The Thompson Local News

Heritage North Museum to host 'Music at the Museum' tomorrow afternoon

The inaugural Music at the Museum concert will take place tomorrow afternoon.

 

It will be held at the Heritage North Museum inside the Hazel Hopkins Exhibit Room from 2 PM to 3 PM.

 

Amy Caldwell, who works at the museum, explains what the performances will look like.

 

"We're going to have some acoustic perfomances at the museum. The exhibit room is nice, and it's got good acoustics. We just thought it would be a neat thing to try out, and bring some people into the museum, do something different, and have some fun!"

 

Caldwell adds that while the event is free to attend, donations to the museum are welcome. There will also be refreshments at the concert.

 

Caldwell goes on to say that they hope tomorrow's concert is a success, so that they can continue to hold it for years to come as a fundraiser moving forward.

Advance voting for MB election coming to Thompson by the end of August

While the provincial election won’t be until September 10th, there will be an opportunity to cast your ballot early.

 

Advance polling will be held at City Centre Mall from August 29th to September 5th. From Monday to Saturday, the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., while on Sunday it will be open from noon to 6 p.m.

 

Additionally, there will also be advance voting at the Paint Lake Fire Hall on Tuesday, September 3rd from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Manitobans can vote at any advance polling place across the province.

 

For more information on advance voting, visit electionsmanitoba.ca

City council approve resolution of land sale for Wapanohk parking lot expansion

City council has approved the land sale to allow Community School to expand their parking lot.

 

The School District of Mystery Lake contacted the city about the expansion last year, and requested a transfer for the land, with the city set to receive an equivalent section of land located near Burntwood School.

 

The city plans to use that land for its Multi Use Path project.

 

City Councillor Brian Lundmark says this land transfer would help with the traffic issues that occur around the school during drop-off and pick-up times.

 

Deputy Mayor Kathy Valentino added that the process of the city working with the school district shows that they have a great partnership, and that this is a win-win for both organizations.

Importance of Port of Churchill a focus of meeting in Flin Flon

The Hudson Bay Route Association held their 76th annual meeting in Flin Flon under the theme "Back On Track".

 

The Association is an advocacy group promoting the use of the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Rail Line.

 

Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr, praised the Arctic Gateway Group partnership’s role in re-opening the Port and the rail line after they closed. He said the Churchill deal would never have happened without the entrepreneurial support that came from Fairfax and AGT.

 

Carr also explained that it never would have happened without the strength courage and tenacity of Mayor Mike Spence, other communities up and down the line, and Indigenous leadership.

 

Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey suggested it’s time to look at not only what we ship out of the Port, but what we can bring in, adding the rail line should be expanded to connect other northern communities.

Manitoba PCs to hold e-town halls during campaign

The Manitoba PCs are hosting e-town halls leading up to the provincial election.

 

Party Leader Brian Pallister says it's part of continuous efforts to hear from and talk to Manitobans about the issues that matter to them, as they get a chance to directly speak to him and other candidates.

 

The telephone town halls are being held before and during the formal writ period.

 

The calls will be a randomized dial out to thousands of phone numbers across the province.

 

The party says Pallister is also scheduled to travel over 8,000 kilometres to meet with Manitobans during the campaign.

 

People who wish to participate in the e-town halls can email their contact information to pcmanitoba@pcmanitoba.com.

BC murder suspects believed to be dead

After a prolonged manhunt, RCMP announced today that Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, are believed to be dead.

 

Schmegelsky and McLeod were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Vancouver man Leonard Dyck. They were also suspects in the shooting deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese of North Carolina.

 

News of their deaths comes after a cross-country manhunt by the RCMP, local police forces and the Canadian military.

 

The pair was last confirmed to be spotted in Gillam on July 22.

 

RCMP said they found “several items” directly linked to the suspects along the banks of the Nelson River on Saturday.

 

RCMP deployed their Underwater Recovery Team, but that search ended by Monday.

RWF Hunt Scholarship awarded by Thompson Chamber of Commerce

This year’s recipient of the RWF Hunt Scholarship is Rishwan Dherdi.

 

Dherdi was presented the scholarship at today’s Thompson Chamber of Commerce meeting by chamber president Raj Thethy.

