Monthly Archives: February 2014

Kinsmen supporting the community

The Wilkie Kinsmen, even as plans are in place for this weekend’s province-wide Telemiracle, have been out and about making donations to local individuals and for local initiatives. You can check out the details in the March 3 issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald, along with:

  • an update on Jada Woodrow’s progress in raising enough funds to build a house for a Mexican single mother and her family;
  • a summary of results and where all three area senior men’s hockey teams are at in their respective league playoffs; and
  • a new concept in farm financing – commodity streaming.

There are many new events being advertised too – check out the Calendar link at the top of this page or see the ads in the paper for even more details.

Weight restrictions – coldest day – government bureaucracy

Yes, dear readers – as we have all been hearing and reading all week, tomorrow, March 1, will be the coldest March 1 on record. In fact it will be, I think, the coldest day of the 2013-14 winter.

We also all know that, with the spring thaw, comes weight restrictions on secondary highways and municipal roads. The goal of the restrictions is to minimize damage to roads from heavy trucks thundering over them when they are soft and wet, as the snow melts and the frost leaves the ground.

Many of us also have an image of government bureaucracy being slow to react to real life situations and circumstances and even, dare I say it, at times lacking common sense. I was reminded of that when I read the following press release letting the citizens of Saskatchewan know road weight restrictions will come into effect March 1.

(While I don’t want to actively encourage anyone to break the law, I think it’s probably a safe bet that there will not be too many officers out on the highways and byways enforcing those restrictions in the -48C wind chill predicted tomorrow. It’s probably also pretty safe to predict the roads will be just as frozen as they have been to date.)

Here’s the Government of Saskatchewan press release:


Winter weight season ends on some Saskatchewan highways as of March 1.

“Roads are less prone to damage from heavier loads when they are frozen in the winter, so we allow truckers and shippers to realize the cost savings that come with heavier legal weights,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris said.  “As roads begin to thaw and are most prone to damage, however, our focus turns to protecting our investment in highways.”

Winter weights have been in effect since December.  These will start being removed at 12:01 am March 1.  Weight restriction orders around winter weights are published online at under the “New Winter Order” link.  Regularly scheduled updates of the winter restriction orders will be provided every Tuesday and Friday by 12:30 p.m. until March 15 when winter weights are no longer in effect.

The freeze period during winter strengthens the road and supports heavier truck loads, providing shippers an opportunity to transport heavier loads during the colder winter months.  Typically, these winter weights run from mid-November through mid-March.

Shippers should also be aware of upcoming spring road bans and follow weight limits on secondary roads during this most fragile six-week thaw period.

Truckers can see the latest road restriction orders and related information online at or by calling the Highway Hotline across Canada at 1-888-335-7623.  Technical and regulatory information is also available from Commercial Vehicle Enforcement at 1-866-933-5290, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except stat holidays.

Please note that in previous years, orders have been posted at  While this address is still functional, users may wish to update any bookmarks.

Half of NSRHL first all-stars are Outlaws

Three of the six first team NSRHL all-stars are Wilkie Outlaws. Defencemen Derrek Keller and Will Rathje and right wing Rick Cey were all named to the first all-star team. Centre Kyle Wagner was named to the second all-star team.

Also named to the first all-stars were St Walburg’s goalie Bryan Bridges and centre Trevor Bailey, along with left winger DJ King of the Meadow Lake Stampeders.

The Eagles were also well represented on the second all-star team with Brent Wilson and Taylor Thiessen both being named as defencemen. Tied with Jamie Jeannotte of the Meadow Lake Stampeders for the right wing position was Brady Zerr. Rounding out the roster were players from the Edam 3 Stars, goalie Quinton Gauthier and left wing Mitch Wall.

The Outlaws had a bye through the first round of North Saskatchewan River Hockey League playoffs, and are ahead 2 games to 1 in the semifinal against the Edam 3 Stars. The fourth game is in Edam, Sunday, March 2. The fifth and final game, if needed, will be played in Wilkie, Wednesday, March 5, at 8:30 p.m.

Horses seized – see Monday’s paper

Four horses from the pasture near Scott have now been seized by the Saskatchewan SPCA. Global, CTV and CBC are also now all covering this story of animal neglect.

