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Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 5, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba A3 FRIDAY, JULY 5, 2002 Local GOT A NEWS TIP? You can reach us at 571-7430 or toll-free 1-877-786-5786 E-mail :opiniottCoL In Brief Student wins peace scholarship Joan Rostant, a Masters student at Brandon University, has been awarded an International Peace Scholarship that will assist in her education and efforts to reduce AIDS in the Caribbean. Rostant, who has completed course work for guidance and counselling in the Masters of Education program, receives the $6,000 award from the International Chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood. She has also received $4,000 US for a World Fellowship from Delta Kappa Gamma Society. Rostant will work on a second Masters of Education program in the area of special education. Eventually the focus of Rostant’s counselling work will be with at-risk girls rn the Caribbean area. She is working on prevention or reduction of spread of HIV/AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. Company names can he reserved online Manitobans can now reserve company names online. Scott Smith, consumer and corporate affairs minister, says the service is available “for all Manitobans who want to reserve the name of their businesses easily and at their own convenience.” The online service is available at: mp_off/. To register, Manitobans must first apply to the Companies Office to reserve the name. If it appears to be available, the office will reserve the name for 90 days. The name can be registered within that period. Notices of new business registrations, company name changes and other information are now available at the same site rather than in the Manitoba Gazette. Women raising funds for Marquis trip Two women involved with The Marquis Project in Brandon are hoping to bring southwestern Manitoba to El Salvador. Caitlin Ethenngton and Heather Millar are traveling to rural El Salvador next month to bring the country a little Manitoba culture and plan to bring some of El Salvador back. Etherington says the two hope to raise $2,000 to help cover the cost of their trip. They are also lookmg for donations in kind of school supplies — paper, pens, pencils and markers — to bring to the organizations they are working with in El Salvador. The two are hitting a number of fairs in the Brandon area and will be holding a car wash fundraiser in the city on July 13 at the Fas Gas on Richmond Avenue. — Brandon Sun Bail hearing date set for Bell By Shelley Vivian Brandon Sun The woman charged in the shooting death of Mountie Dennis Strongquill will apply for bail in three weeks. In Brandon court yesterday, Laurie Anne Bell was remanded in custody to July 25 for a bail application hearing. Bell, of Edmonton, has been in jail since being arrested in connection with the Dec. 21 shooting of the 52-year-old Waywayseecappo RCMP constable. Bell, 20, and Robert Mario Sand, 23, are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting. Strongquill was shot outside the Russell RCMP detachment after he and his partner tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation. Bell and Sand, from Westlock, Alta., were arrested later after a shootout at a Saskatchewan motel. Bell is also facing charges of assault and uttering threats in relation to an incident at Portage Correctional Institution in May. A preliminary hearing for Sand is set to begin March 3, 2003 and is scheduled for six weeks. Bell’s preliminary hearing will be held at the same time. Sand will appear in provincial court Aug. 26 on attempted escape and assault-related charges. He was charged last month in connection with an incident outside Brandon Correctional Centre as he returned from a court appearance. Defendant tries to get access to documents By Shelley Vivian Brandon Sun A man accused of yanking another’s penis continued to act on his own behalf in Brandon provincial court yesterday, vexing the court with claims information was being withheld from him. Harlow Courchene, 45, insisted the Crown was denying him documents needed to mount a proper defence. “What I asked for was all of it, not half of it,” he told Judge David Coppleman. Courchene is facing an assault charge stemming from a July 12, 2001 incident and two assault charges from a Sept. 11, 2001 altercation. He is also charged with five counts of breaching a recognizance. Yesterday, he told Coppleman he had been trying to find a lawyer but was having a difficult time getting anyone to come to Brandon. He previously fired his Legal Aid lawyer. Courchene acknowledged getting a package of information from the Crown by registered mail, but he said police reports it contained were incomplete and information about accusations against him was missing. An exasperated Crown attorney Jim Ross presented a long list of items in the package, including copies of an investigator’s report and witness statements. Ross said all the information he had was sent, including the accusations against Courchene, which were contained in statements. Asked by the judge if two weeks was enough time for him to find a lawyer, Courchene replied he needed more. “I would say August, at least,” he said. Coppleman, who had strongly suggested Courchene return with a lawyer during his last court appearance on June 14, agreed to give the man three more weeks. Courchene was told to return to court July 26 to set a trial date. Local real estate market sees quick turnarounds By Curtis Brown Brandon Sun Phil Persian knows the benefits of a hot real estate market. He has seen his Brandon house sell in just five short days — an untypical period. Home buyers here are snatching up houses left and right. Persian and his wife Betty listed their Rosser Avenue house in April, and in less than a week, it was sold. “The first person who looked at it gave us a reasonable offer, so we sold it,” he says. The Brandon Real Estate Board estimates that between April and June, the average Brandon home — with an average market price of between $80,000 and $90,000 — has been selling in 19 days. Dunng that same period last year, it took an extra two weeks to sell an average-priced home. Board president Eleanor McCallum says houses are selling quickly because prospective home buyers don’t have much to choose from compared to previous years. “We’ve been seeing a quick turnaround,” McCallum says. “Basically if people like a home, they buy it right away.” That was the case for Brent Mulligan. He just moved to Brandon from