 

She plans to use the money to enroll in a Business Administration program, as she intends to spend the first year at UCN, and the remaining three years at the University of Winnipeg.

 

Dherdi says that in five years, she sees herself opening up her own business in Thompson, or pursuing a career as a charter accountant, which is an addition two years of school.

 

The RWF Hunt Scholarship was first established in 2002 by the city’s Chamber of Commerce for students majoring in a business-related program, and is named after the organization’s first president.

Ponton service station is in the process of being rebuilt

The general manager of the Ponton Service Station says there are plans in motion to rebuild the rest stop.

 

Audrey Ducharme explains that phase one of the new facility is complete, and that the next step is to set up the water, sewage, and gas systems.

 

She adds that they’re looking to adding electric vehicle charging stations at the new rest stop.

 

The Ponton Service Station burned last year, leaving many people traveling to and from Thompson without a rest area until Grand Rapids.

 

Ducharme says that not only was the destruction of the station a loss for travelers, but also Cross Lake First Nation, as 14 members of the community were employed at the facility.

 

While an exact date of the opening of the new station wasn’t discussed, Ducharme explains that Cross Lake is working around the clock to ensure the new service station is fully operational as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Thompson RCMP have located missing male

UPDATE: Shane Morris has been safely located.

 

The RCMP thanks the public and the media for their assistance.

 

 

Thompson RCMP is seeking the public's assistance in locating missing male.

 

On July 18, 2019, at approximately 9:40 am, Thompson RCMP received a report of a missing 18-year-old male from Thompson.

 

Shane Morris was last seen the evening of July 17, 2019, in Thompson, Manitoba. It is believed that he was in Winnipeg on July 26, 2019, however he may be headed to the Toronto, Ontario, area.

 

Shane Morris is 6'2”, approximately 230 lbs with dark brown eyes and a light complexion. He has short black hair but sometimes dyes it blond.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

Evacuees from Marcel Colomb First Nation return home

The residents of Marcel Colomb First Nation began heading home from Thompson on Wednesday.

 

The residents were evacuated last week due to the wildfires near their community, and the Red Cross team in the city assisted the evacuation by offering lodging, food, transportation, and other support.

 

After spending a week in the city, community leadership determined that it is now safe for all 144 evacuees to return to Marcel Colomb, as the roads are in good condition and power has been restored.

 

The response was part of an agreement between the Canadian Red Cross and the federal government to provide all disaster assistance to Manitoba First Nations.

CFNCD says recent funding announcement is "fantastic news" for northern MB

Community Futures North Central Develop says the recent tourism funding announcement from the federal government is fantastic news for northern Manitoba.

 

On Monday, Ottawa says it would provide funding for francophone communities and the tourism industry across the province, with C.F.N.C.D. receiving $150,000 to further develop the snowmobile industry in the north.

 

Laura Finlay, a community development officer with the economic development agency, says the funding is a boon for northern communities, as the tourism sector contributes significantly to economic growth in the north.

 

"There was a study done in 2014 by Travel Manitoba a few years ago about all the regions in the province to see how much money was coming in through tourism dollars. Just in northern Manitoba alone, there was over $28 million brought in by taxes."

 

"If you look at the spending by night for Manitoba visitors, so for example people from Winnipeg, they're spending an average of $184 per night when they're in northern Manitoba. For U.S. and other international visitors, that skyrockets and they're spending around $2000 per night. They're spending that money on everything from accommodations, food, and gasoline. A lot of money is being brought in from other areas into the region, and it really impacts communities in a great way."

 

She explains that the snowmobile project is based on a plan that was done by a summit that took place in Snow Lake in November 2018. Finlay goes on to say that the plan looked at all aspects of snowmobiling, including infrastructure, marketing, and product development. They also looked into ideas like hosting special events in the north, and hiring a part-time coordinator, adding that all these areas will get a boost in funding thanks to the government grant.

 

Finlay says C.F.N.C.D. is thinking long-term when it comes to its tourism project.

 

"The project time frame we're working with is about 18 months, so it's going to give us a year and a half to show that there is going to be quite an impact with what we're working on. However, with that being said, we're looking at this being sustainable, so these are projects that will bring in more partners and funding. That way, it's something that we can maintain and take care of for years to come after the 18 months, so that it becomes a well maintained industry in northern Manitoba."

