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The Thompson Local News Archives for 2015-09

Thompson Humane Society brings Property Tax Draw for 6th year

A local non-profit organization continues to fundraise in a unique way.


For a 6th year in a row, the Thompson Humane Society is doing their Property Tax Draw. President Oswald Sawh has more:


"It’s a draw for up to $3000 that would go against either your property taxes, or of course if you paid your taxes, or you live in an apartment you get $3000 cash. Really, at the end of the day, you get $3000 regardless".


Sawh says the draw started out as a way for the Humane Society to fundraise for their own property taxes.


Last day to get a ticket is this Saturday. Property taxes are due to the City today.


Thompson Fire Chief confirms Sunday night's house fire caused by lightning

Sunday night’s house fire in the Westwood area caused around $250,000 in damages.


Fire Chief John Maskerine says it was caused by lightning:

"It hit the beak of the house and it seemed to charge up the attic. There was no burning down to the lower levels or on the second floor, all the burning was in the attic area itself".


Maskerine says he’s never seen lighting cause a house fire in Thompson before.


Among the destroyed items was a new set of hockey equipment the son purchased himself for his first year of real ice hockey. His friends set up a crowd funding page to help him and his family. In 24 hours it raised $4000.


RCMP investigating report of alleged sexual assault after last week's incident

Last week’s incident east of RD Parker is still under investigation.


RCMP say they’re investigating a report of alleged sexual assault. Last Thursday students located a woman wandering in the wooded areas between RD Parker and Riverside Drive.


The students called EMS and emergency services came to the scene. Police didn’t say what they were investigating at the time.


No other information is currently being provided.


Minister Allum visits Thompson's education facilities

MLA James Allum got a firsthand look of Ecole Communautaire La Voix du Nord which is currently under construction.


The Minister of Education and Advanced Learning was in Thompson yesterday touring education facilities and meeting with educators.


He told us a bit more about his visit:


"Thompson is just one example of the investments that we’ve made in order to ensure that students have facilities that are 21st century learning classrooms, that we’re focused on quality education where kids are literate and numerate, and have those foundational skills that they need for problem solving and critical thinking in the future".


Minister Allum stopped by RD Parker to speak with students, and he also sat down with School District of Mystery Lake trustees.



Conservatives nominate candidate for Churchill Keewatinook Aski

The Conservatives have put forward a candidate for our riding in this year’s federal election.


Kyle Mirecki, a law student at the University of Manitoba, has been nominated as the Conservative candidate for Churchill Keewatinook-Aski.


Mirecki is up against NDP incumbent Niki Ashton, Liberal candidate Rebecca Chartrand, Green Party candidate August Hastmann, and Libertarian candidate Zachary Linnick.


The last day for parties to nominate a candidate was yesterday, and a complete list of confirmed candidates will be available tomorrow.


Election Day is October 19.


Paving on Cree Road has begun

Cree road will soon be an open road.


After being closed for most of the summer, paving has begun. Director of Public Works Wayne Koversky says they’re hoping to have it done by October 1st.


After that’s done, crews will be paving various parts of the City, including covering up some potholes.


Cree Road was initially scheduled to be paved earlier in the month, but weather pushed the project back.



No injuries after house fire on Westwood Drive

Thompson fire and emergency services are investigating last night’s house fire on Westwood Drive.


Fire chief John Maskerine says they got the call a little after 7 last night:


"Area ladder was placed into service and fire was brought under control very quickly but getting to the hotspots and mop up was a lengthy operation. There was no injurieis to the residents or to any of our fire fighting crew but I have to take my hat off to the crew, it was a very difficult fire to get at".


A good Samaritan driving by noticed the flames and alerted the residents inside.


Changes to the City’s organizational by-law will see a new communications committee formed

Last week’s City council meeting saw an amended organizational and procedural by-law pass its first reading.  


The by-law, which governs the City and its committees, must be reviewed by council at least once per term.


City Manager Gary Ceppetelli highlighted some of the major changes being made to the by-law. One is the addition of a communications committee. Council will also now be able to establish an aboriginal advisory committee thanks to the addition of a clause.   


The by-law will still need to be read a second and third time before it becomes law. Council hopes to have it passed before the re-organizational meeting of council in November.  


2015 Order of Thompson presented at 8th annual Thompson Community Foundation Gala

The Order of Thompson for 2015 was announced Saturday evening.

It happened at the 8th annual Thompson Community Foundation Gala.   This year's recipient is John Donovan who was recognized for his work with those suffering from addictions and those impacted by addictions.   

Donovan, formerly a teacher at R.D. Parker and then the Director of AFM, was instrumental in bringing about Project Northern Doorway. It provides housing for 16 of Thompson's homeless people,  many of whom deal with addictions.   

He joins past recipients including Volker Beckmann, Gail and Arnold Morberg, Red Sangster, Adrian de Groot and Ted Smook. 


