Monday, October 31, 2016

Prince Rupert RCMP seek witnesses to downtown vehicle incident

An incident on the streets of the city just after the midnight hour on October 30 has the Prince Rupert RCMP asking the assistance of the public, as detachment members seek out more information related to a motor vehicle collision.

Prince Rupert RCMP issued some background to their investigation on Monday, which is looking into the travels of a lone truck through the downtown area, having struck a building as it was driven up 5th street.

As the vehicle was leaving the scene, it also struck two street signs during the course of its journey before the occupants fled the scene.

Police later located and recovered the abandoned vehicle a short distance away.

One male was taken into custody and has subsequently been released by Police.  The RCMP notes that it was fortunate that no one was injured owing to the large volume of foot traffic in the area at the time.

A look at some of the damage to the Prince Rupert Cinema
as a result of an October 30th incident in the city's downtown core

While the RCMP have already spoken to a number of witnesses to the incident, they are still compiling more information as part of their investigation and are looking for anyone else who may have been in the area during that period to contact them at 250-627-0700 or through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222 -TIPS

The information release related to the incident can be reviewed here.

For more items from the files of Northwest emergency responders see our archive page here.

Safety and Good times ahead for Prince Rupert's Halloween 2016

As the evening hours approach, the ghosts, goblins and other creatures of the night will be coming up your lane, ready to knock on your door and receive the goodies you have assembled for Halloween.

To keep the evening as safe as possible for all, the BC Children's Hospital has prepared a list of SAFETY TIPS, designed to the help keep the evening a fun one.

The helpful notes cover a range of topics from costume preparation to making sure your home is as safe as possible for your evening visitors.

(click to expand)

More on the Halloween theme from the BC Children's Hospital can be found here.

Besides the traditional door to door travels through the city's neighbourhoods, Prince Rupert celebrates HalloweenFest tonight with the big event at the Prince Rupert Civic Centre.

Events get underway at 6 PM and continue through the evening until 8 PM, with Games, Prizes and a costume parade some of the events planned for the evening.

The main attraction arrives at 8:15 with Annual HalloweenFest Fireworks Display with the pyrotechnics coming from the western sky with Mount Hays as the backdrop.

More on HalloweenFest can be found here.

The Prince Rupert RCMP will also be on patrol this evening keeping an eye out for the youngsters that are taking to the streets and watchful on traffic to ensure that drivers are being as cautious as possible through the night. Later in the evening they will also be keeping watch for any mischievous activity as the witching hour approaches.

So far, the weather forecast is offering hopes for a dry evening, though there is the threat of showers moving in as the evening approaches.

For all those making their rounds Have a Happy and Safe Halloween as you take in all the evening's plans, but be sure to let your parents check out the treats before you dig in.

And of course allow for the Parent tax of a few treats while they do so!

Rampage take a road loss in Smithers visit

The four hour trek down highway Sixteen this weekend didn't deliver the result that the Prince Rupert Rampage had been hoping for, with the CIHL scoreboard finding the Rhinos on the wrong end of a 6-2 final from the Pond in Smithers Saturday night.

Prince Rupert got on the score sheet first and early on in the game as Tyler Halliday picked up the ice breaker on the scoresheet, with Braydon Horcoff and Marcus Atchison grabbing the assists at 1:35 of the opening frame.

However, the Rampage wouldn't find the net again until the late stages of the third period, with the Steelheads taking the momentum and making the most of their own scoring opportunities. By the time the full sixty minutes had been played, the Steelheads had paced themselves nicely to the victory, with two goals in the first, two in the second and two more in the final period on the day.

The final Rampage points on the night came just after the 17 minute mark, when Tyler Ostrom found some twine, that scoring play saw Braydon Horcoff pick up his second point on the night with an assist, Dave Long also got a mark in the A column on the play.

Compared to their match up with Terrace of a few weeks ago, this weekend was a relatively tame affair with only 12 minutes of infractions on six penalties assessed to the Rampage squad.

For their part, Smithers sat out twenty minutes in the box on six infractions.

Brent Roth had a busy time of it in the Rupert nets facing 37 shots on the night, while the Rampage directed 29 shots towards David Little in the Smithers net.

You can review the score sheet from Saturday night here.

And while the trip marks a mark in the Loss column for the Rampage and drops the team into fourth place in the CIHL standings, the Prince Rupert team had a better weekend than the Kitimat Ice Demons, who have yet to claim a victory in 2016-17.

Kitimat was on the always challenging Cariboo tour and that journey made for a long trip home, as the Ice Demons dropped a 10-0 decision to Williams Lake on Saturday night. 

A trip back up the highway on Sunday afternoon took them into Quesnel  and while they finally found some offence, the Kitimat team still took a 9-4 loss at the hands of the Kangaroos.

