Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alberta's minimum wage to increase in September

New review formula calls for increase 

The earnings of about 26,000 Albertans will rise September 1 when the province increases the general minimum wage by approximately 3.5 per cent, or 35 cents per hour.

Alberta’s general minimum wage will rise from $9.40 per hour to $9.75 per hour. There will be no change to the liquor server minimum wage, which will remain at $9.05 per hour.
“Minimum wage earners are an important part of our workforce and are employed in many different settings. These positions are often entry level and require little or no experience which is reflected in the pay level,” said Human Services Minister Dave Hancock. “This increase will help employees with rising costs while keeping the viability of employers in mind as well.”

Small plane crashes near Beaver Mines

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Piper Comanche 250 forced to make emergency landing
near Castle Mountain

C. Davis photo
At approximately 2:15 pm today, May 31, a small plane was reported to have crashed on Highway 774, near Castle Mountain, south of the hamlet of Beaver Mines.

Pincher Creek RCMP reports the plane was piloted by a man who was flying from North Dakota to Kalispell.  He apparently experienced mechanical difficulties and was forced to make an emergency landing.

Passers-by assisted him, and it is reported that he was taken by them to the Beaver Mines General Store, where authorities were contacted.  The pilot is said to have suffered no injuries other than being shaken up by the experience.

The pilot's flying abilities would seem to be to his credit, as the location of the crash is in an area that could have resulted in much more serious results.  Damage was visible to the propeller blades, which were bent, and no landing gear was evident, with the plane sitting flat on the gravel roadway.

Piper Comanche 250 on Highway 774 near Castle Mountain
C. Davis photo

The plane is a 4-seater Piper Comanche 250 registered to a Glen Hay of Kalispell, and was apparently built circa 1963. There is at present no confirmation that Hay was the pilot involved in the incident.

Transportation Canada and the Pincher Creek RCMP are investigating the incident.  No criminal charges are expected.

Vehicle damaged near Fort Macleod, RCMP seek information

Between the evening of May 19, 2012 at 11:30 P.M. and the morning of May 20, 2012 at 6:45 A.M. a truck sustained over $2000 in damage while parked alongside Township Rd 91A near the Beaver Creek campground near the Town of Fort Macleod, AB. The truck had been apparently sideswiped by a vehicle that was dragging branches or a tree behind it.

The Fort Macleod RCMP is investigating this damage and ask that any members of the public with information regarding this incident contact Cst. J. D. SMITH of the Fort Macleod RCMP detachment at 403-553-7200 or share their information with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

2012 Southwest 3-D Barrel Series, May 30 event

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Tiny Mites champ Kiah Simpson earned a bracelet and
a necklace for her win in Wednesday's barrel event

C. Davis photo
The Southwest 3-D Barrel Series returned to the Pincher Creek Rodeo Grounds on the evening of Wednesday, May 30.  The weather was close to ideal, sunny and a bit cool.

Vanessa Edwards returns to
barrel racing with a solid win
C. Davis photo
Pincher Creek's Vanessa Edwards surprised herself with a win in the Senior 1-D category.  She entered for fun, and didn't expect to be in the money after a couple of years away from the sport.  She has impressive credentials,  despite her humility, with a long string of rodeo wins in her past. If today was any indication she still has a bright future in the rodeo arena.

"That's my old man Cash," she said, referring to her horse.  "He's 16 this year, and he just had two years off.  I just finished school and couldn't afford to rodeo for a couple of years.  He worked really good, he hasn't seen a barrel since March."  She said she and Cash did one time-run in preparation earlier in the day, and then the two were right back at it.  "I do pole bending, and a little bit of roping, and cutting.  I tried goat-tying.  I was horrible at goat-tying."  

Vanessa works as an apprentice stylist at Evolutions Spa in Pincher Creek, which surely benefits from her infectious enthusiasm.

Seniors results

Pincher Creek's Tanis French won 
the Seniors 3-D riding Flash
Vanessa Edwards riding Cash finished first in the 1-D competition with a time of 16.000, followed by Marina Eckert riding Chance with a time of 16.017.

In the 2-D Cayley Williamson and Boom finished first with a time of 16.485, followed by Marina Eckert again, riding Shania to a time of 16.537.

In the 3-D it was Tannis French riding Flash for the win with a time of 16.889. Followed by Lindsey Smith on Strawberry with a time of 16.918.

