2018 Year In Review – October – December


Oct. 2, 2018: Whitefish Lake First Nation turns sod on its new $2.3 million community hall.
Oct. 3, 2018: South Peace News reports Dakota Frederick Ouellette, 23, is charged with robbery at the High Prairie Liquor Depot Aug. 22.
Oct. 3, 2018: South Peace News reports in its HPE School News that the Grade 4-6s are starting a choir.
Oct. 3, 2018: South Peace News reports in its Joussard School News that their beloved tipi is restored.
Oct. 3, 2018: High Prairie RCMP are busy investigating a theft at the Bell store in town. A lone male breaks the front window but flees before taking any merchandise.
Oct. 4, 2018: Over 100 attend the annual Sisters in Spirit Walk at the High Prairie Native Friendship Centre.
Oct. 4, 2018: The High Prairie Renegades football team suspends operations. Lack of commitment from players, health and safety concerns are cited.
Oct. 10, 2018: South Peace News reports on the arrival of Dr. Gleam Singh Gill, who joins the High Prairie Health and Wellness Clinic.
Oct. 10, 2018: Big Lakes County presents a cheque for $15,000 to the High Prairie and District Health Foundation. The money was raised at the Big Lakes Charity Golf Tournament Aug. 16. Cheques of $5,000 are also presented to the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Oct. 10, 2018: Elementary students from area schools take part in a Farm Safety session at the High Prairie Agriplex.
Oct. 10, 2018: Big Lakes County rolls out its 12-passenger 2018 Ford Starcraft Allstar to begin its transportation program.
Oct. 12-13, 2018: The St. Andrew’s Saints girl’s volleyball team defeats the Fort Vermilion Falcons 28-26, 25-21 in the final to win the Josh Halverson Volleyball Tournament at PRJH School. In boy’s action, the Donnelly G.P Vanier Vipers win the title.
Oct. 13, 2018: Ray Prevost wins the Builder-of-the-Year Award from the Alberta Horseshoe Pitchers Association. South Peace News reporter Richard Freose wins his second straight Media Award from the same association.
Oct. 17, 2018: South Peace News reports on the efforts of High Prairie town council and Big Lakes County in passing bylaws for cannabis users. Cannabis was set to become legal Oct. 17.
Oct. 18, 2018: The High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce decides to write High Prairie town council with plans and financial support of $35,000 for downtown revitalization.
Oct. 20, 2018: The High Prairie & Area Chamber of Commerce holds its Small Business Gala. Keynote speaker Christopher Hall, of Alberta Business Builders, speaks on business success planning. Awards are presented to several businesses in various categories.
Oct. 20, 2018: The High Prairie Outlaws win their first game in franchise history after destroying the hometown Grande Prairie Raiders 64-0. It is also the first-ever win for the High Prairie & Area Football Society. The senior Renegades were also winless in their history.
Oct. 21-22, 2018: The High Prairie Quilt Guild holds its annual show and sale. Attendance is down due to a late harvest. High Prairie resident Linda Koesveld wins the annual raffle of a queen-size quilt.
Oct. 22, 2018: A psychiatric assessment for Christoper A. Trindle deems him criminally responsible for setting fires to two High Prairie businesses Aug. 15, 2017. The case is put over to Nov. 19 for possible resolution.
Oct. 22, 2018: Loretta L. Bigcharles is sent to prison for two years after pleading guilty in High Prairie provincial court to trafficking meth.
Oct. 23, 2018: Big Lakes County elects Joussard Councillor Richard Simard as its new reeve.
Oct. 23, 2018: South Peace News launches NPHL.com.
Oct. 23, 2018: Joe Peacock passes away at the age of 43 years.
Oct. 27, 2018: The St. Andrew’s Saints junior high school girl’s volleyball team retains its HPSD title after defeating Slave Lake Christian 25-18, 25-11 in the final. The Slave Lake boy’s team wins, however, defeating PRJH 25-15, 14-25, 15-11 in the final.
Oct. 30, 2018: Nancy Sloat is sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing $75,102 from the Faust Community League. She served as a volunteer bookkeeper from Jan. 1, 2015 to Nov. 15, 2017.
Oct. 31, 2018: PRJH students collect 320 pounds of food during their Tricks for Eats Drive, which is donated to the High Prairie & District Food Bank.


Nov. 1, 2018: St. Mark’s Anglican Church holds an All Saints Memorial Day service at the cemetery. About 15 attend.
Nov. 3, 2018: The High Prairie Regals lose their NPHL opener 5-2 at Manning marking the ninth straight year the club begins the season with a loss.
