Local briefs – January 26

Chinook’s Edge Grade 4 to Grade 6 students will take part in a new literacy program after the school division recently joined the Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation.

Schools embrace literacy program

Chinook’s Edge Grade 4 to Grade 6 students will take part in a new literacy program after the school division recently joined the Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation.

The program, called Reading . . . Give it a Shot, is supported by the Calgary Flames and allows students to collect bookmarks with their favourite Flames players for every 100 minutes of reading that they do.

The eight-week project will include 2,500 students from Grades 4 to 6 throughout the Chinook’s Edge School Division and got underway on Monday. Teachers will have the chance to nominate the most-improved reader for a chance to win an evening with the Flames, including two game tickets, dinner and a hockey jersey.

The Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation started as a not-for-profit in 1991 and now has partnerships with Calgary’s public and Catholic school districts, as well as Foothills, Rocky View and Golden Hills school divisions.

Chinook’s Edge deputy superintendent Heather Henderson-Hill said the foundation started with businesses wanting to put more resources into schools. She said the partnership will enhance educational opportunities for students in Chinook’s Edge School Division.

Chinook’s Edge recently joined the foundation and will have to pay a small administrative fee to be part of it, but the projects are supported by a variety of business sponsors.


Marijuana seized at prison

Innisfail RCMP said Monday that one inmate is being charged with possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking after a Jan. 14 search-and-seizure at the minimum-security farm annex at Bowden Institution.

Const. Craig Bennett was called out to Bowden on Monday to deal with the charge, which as of Monday afternoon had not yet been formally laid, and to pick up the drugs.

According to Bennett, 62 grams of marijuana was seized during a routine search of cells.

The rest of the contraband the Correctional Service announced seized on Friday — more than 800 “suspect” pills needing analysis, tobacco and a cellphone — were found in a common area, Bennett said.

Bennett explained that since the drugs were in a common area, no one could be charged with possession.

The institutional value of the drugs, higher than on the street, is estimated to be about $37,000.


Break-ins reported at fishing huts

RCMP are looking for culprits who broke into about two dozen fishing huts on Sylvan Lake on Sunday night.

Richard Bush of Red Deer, who had his hut on Honeymoon Bay near Range Road 20 broken into, said on Monday that 23 huts were broken into while only a single one wasn’t hit.

Bush said he had a 200-square-foot hut with many comforts, including a small fridge, stove and cupboards built into the hut, which he paid about $8,000 to build.

The break-ins occurred sometime after sundown Sunday and early Monday morning.

He said someone used bolt cutters to break through locks on all the huts.

“There’s only a few of us who know we’ve been broken into because all the rest mainly come on the weekends and through the week,” Bush said.

Bush lost an axe and the fridge.

He said many other fishers probably lost equipment, including ice augers and axes.

No fishing equipment seemed to be missing from the few who were aware of the break-ins.

Bush, who was planning to move his five-tonne, has had it at the lake since Dec. 18.

Anyone with information can phone Sylvan Lake RCMP at 403-887-3334 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477


Shoplifter pulls out knife

A shoplifter pulled a knife after a Save-On-Foods loss prevention officer tried to nab him on Saturday night.

The incident happened at the store at 6720 52nd Ave. in Red Deer about 10:30 p.m.

RCMP allege a man went into the store and tried to shoplift several items. When one of the store’s staff tried to apprehend him there, was a tussle in the parking lot. The shoplifter pulled a knife and then fled, leaving stolen merchandise behind. The staff person was not injured.

The suspect was last seen on foot northwest of the store.

Police describe the suspect as Caucasian, 1.91 metres (six foot three inches) tall, 86 to 91 kg (190 to 200 pounds) with red hair and blue eyes. He was clean shaven and wearing a black scarf, black winter jacket, black stone-washed pants and black and white skater-style shoes.

Anyone with information can call police at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Anonymous tips can also be submitted online at www.tipsubmit.com


RCMP seek assault suspects

Red Deer RCMP are looking for three males who assaulted a man with a weapon and bear spray inside a Highland Green residence.

The attack happened about 10:50 p.m. Sunday at a residence on Haliburton Crescent. The man’s attackers then fled. It’s not known if they were on foot or had a vehicle.

The victim was an 18-year-old Red Deer man. He was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and treated and released.

“Police believe this to be an isolated incident and it is not believed to be a random act,” RCMP Const. Sabrina Grunow said.

RCMP ask that anyone with information on the incident call 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


Scam artist pleads guilty

Nearly five years after ripping seniors off in a telephone scam, a Winfield man has finally pleaded guilty.

Larry John Vollendorf, 60, pleaded guilty to a single count of fraud of more than $5,000 when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Monday.

Vollendorf, who remains free on bail, returns to court on March 10 for sentencing.

Seven other charges laid by RCMP in 2007 are expected to be withdrawn by the Crown after sentencing.

Crown prosecutor Peter McKenzie of Calgary told court that he expects there will be a joint submission for a sentence.

Vollendorf was scheduled to begin a preliminary hearing on Monday but changed his plea.

Monday’s court appearance was his 18th since the court action started.

The frauds and thefts, police said earlier, totalled $51,500 in late 2005. They occurred in the Red Deer and Rimbey areas.

He was charged with bilking elderly people with bogus claims that they had won a prize or a lottery.

Vollendorf was arrested and charged in late 2007 following an extensive police investigation.


Man charged in stabbing

Red Deer City RCMP have laid charges against a 22-year-old Red Deer man in connection with a stabbing incident on Friday.

Two people were treated for stab wounds after a fight in Red Deer’s Waskasoo subdivision shortly before 3 a.m.

RCMP said two men and one woman, all known to each other, were arguing outside a home at 45th Avenue and 57th Street.

Police allege that the argument escalated to a fight and one of the two males pulled out a knife.

A 39-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man both suffered wounds that are not believed to be life-threatening. A suspect was arrested at the scene.

Jordan Rudolph has been charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats. He is scheduled to appear in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday.


Convenience store robbed

Police are hunting for a suspect wanted in the robbery of a Riverside Meadows convenience store early Saturday.

RCMP said about 2:45 a.m. a man walked into the Short Stop Food Store at 5926 54th Ave. and demanded cash from the clerk.

The clerk handed over money and the man fled southbound on foot. No one was injured in the incident.

An RCMP dog team was called in but could not track the man down

He is described as Caucasian, in his early 20s, about 1.8 metres (five foot 10 inches) tall and unshaven. He was wearing a black jacket with a camouflage pattern with black jeans and white skater-style shoes.

Police want to know if anyone saw any vehicles in the area at the time of the robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call RCMP at 403-343-5575 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Anonymous tips can also be made to www.tipsubmit.com