-A third candidate has entered the race for the mayor's seat left vacant by Ron Forsman's resignation.
Former mayor Bob Durston has officially entered his name, joining fellow former mayor Ken Waddell and former councillor Murray Parrott as potential candidates.
-Lily Maksymic was heartbroken to, on Christmas Day, see the dozen roses she leaves at her husband's gravesite every year have their petals chopped off by an unknown vandal.
Maksymic had been leaving the roses at her late husband's gravesite annually for the past 10 years, since he passed away.
-Shortly before the holiday season, an anonymous town resident placed posters featuring positive slogans on them around town.
Apparently they impacted at least one community member – and likely many more – as well-known Neepawa composer Remi Bouchard was inspired to write four songs named after those posters after reading them.
-The Neepawa Press reporter/columnist Kaiten Critchlow had an interesting Christmas supper incident and wrote a poem about it.
-Neepawa's Halli Krzyzaniak is a world champion.
Krzyzaniak, who was only 16 years old at the time, has helped lead Team Canada to the IIHF U18 Women's World Hockey Championship after it defeated Team USA 3-0 in the finals.
-NUSA, the governing group of Neepawa's youth soccer league, says it needs more board members to ensure it can continue operating.
The league is also struggling to find children aged nine to 18 for competition.
Later on in the year, the board would report it had a good turnout for youth participation and enough board members join to ensure its longevity.
-NACTV has announced it will be picked up by Bell TV and MTS because of new broadcasting regulations, and the Neepawa-based station should be aired across Manitoba by the year's end.
It's expected NACTV's potential audience will see a huge increase, while the station may look to expand its programming.
-23 Years Proud has successfully held its first Hazing Awareness Week in support of the Neepawa Natives after the crippling team incident that occurred around November of 2011.
Events including school students occurred throughout the week, including outdoor hockey games, an official attendance of 1,001 attended the promotional Free Game for the Natives, while the winner of the week-long progressive 50/50 won $1,108.
-Amy Todoruk and Travis James are named The Neepawa Press inaugural NACI Athletes of the Month.
James had been lighting it up (23 points in 12 league games) with the Tigers hockey team, while Todoruk claimed first place at the Manitoba Sectionals figure skating competition and competed at the Western Canadians.
-The Neepawa Natives hit the MJHL's Jan. 10 trade deadline by shipping away, three 20-year-olds. For prospects, gearing up for a rebuilding process for the next few years.
The year-end count for Natives transactions in the 2011-12 season ended with 19 trades that involved 44 players.
-Town council has finalized a 32-unit condo deal with a Steinbach-based company for property across from Neepawa's camping grounds, at the former site of the old mini-golf.
-Council has also agreed to terms with Zen Developments for a 24-unit project, meaning council has already paved the way for 56 new homes to be built in 2012 to accomodate Neepawa's growing population.
-With Murray Parrott resigning his councillor's seat to run for the vacant mayor's position, two community members have stepped forward to fill in his spot.
Allan Drysdale and Sherri Grant have both entered their names to campaign against one another for the seat and a place on council for the next two-and-a-half years.
-The MJHL has released its final report on the Natives hazing incident and will be extending suspensions to former Natives coaches Brad Biggers and Bryant Perrier.
Meanwhile, the Neepawa Natives organization has said it's moved on and will continue to grow off of the support gathered from the Free Game instead.
-The Gladstone Chamber of Commerce has handed out awards at its annual AGM.
Janet Breedon was named Citizen of the Year as a dedicated volunteer in the community while Dave Thiessen was named the Community Builder of the Year.
-A blaze has burnt the majority of a Valley View Apartment, with an estimated damage value of up to $25,000.
While the fire was devastating, no one was residing in the residence at the time, and the urn of the former home-owner was saved from the blaze by firefighters.
-Neepawa's Edward Caumartin has won a brand new 2012 GMC Terrain SUV vehicle from GM's “Connect and Win” initiative.
