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Story Time at the Thompson Public Library runs Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30. Drop in for stories and a craft.
Concerts in the Park run every Friday from July 7th to September 1st from noon to 1 pm at MacLean Park. VRCC lobby in case of rain.
102.9 CHTM's Summer Sizzle is on now until August 31. Enter at any sponsor to be eligible for daily, monthly and grand prize draws.
E-Waste disposal is available every Saturday from 8 am - 4 pm at the Waste Disposal Grounds now until October 28th. No charge.
Take your grass clippings and leaves to the compost site beside the Public Works yard on Seal Road. Open 24 / 7.
Steps to Success offers Keyboarding every Friday from 9 am - 4 pm. For info or to register call 677-5016.
Norman Northstar tryouts run August 24-27 at the VRCC. For more information contact John McNevin at 677-2557.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Fund Raiser is September 16th at noon at the YWCA. For info contact Nina Cordell at 778-1209 or ywcawcoffice@mymts.net
Terry Fox Run takes place on Sunday September 17th at the VRCC. Registration is at noon, run starts at 1 pm. Registrations forms willl soon be available around Thompson or go online to terryfox.org
The Heritage North Museum will hold their Gigantic Yard Sale on Saturday, August 19th from 9 am - noon.
Learn Job Search Skills with Steps to Success from 12:10- 12:50pm Monday to Friday @ the YWCA. These drop in classes are free. For info, call 204-677-5016.
The Thompson Local News Archives for 2016-01

Three men face charges after attempting to transfer liquor from Thompson to Cross Lake


RCMP seized liquor found in a car en route to Cross Lake (RCMP).

 

RCMP have laid charges after busting 3 men transporting liquor to the dry community of Cross Lake.

 

RCMP say they noticed a suspicious vehicle travelling from Thompson to Cross Lake on Tuesday. They discovered the driver of the vehicle had a warrant out for his arrest, and the two passengers in the car were in breach of conditions.

 

The 20 bottles of hard liquor were seized and charges were laid in conjunction with the criminal code violations and liquor act offences.

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Thompson RCMP remind residents "marijuana is still illegal" after charging 3 men for possession


 

A search of a residence in the Burntwood Area has resulted in the arrest of 3 men.

 

Thompson RCMP executed the search warrant on Tuesday. They discovered a small amount of marijuana and cocaine in the home.

 

The 3 men have been charged with possessing a controlled substance.

 

RCMP remind residents that while possession of cocaine is always illegal, possession of marijuana is also still illegal in Canada.

 

They ask anyone with information about drug activity to call them.

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School board supports potential amalgamation of City of Thompson and LGD of Mystery Lake


 

The School District of Mystery Lake is supporting the City’s potential amalgamation with the LGD of Mystery Lake.

 

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting a motion supporting the potential amalgamation was passed. The motion also supports any potential changes the amalgamation would have to the school district’s boundaries.

 

The City is currently in consultation with the LGD of Mystery Lake, the province of Manitoba, and Vale to determine whether they will go forward with the amalgamation.

 

Way To Go Consulting Inc has been tasked with consulting stakeholders on the potential amalgamation and had requested the school board take a position on the matter.

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Oxford House medivac hangar target of break-ins and theft


 

The Medivac Hangar in Oxford House has been a target of theft and vandalism and its putting the operation in jeopardy.

 

In the last 4 months a vehicle has been stolen, and the crew house has been broken into twice, most recently on January 12. Electronics and personal items were stolen on both occasions.

 

A facebook post by Lisa White, who works for Perimeter Aviation, says there have been 9 incidents in the last 18 months. She says chief and council have been assisting to ensure the safeguard of the service.

 

RCMP are asking anyone with information to come forward.

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Homeless point-in-time count slated for next month


 

30 communities across Canada, including Thompson, will be completing a homeless count this year.

 

The Point-in-Time Count provides communities with information about their homeless population. The Government of Canada is supporting the counts being done across the country, making it the first Canadian coordinated homeless count.

 

Committee member Matthew Boscariol says there are many benefits to the count:

"If we’re looking to build cities across Canada and here specifically in Thomson, it’s more of a understanding of how does this data fluctuates overtime. Where do we need to focus more of our financial, our social, our environmental resources, into helping out this specific cohort in Thompson".

 

The Thompson Community Advisory Board on Homelessness is looking for volunteers for the February 23rd and 24th count.

 

Last year’s count revealed 126 people in Thompson identify themselves as homeless.

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Candle light vigil shows support for La Loche


 

Thompson residents are mourning with the community of La Loche, Saskatchewan.

 

On Monday night a candle light vigil was held at the the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre.

 

Elder Jack Robinson says it’s to show the people of La Loche that we care:

"We usually do that, the aboriginal people. Especially with where it happened, in Saskatchewan in La Loche; that’s a Dene Nation and we also have Dene people here in Manitoba that come from Lac Brochet and Tadoule".

