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A safe arrival on Highway 11

EMS co-ordinator Adrian Schmiedge poses with Owen Tannahill and his mom Lacey, days after he helped deliver the child in the back of an ambulance.

By Joel van der Veen

BLADWORTH — It was a special delivery Lacey and Chase Tannahill won’t soon forget.

The couple welcomed their newborn son Owen around 5 p.m. on Sept. 5, weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz., measuring 20.5 inches long.

He arrived while his mother was laying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance, stopped on the side of Highway 11 just north of Bladworth.

The Tannahills were en route from Liberty to Saskatoon to deliver their child, but pulled over once they realized the birth was imminent.

A 9-1-1 call summoned the ambulance from Davidson, and within a minute of climbing aboard, Lacey had given birth.

“It came fast, very, very fast,” said Lacey. “Once the ambulance got there, I settled down quite a bit . . . I was a lot calmer once I got in there.”

“We knew it’d be fairly quick,” said Chase. “We didn’t know it’d be as quick as it was.”

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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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Win at home over Lanigan opens new football season

The Davidson Raiders’ Trystan Stacowich (55) moves in on the Lanigan Lazers’ Wade Morrow (63) during a Sept. 8 senior football game in Davidson.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — With just five games in their regular season, each one counts for the Davidson Raiders this year.

The six-man football team started things off right with a 46-36 win over the Lanigan Lazers at home on Sept. 8.

“It was a great morale booster to get the home win,” said coach Jason Low, calling the game a “team victory.”

The Raiders led for most of the game, but Lanigan remained hot on their heels throughout.

“I felt like it was a very balanced game,” Low remarked. “Both teams were pretty evenly matched.”

The Raiders have a roster of 19 players this season, but only six of them are students at Davidson School.

Also playing are two students from Loreburn, five from Craik and six from Kenaston.

Low acknowledged that without the co-op arrangement that allows students from other area schools to play, Davidson wouldn’t have been able to field a senior football team this year.

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Local man believed dead in farm fire

Three buildings were destroyed in a fire that broke out Sept. 1 in a farmyard 7 km south of Davidson.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Many questions remain unanswered following a massive Friday night fire that levelled three buildings on a farmyard south of Davidson.

Local firefighters responded to the call at 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 1.

They remained on site for the next 18 hours, fighting to bring the fire under control and preventing its spread to the rest of the yard.

The fire destroyed a house and two barns in the yard, located seven kilometres south of Davidson on the east side of Highway 11.

Jerry Bezanson, who owned the property and lived there, is believed to have died in the fire, though officials would not confirm this last week.

The dramatic blaze caught the attention of highway travellers and local residents, and could reportedly be seen as far away as Aylesbury.

Police were monitoring the yard the following day, maintaining site security while the investigation continued.

The remains of multiple vintage vehicles could be seen underneath the wreckage of the long barn that dominated the yard.

Fire chief Clayton Schilling said he could not provide further details on the incident, as it is subject to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Members of the Craik RCMP detachment also responded to the fire, along with additional investigative units.

Officers confirmed to the Leader that three structures were involved, but would not confirm any further details. No details were provided on the cause or catalyst for the fire.

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Grand opening for Co-op fertilizer depot

Employee Neil Renwick gives a guided tour of FCL’s new fertilizer terminal near Hanley during a grand opening event on Sept. 5.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — As a farm boy himself, Scott Banda couldn’t help but remark on the ideal harvest conditions seen near Hanley on Tuesday.

“The sun is shining, wheels are turning, dust is flying,” he said. “Everything’s going our way today.”

Banda, the CEO of Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL), was speaking at the grand opening for his company’s new fertilizer terminal southwest of Hanley.

Representatives from FCL and co-ops across the province, as well as other industry reps, dignitaries and media, were on hand to tour the 96,000-square foot facility.

The high-throughput terminal has a capacity of 45,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, and will be used to mix, store and distribute products through the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) to retail partners and producers across Saskatchewan.

Dan Mulder, FCL’s fertilizer director, served as master of ceremonies during Tuesday’s grand opening.

He said the facility represents the adoption of a new centralized model and “a new way of doing business.”

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Al-Katib featured in pulsating picture

A strong Davidson contingent attended the premiere of “Changing the Pulse of the Province” in Saskatoon on Aug. 30. Pictured are (from left) Serra, Murad and Michelle Al-Katib, Vanna Gay Shaw, Angela and Jason Shaw, Monica and Gerrid Gust, Arlene and Jason Low, Corla Rokochy, Betty Crowley and Stephanie Prpick-Boss.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Murad Al-Katib was on the edge of his seat as he waited for the movie to start.

And with good reason: the film he was about to watch was telling his own story.

“Changing the Pulse of the Province,” a 27-minute documentary, premiered Aug. 30 at the Persephone Theatre at Saskatoon’s Remai Arts Centre.

The film was the third entry in the Popcorn and Entrepreneurship series, produced by the North Saskatoon Business Association.

The movie tells the story of Al-Katib, who was born and raised in Davidson, and the company he founded, AGT Food and Ingredients.

The company distributes lentils, chickpeas and other crops to more than 120 countries internationally, generating $2 billion a year in revenue.

Though he was interviewed extensively for the movie, Al-Katib said he had no say in the final cut and had to wait for the premiere like everyone else.

In the last year, Al-Katib has received two international awards, beginning with the Business for Peace Award, presented in a gala in Oslo, Norway on May 16.

On June 10, he accepted the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award at a ceremony in Monaco.

This string of events may have given some the perception that Al-Katib actively seeks the spotlight, but he said the truth is actually the opposite of that.

“I don’t like the accolades and all of that all the time,” he told the Leader, characterizing himself as a humble, hard-working guy who “just did my job.”

He said he hopes the film will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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