Saskatchewan farmers have one less thing on their minds this year.
The gopher population is dropping across the province. The main reason given is the cooler, wet weather we have experienced.
"In about 2010, we started seeing a drop in numbers and certainly cooler conditions in 2011 and 2012 have seemed to have really knocked the population down for most of the province," said Scott Hartley, Provincial Pest Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture.
There is some good news coming for residents living in the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert, where homes and properties were damaged during a massive thunderstorm in late June.
The area had applied to the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program earlier this year and it has now learned that both of their applications have been approved – one for the plow wind of June 25-26 and the other for heavy rainfalls that contributed to spring flooding.
Heavy rain has forced 10 families on the James Smith Cree Nation east of Prince Albert to leave their homes.
The reserve's housing manager Martin Moostoos said the order was given on Friday after rising water from nearby ponds washed out local roads leaving residents cut off from the rest of the community.
“With the amount of rain we’ve received in the last three weeks to a month they just increased and went over the roads and it was impossible to get to them.”
The Canadian Government is attempting to find ways to help solve doctor shortages in rural areas across the country.
Last week it was announced that eligible family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who work in rural communities will have a portion of their Canada Student loan forgiven starting in the spring of 2013.
That means any doctor or nurse whom began working in a designated rural area on or after April 1, 2012 will be eligible to apply.
How that announcement will benefit the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is uncertain.
The Prince Albert Pulp Mill is in the midst of testing its ability to provide reliable power for sale back to the grid.
Currently, the mill needs to prove it can generate power for 48 hours straight at 90 per reliability in order to pass tests to sell power.
Initial testing began on Friday, but according to general manager Dale Patterson, there were some delays.
The mill’s second test began on Tuesday.
Police are asking for assistance to locate a missing teenager.
The last known sighting of 16-year-old Jerome Davis Harris was on August 4 on the Big River First Nation, but RCMP think he may be in the Prince Albert area.
Harris is described as First Nations, five-feet-six-inches tall, 135 pounds, with a small mole on his upper right lip.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Spiritwood RCMP at 306-883-4210.
There has been plenty of rain this summer in Saskatchewan, but not enough in the north to keep forest fires in check.
The province had 60 wildfires burning in provincial forests as of Friday, bringing the total for the year to 336.
That is well ahead of last year's pace when the province had 245 at the start of August. Despite almost 100 more fires compared to last year Jenette Krayetski with the Ministry of Environment said it is not an above average year.
After an opening prayer done by Elder and Veteran Norman Henderson, a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) made a big announcement.
From August 6 - 9 the PAGC will host the second of three Natural Resource Transfer Agreement summits in Prince Albert.
The summit will be held at the Senator Allan Bird Memorial Centre and is also jointly hosted by the Manitoba keewetinohk oikimakanak and Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7, and Treaty No. 8 of Alberta.
The crown is seeking indictments for three charges against a man charged in the drinking and driving death of community figure Ben Darchuk.
Tanner Hallet Courtney, 21, appeared in Prince Albert provincial court on Thursday. He’s facing charges of impaired driving causing death, driving over the legal limit and criminal negligence causing death.
The charges stem from a collision that occurred over the May long weekend, which took the life Darchuk, then 53.
Saskatchewan has its first case of anthrax this year.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says a single cow died from the disease on July.23.
The infected cow was from a herd on a farm northwest of Melfort in the rural Municipality of Kinistino, the agency said.