 

One person who attended the vigil has a brother-in-law in La Loche, and plans to let him know that the thoughts of Northern Manitobans are with the community.

 

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Fire and Emergency Dept. saw more EMS calls in 2015 than in 2014


 

Thompson’s Fire and Emergency Department was busier last year than they were the year before.

 

They saw 442 more calls for EMS in 2015 than in 2014- an 8.3% increase. This follows a yearly increase seen over the last 10 years.

 

Deputy Chief Mike Bourgon says the increase tells him people in the community have confidence in the department.

 

He says staff are higher trained today than they were 10 years ago as they’ve gone from an EMT department to an intermediate paramedic care department, which allows them to provide more services.

 

Fire calls generally stayed the same between the two years: only 13 more in 2015 than in 2014.

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GLACIER testing two jet engines simultaneously for the first time


A jet engine being tested at GLACIER (MDS Aero Test).

 

The GLACIER Test Facility in Thompson is getting ready for a first.

 

For the next few months there will be two jet engines being tested at the facility.  

 

General Manager at GLACIER, Troy Ramnath says engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce own the facility in a joint venture and they usually test their engines in separate 3 month test slots.

 

But when something happened to the Rolls-Roys engine, Pratt & Wilson were good sports by accommodating their test slot to allow both parties to share the facility. 

 

Ramnath says declerations of secrecy will need to be signed by crews but the situation will make for an interesting few months.

 

One engine arrived in Thompson this past weekend, and the second one is set to arrive next week. 

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Norplex Pool closed for a second week


 

The Norplex Pool is still closed.

 

The facility closed last week after the main pump that controls the water treatment process broke. It was expected to close for only a week, but the City says it will be closed for this week as well.

 

They’re waiting on the arrival of parts, and anticipate to open on Friday.

 

The gym and sauna remains open.

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Province conducting transportation study in an effort to restore bus service to the North


 

The province is looking to restore bus service to Northern and rural Manitobans.

 

In an announcement made last week Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said the province will conduct a transportation study to find a solution to the lack of bus services in the province.

 

Ashton says the study will give them help from an independent expert to suggest how to develop an efficient service that reduces government travel costs while restoring service to the public.

 

The government departments already spend a significant amount of money on travel for government services including health care.  It seems one option they are exploring would be to contract a bus service which would continue to meet those needs while also making public bus service available to communities.

 

Last year Greyhound cut down on its Thompson - Winnipeg route, leaving only 1 overnight trip a day between the two cities.

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Arrangements being made to bring RCMP Musical Ride to Thompson this summer


The RCMP Musical Ride tours throughout Canada and internationally, performing about 40-50 locations every year. (Photo RCMP).  

 

The RCMP Musical Ride might be coming to Thompson this summer.

 

In their report to council last Monday, the Recreation and Community Services Committee says there was a meeting held with RCMP and Calm Air to bring up the 32 RCMP riders and their horses. The performance consists of a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drills choreographed to music. Arrangements are being made to secure the event.

 

As for the TRCC, the report reveals that an average of 35 people are using the fitness area every day. This is higher than last April when they were seeing an average of 25 people a day.

 

The report also says that TRCC Wall of Sports and Leisure has secured a grant from the Thompson Community Foundation to purchase 116 wall plaques for future inductees.

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Literacy Day event promotes joys of reading by incorporating fun


 

Futures and Babies’ Best Start will be promoting literacy at the City Centre Mall tomorrow.

 

For about 16 years now, the group has marked Family Literacy Day with a wide range of literacy activities.

 

Program Coordinator Penny Brenton says literacy is important because it’s one of the main components of education:

"Our children will become the next generation of successors within our community. Encouraging literacy within our homes is as simple as reading a bedtime story with your children, playing a game together, encouraging family members to communicate either by leaving a note or as simple as a sending a text to each other".

 

In addition to stories and a used book giveaway the group has also partnered up with the NHRA to run a teddy bear clinic.

 

You and your family can come by from 1-2:30pm.

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EXPO North cancelled for 2016


 

The Manitoba Heavy Construction Association has canceled this year’s EXPO North due to low registration.

 

The heavy duty conference has been running for two years, with Thompson being the host City both years.

 

Vice President and General Manager of Smook Contractors, Peter Paulic says the economic outlook in the country including the situation in Alberta, may have played a part in the lack of registrations:

 

"Maybe some of the construction companies and the people that are out there are looking at that and they’re hanging on to their dollars or whatever it is; but the reality of it is when you invest in your people, it’s good for them, and it’s good for the companies and then for the future. We’ll see if maybe this is just a hiccup right now and move forward in the future".

 

In the previous two years the conference drew over 150 people from Thompson and outlying communities.

 

Paulic says they will be working to make next year’s conference as successful as the first two years. 

