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Monday, April 14, 2014

Husky to drill, ConocoPhillips holding off

Husky Energy Inc. has made an application with the the Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB) to drill four exploratory wells approximately 40 kms southeast of Norman Wells in the Sahtu Canol shale formation.

Two wells are planned for one site this winter. Two more wells would be drilled at a second site in 2016. Husky Energy board approval will determine the extent of any eventual exploration related to this application.

ConocoPhillips has announced that it will not proceed with any drilling this season related to its Sahtu Canol shale exploration.

"We currently have no approved capital funding for the 2014-2015 season," said ConocoPhillips spokesperson Lauren Stewart. "At this time (we) do not anticipate any drilling or testing (flowback) work on EL470 for the upcoming winter season."

Stewart cited internal funding decisions for the suspension of exploration.

"A decision was made to allocate funds to other projects in ConocoPhillips' global portfolio for the 2014/2015 winter drilling season," Stewart said.

The company will proceed with its anticipated application to the SLWB to drill up to ten test wells over the next five years, in order to be in a regulatory position to proceed if the company green lights the work.

- Walter Strong

NWT parks website launched

The GNWT is launching a new user-friendly website to make it easier for people to make reservations at territorial campgrounds online.

The streamlined site includes more photos and details of individual campsites and will allow users to book multiple sites in different campgrounds at once which will ensure that friends and families can book sites side by side.

The new website will be open for reservations beginning April 15.

Most NWT parks will open on May 15.

- Cody Punter

Alcohol sales up across NWT

The sale of alcohol in the Northwest Territories went up by a total of 2.2 per cent between 2012 and 2013, according to new statistics from Stats Canada.

As a result the territory's liquor authority pulled in an additional 4.5 per cent in net income with a total of $26,043,000.

Wine accounted for the largest increase with a 5.4 per cent jump in sales, followed by spirits (2.4 per cent), and beer (0.8 per cent).

The sale of alcohol across Canada went up by a total of 3.2 per cent.

- Cody Punter

Smith students raise funds

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Students at Paul William Kaeser High School in Fort Smith recently held a fundraising event to help children in need in the African country of Kenya.

The event on the last weekend of March raised $5,800 to help care for orphans, street children and young people with HIV/AIDS in the slums of the capital city of Nairobi.

Thirty-six students and 12 teachers participated in the 24-hour famine fundraiser.

- Paul Bickford

Self-defence course for women in Smith

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Aurora College's continuing education program at Thebacha Campus will be offering a self-defence course for women next month in Fort Smith

The two-day course will run on the afternoons of May 3 and 4.

The workshop, which is specifically designed for women, will teach self-defence skills and tactics.

The registration deadline is April 25.

More information about the course, including the fee, can be obtained by contacting the continuing education program at Aurora College.

- Paul Bickford

Smith's Landing seeks to begin youth group

Thebacha/Fort Smith

Smith's Landing First Nation is collecting the names of band members with the goal of beginning a youth group.

The band is seeking the participation of members between ages 14 and 30.

Smith's Landing First Nation has its reserve land in northern Alberta, just across the border from Fort Smith. However, many members live in Fort Smith.

- Paul Bickford

Celebrations begin


Ulukhaktok will be holding a weekend-long celebration for Easter, April 18 to 20.

The weekend will begin with a mass at the Anglican church at 3 p.m. April 18.

"Everybody attends church," said acting recreation co-ordinator, Kassandra Ekpakohak.

After church there will be games on the ice at Queen's Bay sponsored by the elder and youth committee.

Later that night, there will be a drumdance and square dance at the school gym. Followed by a teen dance beginning at midnight.

Saturday will see more of the same with games on the ice during the day and dancing at the school from 8 p.m. onwards.

On Easter Sunday, the community is invited to go on the land at Okpilik for fishing, rabbit hunting and sliding, all of which will be followed by a large cook-off.

But the most interesting event of the day will likely be the "rabbit poop collecting competition," which is exactly what it sounds like.

"They do that every year. I'm not sure who came up with that," said Ekpakohak, adding jokingly, "It's a good thing that they're frozen."

The top three "poop collectors" will get gift certificates for the co-op.

The weekend will then wrap up with a hockey game at the local arena.

"It's always a fun weekend," said Ekpakohak.

- Cody Punter

Jamboree just around the corner


Tuktoyaktuk's annual Spring Jamboree is set to take place Easter long weekend, April 18 to 21.

The weekend will kick off with drum dancing, square dancing, followed by opening ceremonies and crowning of the Jamboree King and Queen at Kitti Hall.

Traditional games are scheduled for Saturday, including harpoon throw on the ice in the harbour during the day and a jigging competition at Kitti Hall at night.

On Sunday, a talent show is planned, as well as snowmobile races, and more games down by the harbour with more of the same on Monday.

Raffle tickets will be drawn at the closing ceremonies and prizes include a snowmobile, round-trip Canadian North flight to Edmonton, as well as cash prizes. It will take place Monday afternoon at Kitti Hall.

Acting recreation co-ordinator, Caroline Loreen, said raffle tickets will be available for purchase right up until the time of the draw on April 21.

- Cody Punter

Students off to Europe

Tetlit'Zheh/Fort McPherson

Eleven students from Chief Julius School made their way on a 10-day trip to Europe on April 11. The students, who are from Grades 9 to 12, designed the trip themselves and are making stops in France, Austria, and Italy.

Throughout the trip they will get to learn leather making in Innsbruck Austria, glassblowing in Florence, Juliet's balcony in Venice and the Louvre and the Eifel tower in Paris.

Teacher Brandi Hehn will be accompanying the students

She said students are most excited about going to Paris.

"I think it's because it's the one they're most familiar with," she said.

The students have been fundraising for more than 18 months and have raised close to $75,000 to pay for it. In order to be eligible to go, each student has had to maintain a high level of academics, attendance and behaviour.

"It's been an extra initiative for them," said Hehn. They plan to put on a thank-you presentation for the community when they return.

- Cody Punter

Ready for the Easter bunny

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Open Doors Society will be holding its annual Easter egg hunt April 21 at noon at the Fort Simpson territorial campground.

The Fort Simpson Community Garden Society is holding its annual general meeting April 15 at 6 p.m.

The Seven Spruce Golf Course has scheduled its annual general meeting for the end of the month, April 29 at 7 p.m. in the Nahanni Inn's boardroom.

Bompas Elementary School started practices this week for athletes who will be competing at the soccer tournament in Grande Prairie from May 1 to 5.

The school is collecting old telephone books as part of a fundraising opportunity with Northwestel.

- Roxanna Thompson

Call for wolf carcasses


The Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee will be closed April 11 to 16 as the representative will be on annual leave. Hunters who want to sign out tags for bear hunting during that time should contact Faye Gordon at the hamlet office.

Local Environment and Natural Resource offices have also announced that they will be collecting wolf carcasses from hunters up until April 14.

Hunters who return a carcass along with the completed kit, which can be picked up from the ENR office, are eligible for a $200 payout.

Carcasses brought in after April 14 will not be accepted.

- Cody Punter