Local briefs – March 31

Not wearing seatbelts resulted in $11,500 in fines for Lacombe and Ponoka area motorists and passengers.

Seatbelt violators pay big fines

Not wearing seatbelts resulted in $11,500 in fines for Lacombe and Ponoka area motorists and passengers.

Three checkstops were conducted this month by Ponoka town and freeway RCMP services, Lacombe town and county police services and Alberta Sheriffs.

The focus was to enforce vehicle seatbelt and child car seat laws, and to educate the public.

There were 73 tickets issued for unrestrained adult drivers, 17 for unrestrained children, and 10 tickets for adult passengers who weren’t wearing seatbelts. Other safety infractions netted 37 violations and two police warrants were executed. The fines for other traffic safety violations totalled about $6,400.

March is Occupant Restraint Month.

Domestic violence calls on the rise

Domestic violence complaints continued to hover around the 40 mark for the week ending March 29, RCMP statistics released on Monday indicate.

Police responded to 39 domestic calls last week. The average has been holding fairly steady in the last five weeks since it was in high teens in early February.

Most other statistics indicated a slight decrease in criminal activity from the previous week:

• 32 assaults;

• 12 automobile thefts;

• nine residential and business break-ins;

• 21 drug investigations;

• 13 fraud calls;

• 28 mischief calls;

• two robberies;

• 26 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities;

• 676 calls for service;

• 109 bylaw;

• 94 calls for victim services assistance.

Commission OKs excavation

Red Deer’s municipal planning commission has authorized the excavation of a large “borrow pit” on land west of Hwy 2 that was recently annexed by the city.

The commission head on Monday that J.T. Setters and Sons Construction wants to remove topsoil and clay from a site near Queens Business Park. This material will be used for development in the area.

The site, which will be accessed by a temporary road, will remain in use for about 48 months.

Thereafter restoration work will be done, with this to include replacement of fill material in the hole and top soil on the surface.

The affected area is ultimately slated for industrial development.

Script reading session

Anyone with the talent to make lines leap off a page is wanted to audition for staged readings of Scripts at Work plays.

The three local unpublished plays were chosen for this year’s night of staged readings, which will take place at 7 p.m. on April 17 at the Red Deer College Arts Centre, Studio C. Tickets will be $5 at the door.

The plays are: Curtain Call, by Red Deer writer and engineer Blaine Newton; Fishbowl Existence by Rachel Peacock, a Rosebud School of the Arts grad from Rimbey; and Tumaini by Red Deer College alumni Stephen Neufeld.

The three playwrights are fine-tuning their works by attending workshops with professional dramaturges Conni Massing and Gordon Pengilly and directors from across Alberta.

Meanwhile, male and female actors are needed to bring the plays to life at the night of staged readings. Auditions will be held on Saturday at the RDC Arts Centre’s Studio C. Those auditioning for directors Trevor Schmidt and Dave Owen should prepare a one-minute monologue. Resume and head shots are preferred but not required.

To arrange an audition, call Jan at 403-341-6340 or 403-598-7075 or email masquerade97@yahoo.com.

RDC arts programs benefit

A Night on Broadway proved to be a stellar event for Red Deer College arts programs.

The 12th annual Affair of the Arts, held by the RDC Foundation on Feb. 28, raised $64,000 to benefit theatre, music, visual and motion picture arts programs at the college.

The foundation wants to thank sponsors, donors, guests, and volunteers for making the fundraiser such a success.

Reception for artist

Local artist Justina Smith will hold a public reception on Friday to celebrate her first showing in a gallery.

Everyone is invited to the grand opening of Smith’s exhibit, Canadian Clothesline: A Brief Look At Our Intimates, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Red Deer’s Gallery IS, which will have moved to a new location on Alexander Way as of Wednesday.

Smith’s whimsical ink and watercolour paintings depict various moments from Smith’s travels across Canada in 2007 and 2008.

Landscapes and cityscapes, from Vancouver to Moncton, are the core of this show.

The exhibit runs until Saturday, April 25.

The reception includes live music, food and drink.

Gallery IS is relocating to 5123 48th St. For more information, call 403-341-4641 or email at galleryis.arts@yahoo.ca

Publishing, writing help

A publishing and book writing seminar is scheduled for Saturday at Eastview Middle School, says an event organizer, John Burnham.

Sponsored by Writers Ink, the morning session will feature publisher Keith Rideout on publishing and an afternoon session by local writer Rob Gilgan on speed writing.

Registration is $40, which includes both sessions.

The sessions will have a catered lunch and run from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

For more information and registration, call 403-314-0230 or 403-314-9251.

Final passion play run

The King of Kings passion play will be held in Spruce View this week, for its 15th and last Easter season.

The musical depicting the life of Christ opens on Thursday at the Spruce View Community Hall, incorporating 120 actors, a 30-voice choir, as well as a donkey, chickens, a dog and lamb. It runs through Sunday.

The popular co-production between the Christ Lutheran Church of Markerville and Bethany Lutheran Church of Dickson has been staged annually since 1994, always drawing a full-house crowd. But because of the huge time commitment involved, this year’s production will be the last, said Louise Schatschneider, one of the chorus members.

“All good things must come to an end. . . . It’s like my husband told me: ‘Even the donkey is getting old,’ ” she joked. The play, directed by Karen Norton and Janet Lutz, starts with two prisoners Paul and Silas. As they discuss the life of Christ, the Biblical events they are speaking of are re-enacted by other actors.

“We create a marketplace with animals, and the crucifixion and resurrection,” said Schatschneider, who notes some people have never missed a performance.

King of Kings runs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There are also 2 p.m. presentations on Saturday and Sunday.

She said the play’s popularity requires reserving tickets by calling 403-728-3401. Tickets are free but offerings will be accepted at the door.

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