LOOKBACK: Giant tomato grown 100 years ago

Many Red Deer residents spent their weekend mopping up their garages, cleaning out their flooded cars and sweeping debris from their driveways after Friday’s torrential thundershowers.

With interpretive naturalist Diane Olsen from the Kerry Wood Nature Centre and historical interpreter Ralph Jarvis as their guides

ONE YEAR AGO

• Many Red Deer residents spent their weekend mopping up their garages, cleaning out their flooded cars and sweeping debris from their driveways after Friday’s torrential thundershowers. Ron Wardner, environmental services construction and maintenance superintendent for the city, said a water gauge at Hunting Hills High School measured 55 mm of rain during the storm. He said there was an unofficial report by someone in Rosedale of 90 mm of water coming down.

• Red Deer city council opted to sacrifice a piece of Red Deer’s past in hope of creating a brighter future for the downtown. Council unanimously approved $1.5 million on Monday for the purchase of the Arlington Inn. Red Deer’s oldest hotel, built in 1899, would be demolished by the city to entice a developer to hopefully build a new multi-use complex on the empty lot.

• An expected showdown between a fanatical Kansas fundamentalist sect and pro-diversity counter protesters proved an anti-climax after church members were a no-show outside Matchbox Theatre Friday. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, which has been branded as a hate group, had planned to protest The Laramie Project, a play about the murder of a gay university student in Wyoming in 1998.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• Lacombe County Reeve Ray Prins won the Progressive Conservative nomination for the new provincial riding of Lacombe-Ponoka. Prins, 53, defeated Rimbey Mayor Dale Barr; Wes Shackleton, a Clive-area dairy farmer; and Diane Szumlas a Bashaw chartered accountant.

• Disappointed members of the Red Deer Regional Airport authority left empty handed after a meeting with Alberta Transportation. They had hoped to convince the department to reverse a decision to pull a $2.6-million grant the authority had expected for improvements and repairs.

10 YEARS AGO

• Coming off a year with a 0.3 per cent vacancy rate, newcomers to Red Deer were having no trouble finding jobs in Red Deer’s bustling economy, but couldn’t find affordable places to live.

• A meteor-chasing Edmonton astrophysicist was trying to track down witnesses to a unique interstellar fireball that had flashed through Alberta skies the previous month. On July 21, between 11 p.m. and midnight, witnesses in Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary and Medicine Hat claimed to see the phenomenon.

25 YEARS AGO

• Jim Keegstra filed nomination papers as Social Credit Candidate in the federal election. His nomination was accompanied by a letter of endorsement from interim federal Socred leader Ken Sweigard of Grand Prairie. Mr. Sweigard refused comment, citing a national new blackout on party activities. Mr. Keegstra, 50, was the former Eckville mayor facing charges of promoting hatred.

• Renovations on a surgical unit, combined with a record number of births in July, created a temporary bed shortage at the Red Deer Regional hospital. “We had 1,236 admissions (in July) — one of our second or third busiest months on record — and that was done without one of the units, “Jim Turnbull, senior vice-president of RDRH, told the hospital’s board of governors.

50 YEARS AGO

• An offer to provide the City of Red Deer with a new ambulance that would be operated through the city fire department was received by city council Tuesday night from the Red Deer Lions Club. Club members S. Hepple and Dr. R. D. Banister told aldermen that the Lions Club was prepared to make the donation of around $10,000 as a community project. The vehicle would be available immediately.

• Details of one of the most important downtown commercial deals in Red Deer for many years, the establishment of a large Hudson’s Bay Company store, were presented to city council Tuesday night and agreement appeared near after prolonged discussion between council and agents of the company. The negotiations involved 225 feet frontage on the south side of 49 St., west of 49 Ave., which includes 125-foot city parking lot at the corner; and another 175 feet of privately owned property east from 49 Ave. on the same side of the street.

90 YEARS AGO

• The Ellison-White Chautauqua and the local guarantors were congratulated on the programme which was put on this week at Red Deer. The guarantee of 550 tickets was over sold and the course was attended by large and deeply interested audiences. The great war and the stimulation of patriotic interest and effort was the dominating feature of the addresses. Cat. Wood Briggs of the Texas National Guard, Edward F. Trefz of the U.S. Food Administration and Serg. Arthur Gibbons, member of the first Canadian Overseas Contingent and for some time a prisoner of war in Germany, brought before the people further first-hand and vivid impressions and solemn facts as to the hardships and sacrifices of boys at the front and the Entente peoples overseas.

100 YEARS AGO

• J. Kendall of the Industrial School was reported to have grown a tomato measuring 20 cm in diameter.

• A man named McGaw was jailed for 30 days by a local judge for stealing unspecified articles from the Windsor Hotel.

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