-Neepawa's Council has once again put its support behind adding lights at the intersection of Hwy. 5 and Hwy. 16, near Tim Horton's, citing driver safety and congestion as its main concerns.
-The Neepawa Chamber of Commerce has handed out its annual awards.
Receiving the nod for Volunteer of the Year is the entire Neepawa Fire Department, while It's Time was named Business of the Year for building its business from the ground up and continuing to grow it.
-The Neepawa and District Fine Arts Festival has returned to operation after not running in 2011.
-The Tigers hockey club is ranked No. 1 in the MHSAA's A/AA rankings after finishing the Westman High School Hockey League with a 17-1 record.
-Gladstone's Hailey Tonn is named the MHSAA's rural high school athlete of the month for her role with the school's basketball team, and averaging 15 points, 12 rebounds and five steals per game.
-A Public Utilities Board notice given to the Town indicates residents can expect a significant raise in water and sewer rates from 2012-14.
Neepawa's heaviest water users would see a rate increase from $1.10 in 2011 to $2.7861 in 2014, while the lowest users would go from $1.896 to $2.8782 in 2014. The new rates aim to equal rate costs for all town water users.
-The communities of McCreary and Neepawa have both thrown their support behind reopening the Mt. Agassiz ski hill in Riding Mountain National Park area.
Government legislation would later allow for the possibility of reopening the ski hill, while feasibility studies have been completed.
-Neepawa has been named as the host of the 2013 Safeway Championship for men's curling. 32 teams will compete at the event.
-Canada census stats show Neepawa's population has increased by around 400 people over the past five years, from 3,298 residents in 2006 to 3,629 residents in 2011.
The Town doesn't quite agree with those numbers though, believing Neepawa's population is closer to the 4,000 mark.
-Immigration has been boosting Neepawa's population.
Stats from the Immigration Settlement Services office show 392 people have moved to the area for employment opportunities since 2007.
The office is expecting family members to be moved to the area by 2013, pushing the overall immigration number closer to 1,100.
That number will only increase when HyLife's expansion completed by this spring adds 250 more workers, many of whom are expected be immigrants, and their family members start moving to Neepawa by 2014 to 2015.
-A former Neepawa United Church minister has pleaded guilty to an indecent assault occurring over 30 years ago, alledgedly occurring in Saskatchewan in 1979.
A 38-year-old woman, the alledged victim, only just reported the incident to police last July.
-Brett Levandosky, a Tigers hockey player who won the WHSHL's scoring title with 63 points in 18 games this year, and Adrienne Schmall, a leader on a young Tigers basketball varsity squad, have been named the February NACI Athletes of the Month.
-Ryan and Corrie Ford have met Zdeno Chara, the NHL hockey player who the couple named their late child Zdeno Ford after.
Chara spent time with the family and offered them memorabilia for their upcoming golf tournament and auction for the "Bed for Zedo Fund".
-A decision by council regarding its borrowing amount for improvements to the Water Treatment Plant will save the Town about $1.7 million over the next 19 years, and about $88,000 annually.
The aquifer project at the plant is expected to cost about $7.2 million with Neepawa paying for $3.7 million of that.
-Weldon Newton has been named Keystone Agricultural Producer's vice-president.
-The Roxy Theatre has found out it must go digital or face a potential closure.
As of 2013, all films will be made digitally and the Roxy must upgrade its projector from film to digital in order to continue showing movies. Then new equipment could cost upwards of $86,000.
-Larry McNicholl, a 35-year veteran in he industry, is ready to get his embroidery business, Upscale Embroidery, rolling in Neepawa.
-The Neepawa-based curling rink skipped by Kelly Robertson has won its second consecutive Senior Men's Provincial Championship.
Robertson's rink defeated Murray Warren's Deloraine-based squad 8-4 in nine ends to claim the title.
-Ken Waddell is Neepawa's new mayor while Allan Drysdale is the newest councillor on Town Council.
