Local briefs – December 18

The City of Red Deer will upgrade three intersections along 32nd Street in an effort to ease traffic congestion and improve safety.

32nd Street work planned

The City of Red Deer will upgrade three intersections along 32nd Street in an effort to ease traffic congestion and improve safety.

An estimated $8.55 million worth of work will be done in 2010 and 2011 at the intersections of Spruce Drive, Springfield Avenue and 40th Avenue.

City transportation engineer Michael Williston said drivers heading west on 32nd Street will notice a difference when a dedicated right-turn lane is added at Spruce Drive. Drivers will have a small bay area to turn into at that point, rather than slowing the rest of traffic down on 32nd Street.

At Springfield Drive, a right-turn bay will be added to make it easier for eastbound drivers turning into the Sunnybrook neighbourhood.

A dual left turn lane will be added for northbound drivers on 40th Avenue who are turning west onto 32nd Street.

Left turn signals will also be lengthened at the intersection.

The 40th Avenue intersection will also get dedicated right-turn bays in all directions.

The city will be upgrading the sidewalk on the north side of 32nd Street into a three-metre asphalt one.

The cost of the two-year program has been budgeted for 2010, but not again until 2013, tentatively, due to current budget restraints.

A provincial capital grant will pay 75 per cent of the cost, with the remainder coming from offsite levies and municipal reserves.

Local student gets grant

A Red Deer medical student has received a $56,000 grant for breast cancer research from the United States Department of Defence.

Ashlyn Bernier, who graduated from Hunting Hills High School in 2002, is a University of Alberta medical student.

The grant will be used during the last two years of Bernier’s PhD program, Quinn Phillips, a University of Alberta spokesman, said on Thursday.

Bernier studies how cancerous breast cells develop the ability to move through the body into other tissues such as bone, liver, lung and brain.

Normal breast cells don’t move.

Bernier applied for the funding last spring and learned this semester that she was a recipient.

The U.S. Defence Department started channelling some of its multibillion-dollar budget in 1992 into a program called Congressionally Directed Medical Research, Phillips said.

One arm of the program is directed toward breast cancer research.

Hearing delayed until July into attempted murder case

A man charged with attempted murder will have to wait in jail until July to have a preliminary hearing.

Salah Aeshid Hussain of Brooks will have the all-day hearing on July 16 in Red Deer provincial court, it was determined on Thursday.

Bail was denied Hussain last week on the charge of attempted murder, which was alleged to have occurred in Red Deer in 2007.

Hussain earlier elected to be tried by a justice sitting alone in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Hussain was charged in the late fall with a May 2007 shooting incident at a north Red Deer apartment complex.

A Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued for him after he was charged. He was arrested in Calgary and brought to Red Deer in October.

A 24-year-old woman suffered minor injuries in the incident, which RCMP said was sparked by an alleged drug debt.

A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused stand trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Porn trial set for summer

A trial for a Red Deer man charged with drug trafficking and possessing child pornography will be held late next summer.

Morgan Hamilton, 48, will have an all-day preliminary hearing on Aug. 20 in Red Deer provincial court, it was decided on Thursday.

Hamilton is charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of child pornography.

He was charged on Oct. 19 after police used a search warrant to search a downtown residence in the 4600 block of 48th Avenue.

A preliminary is held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant an accused stand trial in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Hamilton elected to be tried by a justice sitting alone.

Scam warning issued

Like the wolf disguised and Red Riding Hood’s granny, scam artists have creative ways of appearing legitimate when they knock on the door, seeking donations. Service Alberta is offering people advice to make sure the money the give reaches legitimate and does not line the pockets of swindler. Service Alberta has the following suggestions for potential donors when canvassers come knocking:

• Legitimate charities will give you time to ask questions. Refuse to donate if you feel pressured or uncomfortable.

• Be cautious if the canvasser becomes defensive if you ask for the charity’s tax number or phone number or if you ask about its operating costs and where its money goes. Charities are required by law to provide these details.

• Know who your money is going to. Fraudulent groups use names that sound similar to well-known charities.

• Write a cheque directly to the charitable donation. Do not give cash.

• Contact the organization’s head office or visit its website to learn more about its finances and fundraising activities. Ask to see its annual report.

• Contact police if you suspect someone is soliciting donations under false pretenses.

For more information on the rights of donors and obligations of charities, visit www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/1012.cfm for a tip sheet on charitable organizations that solicit donations.