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Bylaw changes still in the works

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Major revisions of some key town bylaws are still in the works, council heard at a recent meeting.

The status of the revisions was a topic of discussion during Davidson town council’s regular meeting on Oct. 17.

Coun. Arlene Low expressed some concern regarding a lack of regular formal updates on the bylaws and other matters.

She said she finds it frustrating how council will request action or discuss a topic at one meeting, and “then they’re never brought up again.”

In May, council requested that town staff prepare a draft of a business licensing bylaw, to target businesses that operate in town but whose owners do not currently pay commercial property taxes.

The current business licensing bylaw was approved in 1981 and remains on the books, though it has not been updated or enforced in decades.

Regarding the new bylaw, Mayor Tyler Alexander said at October’s meeting, “It’s something that we’re looking at putting in for next year, so we’ve got time yet.”

In March, council agreed to form a committee to oversee the Davidson cemetery, and to replace the existing bylaw, which dates back to 1951 and was last updated in 1979. The committee was formed, but council has yet to see a draft of a revised bylaw.

Following a pair of dog bite incidents in August and September, council also agreed to a recommendation from town staff that the animal control bylaw be reviewed.

In that case, the aim was to expedite the process of dealing with animals deemed dangerous, by eliminating the step of holding a hearing.

Within the last year, council has also requested a revision of the fire bylaw, with co-operation from local fire officials.

Assistant administrator Donna Bessey told the Leader last week that she is gradually working on the bylaw revisions as time allows, juggling that with her other responsibilities.

“They’re all important,” she said. “I’m doing the best that I can.”

Sometimes, Bessey said, council provides only limited details in regards to the changes they want to see, which delays the process.

Coun. Todd Lockwood said last week that better communication between council and staff would help the process along.

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Parent named Elbow’s Citizen of the Year

Elbow Mayor Rob Hundeby presents Joe Parent with the Citizen of the Year award during the village’s ratepayers meeting on Wednesday.

 

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Three contenders were neck-and-neck for the title of Elbow’s Citizen of the Year, divided by a spread of just eight votes.

In the end, Joe Parent was the winner of this year’s title, presented during the village’s ratepayers meeting on Wednesday.

Parent was nominated in recognition of his efforts to beautify the town, and in particular his work on the Urban Orchard at the centre of Elbow.

Mayor Rob Hundeby, who presented the award, thanked Parent personally for his work in leading the crew of volunteers that tends and maintains the orchard.

“It’s just awesome to see that flourish,” said the mayor.

A report by the Friends of the Orchard indicated a successful year with a bountiful harvest that included apples, saskatoon berries and multiple varieties of cherries.

Parent in turn thanked those who nominated and voted for him, saying he was proud of the orchard — calling it a “unique” place in Elbow — and grateful for the support of the village and volunteers.

He has also worked on the village park and the entrance garden at the Elbow cemetery.

Also nominated this year were Evelyn Bramble and Grace McTavish. Residents and ratepayers were eligible to vote for their nominee of choice.

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Minor hockey season opens with Cyclones school

Zack Prpick gets ready to attempt a backhand shot on goalie Hunter Wightman.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — More than 80 budding hockey pros hit the ice at the AGT Centre last weekend during the Cyclones hockey school, held Oct. 20 to 22.

The three-day event is organized annually by the senior hockey team, with a rotation of players leading the sessions for each of the five age groups.

The event began Friday and Saturday with age-appropriate lessons, including drills on skating and puck handling, and wrapped up Sunday with three-on-three matches.

A total of 83 players were registered for the weekend event, which marks the beginning of minor hockey season in Davidson.

Rob Warkentin, vice-president of the Davidson Junior Athletics Association (JAA), said 120 players are registered this year, which is in line with the average over the last few seasons.

The biggest change this year was the introduction of online registration through the JAA’s new website.

Previously, parents would email the association to register their players, but organizers often had to follow up to fill in the gaps for any missing information.

From his point of view, Warkentin said the website made the registration process much easier.

“It worked very well from our side, and I think most of the parents were pretty happy with it too,” he said last week. “We’ll call that a win.”

Davidson has eight minor hockey teams this year, including two initiation teams with 33 kids in total, and two novice teams with 27 kids in total.

There is also one team each for the atom, peewee, bantam and midget divisions.

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Team to recreate murals on coffee pot

The giant coffee pot at Davidson is shown during the painting of the murals in July of 1996.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — The familiar murals on Davidson’s Giant Coffee Pot will live on.

