News Local

Year in Review - July 2017

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Yogis enjoyed a sweet summer day of savasana at the inaugural Lemonade Yoga Festival, held July 2 at Pembroke's waterfront. There were between 200 to 300 people of all ages and walks of life who took part in the free yoga festival that aimed to celebrate community and kindness.

Yogis enjoyed a sweet summer day of savasana at the inaugural Lemonade Yoga Festival, held July 2 at Pembroke's waterfront. There were between 200 to 300 people of all ages and walks of life who took part in the free yoga festival that aimed to celebrate community and kindness.

CELEBRATING CANADA DAY IN PEMBROKE - Pembroke was a sea of red and white, as hundreds of people celebrated Canada’s 150th across the city.

While the storm weather predictions delayed the fireworks, the grey skies and wet weather didn’t put a damper on the remainder of the day’s celebrations.

As the throngs of patriotic people walked about the Pembroke Waterfront and eagerly waved their flags and showed off their Canadian gear in honour of their country’s anniversary, they looked up to the sky as a CC-177 Globemaster completed a fly-by – to mark Canada Day and to honour the brave men and women who fought for their nation.

...AND IN PETAWAWA - The nation's sesquicentennial was celebrated in Petawawa with a grand patriotic party that saw the town not only honour its own founding but those Canadians who fell at Vimy Ridge.

While there was plenty of music, entertainment, games and birthday cake to go around, the stunning highlight of Canada Day festivities at Centennial Park was the surprise overflight of a CC-177 Globemaster III.

It was appropriate as the military played a major theme in the town's Canada Day events. During the opening ceremonies, a six-foot oak tree born from an acorn that originated in Vimy, France was planted near the water's edge.

LEMONADE YOGA FESTIVAL DEBUTS - Yogis enjoyed a sweet summer day of savasana at the inaugural Lemonade Yoga Festival, held July 2.

Taking place at the Pembroke Waterfront by the marina, the all-day festival had people stretching, bending and breathing on the lush green grass as they were encompassed by the serene sound of nature.

Organizer Shannon MacLaggan estimated there were between 200 to 300 people of all ages and walks of life who took part in the free yoga festival that aimed to celebrate community and kindness.

CANOE BRIGADE VISITS - As rain showers pelted unmercifully down on them, the David Thompson Brigade quietly came ashore at Petawawa Point.

Making their final stop before reaching Ottawa on Canada Day, 30 men and women dressed as early-day pioneers and fur traders landed in three canoes on the very beach where Pierre de Troyes and possibly Samuel de Champlain once set foot more than 400 years before them.

GRUNTZ RESIGNS AS MAYOR - Garry Gruntz formally stepped down as the mayor of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan Township.

His last official function in that role was Wednesday at the June session of Renfrew County council.

While he intended to complete his current term, Gruntz and his wife, Lil, had purchased a home in New Brunswick. His current home and remaining properties in the township quickly sold forcing him to vacate the mayoralty earlier than planned.

KAYAKER DIES – A 55-year old woman from Texas died July 4 following an incident while kayaking on the Ottawa River near Wilderness Tours.

The woman, who was described as an experienced paddler, was staying at the resort and was part of a group taking part in a course with the kayaking school.

The Renfrew Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is investigating the death after officers responded along with County of Renfrew Paramedics to the scene along the Ottawa River in the Whitewater Region on July 4 at approximately 10:30 a.m.

STUDENT DROWNS IN ALGONQUIN PARK – On July 5, police recovered the body of a Toronto high school student who has gone missing during a class field trip in Algonquin Park.

Members of the Killaloe detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police were called to Big Trout Lake at around 8 p.m. the night after 15-year-old Jeremiah Perry disappeared while swimming. The youth had slipped under the water but did not surface.

3RCR CHANGE OF COMMAND - GARRISON PETAWAWA – Described as the finest infantry battalion in Canada, the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment begins another chapter in its 117-year history with the arrival of a new commanding officer and regimental sergeant major.

It was a ceremony that began with the fast rappelling of crack infantryman from a Griffon helicopter and concluded with a stunning jump of paratroopers carrying the RCR's gold and blue colours and the Canada flag. More importantly, it marked the handover of command from Lt.-Col. Will Graydon to Lt.-Col. Kris Reeves.

BIG WIN FOR LOCAL SINGER – Local singer/songwriter Sierra Levesque scored six trophies in as many categories at one of Canada’s largest inter-provincial music competitions held in Laval Que.

More than 5,000 music students from Quebec and Ontario have participated in the annual Youth Music Festival since its debut. This year’s contestants included participants from the successful television show La Voix Junior (The Voice Junior).

