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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

'Unmasking' initiative

A display of masks made by local individuals who recently participated in the Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario (BISNO) “Unmasking Brain Injury" initiative now can be seen at the Fort Frances Public Library. The idea behind the initiative is that there's a story behind every mask—and behind behind every mask there's a person who has been touched by a brain injury.

Mini-royalty contest a go again

The 2018 Mini-King and Mini-Queen once again will be crowned here on Canada Day.

Registration is now open for this year's contest, which will take place on the “Fun in the Sun” stage at Point Park on the afternoon of July 1.

Organizer Melissa Gushulak noted the contest is open to boys and girls aged four-seven (as of July 1).

Keep water clean

Angelina Morris, a student in Fort High teacher Jody Bonner-Vicker's Grade 8 class, spray-painted the message “No Dumping: Drains to River” as classmate Jamie Swanton held a stencil next to a storm drain last Thursday morning. The students painted the message by drains along the riverfront and nearby streets to raise awareness of keeping pollutants out of the watershed.

'Relay' likely to be final one here

It looks like this year's “Relay for Life,” which is slated for this Saturday (June 23), will be the last one here.

Participation in the annual cancer fundraiser, which first started here in 2001, has declined over the years—not just locally but elsewhere, too.

Even so, organizers are holding it just one more time at a new location and in a briefer format.

Evening entertainment

Folk singer-songwriter Derek Harrison entertained about 80 people last Thursday evening at the new Rainy Lake Square here with a number of tracks from his new album, “Blossington.” To hear more from Harrison, check out derekharrison.ca. Beloved children's musician Fred Penner will perform there today starting at 6 p.m. Admission is free but be sure to bring along a lawn chair.

Sending a message

Jolén Simon, program co-ordinator for the Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation District, gave Joelle Bruyere, a student in Fort High teacher Jody Bonner-Vicker's Grade 8 class, tips while spray painting the message, “No Dumping: Drains to River,” using a stencil next to a storm drain here this morning.

Young entrepreneur

Hayden Allam proudly displayed examples of the buttons she makes and sells through her business, “Cute As A Button," on Friday during the "Mini-Market” held downstairs at Curvy Chick (256 Scott St.) The second such event held this spring, the market saw kids sell homemade products.

SGEI prayer

Elder Doris Caribou of Naicatchewenin FN performed the invocation to begin Thursday's graduation ceremony. The well-attended celebration also featured traditional drum songs and a feast.