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THURSDAY JANUARY 29

AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY INTO THE DEATH OF A SECOND INMATE THIS WEEK AT THE MEDIUM SECURITY PRISION IN DRUMHELLER. ON WEDNESDAY MORNING (JAN 28), 47 YEAR OLD MARTIN PINKUS WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN HIS CELL. STAFF BEGAN CPR AND EMERGENCY SERVICES TRANSPORTED THE VICTIM TO THE DRUMHELLER HOSPITAL, BUT WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD BY EARLY AFTERNOON. COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER FOR Correctional Service Canada JEFF CAMPBELL SAYS THE CORONER'S OFFICE AND THE POLICE HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED, ALSO PENITENTIARY OFFICIALS ARE REVIEWING THE INCIDENT. AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, PINKUS WAS SERVING AND INDETERMINATE SENTENCE SINCE DECEMEBER 20, 1999 FOR SECOND DEGREE MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM. ON MONDAY (JAN 26), 56 YEAR Earl William Davenport was found unresponsive in his cell and could not be revived. He was convicted of first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of his sister-in-law and her friend IN HAMLITON, ONTARIO IN 1986.                                                                                                                                      
POOR ROAD AND WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE FACTORS WHEN A SEMI-TRAILER TRUCK, LOADED WITH CATTLE, CRASHED IN EAST CENTRAL ALBERTA WEDNESDAY MORNING (JAN 28).   EMERGENCY CREWS RESPONDED TO THE CATTLE LINER ROLL-OVER ON HIGHWAY 36 ABOUT 10 KILOMETRES SOUTH OF CASTOR.  MANY OF THE CATTLE DIED OR HAD TO BE EUTHANIZED, WHILE THE DRIVER WAS TAKEN TO HOSPITAL WITH MINOR INJURIES. MOUNTIES SAY THE HIGHWAY WAS VERY ICY AND VISIBILITY WAS REDUCED, DUE TO FOG.
                                                                                                                                           
The sister of a disabled woman IN INNISFAIL who was killed by a pipe bomb disguised as a Christmas present says her sibling had been scared and frustrated before her death as she watched her financial nest egg DISAPPEAR. Brian Malley, 57, who had been Victoria Shachtay's financial advisor, is  charged with first-degree murder. On Wednesday (JAN 28) IN RED DEER COURT, Sarah Shachtay testified her sister was going broke, despite having been awarded more than $750,000 in injury settlements from three car accidents between 2004 and 2011, including one that left her unable to use her legs.  She admitted under cross-examination that part of that could have been the result of Victoria's spending habits, though she added her sister had cut back and was becoming wiser, and planned to go back to school. Sarah Shachtay also testified BRIAN Malley had been close to her family, attending Victoria's baptism and later the funeral of their mother. She said after her sister was injured in a car crash, Malley's home-building company built the family a wheelchair accessible bungalow and allowed the SHACHTAY family to live in his grandmother's house, which was also wheelchair accessible, while THE NEW HOME was BEING BUILT. 
                                                                                                                       
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 28
A MAN WHO SPENT MORE THAN 25 YEARS IN PRISON FOR MURDERING TWO WOMEN HAS BEEN FOUND DEAD AT THE MEDIUM SECURITY PENITENTIARY IN DRUMHELLER. CORRECTIONAL SERVICE CANADA SAYS EARL WILLIAM DAVENPORT WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN HIS CELL ON MONDAY (JAN 26) AND COULD NOT BE REVIVED. A CORRECTIONAL SERVICE SPOKESMAN SAYS FOUL PLAY IS NOT SUSPECTED. THE MATTER IS NOW IN THE HANDS OF THE CORONER'S OFFICE AND THE POLICE AS THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES. THE INSTITUTION IS RUNING ON A NORMAL ROUTINE. DAVENPORT, WHO WAS 56, HAD BEEN SERVING AN INDETERMINATE SENTENCE SINCE NOVEMBER 1987. HE WAS CONVICTED OF FIRST- AND SECOND-DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATHS OF HIS SISTER-IN-LAW AND HER FRIEND. LAURA DAVENPORT AND SUSAN HORNBECK WERE STABBED TO DEATH IN AN ATTACK IN HAMILTON, ONTARIO IN 1986. 
                                                                                                                                                                                  
ANOTHER MAJOR OILPATCH COMPANY IS CUTTING ITS BUDGET DUE TO PLUNGING OIL PRICES. CENOVUS ENERGY HAS LOWERED ITS 2015 CAPITAL BUDGET BY ABOUT 700-MILLION DOLLARS LESS THAN THE PREVIOUS ESTIMATE AND IS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO CUT ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS BY UP TO 500-MILLION DOLLARS IN THE YEARS AHEAD. THE CALGARY-BASED COMPANY HAS ALSO ANNOUNCED PLANS TO REASSIGN EMPLOYEES TO CORE AREAS AND REDUCE ITS  THE SIZE OF ITS CONTRACT WORKFORCE IN THE COMING WEEKS, BUT DIDN'T SAY HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED. CENOVUS SAYS IT'S SUSPENDING MOST OF ITS CONVENTIONAL DRILLING PROGRAM IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA AND SASKATCHEWAN BUT WILL CONTINUE PROJECTS AT THE CHRISTINA LAKE AND FOSTER CREEK OIL SANDS OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN ALBERTA.
                                                                                                                                      