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Sentences handed down in 2009 murder of Stanley MacKechnie


 

Sentences have been handed down in the 2009 murder of 17-year-old Stanley MacKechnie.

 

MacKechnie was from The Pas but was living in Thompson when his body was found inside a townhouse in the Eastwood Area on April 10th.

 

36-year-old Trevor Mercredi and 25-year-old Wilfred Cook pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Wednesday. They’ve been sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 14 years for Mercredi and 12 years for Cook.

 

26-year-old Howard Pagee, who was also involved in the murder, is already serving a sentence for manslaughter for his role.

 

The three were involved in a street gang at the time of the murder.

 

RCMP Sergeant Ben Sewell says after almost 7 years, this is one more step of the grieving process for the family.

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Rudy the Raven returning to the spotlight at this year's Winterfest


Resident Edward Palmer shared this picture of Rudy on the facebook page.

 

A familiar Thompson face is making a comeback.

 

The Kin Club of Thompson is working to bring back Rudy the Raven in time for Winterfest next month.

 

Christa Herkert with the Kin Club says they’re bringing him back for the next generation to enjoy:

"Well in 1974 Rudy came to be with the Kinsmen [Club]. Back then the Kinsmen were the ones that ran Winterfest and he became kinda like the mascot of Thompson, so anyone that was raised here, born here, would know who Rudy is, so we’re looking at bringing him back".

 

Rudy disappeared from the spot light years ago when membership to the Kinsmen Club dwindled down.

 

With Rudy's return, a few old Winterfest activities will be making a comeback as well. Herkert says they will be running a scavenger hunt. Rudy will be hidden somewhere in the City and people will have to try and find him with clues.

 

Herkert says they’ve set up a new facebook page to get people excited for Rudy’s return. Many residents have already shared memories and posted old pictures on the page.

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Councillor Dennis Foley requesting council rescind Mystery Lake Rd. pedestrian crosswalk plan


A map outlining the plan that would see pedestrians redirected to cross at Selkirk Avenue.

 

The City might not be going forward with a plan to address the pedestrian crosswalk on Mystery Lake Road after all.

 

The plan, which would redirect pedestrians crossing Mystery Lake Road to Selkirk Avenue instead of Nelson Road, was approved by council January 4th. But Councillor Dennis Foley, who was not present at that meeting, has brought forward a motion to rescind the resolution.

 

In his written notice to council Foley writes that he would like the resolution rescinded, or in other words cancelled, because he believes it still poses a safety issue.

 

The Municipal act allows a council to reconsider or reverse a decision within one year after it is made if a member gives written notice to council of a proposal to review and reverse the decision.

 

A resolution to rescind the Jan. 4th resolution will be brought forward during the next meeting of council.

 

 

 

See: City approves plan that will redirect pedestrians to Selkirk Ave instead of Nelson Rd when crossing Mystery Lake Rd

 

- See more at: http://thompsononline.ca/the-thompson-local-news/169545#sthash.88m2BTnU.dpuf

 

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Vice President of Vale’s Manitoba Operations leaving Thompson for new role overseas


Lovro Paulic (Vale website).

 

Vale Manitoba Operations is losing their head honcho of 7 years.

 

Lovro Paulic, Vice President of Vale’s Manitoba Operations is leaving Thompson to begin a new role as Director of Operations at PT Vale Indonesia. Paulic is expected to start the new position next month. 

 

Manitoba Operations Manager of Corporate Affairs Ryan Land says it’s the next logical step for a strong leader like Paulic even though he wasn’t actively seeking a new opportunity. Land adds that the company hopes to replicate the work done in Thompson in other areas of the business.

 

No word yet on who will take over as VP of Manitoba Operations, but Land says there is a strong leadership team in Thompson that will take on the duties until a successor is named.

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RDPC student starts non-profit organization that aims to implement portable washrooms for the homeless


Ajao says this portable washroom is an example of what she envisions (Photo provided by Lola Ajao).

 

A gr. 11 student at RD Parker Collegiate is looking to help the City’s homeless by not only keeping them warm and fed, but by providing a bathroom for them to use as well.

 

Lola Ajao has started a new non-profit organization called Profit of a Potty. It will work to implement portable washrooms in Thompson for those who have nowhere else to access one.

 

Ajao says it’s about providing a necessity:

"The idea of the Profit of a Potty is really just helping the homeless individuals acquire resources such as washrooms or water, food, because you see often times they don’t have that on the streets which is why the Profit of a Potty is existing".

 

A recent trip to the United States as a Youth Ambassador of Canada ignited Ajao's drive to help others. She also wants to eventually launch initiatives that will provide water and warmth to the City’s homeless.

 

She has already approached the City about Profit of a Potty and is working with the Public Works Committee to make her vision a reality.

