LOOKBACK: Firefighters use smoke bombs in school drill

Loose boars brought their wild ways to Red Deer County.

Todd Herzog of Red Deer marks a 70 score in the boys’ steer riding at the 33rd annual Lacombe Kinsmen Pro Rodeo.

Todd Herzog of Red Deer marks a 70 score in the boys’ steer riding at the 33rd annual Lacombe Kinsmen Pro Rodeo.

ONE YEAR AGO

• Loose boars brought their wild ways to Red Deer County. The county got its first boar sightings in the summer in the Raven district, in the southwest corner of the municipality, said agricultural manager Art Preachuk. “They’re running around out there. There are a number of them.” An exact count proved as elusive as the boars, nocturnal creatures that shy away from human contact.

• Lacombe and Eckville joined the exodus from the commission backing a $100-million gasification plant in Central Alberta. Councils in both towns voted to withdraw from the Central Waste Management Commission, following the lead of Lacombe County. Lacombe chief administrative officer Ken Kendall said the town’s solicitor recommended withdrawing from the commission and a supply agreement to Plasco because of the potential financial risk.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• Red Deer bar and hotel owners took the city to court over a licensing bylaw that would allow it to shut down drinking establishments that became trouble spots. They also alleged the annual licence fees illegally transferred the city’s policing costs to them.

• A 37-passenger Dash 8 landed at Red Deer Regional Airport in preparation for the commencement of Regional 1’s scheduled passenger service. The airline began offering flights between Red Deer and Vancouver — via Kelowna — six days a week from the airport.

10 YEARS AGO

• Cellphone users perked up their ears after oil companies issued warnings that using a cellular near fuel pumps could cause an explosion. Local representatives of cellular companies said the stories were nothing but urban myth, however, as the phones don’t produce sparks that could ignite gasoline.

• The Red Deer and District Allied Arts Council decided not to renew its lease on the historic Old Court House after managing it for 13 years. The council said the old building cost too much to maintain, had inadequate parking, and didn’t have large enough rooms.

25 YEARS AGO

• “The tarantula has been badly maligned,” lamented Alfred von Hollen. He should know. Ever since a fateful day at a National Science Teachers’ Association conference in Atlanta in 1978, Mr. von Hollen had taken a special interest in all exotic animals. His interest had grown into to licensed zoo in his classroom in Rocky Mountain House’s Pioneer School. Mr. von Hollen taught Grade 7 Life Sciences and he believed his zoo of 150 creatures was a vital part of his course.

• Downtown would be all one-way street within five years if the city council accepted a recommendation from the city engineering department, assistant city engineer Ken Haslop said Friday. The recommendation stemmed from two independent studies of downtown traffic, conducted as part of a redevelopment plan.

50 YEARS AGO

• An elaborate arterial road and highway plan for Red Deer and vicinity that looked more than five years into the future and included a No. 2 Highway by-pass, a two-way couplet system through downtown Red Deer and a truck by-pass, west of the CPR tracks, was explained to members of the Chamber of Commerce at their meeting in the Holiday Day Inn.

• For the first time in four years, smoke bombs were used by the Red Deer Fire Department in a school fire drill. The closely simulated drill was conducted at the elementary Central School. Three smoke bombs were planted throughout the school, including one in a fire exit. Only the school principal, Robert George knew of the drill and bombs. “We blocked one of the fire exits just to see what the children would do,” said Fire Chief William Tomlinson. A fire truck drove into the yard and began pulling off the hose just after the drill alarm sounded. “We heard one student say as he opened the exit door, ‘This is no drill.’ But the children were very orderly. They didn’t hesitate or panic, but moved out in orderly files.”

90 YEARS AGO

• Returned: Mrs. Pennington, 7 pair socks; Mrs. Jones, 2 amp. socks; Mrs. Percival, surg. coat; Parkvale South — 14 stretcher caps, 10 property bags, 6 flannel binders; Eastern Star, 3 pillow slips, 4 aprons, 3 stretcher caps, 3 amp. socks, 2 pair sheets, 12 many tailed; Margaret Reighley, eye bandage

100 YEARS AGO

• The Red Deer Fall Fair opened with a strong showing of heavy horses — Percherons, Belgians and Clydes. An exhibit of Ayrshire cattle also proved popular.

• Canadian Pacific Railway paid R.H. Scott of Calgary $1,000 after his son, T.A. Scott, was killed by an engine overturning in the Blackfalds gravel pit a year earlier.

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