Local briefs – July 6

A man from Sunchild First Nation died Saturday afternoon after a pickup with seven people rolled in a ditch on Sunchild Road, northwest of Rocky Mountain House.

Sunchild man dies in crash

A man from Sunchild First Nation died Saturday afternoon after a pickup with seven people rolled in a ditch on Sunchild Road, northwest of Rocky Mountain House.

The driver, Travis Lorne Quewezance, was pronounced dead at the scene, about 20 km north of Hwy 11.

Passengers were treated for non-life threatening injuries at Rocky Mountain House Hospital and Care Centre.

Rocky Mountain House RCMP said the northbound pickup fishtailed into the ditch and rolled several times.

The driver and three passengers were ejected and were not believed to be wearing seatbelts.

The investigation continues.

Youth justice groups aided

A $20,000 grant for the Red Deer youth justice committee tops a list of Central Alberta communities receiving funds to assist their youth justice committees in hopes of turning young lives around.

Brian Mulawka, a spokesman for the Solicitor General and Public Security Department, said the Red Deer grant is the third largest award announced, following those to Edmonton and Calgary groups.

Other grants to youth justice committees in the region:

• Didsbury, $1,500

• Rimbey and district, $500

• Olds, $1,500

• Ponoka, $1,000

• Stettler, $1,700

• Sundre and district, $1,000

• West Central Alberta group in Rocky Mountain House, $2,000

• Lacombe, $3,000

• Maskwacis in Hobbema, $2,500

• Nipishkopahk of the Samson Nation in Hobbema, $2,500

• O’Chiese, $3,000

The funds are part of the $350,000 announced by the government for the committees to continue their work in keeping young people away from a life of crime, Mulawka said.

The committees assist with sentencing and engage in crime reduction activities.

The committees work to show young people the impact their crimes have on the community, often involving victims and helping offenders accept responsibility for their offences.

There are more than 1,400 youth justice volunteer committee members in Alberta providing help to youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17.

Seniors eligible for benefits

An estimated 6,000 more seniors are now eligible for benefits after the provincial government approved higher income thresholds for four financial aid programs.

Alberta Seniors Benefit and Special Needs Assistance for Seniors will each see their thresholds rise by $1,300 to $24,000 for singles and by $2,100 to $39,000 for couples.

Full coverage for Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors has increased to $24,000 for singles and $48,000 for couples. Partial coverage amounts to $31,675 for singles and $63,350 for couples.

Effective July 1, the start of the new benefit year, incomes from 2008 will be used to determine program eligibility. Seniors who receive benefits from one or more of these programs will receive a July letter outlining eligibility.

Seniors and Community Supports Minister Mary Anne Jablonski said her department is committed to helping low-income seniors who are most in need, which is why these thresholds have been increased.

“This ensures benefits are not reduced as a result of increases to federal government programs such as Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement and Canada Pension Plan.”

For more information, go online at www.seniors.alberta.ca or phone 1-800-642-3853.

Olds College honours man

A man considered the father of Olds College’s horticultural programs will be honoured at the annual Hort Week this month.

B.J. (Buck) Godwin was a popular instructor at the college from 1963 until 1988 and was renowned in his industry holding numerous titles, said Matt Klatt, program manager of continuing education school of horticulture and geospatial technology, said the event runs from July 19 to 24.

This is the 45th annual event for what has become the college’s flagship event, Klatt said. The annual show A Touch of Class will honour the late Godwin.

Godwin was a former president of the Alberta Horticulture Association and director of the Western Canadian Society for Horticulture.

For more on local events, see “Home Front” and “Switchboard” under the “Community” tab

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