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News Briefs: Friday, September 2, 2011

Range Lake candidate announced

Beaton MacKenzie announced on Wednesday he's running in the Oct. 3 territorial election for the riding of Range Lake.

MacKenzie, 57, has been a teacher at Sir John Franklin High School for 32 years and this is MacKenzie's third attempt at election to the NWT's legislative assembly. Shoppers Drug Mart owner Daryl Dolynny is also running in Range Lake.

- Terrence McEachern

FSC Architects purchased

FSC Architects and Engineers is being purchased by North American design firm Stantec.

Stantec announced plans to acquire the Yellowknife-based consulting firm in a Thursday news release.

The architecture and engineering company, founded in 1976, has more than 70 employees in Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Iqaluit, and Edmonton, and is behind projects in Yellowknife including the legislative assembly building and most recently signed on to work on construction plans and design of the $6 million Betty House.

- Thandie Vela

Government opens data centre

The GNWT officially cut the ribbon on a new data centre on the corner of Old Airport Road and Byrne Road on Aug. 26.

The facility is meant to support specialized digital information systems and applications such as video conferencing, electronic records and database systems, according to a government press release. It also contains sophisticated back-up systems.

The design and construction aspects of the project came in at $12,182,000, and, the whole project stayed in its $13 million budget, according to Jhillian Adams, spokesperson for corporate services in the Department of Public Works.

- Heather Lange

Student awarded for Northern research

A PhD student at Carleton University in Ottawa has been given a prestigious, $40,000 award for research he has conducted on rare-earth minerals near Blachford Lake.

Thomas Mumford, 28, received the W. Garfield Weston Award of Northern Research.

The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies honoured Mumford with this award at the beginning of August as part of the Canadian Northern Studies Trust awards program.

- Heather Lange

News Briefs: Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bear trap tampering

Authorities are warning Fort Simpson residents for their own safety not to tamper with bear traps.

On Aug. 27, a resident alerted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that a trap placed near the golf course on Antoine Drive had been tripped. Staff discovered the trap was closed and there were bear droppings inside but no bear, said Carl Lafferty, the department's regional superintendent.

Someone must have released the bear either late Friday night or early Saturday morning, he said. Lafferty said whoever let the animal out was very lucky.

"That's a really good way to get mauled," he said.

The department ideally uses two people every time they release a bear in case something goes wrong. Lafferty said from now on, the department will be more discrete about where it places traps.

School starts in Fort Simpson

To mark the beginning of the school year, Bompas Elementary School and Thomas Simpson School are holding two events open to the public.

On Sept. 2, Thomas Simpson School is holding its annual corn boil at noon. Community members can look forward to corn on the cob and hotdogs. On Sept. 6, both schools are holding a joint fire feeding ceremony at Thomas Simpson School at 11 a.m.

Soccer tour

Soccer instruction is being offered in two Deh Cho communities early this month.

As part of its role model tour program, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is bringing staff from Challenger Sports to both Fort Liard and Fort Simpson.

The tour will be in Fort Liard from Sept. 6 to 7 with sessions being offered to youth ages 12 and under from 3:30 to 5 p.m. both days and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for youth ages 13 and older. The tour will begin in Fort Simpson on Sept. 8 at Thomas Simpson School and spread to Bompas Elementary School the following day. On those days, evenings sessions will be held for junior high students.

Saturday will be broken up into three sessions with participants divided by age groups. Matches will follow in the evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tungsten mine earnings

North American Tungsten Corporation Ltd. that operates the Cantung Mine has filed its third quarter results.

The company had net earnings of $1.3 million compared to a net loss of $7.7 million in its second quarter. The company also increased its concentrate production to 74,652 metric tonne units from 43,727.

Wildlife office in Inuvik

The World Wildlife Federation, a conservation organization, has opened an office in Inuvik so it can actively participate in the management of the Beaufort Sea, through the Beaufort Sea Partnership.

The federation hopes to share and contribute to scientific and traditional knowledge from across the Arctic in the planning process for sustainable development of the Beaufort Sea.

The office is staffed by Dan Slavik, who has more than four years experience conducting research in the Arctic on Inuvialuit knowledge of polar bears.

The office is located on the second floor of the Aurora Research Institute. An open house will be held on Sept. 13 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Nomination period for election

The candidate nomination period opens on Sept. 5 for the NWT territorial election.

Anyone over the age of 18 who is a Canadian citizen and who has lived in the NWT for the past 12 months can be a candidate to become a member of the legislative assembly.

Nomination packages are available from the returning officer in each electoral district. Prospective candidates do not need to live in the electoral district in which they are running. Candidates seeking nomination need the support of 15 eligible voters who reside in the electoral district the person is running in.

Completed nomination papers and a deposit of $200 must be submitted to the returning officer and forms must be submitted in person.

Candidates have until 2 p.m. on Sept. 9 to hand in their nominations.

Inuvik Heritage Festival

On Sept. 10, the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex will host the Inuvik Heritage Festival, which will celebrate the backgrounds of cultural groups in the community.

Representatives from the Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, Filipino, French Association, African, the Middle Eastern communities and those from other parts of Canada will showcase the best of food and fashion from their cultures between 1 and 7 p.m. Thoughout the day, there will also be cultural performances.

The event will be held in the curling rink. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Tony Devlin or attend the planning meeting on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex.

Registers for programs

The Midnight Sun Recreation Complex will hold a registration night for community organizations such as figure skating and hockey organizations. Anyone looking to sign up or get more information can visit the complex on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.