Back to school means back to being "nut-aware"

You might want to think twice when packing your child’s lunch.


School District of Mystery Lake superintendant, Lorie Henderson says there are students who have a severe allergy in every school.


She says parents will usually know if their child has a classmate with an allergy:


"We ask the parents for their permission to send home a letter letting the other parents know that there is a student in the classroom who has known risks of anaphylaxis and that they cooperate, that they try not to send anything in lunches or snacks, that they inform the teacher prior to distributing any food products through the school".


Henderson says the schools are “nut-aware”.


Fire on Wolf Street caused by home heater

A trailer home on Wolf Street has been destroyed after a house fire on Wednesday.


Thompson Deputy Fire Chief Mike Bourgon tells us the cause of the fire:

"It appears to be caused by an older model baseboard heater that was plugged in and left on high, and then the homeowners ended up leaving it plugged in and running on high for the day. It ended up melting the baseboard heater initially, it overheated, and then it ended up catching some combustibles nearby".


Luckily no one was home at the time.


When buying a heater, Bourgon recommends making sure it’s a 120V heater, and a newer model with a safety feature that turns the heater off when tipped over.


City council adds one more project to 2015 watermain renewal program

A watermain break on Princeton Drive by Station Road, will be getting a permanent fix.


The Public Works Department looked at different options to correct the break, and found that installing a brand new water main, as opposed to repairing it, was the most viable.


Completely replacing the water main would cost around $54,000. Fixing it would cost around $20,000 but there would be no guarantee that it wouldn’t break again.


The watermain, which was already identified as a potential renewal project for 2016, will now be done this year.


RCMP investigating incident east of RD Parker

UPDATE: RCMP investigating report of alleged sexual assault


RCMP are investigating an incident that happened yesterday afternoon.


RCMP say students located a woman with bloodied clothing wandering around in the tree line between Riverside Drive and RD Parker on the North side of Thompson Drive.


Emergency services responded after the students called EMS.


RCMP won’t say what they are investigating at this time, as it is an on-going investigation. 


Take Back the Night hits our streets tonight

Residents are getting together tonight to Take Back the Night.


Organized by the Thompson Crisis Centre, Community Outreach Worker, Mary tells us more:


"Take back the night Is an international event that is organized by many local communities with the purpose of unifying everyone and bringing awareness of violence in our streets".


The event is at 6, at Robins Donuts.


School district does $400,000 worth of upgrades to schools over the summer

While students were away for the summer, the School District of Mystery Lake maintenance team was busy making upgrades to all 7 schools.


Facilities Manager Keith Derksen says they usually do about $400,000 worth of projects every summer:


"We have a few themes that kinda go every year, and a few years ago we had a theme that we started replacing school PA systems, we’ve completed that. We started school security systems, keyless access, that was completed, but now we’re working on a theme of exterior doors. We’ve been working on that for a few years and that will continue on".


Derksen says they have also been improving sidewalks, and replacing toilet stalls.


Two of the bigger projects that were done over the summer was rebuilding the entrance to RD Parker, and installing a ramp at Wapanohk School.


Derksen says they 17 different contractors working for them at various this summer.


Norman Northstars approved for temporary rate freeze

The Norman Northstars have been approved for a 3 year rate freeze by the City.


The rate freeze will apply to the hockey team’s facility rentals from the City, including game day facility rentals, and ice rentals.


The request came from President Brad Salamandyk, who wrote that the rate freeze would help the team economically strategize for future years.


Salamandyk requested a 4 year rate freeze, but the Recreation and Community Services Committee recommended only 3 so that a future council could decide to extend it at the time.


Mayor Dennis Fenske supported the request, saying the Norman Northstars have the largest attendance in the league, both at home and on the road.


City lobbying province over health concerns

City council will be meeting with the NRHA and Diagnostics Services Manitoba (DSM) to discuss the needs for an MRI in Thompson.


In a letter presented to council at Monday night’s meeting, Manitoba’s Minister of Health Sharon Blady wrote that Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors (MHHLS) would be willing to review proposals for an MRI and radiation therapy unit.


Blady was responding to a letter from the Mayor’s office which lobbied for a radiation facility in Thompson.


Council also plans to discuss the construction start date of the Thompson Chemotherapy Unit expansion at this time. The project was confirmed by Blady back in May, but a start date for construction has been pending


Another issue that came up at Monday's meeting was disputed ambulance bills.


When former MLA Theresa Oswald was Health Minister she told the City that the province would cover any disputed ambulance bills. But a recent letter from current  Minister Blady suggested that the previous agreement was a one-time commitment to assist the City with a backlog of disputed bills.  


Mayor Dennis Fenske said he will be reminding Minister Blady that the previous Minister promised the City would not get caught in the middle of a dispute between the province and federal government.  He says there is an outstanding agreement to pay the bills in a timely matter.


