2018 Year In Review – July – September


July 1, 2018: Huge crowds attend Canada Day festivities in High Prairie, Triangle, Kinuso and Joussard.
July 3, 2018: Driftpile resident Billy-Ray Belcourt’s book This Wound is a World is nominated for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry.
July 3, 2018: Dale Harrison stops on his way through High Prairie to promote a revival of the Northern Woods and Water Route.
July 4, 2018: Sam Laboucan, of Atikameg, is named to the Olds College women’s volleyball team.
July 5, 2018: Big Lakes County issues a new release saying that pale yellow iris is confirmed found in the county.
July 8, 2018: Chief and council officially open the Whitefish Lake First Nation Children’s Park.
July 10, 2018: High Prairie town council wonders why Big Lakes County chose Slave Lake as the location of a meeting for a new economic development group, citing most of the proposed partners are closer to High Prairie.
July 11, 2018: South Peace News reports Brenda Allen-Derkoch and Garrett Thomlinson are the first two candidates for the United Conservative Party in Lesser Slave Lake.
July 11, 2018: South Peace News features Maria Miller’s trip to Africa. Miller visited Malawi as part of a University of Lethbridge team to promote health. Miller is a recreational therapist at J.B. Wood Continuing Care.
July 11, 2018: South Peace News reports HPSD announces a slew of appointments including: Julia Drefs as supervisor of curriculum; Brennan McDonald as supervisor of inclusion; Diane Bellerose as Indigenous support lead; Treva Emter as Asst/Supt. of human resources; Kim Corless as principal at High Prairie Elementary School; Spencer Smith as principal at High Prairie Elementary School; Linda Green as principal at Kinuso School; and Paula Taylor as principal at Prairie River Junior High School.
July 11, 2018: South Peace News reports on the closure of Sunset Cottage Guesthouse after 24 years due to owners’ health.
July 16, 2018: The ongoing case of Charles Edward Bleakley resumes in High Prairie provincial court with a new strategy: he may not be responsible for his actions. An assessment is ordered. It was the 13th time Bleakley appeared in court on charges stemming from a high-speed chase near Kinuso March 8, 2017.
July 16, 2018: South Peace News wins its 86th AWNA/CCNA award after the paper places third for Best Front Page in its circulation category in CCNA awards judging.
July 17, 2018: William Francis Gladue pleads guilty to six charges in High Prairie provincial court, in part to spare the female victim the indignity of a trial. He is jailed for 254 days.
July 17, 2018: A man dies in an accident at an intersection north of McLennan. Police do not release his name.
July 18, 2018: Pleasantview Lodge hosts a garden party, featuring a fashion show using the lodge’s residents and staff.
July 18, 2018: Burgers for Cancer raises $6,200 for the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. The event is hosted by the Josh Halverson family.
July 18-22, 2018: High Prairie’s Lynn Smith wins the Ladies 1 Alberta Women’s Trap Singles title in Edmonton.
July 19, 2018: The Alberta Debt Clock visits town telling people that the provincial debt now stands at $45.6 billion. The clock is funded by the Alberta Taxpayers’ Federation.
July 19, 2018: Sucker Creek First Nation opens $40,000 Serenidy Park in honour of one of its late children, who loved to play. The same day, the Book Project is also launched.
July 20, 1018: More bad news for local farmers as the invasive week woolly burdock is found at the Heart River waste transfer site.
July 20, 2018: Willy and Kristie Gordon celebrate the official grand opening of Shady Orchard Winery east of High Prairie.
July 20, 2018: Kerry Gardner accepts the $1,000 High Prairie BPO Memorial Scholarship from the Elks.
July 20-22, 2018: The High Prairie Peewee Rebels win the Alberta Peewee A Tier 2 baseball title in Beaumont. The team, coached by Deen Flett, wins four straight games to win the title.
July 21, 2018: Alberta Parks mascot Bertie the Beaver celebrates his birthday at Parks Day at Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park. The Native Cultural Arts Museum at Grouard joins the celebration with activities.
July 24, 2018: High Prairie town council agrees to spend $6,000 to hire Municipal Experts to give the town a new look. The current look is getting stale, they say.
July 24, 2018: High Prairie town council agrees written reports to council are no longer required, but still encouraged.
July 24, 2018: High Prairie town council hears from resident Andy Bruneau that stray cats are a problem after he is bitten and scratched.
