Archive for Craik

Two truck rollovers on icy highway

A semi truck lays in the median on Highway 11 south of Davidson following a rollover on Wednesday morning.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Winter arrived in dramatic fashion last Wednesday as Davidson and area received several centimetres of snowfall overnight.

A chilly Halloween evening turned into a white winter morning, producing plenty of ice on local roads and dangerous conditions on Highway 11.

The Davidson Volunteer Fire Department responded to two calls on Wednesday, both involving trucks that had rolled over and wound up in the ditch.

Deputy fire chief Don Willner said it’s pretty typical for the department to respond to similar calls each fall as winter makes its first appearance.

“It’s amazing that we are still caught off guard by snow,” he remarked.

The first call came at 4:10 a.m., with one rescue unit and one fire engine responding to a rollover on the highway about five kilometres north of Craik.

A one-tonne truck, towing a trailer with a tractor onboard, left the road and rolled into the ditch, leaving the driver trapped inside.

Willner said responders expected the worst when they arrived, based on the scale of the damage.

However, the driver suffered no injuries, Willner said, adding, “He was quite lucky.”

The occupant was removed with no tools required and both units returned to the fire hall by 5:45 a.m.

The second rollover was reported at 8:50 a.m., again on Highway 11 about one kilometre south of town. A single rescue unit responded with six members.

The driver of a northbound semi truck had lost control, and the vehicle spun around 180 degrees and rolled into the centre ditch.

The driver suffered minor injuries but was able to remove himself from the vehicle. He was transported to Davidson Health Centre. The fire crew returned to the hall at 9:40 a.m.

In social media posts on Wednesday, the fire department asked residents to avoid driving on the icy highway unless necessary, and to always drive according to conditions.

Members of the Craik RCMP detachment were also kept busy on Wednesday, responding to a total of nine highway incidents between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m.  

Cyclones top Craik in pre-season action

Davidson’s Tim Spencer (57) and Craik’s Jared Broderson (22) battle for the puck during an exhibition game Wednesday.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — With a new season on the horizon, the Davidson Cyclones hit the ice for pre-season action against the Craik Warriors on Wednesday.

The Cyclones hosted the Warriors at the AGT Centre, leading from the start and ultimately winning 10-3.

Derek Allan, who has served as the Cyclones’ captain since 2012, said the game was a good opportunity for the team to play together on the ice before the season begins.

Allan said the Cyclones’ bench is currently a little emptier than they’d like it to be, calling the situation “not ideal.”

Fourteen players were on the bench on Wednesday. Allan said he has 13 or 14 players committed for this season, but he’s still trying to recruit more.

So far, Tim Spencer is the sole new addition to the Cyclones roster. A native of Carnduff, his career has included stints with multiple teams in the American Hockey League. He had three assists in Wednesday’s game.

Among the returning players are two imports, defensemen Brett Ward and Matt Saunderson.

Brad Morrison also returns as the Cyclones’ head coach, with Jason Schneider serving as assistant coach.

Given the team’s current numbers, Allan said it’s hard to predict what the season ahead will hold.

“We’ve lost quite a few really good players,” he said. “I think the team will jell pretty good. . . As long as we go out there and have fun, that’s the main thing.”

The Cyclones are again playing in the Long Lake Hockey League, which grew this season with the addition of the Wynyard Monarchs.

The league also includes the Drake Canucks, the Lanigan Pirates, the LeRoy Braves and the Watrous Winterhawks.

The Long Lake teams will face an expanded field of teams this year, thanks to an interlocking arrangement with the Fort Carlton Hockey League (FCHL).

Allan said they will be playing one game against each of the four FCHL teams, which include Tisdale, Wakaw, Waldheim and Hague. Those games will count towards the Long Lake teams’ records.

“We’ll get to see some new teams, instead of playing the same four or five teams all winter,” he said. “It’ll be good.”

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Craik kids blown away by Tornado Hunter

Connor Watt and Jaden Wall get a close-up look at the truck used by Chris Chittick and the Tornado Hunters crew.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — For Chris Chittick, following his dream has taken him to some close calls.

On May 31, 2013, he and his crew were tracking a pair of tornadoes near El Reno, Okla., when the two twisters merged into one.

The resulting storm was two-and-a-half miles wide, the widest ever recorded.

With their camera still running and thousands of people watching the live stream online, driver Ricky Forbes steered their truck into the ditch — their best hope of avoiding the storm.

The truck continued rolling with debris flying all around them, including a two-and-a-half tonne farm truck.

Chittick caught some air as the truck went over a bump, inadvertently closing his laptop computer and cutting off the stream suddenly.

