The Manitoba Government could be privatizing the Lifeflight air ambulance service.

Brad Michaleski thinks it’s important that they assess the service and make sure it’s there in the most cost-effective way.

Michaleski doesn’t think privatizing Lifeflight will stop people from being able to have access to the service.

He doesn’t think the public will even notice a difference.

He adds that if you’re in a situation where you need the service you’re probably not concerned about who’s flying the plane, you’re just happy there is a plane and the service is available.

Be prepared for tougher impaired driving laws next time you’re thinking about driving after having a couple of beer.

The provincial government has introduced amendments to The Highway Traffic Act that would adopt more severe sanctions for drunk drivers.

Drivers under the influence of alcohol who register a ‘warn’, suggesting a blood alcohol content between .05 and .08 would face a new monetary penalty of at least $200 for a first offence, escalating to at least $400 for a third or subsequent offence.
They would also face a vehicle impoundment of between three days for a first offence and 30 days for a third or subsequent offence. Anyone caught a third or subsequent time would also be required to drive with an ignition interlock for a year.
Adding up all the administrative sanctions and penalties, the minimum cost for a ‘warn’ range driver would be $2,600 for a first offence to around $3,200 for a third or subsequent offence.

For first time drunk drivers that register a ‘fail’ on a test, police would have the discretion to impose a new monetary penalty of at least $500 as well as a mandatory ignition interlock of one year rather than proceeding with a criminal charge. 

The minimum cost for a ‘fail’ would be over $3,300. All monetary penalties would be established by regulation.

Last year, 73 people were killed and 442 were seriously injured in traffic collisions in Manitoba.  Drunk driving accounted for 32 percent of those killed and six percent of those injured.  Already this year, 28 people have lost their lives because of a drunk driver.

Thelma Krull's remains have been found southeast of Winnipeg.

Police officers announced today that the 57-year-old woman was a victim of a homicide.

Her remains were found by a hunter on Oct. 27 in a wooded area in the rural municipality of Taché, southeast of Winnipeg.
DNA testing has confirmed the remains were Krull's.

She had disappeared on July 11, 2015, in the morning when she left to go for a walk.

No arrests have been made and police are again asking for any information that may help with the investigation.

Yesterday was the final day of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities convention. 

Nicole Chychota had a great time at the convention, she says they made some good connections and she’s excited for the year ahead for the RM of Dauphin.

Chychota says a lot of the discussion centred on the road and bridge program. The premier and his cabinet attended a ministerial forum to discuss concerns.

The investigating in Canadian Infrastructure Program is the replacement for the road and bridge program, and it was one of the biggest points talked about.

There are four areas the program will focus on. Those areas are public transit, green infrastructure, culture and recreation, and rural and northern communities.

The Manitoba Government and Babcock Canada Inc. have entered an agreement to provide services for the suppression of wildfires, including the use of water bombers.

The transaction is the result of a competitive request for proposal process initiated earlier this year.

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says, “Our government is committed to protecting Manitobans from wildfires and that’s what this agreement delivers. It will ensure faster response times, enhanced safety and a superior aircraft maintenance program.  It will make Manitoba’s wildfire suppression system even better.”

There was some concern that if this happened the water bombers would be allowed to leave the province and wouldn’t help Manitoba if needed.

Schuler responded to that concern by saying, “The aircraft will always serve Manitoba’s needs first, and may only be deployed outside the province with the government’s consent and direction.”

Babcock has over 30 years of fixed and rotary wing aerial firefighting experience throughout Europe. 

For Manitoba, it will work in partnership with Air Spray, an experienced, safe and effective provider of fire-suppression services with long-term contracts in a number of Canadian provinces and the United States.

Through long-term and existing mutual assistance agreements, neighbouring jurisdictions have access to Manitoba’s water bombers, pending availability and approval from the Manitoba Wildfire Program. 

In turn, Manitoba has access to other aircraft for fire-suppression emergencies. 

The Life Saving Society, Manitoba branch has released their yearly update for water-related fatalities.

Christopher Love, Water Smart Coordinator for the Life Saving Society Manitoba branch, says one death is too many.

The mission of the Life Saving Society, Manitoba Branch is to prevent water-related deaths and injuries. To do that there has to be constant education and a constant reinforcement of safety messaging.

The Parkland area’s 5 deaths, between 2009 and 2015, are 10th among areas in Manitoba. Winnipeg, Thompson and North Central, and Eastern Manitoba are the top 3 areas.

The long-term average of water-related fatalities per year in Manitoba is still at 22 and hasn’t shown any signs of changing.  

Some resident’s in the Dauphin area got an emergency alert test message an hour earlier than expected. 
Mike Olczyk, the operations programs manager of the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization, explains what went on. 
“Not just Dauphin. We heard anecdotally from residents in Winnipeg and Brandon that they received an alert at 12:55. So that would have been a scheduled alert that went out from Nunavut. They are looking into exploring why it was the alert for Nunavut at 12:55 did reach some wireless devices in Manitoba. They are looking into that, and hopefully, we’ll have some further information available in the coming days on that one.”
Most people then got the scheduled test at 1:55 this afternoon. The next test is scheduled for next May during emergency preparedness week. 

Dauphin’s MRI is installed and going through final inspections and safety reviews.

Prairie Mountain Health says MRI appointments will be booked for early December. If you have an MRI appointment scheduled in Brandon in the next few weeks you might be contacted to have your appointment moved to Dauphin.

If your appointment is moved to Dauphin someone from the Dauphin Regional Health Centre MRI team will contact you with your new appointment date and time and anything else you need to know.

Reports of what kind of winter we should expect have been all over the place.

That's exactly what kind of winter we will have, both extremes will occur.

Brad Rousseau, a meteorologist with the Weather Network, says our area will be a battle zone, with intrusions of warm Pacific air followed by intrusions of cold Arctic air.

Rousseau expects us to see about normal to a little below normal amounts of snowfall and precipitation this winter.

To figure out this prediction they look at how the ocean and atmosphere interact, they also look at past years that have similar traits to what the weather is like now and they look at how those winters developed.

Final results have come in of the 24 Hour Giving Challenge.

The fundraiser supporting the Dauphin and District Community Foundation raised a total of $42, 567.

For every $5 that was donated, the Winnipeg Foundation added $1 and the Manitoba government also added $1, up to a maximum of $2,000 from each. So, every $5 turned into a $7 donation.

Kit Daley explains where the money raised goes.

“It goes into our Undesignated or Unrestricted fund. Which means the board will interview each applicant and get information on the project that they are applying for a grant for. And then the board will meet to discuss all the projects and who will benefit and what is the lasting legacy of the project and decide what we can support and with how much money.”

The donations are turned into grants that fund infrastructure, art, culture, new initiatives, sports, city beautification among other projects.

Last year the challenge raised $34,730 for Dauphin. Since 1996 the foundation has granted out one million dollars.

To find out more about how the foundation invests their money click here to go to their page. 

Another emergency test is taking place this afternoon.

An Alert Ready public awareness test message is scheduled for 1:55.

Similar to the test that took place in May, the test message is being sent through radio, cable and satellite TV broadcasters, web feeds and to compatible wireless devices.

This will be the second test of the Alert Ready system this year. The first one took place back in May during Emergency Preparedness Week.