Those same Kangaroos will be hitting the road this week to take on the Rampage at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, as the next home game for the Rhinos takes place this Saturday night with a 7 PM puck drop.

After hitting a bit of a losing skid over the last two games, the home side should be more than motivated to return to the winning side when Quesnel pulls into town.

More items of note on the CIHL can be found on our archive page here.

Results and box scores from Rampage games can be found on our Results page.

Four Prince Rupert businesses in the running for Provincial Small Business honours

The nominations are in and there are but 31 days left to make your vote count for three Prince Rupert businesses that are up for the Small Business BC Awards for 2016.

The first call for nominations went out on October 1st and since that time the list of competitors has grown each and every day as those that operate small businesses, or those that think that their favourite place is worthy of recognition submit their entries.

For the North Coast there are three Prince Rupert entries to date that have been nominated. Some familiar names grabbing their placement in the following categories, Best Community Impact, Best Marketer, Best Company and the Premier's People's Choice Award.

You can review the nominees, explore some notes on what they are all about and most importantly cast your vote from the links that follow:

A snapshot Good Times Games and Electronics and voting link can be found here.

A Snapshot of the Argosy and voting link can be found here.

A Snapshot of the Wheelhouse Brewing Company and voting link can be found here.

You can cast your vote by clicking on the snapshot links above and then clicking the Vote Now box for each category that the business is nominated for.  

Nominees are competing for spots on the competition shortlist of ten, the final day for voting is November 30th.

The process then moves into an evaluation phase and should the Prince Rupert nominees find success at the ballot box, they will move on to the Business Pitch Presentations competing with four other top finishers in their categories.

The final decisions are made in mid February and the winners receive their acclaim on February 27th when the Small Business Awards are handed out at a Gala celebration at the Pan Pacific Hotel in  Vancouver.

The full process from nomination to hearing the words the winner is, can be found here.

You can find more items of interest about the North Coast Commercial scene from our archive page here.

Update: Make it Four Local businesses in nomination!

In the days following the release of the original nominations, Rupert Lawn and Garden joined the ranks of the Prince Rupert nominees for the competition:

The local business was nominated in the Best Community Impact competition and the Premier's People's Choice Award.

Monster Chiller Horror Theatre with North Pacific

As a Halloween treat for the North Coast, the North Pacific Cannery Historical site has provided an audio presentation to set the mood for your travels on this 31st of October.

Narrated by Michael Gurney who sets the mysterious theme for the day, the listener is taken on a journey through the haunted expanse of North Pacific, peeking into the dark corners of the machine shop, travelling through canning line room and on to the docks overlooking the harbour.

Along the way you will hear of the chilling events from October of 1916 and the bewitching tale of Naricssa Tonkwin ... that is if you dare!

You can take in the Terror of the Cannery from the SoundCloud presentation here.

Yesterday North Pacific hosted the resurrection of its popular haunted house theme for the historical site with close to 600 North coast residents making the drive out to Port Edward to travel the boardwalks and hear of the Chamber of Chills.

More on the North Pacific Cannery Historical site and the more carefree days of the summer tourism season can be found on the NPC website, Facebook page and twitter feed.

As well we track developments from the North Coast tourism scene from our Tourism archive page.

BMO Charity Skate set for November 20th

The employees at the Bank of Montreal have settled on the date, with November 20th the day to don your blades and lend a hand to the Prince Rupert Food Bank from 4 to 5:15 PM.

As we outlined on the blog last week, the Bank had approached Prince Rupert City Council this month, seeking an hour of free ice time at the Civic Centre in order to help stock the shelves of the Food Bank, a request that Council granted at their October 24th Council Session.

With that approval in hand, the Banks was quick to pick a date, with posters now up at the local branch in the Ocean Centre listing the third Sunday of November as the day for the event in aid of the Food Bank.

Those who wish to participate can get in a public skate at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre simply by bringing a non-perishable food product (or two) for collection, those that don't have skates can make use of the Free Skate Rental that will be available for the event.

The Public skate is an initiative that is part of the Bank of Montreal's Employee program Days of Caring that looks to make a difference in the communities that the Bank serves.

You can keep up to date on many of the Community Events on the North coast from our updated listings section, part of our right hand column area on the blog.

As well, we archive our stories of note on our Community Events home page.

CBC News Investigative Unit's Alberta Williams Podcast retraces case file; seeks new clues

The 1989 disappearance and murder of Alberta Williams is the focus on a new audio documentary presentation which was launched by the CBC in October.

The eight part series which delivered its first installment last week is a project from the Toronto based  CBC News Investigative Unit.

Hosted by Connie Walker and produced by Marnie Luke along with the remainder of the team from CBC News, it takes a methodical look at the still unsolved murder of twenty seven years.

The format the documentary series is taking is one of an anthology approach to the case from the summer of 1989, taking its path forward by tracing the story from the disappearance of the 24 year old following a house party in Prince Rupert and the discovery of her body outside of the city.

