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Family of Tamra Keepness Maintain Hope After 11 Years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Friday, 03 July 2015 14:07

A small park in Regina’s core area neighbourhood was the scene of a barbecue and picnic for a little girl who vanished without a trace eleven years ago.

It is a missing mystery that  has  haunted the family of Tamra Keepness and stymied the Regina police department.

The park is where Tamra Keepness used to play and it is just a few blocks from the home where she used to live.      Her grandmother,   Lucinda Toto,   says Tamra is always on her mind.

“Well there is not a day goes by that I don’t think about her.”  She says.  “    It is something that never goes away.          I don’t care,  when I wake up in the morning that is the thing I think about,  when I go to bed at night that is what I think about and its been eleven years.”

Police have followed up on more than 16 hundred leads.  A fifty thousand dollar reward is also being offered for information that solves the case.   Deputy police chief,  Dean Rae, says it is important that Tamra not be forgotten.

“When we look at the missing and murdered aboriginal women this is one of the things we do to profile those cases.”  He says.   “That is what we are doing here today,  to profile that and hopefully maybe we will just get lucky and get a bit of a break on this.”

Deputy Chief Rae is confident that the case will eventually be solved.

Five year old Tamra Keepness was last seen on July 5th,  2004.

Premier Feels Heat In La Ronge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Friday, 03 July 2015 13:30

Premier Brad Wall is in the thick of things today visiting La Ronge for a first-hand look at the forest fire situation. The premier also took part in the morning briefing with reporters to give his perspective on a crises situation that has now forced more than 52 hundred people from their homes.

The premier is on the front lines, meeting with local government officials and fire-fighting crews. He is in La Ronge today to get a first-hand look at how crews are holding up and how big of a challenge they are facing. He had nothing but praise for everyone involved

“This is an amazing effort that has happened.” He says. “ I wish I could adequately explain to the rest of the province just how amazing these folks are, both from the provincial government but also the local leadership we have seen from the mayors of Air Ronge, La Ronge and La Loche and chief Tammy Cook-Searson and the chief of Montreal Lake.”

There are currently 107 fires burning in the province, 28 are out of control, including a 580 square kilometer fire about 10 kilometers north of La Ronge. Daryl Jessop, the director of wildfire support services says a change in the weather gave crews a chance to make some progress yesterday but says heavy smoke is grounding most of the air attack today. He also attempted to clarify the departments policy on how it reacts to fires burning close to communities. He says there is no hard and fast rule on a 20 kilometer zone.

“We assess every fire and make a decision on how we address those fires based on the values at risk and the overall situation.” He says. “ The fires that threaten a community are always a priority and the fires don’t have to be in the zone to take action, so I just wanted to make that very clear because there seems to be some misunderstanding there.”

Evacuation centres are rapidly filling up, or are already filled to capacity. There are evacuees from 55 Northern Communities staying at shelters in North Battleford, Prince Albert, two in Saskatoon and two in Regina.

Karri Kempf, the emergency services manager with the social services department, says some evacuees are moving out of the shelters.

“What is starting to happen now as we move a few more days into the event is evacuees are starting to make more friend and family connections so some of them are moving for that region she says.

Getting a damage estimate from the fires is difficult at this point. There is one clarification today from wildfire management. It says the home that was reported destroyed yesterday was actually burned several weeks ago. It was located about 20 kilometers southwest of La Ronge. About 14 cabins have also been destroyed, they were also burned down several weeks ago. Getting an update on the latest fire damage won’t be known until the fires are out and an accurate assessment can be made.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 13:31
Wildlife On the Move Escaping Northern Fires PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Friday, 03 July 2015 13:25

Officials with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation say the fires in the north are having a noticeable effect on the movement of wildlife.

Federation Executive Director Darrell Crabbe says some staff members have reported seeing animals on the move, escaping the flames.

Crabbe says with all of the activity, especially with large species like moose, bears and predators, drivers should slow down and use caution.

However he says the long term effect of wildfires won't necessarily be all bad.

"For a lot of the animals, the forest fires in a couple of years is going to create some terrific habitat but it is going to force a lot of them into relatively confined area for the next little while and that takes a while to sort out as those animals disperse from those areas".

Crabbe says many species will be directly affected by this summer's fires, but one of specific concern is the Woodland Caribou.

"It is already listed as a species at risk and in Saskatchewan we have an estimated 5000 population and their primary summer range is old forest and we know that usually old forest is very prone to forest fires because they are older and dried up".

Crabbe says many species of nesting birds in the north will also be negatively affected this summer.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 13:27
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