Local briefs – January 18

Nearly 92 per cent of the $2-million goal has been raised, but the United Way of Central Alberta is hoping a few more donations are made in the final week of its 2010 campaign.

Campaign counting on last-minute donors

Nearly 92 per cent of the $2-million goal has been raised, but the United Way of Central Alberta is hoping a few more donations are made in the final week of its 2010 campaign.

More than $1.83 million has been raised during the four-month fundraising initiative, which wraps up on Saturday.

“We just want to remind people that there are still a few more days left to donate,” said United Way resource development officer Jennifer Forrest.

Money raised will benefit 32 local agencies that are used by one in three Central Albertans.

To make a donation, call 403-343-3900 or go online to www.caunitedway.ca. Donations can also be mailed to the local United Way office at 4811 48th St. in Red Deer.

The organization will unveil the final tally at the Collicutt Centre on Jan. 27. The event is open to the public and runs from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Those interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP by sending an email to darlene@caunitedway.ca or calling 403-343-3900.

Youth agencies benefit from donations

Two local agencies that cater to youth benefited from recent fundraising initiatives.

The Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer and District received over $1,000 that Ricky’s Restaurant raised during December.

“Red Deer is a very giving community and our agency greatly values the support of local businesses like Ricky’s in helping us in our efforts to provide our services to children and families,” said John Johnston, fund development manager of the local Boys and Girls Club.

More than $5,000 was recently donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District by Canadian Western Bank.

The bank raised the funds through its The Greater Interest GIC campaign, which ran from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. For every dollar that clients invested, the bank donated an eighth of a per cent back to the community.

“The recent economy has made it challenging for charitable organizations to raise money,” said David Murphy, executive director at Big Brothers Big Sisters or Red Deer and District.

“Canadian Western Bank’s The Greater Interest GIC campaign resulted in a generous gift in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters.”

The 31st annual Bowl for Kids Campaign in support of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters also recently started.

Individuals, businesses and groups are encouraged to register a bowling team and raise money in the weeks leading up to Super Sunday at the Heritage Bowling Centre on March 6.

For more information, please call the Youth and Volunteer Centre at 403-342-6500 or visit www.yvc.ca.

Funds raised go towards matching caring adult mentors to children in the community. There are currently more than 50 children waiting for an adult mentor in the Red Deer area.

Sports Award nominations accepted

Nominations for the 2011 Red Deer Community Sports Awards are open until Friday. The sports awards banquet will be held Feb. 26 at the Capri Hotel to honor individuals and groups who excel in sports or volunteer. People are encouraged to nominate a coach, official, volunteer, athlete or business supporter. Online votes can be cast at http://scord.ca/awards.htm. Red Deer Primary Care Network is the title sponsor for awards banquet. The network, a partnership between local family doctors and Alberta Health Services, aims to improve access to primary care by using multi-disciplinary teams, and promotes healthy living.

CAT names facility City Centre Stage

Central Alberta Theatre’s new downtown venue has a name: City Centre Stage.

The group that’s turning the former Uptown movie theatre into a live theatre space recently held a naming contest for it. And the winning suggestion came from Darcy Stingel, promotions director for Sunny 94, who was also CAT’s master of ceremonies for its 2010 fundraising gala.

The name for the work-in-progress on 49th Street was selected by CAT membership, who voted from a short-list of six suggestions.

Stingel has won a double season pass to Central Alberta Theatre’s 2011-2012 dinner theatre season.

The next CAT fundraising gala will be held on March 5 at the Black Knight Inn. Tickets are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

But as of Feb. 1, tickets for all new events held by Central Alberta Theatre at either the Memorial Centre or the City Centre Stage will be available through CAT’s own box office. (The Black Knight Ticket Centre will continue to sell tickets to all already announced events to the end of this season.)

More details about the theatre group handling its own future ticket sales will be released soon.

Man arrested after stabbing

A man was stabbed early Saturday in a downtown Red Deer apartment complex, resulting in the arrest of a 25-year-old Red Deer County man.

The 33-year-old stabbing victim was still in hospital recovering from his injuries on Monday.

Red Deer City RCMP responded at about 3 a.m. on Saturday to complaints of a stabbing in the 4700 block of 55th Street.

Police allege a group of people had been drinking and smoking salvia, a hallucinogenic herb that’s not prohibited in Canada. The victim and accused got into a physical confrontation that escalated and the victim was stabbed.

The injured man was being attended to by other people in the apartment when police arrived.

Multiple RCMP officers were needed to restrain the accused and arrest him.

Both the victim and accused were taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre to be treated for injuries.

John Wenger, 25, is charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, one count of aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Wenger will appear in Red Deer provincial court today.

Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call 403-343-5575, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Calls to city RCMP increase

Police calls for service increased for the second consecutive week, statistics released on Monday by Red Deer City RCMP indicate.

Total calls jumped 43 to 745 for the week ending Jan. 16.

The calls were also up almost 17 per cent compared to two weeks ago.

Assaults increased one-third to 24 from the previous week.

Break-ins fell two to nine and motor vehicle thefts fell to eight from 14 the previous week.

Other statistics included:

• 189 bylaw infractions

• nine drug investigations

• 14 frauds

• 29 mischief complaints

• one sexual assault

• 22 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities

• 36 thefts

• 112 victim services assistance calls

• serious criminal domestic violence calls weren’t available

• no robberies were reported.