Local briefs – June 23

Crime calls up slightly last week

Motorists, beware of temporary transit terminal

Starting Wednesday, drivers who use Red Deer’s transit terminal as a through-way will be ticketed $150.

The City of Red Deer is reminding residents that the temporary transit terminal on Alexander Way (48th Street) is strictly for buses.

Roger Bouchard, transit operations superintendent, said the city has received a lot of phone calls about personal vehicles driving through the terminal area. Bus drivers have also observed drivers’ behaviour.

“This isn’t safe for the public and starting Wednesday, we will no longer give warnings; these drivers will get tickets,” Bouchard said.

The signs prohibiting traffic other than buses are in clear view.

The temporary transit terminal recently opened to accommodate transit buses. It will serve as the downtown base for about one year while a three-storey parkade is being built above the permanent terminal location at 49th Avenue between 48th and 49th streets.

For more information, go online at www.reddeer.ca

Red Deer property taxes are due at end of the month

Red Deer property owners are encouraged to pay their 2009 taxes ahead of the June 30 deadline.

Assessment and Taxation Services manager Joanne Parkin advises people to pay early.

“People sometimes don’t account for the time it takes banks and financial institutions to process payments,” said Parkin. “But if the city doesn’t receive payment on or before the deadline, the property owner is penalized.”

Property owners who miss the deadline will pay a six per cent penalty, which is calculated in a lump sum adjustment on July 1. For example if $2,000 is left unpaid on June 30, then a penalty of six per cent or $120 would be charged.

Tax payments can be made in person at City Hall by 4:30 p.m. on June 30, or through the City Hall depository found on the building’s east side. They can also be mailed in. Financial branches will also accept payment.

For more information on city property assessment and taxation, go online at www.reddeer.ca/tax

Inglewood, Anders residents invited to Sunday barbecue

A barbecue on Sunday will gauge interest for forming one community association for two neighbourhoods on Red Deer’s south end.

Residents of Inglewood and Anders are invited to the barbecue and family friendly activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the community park on Ironstone Drive. There will be numerous draw prizes.

Pauline Mousseau, neighbourhood community development co-ordinator, said the overall purpose is to see if people want to form an association that would support and promote the needs of residents.

“It may include everything from creating sidewalks to community-building events,” she said.

Several information booths will be set up at the barbecue.

Residents in the neighbourhoods are planning the event, with the help of the city and Family Services of Central Alberta.

Event organizer Marlo Ruttan said they are gathering input on how to create safe and vibrant neighbourhoods, whether it be through the development of a community association or getting involved in Neighbourhood Watch or Citizens on Patrol.

For more information, call Ruttan at 403-872-0656 or Mousseau at 403-309-8413.

Author to read from book at downtown store Thursday

An “underground” author with a sly, subversive streak will be reading from his latest short story collection, Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, at Sunworks in Red Deer on Thursday.

Ontario writer Stuart Ross will start reading from 7 p.m. at the Ross Street store. This will be followed by a wine and cheese reception to about 9 p.m.

Ross co-founded the Toronto Small Press Book Fair, is poetry editor at Mansfield Press, and a poetry and fiction editor at This Magazine.

The novelist, short-story writer and essayist has been praised for Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, which has gone into a second printing within two months of publication.

One critic described the book “as if Jane Austen and Franz Kafka collaborated on a short story collection, while Albert Einstein acted as editor.”

Special Olympics torch will be here on Friday

The Special Olympics torch will be carried through Red Deer by law enforcement members on Friday.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling will attend a send-off ceremony on the steps of city hall at 11 a.m., with members of the Special Olympics Red Deer team.

After the brief speeches, law enforcement officers will run the torch north out of the city, via Ross Street and Taylor Drive.

The 60 members of the Red Deer Special Olympics team will then board the bus for a trip to St. Albert, where they will participate in softball, athletics, aquatics, and five-pin bowling events.

The torch is being carried through certain communities between Calgary and St. Albert by members of Alberta’s law enforcement agencies, including local RCMP detachments, Calgary and Edmonton police services and the sheriff’s office.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a world-wide event sponsored by agencies that raise money for Special Olympics in more than 150 countries.

In Alberta, $500,000 was raised through a variety of events, including Cops and Lobsters, World’s Largest Truck Convoy, and a Harley Davidson motorcycle raffle.

Crime calls up slightly last week

Calls to Red Deer City RCMP remain fairly steady.

Police received 923 calls from June 15 to 21, up slightly from 915 calls the week previous.

Crime statistics included:

• 51 assaults.

• 13 auto thefts.

• 10 residential break-ins.

• three business break-ins.

• 41 domestic violence complaints.

• 37 drug investigations.

• three robberies.

• 14 fraud complaints.

• 46 mischief complaints.

• 57 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities complaints.

RCMP note rise in speeder numbers

Red Deer City RCMP saw a huge jump in speeders during the week of June 14 to 20.

Police caught 84 speeders compared to 31 the week previous.

Other traffic charges, tickets or actions by police included:

• 66 motor vehicle collisions.

• 13 hit and run investigations.

• 31 impaired driving charges.

• three 24-hour driving suspensions.

• eight liquor tickets.

• 63 non-moving violations like suspended driving, unregistered vehicles and equipment violations.

• three no insurance tickets.

The statistics do not include photo radar or red light camera tickets.

Sylvan Lake development discussed

Keeping Sylvan Lake healthy could require holding collective meetings of all the municipal councils that border it.

This was the conclusion reached Monday by Town of Sylvan Lake councillors who discussed how to avoid a sporadic, independent and piecemeal approach to development around the lake.

Councillors Richard Backs and Judy Payne expressed frustration about the lack of cohesion.

“We have an agreement about development around the lake, but each of us is guilty . . . when it suits us, we ignore what we said we were going to do,” said Backs.

“I’m not sure how we can take a more aggressive stance, when it goes against (each municipality’s) autonomy,” said Payne.

Town Council eventually decided to try getting together with other county and summer village councils and the Sylvan Lake Watershed Society, to discuss how stakeholders can act collectively to preserve water quality.

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