Local briefs – June 5

Environmental leaders will present an alternative message of a green energy economy and green jobs to Red Deer.

Green energy alternative offered at presentation

Environmental leaders will present an alternative message of a green energy economy and green jobs to Red Deer.

Ron Besuijen, ReThink Red Deer member and owner of Home Synergy, will talk about the technologies available to create community-supported energy projects.

Sheryle Carlson, associate director of Sierra Club Prairie, will talk about Alberta’s renewable energy potential.

The RePower Alberta presentation will run from 6:30 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre at 6300 45th Ave. in Red Deer.

ReThink Red Deer, Waskasoo Environmental Education Society, RDC Green Campus, Greenpeace Canada and Sierra Club Prairie are hosting the event.

Red Deer is the sixth stop on a multi-city tour through Alberta.


Concussion information to be presented

A presentation on the proper management of concussions will take place on June 15 at the Roland Michener Recreation Centre auditorium.

“Concussions: The new evidence-based guidelines and what you should know to protect your head” will be conducted by Dr. Martin Mrazik, a clinical neuropsychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Alberta who provides clinical consultation to athletes suffering concussions in sports leagues like the NHL and CFL.

Children and adolescents appear to be at greater risk of sports-related head injury than adults, and males at a greater risk than female players, according to a news release. In recent months, there have been concerns about the long-term consequences of concussions, and some post-mortality studies suggest athletes who have sustained multiple concussions experience changes in brain chemistry that affects their moods, behaviour and mental health.

The event is free but pre-registration is necessary. To register, call the Canadian Mental Health Association at 403-342-2266, email education@reddeer.cmha.ab.ca or go online at www.reddeer.cmha.ab.ca. The Brain Injury Awareness Week Committee presentation runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


New Innisfail park honours longtime dentist

More than 150 volunteers will gather today to build a new park in Innisfail in memory of dentist and community builder Greg Ritson-Bennett.

Over the past six weeks, a planning committee raised $60,000 towards new playground equipment, adult outdoor fitness equipment and trees and grass, which are being installed today.

Ritson-Bennett, who was killed by a rogue wave while vacationing in India last year, had been involved in the development of Innisfail’s arena and aquatic facilities as well as playgrounds in the community. He was a founder of the Dolphins Swim Club — and a humanitarian.

The dentist and his wife Virginia had travelled to Guatemala four times to provide free dentistry services.

The park committee felt it appropriate to name the new green space Dr. Greg Ritson-Bennett Park because of the late dentist’s involvement in building a stronger, healthier community.

Innisfail was also selected as one of 10 centres to receive the Let Them Be Kids — Kool-Aid Smile Award, which provided $5,000 of seed money towards playground equipment purchases and the opportunity to receive $1 of buying power for every 60 cents raised.


Heritage awards cover wide range

This year’s nominees for the Red Deer Heritage Recognition Awards were a pretty disparate bunch.

They include pro wrestling historian Vern May, newspaper columnist Michael Dawe, and a painter with a love for 56th Street — David Plumtree.

“I really liked having that nomination, actually, because it really took people outside the box from what you usually think of as history,” heritage preservation committee chairwoman Sheila Bannerman said of May, whose wrestling alter ego, Vance Nevada, recently published a history of the sport in Western Canada.

The ninth annual awards presentation happened Friday at the Red Deer County council chambers.

Of the 10 nominees — which also included the City of Red Deer for the City Hall Park, the Dickson Store Museum for its 100th anniversary celebrations, the J.F. Gaetz Residence, the Innisfail and District Historical Society’s Role of the Railroad project, Red Deer County for the ACR Trestle/Mintlaw Bridge, the Riverside Meadows Story Stones project, and St. Luke’s Anglican Church — four were chosen for the awards.

“It’s a series of stones with engravings on them that tell the history of what used to be the Village of North Red Deer, and is now basically called Riverside Meadows,” said Bannerman, explaining the Story Stones project, one of the winners. “They have designed quite a unique way of bringing this history to the public.”

St. Luke’s, completed in 1907, also won an award.

“It’s the only building in the area with this kind of Gothic architecture, the kind of pointy windows and steep roof and that lovely square tower with the crenelated top.

“Probably because the church was built by the parishioners, there was a particular interest in maintaining the church, the interior and the exterior.”

The Dickson Store Museum, which acted as a store and also sometimes a bank, post office, and community centre from 1909 to 1980, won an award. So did Dawe and the Red Deer Express, the newspaper that since 2002 has published his weekly historical column.