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Duane Hicks

Duane Hicks has been a staff writer/photographer for the Fort Frances Times since 1998. Raised in Fort Frances, he left town in 1993 to attend the Journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa. He returned in the spring of 1998, being hired at the Times shortly thereafter. He covers a variety of news beats, including municipal politics which he has covered since 2001. He also makes a mean salsa which he shares with the rest of the Times staff on his birthday.

Contact him at: dhicks@fortfrances.com

Service with a smile

Volunteer Brandon Gustafson topped up Frank and Dodie Debenedet's coffee cups Saturday afternoon during the Christmas tea at St. John's Anglican Church here. A Christmas bazaar and luncheon also was held at Knox United Church that day, along with a tea and bake sale at Zion Lutheran Church. The C.W.L. of St. Mary's parish then held its Christmas tea and bazaar yesterday.

Honouring Riel

Sunset Country Métis community members and friends were joined by Fort Frances Mayor Roy Avis and St. Francis School teacher Artina Gurski's Grade 5 class outside the Civic Centre yesterday for the raising of the Métis Nation of Ontario flag in honour of “Louis Riel Day.” This was followed by a luncheon at the Sunset Country Métis Hall.

Early-bird draw

Safeway second manager Tyler Wojtanowski, left, drew the third early-bird winner in the Fort Frances Lions Club's food draw yesterday at Safeway as club treasurer Paul Patterson looked on. DeDe McCool won a $100 food gift card from Safeway. Other early-bird draws will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 13.

Citizens saluted

The most recent group of “Canada 150" pin recipients proudly showed off their pins and certificates in the foyer at the Civic Centre on Tuesday evening following town council's meeting. Another batch of volunteers were saluted yesterday at the "Healthy Living Food Box” program.

'Shine the Light'

Lori Maki, left, executive vice-president and chief nursing executive for Riverside Health Care, and Jacquee Loerzel, community family violence counsellor with Riverside Community Counselling Services, joined Coun. June Caul in marking the “Shine the Light" campaign's "Wear Purple Day" yesterday to honour and stand in solidarity with those women who have experienced and endured abuse.

Act of Remembrance

Cde. Wendy Derendorf recited the “Act of Remembrance" during Saturday's Remembrance Day ceremony here. The passage recited is: "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old/Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn/At the going down of the sun and in the morning/We will remember them.”

Prayer recitation

Pastor Brian Keffer recited the benediction during the Remembrance Day ceremony here Saturday. Travis Enge performed “Last Post" and "Reveille" while Roger Dolyny sang "O Canada," "The Star Spangled Banner," and "God Save the Queen.” The sound was loud and clear thanks to Cliff Pidlubny of TopMusic Productions.

Kettle kick-off

Lt. Ryan MacDonald of the local Salvation Army, left, joined Rhonda F., Jill Pernsky, Donna Haney, Coun. John Albaense, and Denise Onichuk to kick off the annual Christmas kettle campaign yesterday morning at Walmart here. Kettles also are out at Safeway and Canadian Tire, and starting Dec. 1 at the LCBO. Volunteers will be ringing the bells until Dec. 23. To volunteer, call 1-807-456-3654.