2013: The Southwest Booster news year in review

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October 3

Cypress board approves functional planning funding for Wellness Centre

The Cypress Regional Health Authority board approved $170,000 in funding to proceed with functional planning for the Wellness Centre which will be incorporated into Swift Current’s Integrated Facility.

The Health Authority approved the funding during their Sept. 25 meeting in Maple Creek, clearing the way for the Cypress Health Region to further explore the amenities they would be looking for in the multi-use project.

Robertson Family Group wins SCBEX Member Business of the Year Award

Fourth generation business Robertson Family Group was saluted as the SCBEX Member Business of the Year during a recognition event on Monday afternoon.

With a heritage legacy of over a century, and having grown to a business with approximately 130 employees, Robertson Family Group stood out this year as a business success story that continues to grow and expand.

October 10

CT scanner funding completion an important goal for Foundation

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation continues to draw closer to completing funding for the $1.6 million Computed Tomography (CT) scanner, which is now in use at Cypress Regional Hospital.

Last week’s 5th Annual Your Family’s Health Radiothon raised $143,544 in support to finish financing for the state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment. The equipment, in use since June, has already been utilized to produce over 800 scans and is a major benefit to both patients and physicians.

October 17

Integrated Healthcare Facility progressing well

Project managers were able to showcase significant progress at the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility in Maple Creek during a site tour this past week.

With an estimated 40 per cent of the construction work completed on the $37 million facility, crews are currently busy completing roofing and walls in order to enclose the facility in preparation for a hectic winter work schedule.

October 31

SaskPower seeking 15.5 per cent rate hike over three years

SaskPower has announced they have submitted a multi year application to the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel, requesting an increase of over 15 per cent over the next three years.

SaskPower President and CEO Robert Watson said the application calls for system average rate increases of 5.5 per cent effective Jan. 1, 2014, along with five per cent hikes in 2015 and 2016.

The request comes in response to growing power demands and annual expenditures of $1 billion on electrical system upgrades.

City of Swift Current adding $14.9 million in debt

Swift Current City Council has approved a motion to borrow an additional $14.99 million to pay for a series of capital investments and make payments to the RM of Swift Current following the Municipal Boundary Committee annexation decision earlier this year.

With the City beginning the year owing $61.3 million in outstanding debt, and with $3.27 million to be repaid this year, Swift Current's overall debt level will sit at $73 million.

During Monday's City Council meeting, City administration explained they are not concerned with the level of debt, as a large portion of the debt is fully funded, and the remaining debt level is being repaid over  terms of five, 10 and 20 years as a method to better fund long lived assets.

Swift Current Centennial Platinum Sponsors unveiled

Standard Motors and the Living Sky Casino have committed to serve as Platinum Sponsors in support of the City of Swift Current's Centennial celebrations during 2014.

In making a $20,000 sponsorship agreement with the Centennial committee, the two businesses will serve as the main sponsors during centennial promotions throughout the coming year.

November 7

Saskatchewan teachers reject negotiated offer

Teachers across the province voted 73 per cent against a negotiated tentative offer between the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee and the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

The tentative agreement with the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation would have provided a total of 6.5 per cent increase over four years, including a 5.5 per cent salary increase and a one per cent lump sum payment over the first two years.

November 21

Outpouring of support benefits typhoon victims

A steady stream of donations was contributed during a special day-long fundraising in support of victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Even before the halfway point of the day on Tuesday, over $10,000 had been collected by the Filipino Association of Swift Current and Area during a fundraiser at the Newcomer Welcome Centre, to help the estimated over half a million people who were left homeless by the powerful typhoon.

Swift Current Centennial Committee seeking volunteers

The Swift Current Centennial Committee has issued a call for volunteers to help ensure the exciting and memorable celebration events in 2014 are a success.

They are encouraging volunteer teams - service clubs , cultural groups, families, school groups, plus individuals of all ages - to join them in becoming a volunteer for one of the celebration events being held throughout Swift Current’s Centennial year.

From programming and logistical operations to offering hospitality to attendees, they have a place for waiting for whatever level of commitment an individual can make.

November 28

Children’s Charter pledges emphasis on early childhood development

A commitment to give young children improved developmental opportunities was pledged during the unveiling of a Children’s Charter by the Southwest Early Childhood Action Coalition.

During a special unveiling ceremony in Swift Current on Nov. 20, the community got their first look at the document prepared by the Southwest Early Childhood Action Coalition (ECAC) and Southwest Regional Intersectoral Committee (RIC). The Children’s Charter serves as a guide to the region’s foundational strategy for delivering positive early childhood opportunities and is an important foundation document in moving their goals forward.

Estevan surprisingly named host of 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games

Swift Current’s bid to host the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games has come up short after Estevan was named the host of the multi-sport games, which will involve over 2,000 athletes, coaches, and managers in 16 sports representing nine sport districts from across the province.

Swift Current had been among four finalists, along with Estevan, Humboldt, and Melfort, to receive official visits from Games representatives earlier this month.

Estevan will host their second Saskatchewan Summer Games after hosting the 1980 Saskatchewan Summer Games. Swift Current last held the games in 1976 and was hoping that the recent addition of an all-weather track would help them win their second games 40 years later.

Fresh Start secures funding to support homeless youth in Swift Current

Local Swift Current youth in need of safe, secure housing will now benefit from a new home, thanks to financial support from both Provincial and Federal levels of Government, as well as private donors.

Over the past few years, Fresh Start has worked alongside the Swift Current community and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (Gov’t of Canada) in an effort to address the growing issue of youth homelessness in southwest Saskatchewan.

Fresh Start has purchased a 1700 square foot, five bedroom home in Swift Current that will provide long term housing for four youth between the ages of 15-17. The name of the home is JP’s Place, an acronym using the first name initials of Board Members that worked on this initiative.

Tootoosis leaving Living Sky Casino for SIGA position

Lionel Tootoosis has been appointed as the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority’s new Senior Vice President of Operations after serving as the General Manager of the Living Sky Casino since its opening in December 2008.

Tootoosis’ final day on the job as Living Sky General Manager will be January 5, after which he will leave to assume his new position at SIGA’s head office in Saskatoon.

Organizations: Great Plains College, Ag Growth International, Cypress Regional Hospital Centennial Committee Royal Saskatchewan Museum Shaunavon Curling Club Swift Current City Council Municipal Boundary Committee of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board T.rex Discovery Centre Wellness Centre Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Salvation Army Saskatchewan Water Security Agency Wallace Construction Swift Current Agricultural and Exhibition Association Fairview School Highway Traffic Board University of Regina Hazlet School O.M. Irwin Middle Years School Street Culture Housing Committee RCMP Innovation Credit Union Lyric Theatre Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation Market Square Swift Current Comprehensive High School École Centennial School Ecole Centennial School/All Saints Catholic School Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology Fresh Start Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Canadian Wheat Board Wellness CentreThe Cypress Regional Health Authority Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel SaskPower Trustee Bargaining Committee Filipino Association of Swift Current Southwest Regional Intersectoral Committee Chinook School Division Saskatchewan Transportation Company

Geographic location: Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada Moose Jaw Shaunavon Maple Creek Saskatoon Blaine Lake North Battleford Lanigan SCCHSThe Grasslands National Park Gull Lake Neidpath Village of Val Marie Frenchman River Riverside Park Lac Pelletier Regional Park Village of Chaplin Philippines

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