Archive for Tara de Ryk

Close encounters of the furred kind

Stuart Morrison of Davidson spotted two wild boar running across a field, about 15 miles east and five miles north of Davidson, on Dec. 22.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Pigs might not fly, but as Stuart Morrison can attest, they can at least run pretty darn fast.

Morrison spotted a pair of wild boar while driving on a grid road towards Simpson on Dec. 22.

He said he was about 15 miles east and five miles north of Davidson when he saw the two animals.

“I seen these things coming across the field,” he said. “I thought they looked like bears to begin with.”

He stopped his truck, hoping to take some pictures of the critters, but they went hog wild, running off in the opposite direction.

Morrison followed them briefly, snapping three photos.

“They were running pretty fast,” he recalled, adding that they appeared to be headed toward an open grain bag.

He said he’d never spotted a wild boar before, though he’d heard reports about them.

He has spoken to several hunters since then, who told him that there is a small wild boar population in a ravine in that area.

Some have spotted the animals’ tracks while others have reported hearing them.

Morrison said lots of people have reached out to him since the sighting, asking for the photos or the location.

“They created a lot more interest than I thought they would,” he said. “It is something you don’t see everyday.”

Wild boar, native to Europe and Asia, were introduced to Saskatchewan through a agriculture diversification initiative in the 1990s, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

An unknown number of these animals escaped and survived, adapting to Prairie conditions and eventually establishing themselves in the wild.

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Renovations begin at Bladworth hall

Jim Cross performs a Rodney Dangerfield impression on the stage during Bladworth Variety Night at the village hall in this 2007 file photo.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH — They’ve only just begun, but efforts to renovate the Bladworth Hall are already paying off — at least in terms of its aroma.

Volunteers gathered at the hall last weekend for an intensive work bee, with the goal of removing surface mould from both the basement and ceiling.

Lyle Kowalski, who serves on the hall committee, said the smell inside has improved noticeably as a result.

“It’s a much nicer, fresher smell,” said Kowalski. “We must be on the right track.”

The committee is planning several major upgrades for the hall, which has served as a meeting place for Bladworth and area residents for decades.

Their first goal is to install a suspended ceiling, in both the original hall and the seating area in the newer part. Acoustic tile will be used, in hopes of addressing the noise issues that have plagued the facility in the past.

Down the road, the hall committee plans to replace the furnace, siding, doors and windows.

An immediate need is to improve the ventilation in the attic, which is believed to be the culprit responsible for the mould.

“It wasn’t done properly in the first place,” explained Kowalski. “It wasn’t allowed to breathe.”

This will involve the addition of new vents, as well as replacing the soffit on the eaves.

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Chevy confident as leadership campaign winds up

Ken Cheveldayoff speaks to a crowd during a campaign stop at the Davidson Seniors’ Centre in October.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — With two weeks to go till the Saskatchewan Party chooses its next leader, Ken Cheveldayoff has a good feeling about the outcome.

“I feel the momentum is with my campaign,” he told the Leader in a Jan. 8 phone interview.

Cheveldayoff, one of five candidates running to replace Brad Wall as both party leader and premier, has attracted significant support from his fellow MLAs, including Arm River’s Greg Brkich.

He also pointed to informal online polls taken in recent weeks, a couple of which have placed his campaign in the lead.

“I’m very encouraged by the polls,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want to take anything for granted at this point. “I just want to work like I’m five points behind.”

Cheveldayoff was first elected to the legislature in 2003 and has been re-elected three times since then. He currently represents Saskatoon Willowgrove, and has also served in multiple cabinet positions.

A recent endorsement came from former Conservative MP and RCMP officer Rob Clarke, who was briefly a candidate for the party leadership.

Clarke dropped out of the race in December, less than a month after announcing his candidacy, and endorsed Cheveldayoff’s campaign.

“It was a real boost to my campaign, a real shot in the arm,” said Cheveldayoff, adding that Clarke’s support is helping him reach out to First Nations and northern voters.

Still, he added, he needs to go out and earn those votes.

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Double win for jr. boys and girls over Outlook

Davidson’s Noah Schneider heads to the basket during a junior boys basketball game against Outlook on Tuesday.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON —  A deep bench is paying deep dividends for Davidson’s junior boys basketball team this season.

Coach Garrett Bailey said the team has roughly 16 players in grades 7 through 9.

With such a large roster, he said, “We’ve had to split them up a little bit for some games.”

On Wednesday the Davidson Raiders hosted the Outlook Blues, one of their two competitors in their section.

Knowing they were up against a weaker team, Bailey said he used the opportunity to put some of his younger players on the court.