 

If you'd like to learn more about Profit of a Potty, tune into Thompson Today at 12:40pm and 5:10pm.

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Province to construct all weather road from York Landing to War Lake


 

The province says they’re looking to speed up the construction of all weather roads, airports and ferry service in the North.  

 

Thompson MLA and Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton announced Monday that the province will be constructing a new road connection and ferry landing for York Landing as well as constructing an all weather road link between York Landing and War Lake.

 

The province is also looking to start construction of the new St Theresa Point Waasagamach ‎airport within 5 years. Ashton said however that they’re looking for the federal government to commit to cost sharing.

 

Keewatinook MLA Eric Robinson recently called for the same thing, asking for the federal government to match dollars for the Manitoba East Side Road Authority project.

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Three residents who saved people from house fire recognized by the City


Fire Chief John Maskerine and Mayor Dennis Fenske presented Doug Korman, Curtis Ford, and Dean Clarkson with Certificates of Appreciation.

 

Three residents have been given certificates of appreciation from the City for their recent heroic efforts.

 

Shortly before Christmas, Doug Korman, who happens to be the coach of the Norman Northstars, was driving near Granite Crescent which was closed at the time due to a water break. As he was getting ready to turn around he noticed a house that was on fire.

 

Korman got out of his car and got the attention of city workers Curtis Ford and Dean Clarkson who were fixing the water break.  The three men worked together to alert the people inside the home, saving 5 people.

 

During Monday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Dennis Fenske presented the three men with certificates, saying their quick thinking prevented what could have been a tragic incident.

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Province signs memorandum of understanding with Nisichawasihk Cree Nation


 

The province has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nisichawasihk Cree Nation regarding land-use management.

 

Premier Greg Selinger made the announcement yesterday, saying the document will address two important goals: reconciliation with indigenous people, and the commitment to Manitoba’s boreal forest and the role of Indigenous communities in fighting climate change.

 

The document will allow the two groups to work together towards the implementation of a land-use plan that will guide sustainable development and respect NCN’s history.

 

The province will also provide $75,000 in support of the NCN Resource Management Board’s land-use planning activities

 

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Thompson Lions Seniors Manor closer to reality with funding announcement from province


MLA Steve Ashton with residents who made the project possible at the site of the Lions Seniors Manor.

 

It’s the announcement the Lions Club of Thompson has been waiting for since last year: The province has conditionally approved $2.25 million for the Lions Seniors Manor Non-Profit Housing Co-operative.

 

The 30 unit building will provide safe and affordable housing for seniors. It will be two-storey with a mix of one and two bedroom units.

 

MLA for Thompson Steve Ashton made the announcement yesterday, commending the work of the Lions Club:   

"We have an increasing number of seniors and an increasing number of people who want other options, and in particular when people retire, the option of staying in the community with the kind of housing that the Lions have put forward. Well, thanks to everyone behind me, the proposals have gone forward and I'm very pleased to announce that the funding has been approved by Manitoba Housing so this housing is going to be a reality".

 

The project is estimated to cost $7 million.

 

Penny Byer with the Lions Club of Thompson said an official groundbreaking ceremony will happen in the warmer months. She says deposits for half of the units have been sold.

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Westwood School improving reading and writing skills of students with new program


 

A reading program at Westwood School has been seeing positive results.

 

During last week’s school board meeting, teachers from the school made a presentation about “Later Literacy”. The program was launched less than 2 years ago in response to students not reading at the grade level they should be. At the time over 50% of gr.8 students were not reading and writing at a gr.8 level.

 

The literacy program puts identified gr.7 and 8 students through daily 20 minute reading sessions with a Resource Teacher or an Instructional Educational Assistant for 6 weeks.  

 

Students have moved up multiple grade levels thanks to the program, with one student moving up 4 grade levels since the program started last year.

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Friday's landfill fire caused by discarded ashes


 

A landfill fire at the Waste Disposal Grounds last Friday was caused by ashes that were improperly disposed of.

 

The fire started either Thursday night or Friday early morning and caused the grounds to be closed for the day.

 

The City is reminding that ashes should not be mixed with garbage. Instead, they should be stored in an enclosed, non-combustible container for a minimum of 48 hours before being placed out for collection.

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First Nations Safety Officers to recieve specialized training in Thompson


 

Safety officers from 31 First Nations communities will be receiving specialized training in Thompson.

 

Attorney General Gord Mackintosh made the announcement last week, saying the training will support the goals of community safety and crime reduction.

 

Assiniboine Community College will be offering the training, which will also be delivered in Dauphin and Brandon. Over 100 prospective safety officers will receive the training over the next several months.

 

The training will focus on public safety and crime reduction, enforcement powers, use of force, and officer safety, as well as administrative tasks such as note taking.

 

The province launched the First Nations Safety Officer program in 2014, after the previous federal government cancelled the Band Constable Program.

