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Northern Health launching healthy living challenge


Along with providing some unique opportunities to improve your health, the challenge is also designed to help raise awareness about modifiable risk factors within our lives, and how we can apply such principles to improve our health.

Throughout the entire month of September, Northern Health team members will be blogging with the intention of sharing tips, stories and other ideas about being a healthier individual.

Every week, a post will challenge readers to step up in the health department through a variety of ways, such as cooking, physical activity, or something totally unique.

Regardless of the extended challenge, Northern Health wants feedback on the progress of its participants, who can submit their entries for a chance to win some great prizes.

The contest is open to all residents of the north interested in participating and for more information, visit Northern Health’s blog.

Fort St. John woman pleads not guilty to animal endangerment charges


Holden was in court in Grande Prairie today, where she plead not guilty to all four counts.

The incident in question occurred on July 7, when Grande Prairie RCMP found the remains of a kennel and small dog in a fire pit, near the trailer Holden was occupying at a private campsite near Grovedale. Witnesses said another dog may have been injured as well, and RCMP believe it would have died from the injuries described. RCMP say Holden was intoxicated at the time of her arrest, and that she and her partner may have had an argument, and the partner had left before police arrived.

She is next expected in court on September 19, 2012.

Canada progresses to semis with win over Spain


Canada looked crisp coming out of the gate in its first elimination game of the tournament, scoring 25 points and creating a 13 point separation between themselves and Spain entering the second quarter.

The red and white extended their lead in the second, outscoring Spain 18-13, to conclude the opening half with a 43-25 lead.

Canada maintained its lead throughout the remainder of the game, to finish game 6 with another victory, and more importantly, progression into the semi-finals.

Team Canada point guard, and Fort St. John-born Bo Hedges had another solid performance on the hardwood, scoring 14 points, and adding a single assist during 26:43 of play time.

Hedges was also solid defensively, grabbing 1 offensive rebound, stealing the ball once, forcing a single turnover and drawing 4 fouls.

The Canadian success Wednesday came in large part to their ability to make shots. They shot 52 per cent for two-pointers (32/61), were 1/3 from three-point land, and drained 59 per cent of their free throws (10/17).

Canada also took much better care of the basketball than Spain, who turned the ball over 18 times, compared to the nine committed by the Canadians.

Next up for Canada will be a semi-final, elimination match, against hosts Great Britain. Canada should be very confident entering the match, as these two teams clashed in the preliminary round, with Canada earning a 70-54 victory.

The Canadians will resume their journey to gold tomorrow, Thursday, September 6.

canada cely


Miranda Lambert On Fire in Dawson Creek


The night was opened with Canadian Gord Bamford, who thrilled the dancefloor with drinking songs like Is It Friday Yet? and Drinking Buddy, and touched the hearts of parents with slower songs like My Daughter's Father and Little Guy.

Lambert was also joined by the other two members of her country supergroup Pistol Annies, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley, in the middle of her set.

Dawson Creek was one of only three Canadian stops on her On Fire tour, on the way to the Canadian Country Music Awards in Saskatoon later this week.

For photos of the concert, click below.

Miranda Lambert


Fort St. John government workers on strike


Those on strike include government service employees like liquor store cashiers, and certain ICBC employees, as well as employees in Ministries like the local Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Ministry office. However, local government services deemed essential, like court houses, forest firefighters and social workers are unaffected.

Today's strike is the latest move in ongoing contract disputes between public sector workers and the B.C. government. Up until today, government workers were taking part in rolling strike action, including a one-day job action by Ministry of Forests employees in Dawson Creek on August 20. Scott McCannell, PEA Executive Director, says his members are "profoundly concerned" about the Government's "marginalization" of professionals in the public service.

"Our professional members have in almost all cases chosen public service because of their commitment to serving the public interest and the decision for them to take strike action for the first time in the PEA's 38-year history has not been taken lightly," he says.

BCGEU president Darryl Walker says the province's offer of a two per cent wage increase starting July 1, 2012 and a 1.5 per cent increase July 1, 2013 isn't good enough. Instead, he says members want a 3.5 per cent increase starting April 1 and a cost of living increase in the second year.

BCGEU strike


Public invited to first High on Ice Festival planning meeting


The first planning meeting will be held Monday, September 10, taking place at Fort St. John City Hall from 12 – 1 p.m.

