Cliff Cullen came to Dauphin on Friday to announce that the jail will be shut down.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew says this is a bad move across the board.

“You got 80 families who are going to be losing jobs in the region. That’s going to have a spillover effect in impacting a lot of other businesses. On the safety side, getting rid of this facility and not committing to something new, like a healing centre in the area, that’s going to cause more problems for safety. The overall picture for Dauphin seems to be getting a lot more difficult with news of other cuts and layoffs that have happened in the area.”

Kinew says the NDP will stand up for the people in the Dauphin, Parkland Region.

“What we’re going to do is work with the community, work with mayor and council, and other leaders to put together a new plan to build a facility like a healing centre that would be for the justice system to have a focus on rehabilitation and vocational measures. So we want to see a plan to replace these jobs, to bring these jobs back. This move is a mistake.”

The 67 inmates will have to be moved to one of six other correctional facilities in Manitoba.

The two closest facilities are the Pas and Brandon.

Kinew says that unfortunately means a lot of families won’t be able to travel and see their loved ones.

“What that means is, maybe you’ve got somebody on the edge, you’ve got somebody who’s in a facility, they still have a chance to turn their life around and make our whole community safer. But instead, without the support of family and being shipped further away from their home, it’s more likely, unfortunately, that they’re going to get into more trouble in the future.”

Overall, the main point Kinew wants to get across is that the NDP will fight to get the government to reconsider, and if they don’t they’ll have a new plan ready to get jobs back to Dauphin.

The City of Dauphin has outlined a list of actions they are going to take to try and fight the province’s decision to close the Dauphin Correctional Centre.

At City Council on Monday, Mayor Allen Dowhan said that he had reached out to the Premier, the Provincial Justice Minister, and local MLA Brad Michaleski urging them to reverse the decision.

The City and Rural Municipality of Dauphin will facilitate a town hall meeting on Monday, February 3rd at Credit Union Place in the Aspen Lodge at 5:30.

Everyone concerned about the closure of the Dauphin Correctional Centre is encouraged to come out.

The Mayor and council are asking citizens to call or write Premier Pallister, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen, and MLA Brad Michaleski to ask for the immediate reversal of the decision.

On the night of January 24th, Fisher Branch RCMP responded to a call of a house fire on the Peguis First Nation.

While on their way to the fire, officers were notified of a suspicious male walking down Highway 224 and appeared to be burning items and throwing them on the road.

All four people in the house were able to get out. Two were treated on the scene, and two were taken to the hospital.

Further investigation led to the arrest of the male on Highway 224. 22-year-old Danton Flett, of Peguis First Nation, was charged with Arson-Disregard for Human Life and Arson-Damage to Property. He has been remanded into custody.

The two victims sent to the hospital have since been released. The house continued to burn and is a complete loss.

RCMP along with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, continue to investigate.

Today scheduled cleaning of the Gilbert Plains Municipal water reservoirs is starting.

The 2-week process can cause low water flow and water discolouration due to the disturbance of sediment during the process.

The water will still be safe to drink, the town will be supplied with the rural water directly from the pipeline while the tanks are being cleaned.

The reservoirs will be cleaned, disinfected and tested for water quality before being put back in production.

The bulk water station in Gilbert Plains is closed until February 5th, 2020 because of the cleaning.

Residents needing treated water will have to go to Dauphin or Grandview.

Provincial Health Minister Cam Friesen said today that the province is continuing to prepare for the potential arrival of coronavirus in Manitoba.

Friesen stated that the province is ensuring that health-care providers are aware of symptoms and implementing heightened precautions to detect, isolate and test for the virus.

“There have been no reported cases of novel coronavirus to date in Manitoba and the risk remains low at this time, but we must remain vigilant,” said Friesen. “Across the health system, 911 call operators, first responders, and front-line health-care staff have the information they need to identify symptoms and ensure all precautionary infectious disease protocols are in place.”

