Unlicensed Blumenort massage therapist found not guilty

Svjetlana Mlinarevic 5 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2024

Content warning: The following article contains explicit and sexual language.

An unlicensed massage therapist from Blumenort has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting four women.

Bernhard Unger, 53, was charged last year with five counts of sexual assault on four women between January 2015 and September 2022. During his decision to acquit Unger, Judge Michael Clark said he wasn’t able to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Unger sexually assaulted these women as he couldn’t conclude that there was a sexual purpose in the way that Unger massaged them. He said the women appeared sincere but that while their stories had similarities, there were some inconsistencies.

The first woman went to Unger for back issues she was having in September 2022. She claimed Unger undid her bra while she was fully clothed on the table as he was massaging her. She claimed he rubbed his penis back and forth over her arm and massaged her backside “like someone enjoying your body.”


Advertise With Us


Jul. 14, 12 AM: 17°c Clear Jul. 14, 6 AM: 13°c Sunny

Steinbach MB

28°C, Windy

Full Forecast

Sunroom may stay, council decides

Greg Vandermeulen 2 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2024

A Steinbach resident will be able to keep his sunroom provided he upgrades it to meet a structural engineer’s certification, obtains a building permit and pays a fine of $1,000.

At the June 11 council meeting, Ben Toews made the request which would allow him to sell his Chrysler Gate home.

He told council he never meant to build the structure without the necessary permit.

Instead, he started with a deck, checking with the city and learning he didn’t need a permit. That was upgraded to a gazebo and once again he said he checked with the city and was told a permit was not required.

COLUMN: Eye on the Arts – Tots Summer Arts Day Camp starts Tuesday

Steinbach Arts Council 4 minute read Monday, Jul. 1, 2024

Our pilot project, Tots Summer Arts Day Camp at the Steinbach Arts Council, offers a variety of themed weeks designed for children aged 3-4. From exploring animals and art to diving into fairy tales and science, each week promises to deliver a fun and educational experience for our young participants.Pick your Week:• Zoologists Week (4 days): July 2 – July 5• Fairy Tale Week: July 15 – July 19• Little Olympians Week: July 22 – July 26• Science Discovery Week (4 days): August 6 – August 9Choose your week between July 2 and August 9 and register your tots for either the AM or PM sessions. Secure your spot today at steinbacharts.ca/tots-sadc/ or call us at 204.346.1077.Thank you to Canadian Tire Steinbach for sponsoring our Tots Summer Arts Day Camps.Summer Arts Day Camp! Your favourite Summer Arts Day Camp is back at the Steinbach Arts Council! From July 2 to August 9, choose your themed week and dive into a world of creativity and excitement. Whether you're passionate about art, music, dance, drama, or even sports, we have something for everyone!Join us to make new friends, explore your artistic talents, and create lasting memories. Our dedicated camp director and expert clinicians are committed to providing a safe and enriching environment for all participants. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to ignite your passion for the arts this summer!Open to children ages 5-8 & 9-12 – spots are filling up fast! register today at steinbacharts.ca/sadc/ or call us at 204.346.1077.Thank you to Canadian Tire Steinbach for sponsoring our Summer Arts Day Camps.Bursaries Available for Camps and ClassesThe Steinbach Arts Council offers several bursary funds to support children and newcomers in accessing their arts and culture programs. The Steinbach Dodge Creative Kids Bursary Fund provides financial assistance to families in need, helping to eliminate barriers and create opportunities for children to develop their skills and well-being through the council's diverse offerings.

Additionally, the Roxanne Klassen Memorial Fund is available to assist new Canadians, whether families looking to attend cultural events or students hoping to build their artistic abilities. The Vera Friesen Memorial Fund also offers camp bursaries for children to attend the council's Summer Arts Day Camps.These bursary programs demonstrate the Steinbach Arts Council's commitment to inclusion and making their enriching programming accessible to all members of the community.To apply for these bursaries, please visit us at 304 Second St to fill out a form or visit steinbacharts.ca/bursaries to learn more.Register your child at Arts4Tots!Is your child between the ages of 3-5? Our unique Arts4Tots Preschool Program blends Montessori-inspired learning with professional arts instruction in music, theatre, visual arts, and dance, fostering imagination and academic growth. With a curriculum that celebrates culture, focuses on essential developmental skills, and offers both indoor and outdoor lessons, we provide a nurturing environment for your tots to thrive. Register now to give your child the gift of creative learning and personal growth.Limited spots available! For more information, go to steinbacharts.ca/arts4tots or call Cassandra at 204.346.1077.Fall Classes StartJust a reminder to our participants that Fall Classes registration for all ages in our centre will open online and over the phone July 24, 2024. This includes registrations for our flagship programs such as:- Steinbach Children’s Chorus & Steinbach Youth Chorus (Grades 2-4, 5-8)- FUSION Musical Theatre (Grades 2-4, 5-8)- Backyard Theatre Company (Ages 5-8, 9-12)

