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News Briefs: Friday, May 4, 2012
Phone disruption

Some Yellowknife cellphone customers were without service for much of Thursday, which Telus spokesperson Catherine Peters said was due to a "problem with a Telus cable that Bell rents space on."

"It was the performance of the link between Yellowknife and Edmonton that was degraded but that has been fixed," she said at 5 p.m. Thursday. Services were being restored by about 3 p.m. Thursday.

Although NorthwesTel doesn't provide cellphone service in Yellowknife, the disruption affected some long distance and Interac services. NorthwesTel runs equipment on the line owned by Telus.

"We're a customer of Bell on that line. It was causing congestion on the long distance. It wasn't a total outage, which is why it's hard to pin down how many customers it affected," said Emily Younker, communications manager at NorthwesTel.

- Katherine Hudson

Marijuana march

Yellowknifers are invited to join residents in more than 300 cities worldwide in protest against marijuana laws by participating in the 2012 Global Marijuana March Saturday. The march begins at 2 p.m. from the Somba K'e parking lot at 49 Avenue and 53 Street.

Participants are encouraged to show up at 1:30 p.m. to get signs and stickers, said organizer Kim MacNearney, who emphasized that smoking marijuana will not be permitted during the march.

- Kevin Allerston

Library closed Sundays

The Yellowknife Public Library is now closed Sundays until Oct. 7. But there are still plenty of activities for people wishing to spend time curled up with a book or two.

Drop-in programs featuring stories, rhymes, songs and crafts reopened on May 1 for toddlers and children. Toddler Time is for children aged 18 to 36 months and is Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Story Time runs Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. and is for children aged three to five years.

- Danielle Sachs

Volunteer honoured

Diane Viske was honoured late last month for six years of service on the city's grant review committee.

Viske's long-standing contributions as a volunteer were recognized at the April 23 city council meeting. The committee acts as an adviser on the distribution of special grant funding and the annual review of core funding for programs.

- Danielle Sachs

News Briefs: Thursday, May 3, 2012

Election for Liidlii Kue First Nation

Liidlii Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson will be holding an election this spring. The nomination period for the election of chief and council will open on May 14 and close on June 1. The advance poll will be held on June 5.

The election itself will take place on June 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Flood watch begins in Fort Liard

Flood preparations have begun in Fort Liard

The hamlet's fire and emergency services department started a flood watch on May 1. During the watch, the Liard River will be monitored continuously. It is particularly important to watch the water levels at night in case they start to rise quickly, said John McKee, the hamlet's senior administrative officer.

The hamlet's emergency response committee also met on May 1 to review the relevant procedures and the hamlet's emergency response plan, McKee said.

Cultural camp in Fort Liard

Echo Dene School is preparing for its spring culture camp.

The camp will be held from May 7 to 11. All grades will participate in the camp during the periods that they would normally attend Slavey class.

The camp will be held in the schoolyard in Fort Liard. On May 11, the school will be combining its annual Mother's Day lunch with the camp.

Centre offers activities in Jean Marie River

The Youth and Elders Centre in Jean Marie River has a full slate of events for the spring.

Sewing circles will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. with everyone welcome to attend.

Baking nights will be held during the same time period on Tuesdays.

On Thursdays, games will be played either inside or outside depending on the weather, said Jennifer Kraus, the community's recreation co-ordinator.

Fort Liard students to build bird boxes

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers' Energy in Action program will be coming to Echo Dene School in Fort Liard.

The energy literacy program is designed to teach students about oil and natural gas resources and the importance of environmental stewardship. On May 31, students in grades 4, 5 and 6 will be participating in the program.

During the day, students will listen to presentations, have a luncheon and build bird boxes.

Highway closure

Inuvik roads are currently connected to the south by the last remaining ice bridges in the territories, but that's expected to change this weekend, said a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation.

The highway is expected to be closed Sunday, though the closure could come earlier depending on the amount of overflow seeping from below the ice onto the crossings, said Earl Blacklock on Tuesday. Until the highway is closed, motorists on the Dempster Highway are urged to use caution while crossing the river.

"There is water on the surface now it's slippery, it's rough. People need to slow right down," he said.

Over the last five years the highway has averaged a spring closing date of May 3, and is generally out for about one month before ferry service is restored.

Inuvialuit payments coming

All Inuvialuit beneficiaries can expect a modest cash injection around May 11, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has announced. Each of the 4,174 beneficiaries enrolled in the Inuvialuit Trust will receive distribution payments of $483.68 on or around that date, the IRC stated in a press release. Beneficiaries in Inuvik can pick the payments up at the Inuvik Community Corporation office, said Peggy Jay, director of benficiaries and community relations at the IRC.

Super Soccer

A team of Inuvik youth are in Yellowknife this week for the annual Senior Super Soccer championship.

Samuel Hearne Secondary School sent a co-ed team to compete in the senior boys' division of the tournament, said coach Maia Lepage. They left yesterday and are scheduled to return on Sunday, or Monday if they make the semi-finals.

The team has been training in the recreation centre to try to get used to playing indoor soccer, but the Astroturf that makes up the pitches in the Yellowknife Fieldhouse is bound to present a challenge to Inuvik players, said Lepage.

Youth from Sir Alexander Mackenzie School travelled to the capital city to participate in the Junior Super Soccer Championship last week, though no word on their results was available as of press time.

Shedding pounds

Need some inspiration to help lose the winter weight and get back to a healthier lifestyle?

Inuvik is having its own "biggest loser" contest, beginning today, May 3. The contest will run for eight weeks, until June 28, and the winner is the person who loses the most weight.

The best way to become involved is to attend the contest's first meeting at 6 p.m. in the foyer at Aurora College, according to the event's Facebook group.