ANOTHER RUAL COMMUNITY GROUP IN ALBERTA IS BENEFITTING FROM THE UNITED FARMERS OF ALBERTA "GET N' GIVE" CONTEST. LAST NIGHT (JAN 27) THE CASSILLS COMMUNITY CENTRE BUILDING COMMITTEE, LOCATED JUST WEST OF BROOKS, WAS CHOSEN AS THE THIRD ROUND WINNER OF 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM THE UFA FOR THEIR PROJECT. THE SECOND ROUND WINNER, THE MUNSON AND AREA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, JUST NORTH OF DRUMHELLER CHOSE CASSILS OUT OF FIVE FINALISTS. AND CHAIR OF THE MUNSON GROUP, BECKY KOWALCHUCK SAYS THE CASSILS ENTRY REALLY STOOD OUT WITH LOTS OF CREATIVITY AND A COMPELLING STORY. SHE SAYS CASSILS HAS AN AGING COMMUNITY HALL WHICH IS THE HUB OF THEIR COMMUNITY. THE HALL IS THE FORMER CASSILS SCHOOL WHICH WAS THEN RENOVATED AND HAS BEEN USED SINCE THE EARLY 1960'S. WITH THIS ADDTIONAL MONEY, THEY COULD BREAK GROUND ON A NEW 275 SEAT FACILITY THIS SPRING. THE OTHER FINALISTS IN THE THIRD ROUND INCLUDED THE ARMENA ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, NORTH OF CAMROSE...THE BEZANSON AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY, NORTH EAST OF GRANDE PRAIRIE...THE LIBERTY HALL SOCIETY, NORTH WEST OF PONOKA... AND THE WORSLEY HAMLET IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE, NORTH WEST OF PEACE RIVER.  THERE ARE STILL TWO MORE PRIZES OF 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BE WON. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS ALBERTA ARE ENCOURAGED TO ENTER. THE DEADLINE FOR THE FOURTH ROUND IS FEBRUARY 15TH. GO TO THE UFA WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO ENTER. RURAL ORGANIZATIONS AND GROUPS ACROSS ALBERTA WITH A PROJECT IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF THEIR COMMUNITY ARE ENCOURAGED TO ENTER, AS WELL AS THOSE ENTRIES WHO WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN PREVIOUS ROUNDS. 
                                                                                                                       
TUESDAY JANUARY 27
RCMP CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE A FATAL ATV ROLLOVER FROM THE WEEKEND IN THE DRUMHELLER AREA. OFFICERS FROM RCMP DETACHEMENTS IN DRUMHELLER, HANNA, AND STETTLER WERE CALLED OUT SATURDAY NIGHT (JAN 24) AROUND 9:30 TO A RURAL LOCATION NEAR THE COMMUNITY OF BYEMOOR, BETWEEN DRUMHELLER AND STETTLER. POLICE SAY A MAN DRIVING AN "ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE" WITH A FEMALE PASSENGER ATTEMPTED TO GO UP A STEEP BANK, BUT THE ATV FLIPPED. THE FEMALE PASSENGER WAS THROWN FROM THE VEHICLE, WHILE THE ATV LANDED ON TOP OF THE MALE DRIVER. THE MAN DYING OF HIS INJURIES WHILE THE FEMALE VICTIM WAS SENT TO STETTLER HOSPITAL WITH MINOR INJURIES. INVESTIGATORS SAY THE DRIVER AND THE PASSENGER WERE NOT WEARING SAFETY HELMETS. ALCOHOL IS NOT A FACTOR. NO NAMES ARE BEING RELEASED.

The former head of a taxpayer lobby group says he is getting public pressure to seek the leadership of the Alberta Wildrose party, but he has yet to make his decision. Derek Fildebrandt, the former head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, held a news conference MONDAY MORNING (JAN 26) IN STRATHMORE, JUST east of Calgary, to announce he will seek the Wildrose nomination in THE Strathmore-Brooks CONSTITUENCY.  The riding's current member of the legislature, FORMER WILDROSE MEMBER Jason Hale, crossed the floor to join the ruling Progressive Conservative government IN DECEMBER. Fildebrandt, who is 29, says constituents in Strathmore-Brooks feel they have been betrayed by Hale's defection. Fildebrandt ADDS, he is still considering running for the WILDROSE leadership and will discuss the matter with family, friends and supporters in the next few weeks.