Waddell grabbed about 49 per cent of the vote in a three-person race for mayor, while Drysdale became councillor by getting 57 per cent of votes against Sherri Grant.
About 47 per cent of eligible voters turned out to cast a ballot.
-Neepawa's Jeremy Walmsley is making waves in the acting industry, most recently receiving accolades as a “triple-threat tenor” by the Winnipeg Free Press.
Walmsley's latest major performance hit was his show,a five-person act, the Altar Boyz.
-The Neepawa Press looks back at the history of the Roxy Theatre in a feature spread, pointing to its relevance and necessity in the community.
-Allisa McKinna, a varsity girls basketball post player and team leader, and James McKay, who typically plays a full game for the varsity boys basketball squad, have been named February NACI Athletes of the Month.
Jayme Kulbacki and Will Rainka were named junior high athletes of the month.
-The Neepawa Natives handed out the annual team awards with Derrick Brooks receiving Rookie of the Year honours, Dylan Dock being named MVP and Top Scorer, and Gladstone native Lyndon Soper winning Hardest Worker honours.
-The Tigers JV girls basketball squad has won the Zone 7 banner after defeating Carberry 63-24 in the finals.
-A health program named Mothers Are Forever which aims to reconnect mothers with their children by offering tools and support to move them away from substance abuse and back in to their homes is being developed in the Riding Mountain area.
Participants will have to be highly motivated, while the rural setting aims to keep them away from the sometimes overwhelming hustle and bustle of city areas. This would be a flagship program.
-Gladstone's Tori Doell has won the 2011 Radio Star National Talent Search and will now get to perform with her boyfriend/band partner Ross Roteliuk in a Toronto showcase.
Among the additional perks won was also $10,000 cash and $30,000 in prizes.
-Hockey Night in Gladstone was a success with over 50 people attending the event.
-British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) reporter Tom Hepworth was in Neepawa last Wednesday to visit Titanic victim Lewis Hickman's gravesite at the Riverside Cemetery.
Hepworth also visited The Neepawa Press archives as well as other people and town sites as he pieced together a BBC documentary on the Hickman family.
-The NACI Tigers have won the MHSAA's AA provincial title by defeating the Glenboro/Carberry/Baldur Wildcats 5-1. The Tigers also won the Westman High School Hockey League Championship to go two-for-two on the season.
-The Neepawa Figure Skating Club has had four skaters compete at the Manitoba STARSkate Championships.
Among them, Zoie Forgue won a silver medal in the Senior Bronze Freeskate event.
-Gladstone's William Morton Collegiate Institute (WMCI) plans to switch its course scheduling to the semester system in 2012-13. The move puts WMCI in line with over 90 per cent of comparable schools in Manitoba.
-Chelsea Plett, Lina Gordon, Jalin Adams and Hayley Cathcart have helped lead their Female Bantam AAA Yellowhead Chiefs to a provincial championship, the program's first ever provincial gold.
Meanwhile, Neepawa's Bantam girls program won the bronze medal at their Provincials.
-The NACI Tigers hosted the MHSAA's Provincial Championship for varsity girls basketball, with the host Tigers pulling off an upset and clinching a spot in the consolation bracket of the playoffs.
-Neepawa's Nicole Wruth has won the University of Manitoba's Define Yourself contest and an expenses-paid trip through The Artic Experience Contest.
Wruth won the contest by entering a short video describing herself as an “Explorer”.
-Logan Young and Brett Kozak have been selected to attend the Program of Excellence tryout camp for Team Manitoba.
-The Neepawa Figure Skating Club concluded its season with a seven medal haul at the Crocus Invitational Synchro Competition for teams from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
-In a special edition publication a century after the Titanic sank, The Neepawa Press featured a spread detailing the area's connection to the Titanic.
Among the people involved in the accident were Lewis Hickman, Stanley George Hickman and Leonard Hickman, all who were coming to the Neepawa area for work, were not originally scheduled to ride the Titanic, and all who perished in the accident.
