Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 2, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Young campersgot good scare
ROD NICHOL/BRANDON SUN
These teens, basking on a dock at Lake Wahtopanah near Rivers, got a good fright Saturday night after witnessing the summer squall while camping.
Festival ponders tinkering with strict country format
BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Mitch Carefoot ties a Canadian flag on the roof of the main stage at Dauphin’s Countryfest in preparation for Canada Day.
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But the recollection of a second boat on the water and nsing tornado-like conditions prompted the boater to phone rn the emergency. Within half an hour, at least 20 fire and police officials arrived, forming two search-and-rescue operations and using a Zodiac boat to navigate the choppy lake.
Four hours later, they called off the search without having found a trace of the mysterious boat or any other damage. Police received no subsequent missing persons reports.
“The guys were calling it ‘The Phantom Boat,’ because we couldn’t find it,” deputy chief Worth says.
He says he doesn’t doubt the witness saw another boater, but he must have pulled ashore and escaped the storm.
The campers say they never saw the boat, but acknowledge that with wind blowing up clouds of debris and knocking over their tent, it would have been easy to miss.
The storm itself only lasted an hour, says camper Mike Beaule.
“It felt like a year. It was pretty tense. It was nasty, man.”
Jemma Currie, who lives up the road from the lake, saw a stream of emergency vehicles racing up the gravel road to the boat launch.
“It got really, really windy and stormy. It was raining, but more of a spray.”
Environment Canada meteorologist David Baggaley says campers likely saw a “rain shaft,” not a tornado. It’s a triangular cloud that is essentially a column of rain that hangs from thunderclouds. It doesn’t rotate like a true funnel cloud.
“There were very, very strong straight-line winds, but no reports of tornadoes,” he says, adding winds reached IOO kilometres an hour.
Deputy fire chief Worth says responders accounted for all of the pontoon boats on the lake Saturday. There is no further investigation planned.Great day for Canadians to shed shyness
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“I don’t think they understand the role of the Canadian Forces on the peacekeeping side,” says Lund, who served in Bosnia, Cyprus and Angola. “Everyone’s on the Afghanistan issue and forget about troops in Bosnia. They’re just as important.”
Crowds gathered for almost 12 hours along the Brandon nverbank to celebrate the country’s 135th birthday many of them sporting maple leafs on hats and shirts. Warm, but not stifling, weather encouraged many to tour riverbank paths between shows on the entertainment stage.
A fireworks show was to top it all off in a patriotic flurry at dusk.
Rick Church says Canada’s diversity is its treasure.
“You can see everything in Canada, from the prairies to mountains and oceans. And the cultural diversity, too.”
July I is one of the few times Canadians show their colours, says Ian Bobiak.
“Canadians are the last to get together and celebrate themselves. We’re the best country in the world and probably the shyest.”Lotteries
For Sunday 2,3, I KICK 3 For Monday 4,3,6
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the festival — and being included in Countryfest advertising — but then cancelling when dates were extended on the Brooks and Dunn Neon Circus tour that he was playing on.
“Sales were slow coming out of the gate but in the last month or two months we probably sold $200,000 worth of tickets up until festival week and then we’ve had real good walkup,” Irwin said.
The tighter budget was possible because the festival had finally finished refurbishing the site, with about $1 million in improvements over the last decade. The Selo Ukraina amphitheatre, located a couple of kilometres from Riding Mountain National Park’s north gate, was built in the ’80s but saddled with debt and slowly deteriorating when the festival began in 1990.
The mortgage, which was shared with the Selo board and Canada’s Ukrainian National Festival, will also be retired this year.
But Irwin admits that even with the new economics, Countryfest’s volunteer board is receptive to the idea of tinkering with the current format.
“We take a good look at things,” Irwin says. “For example this year the Guess Who are headliners at WeFest (in Minnesota). I’m not saying that we’ll get the Guess Who but they mix it up and we don’t have any problem doing that.”
But early signings this year may have tied their hands. The Rockin’ Roadhouse Tour, which included Tracy Lawrence, Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnutt, along with the other headliners Tanya Tucker and Countryfest favourite Neal McCoy, launched the festival along its traditional country path.
“There’s no reason why we can’t look at John Mellancamp for example,” Irwin says. “But those acts tour and do arenas and aren’t cheap so you have to make the economics work on it.”
At least one Countryfest tradition continued, with rain falling for an amazing 13th straight year.
The area was hit by a vicious thunderstorm Saturday night around ll p.m. that included strong winds, plenty of
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Tucker’s set was cut short by about IO minutes — the first time that has happened since Patty Loveless left the stage in 1991 — and the crowd was encouraged by Countryfest staff and OBO to move up into buildings on the hill above the amphitheatre.
Six men from Dauphin — Jonathon Curry, Mitch Nybo, Daryl Yarema, Blaine Dawson, Mike Zalischuk and James Gardiner — were camping in an area they had christened Tent City. They had a gazebo and five pup tents up when they went to watch Tucker perform.
When they finally made their way down the hill after the storm abated, just one pup tent was still standing.
“We came back and everything was down,” Nybo said. “There was five inches of water in one tent.
“It was kind of brutal.”
That wasn’t the only problem for the festival and its patrons.
