When McCreary's Brett Michael Monka was 17, he realized he wanted to start singing in competitions and when he was 21 he decided to start taking it more seriously.

Nearly 13 years later, Brett has made huge steps and he could be on his way to Utah to open up for Keith Urban at Stadium of Fire 2019 which takes place on July 4.

Brett is joined by 24 other talented singers, all of which have a dream of opening up for Keith Urban in just three weeks’ time. Of the 25 singers still in the running, Brett is in 3rd place with 141 votes. The top 10 advances to the next stage and that's when the committee comes in. They will choose the winner and that person is off to Utah.

Voting remains open for the next three days.

"Yeah, it's crazy to be in this. I'm totally thrilled and excited about it," added Monka. "Half the time I can't even sleep because I'm just worried about this competition, it's pretty surreal to be in the Top 25."

"I've had a lot of encouraging words, comments, and shares," he added. "People from all over Canada has been voting for me, so it's pretty great and I hope it continues."

Brett is also the only Canadian that made the Top 25. If Brett did get the opportunity to open for Urban, there is no doubt it would be a day he would never forget.

"I mean it would honestly change my life forever,” added Monka. "It would probably start up my career. It would definitely get my name out there a lot more."

Even if Brett does fall short, he knows this whole experience is only the beginning of what's next for the McCreary native.

"Win or lose, I'm making new friends along the way which is great," added Monka. "People who have never heard of me before are listening to my music and they're sharing it around and everything. It's always new people so it's great for me."

You can help Brett achieve his dream of opening up for Keith Urban in Utah by heading to Brett hopes to join Keith Urban.

Around 11:15 pm on February 12th, two men assaulted and stabbed a 36-year-old man when he answered the door. The two men proceeded to take a small amount of cannabis from inside the home and then fled in a vehicle.

The 17-Year-Old Gilbert Plains teen allegedly involved in the stabbing in February appeared in Dauphin court Wednesday. The proceedings were adjourned until June 25th

21-year-old Roger Keshane, who has also been accused of being involved in the incident, will be back in court, July 11th.

If you would like to know more about the incident, click here.

The Canadian Government has chosen 11 communities across the country for a pilot program to attract immigrants to rural and northern communities.

Communities have been chosen based off of labour shortages, declining birth rate, and an ageing population.

Brandon is one of two locations in Manitoba chosen. The other location is Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, which is just north of the US border.

The chosen communities and the government will be working together this summer to identify permanent residence candidates.

Newcomers are expected to start arriving in 2020.

The Canadian Red Cross is hosting a free community barbecue tomorrow Saturday, June 15th in the parking lot of the Dauphin Marketplace Mall.

The goal of the barbecue is to help find people willing to volunteer with the Red Cross.

According to community outreach coordinator Annie Papadakis, the organization is hoping to find 10 volunteers for the Dauphin Red Cross. The Dauphin Red Cross specializes in personal disaster assistance to help people who have lost their homes due to house fires.

Everyone attending the barbecue will get a hot dog, a bag of chips, and a canned drink for absolutely free.

It all starts at 11 am and goes till 3 pm

The federal government has approved the massive transmission line project that will ship excess Manitoba hydroelectricity south of the border, following months of discussions between Manitoba and Ottawa.

The transmission line will link northern Manitoba generating stations through the Bipole III transmission line and across the states' border. The line is expected to increase Manitoba’s electricity capacity to 3,185 megawatts, up from 2,300 megawatts.

The approval comes after the National Energy Board recommended approving the project. The Board put 28 conditions on the project, with five of them needing to be amended to accommodate Indigenous group concerns.

The federal government says that at least 20 per cent of construction contracts had to involve purchases from Indigenous suppliers, contact with Indigenous subcontractors and the employment and training of Indigenous workers.

The project has met a lot of pushback from the federal government due to the potential impacts on Indigenous communities.

The federal government extended the deadline for approval of the project, citing more time is needed to review deals made with the Manitoba Metis Federation that were kyboshed by Premier Brian Pallister.
Manitoba Hydro and the MMF had agreed to a $67.5-million deal that was supposed to gather support for future hydroelectricity projects. Premier Brian Pallister called the deal “persuasion money” and cancelled the agreement.

Pallister also scrapped a $20-million deal called Turning the Page that was agreed to by the province, Hydro, and the MMF. That deal included terms that would have seen $20 million transferred to the MMF over 20 years in return for their support of Hydro activities such as the Bipole III line and the Keeyask generation project.

The MMF filed for a court review of the province’s decision to quash the deal, hoping the courts would overturn it.

The province approved an environmental licence for the project in April. Shortly after it asked the federal government to approve the project quickly to avoid delays that the province stated would cost Manitoba taxpayers $200 million a year in related costs.

Around 5 in the morning on June 12th, Brandon University Security reported to the police that a tipi in the centre court had burned.

