2018 Year In Review – January – March

January

Jan. 1, 2018: High Prairie RCMP Sgt. George Cameron reports a quiet Christmas. Just two reports of impaired driver occurred from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.
Jan. 1, 2018: The Little Smoky Ski Hill opens for the season. Poor weather caused the late opening.
Jan. 1, 2018: Sirgey Szybunia passes away at the age of 89 years. He was a long-time farmer.
Jan. 1, 2018: Merilyn Merle Radcliffe passes away at the age of 72 years at the High Prairie Hospital after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Jan. 3, 2018: John McDermott starts his job as Big Lakes County fire chief.
Jan. 5, 2018: Repairs to the outside wall of the High Prairie Museum begin. The wall was damaged due to water.
Jan. 10, 2018: Big Lakes County decides to postpone a controversial public hearing on sea cans in hamlets until Feb. 14. The county did not meet advertising requirements set out in the Municipal Government Act.
Jan. 10, 2018: Big Lakes County denies the Big Meadow Community Hall Association a grant for missing the application deadline. The association was asking for $8,120 to repair the hall’s roof.
Jan. 10, 2018: Town of High Prairie fire chief Ken Melnyk says the biggest problem facing the department is false alarms.
Jan. 10, 2018: South Peace News features in the impact of the new Alberta carbon tax on business and industry.
Jan. 10, 2018: Big Lakes County gives $5,000 to In the Woods Animal Rescue to assist with food, supplies and vet care expenses.
Jan. 11, 2018: Chester Alan Perry passes away at the age of 73 years after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He worked for AGT for many years.
Jan. 13, 2018: The High Prairie Zirka Dancers perform at Guy at their annual Ukrainian dinner.
Jan. 12, 2018: High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright writes in an e-mail to South Peace News that the dog handler will start in town in a few weeks. However, the handler never arrives.
Jan. 15, 2018: The 60th anniversary of the grand opening of the Sports Palace occurs with no fanfare or celebration.
Jan. 19-20, 2018: The E.W. Pratt junior varsity men’s basketball team wins bronze medals at a tournament in La Crete.
Jan. 20, 2018: Carson Porisky and invited guests enjoy a traditional Ukrainian supper and a special performance by the Zirka Dancers. Porisky was the winner of the raffle and won the prize.
Jan. 22, 2018: A High Prairie RCMP raid results in five people, aged 18 to 72 years, being charged with drug related crimes. Among the items seized are 50 grams of prepackaged cocaine and cash.
Jan. 22, 2018: Vernon Wayne Laboucan, 30, of Wabasca, is sent to jail for 40 days for assault after admitting to punching his mother.
Jan. 23, 2018: High Prairie town council approves a $435,000 upgrade for the Evergreen Reservoir.
Jan. 24, 2018: South Peace News reports the Tolko re-opening is rated the top story of 2017 by the newspaper’s readers.
Jan. 24, 2018: South Peace News reports the annual Triangle Demolition Derby is on shaky ground due to lack of volunteers.
Jan. 24, 2018: South Peace News reports High Prairie citizens Aaron Klassen and John Paddon begin pitching an idea to build a recreational and cultural multiplex. Meetings are held throughout the year but fizzle by year’s end.
Jan. 24, 2018: Big Lakes County is updated on the cleanup at the Faust Osmose site at its meeting by Alberta Environment and Parks.
Jan. 26-27, 2018: The St. Andrew’s Saints win the girl’s title and the Grande Prairie Peace Wapiti Titans the boy’s title at the PRJH Rim Rocker Basketball Tournament.
Jan. 26-28, 2018: Elaine Muceniuk’s Valleyview rink wins the High Prairie Ladies Bonspiel after defeating Kay Savill 6-3 in the A Event final. Rita Lapensee’s Falher rink wins the B Event and Marilyn Stevens’ High Prairie rink the C Event.
Jan. 28, 2018: Rick Cleaver of Fort St. John and Braden Gamble of Manning are named co-winners of the NPHL MVP Award. High Prairie’s Jacob Anderson is named to the East Division All-Star Team at left wing and Al Anderson on defence. Jacob Anderson also wins NPHL Rookie-of-the-Year honours.
Jan. 30, 2018: High Prairie Councillor Donna Deynaka suggests to council they send no one to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Halifax May 31 to June 3.
Jan. 30, 2018: High Prairie Councillor Brian Gilroy’s suggestion to place $14,000 in a downtown revitalization fund is shunned by council.
Jan. 30, 2018: The High Prairie Regals whip the visiting Grimshaw Huskies 9-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the NPHL East Division Semi-Final.
Jan. 31, 2018: Northern Lakes College hosts an information session to reveal plans for its consolidated campus.
Jan. 31, 2018: High Prairie RCMP report they have identified a suspect in the attempted burning of two buildings Aug. 15, 2017. Christopher A. Trindle, is later charged and convicted later in the year.
Jan. 31, 2018: Yvonne L. Savill passes away at the age of 76 years from cancer.