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City offering pet registration discount for month of January


 

In an effort to encourage residents to register their pet, the City is offering a pet registration discount for the month of January.

 

Registering a neutered or spayed dog or cat will cost you $15 this month, instead of $20, while registering an unaltered pet will cost you $60 instead of the usual $65.

 

Mayor Dennis Fenske tells us why it’s important to register your pet:

"When a pet goes missing we can relocate the owners by having tags on them, so that’s the important thing [to do] to have a tag on your pet"

 

Prices will go back to normal next month.

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Fire at landfill closes Waste Disposal Grounds for the day


 

The Waste Disposal Grounds are closed today due to a fire.

 

Fire Chief John Maskerine says crews were called to the grounds at around 7:00am this morning. He says a burnable pile caught fire either yesterday evening or early this morning. 

 

Maskerine says they are making progress, but the landfill site will be closed for the rest of the day. It will re-open on Monday if everything goes well.

 

Fire and Emergency Services are investigating what caused the fire. 

 

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MIT opens first winter road of the season


 

The province’s winter road network is coming together slowly but surely.

 

Larry Halayko with Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation says the mild start to the winter put them 3 weeks behind on construction:

"They’re all in different stages of progress right now. We did open the road to Brochet yesterday (Wednesday), so that is open, that was the first winter road open in the province and that one’s pretty much on track. Other ones are expected to come online towards the end of the month here".

 

Halayko says some roads might not be complete until February, depending on the progress.

 

The roads are considered a life-line for many living in the remote communities.

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Thompson RCMP warn skipping out on jury duty comes with consequences


 

You might want to think twice before skipping out on jury duty.

 

Thompson RCMP are reminding residents the importance of taking action upon receiving a summons to a juror, after a recent string of no-shows.

 

Special Constable Robert Cleveland says there are a couple of upcoming jury trials scheduled to take place in Thompson and it’s important for residents to show up if they’ve been summoned:

"When people don’t show up its unfortunate and the penalty for not showing up is a warrant for your arrest and you can be detained, you can be placed in jail for several hours and maybe even several days if a judge is not available, or a justice is not available to hear your case".

 

Residents who receive a summons to a juror are recommended to follow the instructions included.

 

More information about serving as a juror can be found on the Manitoba Courts website.

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Mystery Lake School District launches revamped website


New outlay for Mystery Lake School District website (mysterynet.mb.ca).

 

New Year, new look!

 

The School District of Mystery Lake is sporting a new design on their website. The new site is more user friendly, and features a scrolling header for announcements.

 

Director of IT for the District, Joe MacDonald says they made the switch so the site would be more mobile friendly:

"We found out the public used mobile devices to access our website more. We wanted to make our website more mobile friendly as opposed to our old website, our old website had an outdated appearance".

 

The website went live December 15th, and MacDonald says so far the response from users has been positive.

 

He says the school specific websites will also be switched within the next few weeks.

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Despite the title Thompson's 'New Years baby' not born on New Years Day


Showered with gifts! L to R: Vera Jackson, Jo-Ann Sehn, June Bourguignon, Sean Colon, Destiny Merasty, Erica Dawson, and Joan Dawson (Photo courtesy TGH Auxillary).

 

He’s been hiding for the first few weeks of 2016, but we now know Thompson’s New Years baby.

 

DeShawn Brook Colon was born at Thompson General Hospital on January 2nd at 9:46am, weighing in at 2lbs and 4oz. Although not born on New Years Day, he’s the first baby born in Thompson in 2016.

 

Parents and baby were gifted with a basket from the Thompson Health auxiliary, and they also received a brand new play pen, courtesy of Sears.

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School District of Mystery Lake not cancelling RD Parker overseas trip


 

The School District of Mystery Lake will not be cancelling an upcoming overseas school trip.

 

The RD Parker Collegiate Senior Varsity girls basketball team is set to visit the Czech Republic and Germany next month but in light of recent world events, safety concerns were addressed.

 

During this week's school board meeting, Chairperson Leslie Tucker said trustees had recently met to discuss whether the trip should still go on. With a balance between safety and student experience in mind, she said they’ve decided to give the trip a green light.

 

The board can still cancel the trip prior to the departure date, should situations change.

 

Across Canada and the United States some school boards have cancelled trips to overseas countries following the recent Paris attacks.

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Thompson snowmobilers en route to Brandon for 'Journey for Sight'


2015 Journey for Sight (Journey for Sight Facebook page).

 

A group of snowmobilers are riding the province not just for fun, but for good as well.

 

They’re on a 'Journey for Sight', an annual fundraiser for the Lion’s Eye Bank. The money raised goes towards corneal transplantation, research, and education.