Patients visiting hospitals with fever and respiratory symptoms who travelled in the past two weeks to Wuhan, China, will be assessed for coronavirus.

Suspected and confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are required to be reported to Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.

Only two Canadian cases of the virus have been confirmed. Due to precautionary reasons, two Manitoba patients with uncertain travel histories have been tested for the virus in recent days. Both tested negative for the virus and positive for the common cold.

Friesen stressed that the risk in Manitoba remains low.

“We remain hopeful that we will not see confirmed cases of the virus in our province, but we are prepared in the event it does,” said Friesen.

Ways to prevent measures include regular hands washing with soap and water.

Additional precautions include covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

Manitoba Ag Days 2020 featured the new Innovation Showcase, showing off the latest and greatest in farming technology.

32 inventions competed in 7 categories including agronomics, farm safety, agribusiness solutions, ag tech, ag equipment, animal and livestock, and farm-built solutions.

The winner of the agribusiness solutions category was Combyne by Farmlead.com.

CEO of Farmlead, Brennan Turner, was happy to have won.

“It’s exciting, we love Manitoba Ag Days,” said Turner. “Especially for the reason that they promote innovation, and bring in all the innovation to one simple location for everyone to see.”

Combyne is a free online grain market place allowing farmers and grain buyers to meet, and establish possible trading relationships. Producers can call and message possible buyers from anywhere in North America through the app.

“Our mission is to make cash grain trade easy,” said Turner. “The Combyne marketplace is an easy operation to manage.”

19 of the top 20 grain buyers in North America use the platform to buy their grain, but Turner says that they don’t want to restrict who producers do business with.

Everyone using the platform has to go through a credit check to make sure they are a legitimate customer.

Turner says that there are no restrictions as to what crop producers can sell on Combyne.

Combyne is available through the apple and android app stores and on farmlead.com

Last week’s announcement of the closure of the Dauphin Correctional Centre has sent shockwaves through the community, and Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski says he is aware of the impact.

Michaleski stressed that his primary focus going forward is to help the affected families.

“First and foremost, the number one concern of mine right now is the job losses and the families that are affected,” said Michaleski. “This is a hard announcement for the community and the families to hear, but first and foremost, it’s the effect on the families that I'm most concerned about."

Michaleski adds that the government will do its best to keep within the rules of the collective agreement with the MGEU while relocating the corrections staff.

The reason for the closure of the jail has to do with the age of the building, says Michaleski. He added that while the courthouse and the jail both need work, the jail would take a lot to bring up to current corrections standards.

“The jail is very old, and at the end of its service life,” said Michaleski. “There is capacity available, from a provincial perspective, to relocate the inmates to other facilities. Those are two contributing factors for sure.”

While the news of the closure of the jail is quite sad, Michaleski says he is excited about the improvements that the government is making to improve economic development in the Parkland.

Right after the announcement of the jail closure, Economic Development Minister Ralph Eichler announced that the province will be hosting an economic development tour to try and connect potential investors with opportunities in the Parkland.

Michaleski also said he continues to be excited about all the improvements being made to the Dauphin Regional Health Centre, including the recent announcement of expanded dialysis care in the Parkland.

“There are a lot of positive things that we’re doing,” said Michaleski. “I know this is a difficult decision for the community to hear, but all we can do is move forward and ensure that the employees and the families are looked after the best that we can.”

On the morning of January 19th, Dauphin RCMP responded to a report of a man being held against his will.

A 40-year-old male, from Valley River, was being held against his will at a residence on Buchanon Avenue, where he had been assaulted numerous times over a brief period of time on the night of the 18th. He added that the 4 suspects who assaulted him also stole his truck.

The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police arrested 4 people in relation to the incident, two of which were remanded in custody, and two were released for a future court date.

21-year-old Samuel Flatfoot, from Dauphin, has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Forcible Confinement, Robbery, and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, and Disguised with Intent to Commit an Offense.

