The Northern Edge 49° 59

Sunny and Cool on the Prairie

By: plapman, 12:56 PM GMT on October 31, 2008

Today will be sunny with a high of 7C(45F).
Tonight will bring a few clouds and an overnight low of -2C(28F).
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Second side of diversion drained for search
Story from The Daily Graphic

Manitoba Search and Rescue Association (MSAR) has arranged to have the second half of the Assiniboine River Diversion drained in their continued effort to search for missing Portage la Prairie women Amber McFarland who went missing Oct. 18 and Jennifer Catcheway who went missing June 19.

The team had the first side of the diversion, just southwest of Portage near Dakota Tipi First Nation, drained over Tuesday and Wednesday in the search but found nothing.

Starting today, Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation will drain the second side just west of the Portage water treatment centre, George Leonard, with MSAR. That, like the first side, will take about 24 hours to completely drain.

Although the diversion is left as a large, muddy bowl after drainage, searchers with MSAR get into the muck as part of the search.

“We walk right in there,” Leonard confirmed.

Today the search consists only of MSAR members and members of the McFarland family searching parts of Dakota Tipi First Nation but Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see a larger scale search with volunteers from the community involved.

Anyone interested in participating in the search on the weekend can meet at the Portage Alliance Church at 10 a.m. on any of the three days.

Anyone who wants to provide food for volunteer searchers can call the church at 239-1112 to see how much food may be needed.


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Updated: 2:43 PM GMT on November 01, 2008

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They're now looking for two missing Portage women

By: plapman, 2:08 PM GMT on October 30, 2008

Today will start sunny the become a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. The southwest wind at 20 km/h (12 mph) will shift to the north at 30 km/h (19 mph) early this afternoon. A high of 15C(59F) is expected.
Tonight will see cloudy periods then clearing overnight. The northerly wind at 30 km/h (19 mph) will become light this evening. An overnight low of -2C(28F) is forecast.
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Story and Pictures from Portageonline.com
Search Expanded


They're now looking for two missing Portage women.




The searches for Amber McFarland and Jennifer Catcheway have been combined, and Manitoba Search and Rescue Operations Manager George Leonard thinks it may be the largest of its kind in this province.

He notes it begins Friday, running through Sunday, and could involve up to 1500 people.

Leonard calls it a massive operation, with two additional incident commanders being called in. One is from Peguis, the other from St. Theresa Point.

They're calling in as many trained ground search members as possible, as well as up to 700 other volunteers.

Leonard adds it's a large search area, and a lot of resources will be used, including 600 searchers split between morning and afternoon, boats, ATV's horses, and canine units.

He notes they've combined operations because many search areas overlap.

They're draining one side of the Assiniboine River diversion today to allow for a search, and will do the same tomorrow on the other side.

Leonard vows they won't stop until the matter is resolved.
Jennifer Catcheway
Jennifer Catchaway
Amber McFarland
Amber McFarland









Updated: 12:50 PM GMT on October 31, 2008

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A Warm Day on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:02 PM GMT on October 29, 2008

Today will be sunny with cloudy periods and a southerly wind at 30 km/h (19 mph) early this morning then light late this afternoon. A high of 14C(57F) is forecast.
Tonight will remain clear with an overnight low of 2C(36F).
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Diversion drained as search continues

Manitoba Search and Rescue Association (MSAR) are draining the Portage Diversion to search for evidence on Amber Lynn McFarland's disappearance.

George Leonard of MSAR said the diversion will begin being drained Tuesday and will be completed on Wednesday.

"It takes 24 hours to drain. It won't be done until tomorrow," he said.

Leonard noted the water levels are low now so it is the appropriate time to complete the work.

He added MSAR had previously wanted to also drain the diversion following the disappearance of Jennifer Catcheway but was not able to complete the project at that time due to the complications of the season.


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Updated: 2:07 PM GMT on October 30, 2008

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A Nice Day on the Prairie for This Time of Year

By: plapman, 2:23 PM GMT on October 28, 2008

Today will be sunny with a high of 9C(48F).
Tonight will remain clear with an overnight low of -3C(26F) expected.
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Search for Portage Woman In Re-assesment Mode

Over a week has passed since Amber Mcfarland of Portage was reported missing. Manitoba search and rescue, along with the family of the 24 year old and team leaders are taking some time to re-assess their search today. The first large scale volunteer search started on Friday, and Operations Manager George Leonard says they'll be addressing some priority areas and taking a look at the information they have available.
Leonard says search and rescue teams will head out again tomorrow, and another large scale volunteer search will be held this coming Saturday. He adds Friday will be another planning and re-assessment day. A 20 thousand dollar reward has been offered for anyone who can provide information leading to Amber's location.