SEVERAL RCMP OFFICERS FROM AROUND OUR REGION TAKING PART IN A SPECIAL TRAINING EXERCISE LAST WEEK. ON WEDNESDAY (JAN 21),  MEMBERS FROM AIRDRIE, BEISEKER, THREE HILLS, AND OKOTOKS SPENT THE DAY WITH THE CALGARY CITY POLICE, AS THEY TRAINED FOR IN-SCHOOL EMERGENCIES. OFFICERS GATHERED AT A CALGARY CITY SCHOOL AND THEN ENGAGED IN A REALISTIC SCENARIO EXCERCISE. THE MOUNTIES WERE TRAINED FOR RESPONSES TO THREATS TO STUDENTS OR STAFF.  RCMP OFFICIALS SAY REALISTIC SCENARIOS PREPARE OFFICERS FOR THE UNEXPECTED AND EMPHASIZE TEAMWORK.

 

mONDAY JANUARY 26

THE ALBERTA GOVERNMENT IS INJECTING A CASH SURGE TO TRY TO CLEAR UP THE REMAINING CLAIMS FROM THE PROVINCE'S 2013 FLOOD DISASTER. PREMIER JIM PRENTICE ANNOUNCING ON SATURDAY (JAN 24) IN HIGH RIVER AN EXTRA 20-MILLION DOLLARS TO FAST TRACK UNRESOLVED CLAIMS FROM ROUGHLY TWO-THOUSAND APPLICANTS. THE FLOODS IN PARTS OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA DID BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF DAMAGE.  HIGH RIVER WAS PARTICULARLY HARD HIT WITH ENTIRE NEIGHBOURHOODS UNDER WATER FOR WEEKS. HIGH RIVER MAYOR CRAIG SNODGRASS HAD BEEN ADVOCATING FOR ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE PROVINCE FOR THOSE DEALING WITH MOULD PROBLEMS. HE SAYS THIS WEEKEND'S ANNOUNCEMENT IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. MORE THAN 10-THOUSAND FLOOD VICTIMS APPLIED FOR DISASTER AID AND NEARLY 110-MILLION DOLLARS HAS BEEN HANDED OUT SO FAR. IN ADDITION, HE SAYS THOSE SEEKING TO COMPLETE REPAIRS ON THEIR HOMES WILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE A CASH ADVANCE OF 90 PER CENT OF FUNDING THEY ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE. PREVIOUSLY, THOSE LOOKING FOR CASH UP FRONT WERE ONLY ELIGIBLE FOR 50 PER CENT. ONCE REPAIRS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, APPLICANTS CAN SUBMIT RECEIPTS TO RECEIVE THE FINAL 10 PER CENT IN FUNDING. PRENTICE HAS BEEN SENDING SIGNALS RECENTLY THAT A SPRING ELECTION IS IN THE CARDS.                                                                                                               
MEANWHILE, FORMER WILDROSE LEADER DANIELLE SMITH SAYS SHE'S SORRY SHE DIDN'T WAIT TO HEAR FROM ALBERTANS BEFORE SHE AND OTHER CAUCUS MEMBERS CROSSED THE FLOOR TO JOIN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES. SMITH JOINED PREMIER PRENTICE ON SATURDAY (JAN 24) IN HIGH RIVER FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO HELP THE 2013 FLOOD VICTIMS.  SMITH TELLING REPORTERS AFTER THAT SHE MISREAD HOW ANGRY THE PUBLIC WAS GOING TO BE AFTER MOVING SO QUICKLY TO JOIN THE GOVERNMENT. SHE SAYS THE MOVE HAD TO BE APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT CAUCUS AND THE NEXT MEETING AFTER DECEMBER WASN'T GOING TO BE UNTIL JANUARY 28TH. SMITH SAYS PREMIER JIM PRENTICE ALSO MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE WANTED TO START THE NOMINATION PROCESS IN JANUARY.                                                                                                                                                             
A MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING A DISABLED INNISFAIL WOMAN WITH A PIPE BOMB DISGUISED AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT TOLD POLICE HE FELT SICK WHEN THEY TOLD HIM HE WAS BEING CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER. A VIDEOTAPE OF BRIAN MALLEY'S STATEMENT TO POLICE WAS INTRODUCED AS EVIDENCE ON FRIDAY (JAN 23), IN THE FIFTH DAY OF HIS COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH TRIAL IN RED DEER. IN THE VIDEO, MALLEY APPEARED WORRIED AND UNEASY AS HE SAT IN A POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM. THE CROWN HAS TOLD THE JURY THAT VICTORIA SHACHTAY RECEIVED A SETTLEMENT OF $575,000 AFTER A CAR CRASH LEFT HER A QUADRIPLEGIC. PROSECUTOR ANDERS QUIST HAS SAID THAT MALLEY, WHO WAS HER FINANCIAL ADVISOR, LOST ALL OF SHACHTAY'S MONEY, WAS GOING INTO DEBT BY GIVING HER MONEY OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET AND KILLED HER TO CUT HIS LOSSES. DEFENCE LAWYER BOB ALONEISSI HAS SAID EVIDENCE WILL SHOW SOME OF THE WOMAN'S RELATIVES HAD ADDICTION PROBLEMS AND THE REAL KILLER WAS SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO SHACHTAY OR HER FAMILY.                                                                                                                       
THREE HILLS RCMP ARE ASKING FOR THE PUBLIC'S HELP IN A BREAK AND ENTER INCIDENT INVOLVING SOME UNIQUE ITEMS. MOUNTIES SAY IT WAS ON JANUARY 5TH WHEN THEY RECEIVED A REPORT OF A BREAK-IN AT ELNORA, NORTH EAST OF THREE HILLS. POLICE SAY AMONG THE ITEMS TAKEN WERE 28 UNIQUE RODEO BELT BUCKLES. MOST ARE INSCRIBED WITH THE AWARD TYPE, LOCATION OF THE RODEO, AND DATES. INVESTIGATORS SAY THE SUSPECTS MAY TRY TO SELL THE BUCKLES TO THE REGULAR PUBLIC, COLLECTORS OR PAWN SHOPS. POLICE SAY OTHER ITEMS STOLEN INCLUDE POWER HAND TOOLS, PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO EQUIPMENT AND 5-RIFLES OF VARIOUS MAKES AND CALIBRE. IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS INCIDENT, CALL THE RCMP OR CRIMESTOPPERS.   
                                                                                                                                                  