 

She explains that this will also help boost middle class jobs, specifically in the hospitality sector, as jobs in hotels, restaurants, and gas stations will see the direct benefits of tourists coming into our community. Finlay adds that the stronger the economy is for tourism, the stronger that economy will be for northern Manitoba.

 

She goes on to say that the project will encompass multiple northern communities that are serviced by SnoMan Trails, which include The Pas, Flin Flon, and Thompson.

 

Overall, Finlay says she's happy that the federal government recognizes that tourism is a valuable asset in northern Manitoba, as it gives us an opportunity to showcase northern Manitoba in positive light.

Manitoba RCMP provide update as search for two BC suspects continue

RCMP continues ongoing search for wanted suspects. As the search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmeglsky continues, RCMP are able to provide the following update.

 

Last night, at approximately 5:00 pm, the RCMP received a tip that two males matching the description of the wanted suspects were seen in York Landing, Manitoba.

 

Based on the information received, the RCMP immediately deployed multiple resources to the community, including the Emergency Response Team, Police Dog Services, Containment Team members, Major Crime Services and Air Services assets.

 

Officers searched the York Landing area throughout the night and continue their efforts today. The Royal Canadian Air Force is also assisting today with the search.

 

Officers on the ground have not made contact with the individuals, as such, the RCMP is not yet in a position to confirm that these are the wanted suspects.

 

The goal today remains to safely locate and apprehend the individuals and confirm their identities.

 

There is a heavy police presence in the area of York Landing and the RCMP’s priority is community safety.

 

It is critical that residents of York Landing remain vigilant and stay indoors as much as possible with their doors locked, and to report anything suspicious by calling their local police immediately.

RCMP continues search for suspects in northern MB

As the search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky continues, RCMP are able to provide the following update:

 

There have been no new sightings of the suspects and no new information that would indicate that the suspects have fled the area.

 

RCMP officers have completed their canvass of Fox Lake Cree Nation and will now focus their efforts on completing the canvass of homes in the Town of Gillam. To date, over 250 homes have been visited by investigators.

 

In the areas surrounding Gillam, officers are searching cottages, cabins, waterways, and along the rail line for any signs of the suspects. This search of remote areas is being conducted both on foot and in the air.

 

The Royal Canadian Air Force began their assistance with the search on July 27 and will continue to provide assistance throughout the day.

 

Investigators have now received over 200 tips in the last five days. None have established that the suspects are outside of the Gillam area.

 

However, the RCMP continues to remind the public that it is possible the suspects inadvertently received assistance and are no longer in the area. It is also possible that they have changed their appearance.

 

Canadians with tips about the suspects should immediately contact their local police of jurisdiction. Multiple tips of sightings have been posted to social media in the last few days and not directly reported to police. If the tips are valid, it can create a substantial delay in the response by police and be detrimental to the overall investigation.

 

It is critical that all Canadians remain vigilant for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky. If they are spotted, do not approach, call 9-1-1 or your local police immediately.

RCMP ramp-up search in Northern MB for 2 teen suspects in northern BC murders

The search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky continues, and Manitoba RCMP can now confirm that there have been two established and corroborated sightings of the suspects in the Gillam area.

 

These sightings were prior to the discovery of the burnt out vehicle. There have also been no reported stolen vehicles that could be attributed to the suspects. At this point in the investigation, police believe they are still in this area.

 

Manitoba RCMP has deployed a significant amount of resources to the Gilliam area including Emergency Response Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, and Air Services assets. The RCMP Major Crime Unit is involved, as well as RCMP North District resources, and RCMP resources from other provinces.

 

The informational check-stop at the intersection of PR 280 and PR 290, the road leading into Gillam, continues to be in place, and will be for the foreseeable future.

 

RCMP officers have conducted detailed and thorough searches of potential areas of interests and these searches continue.

 

Over the last 48 hours, RCMP have received 80 tips and continue to ask the public to remain vigilant for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.

 

If they are spotted, do not approach, call 9-1-1 or your local police immediately. In the Gillam area, call 204-652-2200. In Thompson, call 204-677-6911.

