Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween tips to share with your kids

Halloween is a day when people can unwind and have a blast, dress up and be spooky; but always remember to be safe while enjoying the night! Halloween yard lights

Here are some trick or treating safety tips from the RCMP website, sent along by Sgt. Rusk.

When you decide to go out trick or treating :

  • Collect candy in a group. Don’t trick or treat alone.
  • Bring a flashlight; some areas might not have any street lights.
  • Use make up instead of wearing a mask; that way your sightline is not blocked. If you do go with a mask, cut the eye holes a little bit bigger.
  • Make sure that your costume props cannot be used as weapons.
  • Bring a cell phone in case of an emergency.
  • Be careful around people you don’t know. While some people may really get into the Halloween spirit and want to scare everyone, others may have more worrisome intentions.
  • Don’t eat any unpackaged candy.
  • Don’t smash pumpkins and egg houses. While it may seem like harmless fun, this is vandalism that can lead to serious consequences.
  • Don’t take any chances by getting into a car with someone you don’t know.

Halloween ghoulUnity RCMP want to wish all of their communities a safe and happy Halloween.

Sgt. Grant A. RUSK, NCO i/c Unity/ Wilkie/ Macklin RCMP Detachment


Halloween party tips from the RCMP

Unity RCMP want to wish all of their communities a safe and happy Halloween.

Sgt. Grant A. RUSK
NCO i/c Unity/ Wilkie/ Macklin RCMP Detachment
halloween yard decorations
Below are some safety tips from the RCMP site, sent along by Sgt. Rusk.
Halloween Safety Tips – If you decide to spend your evening at a Halloween party:
  • Make sure to use the buddy system while at a party. Stay with at least one of your friends at all times, especially if you don’t know many people.
  • Be cautious of underage drinking, or any illegal drugs that may be circulating around the party.
  • Make sure to never leave your drink unattended.
  • Don’t accept a ride home from someone at the party, especially if you think they may have been drinking or doing drugs.
  • Agree on a time and a place for you and your friends to meet in the event that you get separated, so that you can all go home together.
  • Call your parents or a trusted adult right away if you feel uncomfortable and want to be picked up.

Regardless of what you are doing, make sure you are dressed for the weather which is always unpredictable in late October. Halloween is a day when people can unwind and have a blast, dress up and be spooky; but always remember to be safe while enjoying the night.

halloween decorations

Joanne Weber, author and McLurg grad


Joanne WeberBorn and raised in the Town of Wilkie, Joanne Weber came home Thanksgiving weekend to share excerpts from her new book, The Deaf House, with the community.

About 30 people – a pretty impressive turnout for a small town on a long weekend – came to McLurg High School Oct. 12, to hear Weber speak and read from her book.

Joanne described The Deaf House as “a very fictionalized autobiography,” saying, “I tend to embellish things.”

She suffers, and has always suffered, from profound hearing loss but with persistent, active parenting and teaching from her parents, Ed and particularly Lois Weber, she can function in the Hearing world to such an extent she holds several university degrees. For many years, while a single parent with two young Hearing daughters, she worked as a Northwest Regional College literacy co-ordinator, travelling throughout northwest Saskatchewan.

On the other hand, Joanne can’t and never could hear the conversations swirling around her at the family dinner table, in school hallways or staff lunchrooms.

More recent events, feelings and challenges intermingle with flashbacks to childhood in The Deaf House. Interspersed throughout are pieces from her mother’s Green Journal, a diary Lois kept of Joanne’s progress in learning language as well as of family worries.

At the reading, well-chosen book excerpts read aloud evoked visible emotion in members of the audience – chuckles, a glimpse of understanding of frustrations felt, sadness and a tightening of the throat.

at McLurg High, WilkieThe excerpts spanned much of her life, from very early childhood memories to adolescence and memories of McLurg High School, to single parenting in North Battleford to her current position at Thom Collegiate in Regina where she works with deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students.

She concluded with the last lines of her book, which indicate she has found a sort of acceptance. “There is no solution, no cure, no rehabilitation, there is my body that just is. Fired into the world, my Deaf body has become the house for me.”

Joanne WeberFollowing the reading, Weber sold and signed copies of her book, which officially launches Oct. 30 in Regina.

The Deaf House has received early praise from reviewers. Gary Malkowski, L.H.D., formerly North America’s only Deaf Parliamentarian, said, “The Deaf House is an absolute must-read for every reader, especially parents of deaf and hard of hearing children, educators and administrators in the areas of deaf education, special education, and educational policy.”

The book is a very personal story and one many Deaf people would not be able to tell because they would not have the array of words to do so.

