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Happy New Year! We're going Loonie over here!

The calendar turns to 2012 and the curling season is building toward the playdown battles soon to begin in earnest.

The Scotties field will be decided by the end of the month, with many new stories to be written, with Junior provincials last week and this week, and the Brier playdowns having begun across the country.  I'm very much looking forward to the inevitable battle of Manitoba to begin in Dauphin, Manitoba when reigning World Champions Team Stoughton looks to hold off the newly appointed #1 ranked team in the world, Team McEwen.

As for Team McEwen, Skipper Mike and his longtime girlfriend Dawn Askin (of team Jennifer Jones) became engaged over the holidays.  Congrats to the couple on the news!

Team McEwen is charged over the upcoming challenge they face in Manitoba, and really know that they'll be judged on when they make their first Brier appearance. Not really a household name yet, but these guys will be soon! Far From Home: Team McEwen goes behind the scenes during their recent appearance in the final of the BDO Canadian Open in Kingston.

How about a little story of a lesser known team, the Schlender boys from Edmonton? In Far From Home: Team Schlender, the team visits the Loonie Curling Club, and finds themselves on the farm of Alex McKinney, sharing in shots of maple syrup and Baileys and tossing some granite near Chaffey's Locks. A great look at one of the fun teams on Tour!

Some quick hitters:

How about supporting United States curler, Olympian and musician Chris Plys? He played a couple sets during the WCT Stu Sells Toronto Tankard in October, where he was playing 3rd for Team George and his CD is now for sale!  Listen here, and buy here!

Town of Kirkland Lake writes off $80,000 in back taxes for the curling club, taking a lot of pressure off the membership, story here.

The Norfolk Curling Club in Connecticut looks to rebuild after a recent devastating fire, more details here.

World Curling Tour goes to Scotland this weekend, a preview in the local Perthshire Advertiser outlines the allure of curling (and golfing) in Scotland in January!

Looking forward to much more coming up, and suggestions are always welcome as we work to make this the next can't miss curling blog!

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