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Cypress Courier Year in Review

Posted on January 4, 2017 by 40 Mile Commentator
Photo by Tim Kalinowski- A piece of Redcliff's history was lost when the I-XL Pressed Brick plant was torn down in November. For many, 2016 was a year filled with numerous historical endings and sorrows; however, many hoped that out of the ashes of the old would arise the new.

By Tim Kalinowski

Elkwater and Medicine Hat began intensive preparations to host the Alberta Winter Games. Organizers were worried about the potential for a mild winter at outdoor venues, but felt they were on track to open the games successfully.
CFB Suffield started its first big Elk Hunt in several years on January 11.
Also on January 11, the Suffield Fire Department responded to a mjor structure fire at Suffield’s Snack Shack. The building was a complete loss and the fire was immediately deemed suspicious by the Office of the Fire Commission. It would later be ruled arson.
Tributes poured in as well-known boxing coach Bill Page passed away. Page was a Box Springs resident for most of his life and taught boxing for 40 years in the area. He was a founder of the Medicine Hat Boxing Club.
The Dunmore drainage plan was a topic of intense discussion at Cypress County council on January 12, as major revisions to the plan were introduced for the first time to councillors.
Hilda area native son Dr. David Krause spoke to the Courier about his career as an internationally famed paleontologist with New York’s Stony Brook University.
The Town of Redcliff voted to support the first ever “Test for Humanity” mountain bike race on its coulee trail network at the public meeting on Jan.11.
Irvine School students officially opened their own bank branch through the The Schuler Community Association announced plans to pursue funding from Cypress County and others to build a new community hall at the SCA AGM on Jan. 18. Junior ATB program with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 15.
Musical murder mystery “Oh Horrors! Its Murder” had a great crowd on hand at Irvine School on Jan. 22.
Elkwater and Medicine Hat were in final preparations mode for the Alberta Winter Games at the end of January, but mild weather was putting the viability of some venues in doubt.
Redcliff council vigourously debated a proposal on Jan. 25 to invest $8 million in reserves to try and make more money for the town. Council members voted in favour despite Coun. Larry Leipert’s strenuous objections.

Winter Fun Festival held in at Elkwater to kick off the drive toward the Alberta WInter Games on Feb. 6. Plenty of snow ensured fun for all who came despite bone chilling windchills.
At the Feb. 2 meeting Cypress County council approved the Graburn Raw Water Pipeline Society’s application to pull water from Walsh Raw Water Pipeline.
At the same meeting, Couns. Dan Hamilton and Garry Lentz had a strenuous debate over water rights, with Coun. Lentz hoping to reserve water rights for rural residents at the Cypress Rural Water Co-op and Hamilton pushing for water rights for long delayed residential development projects in Dunmore.
A highly successful Alberta Winter Games went off in spectacular fashion Feb. 12-14 for a greet weekend of youth sport.
Medicine Hat and District Food Bank calls for more food, cash and cattle to meet rising need in tough times.
Coun. Dan Hamilton narrowly won a vote 4-3 to have county water rights allocated to residential development in Dunmore, upsetting Coun. Garry Lentz’s bid to reserve water rights for the Cypress Rural Water Co-op plans at the Feb. 16 council meeting.
Redcliff figure skater Cassandra Forbes and snowboarder Ryder Petrick celebrate their Alberta Winter Games medal wins. Petrick won gold and Forbes won silver.
A pick-up truck rollover near Seven Persons sent a local woman to hospital on Feb. 16.
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Jim Hillyer announces a temporary leave of absence from his parliamentary duties due to medical reasons.
Calgary Stampeder Nate Coehoorn brings the Grey Cup back to his hometown of Redcliff on Feb. 14.
Archeologists Dr. Brian Reeves and Dr. Margaret Kennedy speak to members of the S.E. Archeological Society at their AGM on Feb. 19.
Scouts and Guides Week proclaimed by Mayor Ernie Reimer in Redcliff Feb. 21-27.
Eagle Butte High drama puts on successful performance of “Alice in Wonderland” at the Esplanade Feb. 27-28.
Bill 6 legal seminar, presented by Smith and Hershey, addresses farmers concerns at the Cypress Centre Auditorium.