July 24, 2018: High Prairie town Councillor Michael Long lashes out at Northern Lakes College and HPSD after hearing there are no plans to revive the Integrated NLC Campus. Long said NLC and HPSD “made their own mess” regarding the proposed project.
July 24, 2018: Former HP RCMP member Doug Buchta passes away at the age of 68 years in Grande Prairie. He served the RCMP over 30 years.
July 25, 2018: South Peace News reports three young women are competing for the title of 2018 Elks Pro Rodeo Queen: Reann Cardinal, Hayley Cox, and Sarah Neill. Neill eventually wins the title.
July 25, 2018: Big Lakes County proposes a speed limit reduction to 50 km/hr from 80 km/hr along Peace River Avenue near Red Sky Developments.
July 25, 2018: Big Lakes County presents the Farm Family Award to the Dwayne Pollack family of Big Meadow.
July 26, 2018: Financially troubled Carillion Canada is out as the highway maintenance contractor for the High Prairie area, and replaced by Emcon Services.
July 26-29, 2018: The Pioneer Threshermans Association hosts the Hoedown Jamboree at Triangle. Over 30 bands perform and almost 150 RVs camp at the site.
July 28, 2018: The Great Benjamin Circus performs at the Sports Palace. Over a dozen acts entertain a crowd of over 200.
July 29, 2018: A Fort Saskatchewan man, 55, dies in a motor vehicle accident 130 km northeast of High Prairie. His name is not released, no charges considered.
July 31, 2018: The Enilda & District Society for Recreation and Culture wins Best General Entry at the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Parade.
July 31, 2018: Victory Life Church revives the pancake breakfast held the first day of the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Parade.
July 31-Aug. 1, 2018: An Indigenous camp is added to activities at the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo – the first time in about 50 years. Called the Teaty 8 Tipi Camp, participants were from Driftpile, Sucker Creek, Whitefish and Atikameg.
July 31, 2018: A McLennan man, 48, dies following a single-vehicle rollover near Grouard. His name is not released, no charges are considered.
July 31, 2018: Sarah Neill is crowned 2018 High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen.
July 31, 2018: High Prairie Medical Clinic owners plan to file an appeal after losing a court case with Alberta Health Services. Court ruled that AHS can deny sponsorship of foreign doctors in any clinic if the need is not proven.


Aug. 1, 2018: South Peace News gives editor Chris Clegg a cake marking his 30 years of service to the newspaper.
Aug. 1, 2018: Jamie Mearon, of Peavine, wins the annual High Prairie Elks ATV Raffle. He chooses a 2018 Honda Pioneer 700 4 Deluxe ATV as his prize.
Aug. 2, 2018: Northern Lakes College announces the demolition of its current site on the east side of town, and announces a temporary move to the old Caisse Horizon Credit Union building.
Aug. 4-5, 2018: Rae-Anne Gill completes the Canadian Death Race at Grande Cache in 22:33.59.4 seconds to win the Solo Female Division. The course covers 125 km through a plateau and three mountain passes.
Aug. 5, 2018: Joe Strychalski passes away at the age of 56 years. He worked at Turbo and Buchanan Lumber.
Aug. 6, 2018: Paving of the Sports Palace parking lot and areas east to the town office begin at a cost of about $331,000.
Aug. 6, 2018: Former High Prairie resident George Cameron Scott Parke passes away in Vancouver at the age of 49 years. He worked as a ranchhand and cook.
Aug. 7-10, 2018: The Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation pays a visit to Driftpile for a baseball camp. Foundation members Cody Brandt and Alex Mohamed lead youth in baseball drills.
Aug. 8, 2018: Several thousand dollars worth of clothing is stolen during a theft at Heberts Motor Sports. General manager David Ayles estimates items stolen value $3,000.
Aug. 8, 2018: Big Lakes County passes a policy were water connection fees are now the same across the entire county.
Aug. 8, 2018: Enilda resident Donald Bissell is recognized for his 40+ years of fire service. He receives a medal and certificate.
Aug. 9, 2018: About 240 people attend the High Prairie Municipal Library’s Penny Carnival.
Aug. 9, 2018: Vince Cunningham, George Dashkewytch and Brian Bliss win the Sir George Bennett Seniors’ Golf Championship at the High Prairie Golf Course. Cunningham wins in the Men’s 50-59 Flight, Dashkewytch wins in the Men’s 60-69 Flight, and Bliss in the Men’s 70 Plus Flight. Judy Hamelin wins in the Women’s 50-59 Flight and Hazel Laboucan in the Women’s 60-69 Flight.
