Local briefs – February 5

A man charged with sexually assaulting and robbing an elderly woman will have a trial next fall.

Trial set in sex assault

A man charged with sexually assaulting and robbing an elderly woman will have a trial next fall.

Jesse Peter Toews, 25, of Red Deer elected to be tried by a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench justice alone when he appeared in provincial court on Thursday.

The preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 20 and Oct. 22 on charges of sexual assault, forcible confinement and robbery.

That hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence to have Toews stand trial in Queen’s Bench at some future date. Toews is alleged to have sexually assaulted, confined and robbed the woman last July 29.

RCMP allege that Toews jumped an elderly woman and assaulted her about 9:30 a.m. in a wooded area near 67th Street and 52nd Avenue. The woman’s purse and watch were stolen in the attack.

Toews remains in custody on those charges.

He also faces charges on other unrelated offences and will have a bail review on those charges on Feb. 17.

It is alleged that Toews threw someone into a closet on Aug. 6, then smashed a cellphone and fled the scene.

A cruelty to animals charge was also laid after he allegedly threw a kitten against a wall, killing it.

Toews has a trial on Aug. 23 on charges of assault as well as cruelty to animals, making death threats, mischief to property and failing to appear in court.


H1N1 vaccine available

Central Albertans can still receive H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccinations by appointment only at their local public health centres.

Alberta Health Services recommends that all Albertans over six months of age be immunized.

Red Deer clinics will be held on Monday from 8 a.m. to noon, Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Johnstone Crossing Community Health Centre, 300 Jordan Parkway.

Call 403-356-6300 to make an appointment.

During the week of Jan. 24, about 350 people were immunized at public clinics across Central Alberta, compared to about 670 the week of Jan. 17.

As of this week, about 105,000 Central Albertans have been vaccinated against H1N1.

Future clinics will be scheduled according to demand.

For the location and dates of other Central Alberta clinics or for more information, go to www.albertahealthservices.ca or call Alberta Link toll free at 1-866-408-5465.


Chernobyl photo display

Starting next week, library-goers can get up close and personal with the faces of the Chernobyl disaster.

On display starting Tuesday is Chernobyl, 20 years — 20 lives. It’s a photo documentary about 20 people whose lives were forever altered by the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.

Photographer Mads Eskesen travelled in the affected region on the border between Ukraine, Belarussia and Russia and interviewed and photographed to offer “insight into the fate of a few of the victims of Chernobyl and reveal some of the impacts of the continuing catastrophe.”

A Sierra Club of Canada representative will give a presentation at the opening reception on March 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Red Deer Public Library’s Snell Auditorium.

The display will stay in the library’s Kiwanis Gallery until March 20.


Nordic roots discussed

A Red Deer College instructor is offering to take people on A Nordic Saga on Tuesday.

James Trevelyan, who teaches visual arts, will lecture about his journeys tracing the Nordic roots of Western culture. As an art historian and painter, Trevelyan visited Iceland, Copenhagen and Stockholm, and his presentation covers geography, history, art and architecture.

A RDC news release called the event “an enlightening and entertaining look at Scandinavia for those who have yet to visit or wish to visit in the future.”

Admission and snacks are free, and a cash bar is available.

The lecture, part of the RDC’s Homegrown series, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the library’s west wing.


Robbery plea reserved

One of two Rocky Mountain House men charged in an armed robbery about a month ago reserved his plea on Wednesday.

Anthony James Von Hollen, 24, returns to court on Feb. 17 to enter a plea on robbery with a firearm.

He was charged after the Tim Hortons on Rocky’s south side was robbed on Jan. 8 about 2:20 a.m.

A suspect walked into the eatery and reportedly ordered a coffee.

When the employee returned with the drink, the man pointed a small black gun and demanded she open the till.

The man grabbed a number of bills and fled on foot.

John Dean McNee, 24, returns to court Feb. 10 to enter a plea on a charge of robbery with a firearm.

Rocky RCMP said earlier that Von Hollen is alleged to have been behind the wheel of the getaway car.


Justice system discussed

Residents interested in how the justice system works can get some answers at an upcoming town hall meeting.

Albertans and the justice system is the theme of the event scheduled for Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Red Deer Lodge at 4311 49th Ave.

A panel will discuss and answer questions on a wide range of topics, including bail hearings and sentencing. Judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, RCMP and corrections officers will be represented.

The free event is hosted by Alberta Justice and the Attorney General and the Canadian Bar Association.

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