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Estevan Mercury Year in Review: April 2021

Estevan Mercury Year in Review: April
Year in Review: April

ESTEVAN - Winter made a late return to the Estevan area in April, to the chagrin of some and the delight of others. Still, it was a busy month that had some memorable moments.

A little more than $40,000 was raised for Mason Wigley and his fight against lymphoma during a Facebook auction, which ran for 48 hours from March 30-April 1. More than 1,700 people were part of the Facebook group auction page, and they had 204 items to bid on.

St. Joseph's Hospital announced the arrival of Dr. Simranjit Chhabra, a family physician, who started her practice April 1 at the Estevan Primacy Medical Clinic, located at the No Frills grocery store. Chhabra brought more than 14 years of experience in family medicine and emergency medicine to Estevan.

The Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division and the South East Cornerstone Public School Division announced on April 1 they would be moving to remote, online learning for a couple of weeks after spring break in April, due to rising positive cases of COVID-19, including the variants of concern (VOC). Many schools in the southeast would have disruptions in April and May. 

The provincial budget, released on April 6, had lots of good news for Estevan. It had a commitment for planning for a new Estevan Regional Nursing Home, funding for a Police and Crisis Team for the Estevan Police Service, and support for an expansion of the addictions treatment centre at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Estevan received a late blast of winter on April 11 and 12, as a winter storm dumped rain and snow on the city. Travel became hazardous, with travel not recommended advisories for local highways. But the moisture was welcomed by local farmers.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced funding for the creation of a new early years family resource centre in Estevan, with plans to open as early as September. The new centre was developed through community partnerships led by the South East Cornerstone School Division (SECPSD).

Local folk-Americana duo Last Birds, comprised of husband and wife tandem Lindsay Arnold and Mike Davis of North Portal, released their debut self-titled EP on April 16. The new project follows Arnold's and Davis' success with the folk trio Hook & Nail.

Two people were arrested after members of the Estevan Police Service were called to what they called a "large collision scene" just after midnight on April 18. The incident occurred in the 600-block of Eva Street. Six parked vehicles were struck and four yards were damaged.

In what became a recurring issue in the spring, Pro-Life Estevan and Area announced plans to have three sponsored benches in Estevan parks. The benches would have the pro-life logo and the slogan "Always Loved." But after complaints from people in the community, the issue was discussed at a few meetings of Estevan city council, and eventually resulted in council passing a policy regarding sponsorships of city amenities.

Oxbow's Tanner Jeannot, a forward with the NHL's Nashville Predators, scored his first career NHL goal in Nashville's 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 13. Jeannot scored on a rebound with 5:26 to play in the third period. It was also Jeannot's first point in the NHL.

Tourism Estevan and the Souris Valley Museum announced the Guided Historical Walking Tour's return in mid-April. The tour gives visitors a chance to explore the streets of Estevan and learn about the rich history and interesting stories that lie in the buildings in central Estevan.

The St. Joseph's Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque for $200,000 to St. Joseph's Hospital on April 21. The money came through a donation from the estate of Tom and Irma Trofimenkoff, as well as a member agency allocation from the United Way Estevan.

A virtual edition of the Estevan and District Music Festival was held from April 11-17. It showcased piano, instrumental and vocal and speech arts skills of local youths.

Estevan's Taeghan Hack had a memorable first year playing water polo in the NCAA. She was named to the all-conference freshman team for the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA). Then her Salem University team won their first-ever WWPA championship on April 25 to advance to nationals.