Phone scam resurfaces in Thompson

RCMP is still receiving reports of a phone scam in our area.


The caller will identify himself as a Revenue Canada officer and tells potential victims they owe money. He tells them if they don’t deal with the issue immediately, they will be arrested.


Revenue Canada does not operate like this.


Residents are being reminded to not give out any personal information, and if they receive a call similar to this, to call Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501.


Issues with zoning stall plans to open Boys and Girls club satelitte location in the Eastwood area

The Boys and Girls club of Thompson is close to opening their satellite location.


Executive Director Regina Da-Silva says they didn’t raise as much as they’d like:


"Due to the lack of funds, the project can commence but it would be on a 3 evenings a week, so we would provide the same after school program, 3 days a week in the Eastwood area, out of the multicultural centre".


Currently the club is dealing with a zoning issue. Da Silva says the Boys and Girls Club has been working closely with the City to resolve the issue. She hopes to have it worked out by January so they can start their programming then.


Thompson raises over $4000 at Terry Fox Run

106 runners hit the road on Sunday to continue Terry Fox’s legacy.


Organizer Tracey Williams says the 35th annual Terry Fox Run raised over $4000 in Thompson:


"We had two big fundraisers. Obviously Mayor Fenske was the biggest personal fundraiser and so far he’s raised $1300 but we can still keep plugging for him, and the Norman Wild team raised $400 so they were our two big ones".


Mayor Dennis Fenske is currently short of his goal of raising $1 for every resident. Williams says residents can still donate until the end of September on the Terry Fox website.


This was the first year the event was held at the TRCC. Williams says they plan to continue hosting the run there for future years.


Paving on Cree Road pushed back due to weather

Those who’ve had enough of the road closure on Cree Road will have to hang in there a little longer.


Paving that was set to start this week has been delayed thanks to rain.


The City says they’re planning to begin paving on the 28th now, and it’s expected to be completed by October 2nd.


Motorists are reminded to continue using detours as the road remains closed.


Our Home Kikinaw house #2 almost complete

A recent push to raise money for Our Home Kikinaw house #2 has brought the organization closer to finishing the house.


House Coordinator for the Thompson Neighborhood Renewal Corporation Delia Chartrand says close to $3000 was raised:


"First of all with the 50/50 draw we raised about $730. The yard sales, we had two of them, and we raised a collective $1000 and we had a BBQ that ran for the week with a silent auction that raised about $800".


This week they’ll be using the money to do fencing and install a range hood. After that's complete all thats left is the closets, back steps, and crawl space door.


They hope to move the family in next month.


Home Routes comes back to Thompson for another year

A unique concert series will see musicians performing out of someone’s living room.


Organizer, Linda Toews tells us about Home Routes:


"Home routes is a forum for musicians to come and do a intimate concert in one’s living room. They’re across Canada. Musicians come, they play, people from the community come, all the money goes to the musicians".


This is the 7th year the concert series makes its way to Thompson.


The first concert for this season is this Friday, featuring Rick Fines.


Vale Manitoba Operations scores A or higher in 5 of 6 Towards Sustainable Mining categories

Vale Manitoba Operations released their corporate responsibility report last week.


Manager of Corporate Affairs and Organizational Development, Ryan Land explains the report updates the public on their operations.


The report goes over some of the current projects they are undertaking including Towards Sustainable Mining. The Mining Association of Canada led initiative, rates mines on a scale of C to AAA, AAA being the highest.


According to the mine’s yearly report, last year it scored an A or higher, in 5 of 6 categories. Ryan Land says the mine continues to improve:


"For the most part we’ve continued to improve annually which really is always the goal and as the industry standard is to be A or better we might be satisfied with being A or better in most categories but I think there’s always room for improvement.  We want to be the best mining company in the world".


Land says their lowest scored category, Biodiversity Conservation, was a new indicator so they didn’t yet have systems in place to report.


The report also provides an overview of milestones the mine has reached over the last year. One being they've inducted only their second two-time Quarter Century Club inductee in the history of their operations.


The report can be accessed on their website.



RCMP search for Nicholas Brophy; ask property owners to check backyards and outbuildings

RCMP are requesting assistance in locating missing Nicholas Brophy.


They are asking for property owners in the City to check their backyards, shed, and any outbuildings.


The 19-year-old has been missing since September 8th.


If anyone finds anything or has any information they are asked to contact Thompson RCMP at 677-6909.



Expect changes for this year's Terry Fox Run

This Sunday residents will be raising money for cancer research.


The 35th annual Terry Fox Run will be happening nation-wide.


Thompson organizer Tracey Williams says this year it will start at the TRCC:


"Because of the location change there are route changes, and we now have two routes. The shorter route is 4km and the longer route is 6km. We’ll basically be doing Thompson Drive, Cree road, around back Thompson Drive and for the longer route, doing the whole Westwood route".


