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Provincial fire ban ends PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:27

The fire in view on Aug. 29. Photo courtesy Facebook, Vanessa Linklater-McCallum.

With rainfall in many areas, the ban on open fires for all provincial Crown land south of the Churchill River, has now ended.

There are now no active provincial fire bans in Saskatchewan.

Campfire restrictions remain in place for Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and the Cypress Lake Recreation Site, as extreme dry conditions remain in that area.

Some municipalities, regional and national parks may still have their own burning restrictions in place.

Between April 1 and October 3, fires in or within 4.5 kilometres of the provincial forest require a burn notification number, which is available free from your nearest Forest Protection Area office.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:33
Red Earth males sentenced in grisly 2015 beating death PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:12

A photo used in Dion Head’s obituary. Photo courtesy yourlifemoments.ca

Two fall trials for the beating death of Red Earth Cree Nation’s Dion Head have been cancelled, as the two accused have both entered guilty pleas to manslaughter.

Ernest McKay, 22, and a male youth were initially charged with murder in the July 2015 death of Head, who was 42 at the time, but entered pleas to manslaughter and were sentenced earlier this year.

McKay received a life sentence with no parole for seven years, which is “significant,” said Crown prosecutor Tom Healey, and is the main reason he and defence were able to come to a joint submission in the case. The youth, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, received the maximum youth sentence of seven years with four of those to be served in intensive custody and three to be served in the community.

The agreed statement of facts in the case is grisly, and recounts Head drinking with the youth and McKay at his home before McKay and Head got into an argument. The facts state that, unprovoked, McKay sucker punched Head and knocked him out, then dragged him to his bedroom before beating him further. One of the two offenders then grabbed a mallet and Ernest beat his head and upper body, “stopping to rest only when he was tired,” the facts state, with the youth joining in later.

“At no time did Dion regain consciousness after initially being knocked unconscious by Ernest,” the facts state, and rather than calling for medical attention, the two offenders instead used shampoo and towels to try to clean Head and then stole a total of $15 cash and a few buckets of home brew before leaving.

Healey said alcohol was a significant factor in the killing. Neither McKay or the youth were granted bail before the sentencing.

At the first court appearance for the offenders, Head’s aunt Charlene said Dion was a quiet, friendly man who kept to himself. Charlene was joined by well over a dozen people who sobbed openly at that first appearance, and said addiction is a troubling issue in her community.

Healing is needed for all those involved, but the issue of funding to deal with the social issues on the First Nation hurts that process, Charlene said at that time.

“Sure they’ll do their time, the process will go, justice will be served. But what about the after? What about the ones that are in jail right now? What do we do with them? They’re hurting too and there’s family at home hurting.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:24
Northern Saskatchewan well represented at ABEX Awards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 11:29

Chief Tammy Cook-Searson with her honorary degree. Photo courtesy Tammy Cook-Searson, Facebook

The 2017 ABEX Awards are coming up on October 21, and two leaders from northern Saskatchewan will headline the award recipients.

The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce hands out the ABEX Awards every year as a way to honour businesses and leaders who have helped add to province both economically and socially.

Lac la Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson will be receiving the first-ever ABEX Community Leader of the Year Award. This award is given to someone who has made a positive contribution to the community through volunteerism and philanthropy.

"It is a pleasure to award Chief Tammy Cook-Searson the ABEX Community Leader of the Year Award," said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce in a media release. "The commitment she has to her communities and her exemplary professional life is an inspiration to the people of this province."

Chief Cook-Searson was the first woman elected to lead the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and is currently in her second term.

This year's ABEX Awards will also see Athabasca Basin Development CEO Geoff Gay receive the award for Business Leader of the Year. Gay has been with the Indigenous-owned northern economic development firm since 1998.

"The work he has done and continues to do in northern Saskatchewan is truly remarkable," said McLellan. "Saskatchewan has – and will – continue to benefit from his efforts."

The chamber also previously announced that AREVA will enter the ABEX Hall of Fame.

The ABEX awards take place in Saskatoon on October 21.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 11:44
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