Episode one provided some early background to the project, outlining the concept for the podcast and how it was launched by the receipt of a single email.  To set the foundation for the project, Walker offers up some notes as to how the story will roll out over the next eight weeks.

As the first episode moves forward we are introduced to Garry Kerr, the original lead RCMP investigator of the time and author of the email that sparked the podcast. He was the first investigator tasked with the case and began the process of trying to find out the circumstances of the disappearance and subsequent discovery of Ms. Williams.

Early on the podcast we are delivered a surprise, both Kerr and Alberta's sister Claudia have the same suspect in mind. The name is never provided owing to legal reasons, but the indications suggest that if those in the community that knew Ms. Williams at the time were to retrace those days, something new may come to light to provide some more answers and help to take it from the files of the unsolved.

Now retired, Kerr maintains that the Alberta Williams case can be solved and knows that there are one or more people in the region that could shed light on the case and perhaps provide that one missing item of information that may move the file and deliver some sense of closure on the story for Alberta Williams family and friends.

The story remains a case that still resonates for the community and now with the additional national exposure, it will become part of the cross Canada dialogue on the cases of the missing and murdered women and girls of Northern British Columbia.

The first episode of the Podcast and accompanying slide show can be reviewed here. You can access the podcast from iTunes as well.

Episode number two will be posted to the CBC website and released to the podcast feed tomorrow.

The series will air through November and December and will wrap up on December 13th.

The podcast is one of a number of resources that the CBC has put towards its review of missing and murdered women and girls across Canada. Included among that work is an extensive listing and status update on the progress of investigations into thirty four cases that the national broadcaster has looked into.

Both the podcast and the scope of the remainder of the CBC's work makes for a  renewed focus on the topic and comes as the upcoming inquiry into the missing and murdered women and girls prepares to move forward with its work.

The most recent information from the RCMP related to the investigations into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women was released in 2015 you can review that document here.

Update December 21, 2016: With the completion of the 8 episode podcast there was a renewed interest found in the background to the story, with new information providing for the file to become very active again as part of the RCMP's ongoing E-Pana investigation.

Alberta Williams case considered "very active" after CBC Podcast exposure

You can find some of the latest item of interest on Missing  and Murdered inquiry from our archive page located on our political portal Darcy McGee.

Carter's Jewellers preparing Prince Rupert exit

Another Third Avenue Business is preparing to close down its operations
as Carter's Jewellers announces its Store Closing in Prince Rupert

There will soon be an empty storefront to be found on the 500 block of Third Avenue West, with Carter's Jewellers posting the Store Closing signs recently, preparing to sell off some of their stock before they make an exit from the Prince Rupert marketplace.

Carter's Jewellers which has a string of stores in Smithers, Terrace, Prince George and Quesnel is winding down it's Prince Rupert operations, with signs proclaiming the pending departure, along with the prospect of some in store bargains as they pack up the boxes.

As they prepare to close their doors they will bring a three year run on the North Coast to an end, arriving on the Prince Rupert commercial scene in October of 2013, taking over the location that hosted the long established Manson's Jewellers which had closed in September of 2013.

No date has been announced as to when the final day for sales on the North Coast may be, updates perhaps to be posted to their Facebook page as they wind things down in Prince Rupert.

With the Liquidation signs going up, Carter's now joins Fields in the exit of chain stores from the community in recent months.

You can find more background on developments with the city's commercial options from our archive page here.

Rainmaker Boys Claim Northwest Zones Soccer championship

Northwest Champs! The Charles Hays Rainmakers brought home the laundry with another
banner for the school gym after their NW Zones Soccer championship on Saturday

(photo courtesy of CHSS Twitter feed)

Saturday delivered perfect weather for Soccer, with the Sun not only making an appearance late into October but shining down on the work of the Charles Hays Rainmakers who claimed a NorthWest Zones championship in High School Soccer on Saturday.

The Rainmakers won two of the three contests scheduled on the weekend, topping Kitimat earlier in the day with a 4-0 victory in the morning, setting up what would be the tourney finale later in the afternoon against a tough playing Smithers squad.

Smithers moved into position to challenge for the title with a victory over Kitimat earlier in the afternoon.

The final game of the day featured some tough competition in the back and forth match up, with a number of scoring opportunities available for both teams before the game was sent to a shoot out and a 1-0 victory for the Rainmakers delivered the latest banner for the Charles Hays gymnasium.

The Rainmakers and head coach Simon Ruperto are awaiting further details on the provincial tournament, which is expected to take place in the Lower Mainland later this month.

A number of photos of Saturday's action can be found on the CHSS Twitter feed.

Two other squads were in action over the weekend for the Rainmakers, with the Junior Boys Volleyball team going undefeated on the road in Hazelton  while the Junior Girls saw action in Smithers.

