LOOKBACK: Zoo chastised over kissing grizzly

Several Red Deer residents escaped injury after a half-ton pickup truck crashed through three backyards and into the kitchen of a Deer Park home.

Carla Olson

Carla Olson

ONE YEAR AGO

• Several Red Deer residents escaped injury after a half-ton pickup truck crashed through three backyards and into the kitchen of a Deer Park home. Around 2:25 a.m., someone driving eastbound on 39th Street towards Davison Drive jumped the curb and into the yards of three houses along Denison Crescent.

After leaving the road, the truck scraped past a huge tree, smashed through a vinyl fence and garden shed in the first yard, clipped an attached deck in the second yard and after plowing through another vinyl fence, pushed its way through another wooden deck.

It finally came to a rest inside the kitchen of a two-storey house where a woman was awake with her baby. Red Deer RCMP say the truck narrowly missed the mother and child. The pickup truck driver took off. But a suspect was nabbed a short time later by police patrolling the area.

• Major event patrons at Westerner Park learned they would have to pay a fee to park starting in September. John Harms, Westerner Park chief executive officer, said a $3 fee would be charged per vehicle for all major events beginning on Sept. 1. Harms said improved parking through an expanded parking lot added 580 stalls this summer. A reconfiguration of the grounds was part of a long-term strategic development plant.

FIVE YEARS AGO

• Mountain View County looked to hire a new administrator on a contract basis after firing its longtime commissioner.

County council fired Harold Johnsrude after a corporate review suggested more than 60 ways the county could make improvements. Councillor Charlie Van Arnam resigned to protest Johnsrude’s firing.

• Zoocheck Canada, a Toronto-based animal welfare group, chastised Innisfail’s Discovery Wildlife Park for allowing a 635-kg grizzly named Ali Oop to kiss visitors by licking their faces. The park suspended the practice briefly following Zoocheck’s report and an editorial in The Advocate.

10 YEARS AGO

• The City of Red Deer worked out a deal with the developers of the downtown’s new Millennium Centre to build a parkade in the area. The deal would fall through before a year passed, however, as the city decided not to spend the money on a parkade over the new bus terminal.

• Two Lacombe-area families grew a rural tourist attraction with a maize maze. The eight-acre labyrinth of corn was designed by an American company.

25 YEARS AGO

• Local old-timer Fred Horn — who supervised the rebuilding of Fort Normandeau in 1974 — was the first visitor to step across the threshold at the interpretive centre’s opening. Red Deer and District Museum director, Morris Flewelling said Mr. Horn volunteered to manage the fort’s rebuilding in 1974 after his retirement. The fort was rebuilt to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the north West Police arrival in the area.

• The new Glendale Junior High School — with its wooden ceilings, staggered hallways, vertical skylights and rooms that were neither square nor rectangular — was unlike any other in the Red Deer public school district. The $4.5-million school, located at 64th Avenue and 77th Street, would be the scholastic home to 330 Grade 6 to 9 students in the fall. It had a staff of 23, including 19 teachers. For the first time in a Red Deer public school, hallways were staggered so it wasn’t possible to see from one end of the building to the other, school board secretary-treasurer Ray Condon said while conducting a tour.

“It’s to take away the institutional look.”

50 YEARS AGO

• Nearly 1,000 entries of beautiful flowers turned the severe interior of the Armouries into a field of color. The Red Deer and District Horticultural Society Show, which closed with the presentation of various trophies and awards, was a huge success.

• Twenty-five thousand Central Alberta residents flocked to RCAF Station Penhold to watch the finest air show ever staged at the station and thrilled to the superb displays of precision flying by Canada’s top pilots. Run off on a split-second schedule under warm August skies, the show drew nothing but praise from the biggest crowd of adults and children ever admitted through the station gates.

90 YEARS AGO

• The annual show of the Red Deer Horticultural Society was held in the Armouries. There was no admission charged in the afternoon which gave the children an opportunity of viewing the exhibits.

In the evening the flower show was officially opened by His Worship Mayor Lord and a fine musical programme was arranged. An admission of 25 cents was charged in the evening to help defray expenses.

• City Council report: I beg to report that during the month of July the Fire Department received only one call and that being a false alarm caused through a drop when the powerhouse was knocked down. The Brigade held three weekly practices, the average attendance being 17.

100 YEARS AGO

• Rev. Neil Keith of Prescott, Ont. was hired as president and administrator of Red Deer’s Presbyterian Ladies’ College. Keith was expected to arrive in Red Deer in September.

• Good farmland in the district was selling for $25 per acre, hay for $3 a ton, and bananas for 30 cents for a dozen.