Former Neepawa branch manager Thomas Francis McCaffry was also taken with the Titanic.
-The Stella Finds a Bed for Zedo Fund announces it will be holding a charity golf tournament to help raise money to support purchasing a new giraffe isolet bed for babies facing health issues.
-NACI's Adrienne Schmall has been selected to compete in the Manitoba Basketball Coaching Association's all-star game.
-The Neepawa and District United Way has exceeded its fundraising goal by 10 per cent, raising $44,000 in 2011.
As a result, it doled out $38,700 to different non-profit organizations in the area and national organizations that benefit people in the area.
-The Neepawa Wildlife Association, Yellowhead Bowhunters Archery Club and Neepawa Jr. Rifle Association hosted a fellowship night to help increase outdoor hunt and fish activities as well as membership to the groups.
-The NACI Athletes of the Month for March include the NACI Tigers Hockey team for winning two championships, Halle Hayhurst after having a great basketball season, and Lina Gordon for leading her AA hockey squad to a provincial gold medal.
-Filcan wins the Neepawa Filipino Basketball League's 2011 title.
-Kelly Robertson's Neepawa-based curling rink has claimed silver at the 2012 World Championships.
The rink lost 6-5 to Ireland in the finals, coming only inches away from the gamewinning point.
-About 100 NACI students converged outside the Co-op Grocery Store wearing pink to show their support of International Day of Pink, an anti-bullying initiative.
-Baseball Manitoba has announced Neepawa's Liz Guttman will be inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame
-The Provincial Budget 2012 came with a promise to amalgamate Manitoba's 11 Regional Health Authorities in to five to “reduce redundancies”.
Neepawa's ARHA will merge with the Parkland and Brandon regions, while all other amalgamations involve only two regions. Officials have saide it may result in more job cuts in our region.
-Winnipeg Blue Bombers visited NACI to work through drills and techniques with Tigers football athletes.
-Emralino Samson is named the Filipino Basketball League's MVP.
-The Town has announced its budgeted municipal expenditures for 2012 total just under $6 million.
The general municipal mill rate for residents dropped by two mills, while the biggest capital project budgeted for was road construction valued at $690,000.
In 2011, the Town stayed under budget by about $350,000 while budgeted overall capital expenditures for 2012 are up by $462,000 to $1.29 million.
-The Whitemud Comedy Club is hosting the provincial ACT Festival from May 4-6 where 10 short plays will be performed from acts around Manitoba.
-The Roxy Theatre held a special meeting to gather ideas from the community, and came away with sheets full of them.
Over 110 community and area residents attended the meeting and the board also unexpectedly came away with $5,000 in “hard cash” from the event and another $18,000 in pledged donations.
-A public meeting instigated by the Town of Neepawa indicates that East View Lodge is destined to be demolished.
An official decision is expected by May 15, but no one at the public meeting seemed to oppose the demolition after the state of the building was explained as unuseable and basically in disrepair.
-Letters from Councillor Simon and Mayor Ken Waddell, on behalf of Council, respond to allegations from CJ 97.1 Radio, saying the station has caused “difficult legal situations” with the Town.
An ombudsman ruled in favour of the Town's decision to disregard the majority of FIPPA requests for information from the town, while Wadell noted CJ filed more FIPPA applications – over 240 – than is usually filed in a whole year by all major departments of the province.
-The Beautiful Plains School Division has announced it will have to add portable classrooms to Hazel M. Kellington to accomodate a growing enrolment in Neepawa.
-Trooper came to Neepawa and played in front of a crowd of about 900 people at the Yellowhead Centre as part of a Chamber-organized event.
-Happy Rock Children's Centre is moving ahead with planning to build a new nursery school in Gladstone.
-HMK students have been participating in an intergenerational program with Country Meadows residents in Neepawa.