Volleyball and Rugby will wind down their seasons over the next few weeks, while the Basketball season will begin to heat up as we head into late November and December.

More items on Sports at Charles Hays can be found on our archive page.

APTN documentary investigates divisions on Lax Kw'alaams over Lelu Island

The National Aboriginal Television network APTN has turned some of its attention towards the story of Lelu Island, using its APTN Investigates program to focus on the story of those who are opposed to the development of an LNG Terminal on the island near Flora Bank.

The thirty-five minute documentary style review traces some of the history of the story to this point and highlights the divisive nature of the issue that can be found at Lax Kw'alaams. 

In addition to the now well known themes of opposition from those that are currently occupying the proposed LNG site, reporter Rob Smith notes the change of Band Council government of 2015 and how once they were settled in office, Mayor John Helin and his Council had reversed the path previously held by the community when it comes to the proposed LNG development.

Through interviews with a number of residents of the region, Smith outlines some of the concerns that some in the community had when it came to the process and results of the second vote held in August of this year.

It was that consultation which delivered the approval of 66 per cent  of those that voted (532 out of the 812 ballots cast) and set in motion plans from Lax Kw'alaams to continue engagement with Pacific NorthWest LNG.

Much of the documentary features a look at the opposition to the project from Hereditary Chief Donald Wesley (Smoyget Yahaan) and examines some of the background to recent suggestions that his Hereditary status may not valid.  

However, the reporter also gains some comment from Mayor John Helin, (though it appears to have taken a few attempts), who offers up some background as to how the Band Council has interpreted that vote and what areas of engagement on LNG that the community has authorized the Band Council to follow through on.

Other issues reviewed over the thirty minutes is how the Port of Prince Rupert views the current occupation of the Island as well as the latest development from the Lelu Island story, that of the court challenge taken to the Vancouver Law Courts last Thursday.

More notes on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found here, while notes of interest from Lax Kw'alaams can be found on our archive page here.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending October 30, 2016

Our weekly review of the listings of the local real estate agents, tracking those properties which appear to be driving the local price structure for the North Coast.

Every Monday, we look over the listing prices of the past seven days and outline the Top 10 asking prices in the area, providing a snap shot as to where the Real Estate market may be trending on a week to week basis.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending October 30, 2016 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate East Side week ending October 30 2016

Prince Rupert Real Estate West Side week ending October 30 2016

One property returns to our list of ten, that after a west side property from last week dropped its price taking it out of the upper rankings of the last seven days.

The returning property from Raven Place makes for a slight change to the composition of the list, with seven of the ten properties now coming from west  of the McBride Street divide, leaving the east side to host three listings for the week.

The pricing structure is adjusted slightly as well, with the lower range is now set at a value of $429,000, while our top end from the last week remains pegged at $829,000.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending October 30, 2016

2280 Graham Avenue                   $829,000  --  Remax
1805 Graham Avenue                   $575,000  --  Royal Lepage
2062 Atlin Avenue                        $548,000 --   Remax
1725 West Second Avenue           $530,000 --   Royal Lepage
1724 Graham Avenue                   $515,000 --   Remax
1253 Conrad Street                       $499,000 --   Royal Lepage
1311-1314 Sloan Avenue              $499,000 --   Remax
1325 7th Avenue East                   $489,000 --   Remax
129 Kootenay Place                      $459,000  --  Remax
112 Raven Place                            $429,000 --   Remax

For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Blog Watching: Week ending October 30, 2016

LNG items once again dominated the news on the North Coast with the Pacific NorthWest LNG project the main focus of all the attention.

From the launch of a court challenge related to the Federal government's approval of the project, to an update from Pacific NorthWest for Prince Rupert City Council, many of our items on the proposed development for the North Coast found an interested audience this week.

Our coverage of other events at City Hall also found a wide readership on the week, with two items making it into the list of five and more than a few others bubbling up just under that bar of our weekly review.

Sports finally broke that grasp of the political and industrial issues from the last seven days, as our item catching up with the success of Prince Rupert's Judd Repole in the Kootenay Junior Hockey league also grabbing a good share of the readers this week.

However, the top story of the week however is once again found in the files of LNG development on the North Coast and the latest twist in the Pacific NorthWest LNG story.