19-year-old Kayla Nepinak, also from Dauphin, has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Forcible Confinement, Robbery, and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.

A 32-year-old woman from Dauphin and a 40-year-old woman from Valley River are scheduled to be in Dauphin court on April 7th, where they will face charges of Aggravated Assault, Forcible Confinement, Robbery, and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.

After the deadly plane crash in Iran earlier this month, the University of Manitoba has created a new scholarship to honour the victims.

In a statement released Friday, the school said that a fellowship will be created to honour the victims of the crash that had ties to the U of M. It is set to be awarded on an annual basis to a grad student in a STEM-related field.

The school also created a scholarship to celebrate the legacy of Forough Khadem, a scientist who graduated from the U of M in 2016. The scholarship will be awarded to international female grad students in the STEM disciplines.

Several victims of the flight PS752 crash had ties to the U of M.

The Dauphin & District Chamber of Commerce’ Breakfast Education Series starts up this Thursday at the Dauphin Super 8.

The first presentation is called “2020 Your Best Year Yet”, and will be led by Carissa Caruk-Ganczar from The Hub which officially launched this month in Dauphin. “The Hub is a new program and new space … we’re a physical space that is a meeting place for entrepreneurs and business owners”, said Caruk-Ganczar. She noted that they also offer co-working options, event hosting, pop-up retail, and training opportunities.

The Hub is also home to The Program which is their women’s entrepreneurship program. “We’re primarily focused on dealing with and helping women, from whether they’re starting a business all the way through growing … but we welcome everybody in to the door to at least figure out where we can help”.

When it comes to the presentation, “2020 Your Best Year Yet”, Caruk-Ganczar mentioned it’s open to everyone, regardless if you’re a business owner, an employee, or if you’re looking at a career change. “We really designed this session so that if you’ve got a goal or a dream this year - how can you make it happen?”

Caruk-Ganczar explained that with January being an exciting time of year, people think about resolutions and goals but often lose momentum. Her presentation will talk about how to figure out what your vision for this year is and what community tools and supports are available to help you carry out your vision.

The event starts at 7 am, but you don’t need to show up early since the presentation starts at 7:30. The half hour beforehand gives you a chance to do some networking and enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Tickets for the Breakfast Education Series are available here. You can also emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. As well, there's a ticket passport option which saves you money and gives you multiple tickets that can also used for later breakfasts.

You can also find out more information on The Hub by going to their website: thehubs.ca.

“This is the worst day of my life.”

On Friday Cliff Cullen, the minister of justice and the attorney general, came to Dauphin to announce an investment into the courthouse and the closure of the Dauphin jail.

Dauphin mayor, Allen Dowhan wasn’t expecting the announcement.

“No indication was given. We knew they were coming to make an announcement. I’m a very positive person and I thought, well, maybe something on the rehabilitation centre we’ve been talking about for many years. But when the minister made the announcement, I was shocked, I was shocked and in disbelief. We are a service centre and they’re taking jobs away from our community, our region, and we can’t rebound overnight. They are young families that are being affected, and that’s what really bothers me.”

He adds that there were no plans for anything to help cushion the blow and this is a cut and dry approach.

Dowhan says this will have an economic impact that’ll shrink the region in population and assessments in the community will decrease causing a financial burden to all municipalities and to the City and RM of Dauphin.

After the announcement was made, the city had a meeting with the minister.

"In our presentation to minister Cullen, we asked if there’s any chance for a reversal and he never answered. We kept on that, both whether we’ll be formatting plans on how to pursue a revision or a turnaround of this announcement. That’s our prime goal now, how we’re going to do it I really don’t know.”

Dowhan says they are going to work diligently to try and reverse the decision and try to get new opportunities in the community.

“This is such a devastating blow. It equates to, we figure, about 500 and some people that’s spouses and children.”

For more information on the jail closure, click here, and if you’d like to read the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union’s reaction, click here.