Local News Briefs

Kelvin melee leaves five injured

A large brawl outside Kelvin High School resulted in five youths being taken to hospital on March 15. Four of the five youths arrived in stable condition, with one initially unstable but later upgraded to stable condition. The fracas involved 15 to 20 students wielding baseball bats, a machete, a baton and a BB gun, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Winnipeg police were called to the scene at about 1 p.m. Police spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aiken told reporters three male suspects were taken into custody. The school was locked down during the brawl but by 1:30 p.m., police declared the area safe and classes resumed.

School trustees make provincial pitch

School trustees from across the province are calling for increased funding among a host of other requests. The annual Manitoba School Boards Association provides trustees with a perfect venue to articulate their wishes to Education Minister Nancy Allan. In addition to greater funding, the trustees are calling on Allan to end a 2008 moratorium on school closures, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Trustees argue such a decision is necessary as closing schools with small and declining enrolment will cut costs. Other proposed resolutions include improved Internet access for schools and asking the province to fully cover the costs of special-needs education.

Record-breaking weather

Tee times were booked solid and patios were packed last weekend (March 16-18) as Manitoba enjoyed days of record-breaking heat. On St. Patrick’s Day, the former record was set in 1938 at 12 C - this year it was a sunny 19 C. The next day saw a high of 20 C, while the previous record was a mere 8.8 C in 2000. Although they usually open a month later, the links were busy at the John Blumberg Golf Course near Headingly, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Patios at local watering holes such as Bar Italia and the Winnipeg Free Press News Café also opened prematurely and were a popular destination over the weekend.

Red River College trains new generation of rail workers

A Red River College course is giving students practical experience in the rail trades, providing an ideal launching pad for a future career in the field. Utilizing a special section of the Transcona Rail Yards, students engage in physically demanding and rigorous work. The rewards however, are well worth it for students who graduate from the course. Red River College proudly proclaims that those who complete the training program have a 96 per cent chance of getting hired by a rail company. Tuition is pegged at $9,900 but a starting salary of $65,000 a year awaits graduates.

Aboriginal leaders brace for impact of OxyContin withdrawal

The cessation of production for the painkiller OxyContin has chiefs worried on both sides of the Manitoba-Ontario border, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. In northwestern Ontario, it is estimate that 9,000 aboriginal residents out of 25,000 are addicted to the pills. Mike Metatawabin, deputy grand chief of the Nishinawbe First Nation, fears a mass withdrawal from OxyContin. Without adequate treatment, withdrawal causes agonizing pain. Although the problem is not as widespread in Manitoba, Winnipeg gangs supply northern Ontario communities with much of the supply. Health centres in northwestern Ontario are bracing for the outcome by stockpiling Gravol and ibuprofen for addicts.

Published in Volume 66, Number 24 of The Uniter (March 21, 2012)

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