Members of a new coffee pot restoration committee met for the first time recently, discussing plans to revitalize the 24-foot-high monument and protect it from further deterioration.

Coun. Arlene Low reported on their progress to her fellow town councillors during their regular meeting on Tuesday.

The group has decided to go ahead with repainting the murals, which have faded after decades of year-round exposure.

The fate of the murals had previously been in question, as other options had been proposed for the outside of the coffee pot.

For instance, a proposal to repaint the structure with a speckled paint finish — giving it the look of an antique enamelware coffee pot — had attracted some support.

However, Low said, residents ultimately seemed to prefer the idea of trying to maintain the murals.

“So far it seems to have a very positive momentum,” said Low.

Gail Prpick, Karen Reich and Dee Ulmer have agreed to lead a team of community volunteers in repainting the mural, which they hope to do in June of next year.

Before that happens, the coffee pot will be sandblasted to combat the rust that has appeared in several places.

The finished paint job will be followed by the professional application of a clear coating, to extend the paint’s lifespan and protect the artwork.

Coun. Jessica Foster, who also serves on the committee, said they are researching what materials and approaches will work best for the project. The committee is planning a follow-up meeting this week.

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Flu vaccine available starting today

Public health nurse Sheri Warkentin gives the flu vaccine to Vi Siroski in this 2015 photo.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Time to roll up your sleeves again — flu season is here.

Health officials are again advising Saskatchewan residents to protect themselves by getting immunized against influenza.

The vaccine is available free of charge to all residents six months and older.

Public flu vaccination clinics are being held across the province beginning this week.

The first clinic for Davidson residents is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Davidson Town Hall. (A complete list of scheduled clinics in Davidson and other communities follows at the end of this article.)

Patients aged nine years and over can also receive the vaccine at participating pharmacies, including Midway Pharmacy in Davidson.

Local pharmacist Dave Nykiforuk said just over 180 people received the vaccine through his business last year. Customers have already been asking about this year’s vaccine for a couple of weeks, he said last week.

The program is designed not to compete with the scheduled clinics, but rather to improve access to the vaccine across the board, said Nykiforuk.

“I think people find it convenient,” he said. “Lots of people like to go to the clinic when they have them, but it doesn’t always work for everyone.”

The vaccine will be available from the pharmacy till sometime in March, generally considered the end of flu season.

Nykiforuk said 90 per cent of customers looking for the vaccine will receive it in the first month. After that the demand drops off substantially, though they will still get the occasional request — from snowbirds returning home in the new year, for instance.

The vaccine is also available through the Royal Street Pharmacy in Imperial, according to a list provided by the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan.

Officials advised that high-risk groups — such as seniors, children, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems — are particularly encouraged to get the vaccine.

This year’s vaccines contain the influenza A and B viral strains predicted by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most likely to circulate in the upcoming flu season.

The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on the match between the vaccine strains and the flu strains circulating in the patient’s community. The patient’s age and immune response are also factors.

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Coach: offensive push needed as Sabers head into playoffs

Hanley’s Tyler Halabi (84) tackles Hague’s Jared Unger (11) during Thursday’s senior football game. Surrounding them are Wyatt Hildebrand, Parker Mooney and Tanner Anderson.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — A win over Hague on Thursday capped an undefeated regular season for the Hanley Sabers.

But coach Mark Anderson said he’s aware of a worrying trend as he looks towards playoffs.

The Hanley senior football team hosted the Hague Panthers on Thursday, winning 80-55.

The week before that, they travelled to Carrot River, where they won 76-57 — their closest score so far this season.

“We’ve been challenged offensively the last few weeks,” said Anderson following Thursday’s game.

He said it appeared the team was taking “a couple of steps back,” calling it a somewhat dangerous place to be heading into playoffs.

“The guys have just got to figure out how bad they want it,” he added.

The Sabers have won six out of seven games in their regular season. (The sole exception was a cancelled Sept. 28 game in Viscount, which was recorded as a tie.)

The team dominated in its first four games, winning by at least four runs in each one.

They are first in their 1A conference with a 6-0-1 record, followed by Viscount in second and Carrot River in third. Rounding out the ranks are Porcupine Plain, Hague and Hudson Bay.

The Sabers rotated through their roster in Thursday’s game, allowing both seniors and juniors time on the field.

Hanley held the lead throughout, though Hague proved themselves more than worthy competitors. Read more