Even so, Davidson handily won the game, leading 23-10 after the second quarter and finishing with a score of 59-21.

Hunter Herback was the only Grade 9 player on the court for Davidson. This was just his second game of the season, as he had injured his ankle just before Christmas.

Herback — at 6’2”, the tallest player on the team — was the top scorer with 25 points, including a trio of three-point shots.

Gavin Arend scored 13 points, while Donta Desjarlais scored a total of seven points including a three-point shot.

Bailey said the team has a 3-3 record for the season so far.

This includes the games played in a home tournament co-hosted with the junior girls on Dec. 15 and 16, in which the boys suffered somewhat due to the absence of some key players.

“A lot of our better players are hockey players, too,” said Bailey, adding, “We’ve still been pretty strong against most teams.”

Junior girls

Following the boys’ game, the Davidson junior girls played Outlook, defeating the Blues 47-20.

Halle Herback and Tolu Arowolo led the scoring for Davidson with 10 points each.

Leila McDonnell and Mya Charette scored eight points each, while DJ Anderson added seven points to the tally, including one-three point shot.

Joell Tiffin, who coaches the team with Karrie Stamnes, said they have close to 20 girls in grades 7 through 9 playing this year.

“It’s the biggest team we’ve had since (we) started,” she said. “We’re learning a lot at every practice and applying it at games . . . It’s just a fun group of girls.”

The team is a younger group, with about half of the players in Grade 7.

The sectional playoff final for both the boys and girls teams will be held on Feb. 6. The winners of those games move on to West Central District finals on Feb. 14.

New bylaw surprises business owners

Pictured is Davidson’s town hall.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — After more than three decades in business, Debbie Doell figures she’s paid her fair share of bills.

As the owner of Golden Image Jewelry, she has a wide range of expenses to cover.

Besides the cost of inventory, she pays for utilities, insurance and security services, as well as wages for herself and two casual employees.

As the owner of her building on Davidson’s Washington Avenue, she’s also on the hook for commercial property taxes — roughly $2,500 a year.

Doell learned last week that she’ll soon receive another bill from the Town of Davidson: $100 for a mandatory business license.

A new bylaw, which took effect Jan. 1, requires all businesses in Davidson — whether they’re located in the business district, the industrial park or in somebody’s basement — to purchase a license on an annual basis.

Doell said she’s upset at what she views as a penalty against herself and other business owners.

“You shouldn’t be penalizing the mortar-and-brick businesses,” she said. “They should be finding ways to encourage us and keep us going.”

Business owners in Davidson are reacting with some surprise to Bylaw 778, also known as the “Business Licensing Bylaw.”

Town council approved the draft at its Nov. 21 meeting. A single vote paved the way for the draft to become law, taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Storefront businesses are required to purchase a license at a cost of $100, while home-based businesses — ranging from accountants to travel agents — will be charged $50.

Self-employed contractors will pay $100 a year for licenses, while contractors with employees will be charged $250.

Visiting salespeople will also be required to purchase licenses. Both transient traders and direct sellers — those selling over the phone or door-to-door — will be charged $100.

According to a town pamphlet, the bylaw is intended “to regulate businesses, ensure compliance with land use and building regulations, gather land use information and facilitate planning decisions.”

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Wheelchairs arrive at Davidson health centre

Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 5384 delivered six wheelchairs to the Davidson Health Centre on Dec. 21. Making the presentation (at right) are Larry Packet, Grand Knight Brian Hanson and Nick Anton. Accepting the donation are (at left) care team manager Cathy Hinther and assistant head nurse Ashley Anderson.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Patients will be hitting the hallways of the Davidson Health Centre in some sleek new wheels, thanks to a recent donation.

Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 5384 visited the centre on Dec. 21 to present a total of six wheelchairs, for use by patients at the facility.

Care team manager Cathy Hinther and assistant head nurse Ashley Anderson were on hand to accept the donation with gratitude.

Hinther said the wheelchairs were much needed — in particular, the two child-sized chairs, which the hospital had not previously had.

“We’re just so appreciative of the donation,” she said last week. “It was such a nice Christmas gift for us.”

The delivery also included two medium-sized chairs and two large-sized chairs.

Having the various sizes available makes it much easier for the staff to respond to the needs of individual patients, Hinther said.

The wheelchairs feature a distinctive red-and-black colour scheme that also makes them easy to spot and identify, she added.

The chairs, which will replace some older models, will be kept in the outpatient department and used to transport patients back and forth between various areas of the health centre.

The donation was a co-operative effort between the local K of C council and the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, who split the cost 50/50. Read more