CBC News at Scott

Read all about it in the February 24 issue of  the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald. Also in next week’s paper:

  • a profile of Wilkie’s Balloon Man, Larry Goodall;
  • coverage on discussions about train speeds and cargo; and
  • the Outlaws move on to the next round of provincial playoffs.

Of course, all the regular features will also be there – financial advice, the RCMP report and the Top 10, as well as the editorial page.

Students learn about workplace bullying

After guest speaker Blake Fly of Toronto, Ont., concluded his presentation to assembled students from Mclurg, Unity Composite, McLurg High, Luseland and Macklin schools, Feb. 4, a panel discussion on bullying, harassment and the use of social media in the workplace took place.

(For more information on Fly’s presentation, see the February 10th issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald or

Panel members were local lawyer Ken Neil; human resources personnel for both the Unity Credit Union, Alan Zimmer, and Living Sky School Division, Brenda Vickers; Lana Mabbett from Heartland Health; local business owner Mike Wismer; RCMP Cst. Eric Macdonald; and Living Sky’s superintendent of schools, curriculum and instruction, Brian Quinn.

community presenters


UCHS student Zoher Rafid-Hamed posed questions to different panel members in turn. Responses and comments made by panel members included the following.

Quinn talked about a specific incident in a Living Sky school where an inappropriate comment was made to a student and other students immediately stepped in to tell the offending student it was inappropriate. “No tool is as powerful as peers stepping in,” he said, telling the students that, more and more, “who” you are is more important than the talents or skills you have.

Zimmer reinforced that statement when he explained that, even before someone is hired at the credit union, they try to weed out people who will not fit in. For example, a potential new employee will be asked specific questions about how he or she deals with conflict.

Vickers echoed Zimmer’s comments about the hiring process. She added that, at the school division, reference checking is done not only to confirm skills and abilities but also to ask questions about relationships and how a person solves problems.

In any organization, Zimmer said, “you have a responsibility to everyone in that organization.”

He was referring to workplace bullying and harassment at the time, but that responsibility holds true to the use of social media as well – no matter whether an employee is at work or at home.

Vickers said, even when at home, if you are talking about someone from work online, the employer can take action. Mabbett added, even when you are off duty, you still represent the place you work.

Mabbett cautioned students to establish a positive digital footprint or they may even find themselves not being able to be licensed in the field for which they studied. She gave the example of seeing a photo of a surgeon drunk at a Saturday night party – would she want that doctor operating on her Monday morning?

A video of the panel’s entire presentation is available online at, under the heading Social Media and Respectful Relationships.

Farmers Days at Wilkie

According to Jordan Schechtel, director of parks and recreation for the Town of Wilkie, “Although numbers for many of the (Farmers Days) events were down this year, all those that did come out had a good time.”

Residents and visitors were able to take part in their choice of a wide variety of events over the four-day period, Feb. 6 to 9.

snowmobile rally

The Kaiser tournament Feb. 6 had 20 people testing their luck and skill with the cards. The spurling bonspiel, held Friday and Saturday, had a nice mix of ages with 11 youth teams and eight adult teams. Seven teams took part in the volleyball tournament.

All ages came out to the family dance Friday night, to enjoy the music provided by the Keller Family Band. Many children had a great time running around and burning off some energy after having been stuck indoors during the cold weather.

The biggest event of the weekend was Saturday’s pancake breakfast where the Citizen of the Year – George Benson – and the Junior Citizens of the Year were recognized. See for details.

The children’s outdoor activities at the regional park Saturday had to be postponed due to the cold, but the Elks’ snowmobile rally went ahead. At 30 riders, participant numbers were much lower than last year. Organizers believed the low numbers were likely due to the “rough” snow conditions.

Clarke Jackson, Wilkie ElksSaturday concluded with a chili supper, followed by a cabaret at the hall and a senior Outlaws game in the arena. Clarke Jackson, cooked chili for 150. He has been the go-to guy for the Wilkie Elks’ annual supper at Farmers Days for years.

The Knights of Columbus hosted a pancake breakfast Sunday morning.

Schechtel concluded by thanking all those who helped with Farmers Days, saying “It would not be possible to put on such events without the support of all the volunteers.”

Highway drivers reminded to watch for winter work zones

Saskatchewan Highways

While highway construction is usually associated with the warm summer months, drivers should be aware certain types of work can take place year-round.

