Water Main Freeze in Athabasca
Crews in the town of Athabasca are working to thaw the pipes.
A water main has froze in the area of 49th street, between 48 and 50th avenues.
Crews will attempt to thaw the main today, which may cause interuptions in water service throughout the day.
Crews state the thawing process may cause discolouration of the water.
They advise that you turn the water on until it clears, which will happen within a few minutes.
The town anticipates the water to be back in full service by 6:00 this evening.
The town does apoligize for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Wide Load on Highway 63
The Alberta Government is advising motorists of another wide load heading up Highway 63 today.
The load is estimated at 29-feet wide and 210-feet long, which will take up the entire width of a two-lane highway, including the shoulder.
Authorities are reminding motorists to expect delays when travelling behind the load.
Travel is scheduled to head from Two Hills to Grassland today between 8:00 and 5:00.
The load will go from Grassland to Fort McMurray on Saturday.
The Government says the load will be accompanied by pilot vehicles to ensure safety along the roadway for the shipment and regular traffic.
Motorist are being advised to follow directions and take caution when travelling the Highway today and tomorrow.
This is the time of year that we "Spring Ahead".
Daylight Savings Time takes into effect, as of 2:00 on Sunday morning.
That means that residents need to turn their clocks ahead one hour before they go to bed on Saturday night.
Training Center is Good News for Portage...
***Courtesy Newcap News Network***
The Government's committment to building the new Pipeline Training Center is welcome news for the Energy Sector and Portage College.
The College has been working with industry and local stakeholders for over 26-months on the planning and implementation of the Pipeline Training Centre.
The College has already invested 2.8 million dollars on equipment, planning and infrastructure at their 130-acre Boyle campus location.
President of Portage Dr. Trent Keough says this is great news for the College.
Director of Community & Industry Training Initiatives at Portage College Stuart Leitch says this is a really valuable program for the College to add.
Proposals have been brought forward by Portage College for the Center to be built in Boyle, even though dates and locations have not been finalized as of yet.
RCMP Seeking Public's Help...
Athabasca RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in solving a case of mischief.
Reports indicate that on Friday, several mailboxes in town, were broken and damaged.
Police are asking for the public's help.
Any information is to be forwarded to Athabasca RCMP or Crimestoppers.
FCSS Office Open...
They have expanded their services so much, that they needed a new building to operate in.
Family and Community Support Services of Athabasca have officially opened their new office on the East Hill.
Debbie Wood is the director of FCSS.
She says the new facility is a welcome addition.
Dozens of people were in attendance for the opening of the county-funded project.
Pipeline Training Center to be Built
The Government's commitment to building the new Pipeline Training Center is welcome news for the Energy Sector and its partners.
Deputy Premier Dave Hancock says the project is for the future of the province.
Although dates and locations have not been finalized as of yet, proposals have been put forward by Portage College for the Center to be built in Boyle.
Throne Speech Rundown
***Courtesy Newcap News Network***
It was provincial Throne Speech day yesterday--and among the highlights---a re-definition of funding and taxing rules between the provincial government and the two biggest cities.
Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell says the government will also renew the long-term funding commitment to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative and Greentrip funding---plus a continued investment in families.
He says the government will invest in better seniors' care--with a focus on "aging in place" and new technology that allows patients to recover in their own homes.
Options will also be considered to meet the commitment to build more continuing-care beds.
And the government plans to implement Alberta's Wellness Strategy to lower acute health costs and improve quality of life.
There will be more investment in additional newborn screening, support for parents and child mental health --and working across government departments to make sure families get the help they need.
Ethell says there will also be continued improvements to the child intervention system--based on the results of the recent childcare roundtable.
Changes include extending support for young adults in care to age 24--to ease the transition into adulthood.
He also says there's going to be a focus on education--as a new student-centred curriculum is developed to make sure kids have a strong understanding of basic literacy and numeracy.
Provincial achievement tests are being replaced with new student learner assessments--to better identify areas of strength and weakness.
The government also plans to make sure distance isnt a barrier for rural Albertans looking for quality education opportunities--make sure distance education is an important part of Campus Alberta.
There will also be more training for those in the oilfield...The government is teaming up with industry partners to build Canada's first and only dedicated pipeline training facility--to come up with more heavy equipment operators and those who work in pipeline construction and land reclamation.
Ethell also says they're going to work to diversify the provincial energy mix--introducing an alternative and renewable energy framework that will give consumers more choice.
The province also plans to do more to help victims of crime---with a reaffirming of the commitment to projects such as "I-Trac"--which brings together police, specialized court officers and councilling for those facing domestic violence. It includes immediate protection for victims and punishment for offenders.
