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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."
Niverville is now the 14th community in Manitoba to receive access to MTS' FiON network. The fibre optic network was launched on Septembe
Backbeat School of Music is making some noise at Steinbach Arts Council. Chief Creative Officer Cindi Rempel Patrick says it's a program
The Mayor of Steinbach says city council is closely monitoring the number of police officers in the city. Chris Goertzen made the comment
RCMP are investigating complaints of mischief and theft in New Bothwell Friday night or Saturday morning. The incidents occurred in the Colo
Steinbach RCMP say they caught three impaired motorists during the weekend with a fourth driver still under investigation. Early Saturday m
‘Vote for change, vote Church for mayor.’ That's the slogan on campaign signs that can be seen around Niverville advocating Kerry Chu
If you've noticed a lot of weeds in Hanover ditches this year, you're not alone. Reeve Stan Toews says there's a lot of weeds and tall gra
The Landmark Foodgrains Bank held it's second and final harvest of the year on Thursday. Nine combines converged on a field just south of
'Ex-Mennonite, Near Mennonite' is the title of a conference next weekend at the University of Winnipeg. Royden Loewen of Steinbach is the
There was a drowning at the St Malo beach Friday evening. Emergency crews responded to a report of the drowning shortly b
The annual Imagine walk and run for mental health was held at Hespeler Park in Niverville on Saturday. The annual event saw 800 runners a
An Entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture says southern Manitobans will probably be swatting mosquitoes for another week or so. John Gavl
National Organic Week comes to an end Sunday. Product Advisor at Good N' Natural Sarah Kork explains organic means the food is produced w
Helen Sparrow is hoping to bring her business experience back to Niverville Council. Sparrow served on council from 2006 to 2009 before r
Summer temperatures and lovely fall foliage made for a picturesque cross country run for grade five to grade nine Hanover students on Frid
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A hidden love letter was found in a 100 year old house on the corner of First Street and Brandt Street in Steinbach. The house is being t
A horse lover who grew up in Australia is trotting along roadways in southern Manitoba this week. Joe Guy is on a mission to travel twent
Steinbach's Farmers Market held at the Clearspring Centre parking lot every Thursday, bursts with local farmers' offerings. Although tomat
Ken Kwiatkowski feels like he is at a great point in his life to help serve his community. Kwiatkowski is running for Niverville Council,
The Bylaw Officer for the RM of Hanover would like to remind the public that hunting on municipal land is prohibited. Brian Brunelle says
Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen says the new ideas in the expanded Steinbach Regional Secondary School have caught his attention. Goertzen t
There will be an election for mayor in the Town of Ste Anne this year. Richard Pelletier is running against incumbent Bernie Vermette, wh
There was a two-vehicle accident at a Steinbach crosswalk on McKenzie Avenue at Cedar Crescent Thursday afternoon. Steinbach RCMP Const
Mennonite Heritage Village and Steinbach Arts Council are partnering to celebrate Culture Days this weekend. MHV is open on Sunday where
RCMP have charged three Dakota Ojibway Police Service (DOPS) employees from the Roseau River First Nation detachment, one employees’ fam
After living, volunteering and being active in Niverville for the past eight years, Daniel Horne has found another way to serve the commun
Two weeks after the La Broquerie Arena expansion seemed to be dead in the water, the project is now a go. The Rural Municipality of La Br
A woman says it's time to give back to the school division that gave her so much. Vanessa Desorcy says that's why she is running for Hanov
The province has announced funding to replace or repair more than ninety-six kilometres worth of municipal roads in eastern Manitoba. Pre
Steinbach city council has made a change regarding the Board of Revision. The board hears appeals from home and business owners who feel t
"I feel I have a lot of energy to contribute to the community." Those are the words of Neil Warkentin in announcing his intentions to run
Steinbach RCMP are asking for leads about a stolen all terrain vehicle. Police say the theft occurred in the RM of La Broquerie last Saturd
When Niverville residents vote on October 22nd, Lindsay Unrau will be one of the candidates for town council. Unrau believes Niverville i
One Day for Imagine is bringing awareness and erasing the stigma associated with mental health issues and suicide. Organizer Jeff
What do you get when twenty-six excited folks dress up in lab coats and peddle down Steinbach's Main Street in a very big bike? You
Pharmacists, Tami Peters and Hanh Rempel, invite you to the new Steinbach Primary Care Pharmacy. The Steinbach Primary Care Pharmacy
There was a two vehicle collision Wednesday morning at the corner of Highway #52 West and Industrial Road. A small station wagon and a pi
City of Steinbach construction projects are winding down after a busy summer. Head city engineer Phil Kalyta says that includes the rebuil
RCMP report a car that was stolen in Steinbach last weekend has been found as a burned out wreck in a field near Pansy. Police say the 2003