Recent History – 2003
Hill praises Borek rescue
Prince George-Peace River MP Jay Hill acknowledged a recent Arctic rescue mission by Kenn Borek Air at a sitting in the House of Commons.
“I rise today to pay a very special tribute to Kenn Borek Air and its founder,” Hill said in his statement.
“Kenn Borek was a true pioneer from my riding,” Hill said. “Twenty-three years ago he had the vision to launch a small charter airline in addition to his very successful oilpatch construction company and his farm in Dawson Creek, B.C.
“Yesterday, we learned of yet another daring rescue of a British adventurer off the North Pole. Congratulations to the two flight crews,” Hill said.
Merchants bag meters themselves
A group of local merchants thumbed their nose at city council’s decision to leave parking meters in the downtown core.
Plastic bags found their way on top of meters throughout downtown, complete with stickers saying parking was free on a trial basis. The move was started by Ken Graham of Community Printers in reaction to a decision by city council to not remove the meters even on a trial basis.
“I thought I’d start the protest and see what (city hall’s) move was,” Graham said, adding that there were no tickets handed out at the bagged meters yet.
“I think the meter man might have been on holidays.”
Meters in front of Community Printers, Audio Connections, Software Emporium and Perfect Images were bagged on the weekend. On the bags were stickers printed by Graham saying the bags were for a six-month trial period and that if a person parked at the meters gets a ticket then the store manager would pick up the tab.
“(Nearly) 95 per cent of the merchants had been in favour of (removing the meters on a trial basis),” Graham said. “City Hall went against those merchants.”
Aircraft program to take off
Northern Lights College’s Dawson Creek Campus announced a $2 million cash injection to make its Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program the destination for students from throughout B.C. Currently, the program brings in $50,000 a month to Dawson Creek with 45 to 50 students attending the regular program at any given time, said school principal Bob Davidson.
“We used to be a small northern player in this,” he said. “As of today we became a major player in the B.C. aerospace training industry.”
The money would make the local campus the finishing school for students enrolled in aircraft maintenance engineering students from around the province.
RCMP raid suspected gambling operation
RCMP led away at least one suspect in handcuffs following a raid at a suspected video lottery terminal operation in Dawson Creek.
RCMP obtained and executed a search warrant at a building which had been operating as a suspected gaming house, said local RCMP.
The crackdown was part of an investigation into illegal gambling in Dawson Creek.
A number of items were seized including video gambling machines, cash and other items related to the investigation.
Paperboy helps save home from fire
Eight-year-old Ryan Alexander had quite the first day of work.
The Sunday Regional carrier was walking his first paper route for the first time Saturday, when he heard something strange and ominous coming from a home while dropping off a paper — a smoke alarm.
“I smelled smoke,” he said.
Alexander went running home to tell his mom, and with her in tow, the pair rushed back to the house, but only after calling 9-1-1 and telling the fire department what he discovered.
Meters’ fate sealed, says Dahlen
A new recommendation to city council virtually sealed the fate of downtown parking meters, said Mayor Wayne Dahlen.
The recommendation would see a six-month memoratorium on downtown parking meters in favour of a two-hour parking limit. If the plan made it through the moratorium and council approved two-hour parking downtown, the meters would be then sold for needed monitoring equipment.
When asked if the new motion will prompt the removal of the meters on a trial basis, Dahlen responded with firm, “yes.”
“I feel quite confident,” Dahlen said. “This will send a positive message that we’re in times of change.
“This will send a message that council is interested in our city as open for business.”
RCMP recover $100,000 in missing ATVs
Dawson Creek and Fort St. John RCMP recovered $100,000 worth of missing ATVs and snow machines in a raid.
Drug Unit officers from north of the Peace River assisted local officers in executing the warrant that netted a bevy of stolen vehicles at a residence on 8 Street North in Dawson Creek.
Among the stolen vehicles recovered were six all-terrain vehicles and four snow machines.
Ducks cause collision
A group of ducks crossing Highway 97 caused a pair of fifth wheels to collide.
RCMP said the driver of the first fifth wheel, travelling to Alaska from Texas, had stopped to allow a group of ducks to cross the road.
The driver of the second fifth wheel, also from Texas and travelling to Alaska, slammed into the back end of the first fifth wheel and then veered off into a water-filled ditch.
The driver and passenger of the second fifth wheel both were taken to the Chetwynd Hospital with minor injuries and later released.
No one in the first fifth wheel was injured in the collision.
Dahlen credits Lekstrom’s efforts in securing road improvements
Dawson Creek Mayor Wayne Dahlen gave credit to his predecessor after the provincial government announced more than $47 million for South Peace roads.
Dahlen said work done by MLA and former city mayor Blair Lekstrom has been the driving force behind several road projects in the region including the South Taylor Hill and a reconstruction of 8th Street from the traffic circle to the Alberta Border.
“I have to give credit where credit is due,” Dahlen said, making note of Lekstrom’s work on the project along with the B.C. Minister of Highways.
“They heard the concerns and acted on those concerns.”
The city’s role in the reconstruction of 8th Street is to build new curbs from the traffic circle up to Fynn’s corner where a new intersection will go in, directing traffic through town, into the new Wal-Mart development and along the dangerous goods route.
NHA prepares for nursing crunch
Northern Health Authority was talking about recruiting.
Nearly half of the Northern Health Authority’s nurses will be retired or approaching retirement in the next decade, prompting the need for a heavy recruiting drive according the organization’s 2003/2004 budget.
Of the NHA’s 1,665 registered nurses, the authority said nearly half of them, 800, are 45 years old or older. The authority expects many will be of retirement age within the next 10 years, prompting the need for an action plan to recruit new nurses to the NHA.
“We will be in a better position to ensure we continue providing high quality care to the residents of the north,” said NHA board chair Harry Gairns.
Salvation Army captains move on
Duty has called, and the Haggetts answered.
After only two years in Dawson Creek, Salvation Army Capts. Barry and Gail Haggett were again on the move. The couple had hoped to remain in Dawson Creek over the long term, but said they were ready to take on a new posting in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The transfer may have had something to do with Barry’s expertise – he managed a construction company for 10 years, and successfully got Dawson Creek’s Salvation Army Thrift Store back up and running.
Capts. Roger and Francie Lee arrive in Dawson Creek shortly after the Haggetts’ departure to continue the church organization’s work.
Council votes to bag parking meters
Mayor Wayne Dahlen called it a historic day.
Council approved a two-hour parking zone in front of downtown businesses on a six-month trial basis.
“Thank God,” said Dahlen when the vote passed.
“This does show we are indeed open for business and it’s high time we removed them for a six month period.”
The motion’s only detractor was Coun. Paul Gevatkoff, who maintained that removing parking meters, even on a trial basis, is too much for the city’s budget to bear. Gevatkoff had been the most outspoken member of council when it came to keeping the parking control devices in front of city businesses.
Fast recognized for contributions to local groups
A driving force behind both Dawson Creek and District Horticultural Society and Friends of the Dawson Creek Library, Dorothy Fast was given honorary lifetime memberships to both groups Tuesday.
“I joined the horticultural club eight years ago so (I) could learn from the experts,” said Coun. Marilyn Belak, president of the almost 70-member horticultural society.
This article is taken from the Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek, with the permission of the publisher. The Daily News retains all rights relating to this material. The information in this article is intended solely for research or general interest purposes.