High River, Alta., to take a supervisory job at Maple Leaf Pork. It took him just two weeks to find the house he wanted, in this case a $170,000 home on Mc Vicar Crescent. “I don’t think there really was a whole lot of choice,” he says, adding he looked at about 65 homes and looked through about 300 real estate listings on the Internet before he came to Brandon June 12. McCallum anticipates that by the end of the summer, more houses may come available. “It’s hard to predict. But we do usually see an increase of listings in July and August.” With the low amount of listings in the spring, Bruce Ray waited a little more than two weeks to sell his house on Centennial Boulevard. He thinks it may have sold sooner if it had a slightly better location. “Location is key, and because our house is on a bit of a corner and not in a bay, people might not have been as interested,” he says. “But then I got my offer, and I was certainly happy.” Persian’s former neighbours on Rosser Avenue, John and Carla Morgan, also just sold their home. Their house was on the market for about two months. Carla Morgan says it took longer to sell because of its “unique” setup. “Our garage is built underneath the house, so we only have a half-basement,” she says. “That might of turned some people off because there’s no bedroom in the basement.” Still, many people came to check out the house. “Oh God, we had scads of people look at it. Probably two or three a day.” The Morgan’s three-bedroom house ended up selling for $150,900. Of the 224 homes sold between April and June, the most were in the $80,000 - $90,000 bracket and in the $120,000 - $150,000 price bracket. Across the country, there were 200,000 new housing starts last year. COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN Phil Persian, with his cat Max, just bought a new home in a subdivision being constructed in Brandon’s west end. The real estate market in Brandon is booming right now. Farmer donates parcel of land to grow trees uuecRs Keeping very busy running bed and breakfast By Kyia Duncan Brandon Sun Henry and Hilda Dueck have the world vacationing at their doorstep. “We feel often we don’t have to visit countries around the world, they come to us,” says Hilda Dueck. “It’s culture coming to us, instead of us going to them.” The Boissevain couple run Dueck’s Cedar Chalet and Country Oasis, just outside of Boissevain. For the last 16 years they have been on the job and have even hosted former president Ronald Reagan’s top adviser. “We’ve had some very significant people,” Dueck says. “We hope we have something to offer to people of our culture, but we also gain knowledge and experience of other cultures from our guests.” The four-star bed and breakfast started as just a guest bedroom for the Dueck’s home. Since then the business has grown for the Duecks, now both “retired,” into a full-time, nearly fully booked three-suite chalet, with all the accommodations and 800 hectares of farm land to boot. The two have hosted guests from every place imaginable including Australia, Hawaii, Germany, England, France, Holland, South Africa, Netherlands, every U.S. state and every Canadian province. “People come into the province and they hear about us,” Dueck says. “We have brochures everywhere, but it’s mainly word of mouth.” Not all people get what they were expecting says Dueck, but it turns out to be a good thing. “A Japanese couple came and booked (a weekend) for their anniversary. When they drove up and saw it was a farm, I could see they were hesitant and thinking ‘what did I get myself into,’” Dueck says. “By the end of the weekend, (they) left me my biggest tip I received in my 16 years at the bed and breakfast.” In addition to the three suites, the Duecks added a conference centre a few years ago — hoping to increase business. SUBMITTED PHOTO Dueck’s Cedar Chalet and Country Oasis started 16 years ago as just a guest bedroom for Hilda and Henry Dueck’s home. Since then the business has grown for the Duecks, now both retired, into a full-time, nearly fully booked three suite chalet, with ail the accommodations and 800 hectares of farm land to boot. “That is a direction we’re hoping to go now. We’re going to do some more advertising in that area," Dueck says. By Kyia Duncan Brandon Sun Killarney-area farmer Alvin Jones is taking diversity in a different direction. Jones has donated about four hectares of his small farm to grow trees for the lumber industry. “I like growing trees, I’ve got a lot of shelter belts around my farm ... everyone else pushes them down and I plant them. I guess you could say I’m Johnny Appleseed,” Jones says. Jones is participating in a joint project between the provincial and federal governments and Canadian forestry companies. The project is spread out over the Praine provinces. The goal is to see if agroforestry will become a viable industry in Canada and eventually help stabilize both the agriculture and forestry industries. Jones’ soil is split up into IO different plots. Nine are devoted to cuttings, while only one has already rooted seedlings. Ten different types of poplars are now trying to root in the plots. “Basically they see it, a long way down the road, as a source for manufacturing lumber,” Jones says. Jones is already seeing some success with the cuttings. About 70 per cent have them have rooted and Jones expects more to root yet. “The percentage of cuttings that turn into trees when planted is not very high, but there was an immense amount of soil preparation,” says Jones. “I think a lot of the (cuttings rooting) is to do with the soil preparation. I’ve planted cuttings myself and I’ve never seen results like that.” The cuttings which don’t root will be replanted next season. Jones says the hybrids have such an incredible growth rate the program will end in three to four years, when the trees are expected to have canopies to protect themselves. “Hybrid poplars grow at tremendous rates,” Jones says. “Within a few years, they can really change the landscape.” By that time, the experimenters will be able to tell what hybnds are successful in the different provinces. The trees will then belong to Jones, where eventually he can sell them on the market for making oriented strand board — chip board. “I hope eventually to make some money. I think it’s 12 years away,” Jones says. “It’s an experiment. I wouldn’t want to put my hopes on it at all.” Jones says he’s willing to wait the 12 years to see if his little experiment works out. “We won’t get results for a little while, but Rome wasn’t built in a day either.” ;