Federal Government facing legal challenge over Petronas project approval -- We had two items this week related to a legal challenge that has been launched to seek a judicial review of the Federal government's approval of the Lelu Island project. The first, noted above, was our preview of what was planned for Thursday morning, while our follow up item on Friday, provided further detail to the legal quest and the reaction to it, was also widely read.     (posted October 26, 2016)

That article was followed by:

Project benchmarks the key to Pacific NorthWest LNG presentation to City Council -- Monday's City Council session also delivered some notes on the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG development for the North Coast. Monday night Derek Baker and Tessa Gill from PNWLNG provided an overview of the progress of the project to this point. Monday also found Council deferring a discussion and vote on a resolution on the LNG project, preferring to wait until Councillor Joy Thorkelson, the sponsor of the resolution was available to speak to it. Ms. Thorkelson was ill and unable to attend Monday's session.  (posted October 27, 2016)

Prince Rupert in the Province's paving plans for 2017 -- Transportation Minister Todd Stone was on a tour of the Northwest this week, delivering a string of announcements for major projects in the region, offering up background on a 4.5 million dollar repaving project for Prince Rupert. For a look at some of the other major projects set for the Northwest see our Transportation archive page  (posted October 25, 2016)

Councillor Cunningham raises questions on City's Community Enhancement Grant Issues -- Monday's City Council had a few themes of note to review, but the one that seemed to generate the most discussion was focused on the latest developments when it comes to the issue of Community Enhancement Grants. With Councillor Barry Cunningham raising the topic and asking a number of questions related to the current process. ( posted October 27, 2016)

Judd Repole off to fast start with Osoyoos of the Kootenay league -- Our ongoing efforts to keep track of those Prince Rupert athletes that have taken to the road to follow theirs sports dreams took us to the Kootenay league this week. Our notes on the fast start to the KIJHL season for Prince Rupert's Judd Repole finding a large audience.  You can track him and other Northwest athletes from two archives, our Junior hockey listings and our look at Rupertites in University sports this year. (posted October 25, 2016)

You can find our Blog watching featured posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the page.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog. It can be found underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here

Friday, October 28, 2016

Get your Hockey Fix at the Pre-Halloween Atom Tourney this weekend

Sure the big boys are out of town this weekend, but the Rampage stars of tomorrow will be on display all weekend long at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association is hosting a Pre-Halloween Atom Tournament on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, three days that will make the Civic Centre the main attraction for fans of the puck.

Teams from across the Northwest are in town with representation from Kitimat, Terrace, Houston, Smithers and Hazelton.

The kids dig into the Ice starting at 5:15 tonight and the last Zamboni run for the tourney comes up sometime on Sunday afternoon. In between, the games come along like clockwork, each one holding the key to Sunday's line up towards the Tournament finale.

If you have some time over the weekend Drop into the Civic centre over weekend and take in some entertaining hockey and cheer on the youngsters as they put on the show.

The schedule looks as follows (Prince Rupert squads are listed below in teal):


5:15 PM -- Prince Rupert Helijet vs Prince Rupert Remax
6:30 PM -- Terrace Sage vs Prince Rupert Blackfish
7:45 PM -- Kitimat vs Terrace Blue


7:15 AM -- Prince Rupert Helijet vs Houston
8:30 AM -- Hazelton vs Terrace Sage
9:45 AM -- Prince Rupert Blackfish vs Smithers
11:00 AM -- Kitimat vs Prince Rupert Remax

12:15 PM -- Houston vs Terrace Blue
1:30 PM -- Smithers vs Hazeton
2:45 PM -- Kitimat vs Prince Rupert Helijet
4:00 PM -- Terrace Blue vs  Prince Rupert Remax
5:15 PM -- Terrace Sage vs Smithers
6:30 PM -- Hazelton vs Prince Rupert Blackfish
7:45 PM -- Kitimat vs Houston


The Schedule of teams for Sunday won't be known until Saturday night, but action will start at 6:45 AM, with the Game for First Place set for Sunday at 2:30.

More items about Minor Hockey in the Northwest can be found on our archive page here.

Little Anchors shifts anchorage on Third Avenue West

Fans of the Little Anchors store in the city are checking out the new digs with the popular children's wear retailer having recently relocated further down Third Avenue West.

The new location can be found at the corner of Fifth and 3rd Ave West, 532 to be precise, with the store having celebrated its Grand re-opening last weekend with old and new customers dropping it for a look.

The store which has been in business for just over two years now sells clothing on a consignment basis and accepts toys and other accessories as well. Offering a range of high quality and name brand items for those looking for items from the age of newborns to twelve years old.

You an learn more about how the consignment process at Little Anchors works here.

More background on the store can be found on their Facebook page, the store was also featured as part of the Love Prince Rupert campaign, with a look at how owner Barbara Lippke grew her idea into a solid business plan.

You can find additional items on the Prince Rupert commercial scene from our Archive page.

Soccer the story this weekend as Charles Hays hosts NW zones

Update: Rainmakers claim the NW Zones Championship with victories in Saturday Play.

The practice sessions and regional play days are all behind them now and this weekend it's showtime for another Rainmaker squad.

The pitch at Charles Hays Secondary is the stage for some high tempo soccer action this weekend as the Charles Hays Rainmakers play host to competitors from across the region arriving in town for Saturday's NorthWest Zones.