February

Feb. 1, 2018: The visiting High Prairie Regals lose 7-5 to the Grimshaw Huskies to tie the NPHL East Division Semi-Final 1-1.
Feb. 2-3, 2018: Al Butterfield’s rink wins the Town and Country Bonspiel after defeating Jesse Smith 7-5 in the A Event final. Brenda Anderson wins the B Event, Lisa Zabolotniuk the C Event and Peter Blacha the D Event.
Feb. 3, 2018: A curling oddity occurs in the A Event final at the Town and Country Bonspiel between Al Butterfield and Jesse Smith. When Smith throws his last rock in the final end, all 15 rocks are in play.
Feb. 3, 2018: The High Prairie Regals outgun the visiting Grimshaw Huskies 9-6 to take a 2-1 lead in the NPHL East Division Semi-Final.
Feb. 5, 2018: Willy and Kristie Gordon open Shady Orchard Winery east of High Prairie at their farm.
Feb. 6, 2018: The visiting High Prairie Regals take a 3-2 lead in the East Division Semi-Final after an 8-7 win over the Grimshaw Huskies.
Feb. 7, 2018: South Peace News reports High Prairie is in the midst of a residential real estate boom. In 2017, 46 residential properties were sold.
Feb. 7, 2018: The annual dog show at Pleasantview Lodge attracts 20 dogs and a lot of smiles from residents.
Feb. 7, 2018: Marie Christine Savill passes away at the age of 77 years. She worked in various service organizations, and was a tireless volunteer in many capacities.
Feb. 8, 2018: The hometown High Prairie Regals win the NPHL East Division Semi-Final in five games after defeating the Grimshaw Huskies 9-7. The Regals advance to meet the Falher Pirates.
Feb. 12, 2018: A St. Andrew’s School student is charged with one count of uttering threats and one count of public mischief after a bomb threat at the school.
Feb. 13, 2018: High Prairie town council increases its support for the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo. They agree to give $1,500 for fireworks plus about $7,500 in in-kind work.
Feb. 14, 2018: South Peace News reports on a proposed splash park project for High Prairie. Aquatic director Gayla Arams says requests for the facility are rising.
Feb. 14, 2018: South Peace News reports usage at the High Prairie Food Bank decreases in 2017. Co-ordinator Kim Dumont says requests for hampers were down, probably to an improved economy.
Feb. 14, 2018: Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard suggests rotating the annual county barbecue. He hears staff put in a lot of time to prepare for the barbecue, and though possible, it might be more difficult.
Feb. 14, 2018: Big Lakes County makes its bylaw officer a permanent position.
Feb. 15, 2018: The High Prairie Regals are blasted 9-4 at Falher in the first game of their NPHL East Division Final.
Feb. 16, 2018: Alex Kushner passes away at the age of 84 years. He farmed for 54 years north of High Prairie.
Feb. 17, 2018: The visiting Falher Pirates take a 2-0 lead in their NPHL East Division final series against the High Prairie Regals after winning 9-3.
Feb. 17, 2018: United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney visits Slave Lake and promises to scrap the carbon tax.
