Collapse and rebirth of the Charlie Lake Fire Department

After it was revealed that Charlie Lake Fire Chief Al Pinkerton would no longer be qualified for his job once the Peace River Regional District took over the Fire Department, firefighters asked for control back in February, but were told the takeover would continue. A new Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief were hired, but on Chief Steve Munshaw’s first day, almost all of the firefighters turned in their pagers. Although Larson left in September, things have since turned around with several volunteers firefighters returning to work with new recruits and Acting Fire Chief Stuart Larson.

Man dies after fight at Hedley concert

A 28-year old man was found unconscious in the bathroom of the Encana Events Centre during a Hedley concert on Valentine’s Day, and later died at the Dawson Creek Hospital. RCMP investigation found that the fight between five people may have been started over a spilled beer. The three suspects were later arrested in a drinking establishment, but charges have yet to be laid.

School District 60 teachers go on strike

Teachers in School Districts 60 and across the province staged a three-day strike in early March, as their labour dispute with the provincial government escalated. High school students also walked out in solidarity with their teachers. Phase 1 strike action continued, meaning students were taught, but teachers did not perform any non-essential services like supervise recess. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation voted to accept a new contract in June

Blowout at Suncor rig near Hudson’s Hope

On March 9, a Suncor natural gas rig 20 kilometres north of Hudson’s Hope caught fire after a blowout. There was no hydraulic fracturing occurring at the time of the incident, and gas flow had diminished and fire had dissipated by March 28. The rig was completely plugged by May 10. The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission maintains that at no time was there a risk to public safety.

Rick Hansen brings Man in Motion Tour to Fort St. John

The Man in Motion himself made his way to the Energetic City on March 21, as part of the 25th anniversary of his Man in Motion World Tour. The whole community was involved in the celebration, as Rick Hansen visited with students at the North Peace Arena, as well as the Child Development Centre and the Chamber of Commerce. Several residents were given Difference Maker awards, including 10 year-old Erica Thomas and Chair of the Mayor’s Disability Advisory Committee Lori Slater.