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GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2017


January 2017: Construction has began on the 43X Bypass from the north side to the west side of Grande Prairie. There will be a set of lights where it meets Highway 43 (west of the city) about 4 km east of the Richmond Hill. -Part of Highway 40 South from Grande Prairie to Wapiti River is also being planned to be twinned.
January 2017: With more people moving back to Grande Prairie for work, the rental vacancy is decreasing a bit and the Real Estate Market is expected to improve.
February 2017: Winners Store will be moving to a new location in March, former Future Shop building on the west side of Grande Prairie (116 st and just south of 100 ave). Also near the same location but north of 100 avenue, The Hampton Hotel had its Grand Opening.

February 2017: The 150 unit Seniors Complex called Lakeview is scheduled to open in April in Clairmont, Alberta. The sod turning event took place on July 30, 2015 for the $30 million new senior's complex facility that will feature 77 senior lodge units and 73 affordable enhanced senior apartments.
February 2017: Ben Moss Jewelry Store was to close across Canada but was sold and will remain open. There is a location in the Prairie Mall, Grande Prairie.
February 2017:Chief economist at ATB Financial says 2017 will be a rebound year in Alberta with jobs in the energy sector improving in the second half of the year. Agriculture should perform well, but the forestry industry won't have news til the U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement is renegotiated. Unemployment should remain close to 9% for most of the year.

February 2017: Two new catholic schools officially opened. The St Catherine Catholic School (K-8) with 500 students located at 9902-101 Street, Grande Prairie (Royal Oaks Subdivision), and the St Mary Catholic School in Beaverlodge (K-9) with 300 students also opened.
February 2017: It appears that it may be more than rumours that Go RV has closed north of Grande Prairie by overpass. Even though their phones are connected and website still active, there are no RV's displayed in their front yard and there is no furniture visible in their showroom.

March 2017: Wee Links Par 3 Golf Course and Campground located at south Bear Creek, will reopen this spring as it will now be run by the Nitehawk Year-round Adventure Par with partnership with the Sunrise Rotary Club of Grande Prairie. It has been renamed The Bear Paw par 3 Golf Course. enlarge photo
March 2017:Willie de Wit has been appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench as a judge. Willie is originally from Grande Prairie and a well known boxer who had won Silver in the Olympics.

March 2017: Hollywood Video located on 100th Street has closed its doors. They had opened in 2012 in the former Rogers Video location.
March 2017: The Ken and Teresa Sargent Foundation has donated $100,000 towards the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation.

March 2017: The Alberta Province has approved the replacement of the Composite High School and the modernization of the St Patrick Catholic School, both located in Grande Prairie. Construction won't start until 2018. (enlarge picture)

March 2017: Downtown Grande Prairie will continue with its Downtown Rehabilitation and Streetscapeproject. There will be a number of phases that will see underground utilities replaced including sidewalks, curbs, lighting, furniture and even trees and plants.
March 2017: Sunrise Records will be opening in the HMV store in the Prairie Mall, Grande Prairie. When HMV announce they were closing all their locations, Sunrise said they would be taking over the 70 locations including Grande Prairie.

April 2017: A 2nd location of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy opened in the Northridge area, 10071-120 Ave Grande Prairie (just north of the Servus Credit Union). Curtis Crough is also the owner of the 2nd location.
April 2017: Marshalls brand name and designer fashion store is coming to the Prairie Mall in Grande Prairie. It will located near the Coles store.
April 2017: Former Grande Prairie Storm forward, Tanner Fritz agreed to a 2 year contract with NHL's New York Islanders, effective next season. He played with the GP Storm in the 2007-08 to the 2010-11 Season.
April 2017: London Drugs celebrated a Grand Reopening of its newly renovated store in Grande Prairie located in the Gateway Power Centre (west side of the City). -Brenda Yamkowy announces she is retiring from the executive director of the United Way. She was with the United Way for 3 years and 15 years with a number of other organizations.
April 2017: Even though the 2017 Municipal Election isn't until October 16, 2017 there has been a number of candidates who have registered at City Hall including Clyde Blackburn, Dylan Bressey, Tyler Bulford, John Croken, Bill Given, Jill McCure, Kevin McLean, Cooper Morrison, Wade Pilat, Ramesem Rajnut, Tyla Saverd, Morgan Suurd, Chris Thiessen, Dylan Thompson, and Michael Wolfel.
April 2017: The current City councilors voted a pay raise for all those elected in October. The Mayor of Grande Prairie will receive an increase of $11,000 while councilors will get a bit over $13,000 pay increases.
April 2017: The Grande Prairie Dream Home winner this year was Adam Hickson of Grande Prairie. Matthew Watson of Sexsmith won the 50/50 draw that got him $243,320.
May 2017: Mission Thrift Store has opened in Grande Prairie, located in the Towne Centre Mall. Proceeds from the store support the ministry of the Bible League of Canada.
May 2017: A multi-million dollar acid gas injector facility is proposed to open near Grovedale just south of Grande Prairie. It is estimated there will be 500 contractors for the construction, then will have 17 full time employees.
May 2017: The Block Parent Program returns its operations in Grande Prairie. It will provide a network of safe places where kids can go.
June 2017: Jeffrey's Cafe is building a new restaurant near Esquires on the west side of Grande Prairie. Owner Lance Warkentin hopes it will be open in late July or August.
June 2017: Robert Guest, renowned local artist, passed away from a heart attack in Nanaimo, BC. He was born in 1938 in Beaverlodge and was an instructor at the GPRC and Fairview College for many years.




GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2017


June 2017: The next Grande Prairie Dream Home is under construction at the corner of Poplar Lane and Creekside Drive, in Taylor Estates Subdivision , southwest of Grande Prairie. The new Dream Home is 1 block south of the last Dream Home. Update: Dream Home photos completed VIEW PHOTOS

June 2017: Grande Prairie Primary Care Network is moving from the 97 Avenue location to an area north of Joey's Seafood (Royal Oaks area) effective July 6th. New address is 104-11745-105 Street.

June 2017: Sears announced it will be closing the Grande Prairie location along with 12 other locations in Alberta. Sears obtained temporary court protection from its creditors as the closures will cut around 2,900 jobs across Canada. (enlarge picture)
June 2017: Freshii has opened in Grande Prairie near the new Winners location, in the Power Centre, west side of Grande Prairie. Lori and Jordan Bondaruk are the co-owners of the fast-food chain catering to health-conscious people.
July 2017: PARDS opens a new facility (Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society), located northeast of Evergreen Park, Grande Prairie. The facility is estimated to cost $4.2 million.
July 2017: Diana Rinne, editor at the Daily Herald Tribune has retired. She spent 20 years in Grande Prairie plus more years with the same company in other communities.
July 2017: OMG Cupcakes has reopened after being closed for 9 months. The new owner was the former baker at OMG Cupcakes. The previous owner was forced to close the business due to personal health reasons.
July 2017: Susan Hunter is the new executive director at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum at Wembley. She replaces George Jacob who was the CEO.

VIDEO Rowney Brings Home The Stanley Cup VIEW VIDEO
July 2017: Carter Rowney now with the Pittsburgh Penguins brings home the Stanley Cup. Rowney grew up in Sexsmith and a Special Parade has held in Sexsmith as thousands lined the streets to get a view.
August 2017: Wizard's Touch Countertops is closing their doors on Sept 30th. Flo Form Countertops will open a few doors from them, and will also take some of their employees as well.
August 2017: The new hospital is on schedule to open in 2019. 98% of the exterior is done while 15% of the interior is complete.
August 2017: Fire Chief Dan Lemieux steps down after 15 years with the city fire department. He will be moving to the Strathcona County to be closer to family. - The unemployment rate has dropped month after month in Grande Prairie and is now (July) at 5.8%.
August 2017: The Grande Prairie & District SPCA will be closing after years of financial struggles. It opened in 1972.
August 2017: KMS Tools and Equipment, opened in Grande Prairie across from Peavey Mart on the west side of Grande Prairie.

September 2017: Wholesale Sports is closing its Grande Prairie store along with all the other locations in western Canada. The store opened in June of 2009 in Grande Prairie. (enlarge picture)

Sept 2017: Construction continues on the new Windsor Ford, located northwest of the present location along 100 Street, Grande Prairie.
September 2017: It has been reported that Alberta is officially out of a recession as 2017 saw GDP growth of3% with tourism and agriculture seeing the most increase. Unemployment in Grande Prairie is now down to 5.8% in July while Edmonton is still at 8.7%. Overall Alberta was 8.1% in August 2017.
October 2017: Long time Grande Prairie newspaperman, Bill Scott passed away at the age of 78 years. He wrote articles for the Daily Herald Tribune for over 50 years. (enlarge photo)

October 2017: Another long time newspaper man has also passed away in August, 2017. Terry McHale also worked in the editorial department at the Daily Herald Tribune. (enlarge photo)
Oct 2017: There will be improvements to Highway 40 between Grande Prairie and they Yellowhead Highway near Hinton. The province will be spending round $200 million to address the 180 km of highway.

October 2017: Kelly Sutherland, 12 time World Chuckwagon Racing Champion was honoured at Evergreen Park as he retired after 50 years of Chuckwagon Racing. Kelly has competed in all 40 Grande Prairie Stampedes. (enlarge photo)
October 2017: The Alberta Government has officially scrapped Bill 203, the Alberta Standard Time Act. This means Albertans will continue to change their clocks twice a year. It was agreed that staying one one time year round would have a negative effect on Alberta’s Economy.

November 2017: A number of new stores have opened in the Prairie Mall, Grande Prairie. After extensive renovations to the vacated Zellers/Target on the north side of the mall, Urban Planet, Marshalls, Just Cozy and Lululemon have recently opened.
enlarge photos: Urban Planet: VIEW - Marshalls: VIEW - Just Cozy: VIEW - Lululemon: VIEW
November 2017: Maclean’s indicates Grande Prairie is no longer the most dangerous community in the country. In 2016 Grande Prairie lead the amount of armed robberies, break-inns and shootings for a city more than 60,000. It has now dropped to 12. Red Deer is the highest of Alberta cities placing them at number 5 on the list. Nov: The unemployment rate in western Alberta dropped from 5.8% to 5.6% in October 2017. The overall rate in Canada is 5.9%, the lowest it has been since 2008. There have been 390,000 new jobs added in Canada over the last 12 month period.
November 2017: Rental vacancy rate in Grande Prairie is down 15% over last year. In Oct 2017 there were 4.9% of rental units available while at the same time last year it was 19.8%. According to CMHC they credit improvements in the natural gas and oil price increases.
December 2017: Grande Prairie had the most snowfall in November since 2006. 61.3 centimetres fell in Grande Prairie overall in the month with a record of 19.8 centimetres falling on just November 26th.
December 2017:The Roy Bickell Public School had its grand opening. The school will have around 200 students from K to Grade 8. It is located on the north part of the City at 10410 royal Oaks Drive, Grande Prairie.
December 2017: The DHT will no longer provide home delivery and will now be sending newspapers through the post office. The newspaper continues to make cut backs as advertising revenue continues to fall.

December 2017: Thousands of people young and old lined the streets of Downtown Grande Prairie for the traditional Santa Claus Parade. It was a chilly sunny Sunday afternoon and DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com was there and captured the entire parade on video. View Video> (12:32 min)
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GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2018
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