Updated: 2:01 PM GMT on October 29, 2008

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A Cool Day on the Prairie

By: plapman, 12:51 PM GMT on October 27, 2008

Today will start cloudy then becoming sunny with cloudy periods this morning. There is a 30% chance of flurries near the lake early this morning. The northwesterly wind at 30 km/h (19 mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31 mph) will become light this afternoon. A high of 2C(36F) is forecast.
Tonight will see a few clouds and an overnight low of -9C(15F).
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Search for Portage Woman In Re-assesment Mode

Over a week has passed since Amber Mcfarland of Portage was reported missing. Manitoba search and rescue, along with the family of the 24 year old and team leaders are taking some time to re-assess their search today. The first large scale volunteer search started on Friday, and Operations Manager George Leonard says they'll be addressing some priority areas and taking a look at the information they have available.
Leonard says search and rescue teams will head out again tomorrow, and another large scale volunteer search will be held this coming Saturday. He adds Friday will be another planning and re-assessment day. A 20 thousand dollar reward has been offered for anyone who can provide information leading to Amber's location.


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Updated: 2:24 PM GMT on October 28, 2008

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A Wind Warning on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:48 PM GMT on October 26, 2008

Today will bring a few showers ending this morning then cloudy with a 30% chance of showers. The winds will be from the northwest at 30 km/h (19 mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31 mph) increasing to 60 km/h (37 mph) gusting to 80 km/h (50 mph) this morning then diminishing to 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) this afternoon. A high of 5C(41F) is expected.
Tonight will remain cloudy with a 60% chance of flurries near the lake overnight with a 30% chance of showers early this evening. There will be clearing this evening. The winds will remain northwesterly at 30 km/h (19 mph). The overnight low will be-6C(21F).
The Wind Warning
a cold blustery wet day today over much of southern Manitoba. An intense low pressure system over Hudson Bay has brought cold and unsettled air to southern Manitoba. Strong northwest winds of 60 km/h gusting to 80 will develop early this morning over western areas and then later this morning over the southeastern sections. Winds will be strongest with rain or wet snow showers. Precipitation will be heaviest to the east of the larger lakes. Winds will drop to 40 km/h this evening across southern Manitoba and continue to weaken overnight.

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Still No Results From Search

Still no sign of 24 year old Amber McFarland, after two days of searching south of Portage.
She disappeared over a week ago, after last being seen at the Cat and Fiddle night club.

Over 200 searchers were in the field yesterday, coordinated by Manitoba Search and Rescue.

Operations Manager George Leonard says the search will resume this morning.
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Updated: 12:49 PM GMT on October 27, 2008

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Possible Flurries on the Prairie and No Trace Found of Missing Woman

By: plapman, 1:38 PM GMT on October 25, 2008

Today will be cloudy with sunny periods and a 60% chance of showers this afternoon. Thw winds will be from the northwest at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) early this morning. A high of 11C(52F) is expected.
Tonight will bring rain showers changing to flurries overnight as the northwesterly flow continues at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph). An overnight low of 0C(32F) is forecast.
Appearently the showers and expected flurries are a localized disturbance caused by streamers coming from Lake Manitoba.
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I volunteered for the search for Amber McFarland yesterday. With approximately 200 others we searched for clues as to where she might be. We were told to look for a cell phone, car keys, jewelery, cosmetics and articles of clothing she had with her at the time she was last seen. Nothing was found by the group I was in.

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From The Daily Graphic:

The family of Portage la Prairie missing woman Amber Lynn McFarland are making a desperate appeal for anyone who knows anything about Amber's whereabouts to please come forward.


"Any tip that we get, anybody that has any inkling of something they think might be significant, we direct them to the RCMP immediately," said Amber's mother Lori McFarland on Thursday.

Amber McFarland, 24, disappeared in the early morning hours of Oct. 18 from Portage. She was last seen at the Cat and Fiddle Nite Club.

Amber is about 5-foot-7 and 135 pounds, with dark blond hair and green eyes. She was wearing a black sweater and blue jeans when last seen.

Lori McFarland said the family is optimistic they will find their daughter soon.

