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Friday, April 17, 2015

Pot rally set for Monday

The city's fourth annual 420 rally and march denouncing Canada's pot laws and advocating for easier medical marijuana access will be held on Monday.

The event is held across Canada and around the world every April 20. It begins at 3 p.m. at Sombe K'e Civic Plaza. Organizer Kim McNearney said non-pot smokers are welcome to attend. She will be handing out information on the benefits of marijuana use and said she will try to help clarify some misconceptions.

- John McFadden

Charges against sex offender stayed

Charges against convicted sex offender Bobby Zoe, laid in connection with a break-in and sexual assault at a downtown residence on Feb. 1, were stayed in court on Tuesday. Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews said that the charges were stayed because there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction. The Crown now has 12 months to re-introduce the charges. Zoe, 34, remains in custody, charged with break and enter and sexual assault in connection to another incident downtown on Feb. 15. Zoe has asked for a mental health assessment. He will be back in court April 24.

- John McFadden

Sunday bar openings closer

City council unanimously approved second reading of its Sunday bar opening bylaw Monday night.

The bylaw would allow 15 establishments that primarily make revenue from alcohol sales to open Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. It would not affect liquor stores.

The third and final reading of the bylaw will take place at the May 25 council meeting. If approved, 30 days will pass before the change takes effect.

- Shane Magee

Contracts awarded

The city has awarded more than $3 million in water and sewer replacement contracts Monday night at council for work along two streets this year.

RTL Robinson Enterprises Ltd. was awarded a contract worth $2,349,844.92 plus GST for work on Horton Crescent.

Work on Forrest Drive for $696,435.76 plus GST was awarded to NWT Construction Ltd.

- Shane Magee

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Energy facility in works

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation is planning to start construction on a new energy facility in Fort Simpson this year.

Currently in the design phase, it was going to be a liquified natural gas facility, however, Pam Coulter, NWT Power Corp. spokesperson said a comparison study with biomass should be completed by late spring to see if it is better-suited.

Pharmacy to open June 1

North West Company has announced the opening date for the pharmacy in Fort Simpson.

To be located in the Northern Store, the pharmacy will open June 1 and offer an expanded over-the-counter selection of vitamins and supplements, cough and cold medication, plus health and skincare products.

"It is important that customers are able to access the ... resources and services needed to help them live well," said Laurie Kaminsky, vice-president of health products and services.

Dehcho deadline lapses

The territorial government imposed deadline on an offer to settle the Dehcho Process passed on April 6 with the Dehcho First Nations not accepting the offer.

When the offer was made in mid-February, Grand Chief Herb Norwegian had said then the offer didn't meet what the nation wanted and wouldn't be accepted.

In an e-mail response, cabinet spokesperson Shaun Dean said there needs to be a "shared willingness" among the territorial government, Dehcho First Nations and the federal government to reach an agreement comparable to previous settled claims in the territory. Premier Bob McLeod has asked for a meeting this month with the other parties to assess the current state of negotiations and consider the chances of reaching a deal.

"All three parties will need to make a determination about whether they can move forward with formal negotiations," Dean said.

Ice road closure updates

Ice roads across the Deh Cho region closed this week in part due to unseasonably warm weather over the weekend. Temperatures reached the mid-teens across the region last weekend, prompting the Department of Transportation to close the Nahanni Butte ice crossing to all traffic on April 10, and the Trout Lake crossing on March 31.

At press time, The Liard river crossing at Fort Simpson was on 72-hour notice for closure and could close to traffic by noon on April 17. The crossing was closed to low clearance vehicles on April 10 due to the rapidly deteriorating conditions of the road over the weekend.

Book a campsite

You know it's almost camping season when NWT Parks opens its online reservation system.

Residents and visitors began booking their favourite campsites at beginning at 10 a.m. April 15.

"The GNWT’s online reservation system allows campers to select and book campsites in 16 campgrounds across the NWT," a news release stated. "In addition to listing campsite costs and power options, the online reservation system includes campground maps, photos and recommended unit sizes to facilitate a smooth and hassle-free booking."

Most parks open May 15. Parks in the Inuvik region typically open in June.

Flea market coming

The East Three 12 and under girl’s soccer team is holding a spring flea market on April 18.

The event is to help raise money for the team to attend the Super Soccer tournament in Yellowknife in May.

"This is a great opportunity to sell baked goods ... and get rid of household items that you had too long," said organizer Denise Ritias.

The flea market will be held at the East Three Elementary School gym.

Good results in loppet

The Inuvik Ski Club hosted its annual loppet over this past weekend which marks the unofficial end of the season.

Thirty-eight skiers took part in the various races.

Sharon Firth, the legendary former Olympian, not surprisingly won the women's five-km race, besting second-place finisher Jen Lam by five minutes.

Tracey Pope won the 10-km women's race by a wide margin as well, beating Alexandra Pulwicki by a 10-minute margin. Diane Wilson and Kathy Gilmore finished well back.

In the men's five-km race, Philippe Thibert-Leduc beat Jay Blakeston to win. Roger Israel and Gordon Robertson took second and third, while Andrew Haas, the president of the ski club, had no official time.

Council donates funds

With two Inuvik councillors away from their duties due to personal medical issues, their council colleagues decided to donate some of their earnings to crowd-funding efforts.

Coun. Derek Lindsay is fighting some severe health issues, including cancer, while Coun. Clarence Wood has taken a leave of absence while his wife Anne receives cancer treatment in Edmonton.

At the March 25 council meeting, the members in attendance decided to donate their stipend from the meeting to their two missing colleagues.

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