2018 Year In Review – April – June

April

April 2, 2018: Former High Prairie resident Dez Lorencz passes away at the age of 45 years at Innisfail. He grew up in High Prairie and loved sports. At Innisfail, he was involved in the minor hockey and lacrosse programs.
April 4, 2018: South Peace News publishes the four options presented to council for proposed parks at the Esso site. The public clearly tells council to spend as little money as possible on private property for any future development at the site.
April 7, 2018: Edith Rebecca Guild passes away in Points West Hospice in Grande Prairie at the age of 79 years after a battle with cancer. She was the former owner of E.G. Frames in High Prairie and an accomplished artist and musician.
April 7, 2018: A “putrid pussycat” is blamed for a false alarm attended to by High Prairie firefighters. A strong ammonia smell is found to be from the cat’s litter box which had not been cleaned for months.
April 9, 2018: The Loyie Brissenden Archives open at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Dedicated to local authors Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden, the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre is part of the archives.
April 11, 2018: The High Prairie Community Beautification Association delays electing a new chair after current chair Verna Ogg announces she is stepping aside.
April 11, 2018: Shaw’s Point Resort owners attend a Big Lakes County meeting asking for pavement into the popular resort.
April 12, 2018: Rodney Allen Stewart passes away at his home at the age of 73 years. He built roads, hauled gravel and worked for Big Lakes County operating a grader.
April 12, 2018: Over $8,000 is raised at the annual HPE Spell-a-Thon. Most of the proceeds will be used to pay for an in-line skating course at the school later in the year.
April 13, 2018: The St. Andrew’s School team named People of the North wins the Junior-Senior Division at the 12thannual Holy Family Catholic Regional Division Hand Games tournament in Peace River.
April 14, 2018: Norman “Buzzie” Cunningham passes away at the age of 79 years. He worked as an operator with Home Oil Company and Federated Pipeline and farmed.
April 14, 2018: Luci Martinson wins the High Prairie Fire Department’s Firefighter-of-the-Year award.
April 16, 2018: Federal Crown prosecutor Cameron McCoy tells High Prairie provincial court “We’re going to clean this place up” during proceedings.
April 17, 2018: The potential opportunity to locate an industrial hemp processing facility in the High Prairie or Falher regions is presented at an information meeting at Triangle.
April 19, 2018: Blaine Gladue receives the High Prairie Native Friendship Centre’s Volunteer-of-the-Year Award.
April 21-22, 2018: Almost 63 per cent of people who filled out a survey favoured cannabis stores in High Prairie. The survey was taken at the High Prairie Gun and Sportsmen Show by High Prairie town council.
April 21-22, 2018: Thousands attend the annual High Prairie Gun and Sportsmen Show.
April 24, 2018: Tolko Industries lays out its five-year development plan at an open house.
April 25, 2018: Dreams of constructing an integrated college campus are officially shelved after HPSD rescinds a motion to offer land to Northern Lakes College for the project.
April 25, 2018: No one attends a multiplex meeting held to discuss the possible future construction of a cultural – recreation complex.
April 25-26, 2018: Students at HPE create a mural mosaic. It can be seen on the wall entering the main office doors.
April 26, 2018: Cleanup plans for the Faust Osmose site are presented to the public at a meeting in Faust by Alberta Environment and Parks, who promises the water in Lesser Slave Lake has not been affected.
April 27, 2018: The HPSD Hand Games Tournament is held at Joussard. E.W. Pratt High School wins the Junior-Senior Division while the host Joussard School wins the Elementary Division. It’s the second straight year Joussard wins the title.
April 28, 2018: Ladies make quilts for victims of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
April 28, 2018: The High Prairie Air Cadets host the Grande Prairie Zone Sports and Drill Competition.
April 28-29, 2018: The High Prairie Spring Rodeo is held to sellout crowds at the High Prairie Agriplex.