Safe Work Manitoba urges people to take precautions during extreme summer heat

Safe Work Manitoba is urging workers who work outdoors or in buildings without air conditioning to take safety measures while working in extreme summer heat.

 

Those measures include wearing clothing that is lightweight, light coloured, and loose-fitting; using indoor fans, taking rest breaks and drinking cool beverages, and focusing on lighter activities whenever possible, and leaving physically demanding tasks for cooler periods.

 

The agency says summer heat can cause reactions ranging from discomfort to serious illnesses in most people, including heat stress.

 

Heat stress is a condition in which the body is unable to control its internal temperature, with symptoms including headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness or tiredness, confusion, rapid breathing, and a rapid pulse.

 

Safe Work Manitoba says some of the ways to prevent heat stress include monitoring yourself and your co-workers, taking breaks and remembering to drink when you’re thirsty, and working in the shade and away from heat sources.

 

The agency explains the measures to treat someone who is experiencing heat stress include moving the person to a cool, shaded area, loosening or removing heavy clothing, providing cool drinking water, and calling 911 immediately.

 

It goes on to say that employers should work with their safety and health committees, workers, and worker representatives to create a hot weather plan, and determine work procedures for periods of elevated temperature.

Thompson RCMP looking to identify arson suspect in relation to fire at local restaurant

On July 18, 2019, at approximately 3:35 am, Thompson RCMP responded to a fire at a business on Selkirk Avenue in Thompson.

 

When officers arrived, the business was engulfed in flames. Thompson Fire Department attended and extinguished the fire.

 

The investigation has determined that a male suspect filled a small bottle with gasoline at a nearby gas station, paid for it, and then walked over to the business and started the fire.

 

He is believed to have suffered burns to his hands.

 

If you recognize this male or have information on this incident, please call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

RCMP lay sex crime-related charges involving 3 teens in northern Manitoba

On July 17, 2019, Manitoba RCMP received a report of a sexual assault involving three teenagers aged between 16 and 18 years old.

 

The investigation has determined that a female youth in northern Manitoba was sexually assaulted by two males, and the incident was recorded and shared through social media.

 

A 16-year-old male has been arrested and charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, and possession of child pornography.

 

An 18-year-old male has been arrested and charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, possession of child pornography, distributing child pornography, and publishing child pornography.

 

“We believe the video continues to be circulating on social media and possibly between individuals via text. Our investigators are determined to track down and lay charges against anyone who further distributes the video. If you do receive the video or are in possession of it, you need to report it to your local police immediately,” said Corporal Laura Ledrew of the Manitoba RCMP.

 

To protect the identity of the victim, the RCMP will not be releasing any further details.

Manitoba Infrastructure to review signage between Thompson and Grand Rapids regarding rest areas

Several city councillors expressed their disappointment regarding the provincial Infrastructure Minister’s response to the distance between rest rooms along Highway 6.

 

At this week’s city hall meeting, council reacted to the letter sent by Ron Schuler, who wrote that Manitoba Infrastructure acknowledges that remoteness and longer distances between communities in the north has always been a challenge.

 

Schuler says that wayside parks would likely not be an option, due to vandalism and cleanliness being issues in sustaining them, stating that the Devils Lake Wayside Park has been closed for several years due to this reason.

 

He adds that while it was unfortunate that the Ponton service station burned down last summer, providing restroom facilities for public use along the highway are typically provided by the private sector, and if a private entity wanted to provide those services, Manitoba Infrastructure would consider supporting where appropriate.

 

Schuler goes on to say that Manitoba Infrastructure will review signage between Thompson and Grand Rapids, as well as southerly of Grand Rapids, to let travelers know that there will be no rest facilities for six hundred kilometers.

KGS Group conduct first assessment of the Norplex Pool

Engineers from the city and the KGS Group are conducting assessments of the Norplex Pool and Thompson Regional Community Centre.

 

The KGS Group ran through their first assessment at the Norplex Pool last week, after the city awarded them with the contract for a feasibility study to determine the future of the pool structure.

 

The city is assessing the TRCC to see if a new facility attached to the rec centre can be built, saying that gathering information from both buildings will ensure there is minimal delay in determining what to do next once the KGS Group hands in its final report of the Norplex Pool.

