Our annual Year-in-Review series continues today with a look back at May and June 2013. We will be publishing two months of review each day during the remainder of our holiday closure here at the Morinville News. The entire Year-in-Review will be published in our Jan. 8 print edition.
Morinville loses second church in nine months
The Town awoke May 16 to find another church destroyed by fire overnight. As of 5 a.m. that morning firefighters were still on scene, dousing the final flames that destroyed St. Andrews Anglican Church.
The Morinville Fire Department received a call around 2:20 a.m. Sunday morning that an explosion had occurred at the church, located on the corner of 100 Avenue and 107 Street. On their arrival fire crews found smoke coming from the back roof area of the building. That smoke was quickly followed by fire as firefighters broke through to combat the blaze. Morinville Incident Commander Captain Darren Brenneis said approximately 20 to 30 firefighters from the two departments were involved in the call.
The fire was later deemed suspicious; however, no charges have been laid in the fire.
Mayor’s decides to not run in fall municipal election
Mayor Paul Krauskopf announced June 11 that he would not seek re-election in the Oct. 21 General Municipal Election. The mayor made his brief announcement after the Council meeting, had a press release circulated to media, and asked that he not be asked any questions after the meeting.
The mayor’s battle with cancer began July 6, 2010 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Krauskopf continued to serve on Council for three years while battling the disease, taking on the chair of mayor when former Morinville Mayor Lloyd Bertschi stepped down due to work commitments outside the community.
Holmes running for mayor
Less than a week after Mayor Krauskopf announced he would not run for re-election, Town Councillor Lisa Holmes, then serving her turn as Deputy Mayor, announced she would run for Mayor of Morinville in the fall General Municipal Election.
Holmes moved to Morinville with her family four years previously and was elected in 2010 with 1,007 votes. The then political newcomer took third place in the Council race, right behind front-runners Councillor Gordon Boddez (1,088 votes) and then Councillor Paul Krauskopf (1,050 votes). Three years later, Holmes believed she was the right person to lead Morinville over the next four years.
Holmes was followed into the race by local business people Christa Naughton, Carrie Foss and Sheldon Fingler, the latter serving on Council at the time.
MCHS teacher thanked for 33 years of teaching
There were many laughs and a few tears at the Morinville Rendez-vous Centre June 14 as stories about retiring Morinville Community High School teacher Laverne Dewald were shared by colleagues, former students and friends. The evening included a 20-minute documentary on Dewald’s career in Morinville that was produced by students.
Dewald began his teaching career in 1980 as a physical education and math teacher at Morinville’s then newly opened Georges H. Primeau School. In the 1990s he was part of the team behind the development and construction of Morinville Community High School, the town’s newest school. When the school opened in 1994, Dewald took on the role of chief Career and Technology Studies (CTS) teacher in the building, a position through which he offered students the latest in graphic design instruction while still teaching mathematics and coaching the MCHS Senior Girls Basketball team.
Former MCHS Principal Paul O’Dea extolled Dewald’s many virtues and the important role he played in the school. “Laverne’s contribution to MCHS was huge,” O’Dea said, adding the CTS department was a thriving hive where everyone, including school administrators, felt welcomed. “You were allowed to risk and fail and risk again, yet never left to feel like a failure.”
Downtown area structure plan a go
Council gave unanimous second and third readings to a slightly amended Coeur de Morinville Area Structure Plan (ASP) June 11, putting the seal of approval on a project Planning and Development had worked on for the past year. The ASP creates policy direction on how downtown Morinville, including 100 Avenue, 100 Street and the adjacent neighbourhoods should develop and evolve over a number of years.
With the ASP passed, anyone wishing to develop or redevelop on 100 Avenue or a small protion of 100 Street would be required to make their building a minimum of two stories, although the document encourages four-story structures to allow for mixed commercial and residential usage.
The ASP encourages commercial development close to or right up to the sidewalks as well as opportunities for mixed-use development, particularly along 100 Avenue and 100 Street.
The idea of commercial and office space on the ground floor with residential accommodation above is something the project team who worked on the ASP sees as essential for future success in the downtown core.