"We're trying to remain hopeful and be very busy with the business of trying to find Amber," she said. "We're making phone calls, contacting people, urging people to talk to the police, just whatever we can."

Manitoba Search and Rescue Association is planning to start searching the Portage la Prairie area Friday at 10 a.m. Those who wish to participate should meet at the Portage Alliance Church on Saskatchewan Avenue West.

Lori hopes as many people as possible take part in the search.

"If they are wanting to come out and help, we would be very, very grateful," she said. "We're grateful already to the number of people that have been participating and trying to help out. A number of friends started to search on their own ... and people are donating food to help feed those kids and bring it out here to us. It's a good community. It's wonderful when people pull together."

A group of Amber's friends started searching for the missing woman near the Assiniboine River Diversion on Wednesday.

George Leonard, from Manitoba Search and Rescue Association, expects up to 150 volunteers to take part in Friday's larger search. About 80 MSRA members will participate. Two K-9 rescue dogs will also take part in the search.
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PortageOnLine story:
No Trace Found Of Missing Woman So Far

Day 1 of the search for a 24 year old Portage woman ended without any results last night, so today will see efforts resume.
Amber McFarland hasn't been seen since last Saturday, at the Cat and Fiddle night club in Portage.

Manitoba Search and Rescue is coordinating the search, with the help of 200 local volunteers.

Operations Manager George Leonard says the search remains focused on areas south of the city, near the diversion outside Dakota Tipi, and off the Trans Canada Highway.

Leonard adds Search and Rescue members used infra-red technology to search for Amber last night.

He anticipates the majority of the 200 volunteers will return today, and he's grateful for their help as they learn about Search and Rescue's slow process.

Leonard says they've identified a number of areas of interest.
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Updated: 1:47 PM GMT on October 26, 2008

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No News on Amber Mcfarland

By: plapman, 2:09 PM GMT on October 24, 2008

Today will bring a mix of sun and cloud then clearing this afternoon. A high of 12C(54F) is expected.
Tonight will see cloudy periods with the wind becoming southwest at 20 km/h (12 mph) overnight. A low of 2C(36F) is forecast.
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An organized search conducted by the Manitoba Search and Rescue units will take palce today to search for Amber McFarland.
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Search For Amber Continues

Volunteer searchers are out again today, trying to find 24 year old Amber McFarland of Portage.
She disappeared early Saturday morning, and was last seen at the Cat and Fiddle club.

Manitoba Search and Rescue is getting involved as well. Operations Manager George Leonard says 10 members are in Portage right now, setting up a large scale search for tomorrow through Sunday.

He notes 30 to 40 trained members will be here, as well as two canine units, and 100 to 150 volunteers.

Leonard adds there's a concern searches already under way could contaminate an area where a dog could find evidence.

The Search and Rescue command centre is at the Alliance Church. Any volunteers are asked to meet there at 10am Friday morning.


Amber's mother Lori has received phone calls and e-mails of support for the last several days. She's thankful and grateful for the support during what she calls every parent's worst nightmare.

McFarland urges anyone with information to call the RCMP.

The Mounties are investigating the disappearance as a missing persons case. The home of Amber's former boyfriend has been cordoned off, but Sergeant Line Karpish won't say whether anyone has been arrested.
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Concerns Rise About Missing Woman
Amber McFarland


A coordinated search may be organized soon for Amber Lynn McFarland of Portage.
The 24 year old has been missing since early Saturday morning.

Her mother Lori says they expect to make contact with Manitoba Search and Rescue later today.

She adds Amber's co-workers from Mark's Work Wearhouse are prepared to take part, as are workers from Winnipeg outlets.

McFarland says family members are coming to portage to support her and Amber's two sisters.

She's also receiving phone calls and e-mails from across the country.

McFarland stresses Amber has never been gone this long without calling.

If you have any information, call the RCMP.
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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE -- RCMP cordoned off the home Wednesday of the boyfriend of a woman who was last seen leaving a southern Manitoba nightclub early Saturday morning.

Amber Lynn McFarland, 24, was reported missing after she was seen leaving a bar in Portage la Prairie with Kelly Colin Garrioch, 38.

Her car was found later that day in the same parking lot where she had left it on Friday night. Her employer said McFarland failed to show up for work at a clothing store.

Garrioch faces an assault charge involving McFarland that is to go to trial on Nov. 18. He also faces a separate charge of failing to comply with a no contact order involving the woman.

