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GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2009


January 2009: The Grand Opening of the 2010 Arctic Winter Games office and store took place In Grande Prairie. They are now located by Ernies Sports Centre. (enlarge photo)
January 2009: STARS Lottery kicked off its fundraising lottery in Grande Prairie featuring over $4.9 million Province wide. (Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) Close to half of the profits from the lottery go towards the operating budget of STARS.

January 2009: A new school in Clairmont opened to about 200 students, Kindergarten to Grade 6, (enlarge photo) and Wembley got a new Public Library.
January 2009: The first full week of 2009 saw more than 25 centimetres of snow. Most came down in only a few days.
January 2009: Bruce Power withdrew its application to construct a Nuclear Power plant at Lac Cardinal, near Grimshaw. They are still considering a 2nd site about 30 km north of Peace River.
February 2009: Inspector George Stephenson of the Red Deer RCMP has become Grande Prairie's Police Chief replacing Arlen Miller who has been promoted to District Commander.
February 2009: Little Caesars on Resources Road and 98 Avenue, Grande Prairie has closed its doors.
February 2009: The Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce awarded Henry Hamm of Dirham Homes the Business Citizen of the Year Award. Darlene Repka-Smith of Re/Max won the Clem E. Collins award that honors a dedicated chamber volunteer. Kay McVey Smith and Carlstrom received the Dan H. Minchin award that honors long-term business achievement.
February 2009: Cory Clouston has been named coach of the NHL's Ottawa Senators. Cory was coach of the Grande Prairie Storm from 1995-1999. More recently he coached the Binghamton Senators for the last 2 years and the WHLs Kootenay Ice for 5 seasons.

February 2009: The Daily Herald Tribune, A Division of Sun Media Corporation, will be the site for a Centralized Composing Department. The Production Department responsible for designing of ads in Grande Prairie (Daily Herald-Tribune, Peace Country SUN, Grande Prairie INK) will now include Fairview, Peace River, Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe, Hinton, and Jasper. (production departments in those communities will be shut down)
March 2009: The City of Grande Prairie has approved installing 2 surveillance cameras, one near the Muskoseepi Park's Pavilion and the other at the northwest corner of downtown. Both are high crime areas.

March 2009: East Side Mario's in Grande Prairie has closed its doors. Besides having an empty parking lot, no-one had been answering their phone. A note on the door confirms they are closed indefinitely.
March 2009: Alberta Minimum Wage increases from $8.40 per hour to $8.80 per hours as of April 1, 2009. This will affect about 20,000 people with the majority between 15-19 years old.
March 2009: Aquatera is increasing their rates. A typical Grande Prairie resident could now pay $82.49 monthly for water, sewer, garbage and recycling. The City's landfill site has also increased the minimum rate by 100 per cent. (from $5 to $10) plus added a 10 per cent Municipal Franchise Fee on top of that. All tipping fees per tonne have also increased.
April 2009: It wasn't very long ago that the Provincial Government announced it wanted to spend $4 million for a new slogan and another $25 million promoting it, then recently decided to close the Grande Prairie Young Offenders Centre because of budget cuts. The Bear Creek School would also close.

April 2009: The Grande Prairie Storm have won the Junior Hockey League Championship April 5, 2009 in a 4 game sweep over the Spruce Grove Saints.

March 2009: The Scotiabank opens a brand new branch west of Costco in Grande Prairie. Further west of this location there is an abundance of construction of a Hotel, Rona and Visions (photo below).

March 2009: Construction of the Rona Store, 97 Ave and 120 St Grande Prairie. A new Visions store will also be open later this year.
April 2009: Urban Homes will be closing its doors at the end of May, 2009. They have been located downtown Grande Prairie at the corner of 100 Avenue and 99 Street. (west of the Co-op)

April 2009: Echo AVU (Bruce Little and his staff) has moved a few doors south to take up the old Lauzons location at the corner of 100 Street and 111 Avenue.
April 2009: Pet Smart will be opening up a Grande Prairie location on the far west of the City. Construction is underway, with the Grand Opening targeted for August of this year. Twenty new Pet Smart stores are opening this year (Canada and USA), with Grande Prairie being the only Canada addition.

The 2009 QE2 Grande Prairie Dream Home opened May 1 at 5610 Aspen Drive in Taylor Estates. (Located on the southeastern part of the City on the way to Pine Valley) From Resources Road go east on 68 Avenue, until you get to the Pine Valley Road and head south til you see the signs of Taylor Estates. The Dream Home is situated amongst the Pine Trees in a very quiet setting.





May 2009: Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters, has opened its doors at 11120-100 ave (old Future Shop building) Lots of fishing supplies, hunting, camping equipment, clothing etc. Has about 40 employees. (enlarge photo)

May 2009: The new Servus Plus Credit Union near 102 Street and the Highway ByPass will be opening the first week of June.
May 2009: On the west side, (west of Costco) another new bank, the CIBC will be opening a new location August 31 and Aussies Western Wear and Mucho Burrito recently announced they will also be opening in the same area in the near future.
May 2009: Word is out that Grande Prairie will be getting a new Grocery Store, Loblaws, to be located at the corner of 84 Avenue and Wapiti Road (Highway 40). There is no confirmed start date but will also include a Tim Hortons in the same area of South 40 Developments.