“We may be in the middle of winter, but crews are still out there working on bridges and installing culverts,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris said.  “Remember that no matter the season, you must always slow to 60 km/hr when you see the black and white speed signs.”

While cold temperatures present challenges, certain aspects of construction can benefit from wintry weather.  For example, cranes can be placed on frozen waterways and used to hoist beams into place during bridge construction.

Bridge projects currently underway include work on Highway 14 near Kinley, on Highway 10 south of Yorkton and on Highway 26 south of St. Walburg.  These are just a few examples of the work currently taking place, and motorists are reminded to keep an eye out for work zones when they travel.

To find general information about work zones in Saskatchewan, please

Travel information about construction, emergency road closures, the status of ferries and barges and other road activities is always available on the Highway Hotline  It’s also available by calling 306-787-7623 in Regina, 306-933-8333 in Saskatoon, the SaskTel cellular network at *ROAD, toll-free across Canada at 1-888-335-7623 and via the Highway Hotline mobile website at

Next week’s paper preview

Next week’s Press-Herald has coverage – photos and articles – of last week’s Farmers Day in Wilkie, along with:

  • comments and lessons from the panel presentation at UCHS, attended by McLurg students, on workplace bullying and harassment;
  • photos and a recap of the Outlaws’ last game of the regular NSRHL season
  • an introduction, including a list of competing teams coming to town, to next week’s Provincial Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championship being hosted in Unity;

along with all the regular features such as the RCMP Report, a Faith Matters column, an Olympic-themed Top 10 and food for thought on our editorial page!

Outlaws vs. St. Walburg

Wilkie vs St. WalburgThe Wilkie Senior Men’s Outlaws finished the season atop the NSRHL. The last regular season game saw the St. Walburg Eagles come to town Saturday, Feb. 8. For details on the game and additional game photos, see next week’s paper, the February 17th issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald.

In the meantime, enjoy these other photos from the game, and come on out to cheer on the Outlaws in their provincial title quest as they take on Dinsmore in provincial playoffs, at the SaskCan arena, Sunday, February 16, at 2:30 pm.

goalie goalie down senior men's hockeyNSRHLWilkie Outlawshockey congratulations

Between periods, the Outlaws sponsored kids’ draws for all the Wilkie Minor Hockey players in the crowd. The traditional Shoot to Win took place between the first and second periods, and the break between second and third saw a large number of people competing in the puck toss.

between periodshockey pucks galore!after the puck toss

Wilkie Citizens of the Year chosen

George Benson is Wilkie’s 2013 Citizen of the Year! Congratulations, George! He was introduced to town residents and received his plaque at the pancake breakfast at Farmers Days, Feb. 8.

The Junior Citizen of the Year honour went to a group of young dancers – Haile Wangler, Emily Nodwell, Melany Sander, Hanna Nodwell, Hayley Risling, Sarah Karstens, Brooke Risling, Abbey Sittler, Macey Sittler, Ava Sittler and Emma Kowalchuk.

George spearheaded the establishment of COPS – Citizens on Patrol – in Wilkie. This dedicated group of volunteers do patrols on weekends, check homes of those who are on holidays, check businesses during the late evening hours and  help the local RCMP detachment keep the community a safe place to be.

George BensonGeorge has worked very hard to make COPS a very important part of the community, speaking at other communities about setting up the program, talking to seniors’ groups on how to stay safe and taking the time to answer questions.

George is not paid for any of the work he does; he just does it. Wilkie is very fortunate he has taken the time to make this his hometown and helps keep it safe.

George also put together the Wilkie Walkers. He makes sure the community centre hall is open three mornings a week for walkers who want/need to avoid the slippery winter streets. He supplys music to make walking more enjoyable and promotes the walking program to all ages. He can always be seen walking with friends and neighbours – keeping everyone healthy as well as safe!

George is definitely one of those people who believes “Community service is the price you pay for the space you occupy.”

The Junior Citizens worked together last fall, along with instructors Ashton Keller and Justine Herle and some dancers from Unity, to put on a special production of A Christmas Carol as a fundraiser for Bethany Enhanced Living in Wilkie.

The young ladies volunteered for many extra hours of dance practice over a number of weeks. Their freely donated time, energy and talent raised $1,900 for Bethany.

The dedication and volunteerism of all the girls, from both Wilkie and Unity, showed that, working together, they can accomplish just about anything!