Local briefs – June 20

Alberta forestry workers are wrapping up a controlled burn that was deliberately set to reduce the number of older, drier trees near the Banff Park border.

Controlled burn wraps up

Alberta forestry workers are wrapping up a controlled burn that was deliberately set to reduce the number of older, drier trees near the Banff Park border.

Maria Sharpe, fire information officer for Alberta Sustainable Resources, said the target has been reached of burning about 65 per cent of trees within an 20,000-acre area along Hwy 11, between Whirlpool Point and the Saskatchewan River Crossing resort in Banff National Park.

The prescribed fire was set to reduce the threat of a large-scale wildfire by removing older trees, to diversify habitat areas for wildlife and to impede the progress of the mountain pine beetles, which decimated forests in B.C. and are now in Alberta.

‘Common thief’ jailed briefly

A care worker who admitted stealing money from residents at a Lacombe seniors home was given a brief taste of the courthouse jail cells before facing a dressing down from a Red Deer judge on Friday.

Provincial court Judge Jim Mitchell said it was hard to “imagine a more despicable act of thievery,” before sending Sarah Marie Albrecht, 21, of Red Deer, to spend an hour or so in the court’s cells while he pondered her fate.

Albrecht pleaded guilty to four counts of theft under $5,000 for stealing money from Royal Oak Manor on four occasions in April and May.

When she was returned to court, Mitchell asked her, “How do you feel to be treated as a common criminal?”

“Not very good,” answered Albrecht quietly from the prisoner’s dock.

“Of course. That’s what you behaved like — a common thief,” chided Mitchell, before sentencing her to a one-year suspended sentence with probation. She must also do 40 hours of community service.

“I’m millimetres away from sending you to prison, Ms. Albrecht,” he continued. “And I guarantee you a vast majority of this community will support that sentence.”

Boater guilty of possession

Police responding a report of a stranded boater on Gleniffer Lake last month wound up making a drug bust.

David E. Greenslade of Calgary pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.

Greenslade explained he was in a boat that began sinking and residents called police “because they didn’t think I was going to make it back.”

When police arrived, they found him drunk, wandering on the shore. Police also found two grams of marijuana in his pocket.

“I did have a few drinks, yes, I did,” he told provincial court Judge Jim Mitchell.

“This is how people drown, Mr. Greenslade,” said Mitchell.

“I did learn my lesson from this,” Greenslade replied.

The judge fined him $115.

Site study open house

Red Deer residents can have their say on how to improve a popular city destination for recreation, history and culture.

The City of Red Deer is hosting a public open house on Tuesday, 5 to 8 p.m., on the Red Deer Rotary Recreation Park and South Area Site study. The meeting is at the Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre at 4620 47A Ave.

The city is embarking on a study for the area that stretches from 48th Street (Alexander Way) to the Kinex Arena along 43rd Street. Places on hand include the Red Deer and District Museum, Red Deer Curling Club and city parks amenities building.