Seven Persons School Grade 5/6 class speaks about their 1,000 T-shirts campaign to support local Ellis family’s fight with cancer.
On March 7 Eagle Butte High and other local schools under hold and secure orders following text message threats against five students.
Cypress County lays the groundwork to regulate medical marijauna growers and solar power companies thinking of investing in the region.
Rancher Dan Jackson takes councillers to task over Cypress County’s continued allowance of encroaching country residential development into agricultural areas at the March 1 council meeting.
Councillors debated whether or not to retain Cypress County’s “County Mountie” position at the same meeting.
Dry conditions, lack of snow lead to elevated fire risk in Cypress County.
On March 11, “Local to Global” conference in Medicine Hat receives visit from newly appointed U.S. Consul General Tom Palaia. Len Mitzel also announces new 40-Mile Rail shortine will begin operations in July between Medicine Hat, Foremost and Stirling.
Suffield Community Recreation Association awards Sam Lehtonen its Citizen of the Year award on March 11.
Trican lays off 100 employees at its Redcliff facility on March 16.
Redcliff Skating Club celebrates 40 years with “Redcliff’s Got Talent” ice carnival.
Cypress County takes up war of words with City of Medicine Hat after Mayor Ted Clugston’s criticizes Redcliff and Cypress County for not paying their fair share for Boundary Roads maintenance. Coun. Richard Oster calls for cost-sharing on South Boundary to support Desert Blume residents.
Oil leak at well site near Veinerville on March 22 allegedly kills one sheep. Clean up takes place throughout the next week.
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Jim Hillyer passes away suddenly from heart failure in his offfice in Ottawa on March 23. He was 41 years-old.
Ralston School hosts colourful Easter Bonnet Parade March 24.
Redcliff council debates off-leash areas, stricter bylaw enforcement for pet owners, at March 28 council meeting.
Fire engulfs and destroys Redcliff Stake and Lath in Box Springs area on March 30.

Desert Blume residents call on Cypress County councillors to make deal with City of Medicine Hat to cost-share on South Boundary Road fix.
Nehemiah Construction Ministries holds successful fundraiser at Seven Persons Hall on April 1.
Sharon Kirvan named Redcliff’s Citizen of the Year.
Cypress County council remains divided on whether or not to renew the “County Mountie” position at April 5 meeting. Councillors also agree to open up discussions with City for cost-sharing agreement on South Boundary Road and Range Road 53 access to municipal dump.
Town of Redcliff gives media tour of its new, state-of-the-art $20 million water treatment facility.
Prairie Rose School Division board trustees pass new, inclusive LGBTQ policy for all schools at their April 12 meeting.
Successful Volunteer Appreciation Night held in Redcliff on April 15.
Cypress County council agrees to extend County Mountie position for one more year.
Suffield resident Ernest Meyers profiles his extensive classic camera collection for Courier readers.
RMAP student Nancy Klassen wins gold in Junior Hairstyling category at Southeast Alberta Regional Skills Competition on April 24.

Redcliff proposes new Offsite Levy Bylaw at May 6 council meeting.
I.F. Cox School in Redcliff holds outdoor education celebration day on May 3.
Cypress County and Redcliff offer support for Fort McMurray fire victims.
Cypress County councillors taken to task by Dunmore residents for approving new residential development without adequate green spaces at the May 3 meeting. Council agreed to seek further assurances on this score from developer Wilde Possibilities after hearing complaints.
Eagle Butte High School celebrates its 2016 grads at cap and gown ceremony on May 13 at the Cypress Centre Auditorium.
Cypress County holds annual Service Awards night at the Medicine Hat Lodge on May 13.
Irvine resident Don Wong named Cypress County’s Citizen of the Year.
Cypress Hills Massacre endurance race poses big challenge for participants on May 14.
Elkwater Park Golf Club announces 50th anniversary tournament to take place on June 24.
Cypress County holds first annual Public Works Day on May 18.
Venturers Society members show their value to the Elkwater community through the work they do every day.
On May 23 Alberta NDP government announces new carbon tax at $20/tonne starting in January 2017.
Ellis family receives $39,000 in donations to help Tanya Ellis with cancer fight at special fundraiser at the Seven Persons Hall on May 28.

