News Briefs

News Briefs
For the past 50 years, Northwestern Air Lease (NWAL) founder Terry Harrold, left, and his brother Brian have operated the Fort Smith-based airline. When the company celebrated its golden anniversary on Aug. 2, they made sure to include the local community, some of NWAL’s most loyal customers. Pilots spent the day giving sight seeing tours of Fort Smith for $25 a flight. On the ground, NWAL also hosted a fish fry for Fort Smith residents. Many locals took to social media over the weekend, thanking the airline for their continued service and their contribution to endless community initiatives. courtesy of NWAL.

Briefs include: Cenovus, Shell slash jobs as price of crude drops again, transport truck with explosives goes off road, closing NWT Hwy 1, and overdoses on the rise in the NWT.

Cenovus, Shell slash jobs as price of crude drops again

Low prices are still cutting deep in the oilsands, where two companies announced further layoffs last week. Cenovus Energy Inc., which cut 800 jobs earlier this year, says 300-400 more workers will be let go from its Calgary office by the end of the year due to “continued low oil price environment.” Shell also announced more staff cuts last Thursday, confirming it has laid off 400 people this year in addition to roughly 300 jobs cut in January. While crude prices rebounded to US$60 a barrel in May and June, they dropped back to US$48.52 last week.

Transport truck with explosives goes off road, closing NWT Hwy 1

NWT Highway 1 was closed over the weekend after a transport truck filled with explosives went off the road and into the tree line. The incident took place about 19 km away from the Alberta border on the morning of Aug. 1. The truck remained upright as crews removed the cargo and by the morning of Aug. 2, two-way traffic was restored. Investigators are uncertain what caused the truck to veer off the road, but said they are continuing to look into the accident.

Overdoses on the rise in the NWT

The NWT RCMP and Chief Coroner’s Office reported last week that the number of toxicity deaths in the territory has increased since 2011. While in 2011, there were five confirmed cases of deaths from substance abuse, that number rose to seven in 2012, eight in 2013 and 11 in 2014. A number of the deaths were caused by ingesting combinations of drugs and alcohol. While some were related to long-term drug and alcohol use, others involved first-time users. The RCMP and coroner are warning residents against using street-level drugs, which contain impurities, and using drugs in combination.

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