2015

Year in Review

Stories printed in The Brandon Sun this year included tragedy, humour, hope and even a bit of the bizarre. As a reminder of the year that was, the newspaper’s editorial staff compiled a Top 25 list of some of their favourite and most important stories of 2015.

Carberry homicide victim was “good guy”

Shots fired during standoff in Kemnay, man arrested: witness

Child locked in hot car rescued by tow company owner

Woman punished for abduction tale

Drug dealer preyed on girls in CFS care for sex

Man grabbed neighbour’s penis by mistake

Manitoba tornado ranks in Top 5 for storm chaser

New school to be built in Brandon’s south end

Dennis Quaid spotted at local latin restaurant

Firehouse ready to get cookin’

Repeat sex offender charged in abduction of boy

Westman youth faces terrorism charge

Stabbed police officer recovering at home

Breaking Faith

The Runaways

Bread truck rolls over, hundreds of loaves toast

Woman charged with murder

WestJet doubles daily flights

Velvet Dip ice cream stands the test of time

A Brother's Secret

Virden explosion 'went off like a bomb'

Soldier dies during training at CFB Shilo

19 charges laid in fatal crash

Couples killed in crash fondly remembered

Deleau woman survives hit and run

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Take the quiz

How well have you been paying attention to what's been happening in southwestern Manitoba in 2015? Take our 25-question quiz to test your local news knowledge.

Question #1

What Brandon Wheat King, who was drafted by the New York Islanders, lost his desire to play hockey and walked away from the team prior to this season starting?

A: The six­-foot-­two, 212­ pound rearguard had 11 goals and 41 assists in 68 regular­ season games, with a goal and 11 assists in 19 playoff contests last season, paired mainly with Russian Ivan Provorov. In 193 regular­-season games with Brandon and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Pilon has 23 goals, 93 assists and 116 penalty minutes.

Question #2

Which former Brandon skip refused to talk to the local media after losing his fifth provincial men’s curling championship game in six years at Westman Place?

A: McEwen’s Winnipeg based team of B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld lost to Reid Carruthers at the Safeway Championship hosted by Brandon.

Question #3

A local gymnast had a big year on the world stage, including helping the Canadian women’s artistic gymnastics team place seventh in the team qualification round at the world championships in Scotland. Who is she?

A: Onyshko finished her run at the world gymnastics championships in Glasgow, Scotland by finishing 16th in the all­ around final. Onyshko, who qualified for the final by earning the 24th and final spot, had scores of 14.233 on the vault, 14.400 on the uneven bars, 13.066 on the balance beam and 13.633 on the floor for a total of 55.332. Her score on the uneven bars was seventh­ best in the field.

Question #4

Which Westman baseball team was named Baseball Manitoba’s team of the year after winning the western Canadian senior AA baseball championship at home this summer.

A: The Regals were also the major contributor to the Border West Baseball League team that won the senior AA all-star provincials in Brandon in July and they beat the Boissevain Centennials in extra innings to win the senior AA provincials in Hamiota.

Question #5

A former PGA Tour winner from Brandon passed away at the age of 63. Can you name him?

A: Halldorson competed for nearly 30 years on the PGA Tour, winning the 1980 Pensacola Open. He also captured the 1986 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic, which was an unofficial tour stop. All told, he had 28 top 10 finishes in 431 PGA Tour events, pocketing nearly $1.2 million in career earnings.

Question #6

Kevin Olney got 15 months in jail in August for his brazen escape from Brandon Correctional Centre one year earlier. What ultimately foiled Olney’s escape?

A: Olney broke a portion of his back and heel while jumping off the jail’s roof. When he arrived at his family’s Saskatchewan home, his law­-abiding parents took him to hospital where they notified staff to call police and he was arrested by Oxbow RCMP.

Question #7

What was William Jonathon Mini charged with after an incident in December that left a Brandon police officer with stab wounds to his legs and torso?

A: Mini is charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, arson with disregard for life and mischief. Mini allegedly stabbed the officer five times — four times to his leg and once to the side of his chest. The blow to his side nicked his lung.

Question #8

Two men were taken to hospital following a knife fight outside of an apartment in the 300 block of Ninth Street. What made the fight unique?

A: "Two brothers that had enough of each other, that’s pretty much the gist of it," Brandon Police Service Const. Trevor Robins said. "Both had knives ... both of them got wounds."

Question #9

A second Old Order Mennonite man was sent to jail for his part in the systematic abuse of children at his Manitoba community in December. What was the reason the men cited for abusing the children?

A: In total, 42 children were apprehended by Child and Family Services and 15 community adults faced charges. Many of those originally charged had those charges dropped in exchange for peace bonds that required counselling. All but two children eventually returned to the community.

Question #10

A string of armed robberies landed Vernon Edward Blaker eight years in prison. Where did the crown attorney say Blaker was recruited for his role in three robberies?

A: "(The co­-accused) would identify good targets for armed robbery and then he would get a hold of people he’d met in the penitentiary and invite them to come to Brandon," Crown attorney Jim Ross said. Two other men face charges and are presumed innocent of the allegations.

