‘You don’t care if you live or die’: Near-death overdose leads teen to embark on nationwide tour

Leila Attar was unconscious on the floor of her Ottawa home when a loud knock at her door shook her from a drug-induced blackout at 2 a.m. “It was non-stop … I thought it was the cops because of how loud it was,” she recalled. It turned out to be a close friend coming to check on her because Attar, now 19, had stopped responding to … [Read more...]

Fort family falling through the cracks

Corrina Paul is seated in a lightly-lit living room crafting a bracelet. She is keenly focused, despite the trio of miniature hounds running in circles and yelping excitedly. As she binds the string into a black and yellow pattern, she explains how making bracelets provides her a sense of comfort, even as the strands of her own life are rapidly … [Read more...]

Fort man hopes for Christmas miracle

Matt Beaudet’s wedding day is a day he’ll never forget, but not for the same reason most couples remember their special ceremony. The Fort Saskatchewan 34-year-old father of three had the grim task of telling his friends and family that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of soft-tissue cancer in his foot two days before. “We had to cancel the … [Read more...]

Seeking spirits in Beaumont

Greg Pocha believes the truth is out there. He's just not sure where. The paranormal investigator, who teaches ballroom and Latin dance in Beaumont when he's not chasing spirits, has been searching Alberta's nooks and crannies for signs of paranormal activity for more than 15 years. Just don't call him a ghost hunter. Rather, he seeks to … [Read more...]

A Christmas wish

Richard Grayson still has the shoes his son was wearing on the day of his life-altering accident. The Grayson family moved to Beaumont in late June of this year. Six days later, on July 4, they had their lives changed forever when their 13-year-old son Lincoln got in a severe bike accident, severely damaging his neck and spinal cord after … [Read more...]

Local artist brings pirate ship out of the woodwork

It’s safe to say Grant Tolley is likely the only Beaumont resident with a life-sized pirate ship in his backyard. And he built it from scratch, with almost no help at all, for the sake of his grandchildren. Standing at the helm of ship, his grandkids (whom he refers to as pi-rats) scurrying about, Tolley recalls how he spent the better part of … [Read more...]

Beaumont man defies odds to celebrate life

When Beaumont resident Joe Spaziani was first diagnosed with brain cancer on Dec. 11, 2011, the doctor told his wife there was a good chance he would not make it through treatment. They later revised their prognosis to say he had roughly 12-14 months to live. In March, Spaziani celebrated his third birthday with brain cancer. Spaziani … [Read more...]

Playing with history

Jowi Taylor spent 11 years, drove and flew hundreds of thousands of kilometres, and spent an immeasurable amount of money to build a guitar that he can’t play. And he doesn’t regret it one bit, but this is no ordinary guitar. Six String Nation, which goes by the nickname Voyageur, contains historically-significant materials from all of Canada’s … [Read more...]

‘Absent No More’ workshop seeks to break single parent cycle

It’s a subject not everyone wants to talk about. A 2011 Conference Board of Canada report found northern Saskatchewan had by far the highest rate of single-parent families in the country, at 37.5 percent, ahead of northern Manitoba and Kitikmeot, Nunavut. The issue does not affect everyone equally. Aboriginal women, in particular, are … [Read more...]

Love 63 Years Strong

The answer to 63 years of happy marriage is simple to John and Nina Dopko. Keep busy. “She’d always say ‘Let’s not argue, let’s get to work’,” John, 90, says while leaning back and holding Nina’s hand at the Northland Pioneer Lodge. “There’s no time to argue, we’ve got lots of work to do!” That approach seems to have worked for the … [Read more...]