Aug. 10-11. 2018: A truck is stripped of its tires while parked on 51 Avenue and 48 Street in High Prairie. Police were asking the public’s help for clues.
Aug. 10-12, 2018: The High Prairie Dolphins qualify 47 swimmers for Provincials, a club record, at the conclusion of the Peace Regional Swim Meet.
Aug. 13, 2018: Thieves attempt to steal two safes at Kinuso Family Foods by ramming their truck into the store. Thieves later ditch the truck and burn it.
Aug. 14, 2018: The Lesser Slave Lake North Country Community Association donates $2,000 to the High Prairie Municipal Library.
Aug. 14, 2018: Tolko Industries donates $1,000 to the High Prairie Municipal Library.
Aug. 17, 2018: St. Anne’s Church in Joussard receives a renovated steeple.
Aug. 16-17, 2018: The Driftpile Lady Rebels win gold medals at the Alberta Indigenous Games in Edmonton. After losing their first game, the Rebels win six straight games to win the title.
Aug. 17-19, 2018: High Prairie Dolphin Celine Troster wins five medals at the Alberta Summer Swimming Championships in Edmonton in the girl’s 18 years and over division. In all, Dolphins win seven medals.
Aug. 18-19, 2018: Jordan Relling wins the men’s title and Judy Hamelin the women’s title at the High Prairie Open Golf Tournament. Relling shoots a 36-hole total of 143 while Hamelin shoots 176.
Aug. 21, 2018: Preliminary plans to develop the old Esso lot into a park [green space] are presented at High Prairie town council’s meeting. The plan involves very little cost. Council heard from the public they did not want taxpayers’ money used to develop private property.
Aug. 21, 2018: Tolko Industries donates $10,000 to the High Prairie and District Children’s Resource Council to buy playground equipment at the Tot Park.
Aug. 21, 2018: High Prairie town council names five citizens to its rebranding committee including John Fleming, Misty Gaudet, Sandy McDonald, Tina Ostermeier and Jennifer Zatko.
Aug. 21, 2018: For the second time in two months, planters containing flowers are overturned and damaged at the High Prairie Municipal Library.
Aug. 21, 2018: High Prairie town council denies a request for $10,000 in funding from the Smoky Ski Hill citing other priorities.
Aug. 21-24, 2018: Seven High Prairie and area seniors win medals at the Canada 55+ Games in Saint John, N.B. Evelyn Lesiuk wins a gold medal in Ladies Doubles Darts, 65 Years and Under. Her partner was Linda Stevenson of Camrose. Lesiuk teamed with her husband, Bill, to win gold in Mixed Doubles Darts, 65 Years and Under. Evelyn also won a third medal – a bronze – in Ladies Singles Darts, 65 Years and Under. The husband and wife team of Robert and Janet Lemay wins bronze medals in Doubles Cribbage, 65 Years and Under. The cards, as well as strategy, also fall right for Blayne Rubbelke and Don McDonald, who win silver medals in Duplicate Bridge. Frank Tries wins four medals in track and field events in the 80 Years Plus category. Tries wins gold in shot put, gold in discus, silver in long jump, and silver in javelin.
Aug. 22, 2018: South Peace News reports three applications are received by the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission for cannabis stores in the High Prairie region.
Aug. 22, 2018: A suspect robs the High Prairie Liquor Depot of an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is caught on tape.
Aug. 22, 2018: The speed limit is reduced along Joussard’s Peace River Avenue near Red Sky to 50 km/hr from 80 km/hr.
Aug. 25, 2018: Daniel Kosak delivers the valedictorian’s address as 19 students graduate Grade 12 at St. Andrew’s School.
Aug. 26, 2018: Bernie Poloz wins Marigold Enterprises’ Mini-Golf Tournament.
Aug. 29, 2018: South Peace News reports that Kapawe’no Chief Frank T. Halcrow receives an award from the Aboriginal Role Models of Alberta for being the longest serving chief in Alberta.
Aug. 31, 2018: Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larviee presents a $24,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program grant to the High Prairie and District Museum to help pay for facility upgrades including repair and replacement of the walls.
Aug. 31, 2018: Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larviee presents a $17,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program grant to the High Prairie Repertoire Dance Society to purchase studio equipment.


Sept. 1-2, 2018: Dave Burrows places first in the Alberta Open – Men’s B Division to win the High Prairie Horseshoe Tournament held at the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre.
Sept. 2-3, 2018: The Edson team of Christopher See and Clarence See win $33,600 after placing first at the Golden Walleye Classic at Shaw’s Point on Lesser Slave Lake.
