Local briefs – December 31

Donors managed to keep one step ahead of demand in the Red Deer Christmas Bureau’s 2009 campaign.

Christmas bureau receives just enough donations

Donors managed to keep one step ahead of demand in the Red Deer Christmas Bureau’s 2009 campaign.

Ready to relax after a hectic holiday season, executive director Willy Bullock said on Wednesday that she has managed to put away children’s gifts and still expects to collect more cash to get a start for 2010.

Three people showed up with donations on the last day before Christmas, including an elderly couple with a huge bag full of children’s gifts, said Bullock.

She also received gifts collected at a couple of stores, even though their donation boxes were supposed to have been closed. Cash cans have yet to be collected, so Bullock does not know how much they will add to the charity’s coffers.

Part of the money will be used to cover rent at the warehouse, located two doors down from the food bank at Bay 10, 7429 49th Ave.

The Christmas Bureau received 1,116 applications, of which some had to be turned down for various reasons. In the end, 1,035 hampers were delivered and gifts were presented to 1,156 children.

That was up from 750 hampers and 918 children’s gifts in 2008.

Bullock said there was a great deal of worry in the last few weeks before Christmas when nasty blizzards cancelled the Charity Check Stop and cut down the numbers at other events, including the Rebels Tuque Toss.

The combined intake from special events was only half of what was received the year before, she said.

“We barely made it.”

Last-minute donations provided enough carryover to pay the rent and get the ball rolling again in time for next Christmas. Bullock plans to open up during the second week in November.


Innisfail getting a new library

INNISFAIL — Construction starts in a few days on a new library building designed to blend into its wooded surroundings.

The Town of Innisfail has accepted a bid of $6 million from Edmonton-based Pentagon Structures, to build an 19,375-square-foot library building with a living wall and green roof.

While vegetation growing on the roof will help capture rainfall, its primary purpose is to help give the library building a more natural appearance, town manager Dale Mather said on Wednesday.

The roof will blend into a living wall, also comprised of vegetation growing on permanent supports, said Mather.

“It’s kind of a unique site. It’s nestled in a bunch of existing trees, so they’re trying to preserve the habitat as much as possible.”

The new library will sit on an old logging road across the C&E Trail from the town’s cemetery.

Along with being much bigger than the town’s existing library, the new building will include a seniors’ multi-purpose room, a large living room and a café.

Including the design phase and site preparation, the entire cost of the project is estimated at $9 million and should be finished by March 2011, said Mather.

Costs are split between the town, province and federal government, he said. The town has saved money toward the project and will have its share of the construction and design phase costs in place by the time it is complete.

Further fundraising will be required to furnish the building, said Mather.


Domestic violence calls up during Christmas week

Calls for service to Red Deer city RCMP declined during Christmas week, police reported on Tuesday.

However, domestic violence calls increased to 46 during the week ending on Sunday, for the highest such volume of calls in several months.

Total calls were 573 for the week.

Other statistics:

• 25 assaults;

• three vehicle thefts;

• nine business and residential break-ins;

• 121 bylaw infractions;

• five drug investigations;

• four frauds;

• 34 mischief complaints;

• two robberies;

• 20 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities;

• 58 calls for victim services assistance.

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