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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter roads and ice crossings open

The winter highway North to Tulita up the Mackenzie River valley from Wrigley opened Dec. 12, according to an e-mail from the Department of Transportation. The latest update stated it is open to traffic weighing less than 5,000 kilograms.

As well, several ice crossings in the region are now open to light traffic.

The N'Dulee ice crossing on the road to Wrigley opened last week to light traffic weighing less than 5,000 kilograms.

The Nahanni Butte crossing on Highway 7 is open to traffic weighing less than 5,000 kilograms as well.

On Dec. 15, the Liard River ice crossing near Fort Simpson, which was completed Nov. 26, was opened to light traffic weighing less than 20,000 kilograms.

New Year gala planned

Villagers who want to ring in the new year in style will have the chance at the Fort Simpson rec centre.

A gala event, including cocktails at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and dinner and dance from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., are planned.

There will be 100 tickets sold, with tickets for just the dance portion available. The gala is a fundraiser for the men's and women's recreation hockey leagues.

Walk to Tuk registration opens

The Walk to Tuk challenge has opened for teams to register.

The challenge sees teams of community members, schools and workplaces conceptually walk the distance of the Mackenzie River from Fort Providence to Tuktoyaktuk.

As a team, participants must walk 1,658 kilometres from Jan. 5 to March 2.

The challenge, put on by the NWT Recreation and Parks Association, has had entries from the Deh Cho in the past, including a team last year from Bompas Elementary School.

Raffle raises funds for Historical Society

The Fort Simpson Historical Society raffle raised $1,200 that will go toward paying down the 2014 construction debts.

After constructing the shell of the building this year, the society had a shortfall of about $30,000.

The society is building a historical centre on the main street through the village which, once complete, will house its exhibits, an art space and a meeting area.

Ian Coates won the handmade quilt, Jonas Antoine won the Northern store meat package and Tina Lafferty won the bicycle.

Challenged to walk

After being selected as a finalist for The Play Exchange a federal government-sponsored campaign geared toward increasing physical fitness the NWT Recreation and Parks Association is asking community members to Walk to Tuk. The event challenges teams of up to 20 members to walk the conceptual distance of the Mackenzie River between Fort Providence and Tuktoyaktuk. Beginning Jan. 5 and ending March 2, teams will be tasked with collectively walking the 1,658-km distance. The recreation and parks association will be featured, along with the other finalists, on Jan. 9 with a chance to win $1 million towards making the challenge nationwide.

Registration is now open and the deadline to register a team is Jan. 16.

Drive sleds safely

The RCMP are urging Inuvik residents to practice safe snowmobiling after a man went through the ice Dec. 14.

The Tuktoyaktuk man broke through the ice near Urquhart Lake, approximately 3.5 hours southeast of Tuk. Unable to get his snowmobile out of the ice and water, he managed to get back to land and contact police using a satellite phone. Although he didn't have a change of clothes and was wet from the waist down, the man was able to start a fire by the time a search and rescue team located him. He did not require medical attention.

Following the incident, the RCMP reminded snowmobilers to prepare for emergencies, be cognisant of the weather and familiar with the terrain, and dress appropriately. They also recommend travelling in groups and making others aware of travel plans.

Books and the big guy

In case you haven't had a chance to see him yet, Santa will be stopping by the library Dec. 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be story-telling and crafts to celebrate the Christmas season.

It isn't all about the children, the library will also be offering a Drop 'N Shop event for parents. Children can be dropped off at the library between 1 p.m and 5 p.m. on Dec. 22 and 23 for supervised craft time, allowing parents to finish up their last-minute Christmas shopping.

The library's hours will be changed over the holidays, closing at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and opening again on Dec. 27 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It will also be closed for New Year's Day.

Aligning governments

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment is working with aboriginal governments from across the territory to collaboratively build a plan around culture and heritage development for the next decade.

After various meetings around the NWT, a draft document is expected by summer 2015.

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