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Friday, July 29, 2016

Lights out in city

A forest fire along the transmission line between the Snare hydro system and Yellowknife knocked out power to Yellowknife, Ndilo, Dettah and Behchoko at noon yesterday, according to Northwest Territories Power Corporation spokesperson Pam Coulter.

Power was restored about 45 minutes later but an equipment failure at the Jackfish diesel generating station knocked out electricity again. Power to the city was fully restored at about 2:20 p.m.

- Shane Magee

TerraX starts summer drill program

TerraX Minerals Inc. has started its Yellowknife City Gold summer drilling program, the first phase of what a company news release describes as an "extensive exploration drill program" over the next 18 months.

The drilling will extend work already done at an area known as Mispickel as well as more holes around known zones of gold.

The summer program is expected to last until freeze-up in early October before resuming in January.

- Shane Magee

Two territorial parks reopen to public

The Government of the NWT has reopened Cameron River Crossing and Reid Lake Territorial Parks after they were closed due to a nearby forest fire about two weeks ago. Neither park had been reachable by road after the Ingraham Trail (Highway 4) was also closed. A fire ban is still in effect at both parks, the GNWT stated in a news release. Campers who booked at Reid Lake will be reimbursed for the days the park was closed. Extended stay campsite holders will be refunded on a prorated daily rate.

- John McFadden

Former MLA dies

Friends, family and long-time Yellowknifers are mourning the passing of former NWT MLA Eliza Lawrence.

She died last Sunday in Grand Prairie at age 80. Lawrence was elected the MLA for the riding of Tu Nedhe in 1983 and served one term. Lawrence was born in Fort Resolution, the third eldest in a family of 17 children. She was trained as a nurse in Fort Smith and worked in Fort Resolution and Yellowknife. Lawrence was also of the founders of the NWT Native Women's Association.

- John McFadden

Thursday, July 28, 2016

New protocol signed

At the Dene National Assembly Tuesday meetings Chief Bill Erasmus and RCMP Chief Superintendent Ron Smith signed a new protocol.

While the Dene and the RCMP had previously signed a protocol, Erasmus said the new one strengthens the language of support between the two groups.

"You have the full support of the RCMP," Smith said.

RCMP chief superintendent transfers

It was announced RCMP Chief Superintendent Ron Smith will be transferred next month out of the Northwest Territories at the Dene National Assembly on Tuesday.

Smith said he had been to several national assemblies before.

"It has truly been an honour to be invited," he said.

Chief Bill Erasmus said Smith was being transferred to Ottawa. "So we'd better go visit him," Erasmus said.

It was not stated who will replace Smith.

Audit report accepted

The representatives present at the Dene National Assembly meeting last Tuesday voted to accept the Dene Nation Audit & Financial Statements.

"It's about accountability," Chief Bill Erasmus said.

The chief said the point of the audit is to ensure transparency and the organization is constitutionally obligated to have one done.

Senator demands answers about murder

Senator Nick Sibbeston said he wanted answers about the murder of Billy Cholo, whose remains were discovered two years ago in Fort Simpson, at the Tuesday meetings for the Dene National Assembly.

"Please, please do you job," the senator said to the representative from the RCMP.

Sibbeston said he brought a man to the RCMP who said Cholo had come to him concerned before the murder.

"(Cholo) said, 'I'm scared, this man is going to kill me,'" Sibbeston said. "That seems like pretty relevant information."

Sibbeston said the RCMP told the man that the information would be passed along to the officers in charge of the investigation back in Yellowknife.

The senator said the man still has not been contacted.

"(Cholo) was a little man," Sibbeston said. "(But) he was a human being, he desires the same protection."

RCMP Chief Superintendent Ron Smith said he would get Sibbeston in contact with an officer who could provide more information about the investigation.

Inuvik's first mayor dead

Inuvik's very first mayor, Dick Hill, died in his sleep in Collingwood, Ont., July 21.

The Collingwood Connection ran an obituary in which he was referred to as a "Northerner, scientist, adventurer, entrepreneur, sportsman and inveterate community builder."

Hill was born in Lamont, Alta., in 1930 and was raised in London, Ont. He spent 33 years living in Inuvik after having moved in 1963 with his family.

He was the founding director of the Inuvik Research Laboratory and also active in the Territorial Experimental Ski Program, and the Western Arctic Tourism Association.

Gwich'in announce AGA

The Gwich'in Tribal Council has announced its annual general assembly will take place at East Three School from Aug. 23 through 25.

Participants wishing to represent their respective designated Gwich'in organizations may contact their local councils for information about the selection process.

Last year's annual general assembly was in Aklavik.

Cop charged with sex assault

A police officer who has worked in Inuvik has been charged with sexual assault following a 1995 incident in Auburn, N.S., according to a release issued by Nova Scotia RCMP.

"The charges are in relation to Const. (Charles) Quartey's conduct with a woman he met during the course of his duties as a police officer," states the July 26 release. "It is alleged that he touched the woman in a sexual manner without her consent."

Quartey was posted in the NWT as a relief officer and at least for a time this year was based in Inuvik. RCMP state he has been on administrative leave since November and was suspended from duty June 17.

Police also say he will remain off duty until the charges against him are resolved.

The information leading to these current charges stem from information obtained July 2015, say police.

He is also being investigated for two internal code of conduct incidents. His first court appearance is set for Sept. 27 in Kentville Provincial Court in Nova Scotia.

Camps at youth centre

The Inuvik Youth Centre is looking for participants for on-the-land camps Aug. 6 and 13.

The first day will be for boys and the second for girls, aged 10 and up.

Participants will learn about fishing, berry and spruce tree gum picking, as well as fire-making and boating and water-safety training.

All participants must attend a boating and water safety session Aug. 4 from 5 to 6 p.m.

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