During the last week of 2010, we’ll be publishing a special segment each day reviewing the top stories from the past year.
January 8th 2010 – Wiebo Ludwig arrested and then released in connection with Encana Bombings
Early in January 2010, dozens of RCMP officers stormed the commune of Wiebo Ludwig near Hythe, AB and arrested the former preacher.
Ludwig was released from jail the next morning without charges. To date, the RCMP have not been able to collect enough evidence against Ludwig or anyone else in connection with the bombings of Encana facilities in the Tomslake area in 2008 and 2009.
City Council takes on Air Canada
Late in 2009, Fort St. John City Council discovered that the price for flight passes will double in this region. In addition, the passes will now be restricted to 25 people, rather than 300 as before, and will not be accepted for flights to Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Mayor Bruce Lantz sent a letter to Air Canada and claimed the corporation was discriminating against northern communities for the rate hike.
In April, Air Canada changed their rates on the flight passes. (see story) However, flying in and out of Fort St. John without the passes can remain an expensive preposition with round trip tickets between Fort St. John and Vancouver now running in the $800 range.
Olympic Torch Visits Fort St. John
Residents of Fort St. John turned out in droves, as the Olympic torch passed through the Energetic City on Sunday.
Thousands of cheering fans lined the relay route and watched Elks speed-skater Jamie Lee take the flame for a spin around the outdoor oval. 93 year-old Ross H. MacLean lit the cauldron at Centennial park, where Premier Gordon Campbell addressed the crowd, while kids played hockey on the snow and slithered down the winding ice-slides.
Fans also signed good-luck cards for the two Fort St. John athletes heading to the Vancouver Games – Denny Morrison and Michelle Kelly – with free hot chocolate to help warm up chilly bodies.
Ross H. MacLean passed away in June of 2010. (see story)
See Original Story about the Torch Relay
Fort St. John’s Denny Morrison wins gold at the Olympics
Fort St. John native Denny Morrison did Fort St. John and the country proud when he and two teammates, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux beat the Americans in the Team pursuit event at the Vancouver Olympics. The team finished the race with a time of 3:41.37, beating the US by 0.21 seconds.
Fort St. John Population Grows to 19,457
In 2009, According to BC Stats, the population of Fort St. John grew by 665 people in 2009 and is now 19,457.
The 3.5 per cent increase was the largest among the seven Peace Region communities listed.
Rig Blows up near Hythe, AB
A fire broke out on a rig near Hythe, AB at around 3:00 a.m., when Canadian Natural Resources workers were drilling a sweet gas well. No workers were injured in the incident.
Ironically, Anti-oil activist Wiebo Ludwig’s property boarders the well site, about 22 kilometres northwest of Hythe.