Juniors Results

In the 1-D Britnie Zur riding Jets came out on top with a time of 16.349.  In the 2-D it was Robin Lively on Chicka with a time of 16.628.  In the 3-D Martina Lively rode Wiggey for the win with a time of 17.545.

Upcoming Southwest 3-D Barrel Series events:

Paving closes lanes on Highway 3 near Medicine Hat

Motorists can expect lane closures and delays on Highway 3 between Bow Island and Medicine Hat.

Paving is underway and is expected to be completed by July 31, weather permitting. Traffic may be reduced to alternating single-lane controlled by signals or flag people.Motorists should use caution in this area and obey all signs, message boards, and flag people. Fines for speeding are doubled in construction zones when workers are present.

Let Them Be Kids The Documentary to debut June 10

The Let Them Be Kids documentary will debut at the St. Michael's School gymnasium on Sunday, June 10 beginning at 2:00 pm.  Admission is free and there will be free beef on a bun afterwards, but RSVP's are encouraged via email to

The documentary features the community of Pincher Creek, Let Them Be Kids,  and the Hank Planger Community Playground project of 2011-2012.

Alberta to launch lawsuit against tobacco manufacturers

Province seeks $10 billion in damages 

The Alberta government will be filing a lawsuit against tobacco manufacturers to recover $10 billion in health care costs associated with smoking-related illnesses.

“Tobacco use has had a devastating impact on many generations of Albertans. The costs are not just to our health care system, but in the many lives cut short by the use of tobacco,” said Premier Alison Redford. “This legal action is a significant part of renewing our tobacco reduction strategy.”
Alberta has retained Tobacco Recovery Lawyers LLP since June 2011, a consortium of law firms, to file the lawsuit on its behalf.

“Each year more than 3,000 Albertans die from tobacco-caused diseases,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “As part of our focus on wellness and keeping Albertans healthy, we will be renewing our tobacco reduction strategy to further decrease smoking rates, reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and providing more support to people who want to quit using tobacco.”

Humane Society issues discussed at Town Council

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

On the evening of  Monday, May 28, Pincher Creek Humane Society (PCHS) President Clara Yagos addressed Pincher Creek's Town Council to discuss issues surrounding the current lease for the existing Humane Society building and other issues regarding a proposed new building for the organization.

Councillor Sahra Hancock asked how much money PCHS has set aside for the new building.  "We are arrested in the process," replied Yagos.  "I cannot write grants until we get a written agreement.  The primary grant I'm going to go after is the capital grant through the lottery," she said.  According to Yagos, each grant she has looked into has asked what agreements are already in place, and requires a copy of those agreements before the society can proceed.

"If you look at the current proposed way we want to build it, we can always build up in the future, for cats and things like that.  What we want to do, what we want to build it on, is we want to put heated cement down for the whole thing, and that is really going to help with the heating costs." She also explained concerns over drainage codes that have changed over the years since the present structure was built, and touched on issues regarding parking as well.

St. Michael ’s Elementary Choir to present Musical

Everyone is welcome to join the St. Michael’s Elementary Choir for their production of Herbie and the Good News Garden, to be held in the St. Michael's School Gym on Thursday, May 31, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Adults: $5.00
Children under 12: $2.00
Children under 4: Free

Tickets are available at the St. Michael’s School office.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Construction tool stolen in Fort Macleod

On May 18th, 2012, the Fort Macleod RCMP was notified of a theft from the 500 block of 18th Street in Fort Macleod, Alberta.

The estimated time of the occurrence was between the hours of 3:30 pm of May 17th, 2012 and 8:00 pm May 18th, 2012.
Culprits entered the fenced back yard of the residence and stole a unique tool used in the construction line of work.  The item is a 10'6 metal break used to bend aluminum and other construction materials. The approximate weight of the break is well over 100 lbs. being constructed mostly of aluminum.  The dimension of the tool are 10'6 in length, 10" high and 16"-18" wide. The tool itself does not have a serial number but is unique by way if its markings noted by the rightful owner. The estimated replacement value of the break is approximately $2,500.00.

A photo is shown below to help identify this unique construction tool.

Anyone that may have information concerning this event that would help in the investigation, please contact the Fort Macleod RCMP at (403) 553-7200 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Matthew Halton Graduating Class of 2012

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice
(updated with extra video)

Matthew Halton Graduating Class of 2012
C. Davis photo

Matthew Halton High School held their Cap and Gown Awards in the school gym on Friday, May 25.  The event began with a 'Pomp and Circumstance' Processional, as graduates made their way to the stage.  Miss Alexandra Morgan sang a beautiful rendition of 'O Canada', which was followed by a welcome and introductions by Ms. Susan Robinson.