Participants this year include Thompson Mayor Dennis Fenske, who is attempting to fundraise 1 dollar for every resident.


Residential household hazardous waste day tomorrow

Residents will be able to get rid of any hazardous waste lying around their home this weekend.


The City is running their annual Hazardous Waste Material Day tomorrow, providing residents with the opportunity to safely dispose of household chemicals such as cleaners, paint, pesticides, and propane.


City Manager Gary Ceppetelli says there are talks to run the day more than just once a year, but there's nothing official yet.


Until then, from 10am-2pm tomorrow, waste can be dropped off at City Hall.



Mud Bogs will happen this year after all

The Northern Manitoba Off-Road Association will be hosting a Mud Bogs after all.


President Dennis Foley says it won’t be without some changes:


"We are having what we’ve called a "mud raiser" which is a mud bog, fundraiser for the new location that we're going to be taking over in the future, which is about 19km South of Thompson at the old stock yard track or motor cross track depending on I guess your age. ATV’s and trucks, come in and pay $40".


Typically that would give a driver 2 runs, but this year Foley says, a driver can go around as many times their vehicle will allow them to.


The event will be happening this Saturday.


School board trustees have first meeting back from summer

School Board trustee Leslie Tucker will be school board chairperson for another year.


She was chosen Tuesday night during the re-organization meeting for the trustees for the 2015/2016 school year.


The meeting saw Guido Oliveira remain as Vice Chairperson for another year as well.


Standing committee members and board representatives were also chosen during the meeting.


It was the first meeting back from the summer for the trustees.


Transportation Safety Board team in Thompson, investigating plane crash

A Transportation Safety Board team has begun their investigation into Tuesday night’s plane crash.


The Keystone Flight crashed when it was returning to Thompson Airport, shortly after take-off.


Thompson Fire and Emergency Services Chief, John Maskerine says they got the call at around 6:30pm:


“We were on the scene at 18:36. It was two sheriff’s officers that had seen people coming out of the wooded area where they directed us in. We advanced our lines in, as well as our medics went in, and most of the people coming out were bumped and bruised and in shock”.


Maskerine adds first responders didn’t have much trouble locating the scene of the crash:


“The site was approximately 300-400 yards off of 391 highway and it was walk able. It was very easy to get into them which was probably a god sent to us, and the patients”.  


RCMP say all 8 passengers were taken to Thompson General Hospital. 3 were sent to Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre. The remaining 5 were expected to be discharged yesterday.


A statement from Premier Greg Selinger revealed the passengers work for the province. Three are employees of Northern Airport and Marine operations, two of Manitoba Business Transformation and Technology and one of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation. Selinger wished all on board, a quick recovery.


The cause of the crash won’t be known until TSB completes their investigation.




Pictures courtesy of TSB.


Over 100 seperate pieces of grafitti covered up thanks to CMHA program

Last Friday marked the last day for this year’s graffiti cover-up program.


Operated by the CMHA, in partnership with the City of Thompson and the Thompson Neighborhood Renewal Corporation, the summer program gets graffiti in the City covered up, while providing work experience to members of CMHA’s Connections Clubhouse program.


Education and Training Program Coordinator Katherine Pohjolainen says this year was a success with over 100 pieces of graffiti covered up.


The program has been running every year since 2008. 


Development at 69 Thompson Drive continues

The old Staples building has undergone changes over the summer, turning into a 3-unit plaza.


So far only Aaron’s Furniture has been confirmed as one of the business tenants, and according to the building owners, CDR Developments Inc, the other two are still available at this point.


Last week, council approved the Land Lease Agreement between the City and CDR Developments Inc, making things more official.


Some more changes the building owners plan to make is convert the most Northern part of the property to a parking lot, and make the existing green space more appealing by adding more trees, shrubs, and planters on the corner of the north side.


Crashed flight may have been filled with wrong fuel

Keystone Air Service has confirmed their flight 208 was returning to the Thompson Airport when it came down at a point just short of the runway.


The flight was headed to Winnipeg but turned back around when the pilot reported problems.


President of Keystone Air Service, Cliff Arlt says all 6 passengers were apparently able to exit the aircraft on their own, and were taken to Thompson hospital for examination. He says the pilots suffered injuries, but they are not believed to be life-threatening.


RCMP say all people were initially taken to Thompson General Hospital. 3 were later sent to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, 1 remains at Thompson General Hospital, and 4 others have been released.


The Navajo may have been filled with the wrong fuel. The aircraft requires Avgas but seems to have been mistakenly filled with jet fuel.


The crash occurred yesterday at 6:45pm.


The Transportation Safety Board is investigating further.


Plane crash at Thompson Airport

UPDATE: Crashed flight may have been filled with wrong fuel


A Keystone Air Service plane has crashed 3.2 km away from the Thompson Airport.


Sources say the crash happened this evening, North of the runway.