- BOSS Dance Introductory Classes (Ages 3-5, 6-9)- ASAP After School Arts Program for Grades 5-12Please stay tuned for schedules on classes in pottery, everything art, and creative wellness workshops and more! To get updates, we encourage you to sign up to our bi-weekly newsletter. You can find our newsletter registration form on our website, steinbacharts.caRental Opportunities at SACThe Steinbach Arts Council takes pride in offering a diverse range of rental options tailored to various events. Our venue features four multi-purpose studios, a meeting room, gender-neutral and stalled bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen. Additionally, our facilities include an enclosed nature-inspired playground with a theatre stage, providing a perfect setting for children aged 1 to 5 years old to engage in creative play.

From music and dance recitals to intimate gatherings, our facilities are designed to meet your event needs seamlessly. If you're looking for a venue that combines functionality with artistic ambiance, look no further than the Steinbach Arts Council. To book, contact Jemil via email at office@steinbacharts.ca.

Roseau Valley School celebrates graduation

Greg Vandermeulen 2 minute read Preview

Roseau Valley School celebrates graduation

Greg Vandermeulen 2 minute read Monday, Jul. 1, 2024

Twenty-six graduates accepted their diplomas as part of the class of 2024 at Roseau Valley School in Dominion City on June 22.

The ceremony included an honour song from the Roseau River Singers and the gifting of star blankets to each graduate.

Valedictorians Natalie Chubaty and Morgan Hildebrand shared their memories, thanked those who played a role in their education and expressed their hopes for the future.

“We are thankful for your selfless dedication, your patience and time spent away from your families,” Chubaty said to school staff.

Monday, Jul. 1, 2024


Kyanna Froese hugs her grandpa Brent Froese after the ceremony.

Wildlife educates in Steinbach

Greg Vandermeulen 1 minute read Preview

Wildlife educates in Steinbach

Greg Vandermeulen 1 minute read Monday, Jul. 1, 2024

Attendees at a Monday event hosted by the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre had the opportunity to meet some unique animals and learn more about them. Education coordinator Julia Burcar said they average 25 to 30 presentations per month at senior residences, community groups, schools, preschools, daycares and private events. The centre, which relies on donors and grants, is currently home to 200 patients and has seen close to 600 pass through their doors so far this year. Currently located near St Adolphe, the organization has purchased land in East Selkirk which will be home to a brand-new education centre and animal hospital.

Monday, Jul. 1, 2024

Miss Butters, a grey squirrel treats volunteer Emma Tardiff as a tree during her presentation.

Canada Day fireworks postponed

Greg Vandermeulen 1 minute read Preview

Canada Day fireworks postponed

Greg Vandermeulen 1 minute read Monday, Jul. 1, 2024

Due to weather conditions, the Steinbach Canada Day Celebrations at the Soccer Park scheduled for this evening will be postponed to a later date.

Keep your eyes on the city's social media accounts and website for future date information.

Monday, Jul. 1, 2024

The Archangel Fireworks annual safety and standards refresher will turn night to day at Steinbach Soccer Park Saturday.

Steinbach man to serve jail time, at home

Alex Lambert 4 minute read 2:21 PM CDT

A man has been given nearly six months behind bars, to be served in the comfort of his Henry Street home.

Andreas Reimer, originally from Russia but grew up in Germany, is now a permanent resident in Canada and was arrested twice in less than a year.

The man who was desribed as a longtime meth addict was originally arrested by Sprague RCMP on Dec. 11, 2020, as he was walking near Piney with a loaded 7mm hunting rifle along with a scope.

Reimer identified himself as Alex and refused to say what he was doing walking along Highway 12 with a rifle outside of hunting season.

AS I SEE IT COLUMN: The crazy Paris Olympics of 1900

James Loewen 3 minute read 12:38 PM CDT

With the 2024 Paris games only a few weeks away, it might be fun to turn back the clock 124 years and see what the Olympics were like the first time Paris hosted the games.

This summer’s Olympics run from July 24 to August 11 and if you thought that is too long, the 1900 Paris Olympics took place from May 14 to October 28, a whopping five-month event.

When the 2024 games begin nearly 11,000 thousand athletes from 196 nations will descend on Paris to show the world the limits of the human body. By contrast, in 1900 only 26 nations participated in the second Olympics of the modern era (the first being in Athens in 1896) and only 1,226 athletes took part in the games.