 

Organizer Ian Mullin says he and 20 others from Flin Flon are meeting the snowmobile group from Thompson, today:

"From there we’ll end up in The Pas tonight when it’s all said and done. Thursday we’ll travel from The Pas down to Swan River, spend the night in Swan River, then Friday we split up in two groups. One goes towards Dauphin and the other group goes to Roblin-Russel".

 

The final destination is Brandon, where snowmobilers from the South will join. This is the 32nd annual ride, with around $100,000 raised every year.

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Thompson residents help Oxford House fire victims


Donated items (Photo courtesy Andrea Pochinco).

 

A call to help victims of an Oxford House fire was answered by Thompsonites.

 

Last month a house fire killed James Crane, Jamie Crane, and Jastidee Sinclair.

 

Thompson resident Andrea Pochinco learned the victims families lost many of their personal belongings in the fire, and wanted to do what she could.

 

Over two days Pochinco and others from ‘Operation Homeless Need Clothes’ stood at parking lots and collected items from residents in Thompson.

 

Pochinco says a total of 1875 pounds of items like clothes, toys, and food were donated. The items were shipped out to Oxford House over the weekend.

 

The community has also received support through a GoFundMe page. Over $2,500 has been donated on the page as of Wednesday, with donations coming in from as far as Nova Scotia.

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Ecole Communautaire La Voie Du Nord officially opens its doors


 

The Francophone community in Thompson is celebrating the official opening of École Communautaire La Voie Du Nord.

 

Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum joined students and teachers for the grand opening of the school. Until this year the school was operating out of leased space in Burntwood School.

 

Roger Gagnon who was the school’s first principal in 2008 says the new building is not only great for the students but for the community as well:

"Its unbelievable, you don’t realize how much the transformation can be until you actually see it. Our kids did very very well in Burntwood a la voie du nord, however there was a lot of things missing, but these kids never complained, never said anything that would say that they were not happy, but now, you can see it in their faces that this is completely, and its good also for the community". 

 

The new school located on Weir Road has many state of the art features and is a power smart building according to Manitoba Hydro.

 

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Cancer chemotherapy room at Thompson General Hospital to get long awaited upgrades


MLA Steve Ashton  with residents who were instrumental in making the commitment possible.

 

It's been a long time coming but the province has announced they're making a $1.4 million investment towards the cancer chemo room at the Thompson General Hospital.

 

Thompson MLA Steve Ashton made the announcement yesterday, calling it a “community announcement” because of the role residents had in making the project possible:

"This was their day. It was their announcement, they made it happen and its gonna get built because of them. You know that’s what a community is all about, I’m always proud of Thompson, don’t think I’ve been more proud than seeing that kind of community effort here. They deserve all the recognition, this was a community effort 100% and good news: it’s gonna happen".

 

Just last month cancer patient Shelley Carey organized a rally to draw attention to the outdated room. She unfortunately passed away last week, but her husband Ron says she’d be very pleased to hear the announcement:

"Somewhat sad of course that Shelley wasn’t here to hear it too, and I was just saying to Steve, I was talking with him [and said] 'you know its great but I still have a certain amount of skepticism , until I see hammers and saws at work in that room, when I see that, I’ll know its really gonna become a reality'".

 

The new room will be bigger, will have more privacy, and will include an isolation room and an accessible washroom, all things that are lacking in the current room.

 

 

 

 

See: Residents rally for 'long overdue' chemotherapy room

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Province investing $8.4 million to build 24 affordable homes in Thompson


 

Thompson will be getting 24 new affordable family homes.

 

Housing and Community Development Minister Mohinder Saran made the announcement last Friday, saying the Manitoba government is investing $8.4 million dollars towards the project. He said housing costs in the north can make it difficult for families with lower incomes to find safe, secure housing.

 

Executive Director of Northern Housing, Harold Smith tells us more about the 25,000 sq. ft project:

"This is on Cambridge Street in Eastwood. 24 homes that are townhouse style, and they're good size units: 3 and 4 bedrooms, as well as 3 main floor units are fully accessible for families where a member of the family has a mobility challenge".

 

Thompson MLA Steve Ashton says the project is made possible through a partnership with Keewatin Housing Association:

"What we decided to do, is actually work with them, they already have I think in the range of 80 units in Thompson so they already deliver affordable housing and that’s what’s very good about this parternship".

 

Construction may be complete as early as this summer.

 

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Snowmobile freestyle show and snow maze new for this year's Winterfest


Dates have been set for Thompson’s annual winter tradition. This year’s Winterfest will be during the weekend of February 26th.

 

Councillor Dennis Foley says they opted to keep it just a weekend long like last year, as opposed to a month long festival like in year’s before.

 

He says they have a couple events up their sleeves, including a snowmobile freestyle show:

"We’ve invited multiple riders from all over Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We’ve got a gentleman by the name of Josh Penner who has been travelling all over North America. He’s actually on the invite for the X Games this year, so any trick he can do upright he can also do while doing a backflip so that’s gonna be real exciting, and we’ve got 4 other people including one local resident that’s gonna be participating in that".