RCMP were not saying much about Garrioch or McFarland other than they were treating her disappearance as a missing persons case. Officers from the major crimes unit were investigating. Police had no suspects in custody.

“We’re not in a position to confirm any arrest,” RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said. “It is a sure thing we will be following up and will be speaking with those who would know her, and that would include family, friends, co-workers, ex-boyfriends.”

Karpish said police have interviewed family and friends and anyone who may have had contact with her from the time she left the bar around 1 a.m. Saturday.

Asked about the former boyfriend angle, Karpish said there are definitely "some concerning circumstances around this. People just don't vanish."

"We're following all and any leads that come our way. And we are counting on the public to let us know if they've seen her."

RCMP have sent out the serious crimes unit to Portage to "cover more ground," Karpish said, adding that while there may be a search being organized in Portage, it's not an RCMP search.

"We need a definite area to look at -- we need a point of interest. We just don't have that right now."

Portage RCMP Sgt. Bob McCarville told CTV news: "At this point, it's strictly a missing person investigation and that's where the investigation is focused."

About 30 family and friends were searching for the woman Wednesday, distributing posters in the town west of Winnipeg and walking around a river diversion near the Dakota Tipi reserve.

“We have no answers,” said Amy Duclos, one of McFarland’s friends who took part in the search. “We’re just here to help.”

Another friend, Jamie Penman, said she saw McFarland at the bar on the night before she went missing and noticed that she appeared to be in a good mood.

She said that it was out of character for her friend to disappear without telling someone.

“We’ll keep searching until the day she is found,” she said. “There is something wrong.”

"We need any and all information on her whereabouts," added friend and co-worker Kristi Barnes-Skarbeck.

"Posters have been going up since Monday,'' Barnes-Skarbeck said, "and some friends are trying to search on their own and we've contacted Manitoba Search and Rescue to get something going."

Earlier in the day, Krista Hodgins and her three friends were out at the Portage diversion near the Dakota-Tipi reserve.

"People are out just doing whatever they can'" Hodgins said, noting that more than two dozen were out driving around, and had been for several days.

"We've been searching this area around here since 11."

Asked why they were in that particular area, one of Hodgin's friends tilted his head towards town and said "Because that's where he is." He was referring to the former boyfriend who Amber was last seen with at 1 a.m. Saturday.

Another friend and co-worker, Danielle Bartsch told CBC Radio she knew something was wrong when Amber didn't show up for work Saturday morning,

"She never misses work," Bartsch said. "I have no idea what happened."

Amber's car was found in the Canad Inns parking lot where she had parked it Friday night.

Another friend, Tanis Desjardin, told a local TV station she last saw Amber at the Cat and Fiddle bar and had words with her over an old boyfriend.

"It's just not like Amber to do this. I hope they find her soon because everyone's worried."

Hodgins has been good friends with Amber for more than five years. She said Amber has a twin sister and a younger sister. Amber had just been promoted to assistant manager at Mark's Work Wearhouse. "She would never have not shown up for work."

"Today is the fifth day she's been missing," Hodgins said. "It's pretty traumatic."

Bartsch urged members of the public to help find Amber.

"We need help from anybody. Even if you're a stranger, please come out and help us."

McFarland has blonde hair, green eyes, is 5-6 to 5-7 and weighs about 135 pounds. She was wearing a black sweater and blue jeans.

Anyone who knows of her activities or may have been in contact with her is asked to call Portage RCMP at 1-204-857-4445 or Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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Updated: 1:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2008

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Amber McFarland Stll Missing

By: plapman, 12:50 PM GMT on October 23, 2008

Today will be sunny with fog this morning. The winds will besoutherly at 20 km/h (12 mph) early this afternoon. A high of 10C(50F) is foreast.
Tonight will remain clear as the wind becomes light this evening. An overnight low of 0C(32F) is forecast.
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Updated: 2:09 PM GMT on October 24, 2008

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A Missing Lady on the Prairie Again

By: plapman, 2:14 PM GMT on October 22, 2008

Today will be cloudy ith a 70% chance of showers early this morning. A high of 8C(46F) is expected.
Tonight will bring clearing early this evening and an overnight low of -2C(28F).
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Another lady has gone missing in the Portage area.


Friends and family of a missing Portage la Prairie woman are desperately hoping a community search party finds her safe and sound.

