The man charged in connection with a stabbing in Gilbert Plains has a new court date.

21-year-old Roger Keshane, from Gilbert Plains, appeared in court yesterday, where his next court date was set for February 12th.

Another suspect in the stabbing a 17-year-old boy, who can’t be named because he is a minor, will be in court on April 20th.

Two young Manitobans have died recently as a result of complications of the flu.

17-year-old Blaine Ruppenthal from Winnipeg, and 24-year-old Joanne Enns from Morden, were both relatively healthy people before they suffered complications of influenza.

Brent Roussin, the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, says that severe cases of the flu are much more common than people think.

“Unfortunately, we do sometimes see healthy individuals with severe outcomes to the flu,” said Roussin. “So that’s why our planning every year occurs long before flu season starts. We try to get the message out that the flu vaccine is safe, and it’s the best way to, not only protect yourself but protect the people around you from the flu and those complications of the flu.”

It is recommended that everyone over 6 months of age get their flu shot, especially if they are around people who have weakened immune systems.

Roussin adds that it is not too late to get your flu shot if you want to.

Common flu symptoms are fever, chills, cough, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue. Anyone who is experiencing a severe case of the flu will have symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing up blood, severe fatigue, and dehydration.

Last year in Manitoba, there were 19 flu-related deaths and in 2018, 46 people died from the flu.

Roussin says that even if you haven’t received your flu shot, there are some things you can do to help curb the spread.

“Lots of handwashing is important, getting adequate rest, a good diet, and staying active is important,” said Roussin. “ I certainly can’t emphasize the handwashing enough.”

The third-quarter financial report for MPI’s 2019/20 fiscal year has been released.

A net income of 176.6 million dollars has been reported, which is an 89.2 million dollar increase compared to the same period last year.

Total earned revenue has risen by 52.1 million dollars compared to the same period last year, because of higher motor vehicle premium revenue resulting from an increase in the number of motor vehicles insured, the value of the vehicles, and an overall 1.8 per cent increase in basic insurance rates ordered by the Public Utilities Board that came into effect March 1st, 2019.

In a press release, Mark Giesbrecht, Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer with MPI says there’s another reason for the income increasing.

“Factoring out impacts on provisions for unpaid claims due to changing interest rates which are hedged through the Corporation’s asset-liability management process, net claims incurred decreased year over year by $3.2 million. This improvement resulted from a combination of lower accident frequency and improved claims handling.”

Recently, the Public Utilities Board approved MPI’s application for an overall rate decrease of 0.6 per cent along with the corporation’s proposal of the Capital Management Plan and 100 per cent Minimum Capital Test Basic target capital level.

In the press release, Giesbrecht adds,

“MPI’s new capital target and framework will serve to protect ratepayers from future rate hikes and aligns the interests of the Basic and Extension lines of business.”

The new rates take effect on March 1st this year.

While we've already experienced some pretty cold temperatures and wind chills lately, it's gotten a little worse!

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for the Dauphin - Russell - Roblin - Winnipegosis area. Wind chills in the -40 to -50 range are now expected, but things should get a little better as of Thursday afternoon. As well, relief from the cold is on the way next week as temperatures will be much warmer.

The current extreme weather is due to some chilly air mixed with a ridge of high pressure coming in from Saskatchewan.

As well as the towns mentioned above, the warning is in effect for:

The municipalities of Gilbert Plains; Grandview; Mossey River; Ethelbert; and the R.M.s of Lakeshore and Riding Mountain West.

View the full weather warning here.

A Ukrainian film crew was shooting a part of a hockey-related documentary in the Gilbert Plains area on Sunday.

Vern Zee was one of the organizers of the event.

“(The Ukrainian Film Crew) was doing a film called The Historical Legends, The Ukes. It’s hockey players with Ukrainian background who held the Stanley Cup. Basically what they wanted to do was, do a pond hockey venue, so we decided to do it in Gilbert Plains on Wilson River, on Zee Valley Farm.”

He says quite a few people came out to watch, and 14 kids played hockey, mostly between the ages of 9 to 11 with one kid being 6-years-old. The kids came from Gilbert Plains, Dauphin, Roblin and Winnipeg.

A big part of the success came from the community’s help. Dean Murray was in charge of making sure the ice was good along with Cliff Lamkin, his assistant, and they had to flood the ice 3 or 4 times in 38 hours. The Co-op also helped by providing generators and hoses for the flooding.

The documentary will be released in Kyiv, Toronto, and New York late this year, and following that, the plan is to do a movie tour throughout the US and Canada. Gilbert Plains is already interested in being one of the tour stops.

Health Canada is urging Canadians to be vigilant when buying things second-hand.

Rose Gueret, a product safety officer with Health Canada says that whether it be on a Facebook buy and sell, or during a curbside giveaway, before buying or taking something second-hand, you should think about safety.

