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Friday, November 28 2014

More jobs at Diavik

Diavik announced this week the company will move forward with the $350 million development of the A21 kimberlite. Four years of construction, starting in early 2015, are expected to provide an average of 178 worker positions per year, peaking at 235 in 2016. Open-pit mining of A21 will require approximately 90 new full-time employees in addition to the current 1,000 mine permanent employees and contractors.

- Walter Strong

Geoscientist gets award

A Yellowknife mining executive is the first resident North of 60 to receive the Canadian Professional Geoscientist Award.

Gary Vivian, president of Aurora Geosciences and vice-president of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, was presented with the award at this week's Geoscience Forum. The award is given annually by Geoscientists Canada, the national organization of provincial and territorial regulatory bodies governing Canada's professional geoscientists, according to a news release from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

- John McFadden

Residents invited to talk about budget

City council is holding a special meeting Monday to hear public presentations on next year's draft budget.

Although the deadline has already passed to send written submissions, anybody who wishes to make a presentation in person can contact the city clerk either by phone or e-mail. The deadline for scheduling a presentation is noon Monday and the meeting to hear the presentations starts at 7 p.m.

- Randi Beers

City up for sustainability award

The city will have the chance to add another piece of hardware to its growing collection of sustainability awards next week. The municipality was recently announced as one of three finalists for a QUEST Community Energy Builder Award under the local government category for its "leadership and innovation in advancing smart energy".

In order to claim the title, Yellowknife will have to beat out Guelph, Ont. and Colwood, B.C. The winners will be announced at the QUEST conference and tradeshow gala dinner in Vancouver on Dec. 2.

- Cody Punter

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Deh Cho superintendent recognized

An educator's efforts were recognized at the meeting of the Northwest Territories Superintendents' Association and Department of Education, Culture and Employment on Tuesday.

Metro Huculak, the association's president, awarded Terry Jaffray, Dehcho Divisional Education Council superintendent, with the 2014 Distinguished Service Award.

Jaffray will now go forward as a nominee for the Canadian Principal of the Year award through the Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA).

The winner of the national award will be announced at the CASSA conference in July 2015 in Montreal.

Since 2011, Huculak said that the association has nominated two winners of the highly-regarded award.

–Elaine Anselmi

Arrest made after house fire

A person has been charged following a suspicious house fire in the village back on Oct. 20, according to Cpl. Mark Phillips of the Fort Simpson RCMP.

The person's identity has not been released as he or she has not yet appeared in court.

Police and the fire marshal carried out the investigation.

There have been two suspicious fires in recent months but Phillips wasn't able to say anything about the other case.

As well, according to the monthly crime statistics report provided to village council, police responded to a total of 94 calls in October, down from 125 the same month last year.

RCMP to step up patrols

Police across the territory will be on heightened alert for impaired drivers starting next month.

Operation Rednose will begin Dec. 1, involving checkstops and roving sobriety checkpoints.

According to a press release by RCMP Cpl. Todd Scaplen of the Hay River detachment, there were 20 people charged with impaired driving and 11 more who had their license suspended for a 24-hour period across the territory last December.

He stated it's the goal of the RCMP to dramatically reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads through the holiday season.

"It isn’t worth the risk," Scaplen stated.

"Each time you get behind the wheel and drive while under the influence you are rolling the dice that you will get caught, hurt yourself, or worse, hurt or kill someone else."

Ski club vandalized

The Inuvik Ski Club was broken into last week, possibly on Nov. 21.

"The Inuvik Ski Club had a break-in which resulted in severe vandalism to the club's grooming equipment," said club president Andrew Haas. "While this event is very disappointing we are committed to getting back on our feet as fast as possible. All repairs will be made and our security increased, including 24-hour security monitoring.

"If any member of the public should know anything about the break-in we strongly encourage you to contact the Inuvik RCMP."

Haas said he was fairly sure the incident happened on Nov. 21, although it could have been earlier in the week.

Both of the snowmobiles used for maintenance and grooming the trails suffered considerable damage, Haas said. The machines were nearly new, and the club had just sold off its original machines.

He declined to provide an dollar estimate on the damages, or say whether the club had insurance.

Fibre-optic deal for GTC

The Mackenzie Valley fibre optic line that will be constructed over two winter seasons between Fort Good Hope and Inuvik is closer to reality following an agreement between the GNWT and the Gwich'in Tribal Council.

An estimated 180 km of the line will cross Gwich'in lands, tribal council vice-president Norman Snowshoe stated in a news release.

"The Government of the Northwest Territories had to obtain a land use permit, part which included negotiating an agreement with the Gwich'in Nation and we have come to an agreement that is good for the Gwich'in and for the whole of the north," Snowshoe stated.

The agreement includes requirements that the contractor and subcontractors building the fibre optic line hire local Gwich'in labour and equipment, as well as maximize their local purchase of services and supplies through the Gwich'in Development Corporation.

Ski club hosting open house

The Inuvik Ski Club will mark the official opening of the season on Nov. 30.

"We are excited to kick off the 2014-2015 season this Sunday with our annual open house," said club president Andrew Haas. "Please come by anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. Try skiing for free, sign up for a membership and enjoy a bonfire, snacks and hot chocolate. We will have some used equipment for sale as well as some basic instruction on ski waxing."

Christmas concert on way

If you're looking for some joyful noise, the annual Christmas concert at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church will be held Dec. 14.

The concert, which is a traditional Inuvik favourite, features choirs and performers from around the town and Delta region.

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