Amber Lynn McFarland, 24, was reported missing after leaving Portage's downtown Cat and Fiddle Nite Club during Saturday's wee hours.

While Mounties -- including serious and major crime units from Winnipeg -- search McFarland's car and various locations for signs of her whereabouts, the woman's friends have launched a separate search group and are looking for help.

"Hit the bushes, look for her. She's a missing friend and we want to help in any way we can," said Danielle Bartsch, a co-worker of McFarland at Mark's Work Wearhouse in Portage.

"Just keep your eyes open," Bartsch added while crying, "and have her in your prayers."

Friends of McFarland said she was seen leaving Cat and Fiddle. RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said investigators have concerns about the disappearance, though she refused to say why -- other than to add McFarland isn't known to wander off for lengthy periods.

"We are raising alarm bells, basically on account that this is totally uncharacteristic of her. That's why we're appealing to the media and the public to help us," Karpish said, adding any possibility of foul play is "speculation" only.

McFarland is about 5-foot-7 and 135 pounds, with blond hair and green eyes. She was wearing a black sweater and blue jeans when last seen.

Karpish did not confirm McFarland was at Cat and Fiddle, or that officers have taken her car for examination.

But Lori McFarland, mother of the missing woman, said the late-1990s white Toyota Tercel had apparently been left by her daughter Friday evening at Canad Inns Portage, where it remained all weekend.

"That's probably because her and her friends were at the lounge there first, and then went to the other hotel and left it there, and took a cab," Lori McFarland said, noting her daughter was at Cat and Fiddle until at least 1 a.m.

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Updated: 12:48 PM GMT on October 23, 2008

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A Damp Start to the Week on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:30 PM GMT on October 21, 2008

Today will bring increasing cloudiness with a 40% chance of showers this morning. There will be rain beginning early this afternoon bt only 5 mm(0.2 in) expected. The winds wil be from the south at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph). A high of 7C(45F) is forecast.
Tonight will bring an end to the rain but it will remain cloudy. The wind will become light this evening with an overnight low of 2C(36F) expected.
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The south wind will be a good thing to remove the rest of the neighbors leaves and put them in thier rightfull place.
I reported the jimson weed to a city councilor yesterday. I think the frost has killed it for this year but I'm sure it return next yar. I'll have to keep an eye on the site.
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Updated: 2:12 PM GMT on October 22, 2008

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A Cool Week Ahead on the Prairie

By: plapman, 12:47 PM GMT on October 20, 2008

Today will be sunny with cloudy periods and a high of 8C(46F).
Tonight will see a few clouds and an overnight low of 0C(32F).
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The leaves are starting to build up in the back yard. The things are from the neighbors tree. I'm hoping for a strong south wind to take the remainder off of the tree and put them in thier own yard.
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Updated: 1:29 PM GMT on October 21, 2008

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A Cool Night Coming to the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:42 PM GMT on October 19, 2008

Today will be sunny with cloudy periods and a northerly wind at 20 km/h (12 mph). A high of 11C(52F) is expected.
Tonight will bring cloudy periods then clearing near midnight. An overnight low of -3C(26F) is forecast.
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It was a beautiful day on the prairie yesterday. I added a mile to me and Abby's walk doing a 5 mile hike, got the leaves on the front lawn vacummed with the lwn mower, and cleaned up the flower bed. It was a busy day.
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Updated: 12:44 PM GMT on October 20, 2008

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Clouds and Sun on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:58 PM GMT on October 18, 2008

Today will be cloudy then becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. The winds will be southerly at 30 km/h (19 mph). A high of 16C(61F) is expected.
Tonight will start cloudy then clearing overnight as the wind becones light this evening. An overnight low of 2C(36F) is forecast.
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Does anyone know what kind of plant this is? I found it while walking Abby. It looks like a perennial as it was ther last year. It must be a discarded palnt as its growing on the side of a landfill site.
The Plant

The Fruit

The Flower

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Updated: 1:40 PM GMT on October 19, 2008

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Sunshine and A Queiry

By: plapman, 2:03 PM GMT on October 17, 2008

Today will be sunny with a high of 13C(55F).
Tonight will bring a few clouds and an overnight low of 5C(41F).
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Updated: 1:57 PM GMT on October 18, 2008

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A Short Forecast on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:29 PM GMT on October 16, 2008