After greetings by Principal Ms. Sandy Treit, the Livingstone Range School District (LRSD) Superintendent of Schools Ms. Ellie Elliott addressed the graduates and the parents and families gathered.

"Graduation represents a major achievement for students, and serves as a significant milestone in their lives," she said. "Before they leave us we want them to know how very proud we are of them, and of their accomplishments.  Our hope for them is that they find purpose, and joy, and passion in their life, and that they pursue their life's passion."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

4-H holds Market Steer and Female Project Achievement Day

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Members of the Foothills and Timber Trails 4-H Beef Clubs
C. Davis photo

Pincher Creek's Horseshoe Pavilion was the site of the Foothills and Timber Trails 4-H Beef Clubs' Market Steer and Female Project achievement day on Monday, May 28.

This annual event is the culmination of a year's worth of hard work by the 4-H members.

The day began with an introduction of the two Clubs and sponsors at 11:00 am, followed by the Female Project Show, starting at 11:30 am.  Next came lunch, then the Market Steer Show, then a Back Country Butchering-sponsored BBQ Beef Supper, culminating in the Sale of Market Steers.

Britnie Zur with her Grand Champion Steer
C. Davis photos

Timber Trails 4-H Senior Shaelyn Nelson achieved 9 ribbons, 6 of them for First Place.  Foothills Intermediate's Merrick Stauffer achieved 4 ribbons, including a First Place for Champion Yearling Heifer.  Foothills Senior Ben Puch achieved 4 ribbons, 3 of them for First Place, including Champion Showman and Grand Showman. Timber Trails Intermediate's Britnie Zur had the Grand Champion Steer, which was also first to be auctioned, one of four ribbons for her.   A complete list of ribbon recipients can be found at the end of this article.

Merrick Stauffer took home 4 ribbons, including 3 for First Place
C. Davis photo

Judging these events must be difficult, because a diligent look around the Pavilion revealed no losers in the 4-H herd.  These were all quality cattle.  As Justin Keely said in his introduction prior to the auction, "As far as our future is concerned, seeing these kids, here, we have a great future."

Lexi and Eva (future 4-H member)  Mensaghi, Emily Puch,
and Foothills 4-H leader Kate Puch during a rare calm moment

C. Davis photo
In between events the 4-H members kept busy, cleaning and grooming their animals and practicing their lasso techniques, and performing the necessary chores around the Pavilion.

Foothills 4-H member Tom Welsch  with his 2 year old cow and calf
C. Davis photos
Gordon Klein was the Female Conformation Judge and the Showmanship Judge.  Bill Wilson was the Steer Conformation Judge.  Kelsey Koehn was the Cattle Marshall.  Justin Keely acted as Master of Ceremonies.  Rees Fullerton and Emily Puch were the Ring Assistants.  Flora DeCock and Monica Moulsen were the Show Clerks and Ribbon Presenters.  Frank Jenkins, Justin Keely, and Allen Lively were the auctioneers.

Shaelyn Nelson

A large number of volunteers are to be congratulated for helping make the event happen.

Breeding Project Show Results

Utility trailer stolen from Granum property

On May 28th, 2012, Fort Macleod RCMwas notified of a theft at 8th Avenue in Granum.  The estimated time of the occurrence was between the hours of 8:00 am of May 23, 2012 and 1:00 pm May 28, 2012.

Person or persons entered the back side of the residence and removed a black 2007 Snow Bear utility trailer from the property. The estimated value of the trailer is approximately $2000.00.

Fort Macleod RCMP would like to advise residence in all areas that utility trailers can be removed easy and uses of anti - theft devices for wheels and receiver hitches can deter thefts.

Anyone that may have additional information concerning this event that would help in the investigation, please contact the Fort Macleod R.C.M.P. at (403) 553-7200 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Halton Hawks Rugby team earns a semi-final slot

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Halton Hawks vs Cardston Cougars
C. Davis photos
The Halton Hawks Senior Girls rugby team hosted the Cardston Cougars at a somewhat damp Sproule Field on Monday evening, May 28.