Both teachers and care home staff noted how positive the experience has been for students and residents.
-Business owners in Sandy Lake have banded together to create the Sandy Lake Merchants Association in order to keep the village growing, create more attractions and bring in more summer business.
Among the attractions already in the community is Earl Symonds, train museum in the basement of his home, complete with over $150,000 in memorabilia, tracks and model trains.
-Economic Development Officer Rick Donaldson has been appointed acting CAO for the Town after Neepawa's former acting CAO Pat Martin left the position last week.
Council didn't comment on the reasons behind Martin vacating the position.
-Council has passed a resolution to accept the Provinces's offer to demolish East View Lodge at no cost to the Town of Neepawa, and transfer the property from the Province's control to the Town's for $1.
As part of the resolution, council added the demolition must commence no later than July 1, 2012.
-McLaughlin GM opens the doors on its new dealership along Highway 16.
-Marie Rose Ajera, Travis Nicholson and Matthew Sneesby have been named the April NACI Athletes of the Month for their play with the Tigers badminton team.
-Tigers hockey player Tieler Fenning-Cox has been awarded the MHSAA's Winnipeg Jets Alumni and Friends Award for his skill in sport and leadership in school.
-On May 15 and May 16 officers from Neepawa, Minnedosa and Gladstone RCMP arrested three people on a variety of offences associated to drug trafficking and are seeking an additional fourth person in connection with the project named “Project Decibel”.
The three individuals are facing a combined five counts of trafficking cocaine and two counts of trafficking oxycontin.
-The Tigers girls fastball team has defeated MacGregor 10-0 to win the Zone 7 banner and a trip to the MHSAA's provincial tournament. Meanwhile, the boys baseball squad beat the two-time defending champs from Gladstone 2-1 to claim the other Zone 7 title.
-About 90 students combining for 500 entries took part in this year's Manitoba High School Rodeo Association's Neepawa Stoney Creek Stampede.
Neepawa's Austin Whelpton, Holly Madsen and Shelby Gillies, as well as Gladstone's Hailey Tonn all performed well, and, with the year winding down, are all in a position to battle for a berth in to the Canadians 2012 competition.
-William Morton Collegiate Institute has held its annual Race Day and Barbecue where students tried out the race machines or barbecues they've built throughout the year.
-The Beautiful Plains Community Foundation has given out 43 grants, scholarships and funds totaling $92,400 as part of its semi-annual grants evening.
The Roxy Theatre received the largest grant, valued at $7,000, toward its upgrade fund.
-The Neepawa Farmers have moved to the top of the MSBL's 2012 standings after winning two straight.
-Four Tigers track athletes/teams have reached the podium at the 2012 MHSAA Track and Field Provincials.
Wyatt Salmon and Jason Doerksen placed second and third in the JV 200m dash, Doerksen grabbed bronze in the JV 100m dash, and the 4x100 m boys JV relay team won gold.
-Logan Young, a track athlete, and Kailee Stewart, a fastpitch player, are named NACI's May Athletes of the Month.
-NACI's student group HOPE (Helping Our World Pursue Equality) has raised $5,000, reaching its target for the year.
Much of their fundraising efforts have gone toward the purchase of a new water well in Kenya while they also supported local causes, such as Halloween for Hunger.
-William Morton Collegiate Institute has adopted a new athletics award system based on points, participation, coach evaluations, team success and individual success.
The new system aims to make award selections more objective, taking less owness off teacher perception.
-NACI hosted a Talent Night at the Roxy which raised $300 toward the Roxy Theatre's upgrade fund.
-Only a few months in to fundraising, the Roxy has hit the $62,000 mark for fundraising.
-Brandon's Violet Joss has won the Neepawa and District Medical Committee's 2012 Farm and Leisure Lotto grand prize of $100,000.
-Neepawa native Nathan Fleck has helped guide Canada's National InLine Hockey Team to the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
Fleck is the team's executive director and influential in the team selection process.