Local briefs – August 19

Actors and police were busy Tuesday re-enacting the shooting of three feral horses in the Sundre area.

Horse shootings re-enacted as RCMP attempt to solve crime

Actors and police were busy Tuesday re-enacting the shooting of three feral horses in the Sundre area.

Sgt. Pat Webb of Calgary RCMP said Calgary and area CrimeStoppers personnel did the filming in an attempt to jog the public’s memory to glean information that may lead to the identity of the shooter or shooters.

The three most recent shootings occurred in late April in an area about 60 km west of Sundre near Mountain-Aire Lodge.

“It’s hoped that the CrimeStoppers segment will stimulate public response to these crimes and elicit information that will enable RCMP to further the investigation,” Webb said.

Bob Henderson, president of the Wild Horses of Alberta association, was present for the filming.

The April killings were just one incident in the shooting of wild horses in the area.

Prior to April 19, other feral horses were reported shot and killed in the foothills west of Sundre.

Anyone with information is urged to phone 1-800-222-8477.

Notre Dame adds modular classrooms

It’s too soon to know how many students will descend on Notre Dame High School next month when classes resume, but the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division is preparing for an increase.

The school division obtained approval from the city’s municipal planning commission on Monday to install three modular classrooms on the west side of Notre Dame. These would be in addition to a modular classroom that Red Deer Catholic previously obtained municipal authorization to use.

All will be connected to the school, with their exterior matching the existing building at 50 Lees St.

Ken Jaeger, the school division’s supervisor of support services, told the commission that the modulars are intended for long-term use, likely until a second Catholic high school is built in Red Deer.

In a subsequent interview, Jaeger said the additional space is necessary to accommodate growing student numbers. Last year, he said, there were 1,225 students enrolled at Notre Dame and this figure is projected to increase by 50 in the fall.

“Until we see the kids in their seats, it’s tough to tell.

“We’re not sure how the downturn in the economy is going to impact our enrolment.”

The first modular classroom should arrive within weeks, with the remaining three expected to be delivered in October and ready for use by Christmas, said Jaeger. In the meantime, Note Dame staff will look for alternative space within the school and adjust class schedules, he said.

“It’s going to be a bit of an issue for the first couple weeks, but they will find a way to make it work.”

The four modulars should satisfy the high school’s needs this year and next, said Jaeger. Longer term, the school division has identified a new high school as the No. 4 priority in its three-year capital plan — after a new school at Innisfail, another elementary school in Red Deer and expansion of St. Francis of Assisi School.

After Alberta Education approves funding for the project, it will take about three years to design and build the new high school, he said.

Water tower painting delayed

Fixing Red Deer’s aging “green onion” so it has a longer life span will be put off to next year.

The City of Red Deer will repair the Mountview water tower in 2010 because this season is too late to get the work done.

A review of the structural stability was done to determine the kind of work that should be done on the structure installed 51 years ago.

Jeff Miller, environmental services planning superintendent, said the structural engineering firm of Williams came back with an initial report that said recoated the tower would extend the structure’s by 25 years.

Putting on that coat is more complicated than first thought.

“We have them running down a few options on how we could carry out that work,” Miller said. “We could coat over the existing paint or blast down to the steel.”

Miller believes recoating will take four to six months.

“It’s a big project and it’s not a simple project either,” he said.

The project was originally budgeted at $794,000 in 2008 and additional money was set aside in 2009. The final budget is now $1,444,000.

The tower, which stores 2.27 million litres of water, is primarily used as a storage reservoir and for providing some local pressure.

Officially known as the Horton Waterspheroid, the tower was painted Niagara Green in 1958 as that had been the colour used by the paint crew on the last 10 water towers they had worked on.

New street signs for city intersections

Drivers will find it easier to navigate around Red Deer when overhead street signs are installed at all signalized intersections, says a City of Red Deer traffic engineer.

Traffic sign manufacturer Alberta Traffic Supply of Calgary recently won a city bid to supply and install overhead street name signs throughout the city.

Rebecca Clark said the Calgary company bid around $204,000 and will be responsible for posting an estimated 470 signs by the end of this year.

The signs will be placed on the arm of traffic signals so drivers can better see what streets they are approaching.

For instance, if someone is driving on 67th Street and they are approaching 50th Avenue, the sign at the intersection will say ‘50th Avenue.’

The signs will vary in length and will be in one of two heights, 400 mm or 700 mm.