The Hawks were a bit tense at first according to Coach Randy Whitehead, and had of a number of knock ons (a foul created by knocking the ball forward while trying to catch it), but they were able to fight through it and maintain pressure on the Cougars.  The Hawks won the game 17-10.  Hawks' Jordan Plummer, Catherine DeCock, and Emma Lowry each scored a try and Alyssa Barbero added a convert.

The Senior Hawks will travel to Lethbridge this Wednesday, May 30 to take on Winston Churchill in a semi-final game.

Thanks again to Coach Randy Whitehead for providing scores and other information. 

Pincher Creek's U18 soccer team extends their unbeaten streak to 4

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Pincher Creek's Brandon Cyr uses his head
to score against Fort Macleod

C. Davis photo
Pincher Creek's U18 soccer team hosted Fort Macleod at Sproule Field on the evening of Monday, May 29.  This was the fourth game of the season for Pincher Creek, having tied their first one, going on to win away games in Sparwood and Elkford.

Pincher Creek's Jared Pittman (far left) played a remarkable
game against Fort Macleod on Monday evening

C. Davis photos
Pincher Creek demonstrated a solid defence and a relentlessly organized offence against Fort Macleod, winning the game 7-2.  Jared Pittman was on top of his game, scoring four of the Pincher Creek goals.

"They keep their shape in the park, they're not just chasing the ball all over the field," said Pincher Creek Coach Jim Lamb after the game.

STARS brings Emergency Medical Education Unit to Pincher Creek

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Stan the $200,000 man never
has a good day.

C. Davis photos
The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) Emergency Medical Education Unit was in Pincher Creek on Monday, May 29, bringing the critical care transport medicine education program to approximately 20 local EMS and EMT personnel.  STARS Mobile Simulation Lead Dave Allison (who is also a paramedic in Calgary) and Medical Education Unit "Stan" were onboard.  Stan is utilised as a realistic patient.  'He' speaks, breathes with lungs that simulate air exchange, his pupils react, he blinks, he has an anatomically correct airway, a pulse, and he can exhibit a number of symptoms that emergency personnel can be challenged by and can learn from.

Lynn Brasnett, "Stan", Dave Allison, and Pat Neumann
inside the STARS Emergency Medical Education Unit
C. Davis photo
"Our purpose is to go out to smaller communites to provide further education or to refresh or revisit some of the education that may not have been touched on or that need to be reviewed," Allison said. "our goal is to try to bring some of the sickest patients that EMS providers or hospital providers will see or seldom see and refresh their knowledge."  Allison explained that this particular STARS mobile training unit serves southern Alberta, with another one based out of Edmonton serving northern Alberta.  "We typically get out about 5 times a month throughout southern Alberta."

STARS Emergency Medical Education Unit

A reminder: CPR saves lives.  An estimated half-dozen people in the Pincher Creek area  who have received it over the last couple of years are alive today due to the educated quick responses of others.  Often it is a family member that has been the person on the spot who has made the difference between life and death for a loved one.

First Kids’ Discovery Day turned out to be a big hit

Lieve Parisis, Pincher Creek & District Chamber of Commerce

Last Saturday, the Pincher Creek & District Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Kids’ Discovery Day with the idea to bring the business community together with the community at large.

This free event for kids ages 6-12 turned out to be a huge success! 27 kids signed up, and dressed in their Kids’ Discovery t-shirts and a big smile, their exploration tour started at 10am.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fort Macleod hit and run damages parked vehicle

On May 28th,  2012, Fort Macleod R.C.M.P. was notified of a hit and run that occurred in front of the F.P. Walshe School at 538 - 16th Street in Fort Macleod.

 The incident happened on in the early morning of May 28th, 2012 between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 am.

 Damage was done to a Black BMW vehicle parked on the street and suspect(s) failed to notify the owner of the incident.

 Anyone that may have additional information concerning this event that would help in the investigation, please contact the Fort Macleod R.C.M.P. at (403) 553-7200 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS).

Kids Discovery Day was a terrific experience

At the Voice we're always cool under pressure
Jillana Hammond photo 
Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

The Pincher Creek Chamber of Commerce is to be congratulated for conceiving and putting together "Kids Discovery Day", which was held with the involvement of several businesses and individuals around Pincher Creek on Saturday, May 28.

The Pincher Creek Voice was one of those businesses. I had two groups of kids, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They were given video cameras, a brief introduction to some of the general rules of reporting, and an assignment. Several of them expressed a keen interest in the opportunity, and produced some great results despite a 45 minute time limit necessitated by the nature of the event. For the record, I doubt I could personally gather and finish a story in 45 minutes, so we kept the stories small.