His mom, who was watching online, called him moments later: “I think it’s time for you to grow up, get a real job, become a teacher, baker, whatever.”

But he said he has no plans to give up the life of a full-time storm chaser, saying that even near-misses like the El Reno storm have only served to increase his curiosity and passion.

Chittick, a member of the team from TV’s Tornado Hunters, visited Craik School on Monday morning.

Students, staff and visitors got to see video footage of some extreme storms, along with firsthand stories from Chittick’s unusual career.

They also got to check out one of the two trucks used by Chittick and his team — outfitted with custom equipment and covered with a bulletproof Kevlar composite material.

Chittick, a native of Michigan who now lives in Regina, has been observing nature’s might up-close for nearly 20 years.

He began chasing storms in 1998 while still a university student, driving west during his summer breaks. He spotted his first tornado in southeast Wyoming in 2000.

“I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said. “I’m a big believer in following your dreams, following your passions.”

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Pedro the pigeon a summer guest for Craik couple

Tim and Pearl Unger of Craik took in a sickly pigeon over the summer months, nursing the bird back to health.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — For Tim and Pearl Unger, a rescue mission turned into an extended visit with a new feathered friend.

The Ungers, who live in the Eco-Village east of Craik, took on the role of pigeon protectors over the summer, welcoming “Pedro” into their home.

Late this past spring, two sickly, orphaned pigeons were discovered in an old semi trailer at the north yard of Titan Clean Energy Projects, where Tim works.

One of the birds quickly died, but Tim decided to bring the second one home and attempt to nurse him back to health.

“For Tim there was no real hesitation,” said Pearl, who herself was a little more reluctant. “This bird needed our help to survive and so we needed to do what we could.”

The Ungers began feeding the pigeon JuicePlus Complete shakes mixed with water, using a syringe. He responded well to this and before long, he was beginning to thrive.

Pearl said they named him Pedro, as his plumage seemed to indicate a male bird. (Others, convinced this was a female bird, chose to call her Lola.)

Next, they set up a food and water station in the wagon in their yard.

Once he was well enough, Pedro spent the nights outside, but was welcome inside the house during the day.

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Gymkhana, horse pulls draw crowd to Craik

Emily Dixon competes in the pole bending event hosted by the Craik Ag Committee on Sept. 2.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — A good time was guaranteed, and the Craik Ag Committee worked its hardest to deliver on that promise.

“Saddle Up, Shut Up and Hold On Tight” drew hundreds to the Craik fairgrounds on Sept. 2.

The afternoon event included horse pulls and gymkhana, with open and youth categories. A cold plate supper and cowboy social followed the main event.

“We were super happy with how it turned out,” said Kourtney Dixon, president of the revived Craik ag committee. “The people that have come out and supported us is phenomenal . . . We couldn’t ask for better.”

Dixon said roughly 200 paying guests went through the gate, in addition to children 10 and under, who were admitted free of charge.

The Craik ag committee became active again last year after going dormant in the early 1990s.

With permission from town council, they rebuilt the riding arena “from the ground up,” in Dixon’s words.

The arena measures 120 feet by 235 feet. Standing next to it is a building that houses the announcer’s booth and concession stand, along with a fenced-in area serving as the beer gardens.

The project was supported by a grant from Federated Co-op Ltd., as well as various local sponsors, whose names are carved into wooden planks that line the outer walls of the arena.

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Obituary: McGinnis, Anne


Anne McGinnis (née Hrechka)
January 9th, 1949 — September 5th, 2017

Anne McGinnis passed away on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 with her family by her side. Anne was born on January 9th, 1949 in Peesane, Sask. She was predeceased by her parents John and Stella; sister Mary Noren; brothers-in-law Jerry Noren and Leo Shull; sisters-in-law Mary Hrechka and Bev Hrechka; and father-in-law Earl McGinnis.

Anne leaves behind the love of her life, Bill McGinnis, whom she married on June 11th, 1966. She will be lovingly remembered by her daughters: Wanda (Dean Sunley), Wendy (Steve Sanden), and Wanesa (Bill Dell); her grandchildren: Hailey, Jenna and Hope Sunley, Josh, Aiden and Hanna Sanden, and Paige and April Dell, who all meant everything to her; her sister Kathy Shull; brothers Mike (Darlene) and Bill Hrechka; as well as many nieces and nephews. She will be dearly missed.

In keeping with Anne’s wishes, a private family service will be held at a later date. Flowers are gratefully declined. In lieu of flowers, donations in Anne’s name may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements are entrusted to Moose Jaw Funeral Home, 268 Mulberry Lane. Todd Sjoberg, Funeral Director 306-693-4550,