FRIDAY JANUARY 23

A 59-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM CALGARY HAS BEEN CHARGED FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING A SEMI CARRYING FUEL ON A BUSY HIGHWAY JUST NORTH OF CALGARY. AIRDRIE RCMP SAY THE MAN IS CHARGED WITH CARELESS DRIVING UNDER THE TRAFFIC SAFETY ACT. HIS NAMED HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED. EARLIER THIS WEEK ON TUESDAY MORNING, (JAN 20), A TRUCK-TRAILER UNIT ROLLED INTO THE MEDIAN AFTER JACK-KNIFING ON HIGHWAY TWO NOT FAR FROM THE CROSS IRON MILLS SHOPPING MALL NEAR BALZAC. ABOUT 13,000 LITRES OF GASOLINE SPILLED INTO NEARBY WETLANDS AND TRAFFIC WAS TIED UP FOR SEVEARL HOURS. IT'S EXPECTED TO TAKE WEEKS TO FULLY CLEAN UP THE SPILL.


TESTIMONY FROM A PAIR OF FORENSIC EXPLOSIVES AND GUNPOWDER EXPERTS SUGGESTS THE GUNPOWDER USED IN THE BOMB THAT KILLED A DISABLED INNISFAIL WOMAN WAS SIMILAR TO GUNPOWDER RESIDUE RECOVERED FROM THE RESIDENCE OF THE MAN ACCUSED IN HER DEATH. HOWEVER, NIGEL HEARNS AND BRAD CANNEY AGREED THE GUNPOWDER USED IN THE BOMB IS AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY AND THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE WAY TO SAY THEY ARE FROM THE SAME BATCH OF GUNPOWDER. THE MEN WERE TESTIFYING THURSDAY (JAN 22) AT THE TRIAL OF BRIAN MALLEY, 57, CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE NOVEMBER 2011 DEATH OF VICTORIA SHACHTAY. SHACHTAY, 23, WAS KILLED WHEN SHE OPENED A BOMB DISGUISED AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT LEFT ON THE FRONT STEP OF HER HOME IN INNISFAIL AND IT EXPLODED. A VIDEO PRESENTED TO JURORS ON THURSDAY SHOWED SHACHTAY SLUMPED OVER IN HER WHEELCHAIR, SURROUNDED BY SHATTERED GLASS THAT WAS ONCE HER DINING ROOM TABLE. THE VIDEO, TAKEN BY SGT. BRUCE HAMBLIN FROM THE RCMP'S FORENSIC IDENTIFICATION SECTION WAS TAKEN JUST AFTER THE BLAST, ALSO SHOWED TWO RCMP EXPLOSIVE DISPOSAL UNIT MEMBERS ENTERING SHACHTAY'S RESIDENCE IN SEARCH OF SECONDARY EXPLOSIVE DEVICES.

