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Duane Hicks

Duane Hicks has been a staff writer/photographer for the Fort Frances Times since 1998. Raised in Fort Frances, he left town in 1993 to attend the Journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa. He returned in the spring of 1998, being hired at the Times shortly thereafter. He covers a variety of news beats, including municipal politics which he has covered since 2001. He also makes a mean salsa which he shares with the rest of the Times staff on his birthday.

Contact him at: dhicks@fortfrances.com

Evening entertainment

Folk singer-songwriter Derek Harrison entertained about 80 people last Thursday evening at the new Rainy Lake Square here with a number of tracks from his new album, “Blossington.” To hear more from Harrison, check out derekharrison.ca. Beloved children's musician Fred Penner will perform there today starting at 6 p.m. Admission is free but be sure to bring along a lawn chair.

Sending a message

Jolén Simon, program co-ordinator for the Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation District, gave Joelle Bruyere, a student in Fort High teacher Jody Bonner-Vicker's Grade 8 class, tips while spray painting the message, “No Dumping: Drains to River,” using a stencil next to a storm drain here this morning.

Young entrepreneur

Hayden Allam proudly displayed examples of the buttons she makes and sells through her business, “Cute As A Button," on Friday during the "Mini-Market” held downstairs at Curvy Chick (256 Scott St.) The second such event held this spring, the market saw kids sell homemade products.

SGEI prayer

Elder Doris Caribou of Naicatchewenin FN performed the invocation to begin Thursday's graduation ceremony. The well-attended celebration also featured traditional drum songs and a feast.

'Seeds of Hope'

Elaine and Jack Allen joined Mary O'Connor, client services co-ordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Kenora-Rainy River Districts, in planting “Seeds of Hope" in the courtyard garden of the Special Care Unit at Rainycrest on Monday morning.

SGEI trio

Caelynn Watson, centre, was all smiles after receiving her Esthetics diploma from SGEI post-secondary co-ordinator Don Eldridge, left, and Carolyn Hepburn, director of Native Education for Sault College.

Valedictorian #2

This year's Apprenticeship, Essential Skills, and Post-Secondary valedictorian, Deanna Swain of Grassy Narrows FN, said her personal journey to earn a degree presented challenges but also provided her with many uplifting moments that helped carry her through it all.

SGEI graduate

Secondary school graduate Janice Penagin received the Scott Clendenning Bursary from secondary school president Sean Taggart during Thursday afternoon's ceremony at the Memorial Sports Centre. The bursary is given to a student who embodies the ideals that the late Clendenning thought were important in a student and community member.