Topics set to be discussed at the opening meeting include changes in festival dates, event planning for various activities, community celebration plans, sponsorship packages, marketing initiatives, as well as budget considerations.

Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to do so and to RSVP, email Tracy at tkonashuk@fortstjohn.ca.

Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom not seeking re-election


In a written statement, Lekstrom says he's leaving to pursue new opportunities in life. We hope to reach Lekstrom for comment soon.

Below is Lekstrom's statement:

“Having served nearly 20 years in elected office – three years as a city councillor, five years as mayor of Dawson Creek and close to 12 years as MLA for Peace River South – I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election in the 2013 May provincial election.

I have been honored to serve the people of my riding and this great province; and I am proud of the work I have done on their behalf. I have had the opportunity to serve under two premiers, both of whom I want to thank for their support and commitment to helping build a stronger province for all.

I am proud to have served as Minister of Community Development and Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Development under Premier Campbell and most recently as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure under Premier Clark. I have enjoyed all of these portfolios and have always done my best to ensure that I served the public's interest in each of them.

I want to say thank you to my cabinet and caucus colleagues for all of their hard work and dedication and most importantly for their friendship over the years. I also want to thank my colleagues from the opposition side of the house, many of whom I have developed friendships with, and in some cases have even seen some issues from the same perspective.

Politics can be an unforgiving profession, but I have always believed that – whether you are on the government side of the house or on the opposition side – we are all here because we believe we have something to offer which will make our province a better place, not only for the people today, but more importantly we want to build a better province for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

To government employees and the entire staff of the Legislative Assembly, I want to thank you for all that you do on behalf of British Columbians. Your work in many instances goes unnoticed, but without all of you we would not have the province we have.

Thank you to the residents of Peace River South for their continued support over the years. I am truly honored and humbled to have served as your Member of the Legislative Assembly. This has been an incredible experience filled with challenges and opportunities and certainly a job that has changed my life in so many positive ways.

A special thank you goes to my family for all of their support over the years.  Without their continued support, none of what I have been able to help accomplish in office could have been possible.

I leave to pursue new opportunities in life and want to again thank Premier Clark for her support. I know that she will continue to lead this province in a positive direction.

Always remember this, on our worst day here in British Columbia, we will still have it better than 90 per cent of the world will ever enjoy on their best day.


Blair Lekstrom, MLA
Peace River South"

Local triathlete overcomes near fatal injuries to race again


On Sunday, August 26, two years of recovery culminated in Pentiction, for the 2012 Suburu Iron Man Canada triathlon, where Morrison raced in her first full event since her life threatening injury.

Not only did she finish the race, but she also placed third in the professional event.

Morrison says the event was all about overcoming the immense amount of obstacles – both mental and physical – she faced entering the race.

"It was a long time coming definitely, I mean I basically had a two year hiatus to recover from the injuries that I had. I wasn't fully prepared to do the run because I had tendonitis in my foot for a couple of months in April and May, so it set me back a little bit to getting those major base miles in."

Morrison says she’s pleased with her finish, but knows she can beat it with more preparation.

"It was solid enough, but I definitely want to continue to get the miles in and the base that I need to have the performance I know I have within me. But I mean, first Ironman back, third place is nothing to be complaining about.

"Solid enough" is an understatement when considering the severity of Morrison’s injuries. On June 10, 2010 while traveling from Penticton to Calgary, an oncoming van crossed into her highway lane, resulting in a head on collision which threw her vehicle 30 feet down an embankment.

The athlete was trapped alone in her car for 3 hours, and emergency responders had to use the Jaws of Life to remove her from her vehicle.

Once in hospital, it was determined that Morrison had suffered a shattered tibia and femur, a broken pelvis, fractured vertebrae, broken ribs, a punctured lung and a ruptured spleen. Other effects of the collision included her stomach moving into her chest, her heart being pushed to her side, a broken arm, along with a severe concussion.

She describes the injury as "as close to death as a human can go", and doctors were forced to put her in a medically induced coma for a week's time, while multiple medical procedures were performed.

Four and a half months following her accident, Morrison was put on a rehab program by her coach, saying that every day a little progress was made, something she says was very motivating.

"That was really critical, obviously physically but also mentally. Just to know that I was making steps forward," she explains. "Interestingly I just kept making those steps."

Progress continued to be made by the triathlete, who says it took her roughly a year of rehabilitation to be able to train at the level she deemed necessary for success.