May

May 1, 2018: Grouard resident Fern Welch is appointed to serve on the Northern Lakes College board of governors until April 30, 2021.
May 1, 2018: Lynda Mae Duchesneau passes away at the age of 66 years.
May 3, 2018: Two people are injured after an accident near the Esso gas station. A male pedestrian is struck by a vehicle backing out of the Chapel of Memories parking lot.
May 3, 2018: Richard and Deborah Popovich perform for residents at Pleasantview Lodge. The Popovichs present a country comedy show.
May 3, 2018: Enilda Mud Bowl holds its annual awards banquet. Robert Lemay wins Bowler-of-the-Year for his 339 single. Carla Auger rolls the women’s high single, 293. Each receive a cheque for $1 for each point rolled.
May 4, 2018: Grade 8 student Katie Wooten places first at the Prairie River’s Got Talent Show at the Performing Arts Theatre at the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre.
May 5, 2018: A crowd estimated at over 1,000 attends the High Prairie Traditional Powwow. Hand games and various activities highlight the cultural event.
May 6, 2018: The annual Hospice Walk hosted by the High Prairie and District Holistic Palliative Care Society raises $9,158.
May 8, 2018: The old hospital is becoming a headache for High Prairie town council in more ways than one. Senior peace officer Alan Bloom tells council youth and young adults are climbing on top of the roof and being a nuisance.
May 9, 2018: The annual general meeting of the High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce is postponed until June 6 due to unforeseen circumstances.
May 9, 2018: Big Lakes County hears the estimated cost of a water line to serve the Prairie Echo region is pegged at $7.6 million.
May 9-10, 2018: The annual PARTY program is presented to junior high school students in the region to teach them about the perils of drinking and driving and to make healthy choices.
May 10, 2018: Former High Prairie resident Janelle Cunningham is awarded the Early Childhood Educator-of-the-Year Award by Grande Prairie Regional College. She is employed by Stepping Stones Society in Grande Prairie.
May 12, 2018: Zale Zabolotniuk delivers the valedictorian’s address at the E.W. Pratt High School Commencement ceremony.
May 13, 2018: The High Prairie Repertoire Dance Society puts on another dazzling display of dance at their annual recital.
May 16, 2018: South Peace News reports Ilona Drefs’ Remembrance Day poem entitled “As We Remember Them” wins first place in Junior Poems, Royal Canadian Legion District Level.
May 18, 2018: Descendants of former High Prairie mayor Max Vanderaegen visit the High Prairie Museum and area. Grandson Thane Vanderaegen and great-granson Garett Vanderaegen visit to connect with their roots.
May 19, 2018: Huge crowds attend the grand opening of the Red Apple Store in High Prairie. Nick Amos is store manager. Over 100 people line up to attend the celebration and take part in grand opening sales.
May 19, 2018: Judy Grace Hopkins passes away at the age of 55 years.
May 22, 2018: High Prairie town council gives the green light to ATCO Electric to begin conversion of streetlights to LED. The work is expected to be completed by the end of summer; it actually occurs in December.
May 23, 2018: South Peace News publishes the four-page St. Andrew’s Times newspaper. The mini-newspaper is written by Grade 6 students at St. Andrew’s.
May 23, 2018: Grouard Councillor Fern Welch is granted a short term medical leave by council.
May 24, 2018: Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee presents a $12,896 Community Facility Enhancement Program cheque to the High Prairie Agricultural Society for facility upgrades at the Agriplex.
May 24, 2018: Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee presents an $11,561 Community Facility Enhancement Program cheque to the Lesser Slave Watershed Council to help pay for water fill stations, a project in conjunction with the Town of High Prairie.
May 24, 2018: Traditional Games are held at Whitefish Lake First Nation for students in Grades 8-12 and hosted by Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Education Authority. Games included moose calling, arm wrestling, leg wrestling, moss kick ball, archery, tug-of-war, scream and run, kick ball and triathlon.
May 25, 2018: Lillian Delphine Anderson passes away at the age of 76 years.
May 26, 2018: Kinuso bus driver Kirsten Burger wins the third annual Zone 5 [Northwest] School Bus Roadeo. Burger drives for HPSD.
May 26, 2018: Driftpile hosts a community round dance to support and remember missing, murdered loved ones.
May 28, 2018: Anita Lee Doktor is found not guilty of impaired driving in High Prairie provincial court.
May 28, 2018: Victor Paul Tallman is sent to prison for 165 days after pleading guilty to assaulting his spouse. Court hears Tallman used a machete during the assault.
May 30, 2018: HPE School News reporters report that Shealynn Auger and Joseph Gill win the HPE School 6PI round-robin badminton tournament.
May 30, 2018: St. Andrew’s School holds its elementary school track and field day. Zheylin Lamouche comes closest to sweeping the events in his age group: he wins five of six events in the 9-year-old boy’s division.

