LOOKBACK: Sweet deal for prison staff scrapped in 1984

The teenage girlfriend of an accused murderer confessed to stabbing Grant Shoemaker to death. Paul Lionel White, 21, was charged with the second-degree murder of Shoemaker and was defending himself.

Preston the hypnotist created a silent orchestra playing invisible instruments from subjects he’d put under at a Red Deer Lodge performance.

ONE YEAR AGO

• The teenage girlfriend of an accused murderer confessed to stabbing Grant Shoemaker to death. Paul Lionel White, 21, was charged with the second-degree murder of Shoemaker and was defending himself. Justice Dennis Thomas allowed White to proceed; however, he told the girl she could be prosecuted for perjury, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail, if it was proven she gave false answers under oath.

• A Red Deer businessman who once competed nationally as a boxer became a contender for the Red Deer riding Conservative Party nomination. Mitch Thomson, who ran Parkland Funeral Home, made his announcement at the Red Deer Lodge. Earl Dreeshen, 54, an Innisfail high school teacher and farmer, was the only other declared candidate to replace veteran MP Bob Mills.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• Phil Rauch, executive director of the Central Alberta AIDS Network Society, died from heart failure in his Eckville home at the age of 37. He was instrumental in bringing the methadone clinic to Red Deer in November 2002. In 1996, he discovered he had received tainted blood during the heart transplant and become infected with hepatitis C.

• Nine mayors from Central Alberta condemned plans to pour water from the Red Deer River down oil wells. Capstone Energy received preliminary approval from Alberta Environment to draw up to 328,500 cubic metres of water annually from the river. It planned to inject the water into oil wells near Innisfail over an estimated 15 years.

10 YEARS AGO

• City council struck down a bylaw requiring escorts and private dancers to reside in Red Deer at least six months before they could be licensed. The Court of Queen’s Bench had ruled the bylaw violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

• Police said a $1-million drug bust would likely have little effect on the Red Deer drug scene. During a raid they seized about 1,000 marijuana plants and growing equipment.

25 YEARS AGO

• Eighteen families learned they would have to leave their subsidized rental homes by the end of the year. The houses were owned by Corrections Canada and were inside the Bowden Institution gates. Bowden was the last prison in Canada to provide low-rent staff housing. It was no longer possible to justify the expenses to the taxpayer, said Les Shand, regional manager for correctional services in Saskatoon.

• Red Deer City RCMP were planning to talk to school officials after beer bottles and garbage were found strewn through the area in and near Red Deer Cemetery. About 150 high school students took part in a toboggan party on the eve of a teachers’ convention. No charges were laid but the students were ordered to leave the area.

50 YEARS AGO

• Trapped by a fuel explosion and fire in his root-house, S. den Boer, 33, a farmer of the Red Deer district, died of suffocation as a squad of Red Deer firemen and police fought against heavy odds to break into the smouldering cellar. Under a doctor’s care for frozen limbs and exposure was den Boer’s wife who ran a mile and a half in sub-zero weather to telephone when she saw flames shooting from the root-house.

90 YEARS AGO

• Mrs. C. M. Gaetz, mother of Mr. J. J. Gaetz, MPP, died. She was 84. Mrs. Gaetz may have been the oldest surviving old-timer in the district. She was born in 1834 in Nova Scotia and married Rev. Thomas Gaetz, a Methodist minister there and a brother of the late Reg. Dr. Leonard Gaetz. A woman of gentle and kindly nature, she bravely endured the early hardships when there were relatively few women in Red Deer.

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