A NEIGHBOURHOOD IN HIGH RIVER THAT WAS HARD HIT BY THE 2013 FLOODS NOW SEEMS TO HAVE DEVELOPED A RELATED PROBLEM. MANY PEOPLE IN THE HAMPTONS WHO HAVE ALREADY SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS REBUILDING THEIR PROPERTY ARE REPORTING MOULD ISSUES, WITH SOME FEARING THEIR HOMES WILL END UP HAVING TO BE TORN DOWN. HAMPTON RESIDENT CAROL FERGUSON SAYS SHE FEELS LIKE SHE'S IN A WAR ZONE.
HIGH RIVER MAYOR CRAIG SNODGRASS SAYS HE'LL BE SPEAKING WITH PREMIER JIM PRENTICE SOON ABOUT A COMPLETE COMPENSATION PACKAGE FOR THE HOMEOWNERS WHO WON'T BE ABLE TO SALVAGE BECAUSE OF THE MOULD DAMAGE. SNODGRASS ADDS THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THEY GET THIS RIGHT AFTER THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH DURING THE DISASTER.
 
PEOPLE WANTING TO TAKE PART IN THIS YEAR'S  DRUMHELLER AND DISTRICT MUSIC FESTIVAL ARE REMINDED THAT TODAY (JAN 23) IS THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES. ENTRY SECRETARY TRACY KAKUK SAYS IT'S A BUSY TIME FOR HER AND THE PEOPLE SHE'S WORKING WITH. YOU'RE ASKED TO HAVE TODAY'S POSTMARK IF POSSIBLE. KAKUK SAYS THEY'LL EXTEND THE DEADLINE TO THIS MONDAY AND TUESDAY (JAN 26+27) TO THOSE WHO CAN'T GET ALL INFORMATION TOGETHER. THE DRUMHELLER AND DISTRICT MUSIC FESTIVAL RUNS MARCH 17 TO MARCH 26TH. THEY AVERAGE ABOUT 375 TO 400 ENTRIES EACH YEAR. THERE ARE SEVEN CATEGORIES INCLUDING PIANO, CHOIRS, BANDS, MUSICAL THEATRE, VOCAL, AND SPEECH.  ALL AGES ARE ENCOURAGED TO SIGN UP, MALE AND FEMALE. ENTRIES CAN BE FROM INDIVIDUALS, DUETS, TRIOS, OR GROUPS.
 
                                                                                                                  

THURSDAY, January 22

A regimental funeral will be held on Monday (JAN 26) for an Alberta R-C-M-P officer who died yesterday after he and a colleague were shot inside a casino. Forty-two-year-old Constable David Wynn was shot in the head when he approached a man suspected in the case of a stolen truck. R-C-M-P assistant commissioner Marlin Degrand says Wynn was being proactive in the pursuit of his job, and says he should be remembered as a great police officer. The funeral will be held in St. Albert.

 
Alberta's justice minister wants to know how the Crown handled a career criminal and why he was free when he shot two R-C-M-P officers last weekend. Jonathan Denis (DEN'-ihs) has ordered a review of court records that show an Edmonton police officer stood in for the Crown and consented to Shawn Rehn's release at his last bail hearing. Denis wants to know why a man facing dozens of criminal charges was not in POLICE custody. The Mounties have said they will review their own interactions with the suspect, who was found dead after the shootings last Saturday (JAN 17) at a casino in St. Albert.
The caregiver of an INNISFAIL woman who died when a pipe bomb disguised as a Christmas present exploded broke down during her testimony YESTERDAY (JAN 21) at the accused's trial AT THE RED DEER COURTHOUSE. 57 YEAR OLD Brian Malley is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Shachtay (SHAK'-tay) in November 2011. The package had been left on the doorstep of Shachtay's apartment in the town of Innisfail. The caregiver narrowly missed being injured in the explosion. She testified that she and Shachtay had been celebrating the night before because the caregiver became a permanent resident of Canada. Shachtay, who was 23, was paralyzed after a car crash several years before and had to use an electric wheelchair to get around. MALLEY WAS SHACHTAY'S FINANCIAL ADVISOR AND IS BELIEVED TO HAVE LOST ALL OF THE WOMAN'S MONEY THAT SHE RECEIVED IN THE CAR CRASH SETTLEMENT.

Alberta Environment says an upcoming hunt NEAR MEDICINE HAT to try to reduce a booming elk population in the province's southeast has drawn extensive interest. A spokesperson says 20,000 hunters applied for 500 tags to bag an elk at CFB Suffield next month. About 200 elk were brought to the base in the 1990s under a provincial-federal program to introduce grazing animals to the region. But the herd has grown to between 6,500 and 8,000 animals that jump fences around the base and damage or trample LOCAL FARMER'S crops. There have already been a number of hunts to try to cull the elk. But their numbers remain unmanageable, so Alberta Environment last month announced the additional February hunt. 
                                                                                                                                     