May 2009: The new Grande Prairie Library is scheduled to open in June. The Montrose Cultural Centre located at 103 Avenue and 98 Street is a project that involves the City of Grande Prairie, the Prairie Art Gallery and the Public Library. After the Library spending 20 years at the location on 98 Street, it is a welcome change to be in a brand new building
May 2009: The first flu-related death in Canada has occurred in the Peace Country linked to the influenza A/H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu). The 39 year old woman from the High Prairie Area drove herself to the hospital but died a short time later. She had a history of asthma and diabetes but had no connection to Mexico.
June 2009: Fires at campgrounds became out of control in a number of campgrounds in the Peace Country. Campers were evacuated at Hommy Park, near Beaverlodge June 12th weekend, and there was trouble at Youngs Point Campground at Sturgeon Lake. Fire bans are now in effect at all County campgrounds including other areas beyond.

June 2009: Rona will be opening their new store on the west side of Grande Prairie on June 17. It will be located on the corner of 99 Avenue and 120 Street.
June 2009: The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp has released figures on the Grande Prairie Spring Rental Market. Grande Prairie has a vacancy rate of 8.5% which puts it the highest in Alberta.

July 2009: The Streets of downtown Grande Prairie were closed and filled with thousands of people. Comedian Won Israel (Cap'n Arrr) performs with the help of a few selected crowd members. MORE PHOTOS: Picture 1: View Photo - Picture 2: View Photo - Picture 3: View Photo - Picture 4: View Photo - Picture 5: View Photo - Picture 6: View Photo - Picture 7: View Photo.

July 2009: The Friendship Bingo Hall, at 10513-98 Avenue, closes for the final time because of poor turn-out. Also the Centre for Creative Arts has moved to the old library building on 99 Avenue.
July 2009: The City of Grande Prairie has awarded $36,000 to a company that will create a new image and logo for the city. The company awarded the branding campaign is Great Destinations from Seattle, United States of America.
July 2009: Jackpine Design has added more partners to the company and changed their name to Slick International. Some of the new partners are former Herald Tribune Jeff McCoshen, Karthryn Engel (Jeff's wife), Lionel Frey and Jim Layher.
GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2009


July 2009: NAIT in Fairview has merged with the Grande Prairie Regional College. The Fairview location is now called the GPRC Fairview College Campus.

July 2009: Milano For Kids in the Prairie Mall will be closing and A-One Quality Signs has closed it doors after many of business. -Grande Prairie had the highest improvement for housing starts for the month of June in Alberta. Real Estate companies in Grande Prairie are saying prices of homes are stabilizing.
July 2009: KIA Auto Dealership is constructing a new building on the far west of the city, along 99 Avenue and 118 Street, not far from the Airport.
July 2009: The Grande Prairie Rotaract Club Duck Race took place. Winner of the Mazda CX7 was Carleton Currie of Grande Prairie, Hot Tub winner was Julianne Fraser of Grande Prairie, Educational Package winner was Ed Gairdner from Grande Prairie. Hazel Westwood of Debolt, Raymond Cote of Falher, and David Sawchuk of Chetwynd BC each won Special Vacations.

August 2009: Pet Smart opens its new location in Grande Prairie on the west side, at 98 Avenue and 115 Street not far from Best Buy.


August 2009: Midwest Home Furniture announces it will be closing its doors after 52 years in business. It was a family run business run by Al and then son Don Wigglesworth). (enlarge photo)

August 2009: Construction is taking place at the Save-On-Foods at 108 Street and 106 Avenue Grande Prairie. A new liquor store and a Big Boy Burger restaurant will be located on the northwest side of the Save-On parking lot.
August 2009: The City of Grande Prairie has made a two year deal with CGI Communications for them to make movie clips of the City to be featured on Mayors.TV. No local companys were given the opportunity to provide the service. City council gave the New York company their blessing to sell Grande Prairie businesses advertising around each video, with all income going directly to the United States company.
August 2009: Rough Riders (located near Walmart ) will be going out of business.
September 2009: The twinning of 84 Avenue from Wapiti Road to 116 Street won't be completed this year as had hoped. The new completion date has been targeted at the summer of 2010.
September 2009: Grande Prairie Transit added 3 more bus routes including Pinnacle Ridge, Wespointe and South Richmond Industrial Park (Future Shop area).
September 2009: Leigh Goldie, the head of the Physical Education department at the Grande Prairie Regional College has been selected the Olympic Torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics. On November 6th, Leigh will carry the torch into Grande Prairie, and then light the cauldron.

September 2009: CIBC opened a new location on the west end of the City, next to Marks Work Wearhouse. Edo Japan will be opening soon in the same area.


