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Service disruptions at hospital force patients to hit the road

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON —  A recent hospital stay for John Sinclair included an unexpected field trip to Rosetown. The 77-year-old man was in the midst of a two-week stay at Davidson Health Centre, suffering from viral pneumonia and recovering in the acute care ward. As Sinclair told the Leader, he was told

Dance teachers in short supply

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — A shortage of dance teachers is having a ripple effect for the Davidson Dance Club this year. With only one adult instructor on board, chairperson Kelly Allan said, the club has had to limit the number of classes it can offer. In turn, enrolment has dropped by almost 20

Raiders caught in Rockets’ red glare

By Joel van der Veen DAVIDSON — The Raiders were expecting a tough fight from Assiniboia last weekend, and they did not disappoint. The visiting Assiniboia Rockets handed Davidson their first loss of the season, with a final score of 52-36, in the Sept. 9 senior football game. Raiders coach Jason Low was upbeat despite

Nine months later, police continue search for Sheree

By Joel van der Veen KENASTON — Nine months after Sheree Fertuck went missing, her family is still waiting to learn her fate. The 51-year-old mother and grandmother disappeared in December of last year and has not been seen or heard from since then. Police announced in April that they believed Fertuck was the victim

Electronics firm celebrates 20 years in Elbow

By Joel van der Veen ELBOW — Seeing the red maple leaf stamped on a product still means something important to a lot of people. Few know this better than the staff of Commutron Industries, Ltd., an Elbow-based company that celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this month. “There’s still a hunger for investors and manufacturers

Service disruptions at hospital force patients to hit the road

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By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON —  A recent hospital stay for John Sinclair included an unexpected field trip to Rosetown.

The 77-year-old man was in the midst of a two-week stay at Davidson Health Centre, suffering from viral pneumonia and recovering in the acute care ward.

As Sinclair told the Leader, he was told in early September that he would have to leave the health centre for a couple of days due to a service disruption, caused by a staffing shortage.

Sinclair, who is diabetic and uses a walker, said he was given the choice of going home or relocating to the Rosetown and District Primary Care Centre temporarily.

Not feeling well enough to return home, he went for the second option, leading to a two-hour ambulance ride and, ultimately, a three-night stay in Rosetown.

“I didn’t want to ride in an ambulance,” he said Thursday. “They did as good as they could, but an ambulance isn’t a smooth ride.”

Sinclair said he has no complaints about the quality of care he received in Davidson, but he is concerned about the working conditions, particularly for registered nurses (RNs).

“The whole staff up there is wonderful,” he said. “There’s no way they should have to work the hours they’re working.”

Sinclair has added his voice to a growing chorus of concerns about recent service disruptions at Davidson Health Centre.

Besides the inconvenience to patients, they say the disruptions are evidence that the centre is understaffed and nurses are being overworked.

Leading the charge are the nurses themselves, several of whom spoke to Davidson town council back in August.

They alleged that the centre’s current staffing levels are potentially unsafe, asking for the town’s support as they pushed for a more balanced workload.

In response, Heartland Health Region’s acting CEO, Gayle Riendeau, said staffing levels at Davidson are in line with provincial guidelines. She said the region would keep working to fill vacancies and to address the nurses’ concerns.

A Craik man, who asked that his name be withheld, recently wrote a report on his own experience, submitting it to three health regions, two cabinet ministers and local politicians.

He said he was admitted to Davidson’s emergency room in early August after experiencing a gallbladder attack, and spent the next two weeks travelling back and forth between various hospitals for observation, treatment and surgery.

The patient spent part of that time at Davidson Health Centre, but his stays were interrupted by three service disruptions over a 10-day span. In each case, no RN was available to work the day shift.

For the full story, please see the Sept. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Dance teachers in short supply

Dancers Brydan Johnson, Sloan Willner, Elle Johnson and Jayne Shaw perform "Under the Sea" during the Davidson Optimist Dance Club spring recital in May.

Dancers Brydan Johnson, Sloan Willner, Elle Johnson and Jayne Shaw perform “Under the Sea” during the Davidson Optimist Dance Club spring recital in May.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — A shortage of dance teachers is having a ripple effect for the Davidson Dance Club this year.

With only one adult instructor on board, chairperson Kelly Allan said, the club has had to limit the number of classes it can offer. In turn, enrolment has dropped by almost 20 per cent this fall.

“That has impacted our numbers, for sure,” said Allan.

The club had five adult teachers last year, but only one, Irene Williams, is returning this year.

Student teachers are making up some of the difference, including Tia Shaw in Grade 12, and Sarah Allan and Emily Read, both in Grade 11.

Some younger students are also coming on board as teacher-helpers, including Avery Ebenal and Hannah Gust, both in Grade 9.

Classes began on Sept. 12 and Allan said adjustments may be made as the season continues.

For now they’re “working out the kinks” with Williams, she said, adding, “We let her feel out the classes and see where she could use some extra support.”

The lyrical class will be the only senior class offered in Davidson this year.

For the full story, please see the Sept. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

 

Raiders caught in Rockets’ red glare

Davidson's Addison Ouellette protects the ball from an Assiniboia attack during a senior football game on Sept. 9.

Davidson’s Addison Ouellette protects the ball from an Assiniboia attack during a senior football game on Sept. 9.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — The Raiders were expecting a tough fight from Assiniboia last weekend, and they did not disappoint.

The visiting Assiniboia Rockets handed Davidson their first loss of the season, with a final score of 52-36, in the Sept. 9 senior football game.

Raiders coach Jason Low was upbeat despite the loss, saying the experience served to prepare the team for the challenges they’ll face in the rest of the season.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said Wednesday, noting that Assiniboia had a 5-1 record last season and reached the provincial quarter-finals.