Junior Journalists reporting

Jillana Hammond

Jillanna Hammond, Junior Journalist

On May 26, 2012 at Kootenai Brown Museum it was "Kid's Discovery Day".  Toni Lucas and Joe Stockinger were some of the group leaders. Toni was teaching the children how to become interpreters for the museum. The children that were participating in this activity were Jocylen, Trevor and Aidan.  Joe's group  was learning how to fold balloons and how to do certain magic tricks. James Van Leeuwen was also attending Discovery Day. James volunteers as President for the Chamber of Commerce.  He is also a consultant. According to James he is a very goood guitar player and singer.

Caleb Evans
Saturday May 26, 2012, Junior Journalist Caleb Evans, age 9 reporting:

I was in the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village where I found some antique cars.
There was a 1929 Ford model which won a Pincher Creek parade & rodeo ribbon.
There was another old antique car which was also very similar to the 1929 antique.
So if you're interested in antique cars come to the Kootenai Brown Museum.
I'm Caleb Evans, age 9 junior journalist reporting.

Teresca Giesbrecht
Teresca Giesbrecht, Junior Journalist

Rabbits were in their cages when we tried to interview them. They ran to the top because they were scared.  I was at the rabbit cage.  The ducks were were tired and they were laying down.  The chickens were wild.

Erica Nemeth

Erica Nemeth, Junior Journalist

Today I went to Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village and Chris Davis told me to go interview the animals so I went.  Rabbits are so scared. We tried to interview them but the ran away.  I have seven bunnies of my own.

Annie Van Leeuwen

Annie Van Leeuwen with Jenna Rouleau, Brandon Hayward, and Laura Parisis. Junior Journalists

Elizabeth Conley, President of the Pincher Creek Minor Baseball Club, said their bottle drive was a success, but the had not added up all the bottles.  The baseball club was having a skills competition.

Editor's note:  The Junior Journalists did a great job, particularly given the limited amount of time they had to gather and file their reports, and I thank them for their efforts.  Some reports were filed on video only, which you can see the results of below.   Unfortunately, I did not get profile photos of everyone, my apologies to those that got missed.  One of the lessons of the day was about the need for accuracy and correcting errors.  If I made any misteaks, please let me know at or in the comments section below this story.   We welcome and encourage you to be part of our community coverage in the future. 

Kids Discovery Day at the museum

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Kids at Papa Joe's station
T. Lucas photo
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village was one of the businesses that worked with the Chamber of Commerce, hosting the site of the first Kids Discovery Day.  Area youngsters given the chance to discover more about the businesses of Pincher Creek with hands on projects.

Inside the doors of Pioneer Place staff and volunteers set up places for Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, Courtney Potts of Mountain Radio, Chris Davis of The Pincher Creek Voice, and clown and balloon-animal-specialist Papa Joe.  Chamber of Commerce staff member Dylon Barber showed how to make a solar oven, volunteers helped kids with the sidewalk chalk contest, and Parent Link's Ann Grover worked tirelessly to help with crafts, registration and set up their Bouncy Castle to help keep the kids entertained.

Senior High West District Track and Field results

The Senior High West District Track and Field competition was held at St. Michael's School on Wednesday, May 16.

West District Track results 2012 

Emma Lowry
C. Davis photos
Aggregate winners 
Junior girls – Cory Hawk  JTF
Intermediate Girls – Shane Hill  JTF
Senior Girls – Emma Lowry LHS
Junior Boys – Raven Baxter CNP
Intermediate Boys – Phil LaCoste JTF
Senior Boys – Jasper Woodard STM

Team Award
JT Foster

(more results after the break)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Canyon School holds DARE graduation

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Canyon School 2012 DARE graduates
C. Davis photos

Canyon School students gathered in the gym on the morning of Friday, May 25 for their DARE Graduation.

Constable Wright
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and first implemented in Alberta in 1995. It is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that helps to teach children how to resist peer pressure to use dugs and engage in violence.

Elena Cameron and Madilyn Whitehead acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event.  After the singing of the national anthem, Assistant Principal Mr.Kuzyk addressed the gathered parents and family, and DARE Objective RCMP Constable Bob Wright was introduced.

Lewis Anderson, Martyna Lively, and Lindsay Lunsbury present a brief play outlining some of the possible negative consequences of drinking and driving, with Lively as the reporter and Lunsbury and Anderson as the citizens.

