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Monday, April 21 2014

Convocation set at Thebacha Campus

Aurora College's Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith will celebrate the success of 29 students at its annual convocation ceremony on April 25.

Degrees, diplomas and certificates will be awarded from the schools of education, business and leadership, and arts and science.

Among those to address the graduates will be NWT Commissioner George Tuccaro; Education, Culture and Employment Minister Jackson Lafferty; and Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Fort Smith Rec Centre.

Other convocation ceremonies will be held on May 3 at the Yellowknife North Slave Campus on May 9 at the Aurora Campus in Inuvik.

- Paul Bickford

Behchoko motel rooms vandalized

The RCMP is investigating an incident at the Tlicho Motel in Behchoko in which an unknown number of persons forced their way into six unoccupied rooms.

The persons discharged multiple fire extinguishers inside the rooms andstole six televisions. According to a news release from the RCMP, it appears the culprits spent a large amount of time in the rooms drinking and doing extensivedamage during the early hours of April 12.

Police are conducting an investigation with the assistance of the RCMP'sforensic identification section.

- Paul Bickford

No impact from Heartbleed Bug in NWT

The Heartbleed Bug has not impacted any government departments in the Northwest Territories, says the GNWT's manager of information security.

"We currently are not susceptible to the Heartbleed vulnerability," Clinton Scott said.

The Heartbleed Bug affects OpenSSL cryptographic software, which is used by social media sites, government websites and a variety of other websites. The bug allows internet users to access data normally protected by the cryptographic software. Scott said the government was informed about the bug and performed checks to see if data had been compromised. He said checks were done internally before being performed by an external security firm, which confirmed no data breaches had taken place.

"Currently the Government of the Northwest Territories is not susceptible to the Heartbleed vulnerability, however we continue to actively monitor and review our environment and willapplying any mitigation measures needed to remain protected."

- Kassina Ryder

Aboriginal journalist internship


The Canadian Journalism Foundation is offering an early-career aboriginal journalist the chance to explore an issue of interest to First Nations, Metis or Inuit peoples.

The award aims to foster better comprehension of aboriginal issues in Canada's major media and community outlets.

"This is a very special new initiative for CJF," says Bob Lewis, chair of the CJF. "It aims in a small way to help bridge the yawning gap between traditional news media and the oft-ignored stories of Canada's aboriginal people. I hope it grows over the years as a significant platform for emerging aboriginal journalists."

Applications will be welcomed from aboriginal journalists - First Nations, Metis and Inuit - who for one to five years have been employed by, under contract to, or freelancing on the news and editorial side of regularly published newspapers and periodicals, television, radio, or online sites. The recipient will be selected by a jury.

The deadline is April 30, 2014, 5:00 p.m. EDT.

- NNSL staff

Fort Smith to Chip winter road closes

Thebacha/Fort Smith

The winter road connecting Fort Smith with Fort Chipewyan, Alta. closed for the season April 8.

The seasonal route runs 109 km from Peace Point, which is 120 km south of Fort Smith in Wood Buffalo National Park, to Fort Chipewyan.

The winter road is constructed and maintained by the park.

A day later, a second winter road south from Fort Chipewyan towards Fort McMurray also closed for the season. That route is constructed and maintained by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

- Paul Bickford

Spring meeting about Enterprise garden


A meeting will be held in Enterprise later this month to organize things for the spring planting season at the Enterprise Community Garden.

Would-be gardeners are being invited to attend the meeting set for 7 p.m. April 28 at the Enterprise Community Centre.

People will be able to choose a plot in the community garden and get seeds.

The community garden is a project of the Hamlet of Enterprise.

- Paul Bickford

Enterprise looks over applications


The Hamlet of Enterprise is looking over the 15 applications it received from people interested in becoming the senior administrative officer (SAO) for the community.

Mayor John Leskiw II said the applications will be presented to council to discuss, and a shortlist will be chosen for telephone interviews in the next week or two.