She describes her rehab as a process, which began with a short 300 metre swim, progressing to riding rehab specific bikes, to riding on the pavement and eventually running again.

Despite the long list of challenges Morrison faced in rehab, as well as immense doubts from medical professionals, being unable to race in the future was never an option for the healing athlete.

"I never asked them. I just told them I would race again. One doctor came out and told me, you’re probably never going to race again and definitely not race at the professional level, and he was proven wrong Sunday. But I never asked any doctors because I really didn't care what their opinion was. I just thought to myself I’m going to heal, I’m going to recover and I don’t need any of their pessimism of doubts."

Interestingly enough, one of the doctors who worked on Morrison told her she would probably never race again, and if she did, it would not be at a professional level. That doctor watched as Morrison not only crossed the finsih line at this past Ironman race, but also took to the podium.

Morrison was set to begin racing again back in May, but her rigorous rehab had caught up to her body, as tendonitis developed in her right foot, forcing her to pull out of a California race in May and delaying her season.

Regardless of the setbacks, her positive attitude refused to quit.

"I just needed to stay patient and needed to stay focused on the goals and just believe that it was all going to work out, and sure enough it did… I’m not going to say I had rose tinted glasses, I mean it was not easy some days, it was frustrating… but whenever I got down on things, I just made every effort to recognize it and switch my mental state to something more positive."

Her positive attitude paid off, as July 8, 2012, Morrison raced in the Desert Half, taking place in Osoyoos, miraculously winning the event, an accomplishment she says symbolized the conclusion some dark times.

"It felt really good to kind of close that chapter. I felt a lot of people really questioned whether I was recovered or could recover, and I knew I had recovered… At the same time I really learned through this process people are going to think what they are going to think and say what they are going to say, and you have to be able to focus on what you need to focus on in order to not let the pressure get the better of you, because it can and will."

"Success doesn't come overnight, you have to just keep believing, you have to keep your eyes on the prize, even when you’re hitting the deepest lows and darkest moments when you can’t even imagine coming out from. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. You just have to stand up one more time because that one more time standing up might be the time you actually make it."

Now a recovered athlete, and medical miracle, Morrison is back to racing, with a half marathon in Austin, Texas on October 28. However, the professional triathlete has her eyes on her next Ironman event, being raced in Arizona November 18, as it will be 3 days less than two years since her near fatal accident.

Janelle morrison




Residential break and enter in Chetwynd


No one was home at the time.

The suspect is vaguely described as an approximately six foot tall white male in his early twenties.

If you have any information about this crime, contact Chetwynd RCMP at 250-788-9221.

New Dawson Creek Dangerous Goods Route bridge completed


The province announced $3.3 million for the project back in February to replace what was then a temporary bridge. The DGR bridge was washed out during the flooding in the Peace Region in June 2011. The work was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of July, but Scott Maxwell, Ministry of Transportation District Manager for the Peace District, says the Peace's wet spring delayed progress.

"The actual finish date was August 15, and that was mainly due to the extra wet spring we had from March to June," he explains. "That was predominantly because they couldn't really get into the river and do some of the instream works that they needed to."

While the bridge itself has been completed, there is still some work to be done around the structure.

"Some of the seeding of the slope, and a little bit of instream works," Maxwell says still needs to be done. "It's predominantly completed and the travelling public can use it as normal."

The steel concrete composite bridge came in at 41 metres long and just over 11 metres wide, built by Ruskin Construction of Prince George. The Dangerous Goods Route from 208 Road to 250 metres south of the southern approaches was also resurfaced, and channel improvements were made to the creek.


Open fire ban lifted


Land within municipal boundaries is not affected, as local fire stations set forest fire prevention bylaws.

However, anyone burning any material, piled or unpiled, more than two metres in height or three metres in width, and stubble or grass fires over an area of 2,000 square metres must still first obtain a burn registration number.

Campfires must still be less than a half-metre wide by a half-metre tall.

Dawson Creek break and enter suspects may be hitchhiking


A suspect vehicle was located driving southbound on Highway 2. However, when RCMP attempted to stop the dark coloured pickup truck, it fled. A spike belt was used to puncture its tires, forcing the driver to drive the pickup truck and its trailer off the road.

The driver and an unknown amount of occupants fled the scene on foot. As a result, RCMP ask citizens to be on the lookout for hitchhikers and suspicious people in the area.