Today will be sunny with a high near 10C(50F).
Tonight will remain clear with an overnight low of -1C(30F).
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The retirement news is spreading. I had a job offer for next summer. I told the contractor to give me a call in April and I'd think it over. It would be hard to go back to work after enjoyng retirement.
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Updated: 2:02 PM GMT on October 17, 2008

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Still Damp and Cool on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:44 PM GMT on October 15, 2008

Today will be cloudy with sunny periods as the wind becomes westerly at 30 km/h (19 mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31 mph) this morning. A high of 9C(48F) is forecast.
Tonight will be cloudy with a northwest wind at 20 km/h (12 mph) that will become light this evening. An overnight low of -3C(26F) is expected.
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I bought a new snowblower yesterday. The old one was donated to the son-in-law. Now I'm waiting for the opportunity to use it. If I'm luck it will still be new next year.
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Updated: 2:28 PM GMT on October 16, 2008

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A Sunny Start to the Day on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2008

Today will be sunny with increasing cloudiness late this afternoon. The wind will become southwest at 20 km/h (12 mph) early this afternoon. A high of 11C(52F) is forecast.
Tonight will remain cloudy witha 30% chance of showers this evening. The winds will shift westerly at 20 km/h (12 mph). An overnight low of 2C(36F) is forecast.
We had some frost as evudenced by a sparking windshield. Thats the first time this season I've seen that.
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More of what me and Abby see on out walks courtesy of
Canadian Pacific Railway Heritage Park & Interpretive Centre

The CPR Station was designed by Edward Colonna (1862-1948) of Montreal, and built by Tompkins Construction of Vancouver. The design of the station was influenced by the Romanesque Revival style, popularized by the American architect H.H. Richardson. The style was characterized by symmetrical facades, squat columns, massive round-headed arches, and heavily textured and polychromatic surfaces. The station, with its unique heavy, rusticated base and massive, round-headed arched entrances is a handsome subdivided illustration of it's style.
The most prominent features of the ground floor are the large round-headed openings with radiating stone heads and keystones. On both north (track) and south facades, these arched openings originally held door and arched windows and are a distinct reflection of architectural designs not in vogue present day.
The unique style and a history steeped in heritage certainly ranks the building worthy of perpetuity. In addition, plans to maintain the east end baggage room area (which is approximately one-third to one-half of the station's interior) as a "rail centre" with collections and tributes to past maintenance-of-way employees of both CN & CP railways, will provide continued interest from not only local and area residents to appreciate but will attract national and international tourist atraction.

The Architectural Significance Of This Station in Relations To Other Stations Built Across Canada
In 1889, the weekly paper "Manitoba Liberal" described the first Canadian Pacific Railway Depot in Portage la Prairie as a "dingy little combination of country tavern and freight shed". The paper continued to criticize the CPR's lack of service to a community with a population of nearly 1,500. Although the man who fulfilled the terms of confederation by building the rail line to the west coast in record time announced plans for the construction of a new depot for Portage la Prairie in 1891, it was not until 1893 that the new facility was constructed using imported sandstone and local brick. The association of this building's construction with Van Horne himself, who recognized the potential growth of this (then) aggressive community reflects the heritage of the pioneers of the day who saw worthy fortunes for their future generations.


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Updated: 1:42 PM GMT on October 15, 2008

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Bad Cats and Wet on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:14 PM GMT on October 13, 2008

Today will start with drizzle that will end this morning then cloudy with a 30% chance of showers. A high of 9C(48F) is forcast.
Tonight will start cloudy with the 30% chance of showers continuing early this evening. There will be clearing late this evening as the wind becomes westerly at 20 km/h (12 mph). An overnight low of -1C(30F) is expected.
We have accumulated 22mm (7/8 inch) of rain in the last 24 hours.
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Kramer the cat was a bad cat last night. I usally prepare the coffee maker in the evening so taht all it takes is the push of a button to start the process. Kramer was investigating the couter last night at 4 am and knocked the coffee maker off. The quuen of the prairie was not impressed cleaning up the water and wet coffee grounds at that time. Luckily I was able to put the pieces together temporaily to make coffee this morning. #%$^$%@3 Cat.
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What me and Abby see on our walks courtesy of the Provincial government Hertiage building site:

St. Mary's la Prairie Anglican Church was constructed in 1898. It is the third church built for the Parish of Portage la Prairie, which was founded by Archdeacon William Cockran in 1853. Archdeacon Cockran was an important missionary whose work at the Red River Settlement helped establish the Anglican Church in the West.