 

Foley says another new event for this year is an outdoor maze for kids and adults built out of snow.

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Ombudsman says 'tiger dams' contract MLA Steve Ashton tried to award raises questions


 

A report released yesterday by Ombudsman Charlene Paquin is raising questions about why the NDP wanted to avoid opening a ‘Tiger Dams’ contract to other businesses.

 

The ombudsman says civil servants wanted a contract for the flood fighting equipment put out for bidding in 2014, but Thompson MLA and Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton tried to have it awarded to a specific company. The company is owned by a friend of Ashton’s, who has donated to his political campaigns in the past.

 

The contract was never issued after a whistleblower complained. 

 

Paquin says although there are questions as to why the government wanted to avoid opening the contract to bidding from other companies, in the end the proper procedures were followed when other cabinet ministers overruled Ashton.

 

Manitoba’s Opposition Tories say Ashton should be removed from cabinet.

 

Ashton has denied any wrongdoing, saying he was simply trying to secure needed equipment for flood-prone First Nation communities.

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City updates Tribute Policy to make it more clear


The policy which provides a guideline when naming public parks, municipal buildings, and other facilities has been cleared up.

 

An amended Tribute Policy was passed Monday night. Changes were made so that the responsibilities of committees involved in the naming of city property, were clearer.

 

The Recreation and Community Services Committee is now responsible for donated parks and park facilities while the Development Review Committee is responsible for all other donated facilities, such as streets.

 

Director of Planning and Community Development Matthew Boscariol said the changes in the policy now provide a clear dialogue for what the policy is intended to be.

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Mayor Fenske presents update on city's strategic goals during chamber meeting


 

Mayor Dennis Fenske says the Waste Water Treatment Plant is in the design stage, with construction expected to begin next year.

 

Giving an update on the city’s strategic plans at a recent Thompson Chamber of Commerce meeting, Fenske said the plant will be state of the art and complete by 2018.

 

Fenske talked about the future of the Norplex pool, saying the city is looking at the physical footprint of the facility, to see what can be done to meet the needs of everyone. He also said city council will be bringing forward resolutions in the near future that are based off of recommendations from the truth and reconciliation committee report.

 

Fenske mentioned the City is continuing to develop the new communications committee, and that the city will soon be looking for citizen reps to join.

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City approves plan that will redirect pedestrians to Selkirk Ave instead of Nelson Rd when crossing Mystery Lake Rd


The City has approved a plan which will see a multiuse path erected on Mystery Lake Road (City of Thompson).

 

Even though a pedestrian count study warrants it, a crosswalk at the intersection of Mystery Lake Road and Nelson Road will not be built. 

 

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee had been exploring options to change the crossing after safety concerns were brought forward over a year ago.

 

During Monday night’s city council meeting the committee recommended 1 of 4 options explored, which is to direct pedestrian traffic to cross at the intersection of Mystery Lake Road and Selkirk Avenue instead.

 

The plan calls for a removal of a piece of sidewalk that leads to the existing crossing, and the addition of a multi-use path and jersey barrier on the south side of Mystery Lake Road.

 

With a vote of 5-3, a resolution approving the recommendation carried with Councillor Penny Byer, Councillor Blake Ellis, and Mayor Dennis Fenske voting against the motion. Councillor Dennis Foley was not present. 

 

Other options explored include a reduction in the speed limit, and/or building a pedestrian crosswalk. The latter was recommended by Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation after a pedestrian count study determined that a pedestrian corridor is warranted. MIT even approved the installation of one, at their cost.   

 

Chair of the Public Works Committee, Councillor Ron Matechuk explained the recommendation, saying they didn’t want to slow down the highway but they also didn’t want too many crosswalks, making reference to Selkirk Road.

 

Councillor Penny Byer said there was no way she could support this plan, adding she wasn’t sure how the matter became a Public Works Committee issue as opposed to a Public Safety Committee issue. She said expecting people to go 175m out of their way in order to get to the other side of the street, is a disservice, and that she doesn’t see it approving safety.

 

The City will now begin discussions with MIT to see if they will relocate the funds towards a multiuse path, instead of the crosswalk.

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Operation Red Nose Thompson receives 3rd most donations in province


 

Thompsonites continue to prove their generosity.

 

Operation Red Nose in Thompson received the 3rd most donations in the province at over $6,000.

 

The biggest night for donations was not surprisingly New Years Eve, with over $900 coming in that night alone. All the money will be going to youth groups in the City.

 

Planning Committee Coordinator Tony Taylor says they saw more volunteers, more donations, and gave more rides this past holiday season than the year before. 143 people volunteered with the designated driving service, providing 304 rides.

 

Taylor says they will be recognizing those who volunteered their time, at a volunteer wrap up party in the coming weeks.

