-needed funds for the group – which aims to reach a target of £15,860 by the end of the year.

(MAY 23, PAGE 15) – CELEBRATIONS took place to mark the massive milestone of 30 years of Dollar Museum.

Over 100 people turned out to attend a lively party – which also included a chance for a private viewing of the museum’s newest exhibition.

Janet Carolan, chair of Dollar Museum Trust and curator, said: “It was just a very, very good party and everybody enjoyed it.”

(MAY 23, PAGE 11) – AN ANNUAL charity golf tournament in Sauchie broke the running total of £100,000 in donations this year.

Andrew Matheson’s celebrity competition also netted thousands for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland once again.

The retired policeman, who started the initiative while serving with Central Scotland Police, organised his tournament for the 18th year running.

(JUNE 6, PAGE 12) – A TULLIBODY mum followed in her daughter’s footsteps by tackling her first triathlon to raise funds for specialist charity Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland.

Kirstie Dawson, 45, took on the Stirling Super Sprint competition to raise a target of £1,000 for the charity – and took her motivation from daughter Meggan who was born with Spina Bifida.

Meggan, 25, has already achieved a number of sporting successes, including competing in the wheelchair racing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and holding Scottish records over eight separate distances.

(JUNE 20, PAGE 6) – A TILLY man paid a fitting tribute to his late mum by smashing a 26-mile run on her birthday.

Chris McCallum decided to take on the Strathearn Marathon after losing mum Cath in February.

Despite having no experience completing a race of that distance, Chris trained hard for months in the lead up to the event and managed to storm across the finish line on the day.

(JUNE 20, PAGE 3) – AN INITIATIVE which lets veterans play golf for free was officially launched in Clackmannanshire.

Tee Times for Troops is an Active Stirling initiative which allows veterans to pick up the clubs and play a round of golf at certain times without paying.

So far, eight golf clubs have signed up to the initiative – including Alloa and Alva.