June

June 1, 2018: South Peace News wins four awards from the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association. SPN places first in its circulation category in General Excellence, and second in Best Editorial Page, Best Front Page, and Best Sports Pages.
June 1, 2018: Just days after being acquitted on impaired driving charges, RCMP officer Anita Lee Doktor is charged again after an incident at McLennan. She is later found guilty of the charge.
June 2, 2018: F/Sgt. Jared Gomes wins the prestigious Cadet Medal of Excellence at the High Prairie Air Cadet Squadron’s 67th Annual Ceremonial Review at the Edmo Peyre Hall.
June 2, 2018: High Prairie Coyote Acres Club 4-H member Sunni Mason raises the Grand Champion Steer at the East Peace 4-H District Show and Sale. In the sheep category, Ramona Bokhout raises the Grand Champion – Female.
June 5, 2018: Grade 4-5 students at HPE present their annual Spring Concert.
June 6, 2018: E.W. Pratt High School students present various forms of art during their Art in the Park year-end art show.
June 6, 2018: For the second time, the High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting is postponed. Only half the executive was available to attend, no new date was announced.
June 7, 2018: Driftpile resident Billy-Ray Belcourt wins the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for his book of poems called This Wound is A World.
June 7, 2018: Grade 4 students from HPE School and St. Andrew’s School help plant flowers in the beds at MacIntyre Park during the Dlugosz Dig, named in honour of Mary Dlugosz, who helped plant flowers in the beds years ago.
June 8, 2018: Waylon Lauck and Raiden Duchesneau are selected for the Alberta Summer Games football team after tryouts in Grande Prairie.
June 10, 2018: High Prairie Dolphins Ella Deering and Finn Marko qualify for the Alberta Summer Games Swim Meet after qualifying at trials in Grande Prairie.
June 11, 2018: Work begins on rebuilding the Collett Building, which was damaged by arsonist Christopher Trindle during a fire Aug. 15, 2017.
June 11, 2018: Branden Mcleod [Halcrow] is charged with various crimes after nearly 300 grams of cocaine and guns are seized during a bust.
June 12, 2018: St. Andrew’s School presents its athletics awards. Junior Female Athlete-of-the-Year is Ella Deering, Keenan Price is Junior Male Athlete-of-the-Year; Heaven Supernault is Senior Female Athlete-of-the-Year; and Dorin Shaw is Senior Male Athlete-of-the-Year.
June 12, 2018: High Prairie town council hears bullying is an ongoing problem at the Q Skate Plaza. Council promises to increase enforcement and visibility.
June 12-13, 2018: Heavy rains cause flooding around the Lesser Slave Lake region. The Kinuso area near Swan River receives the most damage.
June 13, 2018: Fear Factor grips the High Prairie Municipal Library. Six teams compete in a variety of events. Taggen Willier and Cameron Patenaude place first.
June 14, 2018: St. Andrew’s School Grade 11 student Natonia Giroux’s entry is chosen by Holy Family Catholic Regional Division as the winner in the Orange Shirt Day Contest. Her entry is later printed on all T-shirts for the celebration.
June 14, 2018: Gift Lake students walk out of classes during a peaceful demonstration to protest actions taken by Northland School Division. Students were upset over what they say was principal Barb Laderoute’s “forced retirement” and the loss of popular teacher Daniel Fyfe.
June 16, 2018: Leslie Marie Jones passes away at the age of 58 years. She operated Leslie’s Country Crafts for many years.
June 16-17, 2018: High Prairie’s Rae-Anne Gill completes the 100-mile 32-hour River Valley Revenge Ultra-Marathon in Edmonton. Gill completes the run one minute under the time limit to place second overall and first for females.
June 19, 2018: Brendyn Larson receives the Dan Sloan Athletics Dedication Award at the E.W. Pratt High School sports banquet. Larson was also named Top Overall Male Athlete. Katrina Reade is named Top Overall Female Athlete.