Curtis Ross, CEO of the Thompson Airport says they cannot comment on the incident but confirmed there were 8 people on board. He adds there are some injuries, but no fatalities have been reported.


The Transportation Safety Board says the plane experienced problems shortly after take off, and attempted to turn back to the airport. 


The safety board will be investigating.


Wi-fi at City buildings to be made accessible to all residents, not just Shaw customers

An amendment will make it easier for residents to access wi-fi at City buildings.


Council has passed a resolution which changes the agreement between the City and Shaw Cablesystems Limited.


Until now, residents could access wi-fi at City buildings only if they were an existing Shaw customer.


The amendment will now allow residents who aren’t Shaw customers to connect to the wi-fi as well, through a guest account.


The change should be in effect in around 4 weeks.


MPI looking for feedback from Thompson residents on proposed all-in-one ID

Thompson residents will be able to share their thoughts on the proposed all-in-one personal ID.


MPI will be at the City Centre Mall today from 9:30am-3:30pm, seeking input from residents.


They’ve been visiting different cities in the province to find out what the public thinks about the idea.


The card is a joint proposal by Manitoba Health, Healthy Living

and Seniors, and MPI and would combine a person’s driver’s license, photo ID, health and travel card.


New agreement ratified for Nisichawayasihk nurses

The 5 Nelson House nurses who went on strike back in May, now have an agreement.


The Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home Nurses went on strike after negotiations broke down as a result of the Federal government not committing their share of funding for the nurses.


On July 24th they went back to work after applying for an imposition of a contract to the Labour Board.


Last week an agreement was ratified, and includes a 6% pay increase from August 1, 2013 to March 21, 2018.


Search for Nicholas Brophy continues

A facebook page has been set-up to help with the search for Nicholas Brophy.


The 19-year-old was last seen last September 8th. Family and friends carried out searches over the weekend to try and find the missing man.


Other residents have been putting up Christmas lights and leaving their porch lights on to show their thoughts are with the family.


RCMP say Brophy was last seen wearing a black and white hooded sweater shirt, black skateboarding shoes and black jeans.


Anyone with any information is encouraged to call Thompson RCMP at 677-6909.



Thompson clinic installs kiosks that allows patients to check themselves in

Patients at the Thompson Clinic no longer have to check-in with the front desk receptionist.


Manager of the Clinic, Shamilla Thethy says they’ve installed 4 new self check-in kiosks:


"The self check-ins are little kiosks that are available for people to come in, and check in their information to be able to check-in for their appointments instead of having to wait in line to check-in with a receptionist. So they would check-in for the appointment, they’ll check in their name and address, the demographics and go in for their appointment". 



Thethy says the kiosks were installed last month, and that the response has been good, adding that 82% of patients surveyed say they would use them again.


They were funded by Manitoba Patient Access Network. The Pas and Flin Flon clinics will be getting the kiosks next month.




Walk a Mile in Her Shoes raises $8000 for YWCA

$8000 was raised during walk a mile in her shoes.


YWCA Thompson President Angel Anderson says the money will go towards the women’s centre.


The Y also had prizes for the top fundraisers but they all donated the prize back to the centre, allowing them to use it for a future event.


Anderson shared some local statistics at the event:


"In 2011, 21% of female students at RD Parker reported they were victims of violence or sexual assault; also in 2011 there were 800 incidents of domestic violence against women in Thompson". 


This was the 6th annual walk a mile in her shoes.



Chamber members think Thompson should be doing more to promote itself

Thompson Chamber of Commerce members think more should be done to promote Thompson to tourists.


A recent chamber survey showed 24% of members think Thompson is doing a poor job in promoting itself, and another 40% think we’re doing “just ok”.


Chamber President Keith MacDonald says one way of tackling the problem is seeing what models other Cities use to promote themselves, and applying them to Thompson.  


Men hit the streets in red heels tomorrow for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Tomorrow dozens of men will be donning red high heels in support of women and girls in the community.


The YWCA’s 6th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes takes place tomorrow.


Event coordinator Nina Cordell tells us more:


"It’s a solidarity event. It’s an opportunity for men to show that they support equality for women. It’s also an opportunity for them to, I guess in a way, understand what its like to walk in women’s shoes figuratively, but literally as well".


The event helps fund the Y’s programs. It happens tomorrow at noon at the YWCA.


Thompson RCMP detachment recipient of international award

The International Association of Chiefs of Police have given the RCMP Thompson Detachment an award for their work with Project Northern Doorway.


Officer in Charge, Will Tewnion says he’s honored, but adds the award is the community’s: 


"I basically submitted a package to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to their community policing committee, in consideration of all the great work by all the stakeholders in the community for project northern doorway, and police of course are just one of those stakeholders. I was pleased to see that they picked the Thompson initiative as the number 1 choice for populations under 20,000 for the international award". 