September 2009: Maude Clifford School opened its brand new public school along Lakeland Drive, northeast part of Grande Prairie. 9206-Lakeland Drive. Kindergarten to Grade 6.

September 2009: McGoverns RV Marine Centre has opened a location east of Grande Prairie along Highway 43 (Range Road 53, the Old Wagon Yard Trading Post location).
October 2009: Premier Ed Stelmach was the Honourable Guest Speaker at the Chamber of Commerce Excellence Awards Gala, Friday Oct 23, at the Montrose Cultural Centre. Business of the Year award went to Cygnet Dental and also Total Enerflex. (under 10/over 10 employees) Mikki Redlick of the downtown Co-op received the Employee of the Year award while Aztec Landscaping won the Young Entrepreneur award. The Best New Business award went to J.Adams Autobody. Carpet Superstore as well as the Grande Prairie Regional College won the Employer of Choice award (under 10/over 10 employees)
October 2009: Costco has built its own brand new Gas Bar, located on the northeast corner of their parking lot. When it opened it had the lowest price for gasoline in Grande Prairie.
October 2009: It was recently announced that the City of Grande Prairie will have a 3rd Fire Hall. This one would be located on 118 Street near 97 Avenue (southwest of Costco). Completion of the Fire Hall wont be until 2011.
October 2009: Red Light Cameras have now been in operation in Grande Prairie for over a year and 6000 tickets were handed out as of June 2009. 9 per cent were for left turn violations, 34 per cent for straight through violations and 57 per cent for turning right on a red light without stopping first.
October 2009: The Medicine Shoppe opened a pharmacy where the Shoppers Drug Mart was, along Montrose Avenue, Grande Prairie. This franchise has about 142 stores located in Canada.
October 2009: H1N1 is in Grande Prairie. A large number of schools including the Grande Prairie Regional College have all reported the influenza. So far the cases have not required hospitalization.
October 2009: One of the Peace Country's longest serving radio broadcasters has died. Peter Hall passed away at the age of 62 years of age. He had still been working on-air on Big Country XX 93.1FM. In the 1970's he worked at CFGP.


October 2009: Peace Farm Power has joined a chain of John Deere dealerships in British Columbia. The head office of Prairie Coast Equipment will be in Grande Prairie.
October 2009: Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers has moved 9 km east of Grande Prairie along Highway 43 at Range Road 51.
October 2009: Gulivers and West Rock Cafe have closed their doors (next to London Drugs). Rumors are that a new restaurant will be opening at that location in March. October 2009: More people than last year attended the Remembrance Day Ceremonies through-out the Peace Country. VIDEO: Army Navy and Airforce parade and ceremony

November 2009: Thousands took part in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in Grande Prairie on Friday November 6, 2009. The final torch arrived to a cheering crowd at Muskoseepi Park. The celebration included local talent as well as speeches from a variety of dignitaries. Olympic Torch Relay and Celebration: View VIDEO> (3:56 min)
November 2009: Peace Farm Power has joined a chain of John Deere dealerships in British Columbia. The head office of Prairie Coast Equipment will be in Grande Prairie.

November 2009: Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers has moved 9 km east of Grande Prairie along Highway 43 at Range Road 51 and have a new building.
November 2009: Gulivers and West Rock Cafe have closed their doors (next to London Drugs) located on the west side of Grande Prairie. Rumors are that a new restaurant will be opening at that location in March.

November 2009: Many people attended the Remembrance Day Ceremonies at Jubilee Park in Grande Prairie. Army Navy and Airforce parade and ceremony: View VIDEO> (5:54)
November 2009: Grande Prairie's Stompede Queen, Britteny Foster, was named Miss Rodeo Canada at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton. Britteny is originally from Peace River and is currently spending most of her time taking courses at the UofA in Edmonton.


November 2009: Thousands of people lined the streets of Grande Prairie on Sunday November 29, 2009 for the annual Santa Claus Parade. Santa was joined by many colorful floats. MORE SANTA PARADE PHOTOS: Picture 1: View Photo - Picture 2: View Photo - Picture 3: View Photo - Picture 4: View Photo - Picture 5: View Photo - Picture 6: View Photo - Picture 7: View Photo.
November 2009: Jason Cheeseman (singer/guitarist) is this years Peace Country Idol. Carly Norton won the dance competition at this event, while Anthony Ogbonna (hip-hop dancer) won the People's Choice award.

November 2009: The Scotiabank is bringing the Stanley Cup to the Peace Country for photo opportunity. (Nov 21 in Grande Prairie and Nov 22 in Peace River)
December 2009: The Grande Prairie and Region United Way has raised over $879,000. The funds will help those who need social services in Grande Prairie and the surrounding area.
December 2009: Wade Doris is the new chairman of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce. Jamie Menzies (Royal LePage Realtor) is now the President of the Grande Prairie Real Estate Board.
December 2009: More feature pages have been added to DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com and they include the Hamlet of Guy: View Page. (near McLennan) and Rolla, BC: View Page.


GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2009
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