-Part of the speech also reaffirmed the government's commitment to live within its means and balance the budget. Ethell says there will be new supports funding by Alberta's growing savings--for research and world leading innovation to drive growth and economic diversification.
The Agriculture and Food Innovative Endowment will fund research in rural Alberta and help new "made in Alberta" agricultural solutions get to market.
The Social Innovation Endowment will invest in new research and coordinate action between small businesses, cultural and non-profit groups to deal with social issues, while the Heritage Scholarship Fund will be expanded to support excellence in the apprenticeship, trade and technology systems to help build a needed skilled workforce.
Ethell says there will also be more support for innovation to help rural families in communities such as Peace River, Slave Lake and Whitecourt--where the forestry industry employees about 13-thousand people. New markets will be opened for our forestry products-----creating even more jobs.
RCMP Have Three in Custody
Athabasca RCMP have three people in custody following a report of a Break and enter, northeast of Calling Lake.
Police say that on Tuesday, a report of the B&E was received into an Oilfield Site, where a snowmobile was reported stolen and another being damaged.
RCMP also say that early on Thursday morning, they were called out to another disturbance at the same site.
Upon arrival, two people were arrested, with a third person fleeing on foot into the bush.
With help of the police dog service, the third person was located and arrested.
25 year-old Samantha Rose Cardinal, 36 year-old Peter Cardinal, and 45 year-old Dwayne Jacobs have been charged in the incident.
They are scheduled in Athabasca court next week.
4H District Speech Contest...
Athabasca's Thundering Hooves 4-H club hosted their district speech contest at the Agri-plex yesterday.
In the Senior Class, Bryanna Borle of Colinton finished first, Megan Jackson of Athabasca was second and Danica Phillips of Boyle was third.
In the Junior Class, Kayli Maton of Athabasca finished first, Emma Kamelchuk of Colinton was second, and Brooke Bowzaylo of Athabasca was third.
In the Intermediate Class, Ashley Johnson of Athabasca finished first, Hailey Hunter of Boyle was second, and Brittani Smith of Colinton finished third.
The eastern half of the Northwest region is hosting their speech contest this weekend.
The regional public speaking contest is at the Athabasca Missionary Church on Saturday, beginning at 1pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
BREAKING NEWS (7:15am)
Calling Lake School (All Day)
Microscopes Still Evolving
They were invented back in the 17th century, and they are just as effective today.
Science Outreach - Athabasca says that the discovery of Microscopes opened up a whole new scientific world up close.
Science Outreach opened up that world again with the presentation, "Invisible Domains - the world under a microscope."
Dr. Roland Treu (Troy) is an Associate Professor at Athabasca University.
He made the presentation and says that technology has evolved over the years, but it is still effective.
Several dozen people took in the presentation, including some young students.
Large Loads Moving in the Area
Traffic should be getting back to normal for now on Highway 63,
Traffic was experiencing delays because of the moving of oversized loads overnight.
The Oversized loads are equipment going from Lloydminster to Fort McKay.
The equipment measures 40-feet wide, 45-feet high, and 150-feet long.
Entrec Corporation is moving the equipment during the overnight hours, and went from Radway to Wandering River last night.
Overnight tonight, the equipment will move from Wandering River to Fort McMurray.
Due to precautions and the size of the load, alternating sections of Highway 63 will be closed between 10pm and 6am.
ASA Jamboree This Past Weekend...
Nearly 400 guests took part in the event, and saw what Athabasca and area had to offer.
The Athabasca River Runners Snowmobile Club played host to the annual Alberta Snowmobile Association's Jamboree this past weekend.
Jean Bilsky is in charge of membership with the River Runners Club.
She says the club has been going well.
The Snowmobile Rally began at the Forfar Hall, and concluded with a dinner and dance at the Fieldhouse, at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex.
Grassland School Olympics...
They were divided up into five teams, that represented the five different colours of the Olympic Rings.
Grassland School held their own Olympic Games last week.
Natasha Gillman is one of the organizers of the event.
She says the games are an idea of fun and leadership.
Variations of the Biathlon, bobsled, hockey, and figure skating events were some of the events that students participated in during the games.
Village Council Meeting...
The village of Boyle have some financial decisions to make.
At last week's Council Meeting, a delegation was presented by the Boyle Fire Department.
Chief Matt Bendara, along with Darren Hill and Robin Mikaelson presented the idea to the village of acquiring a trailer to haul a unit that is primarily being used as a command post.
The Department says the command post would be used for wildfires for the most part.
Bendara says the Department is asking the village for $6,000 to cover the rest of the costs for the trailer.
Bendara says that the Boyle Fire Department has already received grants from Enbridge, Pembina, and money from the county of Athabasca.
The Village of Boyle is investigating into getting into the AED Program.
