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News Briefs: Friday, August 30, 2013

Fire at Ptarmigan Mine

A fire last night at the Ptarmigan Mine site off the Ingraham Trail is raising questions about access to the old mine.

Dennis Marchiori, director of public safety, said it looked like the fire was deliberately set.

He said someone piled rubble on a cement slab behind the mine. He added that he would like the Fire Marshal's office or the GNWT to block off access to the mine to prevent future fires.

Yellowknife RCMP were unavailable for comment on the incident.

Ptarmigan Mine has been closed since 1997.

- Daniel Campbell

Work on the trail

City crews will be clearing brush and performing trail maintenance along the McMahon Frame Lake Trail this week.

Crews started yesterday and are expected to continue working until Sept. 6.

The City of Yellowknife advises the trail will remain open during the work, but urges caution to the public to obey all signs and look out for work crews.

- Daniel Campbell

Council awards contract for city hall renovations

The city voted to award a $762,271 contract for the renovations of city hall to Clark Builders during a council meeting on Monday.

The renovations to city hall were originally budgeted for $1.18 million in 2013, but that was reduced during budget deliberations.

The renovations include improving wheelchair access at the front desk and adding a window to the council chambers.

There are also plans for improved gallery seating and IT components in the chamber.

- Cody Punter

Pool closed

The Ruth Inch Memorial Pool will be shut down for the next few weeks for its annual pool shutdown.

The pool closed on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and will remain closed until Sept. 19.

Swimming will be open again on that date at 6 a.m.

- Daniel Campbell

News Briefs: Thursday, August 29, 2013

Intake period for Aurora College

Aurora College in Fort Simpson is preparing for the new school year.

The college has started its intake period. Anyone interested in taking courses can visit the college and bring any transcripts they may have.

Classes for adult basic education will begin on Sept. 9. The college will also be offering a literacy and life skills program from Sept. 30 to Dec. 20 and Dene Zhatie language classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one hour per night beginning on Sept. 17.

The college will also be hosting the Never Board Game Club again this year. The club will run every Thursday beginning on Sept. 15 from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. The club is open to anyone who would like to play boardgames and has a wide variety for people to choose from.

School hosts annual corn boil

Thomas Simpson School will be hosting its annual corn boil on Aug. 30 at noon.

The event marks the beginning of the school year in Fort Simpson. The entire community is invited for the corn, hotdogs and burgers that will be served.

Regular classes at the school began on Aug. 27. All of the staff at the school have returned from last year. The only new addition is Caitlin Blyth, who joined the school from Bompas Elementary School.

There will be no classes on Sept. 5 and 6 while the teachers participate in a cultural orientation.

Golf season begins to wind down

The penultimate golf tournament of the season at the Seven Spruce Golf Course in Fort Simpson will be the First Air Open.

The tournament will be held on Sept. 7. Teams of two will compete in a scramble format over 18 holes during the one-day event. Two tee times may be organized.

The final tournament of the season will be the Sneeze and Freeze later in September.

Role of community health reps recognized

To celebrate National Community Health Representatives Day, two staff members with Dehcho Health and Social Services will be holding an information booth on

Fort Simpson's main street on Sept. 19.

Bernice Hardisty-Isaiah, a community health officer, and Melissa Hardisty-Beaverho, a community health representative (CHR), will be running the booth that will offer information about the CHR's roles in health centres and the communities, as well as prizes.

Heating costs rise again

Inuvik residents should expect another increase in their heating costs this winter. Inuvik Gas announced it's ending a subsidy that paid for residential gas pipes to be heated during the extreme cold of the mid-winter months. The heat is necessary to ensure the synthetic natural gas mixture flows properly.

That will result in roughly a $30 increase in heating fees, said general manager Kevin MacKay.

A one-season subsidy was implemented last winter to facilitate the change from natural gas to SNG.

Parks board openings

The Inuvik Parks and Recreation Board is looking for a few new members. Outgoing recreation co-ordinator Rose Constantineau says the board is busy recruiting new people to help out.

"We're just getting into the swing of a new year. We have been down board members for some time now and are really wanting to see a full board," she said.

The board helps guide the operation of the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex and all other town-related recreational activities around town. That includes events such as the Midnight Sun Fun Run races in June. Anyone interested should contact the town for more details and submit a letter of interest.

Pool closed in September

The aquatic centre at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex is preparing to close down for the month of September.

It's part of the annual maintenance and overhaul, said pool manager Mike Scott.

The swimming pool will close Sept. 2. A re-opening date has not been announced.

Scott, who is new to the position, said the pool typically closes this time of year for the work to be done.

The pool and hot tub will be drained, allowing for repairs and cleaning.

The rest of the recreation complex will remain open.

Planeload of books

Inuvik is about to receive a planeload of books, courtesy of MLA Robert Hawkins. The donation was first announced last spring, after students in Yellowknife held a book drive, encouraged by Hawkins.

Some of the books are bound for the East Three schools, while others will be sent to outlying areas.

"Robert and I dropped off 1,200 pounds of books with First Air, who are shipping them up to Inuvik free of charge," said Hawkin's constituency assistant, Sean Hougan. "Kurt Scheiwiller with BDEC (Beaufort Delta Education Council) is receiving the 41 lot of boxes on the other end. We really hope that credit is attributed to the students from St. Patrick High School who collected and sorted all of the books as well as First Air who shipped them up for free."