 

The city adds that the final report is expected by the end of August.

KTC to host 2019 Manitoba First Nations Firefighters competition this Saturday

The 2019 Manitoba First Nations Firefighters competition will be held this weekend.

 

The Keewatin Tribal Council announced last month that its bid to host the competition was approved, making this the third time the organization has hosted the event.

 

Ivan Hart, the Fire Safety Officer at KTC and the coordinator for the event, says at least eleven First Nations firefighter teams from across the province will be participating in the competition, including two all-women teams from the Island Lake region.

 

Hart talks about some of the events that will be a part of the competition.

 

"This year, we decided to do  some things a bit differently. We've added a few new evolutions, we wanted to make it a little more challenging, so we have the firefighter endurance relay. We've added the bucket throw-down, which is a good event. There's the high-flow knock-down, as well as the self-contained breathing apparatus relay".

 

The competition will be held at the Thompson Regional Community Centre this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

IIU seeks witnesses following an incident with Thompson police

The Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) is looking for witnesses after a male was injured during his arrest by police in Thompson.

 

On June 21, 2019, RCMP notified the IIU of an incident that led to the arrest and injury of a 50-year-old male.

 

On June 5, around 6:00 p.m., officers responded to a call about a man causing a disturbance at the Thompson Inn. The man was arrested and, during the course of his arrest, was injured.

 

He was transported to Thompson General Hospital where he received sutures to a laceration on his forehead.

 

Although this is not a serious injury as defined by regulations, the IIU civilian director has determined it is in the public interest for the agency to investigate.

 

Witnesses or other individuals who have information or video footage that may assist this investigation are asked to contact the IIU toll free at 1-844-667-6060.

 

The investigation is ongoing so no further details will be provided at this time.

RCMP looking for missing teen

Thompson RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 14-year-old Allison Bighetty.

 

She was last seen in Thompson, Manitoba, at 10:00 pm on June 29, 2019. Allison Bighetty is 5’5”, with brown hair.

 

She was last seen wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Police believe she is still in the Thompson area.

 

If anyone has any information on her whereabouts, please contact Thompson RCMP Detachment at 204-677-6911.

Thompson RCMP: 41 traffic tickets issued over the weekend

The Thompson RCMP Traffic Unit was busy over the weekend.

 

In total, 41 traffic tickets were issued for a variety of driving offenses, including suspended drivers, driving without a driver’s license, driving unregistered vehicles, driving while holding a cell phone, driving with no front license plate, and speeding offenses.

 

Of the speeding offences, one driver received a warning and two speeding tickets within 24 hours. The driver will have to pay a total fine of over $1, 200.

 

Additionally, two drivers were issued tickets for speeding in the construction zone on Highway 6, with on receiving a $916 fine, and another receiving a ticket of over $1000.

 

Constable Sandy Deibert of the Thompson RCMP wants to remind drivers that fines are double in all construction zones in the province, and that the posted speed limit in construction zones are in effect whether or not there are workers present.

Traffic violations a concern for RCMP during Canada Day long weekend

While it was a steady Canada Day long weekend for Thompson RCMP, traffic violations continue to be a concern.

 

Police responded to between 250 and 280 calls, and several tickets were issued for traffic violations, particularly at the construction zone on Highway 6.

 

One of the tickets issued at the construction zone resulted in a $670 fine, with another amounting to nearly $1,000.

 

Constable Sandy Deibert say the traffic fines double when violations occur at a construction zone.

 

She explains why it’s important for motorists to follow the law when it comes to construction zones.

 

"Even though workers might not be present at the time, the reduced speed limit is still in effect. While it protects the safety of the workers when they are working, it also makes traveling safer for motorists while road conditions are not at their optimal levels."

 

Deibert goes on to say that RCMP is asking motorists to drive with caution, and while it may add ten minutes to your drive, it could save a life if your vehicle loses control.

11 SDML pick-up trucks vandalised

Eleven vehicles belonging to the School District of Mystery Lake have been damaged.

 

Thompson RCMP responded to a report of vehicle damage at the school division building, where the trucks had their windows smashed.

 

The incident is believed to have taken place between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

 

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

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