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Deschambault Lake man charged in murder of Stanley Mission woman PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 16:10

Melinda Gladys Charles.

A Deschambault Lake man has been charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a human body in the recent killing of a Stanley Mission woman.

Forty-seven-year-old Melinda Gladys Charles was initially reported missing last Thursday after last being seen in the Deschambault Lake area.

On Monday, RCMP reported that she had been found dead and that her death was considered suspicious.

Mounties have now arrested 44-year-old Daniel Moses Ballantyne in connection to her death.

Police say they knew each other.

Ballantyne is scheduled to make his first court appearance tomorrow morning in La Ronge.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March 2017 16:13
Cultural room at Shellbrook health centre dedicated to Mistawasis baby PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:59

Ayden's mother Melanie Badger and Matt Matheson. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski.

Family members say a Mistawasis baby made a huge impact in his short life.

Melanie Badger's son Ayden died at only two months old in February of 2016, and the family's efforts to honour his body with a smudging ceremony in the Cultural Room at Shellbrook’s Parkland Integrated Health Centre revealed a lack of cultural understanding.

“That’s what we do with our loved ones when they’re gone. We smudge them so we know that their spirit is going to a good place,” said Ayden’s great-aunt Esther Badger, who was with the baby when he was taken to hospital after becoming unresponsive at his Mistawasis home.

Nurses and staff tried to keep them from taking the baby to the cultural room, Esther said, which led to anger and hurt while they were grieving their loss.

They were eventually able to smudge, and Esther said after apologies were offered there are no remaining hard feelings.

There have been big changes since then: the centre's cultural room has been renovated and is called “Ayden's Room” in his honour.

Melanie, who has two other children and is currently pregnant, said she's proud of Ayden.

“I can’t believe he was with us for only eight weeks and two days, and he accomplished lots. I’m so very proud of him, and with this room opening in his name, I’m still just trying to wrap my head around it. It’s unbelievable,” she said.

On Thursday, the room was blessed with a pipe ceremony and special program at the health centre.

The ceremony came after discussions between the family, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations special investigations unit, and Prince Albert Parkland Health Region to make sure cultural practices are understood and respected in the future.

"Creator knew, because this is creator's will, knew that this was what was going to come about, was that there was going to be an opportunity for healing," said FSIN Vice-Chief Kim Jonathan.

Health region CEO Cecile Hunt said the changes “ensure we can better meet the spiritual needs of the communities that we serve" because spirituality is part of being well cared for under the healthcare system.”

The dedication ceremony was a tear-filled one for Esther, who said her emotions were driven by "How proud (Ayden) must be of us. How proud our people we lost must be … and how proud our people today that are walking today," she said.

“His feet never touched the ground but he caused a lot of thunder.”

She said she believes there should be a room in all hospitals to accommodate people of all cultures as they take part in spiritual practices.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March 2017 15:39
25 Prince Albert police officers trained to administer lifesaving anti-overdose drug PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 13:51

Inspector Jonathan Bergen on March 30, 2017. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski.

A drug that prevents overdose deaths is gaining ground in Prince Albert.

On Thursday, the city's police announced 25 police officers have completed training to administer Naloxone, a medication that reverses the life-threatening effects of opioid overdoses. Now, both police and the fire department are equipped with the nasal spray version of Naloxone.

Naloxone has been introduced across the country to specifically address fentanyl, a highly potent drug which is increasingly being laced into other drugs and causing fatalities.

According to current data, the only fentanyl-related death occurred in Prince Albert in 2015. This number is dwarfed by the approximately 100 such deaths in Vancouver in 2016.

"Locally, fentanyl is not as much of a crisis here now. I mean, in saying that, of course the drug distribution from inter-province can happen at any time. But in our own local community we would probably see more dilaudid, morphine, hydromorphone, those types of opioids being used," said Brett Enns, Vice-President of primary and community services for the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region.

He said Naloxone can be used for any type of opioid overdose, and there are 100 kits available for self-identified high risk opioid drug users who would receive similar training to what the police officers received. Currently, about 15 have been distributed.

Prince Albert police say they made the move now because they wanted to ensure they were acting in line with other police services.

Inspector Jonathan Bergen said not only are they protecting the public, they're protecting emergency personnel and officers who could possibly come into contact with drug.

Among those, are Prince Albert's two canine officers.

"We respond for them as well, so we worked with the veterinarian who provided kits and some training and instruction to our dog handlers in the event that they experience an overdose at any time," Bergen said.

He pointed out there was a major fentanyl seizure in the city in the past year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March 2017 13:57
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