History of Hills focuses on First Nations history and education during first week of June.
PRSD Kaleidoscope Festival of the Arts celebrated at Esplanade on June 3.
Sunny skies for annual veterans’ Decoration Day in Redcliff on June 5.
Little Grain Elevator literacy initiative launched in Cypress County.
Irvine area roper Walker Long qualifies for National Junior High Finals rodeo in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Proposed lit greenhouse near Seven Persons runs into heated local opposition at the June 7 council meeting. Cypress County councillors ended up denying Skyview Growers’ application for 24-hour lighting.
Volunteers drive in first stakes at the Dunmore Equestrian Society’s new riding academy on June 8.
CFB Suffield celebrates 75 years with a Family Day gathering on June 9.
Redcliff council votes against lowering speed limit on Main Street at the June 13 council meeting despite letter writing campaign from members of the public. Council members also approves kicking off town rebranding campaign at the same meeting.
Six men vying for Conservative Party nomination in Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner to replace deceased MP Jim Hillyer debate in Medicine Hat on June 15.
Redcliff Days (June 17-19) was a huge success again this year despite stumbling economy.
Prairie Rose School Division projects $800,000 deficit for the 2016/2017 school year.
Cypress County’s cost-sharing offer on South Boundary Road and Range Road 53 rejected by the City of Medicine Hat. Councillors react angrily at June 21 meeting. Councillors also approve new offsite levy rates for Dunmore, Irvine and Walsh at same meeting.
Red Hat Co-op celebrates 50 years in Redcliff with open house tour of its packing facility on June 23.
Seven Persons School Grade 5/6s hand out nearly $29,000 in donations after hugely successful 1,000 T-shirts campaign on June 23.
Redcliff hires new museum manager Keri-Anne Lawton.
Schuler School students roam the land of the dinosaurs on field trip to Royal Tyrrell Museum.
Elkwater Park Golf Club celebrates 50 years with Best Ball tournament on June 24.
Aaron Diaz arrested for sexual assault on Cypress County teen girl on June 24.
Former Medicine Hat Police Service Inspector, Glen Motz, secures Conservative Party nomination on June 25 in Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner after tight race.

Well attended Canada Day celebrations in Redcliff and Suffield. Elkwater Rodeo a lot of fun with great community support.
Redcliff RCMP arrest crazed driver on July 1. It was later shown to be a psychological episode by a Coquitlam, BC driver, who was released after normalizing his medication.
Cypress County council changes dust control policy to make fewer patches available to property owners, raises prices on second patches.
Redcliff and Boxspring fire departments hold joint exercises.
Local athletes do well at Southern Alberta Summer Games.
Hilda Mud Bog on July 9 puts a charge in competitors and spectators alike.
Penny Carnival fun in Redcliff on July 13.
Farming Smarter field tour of Cypress County means enduring rainy day for participants on July 14.
Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Royalty crowned on July 16. Brittney Chomistek was crowned Stampede Queen. Keylee Dolgopol crowned Stampede Princess.
Severe hail storm on July 18 causes widespread damage in hamlet of Dunmore and adjacent rural areas.
Canoists rescued on the South Saskatchewan river near Boxsprings on July 19.
CCi Wireless rejects Cypress County’s proposal to expand internet service into deep rural areas, despite council’s willingness to pay for additioniol tower construction.
Quonset Days a landmark weekend in Seven Persons on July 22-24.
Neubauer Farms wins BMO Farm Family of the Year Award.
Successful Cypress Hills Sheepdog Trial held July 23-24 at Jobe Farm south of Dunmore.
Cypress County resident Bob Porter named 2016 Honourary Parade Marshal for the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede. Irvine area roper Walker Long competes at National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Lebanon, Tennesee.
Hilda bi-annual Garden Tour very well attended.
Stampede Week kicks off with colourful parade on July 28.
Chelsea Pensioner Simon de Buisseret visits Redcliff and Medicine Hat.
South Country Co-op donates $36,000 to Redcliff Bike Skills Park.

