LOOKBACK: Fire destroys Lacombe’s historic Empress Hotel

Innisfail-area hog producer Jim Smith had a very bad feeling about his industry’s future on a day when six new human cases of the H1N1 flu virus were announced in Alberta.

Rodeo clown Lee Bellows draws back his marshmallow-loaded sling and fixes on his next target during the Westerner Silver Buckle rodeo at the Centrium.

Rodeo clown Lee Bellows draws back his marshmallow-loaded sling and fixes on his next target during the Westerner Silver Buckle rodeo at the Centrium.


• Innisfail-area hog producer Jim Smith had a very bad feeling about his industry’s future on a day when six new human cases of the H1N1 flu virus were announced in Alberta. “It’s going to be devastating. It’s the BSE,” said Smith on Monday, in a reference to the disease that shut U.S. borders to Alberta beef and cost the industry billions beginning in May 2003. “We’ve already lost $10 to $12 per hog. “If you market 6,000, that’s $60,000.”

• A small Olds dog was inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame. Sophie, an 18-month old Bijon Frise, owned by Mary-Ann Lazurko and her family, was one of four animals inducted into the hall during a ceremony in Toronto. Jordana Wolch, a spokesman for the award ceremony, said that early one morning, Sophie was vigorously tossing about on Lazurko’s bed. Lazurko tried to calm the dog down. She thought she heard a noise coming from her diabetic daughter Belinda’s room but disregarded it and fell back to sleep.

Sophie, however, wouldn’t let go. She started pacing back and forth across the bed and managed to get Lazurko up. The dog bolted for Belinda’s room and it was discovered she had slipped into a diabetic coma. When the ambulance crew arrived, an intravenous was started, which helped Belinda regain consciousness.


• CBC Radio junkies traded in their robes and slippers to attend a 7 a.m. live broadcast of Sounds Like Canada at Glenn’s Family Restaurant. Fifty people were digging into breakfast by the time the broadcast with national talk show host Shelagh Rogers hit the airwaves.

• Blackfalds officials met with Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko in Edmonton to resolve a long-simmering dispute with the Alberta government over a $298,000-policing bill. The government claimed the municipality owed it for policing from April 2003 to March 2004.


• Red Deer firemen voted strongly to accept paramedics into their union, said the chairman of the firefighter’s ambulance review committee. “If we’re going to be working closely with them, we should try our best to make it work right,” said Keith Fox, who didn’t reveal the vote split among the 75 union members. “It’s been proven in studies that the two groups work best together when everyone know what the other does,” Mr. Fox said.

• Fire gutted the Empress Hotel early in the morning and the loss was close to $1 million. Lacombe fire department received a call at 3:33 a.m. and found the hotel, located at 4711-49 B Ave clogged with smoke, said fire chief Des Cooper. “There was smoke coming out and it was very hot. It was out of control enough that we couldn’t contain it.”


• Capri Hotels Ltd., which was planning to build a large hotel in Red Deer, was incorporated as a limited company with an authorized capitalization of $800,000. According to an issue of the Alberta Gazette, the new company was authorized to issue 12,000 shares without nominal or par value for a maximum price not exceeding $12,000 and 788 preference shares each having a value of $1000.


• The story may have been a little moth-eaten as Secretary-Treasurer Welton claimed, but it illustrated some of the vagaries of the law and how a quick witted woman took advantage of them to the financial detriment of the Village of North Red Deer. A team of horses was found astray in the village and was put into the pound.

The Village had an idea that they were owned by a Red Deer teamster, but the answers to their enquiries were confusing or evasive. Whether or not Reeve Duran, fearing that the Village would be faced with a heavy feed bill from the pound keeper, had any hand in it cannot be here definitely decided, but certain it is that the horses disappeared from the Village pound and were reported to have been run out of the Village.

During the municipal meeting, however, they wandered back, no doubt preferring the pound fare. The Village, to escape legal complications, complied strictly with the law and kept the horses for the required statutory time, before offering them for sale.

The horses were finally advertised locally for sale and the reputed owners turned up at the sale, or rather the teamster’s good lady did, together with a friend to give a second bid. The horses were knocked down to the lady at $12.

One horse belonged to the husband the lady admitted, but the other, she said, belonged to a soldier who had gone overseas and not since been heard of by them.

The pound keeper’s feed bill to the Village for the impounded horses was some $95. That such a law should be taken advantage of to load the cost of nearly two months keep of a team on the municipality was a sore spot and rightly so with the Village Council.


• Excavation work began on the new $20,000 CPR station planned for Red Deer. At 112 feet by 32 feet, it was to be the biggest station on the line, except for those at terminals.

• Donations to the Red Deer Memorial Hospital for March and April included feathers for pillows, Easter lillies, three floor rugs, books and assorted furniture.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo).
RDC wins two national awards for environmental initiatives

Clean50 and LEED awards were received for innovative, green projects

St. Joseph High School, Notre Dame High School, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, and St. Thomas Aquinas School are all dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks of 10 or more cases. (File photo by Advocate staff)
COVID-19 impacting Red Deer schools

Education minister says 99.6 per cent of students and staff remain in school in Alberta

DynaLife is hiring more staff to bring waiting times for blood tests down in Red Deer. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)
DynaLIFE is hiring more staff in Red Deer to reduce wait times

Wait times for appointment will be further reduced

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

WHL Logo
WHL announces no playoffs for 2020-21 season

The Western Hockey League will not have playoffs following the shortened 24-game… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

A Quebec Superior Court justice is set to issue a ruling Tuesday on the constitutionality of the province’s secularism law, known as Bill 21. People hold up signs during a demonstration against Bill 21 in Montreal, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec court upholds most of province’s secularism law, exempts English school boards

MONTREAL — Quebec’s secularism law is largely legal, a Superior Court judge… Continue reading

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks during a press conference at the legislature in Victoria, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The British Columbia government is providing a few more details about travel restrictions aimed at limiting movement around the province to slow the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Periodic roadblocks but no individual stops planned for B.C.’s COVID-19 travel rules

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is looking at using periodic roadblocks… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is joined virtually by Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland as they talk online to a group of front-line pharmacists from across the country to discuss the ongoing vaccination efforts in the fight against COVID‑19, from the Prime Ministers office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Provinces balk at Liberals’ child-care budget pledge as funding negotiations loom

OTTAWA — Multiple provincial governments are questioning the Liberals’ promise of a… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Trudeau, Freeland seeking AstraZeneca shots as they become age-eligible with others

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland… Continue reading

The Rogers Logo is photographed on a Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Rogers says wireless service fully restored but questions remain after massive outage

A massive countrywide wireless outage that left millions of Rogers Communications Inc.… Continue reading

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

The controversial Super League is materializing after Madrid and 11 other clubs announced its creation on Sunday. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)
Super League a ‘longtime dream’ for Madrid president Pérez

League created because coronavirus pandemic left clubs in a dire financial situation

San Jose Sharks centre Patrick Marleau (12) skates during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, in San Jose, Calif., Monday, March 29, 2021. Marleau is skating in his 1,757th game. Only one other player in NHL history has hit that mark. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tony Avelar
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s record for most NHL games played

Marleau was set to suit up for the 1,768th time Monday

Most Read