The action takes place all day Saturday with the hometown side looking to claim a banner for CHSS.

Conditions should be pretty good considering what could normally be expected for the end of October with Clouds in the forecast for much of the day, but with any rain to hold off until Sunday.

Any results that we come across will be posted at the bottom of the page as the Zones competition moves along through the day.

The end of the Soccer season is one of a number of fall sports that are set to wrap up over the course of the next few weeks.

Also in action over the weekend are the Junior Girls Volleyball team on the road to Smithers while the Junior Boys volleyball squad travels to Hazelton.

You can keep up to date on the Fall finales through the CHSS Twitter feed.

More items on Charles Hays sports can be found on our archive page.

10:30 AM -- Charles Hays 4 vs Kitimat 0
1:00 PM --    Smithers vs Kitimat
3:30 PM --    Charles Hays 1 vs Smithers 0 (Shoot Out)

Charles Hays Rainmakers Zone Champions for 2016-17

Some good haunting ahead this weekend

Those that have been following the blog through the week have on doubt been keeping track of the roll out of haunted houses that beckon us starting tonight.

With the countdown to a Haunting weekend now underway Friday night becomes the First Fright night of what in the end turns out to be four days of ghosts, goblins and more.

On the tour list tonight is the Haunted House at the Nisga'a Hall, where two dollars gains you entry into a chamber of thrills hosted by the Nisga'a Youth Council, the event is a fundraiser for their efforts to attend Gathering our voices in March.

The thrills continue into Saturday, where you can combine the throwing of rocks with some Halloween festivities at the Seal Cove home of the Prince Rupert Curling Club. They are hosting their Halloween Sturling Spiel in the daylight hours, while the evening is turned over to the music of the Prince Rupert band Replica.

Saturday night of course will provide no shortage of Halloween options for residents of the North Coast, from house parties to Halloween events at the city's nightclubs. One large scale event is being hosted by Chances Prince Rupert with Triple Bypass providing the tunes and prizes up for grabs for the best costume, though they advise that No masks or concealing face paint make up part of your presentation.

Sunday takes thrill seekers out to Port Edward with the North Pacific Cannery Historical Site Terror at the Cannery, which features the Chamber of Chills. Admission to Sunday's event is by cash donation.
resurrecting their popular October haunting of

The Earl Mah Aquatic Centre gets in on the Halloween fun on Sunday as well, with a Children's Swim for those 12 and Under taking place on October 30th from 2 to 4 PM.

All of the weekend events of course are but the preamble to the day of Haunting itself, with the City's Special Events Society hosting the annual Halloween Fest, the 29th edition of the festival of fright and fun.

This years event takes place at the Civic Centre complex on  Monday evening from 6 to 8, for teens there is also the Teen Swim at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre from 7 to 10 PM.

The highlight for many on Halloween is the impressive Fire Works display that lights up the sky behind the Civic Centre, this years presentation is planned for 8:15 weather permitting.

As for the forecast for the night itself, Environment Canada is suggesting that trick or treaters may be a little damp as they make their rounds on Monday, with the latest forecast calling for Cloudy skies in daylight hours bringing rain in the evening.

Though perhaps with a bit of Halloween luck, the weather will hold off until the last treat bag has been collected.

For more notes on activities around the North Coast see our Community Events page.

Rampage return to the rink with road trek to Smithers

A one week break to rest and retool sees the Prince Rupert Rampage looking to get back on the winning track this weekend as they  head to Smithers for a 7:30 Saturday night match up with the Steelheads.

Prince Rupert suffered their first loss of the season two weeks ago, dropping a  6-3 home ice decision to the Terrace River Kings, in a rough night on the scoreboard and on the ice for the home side at the Jim.

The loss combined with the week off found the Rampage dropping one spot in the CIHL standings since they last saw action, currently holding down third two points behind the Steelheads heading into Saturday's match up.

As they prepare to head down Highway 16 to the Bulkley Valley Pond the Rampage will be looking for Jacob Santurbano and Josh Cook to keep their hot hands alive when it comes to scoring, both have one goal and two assists heading into Game Number four on the Rampage schedule.

The task ahead will be a challenging one though, the Steelhead snipers are making their mark on the scoring sheets so far in 2016-17, with three Smithers players in the top ten so far.

Among the hot hands on the Smithers squad ar Brendan DeVries with 8 points, Randal Groot with 6 and Adam Devries with 6 as well.

However, the good news for the 2 -1 Rampage heading into the weekend might be the fact that Smithers really seem to need those goals.

Early on in this season the Steelheads are leading the league in Goals Against at 22, which might suggest a high scoring  game is in the works for hockey on Saturday night.

The two other games in the CIHL this weekend find the Kitimat Ice Demons, who are still looking for their first win of the year in for what should be rough road trip into the Cariboo with games in Williams Lake and Quesnel.

