2010 in review: Top stories from November and December

first_imgOil and Gas Commission moving engineering office to KelownaThe Oil and Gas Commission has announced it is opening an engineering office in Kelowna, which has caused concerns among local government in northeast B.C. However, the community of Fort St. John came together and raised money and collected donations for the family. She also says the Kelowna office will include approximately 12 positions, of which half will be moved from the offices in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. However, she adds that the engineering capacity in the northeast is consistently increasing. This story is expected to further develop in the new year. Fort St. John City Council has expressed its concerns of what having an office outside of northeastern B.C would mean for the oil and gas industry in the area. Thomson says smoking in a taxi contravenes municipal bylaws that regulate the city’s taxi industry. Several of the passengers were even given rides into the town by people passing by in their vehicles. Ackerman also says the City has forecast between a $1.6 and $1.8 million decrease in economic activity in the area due to the loss of those worker’s incomes and the work they conduct in the region. The City has chosen to write a letter to the Minister of Natural Resource Operations and MLA for Kelowna-Mission Steve Thomson to convey its concerns, says Fort St. John City Councillor Lori Ackerman. The gravel hauler tractor trailer was travelling northbound along the highway when it slowed down because a vehicle in front of it had lost control and spun into the ditch, says Staff Sergeant Tom Roy with the Fort Nelson RCMP. Roy then says the Greyhound bus – which was travelling in the same direction – was unable to stop and slammed into the tractor trailer. Thomson says the letter outlines numerous criticisms about the company and is addressed to the Passenger Transportation Branch of the Ministry, which is in charge of taxi regulation. Police say they began receiving reports of several collisions between vehicles and of vehicles sliding into the ditch, around 1 p.m. local time. Some of the problems the Board outlines include long wait times to procure a taxi, unclean taxis and drivers that smoke in their vehicles. Advertisement Despite the problems, he says he understands that the current service provider is understaffed due to the difficulty in procuring drivers in the area. He adds that it can take several weeks for a new driver to obtain the required permits from the local RCMP.center_img The lack of adequate service is posing several problems especially during the holiday season, says Darren Thomson, the Board’s chair. With the new drinking and driving laws that have come into effect, he says that not as many people are willing to venture out to various events unless they know they can secure a taxi. House Fire Leaves 8 HomelessA house fire in Charlie Lake early on Remembrance Day left a family of 8 homeless. – Advertisement – The Brown family lived out of the fire coverage area and did not have insurance to cover their belongings.  The highway was closed until 9:30 a.m. the next morning due to weather conditions and because the accident was blocking much of the road.Fort St. John Tourism board has had enough with Taxi Service The Tourism Fort St. John Board was the first local organization to launch a formal complaint to the Ministry of Transportation over inadequate service from the city’s main taxi company. He says the bus driver was pinned in the bus and was helped by a member of the Fort Nelson Fire Rescue that was passing the scene. The bus driver was eventually cut out of the bus by Fort Nelson firefighters and transported to the hospital in the town with minor injuries. Advertisement Shanks says one reason the Kelowna office is opening is due to problems in retaining appropriate staff in the north, adding that the only team leader position that will be in Kelowna would be a chief engineer. The collision occurred at KM 381 of the Alaska Highway. Alaska Highway closed between Fort St. John and Fort NelsonFor the first time in recent memory, the Alaska Highway was shut down for almost 24 hours due to bad weather and a collision involving a gravel truck and a Greyhound Bus.  Then, one hour later, they received the report of the collision between the Greyhound bus and the tractor trailer.Advertisement Ackerman says one of the biggest concerns of having an engineering office in Kelowna would be the impact of being able to conduct a successful operation in the North. He says there was extreme weather occurring in the area at the time of the collision and the roads were covered with compact ice and snow. He adds that it was particularly bad between the Sikanni Chief Bridge – at KM 256 – and Fort Nelson. The OGC has chosen to open an office in Kelowna since there are new oil and gas activities and prospects that are occurring in southeastern B.C., in the Elk Valley area, says Lee Shanks, communications manager for the Commission.Advertisementlast_img read more

Team of the weekend: Tottenham, Everton and West Ham stars included

first_img 11 11 11 11 11 11 Right-back: Seamus Coleman (Everton) – The Irishman looks to be nearing a return to his best form for the Toffees. Solid defensively and still capable of causing havoc going forward he was a thorn in Chelsea’s side as he helped his side into the FA Cup semi-finals. 11 Centre-back: Craig Cathcart (Watford) – As the Gunners threw everything at the Hornets, Northern Irish star Cathcart stood firmly in their way getting a number of key blocks, tackles and interceptions. Centre midfield: Mousa Dembele (Tottenham) – A vital cog in Spurs’ title bid, the Belgian was superb again as he pulled the strings in midfield. Dembele is tough to get off the ball and as well as barely misplacing a pass he completed all four dribbles he attempted. Centre midfield: Ross Barkley (Everton) – Wasn’t having the best game ever but came alive as the match wore on and was superb on the counter. He got both assists for Romelu Lukaku’s goals and helped stretch Chelsea as they attempted to fight back. Forward: Romelu Lukaku (Everton) – The Belgian bruiser put in a stunning showing against former team Chelsea who must now rue allowing him to leave, even if it was for £28m. His first goal showed his incredible strength and determination before pairing it will brilliant skill and footwork, while his second showcased his instinct in front of goal. 11 Forward: Troy Deeney (Watford) – The Hornets star was brilliant throughout against the Gunners and, had Odion Ighalo’s passing been up to scratch in the first half, could have found himself with at least one goal to his name as well as his two assists. 11 Centre-back: Timm Klose (Norwich) – The Swiss international centre-back, along with partner Ryan Bennett, kept Sergio Aguero and Wilfried Bony shackled as the Canaries claimed a vital point against the Citizens. Forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham) – The England strike has shaken off the one-season wonder tag which was cruelly pinned to him at the start of the campaign when he failed to score in his first eight matches. His double against the Villans now takes him to 19 in the Premier League alone. 11 Left-back: Nathan Ake (Watford) – Chelsea loanee Ake is heading into the FA Cup semi-finals while his parent club bowed out of the competition. The Dutch youngster did well keeping Joel Campbell relatively quiet and his smart throw-in started the move, which got the Hornets their opening goal. Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) – Click the right arrow above to see who else made our Team of the Weekend… – OK, in the end he let in two goals, but he was in good form to, firstly, keep Tottenham at bay for 45 minutes. And, secondly, keep the score to just 2-0 as Spurs fired shots on goal. It was another brilliant weekend of thrilling football action, even if our viewing was split between both the Premier League and the FA Cup.There were some superb team performances across the three days but some even better solo ones.In the FA Cup, Crystal Palace, Watford and Everton all advanced, while West Ham and Manchester United face a replay.Meanwhile, in the Premier League, Tottenham, Southampton and Bournemouth earned wins as Manchester City’s title bid took another blow as they drew with Norwich City.But who made out Team of the Weekend? Click the right arrow above to find out… 11 Centre midfield: Dimitri Payet (West Ham) – He wasn’t quite at his usual high standards for the full 90 but scored a stunning free-kick to hand the Hammers the lead. last_img read more