As we prepare to say goodbye to 2017, battlefordsNOW is taking a look at some of the top news items that made headlines over the past 12 months.
A piece of Hollywood history and one of the world’s most famous dresses came to the community of Luseland in July. The iconic dress Marilyn Monroe wore for John F. Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1962 was purchased by Luseland native Jim Pattison for $4.81 million in 2016. The legendary dress went on display on July 10 at the Luseland Community Hall and attracted visitors throughout the province. Those in attendance also had opportunity to have their picture taken with the skin-tight, beaded gown, while raising money for a worthwhile community cause.
It is something you would expect to see in a John Wayne movie: cattle rustling. Battleford RCMP reported that over the past few years, cattle have gone missing from the Red Pheasant and Mosquito First Nation pastures. Const. Laura Cockrum said police suspected the individuals responsible were stealing and butchering the cattle, then selling the meat. She said at round-up in 2016 13 cows, 10 calves and 5 bulls went missing while 6 cows, 36 calves and 13 bulls went missing at this year’s roundup. Cockrum said some are expected to go missing by natural causes, but there were too many missing for that reason alone. The estimated value of the live cattle was almost $167,000.
A North Battleford legal practitioner, who was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a lawyer, was the subject of a disciplinary hearing from the Law Society of Saskatchewan. Kevan Migneault, who has been on an interim suspension from practising law since December 2015, will now have his suspension extended to December 31, 2017. After that, he can resume practising if he meets the required conditions. The charge of conduct unbecoming a lawyer stems from several allegations that were reviewed during the hearing process.
It was a good news/bad news scenario for the City of North Battleford in July, as Statistics Canada released its report on police-reported crime in 2016. The good news was that North Battleford was no longer number one in Canada's Violent Crime Severity Index, a dubious distinction it has held every year since 2009 when StatsCan began publishing the numbers. North Battleford had an eight percent reduction in violent crime, but the bad news was non-violent crime increased by 15 percent in 2016 and North Battleford remains the number one community in Canada for the Non-Violent Crime Severity Index. Inspector John Sutherland of the Battleford RCMP said while dropping from the number one ranking to number two in the violent crime category was encouraging, much more needs to be done to get the violent crime numbers down even lower.
The Battlefords chapter of Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys to two young families July 26. The house located on 106th St. in North Battleford was started in the spring of 2014 and was expected to be completed by December of 2015. However, issues arose when finding skilled volunteers delayed the project on numerous occasions. North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater says the community should be proud to have its first Habitat for Humanity home.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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