You can review our latest notes on the CIHL from our archive page here.

Results and box scores from Rampage games can be found on our Results page.

Digital Smoke Signal keeping Nisga'a members informed

With a nod to the past, the local offices of the Gitmaxmak'ay Society are keeping member up to date by using some of the latest technology.

The Digital Smoke Signal is an information sharing service run by the Society, designed to provide the Nisga'a membership, or Nisga'a affiliated members with updates on events, important advisories and Programs and Services that are currently being offered to Nisga'a citizens in the Prince Rupert and Port Edward area.

The information process is one that sends emails as an SMS blast to personal devices, offering almost instantaneous communication on important events or other items of interest for Nisga'a members on the North Coast.

Those working at the Gitmaxmak'ay offices in the Nisga'a Hall and creating content for the service are quite respectful of those members that are receiving the messages, careful to be selective when it comes to the items to be sent out in the message system, so as not to spam their members with endless messages.

A sample blast from the Digital Smoke Signal service
that provides key information updates for Nisga'a
members in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

It's an interesting approach and one that highlights the advanced technical capabilities that the Gitmaxmak'ay Society have taken on to deliver information to the community. In addition to the SMS blast option, they also make use of a websitetwitter feed and Facebook page to make sure that members have every possible opportunity to learn more about items of importance.

You can find out more about the Digital Smoke Signal from the Gitmaxmak'ay Society at 250-627-1595

Council approves waiving of rent for Charity Skate at the Civic Centre

There's no firm date set yet, but one obstacle has been cleared for a charity event in the community to be hosted by the Bank of Montreal.

To lend assistance to the project, Prince Rupert City Council on Monday evening voted to waive an hour of ice rental fees at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre to allow for a charity skate in aid of the local Food Bank operated by the Salvation Army.

Mayor Brain outlined the background to the request at Monday's Council Session which would see the Bank of Montreal host a Free public skating session at the Civic Centre, with admission gained by participants through the donation of food  to be directed towards the Food Bank.

The request did provide for some discussion by Council members who weighed the lost revenue for the hour with the prospect of providing assistance to the Food Bank which finds its load increase significantly during the holiday season.

Councillor Kinney had a question on the date of the event, which was not known at this time, while Councillor Cunningham asked about the cost of the ice time that had been requested.  As there has been date or time indicated at this time, he was advised it would depend on when the Bank intended to host their event.

Councillor Wade Niesh raised his concerns over the idea, calling attention to the position the city was put in recently when it came to raising the fees and charges and suggested that giving away the time was not going to benefit the city towards keeping the place open.

He also has some thoughts to share as to why the Bank didn't donate the money towards the cost, or why another organization didn't step forward to cover the cost.  Mr. Niesh also cautioned Council that providing for the free ice rental could set a precedent for other groups to also come forward to ask for free time at the arena in the future.

The Mayor noted that while they will face a number of these requests, he pointed towards the charity aspect of the request and how it will benefit the community, moving the topic forward for Council to decide.

Councillor Cunningham spoke in favour of the request noting the assistance that it will provide to the food bank, which is very busy at this time of the year and is facing larger demand with the issues related to the loss of employment and hours worked at the Canadian Fish Cannery.

The Mayor also found the charity aspect of the request as the area which would guide him on his decision, adding his support to the Bank of Montreal's bid for the rental waiver.

Council provided their positive vote at the end of their discussion.

You can review the discussion from the City's Video Archive starting at the 53 minute mark.

The Bank of Montreal will be using the Public Skate for the Food Bank as part of their plans for their Day of Caring event, where employees of the bank give back to the community.

Once the event has been announced you can find the details on our Community Events Listings and archive page, both are found as part of our right hand column listings.

More items related to Monday's Council Session can be found on our Council Timeline feature, while further background on City Council Discussions can be reviewed on our Archive page.

Potential Prince Rupert reunion at UBC tournament this weekend

They're not going to meet on the court this time around, but sometime over the weekend a pair of Prince Rupert basketball players may cross paths as the UBC Thunderbirds host the UBC Invitational at the Point Grey campus.

Showing the flag for Rainmaker basketball in CIS  this year are Justin McChesney with the T-Birds and Kyler Eckess with Thomson Rivers and both are getting their share of some floor time as the pre-season continues on.

Kyler Eckess at the TRU Wolfpack
were in action on Thursday
Justin McChesney and the UBC T-Birds host the
UBC Invitational this weekend in Vancouver

Last weekend both players saw action in separate locations, with Justin McChesney and the UBC T-Birds in Edmonton for the Golden Bear Invitational. McChesney saw action in two games taking on the University of Western Ontario Mustangs on Friday night and then North Bay's Nipissing University on Saturday night.

For Kyler Eckess and the Thomson Rivers University Wolfpack, Langley was the destination with a 92-78 victory over the Trinity Western.