Competing for the first time at this event, 12-year-old Sierra won three first-place trophies, two second-place trophies and one third-place trophy in various vocal categories including individual, songwriting, duet and group.

PETAWAWA MARKS 20th ANNIVERSARY OF MERGER - On July 1, 1997, the historic merger of the two Petawawas - township and village - occurred in an official ceremony at the Civic Centre where both councils got together to tie a large rope together. Although largely overshadowed on Canada Day due to Canada's 150th birthday celebration, Mayor Bob Sweet took the time to reflect on that day 20 years ago and how far the town has come since then.

NEW CO FOR 4CDSB - GARRISON PETAWAWA – The Garrison Petawawa Military Museum served as a back drop as Lt.-Col. Darcy Wright took over command of 4th Canadian Division Support Base (4CDSB) Personnel Services from Lt.-Col. Steve Nolan. Formed up in front of a collection of vehicles, weapons and aircraft from the garrison's storied past, the relatively young unit looked sharp as it welcomed the third commanding officer in its short history.

BISHOP WINS NATIONAL TITLE – OTTAWA - The sun was beaming on Melissa Bishop on July 8.

Canada’s 800-metre star had the hometown crowd on its feet as she claimed her fourth national title. Bishop, who grew up in nearby Eganville and for a time trained with the Ottawa Lions, host club for the Canadian Track and Field Championships at the Terry Fox Facility, cruised to victory with a time of two minutes 0.26 seconds, three-plus seconds ahead of silver medallist Jenna Westaway of Calgary.

OPIOID CRISIS IN RENFREW COUNTY - The County of Renfrew has seen a sharp rise in the number of opioid overdoses so far this year, according to first responders.

The County of Renfrew Paramedic Service answered 95 overdose calls by the summer of 2017, which matches the number of overdose cases that paramedics responded to in 2016. Paramedics are seeing on average about a 13 per cent year-over-year increase in opioid overdoses.

CHANGE OF COMMAND 2 SERVICE BATTALION - GARRISON PETAWAWA – The soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen of 2 Service Battalion welcomed home Lt.-Col. Kieran Kennedy as the combat support unit conducted its change of command ceremony July 10.

NEW CO FOR 4 CDSB OP SERVICES - Recently 4th Canadian Division Support Base (4 CDSB) Operations Services held a change of command ceremony as Lt.-Col. Richard Raymond said goodbye to the 100 military and civilian personnel under his command, while welcoming Lt.-Col. Joe Hartson as the new boss for the next two years.

LUCKY PROJECT CLOSES - The Lucky Project’s feral and stray cat shelters shut down throughout Pembroke in July.

To care for these homeless cats and to counteract the issue of the growing population, two local residents – Candia Sullivan and Kelly Dermann – founded The Lucky Project in the fall of 2013.

Since The Lucky Project began, Sullivan and Dermann have been able to catch and home dozens of cats while caring for many others through the shelters they had set up around the city. Unfortunately, thought, the pair has encountered many obstacles which have made it nearly impossible to fulfill the mission.

DEEP RIVER VOTES TO KEEP COPS – Town council decided to keep its local police service.

After spending nearly four years flirting with the idea of replacing the Deep River Police Service with the Ontario Provincial Police, town council decided to stay with the force which has served it for the more than 60 years.

On July 12, council voted 7-0 in favour of sticking with local law enforcement, and pledged to work with its police services board to find efficiencies and cost savings in its current operations.

OPPOSITION GROWS TO CNL PROJECT - FORT WILLIAM, QUE. – Cottagers and residents alike packed the Hotel Pontiac July 15 to voice their concerns about Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF).

Despite assurances from CNL officials, few people seemed convinced it was a good idea to locate a waste facility anywhere near the Ottawa River.

NEW CO FOR CSOR GARRISON PETAWAWA – The elite Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) welcomed a new commanding officer on June 22.

In a ceremony at the unit lines, Lt.-Col. Andrew Vivian took over command from Lt.-Col. Steven Hunter, who had led the unit for the past three years.

PRESTIGIOUS AWARD - A Petawawa resident received the prestigious Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for his work in search and rescue across Canada and around the world.

Nick Kerr received the medal during a ceremony at the town hall on July 17. Kerr was recognized for six years of volunteer service to national and international search and rescue efforts, in addition to mentoring cadets and helping veterans lead enriching lives.

CENTRE RECOGNIZED – The Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County was honoured by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

On May 31 at Queen’s Park in Toronto, the 2017 Attorney General’s Victim Services Awards of Distinction ceremony was held to honour individuals and organizations who have provided outstanding services to victims of crime and raised awareness of victims’ issues in Ontario.

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