Feb. 17, 2018: The Lesser Slave Watershed Council and the Joussard Community Association hold an ice fishing session on Lesser Slave Lake to teach children and youth about responsible angling.
Feb. 18, 2018: Nola Kit wins $2,340 and top prize at the High Prairie Elks Snowmobile Rally.
Feb. 20, 2018: The High Prairie Regals are defeated 8-7 at Falher to fall behind 3-0 in the NPHL East Division Final.
Feb. 21, 2018: A PRJH School student is charged with uttering threats and causing mischief after a bomb threat is received.
Feb. 22, 2018: The Business Support Network holds its first morning session, but only four people attend.
Feb. 22, 2018: The hometown High Prairie Regals avoid the sweep with a 9-4 win in the fourth game of their NPHL East Division Final. Falher still leads the series 3-1.
Feb. 23-24, 2018: The St. Andrew’s Saints girl’s basketball team concludes a perfect season after winning the Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League tournament in Slave Lake. The Saints defeat PRJH 40-32 in the final.
Feb. 23-24, 2018: The PRJH Raiders boy’s basketball team wins their 10th Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League title at the league tournament in Slave Lake. PRJH defeats the Donnelly G.P Vanier Vipers 64-44 in the final.
Feb. 24, 2018: The visiting High Prairie Regals outgun the Falher Pirates 10-8 to close the gap to 3-2 in their NPHL East Division Final.
Feb. 24, 2018: Volunteers gather at Pleasantview Lodge to make 413 apple pies to sell as a fundraiser for the Pleasantview Lodge Seniors’ Auxiliary.
Feb. 24, 2018: Five athletes from the High Prairie Gymnastics Club win medals in Fairview including Brielle Kit, Taylor Saitz, Jaiden Barton, Sharlee Samuelson and Amy Syniak.
Feb. 25, 2018: The first meeting is held to begin planning for a splash park at Jaycee Park.
Feb. 26, 2018: Darin Lloyd Auger, 47, of Grouard, pleads guilty in High Prairie provincial court to uttering a forged document in Edmonton. Court hears Auger tried to cash a forged cheque, but fled the store. His mistake, however, was leaving his personal ID at the store.
Feb. 27, 2018: The hometown High Prairie Regals are ousted from the NPHL playoffs after losing 11-4 to the Falher Pirates, who win the NPHL East Division Final series 4-1. Falher advances to play the Fort St. John Flyers in the NPHL final.
Feb. 27, 2018: Bobby Jones is presented with a pair of High Prairie Regals sweaters in thanks for his support of the team.
Feb. 28, 2018: South Peace News publishes photos of High Prairie’s Quinn Sekulich at the Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Sekulich was the speed and strength coach for Bobsleigh Canada and shared gold medal Olympic glory.
Feb. 28. 2018: South Peace News reports the annual Demolition Derby is cancelled. Triangle PTA president Henry Nyberg says lack of volunteers is the reason.
Feb. 28, 2018: Farmers will not be required to acquire sea can permits, Big Lakes County decides. Under the first draft bylaw, all people in the county would be required.
Feb. 28, 2018: The case of a High Prairie area man charged with sexual assault will not proceed, decides the Crown prosecutor. The man’s mental capacity was questioned during an assessment to determine if he was criminally responsible.


