Local briefs – June 22

Red Deer RCMP are searching for a group of young males who attacked two men behind a bar early on Friday, leaving one with serious facial injuries.

Police seek info on bar fight

Red Deer RCMP are searching for a group of young males who attacked two men behind a bar early on Friday, leaving one with serious facial injuries.

According to police, the three or four suspects left a pub, in the 6300 block of Taylor Drive, at about 2:50 a.m. and entered a taxi. They were approached by two other men who exited the same bar shortly after, and an argument ensued.

The male suspects got out of the cab and chased the two male victims behind the pub. The group of young men then assaulted the two males before leaving in the taxi.

One of the two victims suffered serious facial injuries and was taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. He was later transferred to Calgary hospital, where he underwent surgery.

All of the suspects are Caucasian and in their 20s. One is described as being approximately six feet (1.83 metres) tall, with a muscular build, blonde or light brown hair, and clean shaven.

Anyone with information is urged to call Red Deer City RCMP at 403-343-5575, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Former local resident sought

Police are seeking public help locating a former Central Alberta man who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. Andrew Jamieson, 37, was on statutory release and is being sought for violating the conditions of his parole.

He had been serving a four-year sentence for robbery, possession of stolen property and theft under $5,000. Jamieson has brown hair and hazel eyes, stands 1.78 metres tall and weighs 91 kilograms.

Anyone who with information that could help police locate and arrest Jamieson is asked to call their local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Albertans warned about dutch elm disease

Central Albertans are urged to learn more about a potentially deadly disease for dutch elm trees that is spreading in Saskatchewan.

Elaine Johnson, urban forester for the City of Red Deer, said there’s a potential that Dutch Elm Disease (DED) could come to Alberta simply by transporting firewood.

Currently, Alberta has the largest DED-free American elm stand in the world.

“Most people are unaware that they cannot transport elm firewood because it can spread DED,” said Johnson. “Plus, we’re seeing the movement of other pests that are just as deadly to our trees, and they’re also spread through firewood.”

It is illegal to transport elm firewood in Alberta. Stripping elm wood of its bark also renders it safe to transport.

The city recommends people don’t transport any type of firewood at all and instead, burn the firewood where it has been bought. The emerald ash borer, bronze birch borer and mountain pine beetle are all wood-boring pests that can spread through firewood being carried around.

“All of these pests can kill a mature tree in one season,” said Johnson.

A pruning ban runs from April to September for elms. Otherwise, pruning and removing dead branches and trees eliminate potential beetle habitats.

DED symptoms appear in mid summer. Leaves will wilt or droop, curl or become brown sometime in mid June to mid July. Leaves on trees infected later in the season usually turn yellow and drop prematurely.

There’s also brown staining under the bark when leafing symptoms emerge.

Infected elms, or those suspected of being infected, should be reported to the DED hotline toll-free at 1-877-837-ELMS (3567) or calling the city Parks Department at 403-342-8234. More information can be found online at www.stopded.org

Hospital bonus draw announced

A weekend of golf in Phoenix and bass fishing in Peoria with a group of NHL players, a spot at the Wayne Gretzky fantasy camp, or $10,000 in cash: How to chose?

The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has drawn Red Deer resident Janet Will’s name for the bonus prize in its 2011 lottery, with the grand prize to be drawn at its Sisson Avenue show home on Friday.

Will said she needs a little time to decide which prize to accept.

The 2011 lottery, including more than $1 million in total prize values, is being used to raise money for 18 new patient monitors in the intensive care unit at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Advocate columnist wins awards

Advocate outdoors columnist Bob Scammell won two national communications awards at the Outdoor Writers of Canada annual conference in Saskatoon on June 4.

Scammell won a Shimano National Communications Award, first in the Newspaper Column Category for Planned Crown Land Sale Really Stinks, which was published in The Advocate on Sept. 23 last year.

The columnist also took third place in the National Fishing Week Writing Awards, for “excellence in communicating the aims and objectives of Canada’s National Fishing Week,” for Fishing Community is a Family, published in The Advocate on July 15, 2011.

“Once again, I owe thanks to my readers,” Scammell said, “for their overwhelming responses which convinced me to submit the entries I did this year.”

This was the 36th annual communications awards administered by the Outdoor Writers of Canada, an organization of professional writers, broadcasters and photographers who specialize in stories about outdoors activities and concerns.

The awards are designed to encourage excellence in outdoors writing.

Last year Scammell won three national awards: the top Shimano newspaper column award, first in the National Fishing Week Awards, and second in the Brock McRitchie Awards for “writing depicting children being taught or enjoying the outdoors.”

Steam engine can take Canadians for rides

Canadians are invited to experience rail history by riding one of the very few remaining preserved steam locomotives still in operation.

Canadian Pacific’s 2816 Empress steam train will stop in more than 40 communities across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December of 1930, the CP 2816 Empress is a class H1b Hudson-type steam locomotive. It is now the only surviving H1b Hudson and is one of only a handful of preserved and operating Canadian Pacific steam trains in North America.

Restoration of the steam locomotive began in 1998 and was completed in 2002.

All proceeds of the summer train tour benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation. Last year, $50,000 was raised through ticket sales, allowing five children with life-threatening illnesses to receive their ultimate wish.

Tickets range from $25 to $50 depending on the location and length of trip.

Tickets can be purchased at www.childrenswish.ca/cptrainride.

There will be a number of stops in Central Alberta.

The locomotive will leave July 29 from Didsbury at 12:15 p.m. and arrive in Red Deer at 1:45 p.m.; on July 30 from Red Deer at 11 a.m., arriving in Ponoka at 12:10 p.m.; on July 30 from Ponoka at 1:30 p.m., arriving in Edmonton at 3:30 p.m.; on Aug. 5 from Red Deer at noon, arriving in Didsbury at 1:30 p.m.; and on Aug. 5 from Didsbury at 2 p.m., arriving in Calgary at 3:45 p.m. All rides are one-way trips.

For more information, please visit www.childrenswish.ca/cptrainride.

RCMP looking for wanted man

Red Deer City RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 42-year-old Stephan Palese.

His whereabouts are unknown but Palese has lived in Central Alberta in the past.

A Canadawide warrant for the arrest of Palese has been issued after he violated his parole. He was on statutory release and is unlawfully at large.

Prior to his release, Palese had been serving a lengthy sentence for armed robbery, robbery with violence, possession of stolen property and theft under $5,000.

He has gone unlawfully at large in the past.

Palese is described as a male with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s 1.73 metres tall and weighs 127 kg.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the RCMP at 403-343-5575.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Central Alberta Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your tip online at www.tipsubmit.com. If the information leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Drugs found, one man charged

A Red Deer man was charged with drug trafficking on Saturday after RCMP pulled over a vehicle occupied by two women known by police.

The city detachment’s street team pulled over a car along Gaetz Avenue in downtown Red Deer that had a broken tail light at about 9:15 p.m.

All four occupants, two males and two females, were arrested.

Police located and seized a quantity of crack cocaine and various drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Darrell Kennell, 38, of Red Deer, had a number of outstanding warrants.

He was also charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, one count of failing to comply with an undertaking, and one count of failing to comply with recognizance.

Kennell was remanded in custody and is set to in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday.

The three others were released without charges.

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