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Friday, April 1, 2016

Live fire on lake

Canadian Armed Forces reservists will taking part in live fire training about 12 kilometres south of Dettah on Great Slave Lake near Inner Island on Saturday, according to a advisory from Maj. Jay Tarzwell of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. The shooting toward the southwest will take place from dawn into the afternoon.

The notice states sentries will watch for traffic and if someone approaches, firing will stop. Warning signs have also been posted.

It's the fifth year for the training on a shotgun and machine gun range.

- Shane Magee

Automated pay system ends

The city's automated telephone service which allowed residents to pay utility bills and parking tickets is no longer operational, according news release posted to the city's website on March 24.

Jeff Dalley, the city's director of corporate services, stated in an e-mail Interactive Voice Response System "is no longer supported by a vendor and there is not a feasible replacement available at this time."

According to the city website, residents can pay money owed for utilities or parking tickets using the Pingstreet application, online through their bank or in person. There is also an after-hours drop box located outside city hall.

- Evan Kiyoshi French

Third anti-poverty roundtable held

Representatives from aboriginal governments, communities, non-government organizations and the business community met for the closing sessions of the third anti-poverty roundtable yesterday, according to a news release. The session, at the Explorer Hotel, focused on the five pillars of a strategic framework geared toward the elimination of poverty in the territory, called Building on the Strengths of Northerners.

- Evan Kiyoshi French

50/50 winner announced

Evelyn Gah walked away with approximately $3,500 after the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre's first 50/50 draw which brought in $7,000 on Sunday. NACC sold around 2,120 tickets for the draw, according to Treena Riles, manager of finance and administration. She said the centre's next 50/50 will most likely be in September but nothing has been solidified.

- Jessica Phillips

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Acho Dene negotiations resume

Acho Dene Koe First Nation representatives were in Fort Liard on March 22 and 23 to work with members on treaty implementation and lands selection, according to community newsletter The Fort Times.

Among them were Rob Diaz, treaty and lands consultant; lawyer Bob Reiter and lands co-ordinator Alex Fanni.

During their visit, they held a public meeting to update members on the negotiations process.

The meeting came one month after the band's treaty negotiation team returned from Ottawa, where they met with federal and territorial negotiators.

The meeting marked the first one of its kind since the mid-2015 elections that saw community members turn out to vote for federal, territorial and municipal leaders, according to the newsletter.

During the meeting, negotiators developed a 2016-17 work plan outlining objectives for the year. Details of that plan were not available at press time.

Mackenzie Valley winter roads on notice

The Department of Transportation issued a notice at 2 p.m. on March 28 that the Mackenzie Valley winter road system would close within 72 hours.

The road could close sooner depending on weather.

Temperatures in Fort Simpson peaked on March 28 at 11 C.

Fort Providence hit 8 C the same day, while Fort Liard soared to 15.2 C, according to the Government of Canada's weather monitoring site.

Trout Lake and Nahanni Butte enjoyed warm weather throughout the weekend and temperatures were expected to reach 15 C on March 29.

In Wrigley, temperatures peaked at 12 C on March 28.

Temperatures for all communities are expected to cool later in the week.

Tourism sector grows

The territorial government released statistics on the 2014-15 tourism season on March 21.

2014-15 saw 20,000 more tourists than in 2010-11 and an increase in visitor spending to $146.6 million from $94.1 million.

Although visitation was eight per cent lower than in 2013-14, tourism spending rose 11 per cent.

The number of visitors who came to the territory to see the Aurora Borealis rose 28 per cent and fishing also proved to be a continued draw for tourists with 4,272 fishers visiting the territory.

In total, hunters spent $7.1 million in 2014-15, while outdoor adventurers spent $6 million and people visiting friends and relatives spent $12 million.

Sign culprit sentenced

An 18-year-old man from Sachs Harbour pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the defacing of a Town of Inuvik sign last September and received a suspended sentence.

Territorial court heard March 22 that the teen said he had been drunk when he spray painted his initials on the sign.

Defence attorney Peter Harte said his client had no previous criminal record and had originally been diverted to restorative justice, but ended up back before the courts when he didn't complete the process.

The youth was released on conditions, which included a six-month probation period, 60 hours of community service, and having to write an apology to the town.

The graffiti on the sign in September caused something of a stir in the community, and prompted citizens to clean it off themselves instead of waiting for a public works crew to take care of it.

"Stupidity goes to criminality pretty quickly," said Judge Michel Bourassa, warning the youth that he would be back before a judge if he did not comply with the conditions.

Students on Ice recruiting

Students On Ice, an organization that seeks to connect youth with Arctic issues by taking them out on the ice, is looking for more people to get involved.

"The goal is to educate youth around the world about the importance of the Polar Regions, support their continued growth and inspire and catalyze initiatives that contribute to global sustainability," said spokesperson Ashley Brasfield. "We do this by connecting youth to each other, the land, culture, and the opportunities and challenges facing the Arctic. Key areas of learning are Truth and Reconciliation through cross-cultural sharing and learning among a diverse group of youth and staff, ocean conservation and climate change."

This year, there are 100 scholarships on offer, 35 of them destined for Northern youth. There are also scholarships offered by the likes of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), WWF-Canada, and Oceans North Canada specifically for Inuit youth.

This year, 120 students from across the North and around the world will take a two-week trip exploring the Eastern Canadian Arctic and Western Greenland July 21 to Aug. 5. The deadline to apply is April 1.

Charges stayed

Charges of theft against well-known property owner Talal Khatib were stayed at territorial court in Inuvik, March 22.

Crown prosecutor Wendy Miller told the Drum issues had arisen with some of the witness testimony.

"When I spoke to a couple of the witnesses today, some of the information was different from what I had understood," Miller said March 22.

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