Project Northern Doorway is a multi-agency partnership to help homeless get off the streets and into housing, using the housing first model.


Tewnion says he is in the process of identifying a constable who will go to Chicago in October to accept the award.


The IACP Community Policing Awards competition honors those departments worldwide that have prevented and decreased crime by forging partnerships with their communities. The award, now in its 18th year, recognizes outstanding community policing initiatives by law enforcement agencies worldwide


Calm Air cuts down on Thompson to Churchill route

The option of flying to and from Churchill has gotten a little more difficult.


Calm Air cut down on its service between the two communities in July.


VP of Marketing Sandra Ross-Hitch says they were seeing a total of 300 passengers flying the route a year, so they decided to reduce service from 3 flights a week, to 1.


No other services were affected. Ross- Hitch says the Winnipeg to Churchill route remains the same, but with a larger aircraft.


19-year-old Thompson man missing

There’s a $10,000 reward for whoever has information on the whereabouts of a Thompson man.


Nicholas Christopher Brophy was last seen Tuesday night, walking on Arctic Drive going towards Beaver Crescent.


Family and friends held a search party to try and find the missing 18-year-old yesterday.


If anyone has information they’re asked to call Thompson RCMP at 677-6909.



Morning power outage affects Thompson and area

A power outage this morning affected 3,000 residents in the City.


Scott Powell, Manager of Public Affairs for Manitoba Hydro says the large outage also affected customers in Nelson House, Leaf Rapids, Lynn Lake, Paint Lake, Thicket Portage and South Indian Lake.   


He says it was caused due to some problems with equipment at Mystery Lake Station. Crews did some switching to restore service and resolve the issue.


The outage began just after 8:00am, and was restored by 8:40am.


Super El Nino may mean a milder winter in Thompson this year

Don’t let the recent colder temperatures fool you: trends show we might have a milder winter this year.


David Philips, Senior Climatologist for Environment Canada says it’s thanks to a super El Niño:


"What it does, is it generally allows more pacific air to blow across the prairies then the northern arctic air. Now it doesn’t eliminate the arctic air, but it tends to keep it up there into the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Now occasionally it will come down but not every day, and so what our models are suggesting, is that we think it will be a milder than normal winter".


Philips says since 1950 Thompson has had 7 super El Niño’s. In 4 of those we saw warmer than normal temperatures, 1 was cooler, and 2 were seasonal.


Phase 2 of Wolf Perception study completed over the Summer

A study to find out if public support exists to brand Thompson as Wolf Capital of the World has completed its second phase.


This Phase focused on the perception tourists and youth have of wolves.


Memorial University master’s student Bonnie Bishop spent the summer in Thompson collecting the data:

"Lots of the visitors that participated in the study were in Thompson for work and most of them were first time visitors to the city. We found that 77% of visitors like wolves so thinking about all of the negativity surrounding the wolf in many places around the world it’s really nice to see this result".


Phase 1 which was completed last year focused on residents.


Bishop says hopes to have a full report on all the data in time for the Wildlife Conference happening in Winnipeg in October.


City has repaired 31 water main breaks so far this year

Thompson has had 20 water main repairs and 11 service breaks over the second quarter period of April 1-July 31 of this year.


Reporting to council during Tuesday night’s meeting, Councilor Ron Matechuk, Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, reported that this brings the total water main repairs for this year, to 31.   


Matechuk also reported that street sweeping is now on going throughout the City. Line painting has also been completed, with the exception of Cree Road which according to the report will be paved the third week of September.


Matechuk adds that 35 tonnes of e-waste has been shipped so far this year.



Group finds unique way to spread awareness of FASD

FASD Alliance Thompson & Area have found a unique way to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


Member, Brenda Davidson says they’re doing “cupcake crashes” across the city:


"We’re making some surprise visits to different businesses and organizations, and we’re crashing them with cupcakes. They have some really important messages on them. So we’ll be crashing different places, and talking to them and raising awareness about FASD and what they can do as part of our community to help prevent and educate".


The group is doing the cupcake crashes to mark International FASD Awareness day, which is today.


RCMP reminding everyone to be safe as kids go back to school

Streets will be filled with children of all ages today as they head back to school.


RCMP Special Constable Robert Cleveland has some reminders for drivers:


"Kids will be back in school and just to be careful, watching for them, they’ll need to be watching for you so it’s a bit of a mindset on both parties to slow down in the school zones, school zone speed limits will be enforced".


Elementary school zone speed limits changed September 1st, and are now 30km/hr from 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday.


Plans to temporarily re-open Cree Road foiled due to rain

Motorists got a taste of detour-free driving but it didn’t last long.


Cree Road was re-opened on September 4th after a month long closure for road renewals, but potholes cause by the weekend rain, forced the city to re-close the road yesterday.


It was supposed to remain open until paving starts, on the 21st.


