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Though temperatures have been well below normal this spring, there's been enough melting happening to put an end to the snowmobile season. Dave Boutang with South East Sno-Riders says the sledding season officially came to a close last week. Boutang says trail conditions were among the best ever and he can't recall another year where the season lasted into April.
"Trail conditions were great," notes Boutang. "We were able to groom our entire trail system twelve times this year, we've never done that before."
Boutang says sledders were eager to hit the powder right after the mid-fall ice storm. He says the South East club was one of the few clubs in the region that was able to open its entire trail system immediately following that storm. However, he says that storm, combined with wildfires in 2012 created a lot of damage to the trail system. And he says cleanup is not yet complete. Boutang explains they opened the trails following the storm in order to get the groomer through. But he says right now there's a lot of brush hanging over top of the trails that still needs to be cleared out. "That probably won't be completed until next season."
According to Boutang, the 2012-13 season should be a good one financially. He says finances are based on grooming, and as mentioned earlier, groomers hit the trails a dozen times. But he notes the cleanup will cost them a bundle, though he gives credit to local businesses for helping out. All in all, Boutang says they likely won't have a surplus this year. "We will be a little short I would think as far as finances go," he says. "We went a little over budget this year because everything was unexpected. You couldn't plan for the ice storm. You couldn't plan for a winter like we had. All in all I think we're in fairly good shape." Boutang says they should recover some of their costs at a fundraising dinner this week in La Broquerie.
Meanwhile, local businesses are reaping the rewards from the longer sledding season. Albert Bourrier owns Vintage Corner Store in Woodridge. The business includes a lodge and corner store complete with fuel. "There's no comparison, it was definitely busy, very busy this year," notes Bourrier when comparing this year's numbers to last year.
Bourrier says on a typical Saturday this winter they would see between 100-150 sleds stopping for fuel. Bourrier says on the snowmobile side of business, they took in 50% more revenue. He admits on the ice fishing side of business they were more profitable last winter when there was less snow, making it easier to access the lake. He says when you factor in both sides of business, they were probably up 10% this winter.
"The mood was so positive it's the most compliments that we ever had on the trails," recalls Bourrier. "Guys were coming in and they were saying the trails were just awesome."
The annual Fall on the Farm festival was held at Mennonite Heritage Village on Monday. Fall on the Farm is one of MHV's most popular fest
Travelling west of Mitchell on Highway 52 Tuesday morning may have taken a little longer than usual. A house was being transported and an
Police need your help in locating those responsible for several crimes last week in Blumenort. Steinbach RCMP report during the late evening
A hiker from Winnipeg was rescued in Whiteshell Provincial Park Monday morning. At about 9:30am, Lac du Bonnet RCMP rece
Green Valley School in Grunthal is trying a new staggered start to the school year this year. Grade five and nine students will be
Teachers in the Seine River School Division will head back to work Tuesday. But Superintendent Mike Borgfjord says students will get anoth
The annual Dawson Trail Days festival has been taking centre stage in the Town of Ste Anne during Labour Day Weekend. After a great turno
The Manager of the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart says beef producers here in the southeast are not rushing to expand their herds despite
After starting on Thursday, the 17th annual St Malo Multi-Cultural Festival is concluding Sunday evening. Secretary Treasurer Elin Pilott
The Rural Municipality of Hanover is testing phosphorous levels in each of its lagoons. Reeve Stan Toews says by 2016, all municipal lago
A spokesperson for ROC Eastman says their organization isn't only about sports. ROC stands for Recreation Opportunities
The southeast was hit hard by tremendous rainfall Friday morning, causing flash flooding in Steinbach and Niverville. Environment Canada
The first candidate for Niverville Council has come forward. Liz Riley has lived in Niverville since 2002, and during that time has alway
A storm system swept through the southeast Friday, dropping 2.5 inches of rain in Steinbach in just 20 minutes and up to 4 inches in Niver
It's the last long weekend of summer. Monday is Labour Day and in case you're planning on hosting a barbeque that day, y
Steinbach got dumped on with a deluge of rain Friday just before the lunch hour. Nearly two inches of rain was recorded in only twenty mi
Emergency crews were called to Park Road beside Safeway around 2:30 Friday afternoon. Deputy Fire Cheif Ron Chausse says there was a two
Friday morning's two to four inches of rain in the region, left many cars stalled and stranded. Bob Downey has eleven years of automotive
Steinbach Regional Secondary School has been planning and building since May 2010 and on September 3rd teachers and students alike w
Basements in Niverville are flooded after heavy rain Friday. Reports out of that community are that 3.75 inches fell Friday
Fire broke out Friday morning at the West Hawk Inn Bar and Grill. Falcon Beach responded to the fire at 8:30 am. &
Updated Friday 12:54pm RCMP report the suspect has been identified. ************** Steinbach RCMP need your help in identifying a man i
Wednesday afternoon the total raised in Canada through the Ice Bucket Challenge for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS,
Steinbach city council is considering a proposal from the Hanover School Division to reduce speed limits around schools. The Provincial Go
A spokesperson for Manitoba Parks says there are still campsites available for this Labour Day long weekend. Tracy Elbou
Aspiring musicians at Stoneybrook Middle School in Steinbach attended a beginner band work-shop Wednesday to prepare for the first day of
Steinbach Fire was called to Loewen Thursday afternoon. Deputy Chief Ron Chausse says it was a small equipment fire that
Manitoba Hydro has begun a $3.5 million project near the Steinbach landfill. Spokesperson Scott Powell says they're building a new Distrib
Habitat For Humanity had their sod turning ceremony Wednesday morning in Grunthal for the eighth and ninth house projects to be started in
The Mayor of the RM of Ritchot has made a decision about his political future. Bob Stefaniuk says his name won't be on the ballot this fal
It's another sign that summer is drawing to a close. The last Taste Of Summer Charity Barbeque was held in downtown Steinbach Wednesday. T
Steinbach Fire was called to Aspen Estates Wednesday afternoon. Deputy Chief Ron Chausse says an electrical fire started
Police need your help in locating two males and a female wanted in connection with a theft in Woodridge. It happened at the Vintage Corne
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation has re-opened the Red River bridge on Highway 23 at the east end of Morris. The re-opening will
Steinbach RCMP continue to investigate the theft of a trailer July 31st in Steinbach. Police say the sixteen foot black flatbed trailer with
The RM of Ritchot has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a developer regarding expansion of the east side dike in St. Adolphe. Ritc
He has already served two terms as Councillor in the RM of Hanover and now Bob Brandt of ward three has announced he would like to serve a
The Hanover school trustee for Kleefeld/Bothwell is running for re-election in the Steinbach ward this fall. Bonnie Hildebrandt says she and
The Niverville Council Chambers were filled to the brim Tuesday evening for a public hearing about a proposed annexation of land from the
A missing camper has been found safe after being lost for three days in the bush in Nopiming Provincial Park. 24 year old Christopher Clo