WEDNESDAY, January 21

An Alberta R-C-M-P officer who was shot in the head during a routine investigation in a community just outside Edmonton last weekend has died.
Police say Constable David Matthew Wynn died in hospital this morning (JAN 21). WYNn never regained consciousness after he and an auxiliary officer, Constable Derek Bond, were wounded at a casino in St. Albert early Saturday morning (JAN 17) while they investigated a stolen truck. Bond was hit in the right arm and torso, but was released from hospital several hours after the shooting. The shooter, Shawn Rehn, was found dead in a home not far from the casino in an apparent suicide. He had a long criminal record and the R-C-M-P commissioner has raised questions about why he was not behind bars. The 42-year-old Wynn is survived by his wife, Shelly, and three sons Matthew, Nathan and Alexander. Deputy R-C-M-P Commissioner Marianne Ryan has issued a statement saying the force has lost a dedicated member in the line of duty. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has expressed condolences on behalf of all Canadians. He says this is a grim reminder of how law officers in communities across the country put their lives on the line every day to protect Canadians from harm. Harper says ``We mourn with all R-C-M-P members today.'' Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says Wynn paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Mounties say there will be a regimental funeral for Wynn in the Edmonton area.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
A neighbour of an disabled INNISFAIL woman killed by a bomb says he heard a loud bang and saw glass flying out of her window. Evan Schielke (SHELL-key) testified yesterday (JAN 20) DURING A TRIAL IN RED DEER that he found Victoria Shachtay in her wheelchair in the kitchen, her head bleeding and her face covered with black marks. Brian Malley, Shachtay's financial adviser, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the woman's death. Court has heard Shachtay was killed instantly when she opened a Christmas gift bag that had been left on her doorstep. The Crown plans to submit evidence that shows Malley lost all of Shachtay's money and was going into debt by giving her money out of his own pocket. Defence lawyer Bob Aloneissi has said evidence will show some of the woman's relatives had addiction problems and the real killer was someone who wanted to send a message to Shachtay or her family.
It's expected to take weeks to fully clean up after a semi carrying fuel rolled on a busy highway just north of Calgary.  An official with Rockyview County says 13,000 litres of gasoline spilled into nearby wetlands after the accident on Highway TWO. YESTERDAY MORNING (JAN 20) The truck-trailer unit rolled into the median ditch after jack-knifing on the highway not far from Cross Iron Mills MALL NEAR BALZAC. The highway was closed in both directions, backing up traffic, but several lanes reopened after several hours. HOWEVER, A PORTION OF THE NORTH BOUND LANE OF HIGHWAY TWO IS STILL AFFECTED AS YOU APPROACH BALZAC. No one was injured. Alberta Environment and crews from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency are monitoring.  
                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                  
TUESday January 20
Fuel was leaking after the crash of a tanker truck just north of Calgary. Emergency crews were called out just after 5:00 this morning (JAN 20) when the accident happened in the northbound lanes of Highway TWO NEAR the Cross Iron Mills MALL. The tanker is carrying gasoline and diesel fuel. Traffic is moving slowly through the area and it's not clear how long the cleanup will take.
 
AIRDRIE RCMP are asking people to be careful after a razor was found taped to the side of a shopping cart at a Calgary-area mall. The blade, measuring about 10 centimetres in length, was discovered THIS PAST Sunday by a store employee at Cross Iron Mills MALL NEAR BALZAC. Police say the blade was placed so that it could have resulted in injury to a user. No one was hurt and all other carts in the mall were checked, but no other blades were found. No one has been arrested and it's not known when or where the blade was taped to the cart.
 

Monday January 19

The man convicted of killing a student in Montreal and dismembering him is seeking a new trial.  Luka Magnotta is appealing his conviction of first-degree murder and other charges.  Documents made public by the Quebec Court of Appeal today outline several reasons for Magnotta's attempt to have the five convictions annulled, including the one for killing Chinese student Jun Lin.  The appeal centres primarily on a number of instances in which the defence suggests the judge erred in the case. (16)

 

The defence lawyer for an Alberta financial adviser accused of killing a client with a bomb says he didn't do it.  Brian Malley is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Shachtay (SHAK'-tay) in November of 2011.  Lawyer Bob Aloneissi (ah-loh-NEE'-see) told the jury that when Shachtay got a 575-thousand-dollar settlement from a car crash, there were a lot of family members who had addictions problems.  Shachtay was killed instantly when she opened a Christmas gift bag addressed to her that contained a pipe bomb. (16)



Court records show the man who shot two Alberta Mounties was a violent criminal with a long record.
Shawn Rehn was found dead in a home north of Edmonton on Saturday morning, just hours after the shootings at a nearby casino.  One of the officers, Constable David Wynn, was hit in the head and police say he is not expected to survive.  Court records indicate Rehn, who was 34, was facing multiple charges dating back over a year, including resisting a peace officer and weapons offences.


tHURSDAY JANUARY 15TH

Word that Target stores are being closed in Canada and about 17-thousand people losing their jobs has many Canadians dismayed.  Some Toronto area shoppers expressed surprise, but others said the writing was on the wall.  There have been complaints about poorly stocked shelves and higher prices than Target's U-S stores.  John Hopkins with the Regina Chamber of Commerce says the biggest impact will felt by the workers who are losing their jobs.
Target says it's working to ensure surplus employees are paid at least 16 weeks of severance.  The stores are to remain open during a court-supervised liquidation period.

