The Gilbert Plains Garden Tour in support of the Gilbert Plains Community Fund is going down tomorrow.

There will be two tours, one is at 1:00 p.m. and the second begins at 6:15 p.m.

Donna Meyer is with the Community Foundation and she's excited about the event.

"We visit five different yards. Some are in the country and some are in town," said Meyer. "We'll get into vehicles and drive around and inspect everything from flower gardens to vegetable gardens, to shrubs. It's always an enjoyable event."

If you want to take part, you're required to meet at the Gilbert Plains Legion 15 minutes prior to your tour. It's $15 per adult and that includes a summer beverage & dessert. Youth is $8. The event will go on rain or shine. Luckily for you, the forecast tomorrow calls for sunny skies with a high of 26.

You also don't need your own vehicle, as the members will drive you around.

Meyer also has a reason why you should take part.

"I believe because you get so many ideas, it's unbelievable what is in some of the yards," said Meyer. "They have so much to offer. It really is a wonderful afternoon or evening."

You're asked to pre-register. You can do so by picking up your tickets at the Gilbert Plains Pharmacy. You can also call Donna at 548-2816.

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Yesterday morning around 11:30 the Dauphin Fire Department responded to a structure fire, occurring east of Dauphin past the eclipse area in an abandoned farm house.

Fire Chief Cam Abrey says the owner had been doing a controlled burn but a few embers escaped his control.

“We want to remind everybody that even a controlled burn can escape your responsibilities, quite rapidly, and never hesitate to call 911 for assistance before that bad situation gets worse.”

Being abandoned, the house was unoccupied and no one else was injured from the fire.

It took 2 and a half hours to put out the fire, and get all the firetrucks prepared for the next incident.

The fire has been deemed accidental in nature.

Shortly before 7 in the morning yesterday, Brandon Police received a report that a man smashed a vehicle window.

Police located two suspects following a search of the area.

A 27-year-old male was arrested for mischief to property. He was also in possession of 5 grams of meth and packaging material he will appear in court, August 12, for possession for the purpose of trafficking and mischief to property.

The other suspect, a 31-year-old male was in possession of 3 grams of meth and a scale, while on court orders not to possess drugs. He is appearing in court today for possession for the purpose of trafficking and breach of recognizance.

This year's Mossey River Days took place from July 4th-7th.

The weekend saw hundreds of people take in live entertainment, food, and activities in downtown Winnipegosis.

One of the event coordinators, Barret Procyshyn, says that planning for next year is already underway with plans to make it bigger and better than before.

Next year's event will once again be held the weekend after Countryfest.

The last few years of Rowan Balchen's life outside of school have been challenging. Inside the school, the 18-year-old from Dauphin hasn't missed a beat and she graduated high school on just about the highest note possible.

Among her many awards and scholarships that she received was the University of Winnipeg's largest scholarship. Rowan is a recipient of this year's Walter Leatherdale Entrance Scholarship, which rewards the Dauphinite with $40,000.

In all, Balchen received over $43,000 in scholarship money as she embarks on her next journey. She also won the Governor General's Award. The award is given to the student who graduates at the DRCSS with the highest academic average combined between grade 11 and 12. Rowan's average was a smashing 98%.

"It is so completely surreal. I remember opening it, and I thought it said $4000 and I was so ecstatic, but I looked closer and I saw more 0's," said Balchen. "I eventually realized what I had actually won and I called my parents, and they were all crying and everything. It's just incredible and I am so happy."

"I knew I was a candidate, but I wasn't sure if I would actually win," continued Balchen. "I know I always give everything I have into everything I do, that's what I pride myself on. I can't say thank you enough to the people that have helped me along the way."

Balchen's new journey will see her attend the University of Winnipeg in the fall. She wants to become a Speech Language Pathologist. She just recently found out that's what she wants to pursue.

"I took grade 12 psychology in grade 11, and that was the first time that I've discovered something that I was passionate about," said Balchen. "After doing a bunch of research and going to career day presentations, I was really interested in it."

The more than $43,000 will go a long way in helping Rowan go far.

"It's much easier to say what I want to do knowing I have the financial resources needed to pursue this career," said Balchen.

Outside of school, Balchen has been very active. Her father has progressive MS. In a matter of a few short years, he's gone from doing everything you can imagine, to now being in a wheelchair. Instead of sitting back, Rowan has done everything in her power to help not only her father but every single person that suffers from MS.

She's taken part in the past two Riding Mountain MS bike rides. In 2017, she was the top fundraiser as she raised $4608. Last year, Rowan once again finished on top, raising $4345. 

"I've had to watch the disease take over his body. He's my inspiration for all of this. I'm sick of seeing this disease take over a body like that," said Balchen. "Just like my school work, I put everything I could into raising money. It was so physically and emotionally draining, but it was worth every single moment."

Rowan will be attending the upcoming Women against MS Gala where she's been invited to be an impact speaker. 

"That's such an honour. I just want to tell my story. I want to inspire others, just like my dad has inspired me and so many other people," concluded Balchen.

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The Intermountain Conservation District unveiled a new flood control dam on Monday.