Nov. 5, 2018: High Prairie RCMP arrest two men on various property crimes involving guns, drugs, stolen vehicles and break and enters. Facing numerous charges are Kehew Bellerose, 24, and Scott Parker, 25.
Nov. 5, 2018: Louisa Parke passes away at the age of 97 years. She loved family, gardening, flowers and cooking.
Nov. 6, 2018: RCMP arrest two people after a firearms theft at Kinuso Merchantile earlier in the day. The arrests are made at Barrhead.
Nov. 7-9, 2018: Schools in High Prairie host Rocks and Rings, an indoor curling game designed to introduce students to the sport.
Nov. 8, 2018: The annual Ukrainian Baba’s Supper is held at the Edmo Peyre Hall.
Nov. 8, 2018: Kathleen Elizabeth Randall passes away at the age of 101 years. She worked as a registered nurse for many years.
Nov. 8, 2018: Three youths working at Smitty’s Restaurant are charged with theft under $5,000 after police investigate a break and enter.
Nov. 11, 2018: High Prairie and area residents again pack the Legion Hall for the Remembrance Day service. Former High Prairie Elementary School student Ilona Drefs reads her award-winning poem during the service.
Nov. 13, 2018: The Buchanan Family Foundation donates $240,000 to the High Prairie Healthcare Auxiliary.
Nov. 14, 2018: Joussard School News reports a duck was found outside in the cold. It is taken to the school and later given to a family for safe keeping.
Nov. 14, 2018: South Peace News reports half of area businesses surveyed plan to downsize. The survey was conducted by Big Lakes County.
Nov. 14, 2018: South Peace News reports Big Lakes County has launched its Business Supports Program to help grow and bolster business in the region. Joyce Stokes is hired as business resources advisor.
Nov. 14, 2018: United Conservative Party candidate for Lesser Slave Lake, Garrett Thomlinson, drops out of the race to support Pat Rehn, who eventually wins.
Nov. 14, 2018: Kapawe’no First Nation and the Government of Canada sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Advancing Self-Determination. The agreement sets in motion steps toward self-government.
Nov. 14, 2108: Big Lakes County decides to proceed with its charity golf tournament in 2019. Earlier, council was considering not holding the event.
Nov. 14, 2108: Big Lakes County decides to assume interim ownership of the outdoor skating rink at Grouard, after hearing of the collapse of the Grouard Community Association.
Nov. 14, 2108: Big Lakes County decides to proceed to tender on designs for the Triangle area water line project. A truck fill is not included in the design. At the same time, Grouard water, sewer extensions are proposed.
Nov. 22, 2018: Two men charged in connection of the death of Ryan Joseph Ellefson on July 29, 2017 appear in court for sentencing on manslaughter charges. Dakota C. Anderson, of Gift Lake, and Jesse Prestly Laboucan, of Atikameg, instead have the matter put over until Jan. 31, 2019 by Judge D.R. Shynkar.
Nov. 23, 2018: The Golden Walleye Classic Committee donates $5,000 to the High Prairie Volunteer Fire Department for its help in running the annual fishing tournament.
Nov. 25, 2018: Pat Rehn wins the United Conservative Party nomination for Lesser Slave Lake. Numbers are not announced, but Rehn wins decisively as a second vote is not required.
Nov. 25, 2018: Cassidy Hannah Davies-Hunt passes away at the age of 10 years after battling a long illness. Her brave effort in battling her disease was an inspiration to all.
Nov. 27, 2018: High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright tells High Prairie town council that efforts will be made to revive Citizens on Patrol in 2018.
Nov. 28, 2018: South Peace News reports in the HPE School News that over $2,000 is raised at the school’s annual book fair.
Nov. 28, 2018: South Peace News reports in the HPE School News that teacher Magalie Frechette wins the Pierre and Madeleine Monod French Language Award for teaching the previous week.
Nov. 28, 2018: Freezing rain in the South Peace causes very slippery roads. A traffic jam is caused on Highway 679 between McLennan and High Prairie after vehicles get stuck trying to drive up an icy hill.
Nov. 28, 2018: Big Lakes County agrees to hire an intern after hearing their application was approved under Alberta Municipal Affairs’ Community Partnership Program.
Nov. 29, 2018: Big Lakes County announces it is promoting Jordan Panasiuk to CAO effective Jan. 8, 2019.
Nov. 30, 2018: Lynn Herben is awarded a Lifetime Membership in the High Prairie Community Beautification Association for her past work and dedication.