The present church, designed by noted Winnipeg architect H.S. Griffith, is one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Manitoba. At the Portage la Prairie church, architect Griffith used the standard vocabulary of the style: rough stone walls, a steep roof and the pointed arch for window and door openings. But Griffith gave the building more power and delight with a unique assemblage of forms at the main entrance, where the church's bell is also housed. The church is just as impressive inside, with stained glass memorial windows, fine woodwork in the pews, pulpit, and altar, and dark-coloured ceiling with the impressive open wood trusses.

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Updated: 2:02 PM GMT on October 14, 2008

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A Wet Sunday on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:04 PM GMT on October 12, 2008

Today will bring rain with 10 to 15 mm(0.4 to 0.6 in) expcted to accumulate. The winds will be northeast at 30 km/h (19 mph). A high of 9C(48F) is expected.
Tonight the periods of rain will continue with the winds being northerly at 20 km/h (12 mph) then becoming light this evening. An overnight low of 5C(41F) id forecast.
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Regina, about 300 mles west of here has snow in the forecast with 6 inches of the ugly white stuff expected.
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What Abby and me see on our walks;
A T-33 jet trainer donated to the city. It came from training center located at Southport approximately 5 miles south of Portage.
From 1940 to 1990, Southport was known as the Canadian Forces Base, Portage la Prairie. At its peak, there were 495 military personnel, and 194 civilian jobs at the base.
When the Base closure was announced in 1990, Southport was established to manage and develop the site’s assets, and help replace the jobs lost to the local economy.
In 1992, Southport was successful in having the Military Flight Training contract, managed by Bombardier located on-site, thus facilitating pilot training for the military.

T-33 Trainer
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Updated: 2:06 PM GMT on October 13, 2008

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A Wet Thanksgivng on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:47 PM GMT on October 11, 2008

Today will be cloudy with sunny periods and a 70% chance of showers this afternoon. The winds will become northerly at 20 km/h early this afternoon. A high of 11 is forecast. Tonight will remain cloudy with rain beginning this evening. 5 mm is expevted to accumulate. An overnight low of 3 is expected.
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Updated: 2:02 PM GMT on October 12, 2008

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Cooling on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:02 PM GMT on October 10, 2008

Today will bing increasing cloudiness this morning and a high of 11C(52F).
Tonight will be cloudy with a 30% chance of showers this evening. An overnight low of 4C(39F) is forecast.
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Abby made a trip to the vet yesterday. Her ear started bothering her so I took her in. She's developed an infection there. A week of antibiotic should cure that.
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More Things me and Abby see:
There's lots of train traffic in Portage. Both the CNR and CPR mainlines come through town. They actually cross here, they only place in Canada where they do that. This yard engine is returning from Simplot's fry plant with a load od french fries.


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Updated: 2:46 PM GMT on October 11, 2008

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Cool and Damp on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:29 PM GMT on October 09, 2008

Today will be cloudy with a 70% chance of showers changing to 30% chance of showers early this afternoon. The wind will be westerly at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) becoming light this afternoon. A high of 11C(52F) id forecast.
Tonight will remain cloudy with the 30% chance of showers early this evening. An overnight low of 2C(36F) is expected.
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More of the Stuff me and Abby see.
The Provincial Women Jail. This old facility is close to 100 years old. It is to be replaced by a new facility soon. There have been a couple of hangings here when capital punishment was allowed in Canada and I think there are 3 graves on the site. Ladies sentenced to less than 2 years serve thier time here now.




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Updated: 1:02 PM GMT on October 10, 2008

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Showers and an Old House on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:55 PM GMT on October 08, 2008

Today will start with a few showers ending this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. The winds will become westerly at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) late this afternoon. A high of 14C(57F) is expected.
Tonight will be cloudy with a 60% chance of showers with a westerly at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph). An overnight low of 6C(43F) is forecast.
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More of What me and Abby see


Old House

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Updated: 2:28 PM GMT on October 09, 2008

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Beheading Update and a Mixed Bag on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:02 PM GMT on October 07, 2008

Today will start cloudy with sunny periods then clearing early this afternoon. The wind will be light anad westerly at 20 km/h (12 mph) early this afternoon. A high of 15C(59F) is forcast.
Tonight will start clear then increasing cloudiness near midnight with a 40% chance of showers overnight. An overnight low of 7C(45F) is expected.
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An update on the Greyhound bus murder and beheading courtesy of Portageonline.com

Greyhound Bus Slaying Case Heard In Court

The case of Vince Li, the man accused of the murder of Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in July, came before a Portage la Prairie judge this afternoon.
Li himself was not in the courtroom as he is receiving care at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. His defence attorneys requested that the results of his psychiatric assessment not be disclosed with the public. Defence Attorney Gordon Bates says disclosing the information would be prejudicial and may taint the jury pool, should the case go to trial.