The dam is located on the Harper Creek just south of Grandview, just 3 miles north of Riding Mountain National Park. The elevation drop from the Park Line to Highway #366 is nearly 100ft per mile. This steep watershed has caused water to flow much quicker than in previous decades.

The Merv Mitchell Flood Control Dam is a “dry dam” meaning it will not hold water permanently. It has an undersized culvert to help restrict water flow during spring runoff and large storms. It will hold water back for a few days instead of a few hours, reducing the strength of the water and decreasing potential damage downstream. The dam will then empty itself and be ready to go for the next event.

Previous to the dam, the power of the waterway cause the banks to overrun, erode and flood. Washed out culvert and roads were an annual inconvenience. Municipal estimates show that RM’s pay $8 million in annual repairs.

The cost to build one dam is $50,000.

The IMCD has the goal of building a network of dams along the Riding Mountain Watershed.

Last week it was reported that doctors and nurses weren’t boarding Lifeflight air ambulances because of safety concerns. Ashley Blais is a family medicine and ER doctor in Ste Rose, and she explains where the doctors are coming from.

“The province has used private air ambulance companies for about half the time in the past year and often uses smaller King Air 200s when they require King Air 250s or 350s. They need a mechanical lift, mechanical doors, and noise reduction. This has not been given to the program by the government and therefore, shut them down. They also stopped hiring pilots in another move towards privatization.”

Blais says there are some other issues with the new planes. If the planes have to go to Edmonton for congenital heart infants, the plane will need to refuel on the way there, which wasn’t the case before. She adds that the new planes can’t land on gravel strips, meanwhile most northern communities only use gravel strips.

Blais says rural doctors are being asked to leave their posts to fly with Lifeflight.

“Most docs outside larger centres do not know how to operate a ventilator and they’re asking us to get on these planes and manage critical care patients outside of our facility and outside of our scope, or practice, outside of our skill or training, really. Remote physicians are not trained on the physiological changes when a person’s body is in the air, let alone life support.”

Blais adds that Dauphin has been impacted by this when the anesthesiologist couldn’t board the plane because there would have been no back up in Dauphin for heart intubation and maternity anesthetics. In the end, a surgeon was sent on the plane instead.

STARS Air Ambulance responded to a single-vehicle rollover near Reedy Creek at 5:30 Sunday evening.

The incident happened on highway 278, approximately 3 kilometers south of Reedy Creek. Crews from the Ebb and Flow First Nation Fire Department were also on scene.

An 18-year-old driver was the only person in the vehicle, and was pronounced deceased on scene.

The rollover is still under investigation by Ste. Rose RCMP, along with a Forensic Collision Reconstructionist.

Premier Brian Pallister is thinking about changing the law that forces businesses to close on holidays.

Executive Director of the Dauphin and District Chamber of Commerce, Stephen Chychota, shares his thoughts.

“The more power a business owner, or even a small business owner can have running their business, the better for them.”

Chychota wants small businesses to have the option to stay open.

“As long as they have that option and it can go in either direction. Some businesses might not see any benefit to it and it could be an entire cost to them. For some in certain industries or categories, it could benefit them quite greatly for having access to being open while others are closed.”

Chychota thinks it’ll be a case by case basis if businesses were given the opportunity to stay open but says there probably would be businesses in our area that would stay open given the opportunity.

Pallister says he agrees with a grocery store owner who has complained that there is a contradiction in allowing casinos and liquor stores to open while forcing grocers and others to close. Pallister would like to let municipalities set their own rules for holidays.

Brandon Police now have the power to help those dealing with mental health crises thanks to a handheld app.

The Health IM app allows police to perform an on-scene risk assessment and communicate with hospital triage nurses on their smartphones.

It will allow officers to match the right mental health resources to the situation, rather than automatically going to the hospital.

It can take hours for doctors to see mental health patients.

The app has allowed officers to cut time spent in hospitals in half.

Brendan Sheehan, a spokesperson for Health IM, says this is the first time the software has been licenced to a police department on handheld devices. It will allow officers to take the assessment tools to those in distress, rather than forcing officers to go back to their laptops in their cars.

Brandon Police spokesperson Sergeant Kirby Sararas says the force is trained up and ready to go.

The program was funded through the Province’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund.

Canada's National Ukrainian Festival is less than a month away on the August Long Weekend.

It'll go down from August 2-4 at the Selo Ukraina site just south of Dauphin. As they continue to prepare for the festivities, they are looking for volunteers all weekend long.

They're looking for help at the gate, the festival boutique up on the hill and the cultural workshop. Just by becoming a volunteer for the event, you'll get to witness everything as well.

"The benefits of becoming a volunteer this year is you'll get to see all the entertainment," said Sam Schiefke, CAO of Canada's National Ukrainian Festival. "You also get to meet new people, it's a great wonderful experience."

In order to get a weekend pass, you must work two shifts. The length of each shift is either two hours or four. 

If you'd like to volunteer, call Canada's National Ukrainian Festival office at 622-4600. You can also email

The list of performers this year includes The M&M's, Party Time Orchestra, Kalendar, Drum Cafe, the Chris Barker Band, and so much more. You can check out a full list of performers at 2019 Performers.