Where things get really crazy is the list of sports the 1900 games had on its roster. Here’s a brief overview of some bizarre but actual Olympic events in Paris.

COLUMN: Ask the Money Lady – Four reasons why people don’t save

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read 11:02 AM CDT

Dear Money Lady Readers: I have been asked many times about the best times to invest – so today, I want to share with you the top 4 mistakes Canadians make when deciding to save for the future.

In our current economic environment, most are feeling the pinch of higher prices on the essentials and the higher lending rates when consolidating debt or renewing their mortgages. So, it’s not surprising that saving continues to take a back seat for most middle-class Canadians. There simply is not enough money in the budget to do it all…..right?

Life has a way of never making it the optimal time to save or invest and here are the top four reasons why many avoid it all together.

1. The emotional rollercoaster ride. Watching your investments go up and down every day in the market is a recipe for insanity and will guarantee to make you reluctant to invest additional funds. Investing requires a well thought out plan, often done with the help of a professional advisor, who knows your goals and risk tolerance and can recommend the right products versus investment ideas you may have been given by friends or family. You must understand your investment strategy so that you can remove the emotional component and make your decisions with a clear head, based on your long term financial goals.

COLUMN: Report from the Legislature – Ste Anne Hospital should be regional

Bob Lagasse, MLA for Dawson Trail 3 minute read 8:11 AM CDT

Happy belated Canada Day! Despite the rainy weather, I hope everyone was still able to get out, enjoy the long weekend, and celebrate festivities with friends and family.

Summer has officially begun, which means there are plenty of exciting events on the horizon. Over the next couple of months, Manitobans can look forward to so many different and unique community events, including parades, festivals, and markets, just to name a few, as well as Folklorama in the coming weeks. I encourage you all to get out, soak up the nice weather, and take in some of the different local events happening throughout the summer, as it is a great way to show support for your fellow community members.

I would also like to take the time to encourage the provincial government to designate Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital as a regional hospital. Despite not having the official designation, the hospital has always operated with a regional approach.

Between 2016 and 2021, the region’s municipalities experienced an average population growth of 14.8 percent, with the Town of Ste Anne experiencing a 36.8 percent increase over the same period. This population growth has created an increased demand for healthcare, while the hospital has had to limit their hours of operation due to a significant shortage of bilingual healthcare professionals. By designating Hôpital Ste-Anne Hospital as a regional hospital rather than a community hospital, it would help strengthen their capacity, ensuring the hospital’s sustainability and future for the benefit of the regional population. They would be able to offer more competitive salaries as well, enabling them to recruit and retain skilled bilingual health professionals, while also being able to broaden their range of specialized services, reception capacity, emergency services, and care programs.

COLUMN: Think Again – When leaders refuse to leave

Michael Zwaagstra 4 minute read Yesterday at 5:47 PM CDT

Timing is everything in politics. Political success often has more to do with timing than with skill.

For example, Justin Trudeau become Liberal leader when Canadians were starting to tire of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. Nine years later, Pierre Poilievre became Conservative leader at time when people were blaming the Trudeau government for the high cost of living. Trudeau and Poilievre are both skilled politicians, but they also benefited from good timing.

However, getting in at the right time is one thing—knowing when to leave is another. Party leaders have an unfortunate tendency to stay in office one election too long.

We saw this nine years ago when Harper lost the 2015 election. Had Harper stepped down earlier, he would have been able to retire on his own terms rather than have the voters do it for him.

COLUMN: Eye on the Arts – Announcing our 45th anniversary concert season

Steinbach Arts Council 4 minute read Yesterday at 2:18 PM CDT

The Steinbach Arts Council is commemorating its 45th anniversary by presenting an impressive lineup of concerts that will captivate audiences in the community. The season includes:

- Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra’s “Swingin’ in Time” performance on Oct. 4, 2024, showcasing the best of big band music from the past century.

- Orontes Guitarists’ “Stories of Refuge” on Nov. 1, 2024, featuring an uplifting blend of classical guitar works.

- Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Tour on Dec. 3, 2024, with symphonic classics of the season, a guest narrator, and a performance by Accent Singers.

Reimer brings backyard ultramarathon to Manitoba

Cassidy Dankochik 3 minute read Preview

Reimer brings backyard ultramarathon to Manitoba

Cassidy Dankochik 3 minute read Yesterday at 12:36 PM CDT

A new kind of running race for the province made its debut in Blumenort this weekend, as the inaugural Old Tom Backyard Ultramarathon was hosted by Steffan and Danny Reimer.

A backyard ultramarathon features runners completing a 4.167 mile course every hour, with each circuit starting on the hour. The distance was chosen so runners complete 100 miles in 24 hours.