Automated External Defibrulators have been seen throughout many facilities, but there are none in the Village of Boyle.
At last week's Village Council Meeting, Council pass a resolution to look into getting two AED's, one for the arena, and one for the Boyle Community Center.
The Village of Boyle is receiving Provincial Grant Money.
As part of Alberta Transportation's municipal infrastructure programs, the village will be receiving over $51,000, as partof the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
The Grant is pending the receipt of project applications and/or reporting documents.
The deadline for the Village to submit the application for project acceptance is the end of this week.
Several People Arrested in Athabasca
Athabasca RCMP have several people in custody following three simultaneous drug trafficking investigations in town.
Police say that search warrents were executed on residences in town on Sunday.
Cocaine, Marijuana, methamphetamines, several firearms, and other weapons were all seized.
As mentioned, several people have been arrested and charged with drug and weapons-related offenses.
Names and current charges are being withheld pending the filing of charges with the courts.
Several units, including K Division Canine Unit, Serious Crimes Branch, and well as RCMP from Boyle, Lac LA Biche and Athabasca were involved in the investigation.
Snowmobiles in Athabasca This Weekend
Athabasca is playing gracious hosts this weekend.
The Athabasca River Runners Snowmobile Club is hosting the Alberta Snowmobile Association Jamboree.
Registration starts at 7:00 tonight at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex's fieldhouse.
The rally starts on Saturday, at 9am at the Forfar Hall, and will be winding its way around the region.
Eventually, it will come back to the Forfar Hall by 4pm.
The Dinner and Dance will take place at the Multiplex fieldhouse on Saturday evening.
Prizes will be awarded, and fellowship will be part of the weekend.
Two Men Identified in Hwy 63 Crash
***Courtesy Newcap News Network***
Two Edmonton men died in that big collision on Highway 63 yesterday.
RCMP say two semis had collided head-on--causing the rigs to go up in flames.....
Both victims were driving the trucks--and had been alone in the cabs.
Officials confirm the roads had been icy at the time of the crash.
Highway 63 Reported to be Open
Highway 63 has now re-opened, north of Mariana Lakes, but was closed due to a major collision.
RCMP reported to the collision scene yesterday morning, at Kilometre Marker 173.
Initial reports indicate that two transport trucks crashed head-on, causing a fire and killing both truck drivers.
The other five vehicles that were involved, all hit the ditch to avoid the collision.
No other injuries were reported in the crash.
Police believe that one of the trucks was hauling diesel fuel, but the fire was put out.
Road conditions were described as icy at the time of the collision.
No names are being released.
BREAKING NEWS (12-Noon)
Accident on Highway 63...
Got a call from Lee this morning.
He says there has been an accident on Highway 63 between a high-buoy semi and a B-train fuel truck, north of Mariana Lakes at km 173.
He says that authorities are on-scene and the Highway is closed, because of ther accident.
More information will come forward, as it becomes available.
Town Council Meeting...
Athabasca Town Council has received lots of information.
At last night's Town Council Meeting, a delegation was presented by the Athabasca Heritage Society.
The society gave an update on the progress of the upgrades to the Athabasca Train Station.
The Society stated that the Station is a Provincial Heritage designation and they have been trying to restore it.
The Society says about $600,000 plus grants have been put into restoration of the station.
Some of the upgrades include to the Foundation, and the Ground Floor.
Upgrades have also been made to the west end of the second floor, thanks to the station's new tenant, the Masons.
The Society says they want to have the station fully restored by 2017.
The society wants to host a public meeting sometime in March, to let them see the upgrades.
CAO Ryan Maier stated in his report that Outside Services has been busy.
They dealt with a water-main break on 51st street at 48th avenue on the evening of January 23rd.
It is said that water services were disrupted for about 9 hours while repairs were made.
Outside Services were also busy dealing with the weather.
In late January, Outside Services were busy trying to remove as much snow before the cold temperatures hit.
Work on snow removal stopped in early February because of hard packed ice.
Meanwhile, Peace Officer Shaun Woloschuk stated in his report that he dealt with 53 concerns, which resulted in 14 warnings given and 15 tickets issued.
Other remarks in his report included eight tickets for vehicles being parked for more than 72 hours in the snow, that also included one tag & tow.
Woloschuk also reported two fire hydrants that were snow covered, two Off-Highway vehicles being operated within town limits, and assisting with local emergency services on seven calls.
"Flash Mob" in Athabasca...
Canadian Tire and Buy-Low Foods in Athabasca were scenes of a "Flash Mob".
One Billion Rising is an international organization that stands up against violence against women.
The Mob was part of One Billion Rising, in which they say that 1 in 3 women will experience some sort of violence in their lifetime.