As for when a new SAO will be chosen, Leskiw said, "I'm really hoping, at the extreme latest, the end of this month, but I'm betting it probably won't be until the first week in May."

It is undetermined when a successful candidate would start working for the community of about 110 people.

Interim SAO John McKee will be working in the position until the end of May.

- Paul Bickford

Rendezvous in Aklavik


The Mad Trapper Rendezvous was scheduled to take place from April 17 to 19. The weekend was to begin with an opening prayer and a feast on the afternoon of April 17. This was to be followed by the crowning of the King and Queen of the Rendezvous and a drum dance/jam session at night.

On April 18, dog-sled and snowmobile races were scheduled throughout the day with a talent show and fiddling competition at Moose Kerr school at night.

The schedule for April 19 had a pancake breakfast scheduled at the Sittichinli Complex before games and events including foot races, egg and spoon races, toboggan pull, and nail driving kick of at the carnival site.

A bingo with a $10,000 prize was scheduled to follow in the evening, topped off by a jigging contest beginning at midnight.

The fun continued with a pancake breakfast on the mornings of April 19 and 20, with more games and races to follow in the afternoons, including the 75-mile men's open track snowshoe race, which comes with a $4,000 prize.

Closing ceremonies were to be held at the Sittichinli complex after the final events April 20, where all the prizes will be handed out for the major events.

- Cody Punter

Easter celebration


This weekend was to be jam-packed with lots of great events as Paulatuk celebrated Easter with five days of celebration beginning with a casino night at Angik School April 16.

April 17 the James Ruben Coin toss, the mail bag race and adult archery were scheduled on the beach.

"Every year people look forward to coin tosses, Ski-Doo races, jigging," said recreation co-ordinator Aaron Ruben when asked what some of the highlights of the weekend might be.

There were to be more games April 18, taking place both at the beach and Angik School gym where a drum dance and old-time dance were to be held.

That gave people just enough time to brush up on their skills before the old time dance and jigging competition which was scheduled for the next night, with the winner taking home a $300 prize.

April 20 will see the Easter Parade making its way through town at 1 p.m., with an Easter egg hunt and snowmobile races to follow.

The weekend will wrap up with men and women's ice chiseling down on the Beach April 20 followed by closing ceremonies at the Angik School at 6 p.m.

There will also be masses throughout the weekend at the church.

- Cody Punter

Fun fishing derby wrapping up

Ikaahuk/Sachs Harbour

A "fun fishing derby" being held in Sachs Harbour wrapped up today. The derby, which began April 11 was open to the whole community and focused on categories other than weight, which is normally used to determine the winner.

Doreen Carpenter, recreation co-ordinator, said there are categories for longest fish, most colourful fish and weirdest looking fish.

"It's Easter and it's spring so we try to have fun," said Carpenter.

There have not been many entries yet, but Carpenter said that will likely change in the next few days.

"It's long weekend so everyone's going fishing," she said.

The community was scheduled to hold a traditional feast at the community gym on the night of April 16.

There was also to be a scavenger hunt for youth April 17 at 6 p.m. beginning at the community centre before heading out all over town.

- Cody Punter

Missionaries make a visit


A group of American missionaries who were involved in relief efforts in the wake of the 2011 earthquake in Japan were up in Aklavik last week. Steve and Kimyo Canter studied with local pastor Larry Noland at Bible college in Florida but moved to Japan 10 years ago to help build churches there. After the tsunami struck they mobilized to help organize relief efforts there.

Noland explained that the church in Aklavik invites missionaries up to a conference in the community once a year.

While they were there, the Canters helped preach at the church and they gave a presentation about the work they were doing in Japan.

"There was a lot interest and a lot of good questions," said Noland.

The Canters also got the chance to do a bit of exploring during their stay, including a snowmobile ride out on the land over the weekend.

"So they got to experience some Arctic wind," joked Noland. "They really loved it here and they loved getting to meet the people."

- Cody Punter