Winnipeg’s Justin Davey was able to win the race, completing an impressive 26 circuits over 26 hours.Two runners, Steinbach’s Greg Penner and Winnipeg’s Hyojin Lee finished 25 laps. The winner of the race completes one circuit on their own before the race is declared over.

Steffan, an accomplished marathon and ultramarathon runner in his own right, traded in a participant’s bib for an race director’s role at the event, which was held on his family farm.

Yesterday at 12:36 PM CDT

Justin Davey (centre) was the winner of the first annual Old Tom Backyard Ultramarathon, the first backyard ultramarathon in Manitoba. The race was organized by Steffan and Danny Reimer. (Instagram)

COLUMN: Village News – Steinbach’s First Families – Johann & Anna (Warkentin) Reimer, Aganetha Barkman

Nathan Dyck 4 minute read Preview

COLUMN: Village News – Steinbach’s First Families – Johann & Anna (Warkentin) Reimer, Aganetha Barkman

Nathan Dyck 4 minute read Yesterday at 11:57 AM CDT

Johann was a brother of Klaas Reimer of Wirtschaft 9 & 10, and he and his wife Anna travelled alongside other family members on the journey to Canada. He found the opportunities for growth in Russia stifling and was eager to make the move to a new land where opportunities seemed abundant. Their two-year-old son Abraham died on the journey, and three-year-old daughter Elisabeth died just months after arriving in Canada. Their daughter Anna, born Nov. 17, 1874, was potentially one of the first children born in Steinbach.

After settling on Wirtschaft 11, Johann purchased some oxen with his brother-in-law Peter Toews in the first spring and they were able to plough and seed a portion of their land alongside a few of Steinbach’s other settlers. A grasshopper plague wiped out most of their efforts, leaving them very reliant on neighboring established communities. Johann served in the role of schulz (mayor) in 1880-1881, the same year that his wife Anna passed away.

Becoming a widower at the age of 32, with four daughters between the ages of one and six, Johann hired a young woman to help keep house. He eventually proposed to her, and in 1882 he married Aganetha Barkman when she was just 18. By the next year they were farming 40 acres alongside caring for livestock, and in 1884, they built a new home.

Aganetha had 10 children of her own and became a trained midwife who attended to over 600 births in the community. She was also known to care for the bodies of the deceased and prepare them for burial. Johann ran a successful market garden and sold fruits and vegetables in Winnipeg, transporting his goods in his light, fast wagon. In 1916, the Reimers were the last remaining family still living on a Wirtschaft, which they sold to C.T. Loewen. Moving their house and barn to a property a mile east of the village marked the end of the pioneer era of Steinbach.

Yesterday at 11:57 AM CDT

The C. T. Loewen mill that occupied the site of the Reimer house after they moved the final pioneering household off the property in 1916.

The search for a new Seine River SD superintendent

Chris Gareau 3 minute read Preview

The search for a new Seine River SD superintendent

Chris Gareau 3 minute read Yesterday at 8:08 AM CDT

A report from incoming interim superintendent Reg Klassen detailed the way Seine River School Division (SRSD) sought out feedback from employee groups on what kind of person they want to take over after the surprise resignation of Ryan Anderson on May 24 after less than two years on the job.

Klassen will retire July 31 from Frontier School Division, which covers three quarters of Manitoba’s geographic area. He plans on taking the interim tag for SRSD on Aug. 19, but stopped by the last SRSD board meeting of the school year to deliver the report between road trips to Frontier school graduations.

“Our target is that by the time I start… that a new superintendent will be selected,” said Klassen after the meeting.

He explained that he still needs to hang around for a while, as most people hired for such a job usually need about six months to make the transition from their prior employment.

Yesterday at 8:08 AM CDT

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press

Frontier School Division Chief Superintendent Reg Klassen is hoping to find a new Seine River School Division superintendent before he starts as SRSD interim Aug. 19.

Strawberry season ripens to fruition

Alex Lambert 3 minute read Preview

Strawberry season ripens to fruition

Alex Lambert 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 11, 2024

Even with a soggy spring, strawberries are being picked and popped into mouths.

Andy Loewen with Friedensfeld Honey and Berry Farm said the rainy weather has been a good change from last year’s dry season, which was the driest in 50 years.

He said despite last year’s bone-dry season, their crop was average. This year it’s an above-average crop in terms of the number of berries.

Customers have also been showing up in rows to get their knees dirty for the freshest berries one can buy.

Thursday, Jul. 11, 2024


From left, Zayne, Arya and Skylar Tomson collect strawberries to fill buckets and mouths at the Friedensfeld Honey and Berry Farm on Monday.