March

March 2, 2018: Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee presents a cheque for $31,087 to the High Prairie Royal Canadian Legion for upgrades to the hall. The money comes from the Community Facility Enhancement Program grant.
March 2-3, 2018: Mark Zahacy wins the High Prairie Men’s Bonspiel after defeating Al Butterfield 6-3 in the A Event final. David Marx wins the B Event and Bernie Poloz the C Event.
March 3, 2018: A grader collides with a freight train just east of High Prairie. No one is injured.
March 3, 2018: Stella Sware is chosen as the Honourary Baba at the Zabava celebration.
March 3, 2018: The E.W. Pratt Chargers men’s basketball team wins the HPSD title in Slave Lake after blasting the Slave Lake St. Francis Falcons 110-42.
March 3, 2018: The E.W. Pratt Lady Chargers basketball team wins the HPSD title in Slave Lake after defeating the Donnelly G.P. Vanier Vipers 39-4.
March 6, 2018: Gerald Millett applies for a cannabis licence at Kinuso.
March 7, 2018: The High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce forms a committee to take steps to revitalize a program similar to the Welcome Wagon.
March 9-10, 2018: The E.W. Pratt High School women’s and men’s basketball teams each win bronze medals at zones in Peace River.
March 11, 2018: Bev DeWinter passes away at the age of 86 years at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre. She taught for many years in High Prairie.
March 13, 2018: High Prairie town council agrees to clear a portion of the walking trails at Jaycee Park for the coming winter, provided public works staff are not too busy with other duties.
March 14, 2018: South Peace News reports the Business Support Network is on life support after a March 22 meeting is cancelled.
March 14, 2018: Anna Gordon is named Top Junior High Overall winner and Carley Cox the Top Overall Elementary winner at the St. Andrew’s School Oratorical competition.
March 15, 2018: CX Energy Services agrees to donate $1,500 a year for three years to the High Prairie Municipal Library to cover costs in its after-school programs.
March 15-17, 2018: The High Prairie Atom A Warriors win one of three games at the Alberta Atom A Provincials in Whitecourt.
March 15-17, 2018: The High Prairie Sunstone Energy Bantam Thunder lose all four games at the Alberta Bantam B Provincials in Rocky Mountain House.
March 16-17, 2018: The St. Andrew’s Saints girl’s junior high school basketball team wins bronze medals at the 2J Zones in Fairview after defeating the host Fairview Cobras in the bronze medal game.
March 17, 2018: The High Prairie Figure Skating Club holds its annual Ice Carnival. The theme is “A Night With Disney”.
March 17, 2018: ATB Financial holds a fundraiser for the High Prairie Food Bank. The bank hosts a free viewing at the theatre and asks for a donation.
March 21, 2018: An incident at the indoor pool nearly costs a little girl her life, but quick thinking by staff save her.
March 22-23, 2018: PRJH students Brayley Emter and Amara Drefs win Best in Fair at the Peace Country Regional Science Fair in Peace River for their project 3R–Value. The award earns the girls a trip to the National Science Fair in Ottawa.
March 22, 2018: Kay Savill’s rink wins the High Prairie Ladies League title after defeating Joanne Baird 9-0 in the A Event final. Lisa Zabolotniuk wins the B Event and Marilyn Stevens the C Event.
March 22, 2018: Local politicians are dismayed after learning no money is set aside in the Alberta budget for demolition of the old hospital.
March 22, 2018: Marczyk Stake and Lath is awarded the 2018 Metis Nation of Alberta Entrepreneur-of-the-Year award for Region 5.
March 22-25, 2018: The High Prairie Midget Legionnaires win gold medals at the Alberta Midget B Provincials in Wetaskiwin. The club wins six straight games to win the title, including a 4-2 win over Barrhead in the final.
March 22-25, 2018: The High Prairie Midget Female B team fails to win a medal at the Alberta Midget B Female Provincials in Lac la Biche.
March 23-25, 2018: Bernie Poloz skips his rink to a record 19th win at the High Prairie Mixed Bonspiel after defeating Andrea Eaton 7-6 in the A Event Final. Hugh Anderson wins the B Event and Al Butterfield the C Event.
March 26, 2018: Tolko Industries is granted a $4 million tax credit by the Alberta government to help restart its High Prairie mill. The grant is provided under the Capital Investment Tax Credit.
March 26, 2018: Big Lakes County issues a news release informing the public it has received an Excellence Award from Economic Developers of Alberta.
March 27, 2018: High Prairie town council grants free rent to the High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce for an office in the Civic Building.
March 27, 2018: Mark Zahacy’s rink wins the High Prairie Men’s League title after defeating Bert Daly 7-1 in the A Event final. Zale Zabolotniuk wins the B Event and Bernie Poloz the C Event.
March 27, 2018: Bernie Poloz’s rink wins the High Prairie Mixed League title after defeating Al Butterfield 5-4 in the A Event final. Hugh Anderson wins the B Event and John Chapman the C Event.
March 28, 2018: Big Lakes County Reeve Ken Matthews stands alone in opposing a new grants policy saying it is too complicated and asks too much of volunteers.
March 29-April 1, 2018: The Whitefish Lake Lakers win the Ladies title, the Whitefish Lake Oilers the Men’s title, and the Sucker Creek Capitals the Legends title, at the Treaty 8 First Nations Cup in High Prairie.

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