James Roots, in his review of the book for The Literary Review of Canada, entitled the review: “Faking Your Way Through Life – A memoir captures the tension between the deaf and hearing worlds.” Before discussing the book, he points out “Communication is a prerequisite to belonging. Belonging to a family, a school, a culture – it does not matter …” His review can be found at

Weber’s The Deaf House is in many ways the story of her search for belonging. It is available online at the publisher’s website,, and is also available at Crandleberry’s in North Battleford and McNally Robinson in Saskatoon. Joanne will be reading at McNally Robinson, October 29.

Next week’s paper

Coming up in next week’s Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald:

  • story on and photos of McLurg grad Joanne Weber’s visit home to Wilkie; Joanne is a published author and she read from her book, The Deaf House;
  • a report on the Unity Lazers Midget AA team’s opening games — they’re based out of Unity but really are a regional team with players from Unity, Wilkie, Rockhaven, Kerrobert, Neilburg and other area communities;
  • and, with everyone hoping the Riders show what they can do against the B.C. Lions tomorrow, next week’s Top 10, found on the back page of the paper, features Grey Cup trivia!
Unity Midget AA Lazers

Unity Midget AA Lazers celebrate a goal in their game against Prince Albert, Oct. 12.

Waste Reduction Week coming up

Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff has proclaimed October 21-27 as Waste Reduction Week in Saskatchewan, marking the 13th time the province has joined the nation in recognizing the week.

With an emphasis on engaging Canadians, Waste Reduction Week aims to inspire communities throughout the province and across the country to take a more conscientious approach toward the protection, preservation and enhancement of our environment.

“Saskatchewan has some of the most effective and successful recycling programs in the country,” Cheveldayoff said.  “Thanks to our recycling programs for used beverage containers, oil, tires, paint and electronics, more than 48,000 tonnes and 19 million litres of waste materials were diverted from our landfills in 2012.  However, there is still more to do when it comes to reducing waste and increasing recycling habits.”

“Too Good to Waste”, the theme for Waste Reduction Week, aligns with the government’s growth plan to sustain economic growth while protecting the environment and maintaining Saskatchewan’s excellent quality of life.

“We’re thrilled that the Ministry of Environment has proclaimed Waste Reduction Week,” Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Executive Director Joanne Fedyk said.  “Waste Reduction Week is a great opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments and to adopt new waste-reducing habits so that we can work toward a waste-free Saskatchewan.”

Waste Reduction Week in Saskatchewan is organized by the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council.  For more information, visit

Easy exercise for those not so fit

It is extremely important to your well-being to be as active as possible, no matter what your current level of fitness is. Sometimes staying active during winter months can be a challenge.

Heartland Health District and McLurg High School are teaming up to provide “Walk This Way to Better Health.” This exercise program is designed for people of all ages, including those who have had recent hip or knee surgery and those suffering some sort of chronic disease such as COPD or arthritis.

The program is adapted for each individual who participates, depending on his or her current level of fitness and physical ability. It can include walking or a combination of  walking and various exercises.

One of the most important things about the program is that it teaches you how to exercise safely, eat properly and manage stress. Professional health care providers will be on hand to evaluate your needs and get you started.

There is no charge! .

Let’s make exercise fun by working together. Please call 306-843-2163 if you are interested in joining Wilkie’s Easy Living Exercise Program and keeping yourself healthy.

Harvest results

SaskAg Crop Report for West-Central Saskatchewan, Oct. 1 – 7

Harvest is essentially complete in the region: 97 per cent of the crop is combined. The five-year average (2008 to 2012) is 83 per cent combined. The amount of rainfall in the region last week ranged from nil to 36 mm (Dinsmore area). Sixty-seven per cent of the flax and 69 per cent of the canaryseed (two minor crops) have been combined. Yields well above the 10-year average are being reported.

Spring wheat grades are rated as 79 per cent 1CW, 17 per cent 2CW and four per cent 3CW.

Although some areas received rain last week, topsoil moisture conditions are still very dry. Twenty per cent of the crop land has adequate topsoil moisture, 50 per cent is short and 30 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as 28 per cent adequate, 45 per cent short and 27 per cent very short.  Many areas in the region have not had a significant rainfall in over a month and a half. In crop districts 7A and 7B, over 43 per cent of the cropland, hay land and pasture is very short of topsoil moisture.

Producers are busy with fall weed control operations, hauling bales and bringing cattle home from pastures.

Above average yields in most of province

Of the crop that has been harvested, average to above-average yields are being reported in most areas. Spring wheat average yields are reported as 47 bushels per acre, durum 44 bushels per acre, barley 69 bushels per acre, canola 38 bushels per acre and peas 43 bushels per acre. Average yields vary from region to region, depending on seeding conditions and growing season moisture.  Provincial spring wheat quality is estimated to be above average. Grades for spring wheat are estimated as 59 per cent 1CW, 31 per cent 2CW, nine per cent 3CW and one per cent CW feed.

