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News Briefs: Friday, December 30, 2011

Police to watch for drivers on the phone

A new law banning the use of hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle is coming into effect across the NWT on New Year's Day.

The ban, which was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Aug. 23, will see drivers caught using a cellphone or other hand-held device receive a $100 fine, plus a 15-per-cent victim of crime surcharge and three demerit points on the motorist's driver's licence.

- Laura Busch

Crews working to open ice roads

As construction crews work to open the Dettah ice road, the Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be patient and wait for the road to be officially opened before heading out.

"At this time of the year, as construction of the ice roads continues, people have to be concerned not just about their own safety but for the safety of the construction crews," said department spokesperson Earl Blacklock. "We take very seriously anything that puts them in jeopardy and obviously anybody driving on a road that is under construction is putting highway crews in danger and that is unacceptable."

- Laura Busch

Top awards announced by prospectors group

Two Yellowknife organizations are being honoured by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. The Yellowknife Mine Training Society and the NUNA Group of Companies will be given 2012 awards from the association for "outstanding contributions to and excellence in the minerals industry."

The mine training society received the 2012 Special Achievement Award and the NUNA Group has won the 2012 Skookum Jim Award for Aboriginal Achievement. The two are among seven mining industry organizations that will be honoured at the association's awards evening on March 5 in Toronto.

- Thandiwe Vela

Tidy sum raised at winter book sale

More than $1,500 was raised at the recent Yellowknife Public Library winter book sale.

The sale, organized by the library and non-profit organization the Friends of Yellowknife Public Library, took place from Dec. 15 to 18 in the library meeting room. The final tally of money raised was $1,577.

- Thandiwe Vela