This week, the Wolfpack provided for some pre-tournament competition for a visiting Ontario school on Thursday. The TRU squad finished up their pre season schedule at the UBC War Memorial Gym with a 71-66 victory over Thunder Bay's Lakehead University, Thursday's game marks their only game in Vancouver on the weekend.

The Thunderbirds see action tonight at 7 PM taking on Wilfred Laurier from Kitchener Ontario, Saturday UBC meets up with Lakehead.

The games are available on the CanadaWest subscription TV service

The first opportunity for a potential Rupert reunion on the court comes up next weekend when the CIS regular season opens up with a two game series between UBC and Thomson Rivers hosted at the Kanloops campus.

Some notes on this weekend's action can be reviewed below:

'Tough and explosive' teams from Ontario look to cool off T-Birds at UBC Invitational
WolfPack Men's Basketball Wind Up Pre-Season vs Lakehead

More notes on Prince Rupert athletes involved in University sports can be found here.

Three writs filed in Federal Court Thursdsay, seeking judicial review on Pacific NorthWest LNG approval

Calling the plans of Pacific NorthWest LNG and their proposed Lelu Island LNG project "dangerous and ill conceived", opponents of the site selected for the project filed three separate writs with the Federal Court in Vancouver on Thursday.

The thee documents are seeking a judicial review of the Canadian government's approval in September of the LNG project to be located in the Port Edward area.

We outlined the prospects of the court challenge on the blog on Wednesday, when the first indications began to come in about the quest of two First Nation groups and the environmental organization Skeena Wild to pursue legal action on the LNG approval.

Yesterday, following a filing ceremony held outside of the courthouse in Vancouver, the three writs were filed, putting in motion the potential review of the Federal decision. The three groups, among them the hereditary chiefs of the Gitanyow and Gitwilgyoots cited lack of Federal consultation as to the heart of the legal challenge:

“Despite repeated requests, the federal government has failed to properly consult with our people,” ....  “Justin Trudeau promised a new relationship with Indigenous communities. Instead, he added insult to injury by ignoring us, and giving the green light to a project that will destroy our way of life.” -- Chief Malii (Glen Williams), Chief Negotiatorforthe Gitanyow

“Once again, we are forced to ask courts to do what our politicians seem unable to do – to honor Canada’s obligations to its Indigenous communities, and to protect our environment from catastrophic harm,” -- Chief Yahaan (Donnie Wesley), of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe.

The third applicant to the court, was the environmental organization SkeenaWild with Executive Director Greg Knox, noting that their core concern is the impact on fish and fish habitat:

“The Agency gave the Environment Minister flawed information and conclusions about the project’s impacts on fish and fish habitat,” ...“We challenge the Agency’s conclusion that the project will have no significant impact on fish even though construction of the project could permanently destroy 35,000 square meters of crucial salmon habitat.”

In addition to the Court challenge, which came one month to the day from the Federal approval, an information statement was issued as the court filing was taking place.

The statement expanding on the path ahead for the opponents to the Lelu Island project, noting that in addition to the potential for a day in court, they will also be putting increased pressure on Petronas to reconsider its project. With plans to rally international opposition against the industrial development and continue with civil disobedience  to disrupt the plans to build the facility over the top of Flora Bank.

The three groups were not alone in expressing their concerns over the Federal Decision of September, with the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs also declared its opposition to the project on Thursday, issuing a statement from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

"This is a dangerous and ill-­‐conceived attack on our environment and our Indigenous rights,”  ... “Our courts have ruled that Canadian energy companies cannot run roughshod over FirstNations. Well,  foreign companies can’t either.”

Some background on the legal action can be found here.

The Federal government was quick to respond to the announcements of the court challenge, with Environment Minister Catherine McKenna issuing a statement on behalf of her department and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, that indicated that the Federal government stands behind its decision on the terminal project and that it had undergone a rigorous and thorough science-based process.

No timeline was revealed on Thursday as to how long it will take for the Federal Court to consider whether they will entertain the legal challenge, or advise if they will conduct the judicial review of the Federal Government's decision.

Some notes on yesterday's developments can be found below:

Ottawa defends Pacific NorthWest LNG decision as court challenges filed
Environment Minister defends cabinet approval of B.C. LNG project
Feds defend Pacific Northwest LNG decision as court challenges filed
Federal government standing behind Pacific NorthWest approval ahead of legal challenges
Feds 'stand behind' LNG decision brace for First Nations legal challenge
Federal Government responds to First Nations, environmental group court action over approval of Pacific NorthWest LNG project
Litigation launched against Federal approval of PNW LNG
Court challenges filed against Pacific NorthWest LNG project by First Nations leaders and environmental group
First Nations to sue federal government over Pacific NorthWest LNG Project

You can find more background on the current developments and some of the history of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from our archive page here.