Brenda is with the Prevention of Relationship Abuse Action Committee, and she participated in the Mob.
She says the Dance is to see that people are making a statement.
Around 20 people participated in the Flash Mob.
Steering Committee Established...
The announcement has been made, and now the work is starting.
The New Edwin Parr Composite High School is in the initial stages, as the steering commitees start planning.
First meetings have taken place and deadlines have been set.
Brian LeMessurier is the Superintendant of Aspenview School Division.
He says all the "I"'s need to be dotted and "T"'s need to be crossed.
LeMessurier says the commitee has set a deadline of the end of this month to basically tell the government of the committments.
County Getting MSI Funding
The County of Athabasca is getting funds from the Provincial Government.
Through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, the County is receiving around $4.7 Million Dollars, under five catergories.
Paving Overlays, FCSS Administration Office Construction, Road Reconstruction, Bridge Upgrades, and Road Resurfacing are getting money put into by this Initiative.
The largest sum will be the FCSS Office, as $1.5 Million Dollars is being forwarded to that project.
The money is being accepted by the County for qualifying projects under the capital funding guidelines of the Provincial Government's MSI.
Boyle RCMP Busy...
Authorities in Boyle have been busy since this past weekend.
Reports indicate that on Saturday, RCMP received a call of a structure fire at a residence.
Further investigations have revealed the fire was deliberately set.
This after a dispute between two men.
A local man has been charged with arson, resisting arrest and assault.
He was remanded in custody and was scheduled in court yesterday.
Also on Saturday, the Boyle Integrated Traffic Unit conducted traffic patrols on Highway 63.
One member saw a GMC pick-up failed to stop at a stop sign, and conducted a traffic stop.
But the truck accelerated, and was attempting to flee.
But the vehicle was found in the ditch by the Boyle Seed Cleaning Co-op.
One man was found in the driver's seat and was found to be intoxicated.
He was subsequently arrested.
Police also learned that the vehicle was stolen from 3rd street.
The man was transported to hospital for examination.
He's facing many charges, including theft of a motor vehicle, impaired operation of a motor vehicle, and driving while suspended.
Boyle ITU says that further charges are expected, as the investigation continues.
Police say that on Sunday, they were alerted of a suspicious male, who was seen avoiding a police vehicle in the area.
Police located the vehicle and learned it was stolen, two hours earlier from Lac La Biche.
Police arrested the man, and has been charged with possession of property obtained by crime, and impaired operation of a motor vehicle.
RCMP say further charges are pending, as the investigation continues.
On Monday, Police received a call of a single vehicle roll-over, involving a semi hauling pipe, west of Grassland.
Further investigation revealed the semi veered off the road into the ditch, it rolled, and lost its load of pipe, that was bound for Fort McMurray.
Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Traffic on Highway 63 was reduced to one lane for about an hour on-scene.
An Ontario man is facing charges of failing to maintain the centre of the driving lane.
Pipeline Training Center Proposed for Boyle
They are proposing to move ahead in the industry sector.
Portage College has put the idea forward to the Provincial Government to build a Pipeline Training Center in Boyle.
The Center would add to the curriculum of the College.
Provincial Infrastructure Minister Ric McIvor says the facility has the support from the Municipalities.
Athabasca-Redwater MLA Jeff Johnson says that this would be the first of its kind in Canada.
BREAKING NEWS (8:15 am)
Truck Reported Rolled Over on Hwy 63
Had a call into the radio station this morning from Russell.
He says that there is a truck rolled over on Highway 63 between Donatville and Grassland, near the ALPAC turnoff.
Russell also states that authorities have been notified and traffic on Highway 63 is starting to back up.
If you have any further information or updates, please give us a call at the station.
One in Custody in Desmarais
RCMP have one man in custody on manslaughter charges.
22 year-old Travis Noskiye of the Bigstone Cree Nation, near Wabasca and Desmarais, was arrested on Wednesday.
The charges stem from a year-long investigation into the homicide of a two-and-a-half year old girl, who was in the care of Noskiye and his common-law wife at the time.
Reports indicate that in February of last year, Desmarais RCMP received a call to a residence on the Cree Nation.
RCMP and EMS arrived and found the girl deceased inside, with signs of trauma to her body.
Noskiye is scheduled to appear in Desmarais court on Thursday.
"Toonies for Joey" Campaign a Success
They are calling it a successful fundraiser.
The "Toonies for Joey" campaign has finished at Boyle School.
The school was raising money to help 2012 Grad Joey Kensley battle Lymphoma cancer.
In all, over $1,345 was raised, and now several teachers and administration will be competing in a Spaghetti-eating contest, with no hands, in front of the students.
No word as to when that contest will be.