Canada's finance minister says he will delay tabling a budget until April at the earliest because of the effects of tumbling oil prices.  Joe Oliver says the government needs more information of the effects on the economy.  Oliver points out there is no consensus on how low oil prices will fall or how long they will stay there.  But he promises no matter what the budget will be balanced.

 


Wednesday january 14th

Premier Jim Prentice says the impact of Alberta's collapsing petro-economy will be felt not just at home but across Canada.Prentice says Alberta's oilpatch employs workers from all over the country and central Canadian businesses manufacture oilfield equipment and provide related services. Moves national and business.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford has made a last-ditch pitch for the Canadian Keystone X-L oil pipeline project.  After six years of debate, a presidential decision could be just days away.  Rickford says he's still optimistic about an approval despite disparaging comments from U-S President Barack Obama.  Obama has threatened to veto a bill to approve Keystone X-L if Congress tries an end-run around the White House's authority.


tuesday january 13th..


Suncor Energy is reacting to the plunge in oil prices by reducing its workforce by one-thousand and cutting one-billion dollars from its capital budget.  The Calgary-based oilsands giant says the job cuts will mainly affect contractors, but include some employee positions as well.  In November, Suncor predicted capital spending for 2015 would range between 7.2 billion and 7.8 billion.  Projects that haven't yet been given a final go-ahead by Suncor's board are being deferred, such as expansions to the MacKay River project in northeastern Alberta and the White Rose development off the east coast.
Crude oil fell another 18 cents in New York today to $45.89 U-S a barrel, less than half of what it fetched six months ago.



Alberta's premier says he does not agree with a Conference Board of Canada suggestion that Alberta is likely to face a recession due to plunging oil.  Jim Prentice says the board's report is at odds with the projections of all the chartered banks and several other economic forecasters.  He also says his government is thinking of ways to save money.  The economic think-tank notes that Alberta's latest employment and new housing start numbers are holding steady, but says if oil prices stay low the province will slip into recession.

 





Monday January 12th

The RCMP have scooped up a third man they allege was in a terrorist conspiracy.  Police say they began the arrests because one of the suspects was about to get on a plane to India.  The Mounties have charged three young Ottawa men -- including twin brothers -- with various terrorism-related offences.  Today they charged 21-year-old Suliman Mohamed with participation in the activity of a terrorist group, and conspiracy to participate in a terrorist activity with two other Ottawa men.  On Friday, 24-year-old twins Ashton Carleton Larmond and Carlos Honor Larmond were charged.


The Keystone X-L pipeline has cleared a major procedural hurdle in the U-S Congress.  The Senate has agreed to move forward on a bill that would force President Barack Obama to approve the controversial project.  This is the first bill to advance in the newly sworn-in Congress.  Obama had threatened to veto any legislation approving the pipeline from Alberta to Texas.


THURSday january 8

Alberta PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE backbencher Rob Anderson says Mounties have stepped up security and monitoring of his home IN AIRDRIE and office following a phone threat to kill him. He says on his Facebook page he has received numerous ``disturbing'' emails and phone calls since he and eight other Wildrose MLAs crossed the floor. Anderson announced this week he will not seek re-election, in part because of an angry reaction that followed his decision last month to join Premier Jim Prentice's Progressive Conservatives. The move dealt a grievous blow to Alberta's Official Opposition, leaving THE WILDROSE PARTY with five members versus 72 for the Tories. RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Josee Valiquette declined to confirm if an investigation is underway. Anderson says he will no longer comment on the investigation and will focus on helping Prentice with the next budget and lobbying for a 24-hour health care CENTRE for Airdrie.

There's been a spike in the number of deaths in Alberta related to influenza. Alberta Health Services says 23 people with the flu have died up from 10 just three weeks ago. There have been more than 2,600 lab confirmed cases of the flu in the province since August, and 390 people have been hospitalized. So far more than 1.1 million doses of vaccine have been administered.
 