Undeveloped Road Allowances policy hotly debated at Cypress County council on Aug. 2.
Local rancher Dan Reesor demands action from provincial government on Cypress Hills Park fire risk.
Lansdowne residential development deal for Irvine falls through, leaving future of project up in the air.
Elkwater Mile High Tri pushes competitors to their limits on Aug. 6.
Wild West show comes to 37th annual Ralston Rodeo for Aug. 6.
Cypress Hills Park announces it will begin prescribed burn in next five years.
Local photographer Susan Rex wins big in Calgary Stampede photo contest for her photo taken at the Irvine Rodeo in Sept. 2015.
Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean makes stop in S.E. Alberta on Aug. 10.
Driving range location chosen in Redcliff, approved at Aug. 15 council meeting.
Seven Persons track star Sage Watson cannot advance out of Olympic semi-finals to complete medal dream.
Ribbon cutting ceremony held Aug. 20 for grand opening of the new Dunmore Riding Academy.
Medicine Hat Canadian Foodgrains Bank harvest sees miraculous respite from rainy weather on Aug. 23 to conclude successful harvest.
Bill Watson proud of his granddaughter Sage’s track success.
New First Nations display opens at Redcliff Museum.Massive AltaLink project nears completion in Cypress County.
Lauren Boychuk wins cattle boxing World Championship.

Back to school for PRSD students on Sept. 1.
Successful summer tourism season reported in Cypress Hills Park despite weather challenges.
More than 1,000 bikers take part in Santa Claus Fund Toy Run.
Irvine hosts well attended 20 Mile Post Days celebration and rodeo Sept. 3-5
Memory Lane Memorial Barrel Race on Sept. 5 becomes first event held at new Dunmore Riding Academy.
Cypress County council approves Western Tractor’s application to move into County at the Sept. 6 meeting.
Redcliff council passes final reading of new offsite levy bylaw at the Sept. 12 public meeting.
Stan Sakamoto annouces intention to run for Liberal Party in Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner federal byelection.
Redcliff holds special celebration to dedicate new water treatment plant on Sept. 16.
Cypress County council agrees to fund Cypress Early Childhood Coalition’s book exchange elevators in hamlets for $15,000.
First annual Test for Humanity Mountain Bike Race held on Sept. 24 showcases Redcliff’s coulee trails.
Long term lease for Seniors’ Center debated at Redcliff Town council on Sept. 26.
Three vehicle collision Sept. 26 on Eagle Butte Road sends three to hospital.
PRSD, Medicine Hat Catholic School Board and SD-76 unveil unified emergency management message on Sept. 27.
Alberta P.C. Party leadership candidate Jason Kenney pitches his united right vision to Wildrose supporters on whistle stop in Medicine Hat.
Cypress County Fire Chief Dennis Mann relieved of all duties.

Irvine hosts Fall Family Fun Fair on first day of October.
OktoberFest celebrated at Redcliff’s German Harmony Hall on Oct. 1.
Seven Persons Community Association volunteers began constructing the base of the community’s new rink on Oct. 5.
Cypress County council refuses to budge on its terms and conditions when presented with revised Lansdowne proposal for Irvine residential development at the Oct. 7 council meeting, effectively killing the deal. Later transparency debate drags in Cypress Rural Water Co-op.
S.E. Alberta Rural Crime Watch Association hosts well-attended year-end barbecue and meeting on Oct. 8.
Redcliff Youth Centre goes public with its financial challenges, asks for public support to remain open.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and local Liberals hold rally for candidate Stan Sakamoto in Medicine Hat on Oct. 13.
Bovine TB positive test puts over 30 local ranches in Jenner area under quarantine.
Federal Conservative Party interim leader Rona Ambrose visits Marble Greenhouses (formerly County Fresh) on Oct. 20 to support candidate Glen Motz; takes aim at a proposed provincial and federal carbon tax.
Redcliff Legion celebrates its 90th anniversary on Oct. 22 with pomp and circumstance.
Safety Buzz ETC holds grand opening at its new Dunmore training campus on Oct. 23.
Conservative Party candidate Glen Motz has decisive win in Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner federal byelection on Oct. 24.
Jordan Enns faces multiple charges after alleged regional crime spree through Brooks, Cypress County and Redcliff.
Parkside School goes all out with annual “Haunted Hallway” to celebrate Halloween.

