LOOKBACK: Skunks were common here 25 years ago

A street ministry vowed to rebuild Mountain Aire Lodge west of Sundre after a spectacular fire ripped through the building in the early morning.

The Sports Page River Hounds row their way to victory Sunday in the 14th annual Red Deer River Raft Race. The rafters finished with a winning time of one hour and 31 minutes. This was 15 minutes slower than last year’s time

ONE YEAR AGO

• A street ministry vowed to rebuild Mountain Aire Lodge west of Sundre after a spectacular fire ripped through the building in the early morning. Just hours after the blaze swept through the restaurant, gas station and convenience store, Floyd Perras of The Mustard Seed Street Ministry in Calgary said rebuilding efforts were underway.

• An Israeli-made unmanned aircraft wowed several Red Deer-area pilots during its first mock search and rescue operation in Canada. Several members of the Red Deer chapter of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association were among a select group who witnessed the demonstration in Southern Alberta. Bob Jablonski, provincial vice-president of the association, was amazed by the demo.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• City council snuffed out a proposal to hold a plebiscite on whether to ban smoking in all public places. Instead, councillors voted unanimously to hold public consultations on outlawing smoking in public places before deciding whether to adopt a total smoking ban.

• An autopsy confirmed a Bowden man died from receiving the wrong pain medication during an emergency visit to Red Deer Regional Hospital. Bill Emrich, 69, died in June after receiving a 10-milligram injection of hydromorphone instead of morphine.

10 YEARS AGO

• Gasoline prices made the news as service stations increased their prices by two cents to 55.9 cents per litre. In less than a year gasoline prices would go well over the 60 cent mark.

• Red Deer’s longest continually owned business finally changed hands. After 54 years Steve Kovacs, 78, sold his shoe repair business to Dennis Zimmer, owner of Comforts the Sole. Kovacs had opened Kovacs’ Shoe Clinic in the downtown, brick building in 1945.

25 YEARS AGO

• It was the year of the skunk in Red Deer. Alberta Animal Control Ltd. Manager Doug Wood said the firm’s 25 skunk traps had been placed in response to complaints around the city, and there was a waiting list of seven or eight residences. He estimated assistance calls were running 25 to 30 per cent higher than in other years. “Every skunk in town has had babies and now they’re all out and running around,” he said. “That’s all we seem to be doing, is setting skunk traps.”

• An influx of unemployed people was the major reason welfare rolls were approaching record levels at a time when they usually drop, Sandy Campbell, district manager of Red Deer Social Services, said Thursday. As of July 15, a total of 2,215 families depended on welfare — up 69 from a month ago. That was up 119 from one year ago, and only 93 shy of an all-time record of 2,308 reached last June.

50 YEARS AGO

• A survey was under way of all industrial and commercial firms in Red Deer area to establish a fund to advertise Red Deer and district in eastern Canada and the United States. Main objective was to attract industrial projects, A.W. Green, secretary of the Red Deer Industrial Development Board, told a recent Red Deer House Builders’ Association meeting.

• The Red Deer Catalina Club out-scored the big-city clubs in the The Albertan Mile Swim at Sylvan Lake Sunday, taking two firsts, two seconds, and two fifths. In addition, Red Deer’s Damian Rouselle, 15, broke a provincial mile swim record in the junior men’s division, beating the time of all swimmers of the day.

90 YEARS AGO

• “Bigger and better than ever,” is a slogan which fair managers use before the Fair, even though they do not always make good. But Programme Manager Kenny at the Red Deer 1919 Fair had this slogan far surpassed in attendance, in receipts, in exhibits, generally, and in all attractions, as compared with any other Red Deer fair. The 1918 Fair was a good one, but 1919 saw a large increase all round. The 1918 gate and grandstand receipts were $1,000 better than in 1917, and 1919 went $1,000 better. viz., $4,000, double those of 1917 Fair which gives one the indication of the growth of the Fair the past two years in public appreciation and patronage. This year $7,500 is paid out in prizes — $5,800 was the highest mark ever reached before.

100 YEARS AGO

• An inquest was held following the death of an 11-month-old baby boy who drank a deadly dose of carbolic acid. The jury ruled the infant’s death an accident, owing to an unknown person having left the poison within his reach.

• A local men’s soccer team, called Red Deer United, won the Central Alberta soccer championship in Carstairs. The championship game ended in a 0-0 score, but Red Deer was awarded the Snell Shield for having beaten Carstairs in a match a few weeks earlier.

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