Bates says his client is fit to stand trial and has been cooperative with his attorneys and with medical staff treating him while he undergoes his assessment. The defence says the assessment is ongoing and they will know more as time goes on.

The next court date has been set for November 6th at the Portage la Prairie Court of Queen's Bench.
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Updated: 1:54 PM GMT on October 08, 2008

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Rain and Old Bridges on the Prairie

By: plapman, 2:03 PM GMT on October 06, 2008

Today will see periods of rain ending late this afternoon then cloudy. Amount 10 to 15 mm(0.4 to 0.6 in). The wind will be from the southeast at 30 km/h (19 mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31 mph) becoming light this morning. A high of 16C(61F) is expected.
Tonight will start cloudy then clearing overnight with a low of 5C(41F).
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More things me and Abby see on our walks.
When I started working as a construction inspector in the late 60's we built a lot of bridges like this though not as long. Many of the ones I helped build are now being replaced as the life expectancy of them was 50 years. This one has done really well. A causeway now carries heavy traffic to the island that is formed by an old oxbow of the Assiniboine River.

Island Park Bridge
 The Story of the Bridge
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Updated: 2:02 PM GMT on October 07, 2008

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A Break in the Sunshine for the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:54 PM GMT on October 05, 2008

Today will start sunny then increasing cloudiness this afternoon. The wind will become southeast at 30 km/h (19 mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31 mph) this morning. A high of 19C(66F) is expected.
Tonight will be cloudy with rain beginning this evening. The wind will remain southeast at 30 km/h (19 mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31 mph) with an overnight low of 9C(48F) forecasted.
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Some of the Things me and Abby see on our walks
Armstrong House
The Armstrong House Story

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Updated: 2:01 PM GMT on October 06, 2008

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0 or 32F to Start the Day on the Prairie

By: plapman, 12:42 PM GMT on October 04, 2008

Today will be sunny with the wind becoming southeast at 30 km/h (19 mph) this morning. A high of 18C(64F) is forecast.
Tonight will remain clear as the wind becomes light this evening. An overnight low of 5C(41F) is expected.
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Yesterday turned out to be a nice day except for the cool start. Today looks like much of the same with the 7 am temp being 0c (32f).
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Updated: 1:53 PM GMT on October 05, 2008

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-1C (30F) Frost for the First Time This Season on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:54 PM GMT on October 03, 2008

Today will be sunny with cloudy periods and a high of 15C(59F).
Tonight will remain clear and drop to2C(36F).
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We got a touch of frost on the prairie last night for the first time this season. The 7 am temp was -1c. I brought the house palnts in for the season. I guess it won't be long before I switch the lawn mower for the snow blower.
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Updated: 12:42 PM GMT on October 04, 2008

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A Minus on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:26 PM GMT on October 02, 2008

Today will be sunny with a northeast wind at 20 km/h (12 mph) early this afternoon. A high 18C(64F) is forecast.
Tonight will see a few clouds and an overnight low of -2C(28F) with frost.
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Updated: 1:52 PM GMT on October 03, 2008

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Kramer and Sunshine on the Prairie

By: plapman, 1:48 PM GMT on October 01, 2008

Today will briing clearing early this morning and a high of 17C(63F).
Tonight will be clear with an overnight low of 3C(37F).
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I was informed I was spelling Crammer's name wrong. He's a pretty laid back cat and doesn't seem to care. It's the youngest daughter who took me to task. The proper spelling is Kramer.

Kramer the Cat
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Updated: 1:26 PM GMT on October 02, 2008

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About plapman

Retired and loving it. If I'd have known about retirement befor I started my 40 year career with the government of Manitoba I'd have retired first. :)

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Personal Weather Stations

Central City
Portage La Prairie, MANITOBA
Elevation: 863 ft
Temperature: 61.3 °F
Dew Point: 56.5 °F
Humidity: 84%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 5.4 mph
Updated: 4:21 PM CDT on July 12, 2014

About Personal Weather Stations