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News Briefs: Friday, July 8, 2011

Regatta fundraiser set for Sunday

Boaters are getting set to sail for a good cause Sunday in the 20th-annual Ability Cup Sailing Regatta. All proceeds from the event, organized by the Great Slave Cruising Club and the NWT Disabilities Council, will go toward a new van to be used for council programs.

Races begin at 1 p.m. at the Great Slave Cruising Club dock, across from the Giant Mine boat launch.

On shore, there will be live music and a barbecue lunch. Everyone is welcome to watch the races and take part in the festivities.

- Nicole Veerman

Garden competition

It's that time of year again, when the city and Arctic Farmer Nursery head out to track down the lushest, most beautiful gardens in Yellowknife. If you think your garden or yard is a standout, register for the 13th-annual Lawn and Landscape Competition by July 22. The categories are lawn, commercial landscaping, residential landscaping, greenhouse, rock garden, vegetable garden and container garden. Judging is scheduled to take place on July 25. The winners will receive gift cards for Arctic Farmer Nursery.

- Nicole Veerman

Campers take on climate change

The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition is holding an "Arctic camp" in Yellowknife this week as part of its Power Summer Project. The coalition brings together youth from across Canada to address concerns about climate issues. The Arctic camp includes training in climate education, action and strategy, communication, messaging, campaign planning and organizational skills. The camp will also look at climate issues particular to the NWT and the North. The Yellowknife camp is one of six regional camps being held across Canada to train youth organizers for the coalition. The camp runs through Sunday.

- Sarah Ferguson

Accountant wanted

The City of Yellowknife is looking for a volunteer to fill a vacancy for an accountant on its Audit Committee. The Audit Committee meets quarterly and makes recommendations to city council regarding the financial reporting process. Interested individuals should submit a letter outlining their interest in serving on the Audit Committee to the city clerk. The deadline is July 22.

- Sarah Ferguson

News Briefs: Thursday, July 7, 2011

Assembly set to begin in Fort Providence

Fort Providence will play host to the Dene National Assembly next week. July 11 is a travel day for delegates and the assembly is scheduled to begin on Tuesday at 9 a.m. Ten presentations have been scheduled, including one by Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus on ongoing negotiations related to the territorial government's devolution agreement-in-principle.

It has been approximately a decade since Fort Providence has hosted a large assembly. If every eligible community attends there will be 290 voting delegates in addition to other delegates and visitors.

The assembly will run until July 7.

Forest fire season progresses in Deh Cho

The number of forest fires has increased in the Deh Cho.

As of July 5 there have been 13 fires in the region, affecting a total of 1,224 hectares. Two weeks ago on June 20 there had only been seven fires in the region.

Of the five regions in the territory the Deh Cho has had the second lowest number of fires according to information from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' website. Inuvik has had six fires covering 345 hectares.

The South Slave region, which includes Fort Providence and Kakisa, has been the most affected with 36 fires to date on 230,064 hectares. The most recent fire in the Deh Cho was reported on July 5 100 km northeast of Wrigley. The fire, which was started by lightening, was 50 hectares large and being monitored.

Northern youth abroad

Five youths from the Deh Cho will be spending part of their summer in southern Canada.

Jamie Norwegian and Jodie Bonnetrouge of Fort Providence, Lory Ann Bertrand of Nahanni Butte, Tonya Moreau-Betsaka of Fort Simpson and Waylon Simba of Kakisa are participating in the Northern Youth Abroad Canadian program along with 29 other youths from the NWT and Nunavut. Over the course of five weeks the youths will do a volunteer work placement and live with host families.

Participants will earn high school credits and are also expected to gain cross-cultural awareness and develop their skills training. The youths left for Ottawa on July 1 for a week of orientation.

Ball hockey begins

The Village of Fort Simpson's Recreation Department is offering ball hockey as a summer activity.

Weekly pick-up games will be held on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the arena for people ages 16 and older beginning on July 7.

Economic development officer hired

With the hiring of a new manager of Economic Development, the Town of Inuvik has a nearly full complement of staff.

Jackie Challis started in the position on July 4. The position had been vacant since former manager Larry Peckford retired last year. Challis formerly worked for the town, but left in October 2009.

The town also just hired a chief financial officer in May, a bylaw officer in March and an SAO last year. The only vacant position on staff now is for an assistant bylaw officer.

Traffic light operating again

Inuvik's only traffic light is running again.

Repairs were completed on the light to replace damage from the power outage in fall of 2010. The light will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday with a red light/green light function. On weekends and evenings the light will only flash the yellow caution light.

Internet and phone down

Inuvik lost use of Internet, long-distance telephone and cell-phones for the second time in the past month on July 5.

Construction crews damaged a fibre optic cable near Fox Lake on the Klondike Highway which affected services north of Whitehorse, including Inuvik and the Mackenzie Delta.

The outage started at approximately 8:45 a.m. Phones were restored around 2:30 p.m. Internet service was restored later in the afternoon.

Northwestel fixed the problems by doing splicing work. A crew arrived on site at about 10 a.m. to fix the fibre optic cable.

The cable cut happened just about a kilometre from the location of a similar incident on June 15.

Next to New open

Next to New, the second hand shop in Inuvik, reopened in late June.

The store closed in April after federal funding for Inuvik Works, which provided staff, was cut. But the store has now reopened with summer students working there.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and everything is free. Staff also say they welcome donations of anything and everything.

Next to New has new items every day as the summer students unload boxes from the warehouse. The store has clothing, toys and some furniture as well as household items available.