2016 Year in Review — May

By Roger White
December 28, 2016 - 6:00am

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, BattlefordsNow.com is taking a look at some of the top news items that made headlines and newsmakers over the past 12 months.

While there many stories throughout the month of May that garnered a lot of attention, there were none bigger than the devastating fire that engulfed the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta. People throughout the country, including North Battleford resident Kelly Samson, who lived in Fort McMurray for nearly 40 years. She says everything she knew growing up there is gone. Samson's family members were safe and had evacuated their homes early on. But it was tough for her to watch the fire, which has affected the older part of the city. Samson says those long time citizens likely won't return. North Battleford and area were quick to come to the aid of their neighbours. Benefits were held throughout the region including a Fill Up A truck for Fort Mac and a donation drive by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group of stations.

The record-breaking heat hit the northwest early in May. On May 3, the Battlefords reached a high of 30 degrees Celsius, breaking the old record of 28 degree Celsius from 1897. Then, on Wednesday May 4, the Battlefords hit 31, the old record of 27 was set in 1897. Environment Canada says the hot weather was brought in on a southwesterly flow.

The record warm weather also caused many warnings for local residents. The RCMP warned people to stay away from well sites and reminded residents of North Battleford to be mindful of their house number and the date as the Odd-Even Watering Schedule went into effect. This was for people wanting to water their lawns. The warm and dry weather allowed a big jump in seeding across the northwestern and west-central regions.

In the northwestern region, 21 per cent of the crop was in the ground, compared to only three per cent by mid-month. In the west-central region, 26 per cent of the crop is in the ground compared to six per cent last week. Both regions are well above the five-year average for this time of the year. Little to no rain was received in either region with exception of the Hafford area which reported four millimetres.

The Prairie North Health Region's Saskatchewan Hospital New Beginnings fundraising campaign has begun with a goal of $8 million. The construction of the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford was underway and is scheduled to be completed in 2018 but before it can open, it needs equipment and furnishings.

New Beginnings fundraising lead Corinne Delainey says the provincial government covers the cost of the construction of the actual building, but it is up to Prairie North to pay for what goes inside.





2016 Year in Review — June

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