NEWS BRIEFS: Aklavik death being treated as suspicious



The death of a 40-year-old man in Aklavik last month is being treated as suspicious, RCMP say. Cst. Robert Frizzell confirmed to News/North Aklavik RCMP have deemed the death of the man – whose name isn’t being released by police – as “suspicious in nature.”

The development comes after police responded to a report of a deceased male in the early hours of April 4. The body of the man was located by RCMP in an Aklavik residence shortly after. With the investigation still open and ongoing, Frizzell couldn’t specify what led to the death being labeled as suspicious, but said a “multitude of factors,” are involved in making the distinction.

“Anything from their age, the nature of how they were found, if there’s any visible injuries. A lot comes into play,” said Frizzell. “If anything looks or seems out of place, odd or suspicious in nature, we’ll kind of pause … ,” he added.

Frizzell said sudden deaths are determined suspicious or non-suspicious with the help of the NWT Coroner’s Office. If suspicion is ruled out, then the Coroner’s Office will take the reins. But, if a death is deemed suspicious – as in the case of the 40-year-old man – then the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit will take over the investigation. Follow up interviews and other “investigative avenues” are being pursued in the ongoing probe into the man’s death, said Frizzell.

– Brendan Burke


RCMP investigating sudden death in Norman Wells

Lli Goline/Norman Wells

A sudden death in the town of Norman Wells is being investigated by RCMP.

Norman Wells RCMP responded to a call for service about a sudden death just before 7 a.m. on May 1, stated a news release.

Norman Wells Mounties, along with the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit and the Forensic Investigation Services, are “on scene,” to probe the death, stated the release. The NWT Coroner’s Service is partnering with law enforcement to conduct the investigation.

Details about the death and the subsequent investigation – including the age and gender of the deceased and whether or not foul play is suspected – have not yet been released by police.

– Brendan Burke


Deh Cho Bridge tolls raised

Deh Gah Got’ie Koe/Fort Providence

The GNWT has raised tolls by 1.2 per cent for commercial trucks crossing the Deh Cho Bridge. Tolls only apply to northbound commercial trucks that weigh more than 4,500 kilograms and compliance is monitored by patrols as well as high-resolution cameras that capture all bridge traffic. The new tolls range from $99 to $408, depending on the truck’s axle count.

– Tim Edwards


RCMP bust nets drugs and cash

Deline/Fort Franklin

Aaron Ellton, 43, was arrested on April 4 after Deline RCMP recovered 50 units of hashish, 30 marijuana cigarettes and $500 cash in his possession.

Ellton was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking of a controlled substance.

Cpl. Robert Frizzle said the out-of-community element was the only unusual aspect to the arrest as Ellton was arrested in Deline although he is a resident of Fort Good Hope. He was charged and released from custody with strict conditions. Ellton is scheduled to appear in court in Deline on July 16.

– Michael Hugall


Town hires head of protective services


The Town of Inuvik announced that Cynthia (Cyndy) Hammond will join the town as director of protective services as of May 28.

“Cyndy brings to our organization twenty plus years of experience in various capacities within the Ontario Fire Service including small rural volunteer departments in Northern Ontario to full time emergency services in the south including First Nations communities,” stated a news release.

Hammond is currently the training officer for the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Fire Rescue Service in Rama, Ont.

She also worked with the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario in training and program development for fire protection and prevention and has experience working with those who have survived brain injuries in administrative and programming roles.

In early February the Town of Inuvik announced Jim Sawkins, Inuvik’s director of protective services since 2011, would no longer be with the town.

Grant Hood, the town’s senior administrative officer, said he could not comment on the reason for Sawkins’ departure because it was a “confidential and internal matter.”

– Samantha McKay

Coroner confirms found body is Junghwan Park

Hay River

Officials have confirmed the body of a deceased male found near Hay River on Sunday April 22 is that of Junghwan (David) Park.

Park, who was living in Hay River and working at the Rooster, was reported missing by friends and co-workers, prompting a series of exhaustive searches from law enforcement and community volunteers alike.

A Hay River resident discovered his body in snow near the town. Hay River RCMP have not released any further information since the discovery of Park’s body and won’t speak on whether or not foul play is suspected as the investigation into his death is still open and ongoing.

– Brendan Burke


GNWT announces 2030 climate frameworks


The GNWT announced a number of frameworks aimed at tackling climate change by lowering the territory’s greenhouse gas emissions last Tuesday.

The frameworks outline a plan to emissions to below 25 per cent of the 2005 levels. The government is looking to use a bilateral agreement worth 250-million dollars with Infrastructure Canada to fund a number of clean energy initiatives. While no projects are confirmed, the GNWT has outlined a number of projects they hope to begin construction on. Projects include a wind farm in Inuvik and expansion of power grids to connect the north and south slaves.

The GNWT hopes to announce the first round of approvals by the end of this year.

– Dylan Short