Assiniboia’s Riley Moneo was first to score in Friday’s game, followed shortly by a touchdown by Davidson’s Addison Ouellette.

For the full story, please see the Sept. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Nine months later, police continue search for Sheree

Sheree Fertuck is seen here with her children Lanna, Lauren and Lucas in this undated family photo.

Sheree Fertuck is seen here with her children Lanna, Lauren and Lucas in this undated family photo.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — Nine months after Sheree Fertuck went missing, her family is still waiting to learn her fate.

The 51-year-old mother and grandmother disappeared in December of last year and has not been seen or heard from since then.

Police announced in April that they believed Fertuck was the victim of homicide, but they have yet to lay charges in the case.

Her mother, Juliann Sorotski, said the family is holding on “as best as we can … (We) just hope and pray the police will come up with something soon.”

“Maybe somebody will talk soon, or some kind of evidence will be found,” she said Wednesday.

Sorotski asked the public to keep their eyes and ears open for any clues, adding, “However small, it’s very important to the police.”

The RCMP Major Crimes South unit issued an update on Sept. 7, asking the public to keep an eye out for anything suspicious as harvest continues and hunting season begins.

Residents are asked to check rural properties, outbuildings and other areas, as they are out working in farm fields or hunting game.

Police said in the update that they have received multiple tips from the public, and they encourage anyone with information, “however big or small,” to contact them as they continue the search.

Fertuck was last seen leaving the family farmyard east of Kenaston on Dec. 7, around 1:30 p.m.

A semi truck used by Fertuck to haul gravel was found the next morning at a gravel pit further east off of Highway 15, with her cellphone, keys and coat inside.

In the weeks following her disappearance, local residents gathered to organize search parties.

Multiple RCMP units, including local detachments, Search and Rescue, Police Dog Service, Civil Air Search and Rescue, and the Underwater Recovery Team, have also contributed to the investigation.

Police said in April that they were conducting targeted searches in the Kenaston area, but have not announced any findings since then.

At the time she was last seen, Fertuck was wearing a grey sweater, grey sweatpants, white running shoes and eyeglasses.

She has not made contact with her family since her disappearance. Nor has there been any banking activity recorded or any use of her cellphone or passport.

Sorotski said she is in regular contact with police, though they have had little information to share lately.

“I talk to the head investigator probably once every two weeks,” she said.

Gene Whitehead, who led local search efforts last winter, said no community searches are planned at present.

He asked local residents to “keep an eye out for anything that’s out of the normal,” but added that previous searches had been thorough and exhaustive.

Organizers had hoped that the onset of summer would assist search efforts by causing sloughs to dry up, but continued high levels of rain have dashed those hopes.

“Just about every vacant building in the area here was checked in December,” said Whitehead.

Fertuck was living and working from the Sorotski family farm at the time of her disappearance.

She and her husband Greg had been separated for around five years. He has since been identified in court documents as a suspect in her disappearance and presumed death.

Anyone with information is asked to contact their local RCMP detachment or phone Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Electronics firm celebrates 20 years in Elbow

Long-time employee Debbie Aadland cuts the cake at an anniversary party for Commutron Industries, Ltd., at the company’s office in Elbow on Sept. 2.

Long-time employee Debbie Aadland cuts the cake at an anniversary party for Commutron Industries, Ltd., at the company’s office in Elbow on Sept. 2.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Seeing the red maple leaf stamped on a product still means something important to a lot of people.

Few know this better than the staff of Commutron Industries, Ltd., an Elbow-based company that celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this month.

“There’s still a hunger for investors and manufacturers to build a product that’s Canadian made,” said general manager Robert Leonardo on Wednesday.

The firm has a current staff of 18 full-time employees, assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronic components at its facility in the village.

Commutron’s products are used in a wide range of industrial settings, including diagnostics and safety equipment, and in the agriculture, mining and transportation fields.

Customers and the general public were invited to an open house and barbecue on Sept. 2, which drew upwards of 120 people.

Leonardo said it was a great opportunity to celebrate the company’s success and reflect on the progress made over the last two decades.

The company was previously located in Saskatoon, where it operated under the name Bantron.

The move to Elbow came through a program then operated by the provincial government, offering grants to viable businesses willing to relocate outside of cities as a way of stimulating the rural economy.

For the full story, please see the Sept. 12 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Straker plays to packed house at Elbow’s Civic Centre

Singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker performs during a concert at the Elbow Civic Centre on Sept. 3.

Singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker performs during a concert at the Elbow Civic Centre on Sept. 3.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Jeffery Straker warned patrons at his concert last weekend not to mess with the lady running the merch table.

Dawn McTavish, his former piano teacher, was lending a hand by selling CDs, T-shirts and other items at the back of the Civic Centre auditorium.

“When I didn’t practise, she cuffed me upside the head,” he joked, “so just keep that in mind.”

Straker, a singer-songwriter and pianist originally from Punnichy, entertained a crowd of more than 100 in Elbow on Sept. 3.

The auditorium was filled nearly to capacity for the evening show, a fundraiser for the village’s community park.

Straker had played in Elbow previously as an opening act at another show, and was welcomed back warmly, with at least one audience member wearing red canvas shoes in imitation of his trademark footwear.

McTavish was Straker’s piano teacher for six years, offering lessons from her farmhouse near Raymore.

She has since retired to Elbow, where she plays piano for the Line 19 Choir. (Their repertoire includes an arrangement of one of Straker’s songs, “Prairie Tune.”)

McTavish described him as a “dream student,” adding, “I shipped him off to Regina when he got too good for me.”

For the full story, please see the Sept. 12 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.