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Buffalo Narrows man appealing conviction for having sex with a minor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 13:51

The Saskatchewan court of appeal has reserved its decision in the case of a Buffalo Narrows man serving a 39-month sentence for having sex with a minor.

Ammy Murray, the lawyer for Randy Joseph Clarke, 35, asked the court to overturn the conviction, allow fresh evidence, or at least reduce the sentence.

The fresh evidence is a Facebook profile of the victim, which indicates she is 18.

Murray also says the trial judge was wrong to conclude Clarke did not take adequate measures to determine the true age of the girl. He believed she was 17 or 18, although the girl had also told him she was 15.

Murray says her client is not a child molester and does not want to be portrayed that way.

“Mr. Clarke just wants people to know he was essentially tricked,” she said. “He doesn’t have an attraction to young females, he doesn’t go out looking for young females but he made a silly mistake. He didn’t ask the right questions and now he is serving a penitentiary term.”

Prosecutors argued the trial judge was well within his right to conclude that Clarke did not make a reasonable effort to determine the girl’s true age and that the sentence of 39 months was fit.

As for the Facebook profile indicating the girl was 18, the prosecution says allowing that as evidence at the trial would not have had an impact on the outcome.

Clarke appeared via video link from a prison in B.C. where he is serving his sentence. He has been in custody since his arrest in March of 2014. He was convicted last December.

Clarke was living in North Battleford when he met the girl.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:41
La Ronge town council gets more feedback on utility rate hikes PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Smith   
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 13:23

The La Ronge municipal water meeting. Photo by David SmithAbout 25 people gathered in La Ronge Tuesday evening to hear details on planned increases to water and sewer rates in the town.

The new fees were announced about a year ago and will involve 30 per cent increases each year until 2019, when the monthly residential fee would be $170.00.

One suggestion that has been brought forward is to install water meters in the town.

The total cost of the equipment and implementation of a metered system would be around $690,000.

Mayor Thomas Sierzycki says most people seem to favour another route.

"The general consensus that we're feeling from the general public is perhaps a hybrid model of using the standard implementation fee, perhaps stretching it out over a longer period of time," he says.  "But also looking at where we can be more fair in terms of charging business versus a residential area versus say an apartment building."

Sierzycki says despite the increase, La Ronge isn't doing that bad compared to other communities in Saskatchewan when it comes to water and sewer fees.

The current cost in Nipawin, which has a population of 4,200, is $122.00 per month.

Neilburg, with a population of 500, has a monthly fee of $117.00.

The mayor also says, if needed, the matter could come to a vote sometime in the future.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 14:31
Planting the seed for Indigenous agriculture PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 12:32

Attendees take in the Indigenous Ag Summit. Photo by Manfred JoehnckAn organizer of the Indigenous agriculture summit in Regina says Saskatchewan First Nations should seize the opportunity to make their communities more self- sufficient by taking a closer look at what agriculture can bring to the table.

This is the fifth year for the Indigenous Agriculture Summit, which is held in conjunction with Agribition. It is a chance to network and to learn. Speakers come from all across Canada and the United States, sharing their knowledge and experience.

The Navajo in Arizona are carving out a beef market - not only raising the cattle, but supplying their quality product to aboriginal-run casinos in the state. Ranch manager Bill Inman says they plan to expand to New Mexico and beyond. He would love to see a similar program set up in Canada.

“I would love to see a copy-cat program developed in Canada,” he says, “and wouldn’t that be delightful to say now we can share strengths and overcome weaknesses, that would be just fantastic.”

Ag Summit committee member, Candice Pete, has been helping organize the show since it began. She says there is no shortage of opportunity, but what is needed is motivation and guidance.

“I think our individuals are going to take back this information and think about those ideas,” she says, “and definitely I do see an increase in economic opportunity within our communities.”

Pete says interest in the summit has grown steadily over the years. She sees agriculture as another means to an end of self-sufficiency and value-added production for Saskatchewan’s First Nations.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 13:23
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