Constable Wright then presented certificates and t-shirts to the DARE alumni, assisted by Constable Fitchner.

Special DARE Achievement awards were then given out to:

  • Ewen Erickson
  • Taylor Deley
  • Kyle Speight
  • Cassandra Dollman
  • Tomas Scherger
  • Taylor Smith
  • McArthur David
  • Cody Dyck

James and Josh Fitchner made a special presentation to Constable Wright, and Carl Tetachuk and Tysen Teneycke  made the closing remarks, after which videos produced by students were shown as the crowd mingled and had some cake and refreshments.

Below, a terrific stop-motion lego animation by DARE graduate Cassandra Dollman.

Note: corrected to give the proper credit for the Lego animation.

Where does our bread come from and on which side is it buttered?

Rob Bernshaw

Rob Bernshaw, Columnist

Is there a correct side to butter bread and how would that be determined?
Is there a left side or a right side of bread?
Depending on how the bread is held, maybe there are only sides to consider.
Could the bread be buttered on both sides?

Is our Economy too hot, too cold or just right?
Are our wages too high, too low, or just right?
Is our dollar value too high, too low or just right?
Are our farmers overpaid, underpaid, or paid just right?

The answers to these questions could be as easy as 1, 2, 3, or as varied as each individual reading this.
There are many resources that fuel Canada’s economy, its people being the most important and renewable natural resource.

St. Michael's celebrates 40 years of Dr. Mack

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Dr. Mack, Science teacher extraordinaire
Dr. Mack, who teaches Science to grades 10 through 12 at St. Michael's School, was celebrated by his students and fellow faculty members on the afternoon of Thursday, March 24.  The affection and respect accorded him was very much in evidence.

"Dr. Mack has taught some of your parents, he's taught some of your grandparents, and according to some of your parents they also hope that Dr. Mack is going to teach some of your kids, and some of their grandchildren," said Principal Don Kuchison.  "We basically hope that Dr. Mack is going to be around for a long time at our school  He's a good guy, a special person, and I know that over the years I've learned a lot from him.  He is a special teacher to have with us."

Dr. Mack seemed a bit reticent to be in the spotlight, while obviously pleased by the recognition, the sincerity of which was made clear by the overwhelming and spontaneous cheering by the assembled students assembled.

"I started teaching here, and have been teaching here the whole time," he said.  "I enjoyed it, and the years went by very quickly.  I've had a lot of great kids and a lot of great experiences over the time.

Student Amelia Woodard was enthusiastic in her acknowledgement of his efforts as a teacher.  "Mr. Mack is an amazing teacher and he really makes you understand," she said.  "He uses examples to help you understand and it's really fun.  People come from different schools to have him teach them.  He's that good of a teacher.  He's an awesome science teacher."

A presentation was made to him by student Katrina Holoboff, and then he led an honour guard of students to the cafeteria, where a plentitude of 40th anniversary cake capped an afternoon of celebration.

St. Michael's School Gym Riots

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Duct Tape, is there anything it can't do?
Dexter Obrique hangs out at the Gym Riot
C. Davis photo
On the afternoon of May 24, the Dale Wentz Gymnasium at St. Michael's School was transformed from a place of exercise and endeavour into a bedlam of high-spirited hijinks's for the annual Gym Riots.  Once a year, students of all ages participate in contests of dubious athletic merit, and even dodgier rules.  Students formed into 4 teams, and each team duct-taped one of their own to the wall, with the last person adhering declared the victor.  Teams had to find ways to cram all of their teammates onto a continually decreasing expanse of tarp.  Teams had to use said tarp to see which team could sling a ball the highest.  Boys lay in a pile in the middle of the gym while the girls tried to separate them, and then vice-versa, with the fastest time winning the event.

The Blue Team was declared the victor, after which the school celebrated 40 years of teaching by Dr. Mack (click here to read that story).

The Big Empty

Phil Burpee, Columnist

Phil Burpee
The Empty Quarter they call it - Rub al Khali - that great, drifting wilderness of shifting sands and harrowing winds that constitute the trackless interior of the Arabian Peninsula. Down in Montana they call it the Big Empty - the huge swatch of disorienting antelope prairie that runs from not-quite Dakota all the way over to not-quite the Rockies - a place of no place in particular, where every hopeful rise in the landscape just delivers you to another vista of heat-shimmer and dust-devils. The barrens, the moors, the scrub, the bogs, the frozen wastes, the island-less seas, the nether reaches, the Land of Ghosts - many are the names we give to those places where life itself is of no value, and the snuffing out of the flickering flame of hope is a precursor to a terrible nothingness and the Void. 

