Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic January 09, 2018 - 3:30 pm

What you read on Nunatsiaqonline.ca during the first week of 2018

New Year's Day fire in Iqaluit leads the news

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
When the weather is the news: this photo showing a frigid Iqaluit on Jan. 5 became the second most-popular photo of the week on the Nunatsiaq News Facebook page, based on views, likes and shares. That day windchill temperatures remained below -50 C, leading to closures at the elementary schools and college. The cold also kept municipal waste and water trucks off the streets. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
When the weather is the news: this photo showing a frigid Iqaluit on Jan. 5 became the second most-popular photo of the week on the Nunatsiaq News Facebook page, based on views, likes and shares. That day windchill temperatures remained below -50 C, leading to closures at the elementary schools and college. The cold also kept municipal waste and water trucks off the streets. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
Louisa Neill is OK. Ottawa Police Service asked for the public’s help Jan. 4 to find Neill, 34, who is new to Ottawa and had not been seen since Dec. 31. The OPS reported Jan. 6 that she had been located. On the Nunatsiaq News Facebook page, this photo of Neill generated more than 120,000 views and 1,200 shares, making it by far the most circulated photo so far in 2018 on our Facebook page. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OPS)
Louisa Neill is OK. Ottawa Police Service asked for the public’s help Jan. 4 to find Neill, 34, who is new to Ottawa and had not been seen since Dec. 31. The OPS reported Jan. 6 that she had been located. On the Nunatsiaq News Facebook page, this photo of Neill generated more than 120,000 views and 1,200 shares, making it by far the most circulated photo so far in 2018 on our Facebook page. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OPS)

The new year started off with tragedy for five households in Iqaluit after a fire destroyed their five-plex during the night of Jan. 1 into Jan. 2.

The fire—and its aftermath, which saw a big fundraising effort by concerned residents in Iqaluit—brought in the highest number of readers to Nunatsiaq News during the first week of 2018, according to Google Analytics, which tracks our online traffic.

The City of Iqaluit’s fire department first received a call at 10:55 p.m. on Jan. 1 for the fire that would leave building 2217 in ruins and its residents displaced by the time the flames were fully extinguished at about 9 a.m. on Jan. 2.

When the fire department arrived, icy pumps and frozen hoses caused by low temperatures made getting water to the fire a challenge, said deputy fire chief Nelson Johnson, who added, “water doesn’t like to travel when it’s frozen.”

Three fire trucks and two ambulances responded and 22 firefighters fought the flames, but the building was flattened in order to quell the fire.

A heater set up outdoors with a hose that was forcing warm air into a utility space beneath the floor apparently fueled the fire in the building, owned by Northview Apartment REIT.

The incident marked the largest fire in Iqaluit since last winter, when a six-plex housing unit in Iqaluit’s Happy Valley neighbourhood was gutted in an overnight fire.

The second most-read story of the week on Nunatsiaqonline.ca offered an update into the continuing investigation into the recent shooting death of a Nunavik man.

David Sappa, 22, of Umiujaq was killed Dec. 28 by officers from the Kativik Regional Police Force after he was alleged to have posed a safety threat to the community of about 400 people.

According to investigators, Sappa was armed with knives and attempting to enter a community centre where holiday activities were underway. Officers tried to stop Sappa from entering the building, but when he turned toward police, officers shot him.

Quebec’s Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, or BEI, which investigates incidents in which civilians are killed or injured by police, is now probing the death with the help of Quebec provincial police, the Sûreté du Québec.

Also among the top five stories:

An online fundraising campaign seeks help for ailing Nunavut music legend, Charlie Panigoniak, who needs help with housing costs.

Panigoniak, who will turn 72 in March, suffers from Parkinson’s disease and the early signs of dementia. The plea on an online fundraising GoFundMe.com page said Panigoniak now needs money to help cover the cost of power and fuel for his Rankin Inlet home.

As of Jan. 8, more than $12,000 had been raised online to help Panigoniak.

It’s OK to sell seal-skin items on Facebook: it was all “a mistake,” says a company spokesperson, after a Facebook posting selling seal-skin mitts last month was refused.

Facebook said in a statement forwarded to Nunatsiaq News that “we recognize the deep importance of seal and other animal products to Indigenous Canadians and want to clarify that products like the one the seller posted are allowed for sale on our platform. This post was removed in error and the seller is encouraged to repost the item. We apologize for this mistake and value the feedback that helped us identify and correct it as quickly as possible.”

Two Nunavut children suffer serious injuries in snowmobile collision: Police said the 13-year-old driver and his 12-year-old passenger each sustained serious injuries in the incident, and had been been flown out of the community of about 850 for medical treatment.

On Jan. 2, Nunatsiaq News also featured a round-up of 2017’s top 10 online stories, which were led by the saga of the Swiss International Airlines jet that made an emergency landing last February in Iqaluit.

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