Local briefs – July 11

Employees at Eckville Manor House seniors residence and the town’s Lion’s Golden Villas have voted in favour of joining the Health Care and Service Employees Union.

Eckville employees vote to join health care union

Employees at Eckville Manor House seniors residence and the town’s Lion’s Golden Villas have voted in favour of joining the Health Care and Service Employees Union.

About two dozen employees are affected at the two facilities operated by the Lacombe Foundation. Eckville Manor House has 35 rooms for seniors and the Golden Villas is comprised of eight bungalow-style units.

The union falls under the Christian Labour Association of Canada, which is expected to begin negotiating a first contract soon.

Lacombe Senior Citizen’s Lodge is also represented by the union, which has 50,000 members across Canada in the health, construction, retail, service and manufacturing sectors among others.

RCMP asking public to help find mini golf course vandal

Innisfail RCMP is asking for the public’s help to find suspects who vandalized a mini golf course at Dickson Leisure Grounds Campground, west of Innisfail.

RCMP say suspects broke into the mini golf course and destroyed the flower pots, hole markers and other structures between June 29 and June 30.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the Innisfail RCMP at 403-224-3342.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Two men charged with robbery

A trail of suspicious activity at three Central Alberta drug stores on Wednesday led police to arrest two Red Deer men who now face robbery charges.

RCMP said that at about 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, employees of the Rimbey Value Drug Mart reported that a man in his mid 30’s entered the store. He made his way to the prescription drug counter and produced a note demanding that he be provided with prescription drugs. Staff refused to provide the drugs and he fled the store.

A short time late an individual matching the description of the man in Rimbey was observed in the area of the Bentley IDA Pharmacy. No attempt at a robbery was made at this location.

Then at 7:45 p.m. Blackfalds RCMP Detachment members responded to a complaint of a robbery at the IDA Drug Store located in Blackfalds.

A man, approximately 28 years of age, entered the store and demanded that he be given prescription drugs. He was successful in obtaining a quantity of prescription drugs. He then fled the drug store on foot, entering a waiting motor vehicle which then fled the scene.

Police later apprehended two suspects.

Charged with two counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery is Allan Giesbrecht, 36, of Red Deer.

Charged with two counts of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, obstruction of a peace officer and two counts of breaching a recognizance is James Wilkinson, 25, also of Red Deer.

RCMP said their investigation led to the arrests due to the co-operation of several Central Alberta RCMP detachments — Blackfalds, Rimbey, Sylvan Lake and Red Deer City. Specialized units from Forensic Identification, Police Dogs Services and the General Investigation Section all worked as a team to assist in the investigation.

Men charged with assault make court appearance

Two Red Deer men charged in connection with a vicious assault that left a man requiring facial surgery returned to court on Friday.

Derek Craig, 24, and David Lester, 27, are each charged with aggravated assault and assault. Lester also faces a breach of probation charge.

RCMP said they responded to an assault call about 2:55 a.m. on June 17 outside the Locals Pub at 6300 Taylor Drive. Four males left the bar and got into a taxi, police said.

Two other men came out of the bar and got into an argument with two of the taxi passengers. They got out and chased the men behind a building and assaulted them.

One victim was so severely beaten he had to be transferred from Red Deer to a Calgary hospital for facial surgery.

Two suspects turned themselves in after police issued a plea for assistance through the media.

Lester and Craig appeared separately at Red Deer provincial court. Craig is due back in court on July 27. Lester is to return on July 29.

Neither is in custody.

Street parking restricted on 78th Street Crescent

Street parking will be restricted along 78th Street Crescent due the closure of 40th Avenue, north of the crescent.

The avenue closed on July 5 and remain closed until July 15 to allow crews to construct storm and sanitary pipes as part of the North Highway Connector project.

Public and contractor traffic will be directed to use 78th Street Crescent.

There will be no vehicle access to the parking area adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant at the north end of 40th Avenue. The pathway along the river to the pedestrian bridge will remain open with public parking available at Three Mile Bend.

On-street parking is expected to resume when 40 Avenue reopens on July 15.

Visit www.reddeer.ca/roadclosures.

Taylor Drive between Kerry Wood Drive and 67th Street under repair

Traffic will be held up in the northbound lanes of Taylor Drive in Red Deer this month as crews do road concrete repairs.

The City of Red Deer is advising motorists that repairs between Kerry Wood Drive and 67th Street began on Thursday and will continue to July 22.

Drivers are reminded to slow down when driving through construction zones and to obey all signs.

For more information on road closures, please visit www.reddeer.ca/roadclosures.

Gaetz Avenue Bridge to close for repairs starting Wednesday

Major traffic re-routing will occur over the Red Deer River next week.

Motorists travelling on Gaetz Avenue Bridge will be diverted to Taylor Drive Bridge starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday when the southbound bridge is closed to allow city crews to remove debris on the concrete piers below the bridge.

Crews will use a large crane to remove the buildup of large trees and other garbage created by the recent high water levels in the Red Deer River.

The Gaetz Avenue Bridge is expected to open sometime on Thursday.

Boaters and other recreational water uses are advised to avoid the area immediately upstream of the bridge. If travel on the river is necessary, keep to the south side of the river, watch for signage and stay well clear of the concrete piers.

Judge reprimands suspect for inaction

A man who wound up behind bars after tangling with a police dog made a brief appearance in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.

Jesse Dodd, 26, was arrested last Monday after a Red Deer city RCMP officer spotted a man who allegedly had outstanding warrants driving in the Riverside Meadows area about 5:20 p.m.

It is alleged the man crashed the vehicle near 60th Avenue and 58th Street then fled on foot.

A police dog found the suspect hiding in tall grass near 59th Avenue. The dog bit the suspect several times when he resisted arrest. The man was treated and released into police custody.

Dodd appeared in court on closed-circuit TV from the Red Deer Remand Centre.

Judge David Plosz reprimanded Dodd for doing little to resolve a number of outstanding charges, including an assault with a weapon charge on which he was making a 15th appearance. That charge stemmed from a July 21, 2010, incident.

Plosz told Dodd to make sure his lawyer appeared at the next court date on July 13.

Dodd faces a number of charges including flight from police, dangerous driving and resisting arrest. He was also wanted on charges of possession of a controlled substance, three counts of resisting arrest and four counts of failing to appear in court.

He remains in custody.

O’Chiese man charged with robbery

A man from O’Chiese Nations Reserve is charged with robbery with a weapon and uttering threats after a robbery at a reserve store on Wednesday.

A man entered the O’Chiese store armed with a knife, producing a note detailing instructions of a robbery. The suspect fled on foot with cash.

Kelly Wallace Desjarlais, 24, has been charged with one count each of robbery with offensive weapon, uttering threats and failing to comply with an undertaking.

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