The Big Empty
There is a Big Empty up here north of the Medicine Line too, no less oppressive than the most soul-chilling of geographical wastelands - it is called the Economic Action Plan of the Government of Canada. And be of no doubt - it is a place of fearsome emptiness, where only the disembodied spirits of lost and forlorn bean-counters, jaded and confused policy wonks, and fiscally-prudent ex-bureaucrats wander wraith-like amongst the sad ruins of long-term, socio-economic cost/benefit analyses. "Woooo-oo-oooo-ooooo....." they cry - pitiful wailings soon lost in the devouring winds of governmental lethargy and indifference.

Waterton family business celebrates milestone

The Baker family celebrates 90 years of business in Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Outdoor Adventures
and Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters
celebrating 90 years
2012 marks a banner year for a local business family in Waterton Park.  This year the Baker family, owners/operators of Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters and Waterton Outdoor Adventures, celebrate 90 years of continuous business in the village of Waterton.  Over the years, they have watched the tiny settlement of Waterton grow into the international tourism destination it is today.  Generations of visitors have passed through the doorway of the Baker’s main business operation on Mount View Road.  Waterton has changed dramatically over the years, but the Baker family is a testament to hard work and the love of the land in keeping their business’ active in the Park since 1922.

The business legacy started rather inauspiciously in 1922. William Baker and his son George starting a trucking business, aptly named Park Transport Company, to fill the increasing need for movement of building materials in and out of the Park.  This need grew as construction on the Prince of Wales Hotel began in 1926.   George had also begun to sell gasoline as there was no one providing the service in the Park at that time.  By 1932 Park Transport Company was viable enough that George built the auto-garage on Mount View Road.  That building still stands as the home of Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters today.  Over the years George, proving to be an astute businessman, grew his business tenfold.  He ran an early boat concession and had the freight contracts with Glacier National Park, MT on the Upper Waterton Lake.  The garage of Park Transport Company became the town’s sole telegraph station, a GM car dealership, and in 1938 the telephone switchboard for AGT.  In 1939 George and his family were instrumental in developing the tourism services up at Cameron Lake.  A tour boat, boat rentals, tearoom, rental cabins and a general store all made up this successful enterprise that the Baker family ran until 1965. He was the consummate businessman, but also played an active role in community affairs and causes.  George Baker died in 1968 and his sons Rae & Alf took over Park Transport Company.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ranchland Mall tenants giving back to the community

Submitted by Nicki Schoening (C&D Floral)
President, Ranchland Mall Tenants Association

Nicki Schoening photo

Loretta Packham, treasurer of the Ranchland Mall Tenant's Association and owner of Mrs. P's Coffee Corner presenting a cheque to Leanne Wiebe, director of Children's World Daycare.

In the last five months the Ranchland Mall Tenants Association has given away approximately $2500 in prizes including gift certificates for mall merchants and a fabulous night out with dinner and a limo ride.

^ Loretta Packham with Diane Forbes, winner of the
Mother's Day draw for a new patio set.
Nicki Schoening photo
Diane Forbes is the most recent winner and she was very pleased to take home a patio set including a table, love seat and two chairs.

With this most recent prize giveaway the businesses in the mall have also decided to start giving back in another way.

There are several non-profit associations in the community who have been actively fundraising at the mall including participating in the chili cook-off and other  mall events.  So, with each prize giveaway the association intends to count the draw entries and make a corresponding donation to one of these hard working local non-profit organizations.  The recipient of the inaugural donation in this program was Children’s World Daycare who received a cheque for $271.00 from Treasurer Loretta Packham.  Director Leanne Wiebe says this money will be earmarked for much needed new playground equipment.

The next draw, scheduled to take place at the end of June, will be for a new barbeque, barbeque tools, propane tank and the fixings for a steak dinner for 4.  Charitable proceeds from this draw will go to the Kootenai Brown Museum.  The businesses in the Co-op Ranchland Mall are thrilled to provide this opportunity to not only give something back to a lucky loyal customer but also to a deserving community organization.  Everybody wins and everybody gives back just by shopping at these local businesses and putting their name in the draw barrel.  Thank you to all the participating mall merchants.

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