Cypress County councillors express frustration over federal handling of bovine TB crisis at the Nov. 1 council meeting.
WW2 vet Howard Osgood remembers Battle of the Rhine.
Irvine and District Ag. Society holds annual fundraiser on Nov. 5. Sustainable Canada fundraiser at Reesor ranch the same evening.
Alberta Wide Rally sends strong message to NDP government.
PRSD superintendent Brian Andjelic annouces impending retirement at Nov. 8 Board of Trustees meeting.
Local schools honour veterans with Remembrance Week events.
Warm and sunny Remembrance Day marked in Redcliff.
Former Medicine Hat Stampede Queen Ali Mullin wins Miss Rodeo Canada title on Nov. 12.
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz sworn in on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Nov. 14.
Redcliff resident Elizabeth Mack speaks candidly about her chronic illness and against doctor assisted suicide.
Redcliff council passes first reading of controversial tenants and renters utility payment bylaw at the Nov. 14 meeting.
Seven Persons area farmer Brenda Fischer speaks about the losses her family  will experience if Highway 3 twinning ever comes to pass.
CFB Suffield announces it is opening its National Wildlife Area to elk hunters this year.
Suffield’s water and infrastructure woes transfix Cypress County council at Nov. 22 meeting.
CFIA announces new compensation dollars for quarantined ranchers on Nov. 23.
I-XL demolishes century-old Redcliff Pressed Brick plant.
Crews begin working on creating better river access area in River Valley Park in Redcliff.
Redcliff council passes 2017 budget on Nov. 28. Takes fire for pricey offsite levy fees at same meeting from local riverside property owner Doug Turner.
PRSD tables revised, audited budget, for 2016/2017 at special Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 29. Reports smaller deficit than previously projected.
Town of Redcliff hosts Rec. Master Plan open house on Nov. 30.

Schuler School students lend a hand at Prairie Gleaners for the day on Dec.1.
Cypress County projects deficit of $1.5 million, council debates non-residential mill rate tax increase of 11 per cent at Dec. 6 meeting. Suffield water concerns still top of mind.
Developers’ requests to build new lambing nursery and close Range Road 64 give Cypress County councillors headaches.
Farming Smarter conference and tradeshow (Dec. 6-7) an enlightening experience for attendees.
Seven Persons Fire Department holds very successful Candy Cane Run.
Redcliff RCMP seeks car thief after joyride gone wrong.
Redcliff council debates off-leash area at Dec. 12 meeting.
Irvine School Catering Career and Technology students and Eagle Butte Choir help PRSD Trustees celebrate Christmas season on Dec. 13.
Extremly cold and blustery weather grips much of southeast Alberta Dec. 14-19.
Cypress County plays Santa Claus by giving $200,000 to City of Medicine Hat to support parks and recreation.
Successful Coats for Kids campaign in Redcliff comes to a close Dec. 14-16.
Christmas Hockey Games held in Ralston.
I.F. Cox students sing in season with carol festival on Dec. 14
Entertaining Christmas concerts held at Seven Persons and Ralston Schools.
Retirement celebration for four long-time Elkwater firefighters on Dec. 15.Lambing operation approval brings delegation of angry county residents to council meeting on Dec. 20.
Cypress County passes 2017 budget with non-residential tax hike included.

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