Sept. 4, 2018: Alberta Culture and Tourism gives a $40,000 grant to Big Lakes County under the Destination Development Support program, to hire a consultant to conduct a visitor-friendly assessment to boost tourism.
Sept. 5, 2018: Johann Hohensinn [Hanselbauer] passes away at the age of 81 years.
Sept. 7, 2018: Big Lakes County cuts the ribbon to officially open a new water pump station at Kinuso. Along with the new reservoir, the project cost $5.2 million.
Sept. 10, 2018: Another piece of High Prairie’s history comes tumbling down when the old Alberta Forestry building is demolished. For years, it was the home of the Northern Lakes College campus.
Sept. 10, 2018: Two men charged in connection of the death of Ryan Joseph Ellefson on July 29, 2017 plead guilty in High Prairie provincial court to manslaughter. Dakota C. Anderson, of Gift Lake, and Jesse Prestly Laboucan, of Atikameg, request a Gladue report. Anderson’s sentencing is set over to Nov. 22 while Laboucan will be sentenced Dec. 11.
Sept. 10, 2018: Cole Harvey Hansen is sent to jail for 20 months for robbing and beating two elderly women on Nov. 7, 2016. Credited for 337 days already served in custody, Hansen only has 97 days left to serve.
Sept. 10, 2018: Police say arson is the cause of a fire at a rural property at Prairie Echo. Two buildings and a farm tractor are torched.
Sept. 11, 2018: High Prairie town council decides to name one of its crescents in Cornerstone Tolko Crescent after noting the company built four houses in the area.
Sept. 12, 2018: South Peace News reports High Prairie Church of the Nazarene Pastor Brian Gilroy saying the Community Gospel Sing is cancelled after a four-year run.
Sept. 12, 2018: South Peace News reports on Enilda Mud Bowl’s 35th anniversary. The first night of league bowing was Sept. 12, 1983.
Sept. 12, 2018: The High Prairie Health Care Auxiliary holds its first donor fair to highlight the equipment they purchased for the High Prairie Hospital.
Sept. 12, 2028: Big Lakes County establishes a Service Bursary designed to encourage local students to return to the region to work after post-secondary schooling.
Sept. 17, 2018: Charles Edward Bleakley is deemed fit to stand trial after an appearance in High Prairie provincial court. Bleakley led police on a high-speed chase near Kinuso March 8, 2017.
Sept. 17, 2018: Surprising no one, Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee is nominated to carry the NDP banner in the next provincial election at a meeting in Slave Lake. She is uncontested.
Sept. 21, 2018: Elsie Clara Ducharme passes away at the age of 77 years.
Sept. 22, 2018: An appreciation night is held for Dr. Robin Laughlin, recognizing his decades of service to the region. Laughlin writes a letter to South Peace News saying he was “humbled” by the tribute.
Sept. 24, 2018: Police quickly find a youth suspect who threatened students and staff at St. Andrew’s School.
Sept. 24, 2018: Northern Lakes College breaks ground on a new consolidated campus in the town’s east end. Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee is one of four to turn the sod.
Sept. 24, 2018: Former High Prairie RCMP officer Anita Lee Doktor pleads guilty in High Prairie provincial court to impaired driving. Sentencing is set for Feb. 12.
Sept. 25, 2018: HPSD introduces a new system for student progress reports.
Sept. 26, 2018: South Peace News publishes a sign noting the lower speed limit to 60 km/hr from 80 km/hr between 38 Street by the High Prairie RV Park.
Sept. 26, 2018: South Peace News publishes a story on efforts to save the historic leather mural made by former resident Elsbeth Schween in the old hospital.
Sept. 26, 2018: South Peace News reports the Spirit River Rangers are organizing to rejoin the NPHL; however, the bid is never submitted.
Sept. 26, 2018: The NPHL holds its fall meeting in Fairview. Seven teams enter the league for the coming season: Dawson Creek, Falher, Fort St. John, Grande Prairie, Grimshaw, High Prairie and Manning.
Sept. 27, 2018: The High Prairie Municipal Library wins the Peace Library System’s Excellence in Public Library Programs and Services Award.
Sept. 27, 2018: ATB Financial holds an open house to celebrate its 80th anniversary with refreshments. The High Prairie branch opened in 1938.
Sept. 30, 2018: Judy Gladue passes away at the age of 62 years. She worked at AVC in Grouard for 30 years.

Share this post

Post Comment