When was the last time you checked your smoke detector? The Dauphin Fire Department is currently working with the Smoke Alarms for Every Family program. Their goal is to make sure that homeowners in Dauphin have a functional smoke detector.

A few years ago, four different agencies got together and purchased a few-thousand smoke alarms and they distributed them to select Fire Departments that applied for the program. Dauphin was one of the Departments that did apply for the program. 

About 30 alarms are still available, free of charge through the program. If you own a home and you believe your smoke detector is older than 10 years, the Dauphin Fire Department will be able to help you. 

"Everyone should be checking their own smoke alarms, we want to have everyone nice and safe," said Cam Abrey, Fire Chief. "Through this program, if you're a homeowner, we will come out and check your smoke alarms and we'll make sure they're functioning. If they are, that's great and we will also check the date. If they're over that 10-year life span, we will install a free one for you."

The alarms that they would install are both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. 

Just recently, the DFD visited a house with an alarm that was still bright in colour on the outside. However, upon opening the alarm, it was determined that it was more than 10 years old and it needed to be replaced.

"The homeowners had painted the outside of the smoke alarm and that's something we really don't want people doing," continued Abrey.

Premier Brian Pallister and his government are being accused of interfering with the process of setting Manitoba’s auto insurance rates.

The Consumer’s Association of Canada’s Manitoba branch brought the claim forward during the final day of a hearing regarding MPI’ auto insurance rates for 2020.

The association said that by raising the minimum amount in a reserve fund that’s supposed to protect against unexpected rate shocks, the provincial government is interfering in Pubic Utilities Board’s ability to set rates.

This year, Premier Pallister decided to keep the reserve at around $350 million.

Inflating the reserve account, the association argues, may mean the board feels compelled to hike rates to meet the new minimum reserve amount, and undermines the independent nature of the rate approval process.

On this day in 1938, a now-famous radio broadcast stopped America in its tracks.

Orson Welles went on the air to perform the classic novel “War Of The Worlds” by H.G. Wells.

The broadcast started at 8 pm on CBS in primetime, millions of Americans were listening to the broadcast of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen on NBC.

Bergen’s performance lasted until 8:15, causing people to tune into CBS during Mr. Welles' epic performance.

The late tuners never heard the message at the beginning of the radio play, resulting in them thinking that the broadcast coming over the airwaves was fact and not fiction.

During the broadcast, there was a scene about a reporter on the scene of a Martian space probe landing on a farmer’s field in Grover Mills, New Jersey, where the radio all of a sudden falls silent before a news anchor comes back on air saying that there were some technical difficulties with the connection to the reporter.

This scene, along with other graphic images of aliens invading the east coast, caused Americans to believe that the Martians had really invaded.

 

In New Jersey, millions of people hopped in their cars in a desperate attempt to escape the “alien invasion”. People were begging authorities for gas masks, and demanding that their power be turned off so the aliens couldn’t see their lights.

The frightening broadcast even caused a woman in Indianapolis to burst into a church service declaring “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

The news of the widespread panic made its way back to the CBS studios resulting in Welles interrupting the play to relay that the information being relayed on the radio was indeed fiction.

There are rumours that the broadcast caused several suicides, but none were ever confirmed.

This event inspired networks to be more cautious with what they broadcast.

Orson Welles’ performance of the H.G. Wells sci-fi thriller would forever go down in radio history.

Manitoba Public Insurance is cracking down on insurance fraud, resulting in more people facing charges than ever before.

Of the near 1,000 claims that MPI receives daily, not all of them are legit.

MPI’s team of special investigators has been aggressively pursuing insurance fraud charges this year.

Between 2015 and 2018, less than ten people were charged with insurance fraud, compared to 22 people this year alone.

MPI has found people staging car accidents and deliberately setting their cars on fire.

The Crown Corporation has both bodily injury and arson investigators who work to find fraudulent claims.

As good as the team of investigators is, they heavily rely on tips from the public.

MPI has an anonymous tip line where people can call and report anything they know about possible fraudulent claims.

The tip line has broken records this year, with over 450 people calling in.

In the first five months of this year, MPI saw a 63 percent increase in calls compared to last year.

MPI saved Manitobans nearly $13 million in fraudulent claims last year, the highest claims saving in a decade.

Anyone with any information about possible auto insurance fraud is asked to call the MPI tip line at 204-985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477. All calls are anonymous.

All summer long, 730CKDM was travelling around the Parkland for Cruisin' with Fusion. Fusion Credit Union was hosting events fundraisers with BBQs, live music, contests, and so much more.

In the end, $12,554 was raised as the summer-long tour visited 18 different communities.

"It was a fantastic event. It was so exciting to be able to offer a signature event and the same type of experience in all 18 of our locations," said Leanne DeVliegere, Chief Operations Officer at Fusion Credit Union. "We really noticed how much the communities embraced it and they really wanted to spend time with us."

"The weather was beautiful and we had great music," she continued. "730CKDM was such a fantastic partner. With all of the prizes and giveaways, it was quite a success."

Fusion paid for all of the supplies for the BBQ. The $12,554 came straight from the BBQs and donations. The funds have now been allocated to different places across the Parkland.

The list includes:

  • Whitmore School in Dauphin.
  • Pine River Community Centre in Ethelbert.
  • Daily Discoveries in Gilbert Plains.
  • Winnipegosis and District Residential Services.
  • Rorketon Fire Department.

The above are just a few places that Fusion Credit Union has supported through the funds raised from Cruisin' with Fusion.