Power was knocked out to the site and much of the surrounding area including Dauphin by trees blowing over and taking out power lines. Hydro was finally restored around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
“It’s just one of those things,” Irwin says. “You live in the summer in ivI<uiiiobd, you know what it's iike.
Police checkstops at the gates weren’t affected by the storm but police nabbed only one impaired driver over the weekend. ROMP also expect to lay one mischief and two assault charges.
But overall Cpl Ian Spencer was pleased.
“That’s up from the last couple of years,” he says. “Two years ago we had none and last year I don’t think we had any. So it’s up a little but you get 6,000 people with that kind of heat and having a few cocktails, it’s not too bad.”
The event also drew its annual rave reviews from the artists, who gushed over the site, the warm crowds and the tight organization.
Alberta’s Carolyn Dawn Johnson, who once travelled as a music fan as far as Merritt, B.C. and Craven, Sask., to attend country festivals, was impressed by her first visit to Countryfest.
“It reminds me of what it was like for me when I used to go and hang out,” she said Sunday night after a lengthy session signing autographs following her performance. “Part of me wants to go sit in the stands and watch the music but I can’t.
“The crowd was great, everybody who works here was great. We were really taken care of and we’d definitely come back.”
Dozens believed killed in collision of planes
UBERLINGEN, Germany — A Canadian man was among those killed when a Russian passenger jet with dozens of people on board collided in mid-air with a two-pilot cargo plane late yesterday over southern Germany.
The crash caused a fireball in the sky and burning wreckage was found 30 kilometres away.
A Bashkirian Airlines Tu-154 from Moscow bound for Barcelona, Spain, and a Boeing 757 from the DHL delivery service were believed to have been flying at an altitude of about 12,000 metres when they hit, said Wolfgang Wenzel, a police spokesman in the city of Tuebingen.
Uta Otterbein, a spokeswoman for German Air Traffic Control, said the Tu-154 had 80 passengers and 13 crew aboard. But Wenzel said the German Embassy in Moscow was reporting 57 passengers, including eight children, and 12 crew. Police earlier spoke of up to 150 dead, based on the capacity of the Soviet-era plane.
Axel Gietz, head of corporate affairs at DHL in Brussels, said the company’s plane went down in the collision, killing the British pilot, Paul Phillips, and his Canadian co-pilot, Brant Campioni. Campioni’s home town was not immediately known.
Dirk Diestel, 47, was changmg his child’s diaper shortly before midnight when he looked up through a skylight and saw a huge fireball in the sky.
“Immediately I thought that something horrible had happened,” he said. When he went outside, a landing gear was lying a few metres from his home.
Alfred Knoedler, a German TV reporter, also saw the explosion.
“There was a noise like loud thunder, then this orange fireball plunged through the night sky,” he said.
Wenzel said all aboard the two planes were presumed dead. “At such an altitude, it would be a wonder if anyone survived.”
A German official said the collision happened when the Tu-154 pilot was asked by air traffic controllers to descend but did not respond. The DHL pilot tried to change course, but it was too late to avoid the crash, said Ulrich Mueller, the Baden-Wuerttemberg state environment minister.
Search crews have found the Tupolev’s flight data recorder, he said.
Rescue workers were recovering bodies of victims from smoking wreckage after the two planes collided at 11:43 p.m., Wenzel said.
In Moscow, a duty officer with Russian Emergency Situations Ministry confirmed that Bashkirian Airlines flight BTS2937 had departed from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport bound for Barcelona with a stopover in Munich.
The planes came down near Uberlingen on the northern shore of Lake Constance, which borders Switzerland and Austria. Burning wreckage was scattered for up to 30 kilometres from the crash site, some 220 kilometres south of Frankfurt.
At least one building was reported on fire, but there were no immediate reports of casualties on the ground. Hundreds of rescuers worked through the night locating wreckage and bodies, while helicopters flew overhead looking for burning or other visible parts.
German Air Traffic Control said the planes were in Swiss airspace and were the responsibility of controllers there. There was no immediate word from the Swiss side.
GARBAGE DAY 2
GRAHAM, G. W. (Bill)
of B.C., beloved husband of Margret
of Fairview Home
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Brandon Sun s Forecast
Western Manitoba Forecast
iunny. Winds westerly 20km/h Booming 25km/h. High 25. lumidex 26.
i-90o-$65-Weather Weather On Demand
H: 25 L: 11
Mainly sunny with cloudy periods. High 26. Low 14
Clear. Low 11.
Mainly cloudy with scattered showers (pop 40%) High 29 Low 16 Saturday
Mainly sunny with cloudy periods. High 27 Low 14
Mainly sunny with cloudy periods High 29 Low 16
Today’s UV index Time to bum:
Skies today tonight
High pressure L
Sunrise: 5:35 a m. Sunset: 9:51 p.m.
Moonrise: 1:39 a.m. Moonset: 146 pm.
Brandon's almanac today
Today s Normals
0 04 mm
Dauphin csU W^fenegloPlj
Sunny 25/11 \j
Su my 25/11
r ion •
• Carberry Sunny 25/11 •
_ ® Portage la Prairie
Brandon sunny 25/13
ii L. Angeles p.cloudy
I S. Fran
I Sail Lake Cp cloudy
I San Diego p cloudy
J Washington cloudy
Kapuskas g rn sunny
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