Local briefs – December 2

A recommendation on Red Deer’s night curfew is expected to return soon to city council after eight months of delay.

Curfew changes go to council in coming weeks

A recommendation on Red Deer’s night curfew is expected to return soon to city council after eight months of delay.

Administration has been reviewing the curfew bylaw since the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee suggested a change in April.

The committee recommended the current bylaw expand the curfew time for youth under age 16 to midnight to 6 a.m., rather than continuing with the current at 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, and then incorporate the curfew with the Community Standards Bylaw. During the curfew time, young people must be at home or, if out in the community, they must be in the company of a parent or guardian.

Legislative and Governance Services Department manager Elaine Vincent said she expects administration will come with a recommendation at the Dec. 13 or Jan. 10 meeting.

Vincent said the recommendation is now before the city solicitor.

She said it’s been delayed for so long because of the complexity of the issue. As well, research has been done on other curfew bylaws across Canada.


Rec Centre closed Dec. 6 for annual maintenance

The Recreation Centre will be closed for annual maintenance from Dec. 6 to Dec. 26.

During this time, the Recreation Centre administration office will maintain regular hours of operation and cashiers will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday for registration or inquiries.

The maintenance shutdown allows staff to do a thorough inspection and maintenance on all equipment and technical systems of the facility.

Scheduled drop-in activities will resume on Dec. 27. In recognition of the stat holiday, hours of operation on Dec. 27 will be noon to 8:30 p.m.

Regular hours of operation will resume on Dec. 28.

Users with Recreation Centre cards are reminded that their card also allows them access to the Michener Centre.

All other city recreation facilities will remain open during this time.

For more information on the Recreation Centre, call 403-309-8411 or visit www.reddeer.ca/rpc.


Sylvan skatepark project to get financial boost

Sylvan Lake skatepark boosters could be about to get a big push from council.

The town’s 2011 budget includes an additional $200,000 for a new park, significantly increasing the town’s contribution to $325,000.

Mayor Susan Samson said the money would go towards the first phase of the skatepark, including initial design and site work.

Whatever is left over would go towards construction of the concrete bowls, ramps and other features.

The additional funding has yet to be approved.

It will be considered as part of 2011 budget deliberations.

Besides the town funding, the Lakeview Optimist Club is also expecting to apply for $125,000 in provincial government funding.

The province has moved away from funding municipalities directly with some of its funding, opting instead to go through community organizations, she said.

The local skateboarding community has also been busy organizing its own fundraising committee to generate funds for the park.

Meanwhile, choosing a final site was expected to be discussed on Wednesday night by the local task force charged with pursuing the project.

The frontrunner is a location next to the town’s Four Seasons Park, at 47th Avenue and 43rd Street and next to the Sylvan Lake and District Family and Community Centre.

Samson said there is a lot of support on council for the project.

“I don’t think there’s a single councillor currently sitting around the table that didn’t campaign and say that they supported that.

“And when you think about the youngness of our community and the nature of the sport — it’s affordable and accessible to everybody young and old — it’s only a good move by us to forward that particular piece of recreation.”


Woman faces charges in stabbing incident

A woman charged with attempted murder during a $120 robbery reserved her plea on Wednesday.

Kelly Jane Gopher, 24, of Rocky Mountain House, returns to court on Friday facing the attempted murder charge as well as aggravated assault and robbery.

She was charged after a stabbing on Friday night in Red Deer.

Police said a 23-year-old woman suffered multiple stab wounds after a woman she was walking with brandished a knife and stabbed her repeatedly. The victim was robbed of $120 in cash near 6200 block of 61st Street. The incident happened at about 10:50 p.m.

A passing male motorist helped the injured woman to hospital.

Police would still like to talk to the person who assisted the injured woman to hospital. They also want to talk to anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who can help them locate the Good Samaritan. The male who helped the stabbing victim is believed to have been driving an SUV or a pickup truck.


Charity CheckStops set

The annual parade of Central Alberta Charity CheckStops starts this weekend with the Red Deer event kicking off the list.

Red Deer RCMP with the assistance of Alberta Sheriffs Department and Red Deer Emergency Services will run their CheckStop on Saturday, just north of the intersection of 32nd Avenue and Taylor Drive.

The charity stop runs between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., with a special lane set aside for passing motorists who want to donate nonperishable food items, cash or toys and clothes.

Members of the Red Deer City RCMP, with the assistance of volunteers from MADD Canada, the Christmas Bureau, Red Deer Food Bank, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Safe Communities, AMA and others, will be collecting.

A request for hats, mitts and scarves is new this year.

Red Deer RCMP will be distributing the items to charitable organizations to distribute to people who need them.

Last year’s CheckStop was cancelled due to inclement weather.

In 2008, some $22,000 in cash, as well as a truck load of food and two truck loads of toys were donated to local charities.

Cpl. Kathe DeHeer of Red Deer City RCMP said the CheckStop has run since 1994

The Sylvan Lake and Innisfail Charity CheckStops follow, both on Dec. 11.

The Innisfail event, which is entering its 15th year, runs between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The location will be the same as previous years.

RCMP members and volunteers, as well as lots of flashing read and blue lights, will be set up on 50th Street, between 48th and 49th Avenues.

Donations will be accepted from traffic that is both eastbound and westbound. Safety Bear will be waiting to hand out candy canes.

Vehicles not wishing to donate may proceed through without any difficulty. This year’s CheckStop will once again be accepting clothing, food, new and gently used toys and cash.

The Innisfail drive will help the food bank, Christmas Bureau, Women’s Outreach Society and Big Brothers and Sisters.

In Sylvan Lake, Sgt. Duncan Babchuk said the stop will be on 47th Avenue between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Dec. 11 near Hewlett Park.

RCMP will be joined by Alberta Sheriffs Department volunteers, Sylvan Lake Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services.

Donations of food, cash, toys and clothes will be accepted.

The Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Christmas Bureau are the two main designated charities.

They then distribute donated items to all the communities served by Sylvan Lake RCMP.