With the 2019 event now in the past, Leanne shares some insight into if they'll be back doing something similar in 2020.

"We really loved the opportunity to support all of our communities in a similar way," concluded DeVliegere. "Whether it's exactly like Cruisin' with Fusion next year or something different based on what we learned this year, we're always going to have something that is supporting our communities."

Red River College campuses across the province have made their own new year's resolution.

Effective January 1, 2020, every single Red River College campus will be 100 percent smoke-free. That means no smoking or vaping will be allowed anywhere on campus. 

In Dauphin, Assiniboine Community College won't be joining Red River, but they do have their own policy.

"We have designated areas on campus, both smoking and vaping," said Gabe Mercier, Director of Assiniboine Community College Parkland campus. "You can smoke or vape eight-metres away from the building, no closer. No smoking is allowed within eight metres or in the school or any of our ACC vehicles."

ACC has security guards on campus to assure no one is smoking or vaping within the eight metres as per their policy.

"If caught, people will get a warning to move away," said Mercier. "We have a line that indicates the eight metres."

For now, ACC in Dauphin doesn't have any plans on going smokeless anytime soon. However, that could change if need be.

"We haven't had any negative responses to our policy right now," concluded Mercier. "I think students and staff are respecting the eight metres."

The pilot program that kick-started Manitoba’s solar energy sector is set to return in 2022, after ending in 2018.

Manitoba Hydro’s solar panel rebate program was well-received, and Hydro got a lot of backlash after deciding to end the two –year pilot.

Hydro left the program to be handled by Efficiency Manitoba, which has extended the program's hiatus to 4 years.

Dauphin Community Energy Manager, Steve Sobering, says the gap in the rebate is going to have a big impact on the industry that it created.

“Without that incentive, I think it won’t be a feasible investment for a lot of residential homeowners,” said Sobering. “You can still purchase solar PVs but I think you have to have a larger level of consumption in order to make it financially viable now.”

Sobering hopes the program does indeed come back because it made people more willing to make their home efficient.

When the program was first introduced, Hydro expected to receive around 100 applicants but ended up receiving more than 1,500.

Manitoba Efficiency says it pushed back the reimplementation of the program because it needs at least 2 years to research and coordinate with Hydro to figure out a plan going forward.

Train delays are nothing new in Dauphin, but lately, they've been longer as trains have been stopped for longer periods of time.

This trend was something Mayor Al Dowhan wanted to be addressed, so he sent a letter to CN.

After receiving the letter, Senior Advisor for CN, Jasdeep Degvan told the mayor that the issue was because a crew change was happening near Dauphin, causing the train to stop for lengthy periods of time.

Degvan agreed to move the location of the crew change, meaning that trains will no longer block all railway crossings in the city at once.

The changes are effective immediately, and the city is pleased with the rapid response from CN.

These changes will improve traffic flow and accessibility.

On October 25th, at around 8:10 pm, Amaranth RCMP received a call about a dangerous driver on Highway 16 near Highway 50.

The caller told police that she was driving west on Highway 16 when she noticed an eastbound vehicle swerving all over the road. The caller pulled onto the shoulder to avoid the vehicle, then the vehicle came towards her, forcing her into the ditch.

The suspect vehicle then drove to a nearby residence, where he approached the homeowner, pointed a gun in his direction, and then stole his truck.

The suspect then drove the stolen truck into a ditch and got stuck, which prompted him and his passenger to get out and flee on foot.

Amaranth RCMP along with K-9 Unit immediately attended the scene of the armed truck theft and successfully tracked down the driver and the passenger.

Both were arrested, and it was later determined that the passenger was a victim of assault and kidnapping. She was known to the driver.

The 31-year-old male driver was arrested and charged with kidnapping, Robbery with a Firearm, Breaking and Entering, Forcible Confinement, Assault x2, Uttering Threats x2, Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Theft, and Mischief.

The suspect remains in custody, and RCMP continue to investigate.

Yesterday was an important day for the Dauphin HERO Club. Last year, they lost their meeting spot and Hot Dog Cart when the Bond Building was deemed a complete loss after a tragic fire. However, the Dauphin HERO Club has made a comeback and with it, so has its Hot Dog Cart.

The new cart was open for business yesterday at the DFC Youth Centre. It's the same location where the Hero Club currently does its business.

"I was quite surprised by yesterday. I was thinking if we sold 10 or 20 hot dogs or smokies that we would be doing well," said Jim Price with Prairie Mountain Health. "The sales were incredible and it's because all of the support the City of Dauphin gives to the Hero Club."

"All of the members were extremely excited," he continued. "We want the community to know we're back."

Yesterday was the Hero Club's last BBQ, for now. Don't worry, you'll get another chance to get a hot dog or smokie from them in the future.

"We're looking forward to the spring. We'll be back in then and our plan is to have the cart out on a regular basis," concluded Price. "We're part of the community and Dauphin is very welcoming of us, that's for sure."

People using older versions of the iPhone may be locked out of several apps on Sunday if they don’t upgrade to the new iOS.

iPhone 5s and other Apple devices released in 2012 and earlier, need to be updated to iOS version number 10.3.4. Without the update, any apps that rely on accurate dates and times, including the App Store, iCloud, email, and web browsing, will not work.

Apple said the issue is with the “GPS time rollover” in GPS-based products, which resets the clock.

Users have until midnight Saturday to upgrade the iOS on their device.

Apple has denied claims that they intentionally shorten the life of their products, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades after many users have been apprehensive to upgrade iPhones with older batteries because of performance issues.