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.
It was another busy month for law enforcement during the month of April in the local area.
Break and enters, stolen vehicles, assaults and impaired driving were just a few of the offences that police attended the month of April.
But it was a one-minute drama that got considerable attention.
A dashcam video recorded a minivan pulling onto the sidewalk at the intersection of 100th St. and 15th Ave in North Battleford. The minivan blocked the path of a cyclist who turned onto the road. A man then jumps out of the van and knocks down the cyclist, who is then tackled by a second man. The men in the minivan were actually members of Battlefords RCMP taking down a suspect. The video was shot by Darryl Arnold, who sells dashcams at Kelly’s Computer Works. He says this kind of video shows what police do to protect the public.
Meanwhile, two Meadow Lake men appeared in provincial court in April after being arrested in two different Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit investigations.
A 37-year-old man was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography, luring minors over the Internet, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation of a person with a disability. A 23-year-old man was facing 11 criminal charges. Both cases would be held for bail hearings on April 25. No names were released to protect the identity of the children involved.
It was a decisive sweep for the Sask Party around the Battlefords as all incumbent MLA’s won their Northwest constituencies.
Meadow Lake voters returned incumbent Jerry Harrison for a third term with a near 3,000 vote win over NDP hopeful Dwayne Lasas. Herb Cox easily won his Battleford riding by defeating Rob Feist by over 2,000 votes. In CutKnife-Turtleford, MLA Larry Doke cruised to a 4,500 vote win over Danica Lorer of the NDP.
Provincially the Sask Party led by Premier Brad Wall won 51 of 61 seats while the NDP led by Cam Broten won 10 seats.
There was good news on the construction front for North Battleford, including the announcement that a new hotel was closer to becoming a reality.
An expansion of the Walmart intersection on Carlton Trail behind the Frontier Centre Mall was given the green light after council approved a service agreement with Terracap Management who own the mall. City manager Jim Puffalt says quite a bit of work will go into the $400,000 intersection expansion. The intersection was identified as needing upgrades in a recent development study.
Council was also informed that construction on the new Comfort Inn and Suites would begin in the summer.
Finally, police believed a man originally from the Battlefords was a victim of foul play. Investigators confirmed that human remains found near Innisfail Alberta earlier in the month were that of Dwayne Demkiw. The 42-year-old was last seen on May 31, 2015 at his workplace in Edmonton. His car was found a few hours later in Calgary.
Following his disappearance, posters with his likeness were spread across Alberta and Saskatchewan including in the Battlefords where he grew up. His family was hoping that he was found alive.
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