“Some of the things people can think about, if they’re going to buy something is, ask the seller if the product has been recalled,” said Gueret. “Ask a lot of questions, do they know if there’s any history with the product? Does the product have its label on it? Do they know how the product was used? It's really good to look at the overall condition of the product.”

Canada’s consumer safety laws apply to both new and used products; so Health Canada’s campaign is aimed at making sure people get the best product possible when buying something second-hand.

Gueret says the items that cause the most issues are those that are designed for children like toys or car seats.

Gueret added that the best way to find out if someone is trying to sell a recalled item is to check Health Canada’s recall website.

The Dauphin and District Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch Series started up again today.

Stephen Chychota says it was a really great start.

“Really excited, it was great to see everybody back again, great attendance, Stephanie had an engaging presentation, so it was great to see the crowd getting involved with that, and just looking towards the rest of it because if this was any indication on the rest of the year, how that’s going to go, can’t wait to get through it all.”

Stephanie Jaddock was today’s featured speaker.

“I was talking about customer service and how communication is key to customer service and really listening to your customers. It’s not just the words spoken, it’s all the other things that are going on, like their body language, tone of voice, eye contact, that kind of stuff is really imperative when delivering a customer service experience.”

Jaddock’s topic was delivering the wow factor.

“We all expect a certain level of service from a business, but the wow factor is when that business takes it to another level for us. That, that customer walks away feeling empowered, valued, and they want to come back. How they do that is through listening to the needs of the customer and then extending beyond that and providing kindness, respect, and reaching in to see what that need is.”

Jaddock says the importance of having good relationships with the customers is that it creates loyalty, the customer will share information about the business and how they go above and beyond, and that increases profits for the business.

Before things got started, Stephen Chychota gave out a couple of checks.

“There are three groups out there that were selling Chamber Bucks for us as a fundraising opportunity and two of them were ready today to get their cheques presented to them. We gave a thousand dollar donation to Dauphin Safe Grad and to the Dauphin Clippers Hockey Team for the work that they’ve done getting those chamber bucks out there.”

Chamber Cheque Presentation

The next Lunch Series date is February 11th with the topic being HR Best Practices and the Breakfast Series begins later this month on the 30th.

After a second-year nursing final was found to be compromised, students and faculty at Brandon University are still looking for answers.

While it has not been determined exactly how the exam was compromised, some say that it was because students used an online practice exam containing questions on the actual final.

The president of the Brandon University Student’s Union has requested to meet with the dean of health studies to try and get to the bottom of the situation.

Nursing students were allowed to rewrite the test with a maximum possible grade of 70 percent. Students have also been allowed to appeal the school’s decision.

The school’s spokesperson says that the school may release more details regarding the compromised final, later this week.

A compensation program for survivors of Indian day schools in the country is now open for applications.

Under the settlement, survivors can apply for individual compensation for any harm caused by attending a federally run institution.

Starting in the 1920s, 200,000 Indigenous children attended over 700 Indian day schools, often suffering physical and sexual abuse.

The government expects thousands of Indigenous people across the country will be able to receive federal compensation from the settlement.

All survivors will receive a minimum of $10,000 in individual compensation, while people who endured more severe cases of abuse will be eligible for greater compensation.

The settlement that was approved by the Federal Court last summer, is also set to provide $200 million for community-based projects to support things like health and wellness programs, “truth-telling” events, and commemoration.

The funding will be administered by the McLean Day School Settlement Corp, who is currently working to develop guidelines and procedures for organizations to follow in applying for grants for projects. Those rules will be made public in the next few weeks.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister, Carolyn Bennett says the settlement is an important step towards healing and justice for survivors and their families.

The Indian day schools were run separately from the residential-school system. As a result, they were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.

Due to a string of hot and dry summers, the grasshopper population is on the rise in the province.

Provincial Entomologist John Gavloski, says that this year will be the third consecutive year of population growth.

While the population has seen an increase, Gavloski says he wouldn’t go as far as calling it an outbreak.

“It’s not at the point where we’re going to call it an outbreak or anything, but there certainly are increased levels,” said Gavloski. “If we get another hot dry year, there likely will be areas in the northwest where grasshoppers are a concern and growers may need to be managing them in some way.”

Gavloski says the western part of Manitoba will be hit the hardest with high counts of grasshoppers, particularly around Brandon, Virden, and Russell. He added the Interlake may be severely affected as well.

The province’s grasshopper forecast is based on several factors, such as counts of populations in August, weather data, and recent trends in populations.

High grasshopper populations can affect lots of crops, and result in significant damage.

Gavloski urges producers to be vigilant and check field edges and ditches early in the year, and be prepared to spray.

While it may be the dead of winter, summer is closer than you think.

Riding Mountain National Park is now taking camping reservations for this summer.

You can reserve sites in Wasagaming, Moon Lake, and Lake Audy. Otentiks, yurts, and the park’s microcube are also available for reservation.

To book your campsite, go to RMNP’s website.