City Manager Gary Ceppetelli says they made the decision to close the road in order to prevent further damage to the road and will likely remain closed until road work is completed.



RD Parker parents will be able to access children's marks online this year

It’ll be easier for parents to keep track of how their high school children are doing in school.


RD Parker Principal Rob Fisher says all teachers will be utilizing an online marking program:


"This year all of our teachers will be using online marking, it’s called 'grade book'. It will allow parents to see how their child is doing throughout the year, what assignments have been handed in, and which ones aren’t because even though their children are in high school we still need parents to help make sure that things get handed in, and help their kids stay organized, they’re still young".


Parents can access the program through Parent Connect.


That's not the only change at the school this year. Fisher says they've added a 15 minute break in the day to give students time to grab a snack, or go outside in between class.


As for a goal for this school year? Fisher says graduation. He says the changes, programs, and acitivites they implement is all to help students succeed, and eventually graduate.


The first day of school is tomorrow.


Thompson airport soft launches new website

Those flying in or out of Thompson may have noticed some changes on the airports website.


A new layout and design are just some of things that have changed. Flight times are now posted on the homepage and the site is now user friendly for any device.


Thompson Airport CEO, Curtis Ross, says they have made some new and exciting changes by making it a responsive website. He says it was time for them to take what they had, find what wasn’t working, and make some changes to allow a friendlier and more informative platform.



The website had its soft launch last month. Ross says they are still working and modifying it, and welcome any feedback.


He says they want passengers to have a positive experience before they arrive to the airport, to the time they depart, no matter where they are coming from or going to.


Split Lake under a boil water advisory

Tataskweyak Cree Nation says the water supply is currently unsafe for drinking, putting Split Lake under a boil water advisory.


Chief Duke Beardy says they have problems with an aging water treatment plant which often brings significant loads of sediment which the plant struggles to filter.


He says they have been meeting with Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada on a regular basis to raise the issue, and plan to continue to pressure them until a resolution is agreed upon.


Chief and council are working to find short term solutions, but members are being told to boil water until the advisory is lifted.


Cucumbers from Safeway stores in Manitoba, being recalled

Consumers are being encouraged to throw out or return cucumbers, or products with cucumbers, bought from Safeway.


The grocery store chain has recalled the vegetable because they may be contaminated with salmonella.


The recall applies to fresh field cucumbers in addition to products that use the cucumbers, such as vegetable trays, Greek salad, sandwiches, and sushi.


Symptoms from salmonella include fever, nausea, and stomach cramps. Children, pregnant women, and elderly people are more likely to get seriously ill after eating the product.


The cucumbers are also being recalled in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta Safeway stores. 


Thompson girl found safe and sound

RCMP say 14-year-old Bethany Sheree Bone has been found safe and sound.


Winnipegosis RCMP were looking for the missing Thompson girl after she was last seen by her mother on August 30 in Camperville.


RCMP thank the poublic and media for their assistance.


14-year-old Thompson girl missing, last seen in Camperville

UPDATE: Thompson girl located safe and sound


Winnipegosis RCMP are looking for a missing Thompson girl.


14-year-old Bethany Sheree Bone was last seen by her mother on August 30 in Camperville, Manitoba.


Bone is described as aboriginal, 5’6”, 120 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a grey muscle shirt, avid washed jeans.


RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact Winnipegosis RCMP at 204-656-7003.


Niki Ashton launches Thompson campaign and office

Supporters in orange came out to Niki Ashton’s Thompson campaign launch and office opening yesterday.


The NDP candidate for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski says she’s optimistic about the election:


"I feel good about it, I mean today there was great energy great turnout here in our home community. We’ve had events in The Pas, OCN, we’ve had events in Flin Flon, we’ve been  doing campaign events in the new part of the riding, in the Interlake so we’re just going to keep visiting, keep travelling, and keep connecting and encouraging people to vote for orange and vote for change at the national level on October 19th". 



Ashton says the main issues she is focusing on, is protecting public services, protecting value added jobs, and fairness for First Nations and Metis peoples.


These will be Ashton's fourth elections, as she seeks re-election for a third term.


Resident upset after keys to car, left at Airport parking services, given to a stranger

Resident Tanya Noseworthy left her car at the airports parking services when she went to Winnipeg to receive medical treatment.


When she got back in the City, she says she found out the keys to her SUV were given to someone else, who then drove off with her car.


CEO of the Thompson Airport, Curtis Ross says it wasn’t the airport that gave the keys, but rather it was Corp Commissioners, a company contracted out by the airport for security and parking services.


Ross says the airport establishes procedures for Corp Commissioners, which they did not follow given what happened. He says once the airport was notified of the incident, they worked to assist in the retrieval of the vehicle. 


Luckily for Noseworthy, she got her car back on Wednesday. She says the people mistook her car, for their family member’s car.


