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Monday, August 24, 2015

MLAs seeking re-election

Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Robert C. McLeod has confirmed he will stand for re-election in the Nov. 23 territorial vote. McLeod, MLA for Inuvik Twin Lakes, was first elected to the legislative assembly in 2004 in a by-election. He was re-elected in 2007 and acclaimed in 2011.

Meanwhile, Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche has also confirmed he will see re-election. Menicoche, 53, was first elected to the legislative assembly in 2003 and re-elected in 2007 and

2011.

-John McFadden

Inmates harvest the land

Inmates and staff from the men's correctional facility in Fort Smith have successfully harvested a crop of sweet grass and sage to be used during traditional purification and smudging ceremonies and for healing medicines.

Inmates were transported to traditional gathering areas outside Fort Smith and instructed on the respectful harvesting of sacred plants by a traditional counsellor, stated a news release from the Department of Justice.

Inmates also collected mint, chamomile and yarrow for teas. According to the release, the harvested plants will be used across the NWT during traditional ceremonies and programs for

inmates.

-John McFadden

Mental Health Act meetings to be held

The public is being encouraged to attend meetings in three communities dealing with the territorial government's Bill 55: Mental Health Act. The standing committee on social programs is reviewing the bill ahead of its third and final reading in the legislative assembly next month.

A meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Inuvik Community Corporation on Aug. 25. The committee will meet at noon on Aug. 26 at Kitty Hall in Tuktoyaktuk and on Aug. 27 at the Arthur Mendo Arena Community Hall in Tulita.

-John McFadden

Calling all Order of the NWT nominations

The NWT legislative assembly is calling for nominations from residents for the Order of the NWT, the highest honour awarded in the territory.

The order was created in 2013 by the Territorial Emblems and Honours Act. The award is available to any Canadian citizen who is a current or former resident of the NWT.

The deadline for the first intake of nominations is Sept. 4.

-John McFadden

New women's correctional facility to be ready by 2018

Thebacha/Fort Smith

A contract for the design and construction of a new adult women's correctional facility in Fort Smith has been awarded to C.A.B. Construction Ltd., which submitted a winning proposal of a little more than $23.5 million.

The new facility will have a capacity for 23 women and will be built on McDougal Road next to the existing facility for male inmates.

"The people of Fort Smith have a long history of supporting the operation of corrections facilities in their community," stated Justice Minister David Ramsay in an Aug. 13 news release. "By building on the same site as the existing centre for men, we will be able to realize efficiencies in food services, utilities and administration. We look forward to the opening of this building in the spring of 2018 and continuing our partnership with the community."

Design is currently underway and construction on the new facility is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.

- Paul Bickford

Slave River Paddlefest attracts record numbers

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The eighth edition of the Slave River Paddlefest - featuring kayaking, canoeing, rafting and more - was bigger than ever.

This year, 142 registered competitors - 100 of them from out of town - took part in the July 31-Aug. 3 event on the Mountain Portage Rapids of the Slave River, just south of Fort Smith on the Alberta side of the border.

That compares to 80 competitors last year, and just 12 when the event first began.

The visiting paddlers and spectators came from elsewhere in the NWT and Canada, and from the United States, France, Norway and Australia.

The Slave River Paddlefest is presented by the Fort Smith Paddling Club.

- Paul Bickford

Wild berry festival planned at museum

Hay River

The Hay River Heritage Centre is planning a Wild Berry Mini Festival on Aug. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Community residents are being invited to bring their wild berry pies, jams and jellies to the museum to be judged.

Prizes will be awarded for the first three places in the categories of baked pies, jams and jellies.

A children's art project will also be held as part of the festival.

Vendor tables will be available for those who wish to sell their pies and jams.

- Paul Bickford

Town working on franchise decision

Hay River

A decision on which company will receive the Town of Hay River's electricity franchise may be announced in early September.

"Right now, the process is we're reviewing the proposals," said Mayor Andrew Cassidy last week, adding the town has received proposals from three companies.

Cassidy declined to name the companies that have submitted bids to the town, explaining the request for proposals process is confidential.

The proponents made presentations to the town last week.

The town will now continue with its review, said Cassidy. "And hopefully within a few weeks we will have a decision to move forward with."

Late last year, the town decided to issue a request for proposals and not automatically renew the franchise agreement with Northland Utilities (NWT) Limited, which has provided the service since the early 1950s.

The town is seeking to reduce the cost of electricity in the community.

- Paul Bickford

Immersion camp begins

Deh Gah Got'ie Koe/Fort Providence

Deh Gah School's immersion kindergarten for Grades 1, 2 and 3 classes started the fall camp at the snye on Aug. 17.

The camp runs for three weeks and breaks for the weekends.

Dates include Aug. 24 to 28 and Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.

Children require permission forms to be signed in order to attend the camp.

Meanwhile, Toddler Time has returned to the kindergarten classroom at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the remainder of August and all of September.

School will be out Aug. 25 and 26 as staff will be attending a cultural orientation in Fort Simpson.

The community recreation centre is holding a multi-sport camp courtesy of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

The camp began Aug. 17 and ran until Aug. 21 at the gymnasium.

- April Hudson

Emergency exercise still seeks volunteers

Liidlii Kue/Fort Simpson

The Department of Transportation will be holding an emergency exercise on Sept. 12 and is looking for volunteers to act as air crash victims from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be followed by a barbecue at the airport.

The Two Rivers mixed slo-pitch tournament will be held at the baseball diamonds from Aug. 28 to 30. Entry fees are $500 per team, with first place winning $1,500, second place winning $1,000 and third place winning $500. The registration deadline is Aug. 26.

The Deh Cho Health and Social Services Authority (DHSSA) has a jam making session scheduled with elders on Aug. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The authority will also be running an adult health session on Aug. 25 and a youth health session on Aug. 27.

- April Hudson

Operation Nanook to thank the town

Inuvik

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces currently in Inuvik will be hosting a community day Aug. 26 at Jim Koe Park as a thank you for hosting Operation Nanook, a training exercise meant to prepare troops for Arctic conditions and possible situations.

Activities will kick off at 4:30 p.m. and will feature a barbecue in the field kitchen, a combat obstacle course for children, and a Griffon helicopter on the softball field. There will also be demonstrations of naval diving gear and Canadian Rangers equipment.

There is a flyby by Chinook and Griffon helicopters, as well as a Twin Otter, scheduled for 6 p.m., to be followed by a speech by the task force commander at 6:30 p.m. and a friendly field hockey game between military and community members at 6:45 p.m.

- Sarah Ladik