January 23rd, 2018

Top community and local lifestyles stories of 2017

By Peggy Revell on January 2, 2018.

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Lead researcher Jordan Mallon explains some of the unique features of the Chasmosaurus kaiseni fossil he discovered near the Hilda Mega Bonebed.

prevell@medicinehatnews.com @MHNprevell

With stories of discovery, political shifts, people, and who we are as a community — here is the top community and lifestyles stories for 2017.

Dinosaur discovery

Five years of hard work paid off at the Hilda Mega Bonebed in August, as a one-ton fossilized skull of a Chasmosaurus kaiseni was airlifted by helicopter out of the hills and then transported by flatbed to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The skull was then earmarked to go to the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa for cleaning and years of intense study. Similar to a triceratops, Chasmosaurus kaiseni is a rare find — it’s one of the few research can pinpoint in the rock record due to where it was found.

Elkwater Habitation

Calgary archeology professor Gerald Oetelaar announced in September clear evidence of proof that 8,000 years ago people were inhabiting the area near Elkwater in the Cypress Hills. The “Stampede site,” was a semi-permanent, seasonal encampments. This is the furthest back researchers have found human habitation in the area, although they suspect it goes back even further.

Solar eclipse

Hatters excitedly gazed towards the heavens — with the correct safety gear — as this part of north America experienced a partial solar eclipse Aug. 21. The occasion stirred up interest across the continent, while the local observatory hosted a watching event alongside others across the nation.

Electoral boundaries

Hatters will be possibly be voting differently in the next provincial election, with the final report of the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission presenting a two-riding solution for southeastern Alberta. The recommendations include splitting Medicine Hat so instead of one urban, and an urban/rural riding — it will become two blended urban-rural ridings. The new plan would that the current Cypress-Medicine Hat would lose the county of Forty mile, and gain most of Medicine Hat’s south end. The Medicine Hat riding would become Brooks-Medicine Hat, including northern Cypress County and the County of Newell.

Taking on cancer

Since being diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer almost two years ago, Tanya Ellis has shared her journey with folks throughout the region. But this year came with bad news from doctors: The cancer was terminal, and she has three years maximum to live. The 43-year-old mother of two has continued to share her story with the public, over social media and the News, about what she faces. A fundraiser by the community raised money so she could seek a second opinion and possible treatment in the U.S.

Love and marriage

It turns out that Medicine Hat has a higher percentage of couples that are legally married compared to the province as a whole or the nation, according to census data released in 2017. When it comes to love and marriage, there’s also a higher percentage of people describe themselves as divorced or separated, and a higher rate of widowed individuals. Some 45.6 per cent of all Canadians over the age of 15 are legally bound in matrimony, with this figure sitting at 49.9 per cent for Alberta, and 50.9 per cent for Alberta.

Save Old Souls folds

With sadness, Save Old Souls — the local volunteer rescue organization that specialized in finding homes for elderly animals — announced they would be shutting down this year. Medicine Hat’s SPCA has announced it will be stepping up to fill the void left by the closure, with a similar “Old Souls” program that puts senior animals in a foster home instead of a shelter environment, while another local rescue organization, Persian Dreams and Canine Themes, has also been preparing to help deal with finding homes for older animals.

Library theatre Reopens

The Medicine Hat Public Library officially reopened its newly renovated theatre in November. Until now, the theatre is the only area of the library that hadn’t had any significant upgrades. New upgrades make the facility more accessible to those with disability.

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