We reached out to Corp Commissionaires to find out how the keys to Noseworthy’s car were given to someone else, but because RCMP is investigating they said they can’t comment.  


Remains of Leaf Rapids man found

A sad closure for family and friends.


The family of John Merasty say they have found the remainds of the 88 year-old. 


The Leaf Rapids man hadn't been seen since August 7th.


Family thought he went to The Pas for a wedding but after he wasn't seen or heard from for weeks, a search was prompted. 


Sherman Merasty says he and 8 others discovered his grandfather when they went out searching for him this morning. 


A crowd funding page set up to fund the search efforts will now be going towards funeral services. 


The family is thanking everyone who helped with the search efforts. 





Resident creates tourism app for Thompson, all on his own

Thompson has a new, free tourism app.


Resident Edward Palmer developed the app all on his own, after his experience of moving to Thompson, 2 years ago:


"I noticed that the points of entry in Thompson, there was very little pointing people in the direction of finding some information about the City, maybe guiding them to where exactly they were going. In my mind what was a needed was just a simple way of showing people how to get around our really awesome City, and the simplest way I could think of was to carry a tour guide, if you will, in your pocket with you".



Some features of the app include attractions, lodging, and directions that will take you to the front door of your destination.


Palmer has actually never had any formal education in app development. He told us he used self taught skills to develop the app all on his own.


The app is only available on Google Play at the moment, but Palmer hopes to have it in the Apple Store within the next month.




Sheila North Wilson elected as first female MKO Grand Chief

David Harper is out, and Sheila North Wilson is in, after yesterday’s MKO Grand Chief Elections.


David Harper of Garden Hill First Nation was looking for a re-election despite the controversy surrounding him in the last year. He was eliminated after the first ballot.


North Wilson of Bunibonibee Cree Nation will now be the new MKO Grand Chief.


MKO is a non-profit organization that represents 30 first nation communities in the province.


She is the first woman to be elected to the position.


Search for John Merasty leads to the discovery of another missing person's remains

UPDATE: Remains of Leaf Rapids man found 


Human remains have been found off a trail in the Leaf Rapids area.


On August 30th, a group of people were searching for 88-year-old John Merasty, when they came across human remains, believed to be that of a man who went missing last year.


RCMP have not released the identity of the body, but Sergeant Bert Paquet says they are in contact with those believed to be the family of the deceased. 




17 week strike at Hudbay is over

Members of the International Association of Machinists Local 1848 have voted to accept a new three year agreement with Hudbay


Union President Rene Beauchamp reports that after 17 weeks on strike the members of the Machinists Union have accepted the offer by Hudbay 71 percent in favor.


The contract was negotiated with the aid of a Federal Conciliator and ends the strike by the Machinists Union that started on May 2nd


Their concerns at that time included the lengthy grievance procedures, contracting out by Hudbay and rates of pay they felt were well below industry standards. 


All other unions at Hudbay had earlier negotiated new three year contracts.


Elections for MKO Grand Chief taking place today at NCN

The 34th Annual 3-day MKO General Assembly started yesterday, at the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation.


Today, chiefs will be voting for the MKO Grand Chief.


David Harper of Garden Hill First Nation is seeking re-election after 2 terms. He is running against 3 other candidates: Tyler Duncan of Norway House Cree Nation, William Elvis Thomas of Nisichawayasick Cree Nation, and Sheila North Wilson of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation.


MKO represents 30 northern First Nations in the province.


Thompson being targeted by phone scammers

Thompson RCMP are warning residents of a phone scam.


Special Constable Robert Cleveland tells us more:

"Recently we’ve received several phone calls at the Thompson RCMP detachment, myself personally, from an individual claiming he is an officer with Revenue Canada and he is seeking your personal information, especially wanting your social insurance number".


Cleveland says the caller makes threats that if you don’t return his call immediately, there will be consequences.


He urges residents to not give out personal information, and to report any suspicious calls to Thompson RCMP of Phone Busters.


September is prostate cancer awareness month in the City

Mayor Dennis Fenske is hoping to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer.


Last week, he proclaimed the month of September for 2015, to be prostate Cancer Awareness Month.


During City Beat he told us that Prostate Cancer is treatable if caught early, and hopes the proclamation will encourage more men to get their prostate screened.


A Canadian Cancer Society report release earlier in the year predicts an estimated 740 men in Manitoba will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and an estimated 180 men will die of the cancer.


Drivers beware: elementary school zone speed limits change today

Although the first day of school is a week away, the school zone speed limit changes today.


Thanks to the amended school zone speed limit by-law passed in February, all elementary school zones are now 30km/hr from 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.


The RD Parker Collegiate school zone on Thompson Drive is 50km/hr at all times.  


Drivers caught going over the posted speed limit can face fines. Going 10km/hr over the speed limit can cost you $181.50 and $312.25 for going 20km/hr over the speed limit.


The first day of school is on September 9th.



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