St. Anthony's school in Drumheller and the local Alberta Treasury Branch are helping young students to better understand the use of money and saving money. The "Junior ATB Program" officially opening today (Jan 8) at the school. Manager of the Drumheller ATB, Vanessa Forbes says the program began four years ago across Alberta and St. Anthony's is the first school in Drumheller to sign on. She adds it's pretty exciting for all parties because it's a real financial literacy program. Forbes says the children involved in the program are actual employees of the Drumheller bank and learn about money by running a bank in one of the classrooms at St. Anthony's. Students from grades 4 to 6 are involved in the program, and every second Thursday, students from kindergarten to grade 6 can make deposits. The students running the branch in St. Anthony's learn how to count the money, balance the money, and making sure everything is filled out properly. Forbes says it's very important for children to start learning about handling money at an early age, because in previous generations young adults would graduate from high school without knowing how to fill out a cheque or paying their bills. 
                                                                                        
THE SPEAKER SERIES RETURNS TODAY (JAN 8) AT ROYAL TYRRELL MUSEUM IN DRUMHELLER. IT'S AIMED AT PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN DINOSAURS OR THOSE WHO WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PRE-HISTORIC CREATURES. A DIFFERENT SPEAKER EACH WEEK WILL BE PUTTING ON A PRESENTATION ON MANY INTERESTING SUBJECTS. TODAY'S SPEAKER IS JESSICA THEODORE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY, WHO WILL BE TALKING ABOUT WHY MAMMALS ARE NOT AS BIG AS DINOSAURS. THE PRESENTATIONS GO EVERY THURSDAY, BEGIN AT 11:00 IN THE MORNING, ARE ALL FREE AND PUT ON IN THE ROYAL TYRRELL MUSEUM AUDITORIUM. THE SPEAKER SERIES RUNS UNTIL THE END OF APRIL.

WEDNESday january 7

rcmp in strathmore have identified the female victim in what is being called a suspicious death. the body of 49 year old brenda walker of strathmore was found early tuesday morning (jan 6) by officers responding to a 9-11 call from a strathmore residence. after an initial investigation, mounties have arrested and charged 52 year old glenn randall of strathmore with first degree murder. the female victim and randall had been in a previous relationship, but walker ended the relationship in late 2014. the accused makes his first court appearance in strathmore on january 20th. the calgary medical examiner is conducting an autopsy on the victim today (jan 7). the police investigation continues. if you know anything about this incident you're asked to call the rcmp or crimestoppers.

Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith will not get a free pass to become the Progressive Conservative candidate for the seat she now holds.  Suzanne Oel president of the Tory association in the Highwood constituency SOUTH OF CALGARY, says a plan to hold a nomination vote hasn't changed. Oel says others have expressed interest in running for the PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVEs, but she won't say how many.  Smith could not be reached for comment. Three weeks ago, Smith led eight of her MLAs across the floor to join Premier Jim Prentice's government, leaving just five Wildrose members to be the official Opposition.  The nine have since been criticized for abandoning their duty for personal gain, and one of them, Rob Anderson, says he won't run in the next PROVINCIAL election.
 
A PROVINCIAL government official says Alberta plans to declare its first snow goose hunt this spring. An Alberta Environment spokesman says the hunt is being approved because the big, white birds have grown so abundant they're damaging the tundra on their northern nesting grounds. Saskatchewan and Manitoba already have snow goose hunts. The spokesman says the season will depend on how quickly the winter snow melts and how long the birds stay in Alberta before migrating north. Hunters will be able to shoot up to 50 birds a day, with no limit on how many they can have in their possession.                                                                                  

Tuesday january 6th

STRATHMORE RCMP CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE WHAT THEY ARE CALLING A SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A WOMAN IN THE TOWN EAST OF CALGARY. MOUNTIES WERE CALLED TO A HOME NEAR THE STRATHMORE DOWNTOWN JUST AFTER 1:00 THIS MORNING (JAN 6) AFTER A FEMALE CALLED 9-11. Officers found a woman's body inside. THE HOME, LOCATED JUST ACROSS FROM SACRED HEART ACADEMY. THE RESIDENCE STILL HAS YELLOW POLICE TAPE AROUND IT. THE RCMP MAJOR CRIMES UNIT HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN AND INVESTIGATORS HAVE BEEN WORKING THROUGH THE NIGHT AND ALL DAY TODAY. APPARENTLY POLICE ARE TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE VICTIM'S FAMILY.

Calgary firefighters have rescued a man from the icy Bow River. It happened Monday evening (JAN 5) just after 8:30 when the Calgary Fire Department received reports of a man clinging to an ice shelf on the river. The aquatic rescue team arrived and was able to remove the man from the icy water, where he had been for about 20 minutes. A news release from the fire department says the man was middle aged and was conscious and breathing when taken out of the river. The man was taken to hospital. Fire officials are warning people to stay away from the BOW river edges as the ice may be undercut by the current and could be very dangerous.

An Alberta Conservative MLA who crossed the floor twice says he won't run in the next PROVINCIAL election. Rob Anderson, who represents the riding of Airdrie, announced the news on his Facebook page late Monday night (JAN 5).  The post says that he met with Premier Jim Prentice before Christmas to let him know he wouldn't be running again. Anderson was first elected in 2008 as a Conservative, but crossed the floor to join the Wildrose Party in 2010. In December, he and eight Wildrose MLAs, including then leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor to join the PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE. Anderson says in his Facebook post that he and his wife will pursUe careers in the private sector while spending more time with their four boys aged five to 10.

 

 


 



 


 


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