Question #11

Former NHL hockey player Don Dietrich, of Deloraine, got to play hockey on one of the most unique rinks in the world after he was selected by Molson Canadian as part of its “Anything for Hockey” contest. What made the rink so different?

A: “It was unbelievable,” he said. “I had never been in a helicopter before and that’s probably the thing I talk about the most.” Dietrich survived three major bouts of cancer and lives with Parkinson’s disease.

Question #12

When parents sent their children to class in Cartwright this year it marked a significant anniversary for students attending an independent high school. For how many years have Grade ­12 students graduated from a private school including this year?

A: In April 1991, Turtle Mountain School Division trustees voted to close the high school portion of the K­12 school for the following year. The plan, which called for Grade 10 to 12 students to be bused to Killarney for courses as a cost­-saving measure, caused an uproar in Cartwright.

Question #13

Erickson­-area farmer Ryan Pengelly is trying to grow a South American crop in Manitoba. What is the crop he planted for the second time this summer?

A: Pengelly comes by his passion for quinoa honestly. His wife, Alexandra Lozada, is from Lima, Peru, where quinoa fields are as common as canola or wheat on the Prairies.

Question #14

The provincial government apologized to Marlene Orgeron who, along with her two brothers, was seized from her home in Shoal Lake. Orgeron, who is First Nations, was part of a program where children were adopted into non­-aboriginal families. What is the adage used to describe the program?

A: "Every day is an ongoing healing process," Orgeron said about being pulled from her family. "For me, it’s taken away my identity and I’m always trying to not let the hurt, the pain and the feeling of being misplaced take over my life. Trying to be OK with myself is the biggest part. And be a good person."

Question #15

Perry Hendry was a staple in the town of Pierson, everyone knew who he was but no one knew he suffered from this disorder. What was it?

A: Following his mother’s death in 2004, Hendry stopped filing income tax returns and started holding onto everything. “He just didn’t want change,” his sister Paulette said. “I guess he wanted to hold onto anything that Mom had to remind him of Mom.”

Question #16

A major redevelopment project to transform one of Brandon’s most historic and recognizable buildings was halted. Can you name the downtown building that was meant to be converted into 40 residential units?

A: B.C.­based Resland Development Group decided not to proceed with leading the McKenzie Towers project, a major blow for downtown revitalization plans.

Question #17

In September, city council approved a grant of $300,000 for Brandon First to use toward hosting fees required for large, prestigious Curling Canada events. Then in November it was announced Brandon would host which major curling event?

A: For the first time since 2002, a Curling Canada event will be returning to the Wheat City. Brandon used to be a go­-to place for what was then known as the Canadian Curling Association.

Question #18

Bridges dominated the dialogue in Brandon in 2015. Which bottleneck bridge was scheduled to be replaced by the federal and provincial government in the lead up to the federal election.

A: Standing at the northwest foot of the Daly Overpass with Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell, Conservative MP for Brandon­-Souris Larry Maguire announced the federal government will chip in one­third of the cost for a new bridge over the railway tracks at 18th Street on July 31.

Question #19

A business with a long history in Brandon was demolished. The building, built by Bob Fowles, was taken over by his son, Ken, in 1966. What was the business located in the building?

A: Fowles building was extremely close to the Brandon Inn and following its destruction, the integrity of his barbershop was called into question.

Question #20

The Chamber of Commerce elected a new president in the summer. Who is he?

A: Born and raised in Brandon, Ludwig attended Brandon University, where he received his business degree. Today, he operates Brandon Business Interiors, a family business. He has worked with the Brandon Family YMCA, the Strong Kids campaign and Westman Dreams for Kids.

Question #21

Ken’s Restaurant & Chinese Food got more excitement than it bargained for in August. What happened?

A: An elderly woman whose blood­-alcohol level was allegedly twice the legal limit was arrested following the incident which happened at 2 p.m.

Question #22

This former Brandonite was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame this year. Can you name her?

A: Elizabeth (Ma) Henning was an ambitious woman of many talents — a nurse, real estate agent, hotelier and record company owner.

Question #23

What was the baseball diamond formerly known as “Brandon Field” changed to this summer?

A: Sumner was one of the city’s biggest boosters. After a playing career with the Virden Oilers, Souris Cardinals and Cloverleafs, Sumner became an original member of the Manitoba Senior Baseball League, acting as its secretary­-treasurer for more than four decades.

Question #24

A new reality show called “Crop Kings” lets people across the country take a glimpse into the life of a western Manitoba farmer. What family is featured in the series?

A: "We think a lot people in Canada, especially in more urban areas, have preconceived notions of what farming is," said executive producer Morgan Elliott. "It isn’t all milking cows and waking up with the roosters. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s a 24/7 job, especially for family­ run farms like the Hargreaves at HarWest."

Question #25

More than 150 people packed into Brockie Donovan’s chapel for a March funeral before the urn carrying Bruce Hutchison was placed in a unique hearse by his grandson for his final ride to the Rosewood Memorial Gardens. What was Hutchison’s last ride?

A: It was a fitting tribute for the lifetime driver who hauled concrete for more than 40 years at Western Concrete. "He’d like his ride today. He might say it’s too much for him, but he would just love this," said Robert (Hub) Wagner, who worked with Hutchison for more than 20 years.

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