Nov. 30, 2018: High Prairie Light-Up attracts over 1,000 people to the Civic Square. The Santa Claus Parade is the largest ever, and outdoor games are hosted by Alberta Health Services for the first time. A Celebrity Chili Cookoff at Victory Life Church and an outdoor road hockey game involving the RCMP and Elks Rodeo Queens current and past highlight the evening.


Dec. 3, 2018: Trash collection changes in High Prairie with the new service provided by Green for Life Environmental. Huge plastic garbage containers are provided to households to place trash bags inside.
Dec. 3, 2018: Viola Sylver Grey, 27, is sent to prison for two years plus one day after pleading guilty to her role in a crash that injured two. Grey was driving a vehicle in 2016 that rolled several times.
Dec. 3, 2018: Local Metis Settlements take part in a celebration in Edmonton marking the 80th anniversary of Metis Settlements in Alberta.
Dec. 4-5, 2018: The Festival of Trees Committee holds the Festival of Trees at the High Prairie Hospital. Santa visits both nights, and those attending are given refreshments to enjoy while looking at the trees.
Dec. 5, 2018: South Peace News reports the High Prairie Regional Aquatic Centre wins two Red Cross awards: the Partnership in Humanity Citation Award, and the Top Training Partner Award.
Dec. 7, 2018: St. Mark’s Anglican Church holds its annual Nativity Celebration. It is the 14th year the celebration is held.
Dec. 10, 2018: Councillor Michael Long calls the Town of High Prairie’s budget meeting “an exercise in futility” after hearing the recreation department does not have its budget ready. All other departments submitted budgets on time.
Dec. 10, 2018: High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk notes council will have to increase its budget by about 12 per cent if they approve all the spending requests.
Dec. 12, 2018: A long-standing dispute between the Town of High Prairie and Cox Contractors is settled. Town council agrees to buy all land near the tennis courts as part of the deal.
Dec. 12, 2018: South Peace News reports Big Lakes FCSS manager Louise Myre is retiring effective Dec. 28.
Dec. 12, 2018: George Keay attends a Big Lakes County meeting asking for support for renal dialysis service. He says now is the time to lobby with a provincial election in the spring. Council appoints Ken Matthews and Ann Stewart to help with the lobby.
Dec. 12, 2018: Big Lakes County supports the forest industry in its lobby to secure grant money to fight the mountain pine beetle.
Dec. 12, 2018: Big Lakes County debates hiring a climate change officer to its staff.
Dec. 13, 2018: The Marten Hills Forest Management Agreement is signed, securing harvesting for 20 years. Tolko Industries, West Fraser Mills Ltd. and Vanderwell Contractors say the agreement will secure jobs.
Dec. 14, 2018: Grade 5-6 students at St. Andrew’s School make 25 bags to give to residents at the Sucker Creek Emergency Women’s Shelter.
Dec. 15, 2018: Few people attend the Yellow Vest Movement in town at the old Esso lot, but those attending vow to keep raising awareness of the campaign. Supporters cite the growing federal and provincial debts, and carbon tax as issues.
Dec. 15, 2018: The PRJH boy’s basketball team wins the Rim Rocker Tournament at PRJH after defeating Grande Prairie Peace-Wapiti 77-66 in the final. In girl’s play, Peace-Wapiti defeats the St. Andrew’s Saints 33-29.
Dec. 18, 2018: Christopher A. Trindle walks out of custody a free man after pleading guilty to two counts of arson. Trindle received one year in jail but Judge G.W. Paul deems that the six months served is enough, and frees him. Trindle was charged after burning two vehicles and nearly destroying the Collett Building and Pin Cushion Boutique on Aug. 15, 2017.
Dec. 19, 2018: Holy Family Catholic Regional Division appoints St. Andrew’s School teacher Stewart McIntyre as acting vice principal.
Dec. 20, 2018: High Prairie Health Complex staff hold a retirement farewell for site manager Olive Sonico, who retired Dec. 29.
Dec. 22, 2018: The High Prairie Regals lose at home 5-4 in overtime to the visiting Manning Comets. It is the club’s 14th straight loss to start the season.
Dec. 22, 2018: A second Yellow Vest Movement demonstration occurs in town on consecutive Saturdays. Supporters cite the growing federal and provincial debts, and carbon tax as issues.
Dec. 27, 2018: After 14 straight losses to open the season, the High Prairie Regals defeat the Grimshaw Huskies 10-7.
Dec. 30, 2018: After being cancelled earlier in the year, the Gospel Sing returns for a final performance at the High Prairie Church of the Nazarene.

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