June 19, 2018: High Prairie town council holds an open house on the cannabis issue to hear concerns. Not one person opposes setting up stores in town, but some concerns are expressed over store hours and location.
June 20, 2018: South Peace News reports on the publication of an East Prairie history book called Memories of a Metis Settlement.
June 20, 2018: The High Prairie Royal Canadian Legion donates $3,673 to High Prairie Minor Hockey to purchase new sweaters for the Midget Legionnaires hockey team. The Legion is a long-time sponsor of the team.
June 20, 2018: A new 2018 Ford F550 fire and rescue unit truck arrives at the Joussard Fire Department. Cost of the truck is $276,500.
June 20, 2018: A 2016 Freightliner fire truck arrives at Enilda and the keys handed over to the Enilda and District Fire Department. Cost of the truck is $448,000.
June 20, 2018: The Alberta 55 Plus Games Association and the Zone 8 Mighty Peace Sport and Recreation Association recognize the efforts of the High Prairie and District Regional Recreation Board for their help in hosting the Alberta 55 Plus Games Sept. 14-16, 2017.
June 20, 2018: PRJH School presents its athletic awards. Autymm Potvin wins Female Athlete-of-the-Year while Kieran Larson wins Male Athlete-of-the-Year.
June 21, 2018: Dianne Doerksen and Stella Sware’s names are added to the Big Lakes County Wall of Fame at a ceremony at the annual barbecue.
June 21, 2018: Tolko Industries donates $2,500 to the High Prairie Native Friendship Centre for Aboriginal Day. Any money left over will be used to cover expenses for the December Elder’s Banquet.
June 21, 2018: High Prairie Elementary School is one of many in the region to host various cultural events during Aboriginal Day.
June 22, 2018: Prairie River Feeders holds an open house and barbecue during a customer appreciation lunch.
June 22-24, 2018: The Driftpile Valley hosts thousands at the annual North County Fair.
June 24, 2018: The High Prairie Outlaws host the Peace Country Bantam Football Jamboree, which sees seven teams compete in mini-games to prepare for the season and introduce new players to the sport.
June 25, 2018: An eagle feather is accepted at the High Prairie courthouse so Indigenous people can swear their oaths on the feather, if they choose. The feather represents strength and honesty.
June 25, 2018: A boy pleads guilty in High Prairie youth court to breaking several vehicle windows at the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Police Service station in Driftpile. He is sentenced to nine months of probation.
June 25, 2018: The day begins with High Prairie RCMP beginning their investigation of a homicide at a residence. The victim was a man from Peerless Lake.
June 25, 2018: A girl, now 18, is sentenced in High Prairie youth court to six months of probation for trashing the Whitefish Day Care Sept. 1, 2017 and causing extensive damage.
June 26, 2018: High Prairie resident Gay Olanski writes a letter to High Prairie town council outlining several concerns about the operation of the indoor pool.
June 27, 2018: Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard is granted a leave of absence by council from Sept. 23 to Nov. 15. No reason is cited.
June 27, 2018: Big Lakes County refuses to endorse a proposal by Big Meadow – Enilda Councillor Donald Bissell to enact a beaver bounty.
June 27, 2018: Amiro’s Steak House owner Barry Sharkawi is elected president of the High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce. Marigold’s Joanne Miller accepts the position of vice-chair.
June 27, 2018: A new clock is erected in the Civic Square at a cost of $14,400, not including installation. It was paid for by the High Prairie Sesquicentennial Committee.
June 30, 2018: Long-time Town of High Prairie employee Redford Arlidge passes away. He worked for the town for over 40 years.

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