June – The Year In Review

Georges P. Vanier goes to public division

Two-and-a-half months after then Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk said a decision on public and Catholic school accommodations would be made in a matter of days, the decision has been made by his successor, Education Minister Jeff Johnson. It was announced June 3 that effective July 1, École Georges P. Vanier School in Morinville would be transferred to Sturgeon School Division and would serve Morinville families as the public school option in the community.

Morinville’s other schools: Georges H. Primeau, Morinville Community High School and Notre Dame Catholic Elementary will continue to be operated by Greater St. Albert Catholic.

In a press release issued June 3, the province said Johnson determined the transfer to be the best solution based on input from the affected school divisions, parents and area residents. The Education Minister praised the two school boards for putting Morinville students first by contributing to the solution. “I recognize this has been a challenging and emotional issue for the community, but this change is important to provide all parents the choice and voice they deserve,” the minister said in the release.

Noelle Rondeau-WEB
Noëlle Rondeau emerges from the baptismal tank Sunday morning, one of several to be baptized in an outdoor ceremony at The Father’s House Christian Fellowship’s property west of Morinville. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Father’s Day marks big changes for local church

The sun and the Son rose on local Christians June 17 as they gathered to celebrate the word of God as they do each and every week in Morinville. But the weekly services had an extra level of celebration for members of Morinville Christian Fellowship. Pastor Greg Fraser told his congregation the church would be getting a name change.

“It’s called The Father’s House,” Fraser said after unfurling a banner with the church’s new name and logo, adding in the next few weeks he would be revealing what each of the symbols in the logo mean. “It’s a church built with care. It simply means to celebrate Jesus Christ; to accept one another and ourselves; to receive His grace; to engage our world with His love.”

Fraser said the name change was voted by 95 per cent of the congregation. In an interview with The Morinville News, the pastor said the name change was necessary as the Morinville church would soon be adding two churches to the family – one in Rochester, a small hamlet about 45 minutes north of Morinville, and one in Bon Accord. The pastor explained keeping the Morinville component of the church’s name would not work in Rochester or Bon Accord.

An upward lift Champion Petfoods raised their new high tech stack to the roof of the plant June 17. The new piece of technology was calibrated over the next two weeks and was to be the final component of the company’s odour mitigation plan. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Champion opens its doors to Morinville

Almost two years to the day after flipping the switch on a half million dollar piece of equipment that was to solve Champion Petfoods odour problems, the Morinville manufacturer opened their doors for three kitchen tours June 13, giving residents an opportunity to see the progress first hand. The tours were an opportunity for Morinvillians to not only see the company is serious about reducing the smell it releases into the air, but also an opportunity to get an inside look at how the product is made and to learn about the job opportunities available with the company.

Although the public open house was a first for the pet food manufacturer, the company did allow a class of students from Notre Dame to tour the facility in the spring of 2010 in response to a story the class had written about the smelly factory in their town.

Much has changed at Champion since that visit as the company has slowly transitioned from a feed lot operation to a commercial kitchen. No longer does the operation look like a large, dark warehouse with some machinery stuck here and there throughout the facility. The plant now is compartmentalized into clearly defined packaging, warehousing and manufacturing areas, each properly sealed from one another to reduce dust, control temperature, and control the movement of odours.

Throughout the facility are found hand wash basins, dryers, devices to decontaminate footwear, and the ever-present white lab coats, hair nets and plastic gloves one would find in a factory that makes food for humans.

It was the cleanliness of the facility that particularly struck a chord with Servus Credit Union Manager Kym Moore, one of the local business people to visit the plant Wednesday. “Being the first time touring the plant and the facilities, I was impressed with the sterile environment,” Moore said. “Having toured the Maple Leaf plant in Manitoba, it’s very similar to that.”

A fence and Canada Post group mail box were two of many areas hit by vandals Wednesday night. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Morinville neighbourhood vandalized

Residents awoke June 20 to find their quiet neighbourhood blanketed with graffiti after an overnight vandalism spree. Vehicles, garbage cans, fences, sidewalks and buildings were tagged with symbols, slogans, and profanity. The vandalism took place off 102 Street in the area of 95 to 97 Avenue. Morinville RCMP responded to complaints on the incident before 8 a.m. June 20, taking photos of the multiple properties hit during the spree. The incident was the first of several over the summer months.

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