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Estevan Mercury Year in Review: January 2021

Year in Review: January 2021
Year in Review: January

ESTEVAN - January is typically known for cold temperatures, harsh winds, storms and plenty of time spent indoors. That was the case this year, but there was plenty of other events and activities.

An abandoned Second World War-era airplane found just outside of Estevan received a second life, thanks to a group of friends led by Estevan's Lester Hinzman. Just before Christmas, Hinzman finalized another project, giving a new home and a new purpose to a training Avro Anson. The plane was on display at Hinzman's yard south of Estevan.

Warren Michael, who is also known as The Old Man, came to Estevan and other southeast Saskatchewan communities in early January as part of a cross-country walk, aimed at attracting attention and raising funds for veterans and other causes. He carried a wooden, nine-foot cross that weighed 80-100 pounds. 

The fourth annual Festival of Lights at the Woodlawn Regional Park wrapped up Jan. 8. Many dropped by during the Christmas season to view the festive displays.

A cougar was spotted in a tree at the dog park inside Woodlawn Regional Park on Jan. 5. Nobody was injured, and the cat eventually moved on. 

The City of Estevan and 8 Rivers Capital were awarded a grant to undertake a feasibility study for commercial-scale NET Power facility deployment. NET Power's Allam-Fetvedt cycle technology combusts natural gas with oxygen, as opposed to air, and uses supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) as a working fluid to drive the turbine and produce zero-emission electricity. 

Jodi and Tyler Werner of Lampman became the proud mother and father of Emmett Timothy Werner, the first baby born at St. Joseph's Hospital in 2021. Emmett was born at 12:03 p.m. on Jan. 7. He weighed in at nine pounds, 4.8 ounces, and measured 21 inches in length.

Dr. Mark Wahba, a former Estevan resident now practising in Saskatoon, was hailed as a hero after his quick thinking while working in the emergency room of the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. He suspected carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in a patient and asked the fire department to check CO levels in the building. Fifty people were evacuated and 29 were sent to hospital due to a CO leak, but nobody died. 

Emergency crews were dispatched to a rollover 20 kilometres north of Estevan on Highway 47 on Jan. 20, in which a vehicle left the road surface and ended up in the east ditch. A 61-year-old Lampman man died in the accident.

A former Bienfait resident, Amber Dawn Wheeler, was the first homicide victim of the year in Regina. Four people were charged in connection with her death.

The City of Estevan announced the launch of a new naming rights and sponsorship campaign, since Affinity Place was approaching 10 years since it opened. Affinity Credit Union has since stepped forward to retain the naming rights for at least three more years. Some naming rights have been renewed, and others have been gobbled up, but some are still available.

The Estevan Police Association and the Estevan board of police commissioners announced a new three-year contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019. It included a 5.4 per cent wage increase over the three years. Mediation and an arbitration board was needed to reach the deal. The pact expires on Dec. 31, 2021. 

Former Estevan resident Michaella Matthies had her number drawn and won the $322,945 jackpot prize for the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation's 50-50 draw during a game on Jan. 26. Matthies was residing in Alberta, so she was eligible to win.

Alida resident Dave Carriere won the $602,000 jackpot in the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation's Chase the Ace draw in late January. When his name was drawn for a chance to win, he picked card No. 37, and that was the card for the ace of spades.

St. Joseph's Hospital announced the arrival of Dr. Victor Temenu, an obstetrician-gynecologist who started his practice Jan. 25 at the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation Clinic. Hospital Executive director Greg Hoffort said the hospital was happy to have Temenu in Estevan and to fill the important specialist role.