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Friday, April 22, 2016

Wind caused outage

High winds Tuesday damaged the Snare Falls Plant power transmission line, causing the outage that left the city in the dark for part of the evening.

Pam Coulter, spokesperson for Northwest Territories Power Corporation stated by e-mail the wind damaged the line, disconnecting the hydro system from the city's grid.

Power went out downtown around 5:20 p.m. and was back within half an hour. The outage lasted longer in other parts of the city.

- Shane Magee

City to use Yk Bay water

The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board approved a one-time request by the city to draw its drinking water supply from Yellowknife Bay for about five hours early next week as it continues commissioning the new water treatment plant. The city used bay water in November for the same reason. The normal supply is the Yellowknife River. The board also ruled April 18 the city must ask permission 40 days in advance before drawing bay water for non-emergency use. There have been concerns about arsenic contamination in bay water. The city regularly tests water to ensure it is safe.

- Shane Magee

'Bartam Hotel' meeting coming up

The city is seeking public feedback online until May 1 regarding a proposal by Nova Builders to construct a 31-room hotel at 4105 Franklin Ave., below the Arnica Inn. The project is the next hotel planned by Mike Mrdjenovich, a developer with a history of controversy in the city. Those interested can go to the city's website to view conceptual drawings, landscape and site parking plans and more for what the city is describing as "Bartam Hotel."

- Shane Magee

Farmers market still seeking vendors

The Yellowknife Farmers Market is set to resume June 7 and is still seeking vendors - specifically food concessions, food vendors and artisans at Somba K'e Civic Plaza. According to a news release from the non-profit organization, the market is also making a series of changes this year, including spreading vendors out around the lawn to reduce congestion and having compostable-only containers for food products. The deadline is April 24 at midnight.

- Shane Magee

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earth Day celebrated

The Open Sky Creative Society is holding an Earth Day celebration on April 22 with a coffee house and a movie at the society's gallery in Fort Simpson.

The society announced the gallery will open to all ages starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be family-friendly crafts – using recycled materials as a tribute to Earth Day.

There will also be free snacks.

At 8 p.m., the gallery will hold a screening of Fractured Land, a Canadian film that follows Dene lawyer Caleb Bohn on his journey to reconcile the fractures in himself, his community and the world.

Negotiation resumes

Negotiations between the federal government, territorial government and Dehcho First Nations are picking back up as of April 19.

According to an April 18 news release from Dehcho First Nations, the main focus of the current discussions will be the amount of land the federal and territorial governments are prepared to recognized as Dehcho-owned lands.

The discussions will also focus on how lands throughout the Dehcho traditional areas will be used in the future.

Dehcho First Nations will be going into the negotiations with its new chief negotiator, Garth Wallbridge.

Grand Chief Herb Norwegian stated in the news release the Dehcho people want to see an offer that includes a "reasonable" amount of land and good co-management system based on the land-use plan "which keeps important land decisions within the Dehcho and not somewhere else like Ottawa or even Yellowknife."

Negotiation sessions are open to the public. Anyone interested in sitting in on the session can contact Dehcho First Nations for details.

Ice crossings close

The ice crossing across the Liard River outside Fort Simpson and the Mackenzie River ice crossing to Wrigley are both expected to close for the season this week.

On April 20, the Department of Transportation announced the Liard crossing to Fort Simpson had been put on 24 hours notice for closure and would be evaluated on a daily basis.

Warm weather has continued to pervade the Deh Cho, culminating in a thunderstorm that swept the region the evening of April 18.

Temporary recycling opens in new spot

PR Contracting and Rowe's Recycling will be opening a temporary recycling facility on 100 Street, in Fort Simpson starting April 26. The facility will likely be open Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The facility will open next to the Fort Simpson liquor store.

Man arrested for handgun

Upon executing an outstanding warrant for the arrest of a man in Inuvik, RCMP found him to be in possession of a handgun.

A release issued by the police states that on April 15 at about 8:30 a.m., members arrested Billy Fred Tommy Peterson, 35, and when they searched him, found a 40-calibre handgun.

Peterson, it says, has been charged with 10 Criminal Code offences, including carrying a concealed weapon. He was remanded into custody and was to appear in territorial court in Yellowknife April 19.

Detachment commander Sgt. Scott Young said the arrest was not related to the reports of shots fired on Gwich'in Road in the early morning of April 3.

Police are asking that anyone with information pertinent to this matter, or any other, contact the detachment or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

Town to host scientists

Scientists from Canada and the United States are converging on Inuvik to study the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, according to a news release from the GNWT.

"The goal of these installations is to assist in the development of new construction techniques for civil engineering projects constructed on frozen ground in the circumpolar world," it reads. "The Northwest Territories’ unique environment allows the Department of Transportation to assume a leading role in such climate change research."

Now in the third of four years of construction, the highway is of interest to other jurisdictions in polar regions.

"Innovation and research are invaluable to projects such as the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, as they are at the forefront of transportation infrastructure improvements of benefit to communities across the NWT," stated Transportation Minister Wally Schumann in the release. "The visiting group of global scientists will contribute knowledge and expertise toward improving the methods used to install infrastructure in permafrost-riddled areas, where conventional construction techniques are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of the changing climate."

Cabinet meets the people

The premier and cabinet of the Northwest Territories were in town last week for a series of meetings with aboriginal groups and businesses, but they also made time for an open house, where they welcomed the public.

"I come here because it's the best place to get dry meat," joked Premier Bob McLeod April 15 at Tonimoes, where about 50 people turned out to speak to the cabinet ministers. "Talking to one another face to face is a longstanding Northern tradition."

All the ministers were present and entertained small groups or had one-on-one conversations.

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