Local briefs – May 7

Patients will be exposed to lower levels of radiation with the installation of a new CT scanner at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

Hospital gets new scanner

Patients will be exposed to lower levels of radiation with the installation of a new CT scanner at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Alberta Health Services announced on Thursday that a new computerized tomography scanner, valued at $2 million, has replaced one of the two existing units at the hospital.

Faster than its predecessor, the new scanner will increase the number of scans the hospital can perform per year by 30 to 40 per cent, says Peter Froese, the health board’s executive director of diagnostic imaging services for suburban and rural hospitals.

Prior to the installation of the new scanner, Red Deer hospital performed an average of 18,000 scans per year, Froese said in a statement.

CT scanners are used in the detection of a variety of cancers and in the diagnosis of heart disease.

Installation of the new scanner falls under a program through which the province will invest $284 million in technology and maintenance in health-care facilities, of which $7 million is earmarked for Red Deer.

Along with CT scanners, the program will purchase additional equipment, including stretchers, beds, ventilators and a digital X-ray unit.

The maintenance portion of the program will be used in a number of areas, including upgrading nursing stations and the roof of the hospital.

Gun charges result in jail

A Red Deer man who shot and killed a cat when investigating a strange noise has been sentenced to three months in jail for two firearm offences.

Daryl Brownell, 32, pleaded guilty to careless storage of a firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday.

Charges of possession of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon were withdrawn.

Court heard earlier that a man came home after consuming alcohol and heard a suspicious noise at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2010. The man claimed he armed himself with a .308-calibre rifle and loaded it because he feared someone was breaking into his property.

The rifle and another gun were stored in the bedroom so the man retrieved one of the weapons.

On his way through the Morrisroe area residence, he fell and the gun fired, killing a family cat.

The bullet continued through a bedroom wall, lodging in the wall of a nearby residence.

Sylvan man faces drug charge

A Sylvan Lake man charged after a major weapons and drug bust in January is scheduled to go to trial in Red Deer provincial court on Feb. 22, 2012.

Matthew Earles, 24, faces eight charges that include two counts each of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property and four breaches of previous court orders.

He was among several people charged during a RCMP investigation in late January.

Police seized cocaine and other drugs, cash in excess of $11,000 and various guns when they raided a home in Sylvan Lake and two in Red Deer.

Another Red Deer man charged in connection with the bust, Robert Kovich, 22, will have a preliminary hearing on Dec. 1.

Kovich is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000 and four counts of driving while prohibited.

A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant an accused be tried in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Bashaw man faces hearing

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a Bashaw man charged in connection with two violent robberies in Brooks in last summer.

Justin Tyrone Whynott, 26, faces two counts of robbery with violence, uttering a death threat, failing to comply with a probation order and impaired care and control of a motor vehicle.

Charges stem from robberies alleged to have occurred on July 26, 2010, in Brooks.

The hearing will be held at Brooks provincial court on Sept. 26.

A preliminary hearing is to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant an accused to be tried in Court of Queen’s Bench.

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