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Estevan Mercury Year in Review: May 2021

Estevan Mercury Year in Review: May
Year in Review: May

ESTEVAN - Thanks to nice weather for most of the month, people were eager to get outside and enjoy the month of May. In an encouraging sign, a number of events were also held during the month.

A member of the Estevan RCMP arrested two motorists travelling at a high rate of speed on Highway 39/18 towards Bienfait on May 1. The two vehicles were travelling side by side on the two-lane, divided highway. One car was travelling at 214 kilometres an hour and the other car at 190 km/h. The speed limit is 110 km/h.

A surge in COVID-19 cases in the Estevan area forced the City of Estevan to temporarily close the Estevan Leisure Centre on May 5. In the previous week, the leisure centre had seen a sharp increase in the number of cases linked to variants of concern. 

The Estevan Downtown Business Association held its first-ever Thursday night market on May 6. A variety of vendors turned out to the market, located in the parking lot behind the RBC Estevan branch, to sell their products. Live music was also offered.

The Estevan Farmers' Market Association, which has been part of the community for many years, held its first sale of the year two days later at the Estevan Market Mall.

The Southeast Military Museum, the Estevan branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and volunteers placed small Canadian flags at the tombs of veterans buried at the Estevan City Cemetery and the Souris Valley Memorial Gardens on May 8. The initiative occurred on the 76th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day in 1945, when Germany surrendered.

Two residents from the long-term care facility at St. Joseph's Hospital turned 100 years old in May. Selma Gall had her centennial on May 10. Cornelius Lucey, mainly known as Father Lucey, celebrated his birthday on May 15.

Carlyle Mayor Jenn Sedor reflected on her battles and the experiences of her family with the COVID-19 virus in April and May. She discussed the health challenges they faced and how they were still dealing with after effects several weeks after their diagnosis. 

The Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division announced on May 12 a pilot program, developed in conjunction with Hockey Canada, would be offered in two schools in the division, including Sacred Heart School/École Sacré Coeur, for the 2021-22 school year.

Several students from the Estevan Comprehensive School earned medals at the high school Skills Canada provincials, which were held virtually this year. Shay Frederick (hairstyling) and Waneeke Baptiste (two-dimensional character computer animation) won gold medals and competed in national virtual events. Also competing at provincials were Graeson Nelson and Kurt Balbeuna. They won a bronze medal in video production.

Hockey Canada announced on May 18 that the 2022 Centennial Cup national junior A hockey championship, presented by Tim Hortons, would be staying in Estevan. The previous two editions of the national tournament had been cancelled, and there was speculation on whether the 2022 tournament in Estevan would remain here or go to Pentiction, B.C., which was to host the 2021 competition.

The Estevan Mercury was recognized at the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper Awards, which were announced during a virtual ceremony on May 17. In the General Excellence Awards, the Mercury took home top spot for the best editorial page in its class, and finished second in the best overall newspaper competition.

A couple of parents, backed by about four dozen online supporters, made a plea to the South East Cornerstone Public School Division's board members to eliminate the mask mandate in schools during the board's May 19 meeting.

The Ceres Global Ag. Corp. announced plans on May 25 to build a $350 million integrated canola processing facility at its Northgate terminal to help meet the current and growing global demand for canola products. The facility will have an annual capacity to process 1.1 million metric tonnes of canola and refine over 500,000 metric tonnes of canola oil, for both food and fuel.

Stoughton Central School Grade 11 student Jessica Baumgartner placed third in the high school category of the national Speaker's Idol competition on May 26, for her speech on sexual assault. The national contest was hosted by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, and drew over 300 submissions from across Canada.

The St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation's Radiothon for Life, held May 26, raised $159,077 in just 12 hours on May 26. The money will cover the expenses of opening a new outpatient care centre at the hospital.

The United Way Estevan's Day of Caring was held May 26. A total of 22 projects were completed by more than 120 volunteers during the annual initiative, with businesses, groups and individuals chipping in.

The common areas at Creighton Lodge in Estevan opened for the first time in over a month on May 26. The lodge had a COVID outbreak in April, with 10 cases diagnosed.

The Estevan Motor Speedway held its first regular program on May 30. Due to restrictions that kept the Canada-U.S. border and the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border closed, the five classes offered – the slingshots, and the IMCA hobby stock, sport mod, stock car and modified classes – were almost entirely Saskatchewan drivers.