Smoky River Express – 2019 Year in Review: July – September


July 1, 2019: Heavy rain and unseasonably cold weather force Canada Day celebrations in McLennan inside to the Elks Hall. Live entertainment, children’s activities crafts and food keep everyone busy.
July 1, 2019: Peace River holds Canada Day celebrations in Riverfront Park. A parade, games, bouncy castle, glitter tattoos, face painting and a barbecue are some activities held.
July 3, 2019: The Express features Marie Thibault’s honey and bee themed front yard to celebrate the Honey Festival. She has created the special display for 10 years.
July 3, 2019: The Express reports that NAIT has received a $3 million grant for boreal reclamation, oilsands tailings and wireless technology from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Of that, $1.75 million is earmarked for the Centre for Boreal Research in Peace River.
July 3, 2019: The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Peace River and a house next to it burns. An investigation into the case of the fire begins.
July 7, 2019: McLennan Victory Life Church hosts its sixth annual Church in the Park in Falher. About 160 attend the open air service, then enjoy food, a dunk tank, laser tag, human foosball and other activities.
July 17, 2019: The Express reports that Charlize Bremont, a lifeguard and coach at the Falher Regional Pool, is chosen to coach at the Alberta Summer Swimming Championships in Edmonton.
July 17, 2019: The Express reports that Peace River pharmacist Tony Nickonchuk commits to cycling 100 km per day through the Rocky Mountains as part of the Tour for Kids Alberta cancer fundraiser. He raises about $3,500.
July 17, 2019: The Express advertises that Marc Gosselin is the new manager at the Falher Fountain Tire store.
July 17, 2019: A small but eager group of people in Peace River join a nationwide protest to demand that the CBC host a federal leaders debate on climate change.
July 22, 2019: Peace River town council hears that the Canada Revenue Agency sends a $600,000 bill to the Town for GST charges, most on the new Baytex Energy Centre. Council vows to fight the bill by using every political and legal option available.
July 22, 2019: Peace River town council hears the cost to operate the emergency reception centre earlier in the year for wildfire evacuees costs $655,700 as of July 4.
July 22, 2019: Long-time McLennan resident Marie Roy passes away at the age of 84 years.
July 24, 2019: The Express reports that the Smoky River Regional Waste Commission is requesting that the municipalities of Girouxville, Falher, Donnelly and McLennan ban plastic grocery bags.
July 24, 2019: The Express reports that the Town of Peace River is seeking ideas for centennial time capsule items. The capsule is sealed at a yearend ceremony.
July 24, 2019: The Express reports that three McLennan children: sisters Brooke, Callie and Morgan Giroux, donate $106.85 in lemonade sales to the McLennan Recreation Board. The money is to be used to refurbish the Hamelin-Leiding playground.
July 24, 2019: The Express reports in its McLennan town council notebook that a motion to appoint the mayor from within the elected council is defeated. Council also agrees to ban plastic bags if all other municipalities in the region [Girouxville, Falher and Donnelly] agreed.
July 24, 2019: A group from La Crete begins inquiries about joining the NPHL. Later, teams turned down La Crete’s request to see if there was any interest in presenting a formal bid.
July 25, 2019: Producers, mostly from around the Smoky River region, attend the Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association 2019 Summer Field Tour.
July 29, 2019: An oil spill occurs in the M.D. of Smoky River on Range Road 204 going north and south crossing Highway 2 and onto Township Road 772. Alberta Environment begins an investigation and asks the public for tips.
July 31, 2019: The Express reports on much-needed repairs to Falher’s Centre Chevaliers.
July 31, 2019: The Express reports on the completion of the Girouxville outdoor skating rink. After four years, the rink is ready for ice when it freezes.
July 31, 2019: The Peace Regional Air Show is held at the Peace River Airport.


August 3, 2019: A new festival in Peace River entertains while helping the area’s homeless. Bouncefest is held at the Al Adair Recreation Centre with proceeds forwarded to the PEACE Foundation, a group working on creating a community outreach centre to help the vulnerable and homeless.
August 7, 2019: The Express reports that the M.D. of Smoky River’s Residential Cistern Installation Incentive is part of the M.D.’s commitment to make potable water more accessible.
August 9, 2019: Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council holds its ninth annual Youth Golf Tournament at the Smoky River Regional Golf Course in McLennan. Youth 6-14 years are invited to play and about 55 attend.
August 13, 2019: Alberta Health Services holds a bike rodeo in the H.W. Fish Arena parking lot in McLennan to teach children bicycle safety. The next day, a similar rodeo is held in Falher.
August 14, 2019: The Express reports in its Village of Donnelly notebook that council supports a ban on plastic bags in the region. In July, the Smoky River Regional Waste Commission requested that the municipalities of Girouxville, Falher, Donnelly and McLennan all ban plastic grocery bags, which have become a huge problem worldwide.
August 14, 2019: The Express reports that Darrel’s Bobcat Service in McLennan is awarded the Region 5, Metis Business-of-the-Year Award. Owner Darrel Laboucan started the business in the spring of 1988.
August 14, 2019: The Express reports on the area’s libraries, who are concerned they need more money to keep serving the community as hubs.
August 14, 2019: The former Smoky River Express building on Main Street in Falher is demolished.
August 17, 2019: Paradis Valley Honey holds an Alberta Open Farm Day at Watino. Owners Danny and Ginette Paradis produce pure, unprocessed honey.
August 18, 2019: The Anglican Bishop of Athabasca, Right-Rev. Fraser Lawton, presides over a service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. He is resigning as bishop effective Sept. 8 and retiring.
August 18, 2019: Lilian Beland passes away at the age of 84 years. She grew up just south of Falher and taught for many years at Donnelly G.P. Vanier School. In 2012, she received a Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service to her community.
August 22, 2019: The Kimiwan Birdwalk and the McLennan Northern Alberta Railway Museum hold their “End of Season” barbecue. Due to cold weather, the barbecue is moved indoors.
August 25, 2019: Noella L. Charest passes away at the age of 86 years. She was born and raised in the Girouxville area.
August 26, 2019: Peace River arrest an allegedly armed suspect during a dramatic takedown on the Peace River Bridge. Arrested and charged with various crimes is Mukhtar Ali, 31, of Nampa.
August 27, 2019: The iconic RCMP Musical Ride performs at the Peace River Fairgrounds.
August 28, 2019: Despite poor weather, about 70 attend a community barbecue at Honey Capital Park in Falher. The annual barbecue rotates between Falher and McLennan.
August 28, 2019: The Express reports in its Town of McLennan notebook that council supports some type of “water feature” remain at Winagami Lake Provincial Park after a decision is reached to close the wading pool.
August 29, 2019: Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish visits with constituents at the Log Cabin in Falher. Most of the questions he receives focus on registries as they offer vital services to rural Albertans.
August 31, 2019: The Peace Country Sports Club closes its doors in Peace River. The group operated the Al Adair Recreation Centre.


September 4, 2019: The Express reports on three candidates running for a vacant seat on McLennan town council in the Sept. 26 byelection. They are Tom Henihan, Shirley Ominayak and Tammy Stout. Henihan wins.
September 4, 2019: The last issue of the Smoky River Express is published. The following week the paper amalgamates with the High Prairie South Peace News.

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