Sometime between 1:30 am and 2:00 am was when the tipi was burned because security saw the tipi standing at 1:30, but by 2:00 it had burned.

The tipi poles are what's left from the fire.

The cause is unknown and no witnesses have come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Brandon Police Service.

A Manitoba RCMP officer is facing assault charges after an incident late last year.

On December 11, 2018, the Commander of the Roblin RCMP received information alleging that an adult female was the victim of an assault and that the alleged offender was a Roblin RCMP officer. The victim is a resident of an eastern Saskatchewan community

Following a detailed investigation by the RCMP West District office, the Roblin RCMP officer was arrested on June 6th and charged earlier today with Assault, Assault with a Weapon, and Impaired Driving. The charges are in relation to several off duty incidents that occurred in 2017 and 2018 in the RM of Roblin. He is scheduled to appear in Roblin Provincial Court on July 18, 2019.

Constable Jason Kitzul is a 12-year member of the RCMP. He has been suspended with pay.

The intersection of 7th Avenue SW and 3rd Street SW is closed to all traffic effective immediately.

This closure is for contractors to continue the renovations on the Dauphin Hospital.

This intersection will remain closed until mid-November.

Be prepared to detour.

Yesterday was the AMM Parkland District meeting.

Sharla Griffiths says they announced a plan to hold a meeting in October at the Parkland Rec Complex.

That regional meeting would include municipalities in our region, along with representatives from First Nations, and the MP and MLA.

The purpose of the meeting would be to discuss topics of common interest. Those topics would include increased reliability of cellular coverage, economic development, housing, recreation, and public transportation methods to, from, and between communities, including scheduled air passenger service.

Most people at the AMM meeting agreed things can get accomplished in a better way when working together.

Griffiths adds that along with identifying areas Dauphin needs help with, they can find ways for Dauphin to help other areas too.

A big topic from yesterday’s meeting other than the regional meeting was health care, and even though health care doesn’t fall under the municipal government umbrella, they may talk about it in October because it affects everybody.

A tentative date of October 16th has been set for the meeting.

The weather is gorgeous and that means the Brandon Bouncy Castles Waterslide Park is set to open tomorrow.

The 15,000 square foot park will be open for 42 days. More than 40 employees and volunteers have joined forces with James Ruser, Owner to make this a reality for the summer.

"It's super exciting. After three years of dreaming about it and changing it like 100 times, it's really great to see my vision come to life," said Ruser one day before opening. "There were planes flying over yesterday and a ton of people wanted to just come to check it out and the feedback has been super positive so far. It's a really exciting time and I can't wait for tomorrow."

The park will be open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. weather permitting. The location is at the south side of the Keystone Grounds There will also be a food truck that will include all of your favourites, plus a lot more. 

On top of it all, if you're looking for the ultimate thrill, James and the whole gang have got you covered.

"The big attraction is we have a 47-foot waterslide with a 100-foot slip and slide. I would say it's one of the biggest waterslides in the province," added Ruser. 

In all, there are eight waterslides, archery tag, a 75-obstacle course that was built and a kid’s area. 

The cost to get into the park is as followed:

0-2-years-old: Free.

3-10-years-old: $10 for just the waterslides or $12 includes everything in the park.

11-18-years-old: $12 for just the waterslides or $15 includes everything in the park.

18+: $15 for just the waterslides or $20 includes everything in the park.

There is also an option for anyone who just wants to enter the park. It's $8 and does not include waterslides or other attractions.

Over 4,000 Manitoba First Nations residents are beginning to see compensation from the federal and provincial governments after being evacuated eight years ago.

Residents of the Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan, Dauphin River, and Pinaymootang First Nations were forced to leave their homes during the 2011 flood. They and 3,000 community members living off-reserve were eligible for compensation after winning a $90 million class-action lawsuit against the federal government.

Sabrina Lombardi, a lawyer representing some evacuees, confirmed compensation cheques were mailed beginning last week.

Of the 7,000 people eligible, only 70 percent successfully applied.

Evacuees receiving compensation fall into three categories: Those disrupted for more than three years, those disrupted less than three years, and those living outside of the community during the flood but were disrupted from accessing the community after the fact.

Another category of “special circumstances” applicants which account for 7.5% of claimants who incurred extraordinary health care costs or job loss, will have to continue to wait until that process is completed.

The amount of compensation being received by each evacuee has not been disclosed.

Hundreds of people were never able to return home, those who did had to wait several years to do so. Reconstruction is ongoing in the communities affected. The money is solely meant to compensate people for the personal impact of the flood, not on rebuilding the community.

Almost 100 people from Lake St. Martin died over the past six years due to illness that some say was associated with the stress of the evacuation.

CKDM reached out to a spokesperson for the Pinaymootang First Nation who declined to provide a comment.