Local briefs – June 8

The cause of a major downtown fire in Innisfail in March remains suspect.

Cause of major fire in Innisfail remains suspect

The cause of a major downtown fire in Innisfail in March remains suspect.

Innisfail RCMP are continuing to investigate a fire that severely damaged a building at 50th Street and 50th Avenue on March 15. More than 40 firefighters from Innisfail, Red Deer County and Bowden fought the blaze.

The second floor of the building eventually had to be toppled for firefighters to get to the last pockets of flame. The building, constructed in the 1920s, has since been torn down.

Cpl. Rochelle Becker said samples were taken from the second floor.

Lab tests were conducted to see if those samples were accelerants.

“Any suspicion that the fire would have started upstairs has proved negative,” Becker said.

Since there is no answer yet as to what happened, the fire is still deemed suspicious, she added.

“Until the investigation is complete, we won’t be able to say for certain if it’s arson or not.”

The building housed Bigfoot Sports and Body Basics Massage Therapy on the main floor while the second floor had vacant offices.

Becker said police are now looking at possible hot spots on the main floor where the fire may have originated.

This review involves looking at reports done by fire investigators, she said.

Account set up for Olds mother

Donations of money and supplies are being collected for a mother in Olds who is receiving treatment for cancer as she waits for one of her five-month-old twins to have heart surgery this summer.

An account has been set up for Misty Reimer, 23, under her name at Scotia Bank in Olds.

She started chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in April.

Her son Grey Reimer-Bye will have surgery to repair the hole in his heart in late June or early July.

Shortly after Grey was born, he required stomach surgery.

Local volunteer Julie Cappis is co-ordinating donations, like diapers, on behalf of the family. For more information, call Cappis at 403-556-6986.

Styner joins RDC foundation board

Marlin Styner has joined the Red Deer College’s foundation board as it continues its Building Communities Through Learning expansion initiative.

Styner is known in Red Deer for the work he has done as the community development co-ordinator with the Canadian Paraplegic Association and most recently as the chair of the Alberta Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

Styner became a quadriplegic at the age of 18 as the result of a car crash.

He received his diploma in business administration from RDC in 1989 and embarked on a public speaking career, talking about injury prevention across Canada with the SMARTRISK Heroes Program and the PARTY Program.

He has received the City of Red Deer Mayor’s Special Recognition Award for humanitarianism, Toastmasters International Award for communication and leadership and the Alberta Centennial Medal for service to the community.

City newsletter being distributed

More than 30,000 copies of City of Red Deer’s Inside Out newsletter are hitting mailboxes.

The issue highlights everything from taxes to parks and capital projects.

The news publication is also surveying readers on what Red Deer residents should be named — Red Deerite, a Red Deerian, Red Deeronian, Red Deerigan or “other.”

City spokeswoman Tara Shand said this informal survey will be conducted until June 30.

The news publication has been sent out to residents for nearly a decade.

“It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about the Greater Downtown Action Plan or what name we think best suits people living in our city,” Shand said.

“It’s all about creating a sense of community and Inside Out is just one way we can do this.”

Residents can also find Inside Out online through www.reddeer.ca.

They can also fill out a survey online on what they think of Inside Out.

College receives recognition

Red Deer College garnered national recognition at the Association of Canadian Community Colleges annual conference recently in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

President Ron Woodward was presented with the College President’s Network Distinguished Service Award 2009 for his contributions to the development of the college system in Canada through exceptional service.

Jim Madder, vice-president academic, took home the ACCC Leadership Excellence Award.

Erin Konsmo, student and Red Deer College Board member, received the ACCC Student Leadership Award.

Awards given to Madder and Konsmo were two of only five awards recognizing and promoting excellence within Canadian colleges and technical institutes.