ONE YEAR AGO
• Freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout continued to recover after a 15-month ordeal in Somalia, where she was kidnapped, tortured and kept alone in a dark room. “She’s surrounded by people who love her and want to support her in any way that they possibly can,” her mother Lorinda Stewart told the Calgary Herald. “She’ll be OK; I guess it’s important for people to understand that we’re just beginning a new journey.”
• The design looked good on paper. The result was simply stunning. The Peoples people thought so, too. So this week, the manager at Red Deer’s Parkland Mall Peoples Jewellers store presented budding designer Alex Craig, a Grade 6 student at the Bowden school, with the diamond-encrusted pendant that inspired a new line of snowflake jewelry.
FIVE YEARS AGO
• The public flooded the Advocate with letters urging city council to abandon plans to remove the horses at Heritage Ranch. A consulting firm had suggested earlier the city turn the equestrian facility into a $1.9-million ecological centre. City council delayed the final vote to give the public a chance to respond.
• A group of young hockey players at the Springbrook Arena vomitted and complained of headaches when excessively high levels of poisonous gas leaked through the building. Fire chief Cliff Fuller said the building’s fans had failed to remove properly the carbon monoxide coming from the Zamboni.
10 YEARS AGO
• Local businesspeople were scratching their heads over government rebates for natural gas customers which were going to households but not businesses. May Johnson, president of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, said consumers could expect skyrocketing fuel costs to be passed on to them in the form of increased prices for local products and services.
• Red Deer lawyer and school board trustee Lorne Goddard settled out of court with former Red Deer MLA Stockwell Day over comments Day had made regarding Goddard’s legal defence of a pedophile. The comments had been published in the Advocate 20 months earlier.
25 YEARS AGO
• After a 45-year wait, amateur astronomer Andy Schmidt saw Halley’s comet, but it was just a smudge in the sky rather than a spectacular streak of light. “It’s almost like a smudgy star — sort of clouded over,” he said. “It’s a real let down this time around.” The comet was the farthest away it had been in 30 years Dec. 1 when it was 75 million km away. It’s supposed to be a lot closer the next time around, but that’s a 76-year wait.”
• It was a daring midnight raid. With their truck idling beside the fence, the rustlers stealthily padded over the new-fallen snow. They furtively peered into the blackness as they quickly tied their victims and dragged them to the getaway vehicle. Within minutes they were gone, leaving only a few tracks for investigators to ponder over the next morning. No, it didn’t happen along an abandoned lease road near Sundre. This brazen stock theft happened in downtown Red Deer — a block from the city RCMP detachment. The rustlers made off with a cow and a sheep from the nativity scene in City Hall Park.
50 YEARS AGO
• Red Deer’s 1960 building permit total, representing very closely the year’s construction picture for the city, stood at $596,728 as of Dec. 19, 1960. A general breakdown of the expenditure from John McLean, assistant building inspector, indicated the ratio of commercial, housing and institutional construction was improved to the extent that roughly $200,000 was spent in each of the three divisions. In the past years, when the city’s housing was booming to keep up with the demand, it represented the biggest percentage of work while commercial and industrial lagged behind.
• The Red Deer Chamber of Commerce executive was informed that the Alberta Government Liquor Store in the city would commence a 12-hour per day service starting in January. A letter from the Liquor Control Board announced the Red Deer store would be open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., six days a week.
90 YEARS AGO
• It could hardly be believed on Monday when the news spread that Mr. Andrew Mellstrom was dead. He seemed so alert, aggressive, and vigorous that one never association the idea of death with him. He and the family had been out visiting friends west of Burnt Lake on Sunday and he was taken sick at his own home during the night with pains across the chest. Mrs. Mellstrom called the doctor, who made examination but could find nothing alarming. The deceased thought he would be all right if he could throw up and turned on his side, resting on his elbow, and expired. Heart failure is given as the cause of death prompted in part probably by acute indigestion.
• Mr. T. A. Gaetz, who is a member of the Alberta Minimum Wage Commission which has been holding hearings in the larger cities of the Province, has handed the Advocate the following report agreed upon by the members for presentation to the Alberta Government: That from the date of the approval of this report, regulation be made by Order-in-Council fixing the minimum wage, which may be paid by an employer to any person under the age of 18 or to any female employed in any factory, shop, office or office building, at the sum of $13.00 per week, except in the case of apprentices who shall be paid not less than $8.50 per week.
100 YEARS AGO
• Provincial liquor licence commissioners denied a Winnipeg man a licence to operate a liquor store in Red Deer, with the explanation that it was not needed. There were already four stores in town selling booze.
• A Montana man was arrested while eating breakfast at a Red Deer hotel and charged with stealing horses. “The (police) deserve a great deal of credit for so quietly and quickly securing the arrest of this horse thief as he was without a doubt an old hand at the business and would have escaped given half a chance,” reported the Advocate before the suspect even appeared in court.