Wilkie’s volunteer firefighters

By Kathy Heilman

The Wilkie & District Fire Department has 22 firefighters with a combined service of 317 years! That is quite an amazing fact, considering the age of the firefighters. They do a great job in ensuring the safety of the community and the district 24/7.

This past year has been a busy one, with the department attending five fires and 15 motor vehicle accidents. Each situation is different and the training they’ve received over the past few years has really made a difference.

firefighter training

Wilkie and other firefighters learn how to use the Jaws of Life to extricate a driver dummy at a training course held in Wilkie in the fall of 2011.

A very important component in the activities of the fire department is public education. Shelia Wildeman is the education co-ordinator and, along with other members of the department, she has been able to talk to students and others about various aspects in keeping their homes and businesses safe from fire and what to do in case of a fire.

Future plans for the Wilkie & District Fire Department include purchasing new self-contained breathing apparatus in 2014, looking to replace and upgrade the emergency quick response vehicle and training new recruits to the 1001 level.

This year the department replaces the water tanker and, with the arrival of STARS in the province and in particular Saskatoon, added a new duty to their jobs. Firefighters, along with police, are to be on site at any STARS pickup of a patient, whether in Wilkie at the designated site or wherever STARS is needed in the country. STARS staff are very professional, well-trained and know their job, making the job for the Wilkie Fire Department a good experience.

The fire department is always looking for new people, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Fire Chief Randy Elder at 306-843-7949 or Deputy Fire Chief Craig Sittler at 306-843-8242.

See the October 7th issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald for photos of the volunteer members of the Wilkie & District Fire Department and for a number of fire safety and prevention tips.

Crop progress before the rain

With our area escaping the rain experienced during the September 24 to 30 period covered by the latest Crop Report from Saskatchewan Agriculture, we continued to be ahead of the rest of the province in harvest progress.

West-Central Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 6B – Hanley, Outlook, Loreburn, Saskatoon and Arelee areas; Crop District 7 – Rosetown, Kindersley, Eston, Major, Kerrobert, Macklin, Wilkie and Biggar areas)

The west-central region is the most advanced area of the province,  with 95 per cent of the crop combined and four per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut. Crop districts 7A and 7B recorded very little rain and so combines continued to roll in those areas. Rain ranged from nil to 62 mm (Hanley area). Spring wheat combined ranges from 90 to 100 per cent; oats 50 to 100 per cent; barley 40 100 per cent; canola 80 to 100 per cent and flax 10 to 100 per cent combined. Flax and canaryseed crops are being combined. Many farmers have completed harvest and others hope to finish within the week.

With some areas receiving very little rain, topsoil moisture conditions continue to deteriorate and are rated as 16 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and 47 per cent very short on cropland. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as 22 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and 48 per cent very short. Many areas in the region have not received a significant rainfall in over a month. Crop districts 7A and 7B are reporting over 40 per cent of the cropland, hay land and pasture is very short of topsoil moisture. Crop and combine fires have been reported in many areas.

Pasture conditions are rated as three per cent excellent, 13 per cent good, 43 per cent fair, 28 per cent poor and 13 per cent very poor.

The majority of the crop damage was caused by strong winds (of up to 80 km per /hour) that damaged some swathed crops. Producers are busy finishing harvest, working fields and starting fall weed control.


Seventy-nine per cent of the 2013 crop is now combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Significant rainfall recorded last week slowed harvest progress in most areas of the province. Fifteen per cent is swathed or is ready to straight-cut. The five-year average (2008-2012) for this time of year is 74 per cent combined and 18 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Harvest progress is most advanced in the west-central region, where 95 per cent of the crop is combined. Seventy-two per cent is combined in the southeast; 85 per cent in the southwest; 68 per cent in the east-central region; 74 per cent in the northeast and 88 per cent in the northwest.

Rainfall throughout the province ranged from nil to 81 mm. Many areas received over 35 mm of rain, and heavy precipitation was reported in the southwestern, east-central and northeastern regions. Many areas in the southwestern, southeastern and east-central regions have been experiencing rain delays for a couple of weeks.

Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 19 per cent short and 11 per cent very short. Topsoil moisture on hay and pasture land is rated as two per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and 11 per cent very short.

Pasture conditions are rated as nine per cent excellent, 43 per cent good, 29 per cent fair, 16 per cent poor and three per cent very poor.

Rain and strong winds caused the majority of the crop damage. The rain has resulted in bleaching and sprouting of some cereal crops. Wind has caused some shattering losses in swathed canola and ripe crops.

Farmers are busy combining, hauling bales and completing fall weed control operations.