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First taxi rate increase since 2007 approved by city council


After a year and a half of discussions with the taxi industry, city council has increased the City’s taxi fare.

 

The flat rate will now sit at $4.35, a 10 cent hike from before. Every 100 meters will now cost 5 cents more at $0.20 and a taxi’s wait time is up 2 cents at $0.17 per 10 seconds of wait time.

 

A memo to city council explains that when a taxi is travelling 31 km/hr or lower, a rider is charged for every 10 seconds, but when the taxi is driving over 31 km/hr the taxi meter charges by distance travelled.

 

This is the first taxi rate increase in 9 years.

 

The new rates will go into effect in the next few weeks.

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Province adding additional $32.5 million to education with Thompson to see biggest funding increase


 

The province has announced a 2.5% increase in funding to public schools, with Thompson receiving the biggest increase in the province.

 

Thompson MLA Steve Ashton says there will be a year over year increase of 12.4% for the City:

"Our enrolment is up year over year. That’s a good sign in terms of our community, but the increase isn’t just reflecting that its much higher than that, but what’s also I think a key part of the announcement today is really recognizing the long standing issues we’ve had here the Thompson; the kind of specific needs here in the north".

 

Aside from increased funding to school districts, the extra $32.5 million will go towards support for Indigenous and newcomer students, more resources for under-privileged youth, and programs to help students with career planning.

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Boys and Girls Club satellite location gets green light; opens doors today


 

In the works for several months, The Boys and Girls Club is finally opening their new satellite location in the Eastwood area, today.

 

After securing funding and seeing a conditional use application approved last year, all that was left was a secondary conditional use approval from the City which was done Monday night.

 

Executive Director Regina DaSilva-Gibbons told council $92,500 has been secured to operate the after school program at the secondary location. She says it will offer the same structured after school program their main building offers, except it will be closer for children living in the area.

 

The club has a partnership with the Multicultural Centre and will be operating the program out of the Thompson Citizenship Council building.

 

Around 25 children are expected to attend the new location.

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MP Niki Ashton files complaint with Elections Canada


 

Niki Ashton, MP for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski has filed a complaint with Elections Canada, sighting possible voting irregularities during last October’s federal election.

 

One of the complaints is in regards to the community of Fairford, where the number of ballots counted in the community, exceeded the number of people who actually voted by 200. Ashton’s campaign manager had previously asked for an explanation regarding the discrepancy.

 

Elections Canada won’t comment on specific investigations, but they say they look into each complaint they receive.

 

Ashton beat out Liberal candidate Rebecca Chartrand by 912 votes.

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Mystery Mountain Winter Park hopes to open for the season soon


Mystery Mountain Winter Park shared this picture of the hill on Dec. 28.

 

Skiers and snowboarders may be able to hit the slope soon.

 

Mystery Mountain Winter park says they’re almost done building the snowmaking garage, which was damaged in a fire last year. This will allow for snowmaking, which Mother Nature has provided little of.  

 

In a Facebook post the ski hill says if everything goes well, they plan to open for the season in the next 3 weeks.

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Real Christmas trees can be tossed to the curb: Public Works


 

 

With the holidays come and gone, many are turning their attention to taking down Christmas decorations.

 

This includes their real Christmas tree.

 

Staff at Public Works say residents can take their tree to the curb, and city workers will come around and collect it.

 

Make sure you remove ornaments and lights but tinsel can remain, as the trees will be used towards the annual Winter Fest bonfire.

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School District of Mystery Lake bringing back free winter bussing for students


 

Students from the School District of Mystery Lake don’t have to worry about walking to school in the cold this month.

 

For a second year the district is offering free public transportation for its students to and from school. The free rides are being offered in January for now, but there are plans to offer them into February.

 

The district started offering the rides as a way to keep students warm in the winter months.

 

Last January the district saw the free rides used 3,800 times.

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Norway House woman due in Thompson court today after fatal New Years Day stabbing


 

Norway House RCMP have arrested a 32-year-old woman following the death of a 31-year-old man.

 

Police say they responded to a report of a stabbing at a residence in the community on New Year’s Day and discovered an injured man lying on the floor. He was taken to hospital but died the next day.    

 

Joan Maria Nicholas, from Norway House has been charged with aggravated assault.

 

She’s to appear in court in Thompson today.  

 

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Extreme cold weather policy put to use first time this winter


 

The City’s extreme cold weather policy kicked in twice over the holidays.

 

Staff at the Thompson Homeless Shelter say the policy was used during the two coldest nights in December; 11 people on the first night and 5 on the second. Until then it hadn’t been used yet this winter.

 

First introduced in 2013, the policy provides residents with a warm place to stay the night when the temperature is -35 and below. 

 

Last winter we saw 45 nights where the temperature dipped to -35, but the policy was used only 11 times.

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