Local briefs – May 9

The Town of Blackfalds has been added to the growing list of Central Alberta municipalities and parks that have banned outdoor fires due to dry conditions.

Blackfalds bans fires

The Town of Blackfalds has been added to the growing list of Central Alberta municipalities and parks that have banned outdoor fires due to dry conditions.

Much of the central area of the province, including Red Deer, Mountain View, Lacombe, Ponoka and Stettler Counties along with the parks and municipalities within them have now partly or totally banned outdoor burning.

Some counties still allow limited burning, including the use of burning barrels and contained camp stoves and fire pits, provided they are attended at all times.

Visit www.albertafirebans for details.

Firefighter skills tested

Firefighters will put their skills to the test in late May during the regional Scott Firefit challenge in Red Deer.

The event pits firefighters working for municipalities and private companies competing against the clock in several events.

Scheduled for Westerner Park from May 29 to 31, the event begins at 10 a.m. each day with free admission.

The event is sponsored by FireFit of Canada Ltd.

Firefighters will compete in a stair climb, hose hoist, forcible entry, run, hose advance and victim rescue.

There is individual competition between the firefighters on May 30 and a team relay on May 31. May 29 is devoted to a corporate challenge.

Competitions are held across Canada with regional events.

Winners are eligible to compete in a national event that features entrants from the United States, New Zealand and England. The national events have been shown on television.

National level teams compete for the grand prize of a $3,500 travel voucher.

Food and drink concessions will be on site with proceeds going toward the Red Deer Emergency Services firefighter’s children’s charity.

Women’s shelter aided by sale

A local real estate company is asking local residents to de-clutter for a cause.

Royal LePage Network Realty Corp. members in Stettler and Red Deer are looking for garage sale items for its first community-wide sale to benefit Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter and national and provincial violence prevention programs.

The Stettler and Red Deer Royal LePage staff are banding together for the sale, which will be at the Red Deer offices 3608 50th Ave. on Saturday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Until Thursday, May 21, items can be dropped off at AMJ Campbell Van Lines at Bay No. 10 at 7896 49th Ave. in Red Deer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The event is part of a National Garage Sale for Shelter in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundations, which has raised $9 million for women’s shelters and violence prevention programs across the country.

For more information, call Kathy Fitzsimons at 403-346-8900 or George Smith at 403-343-0501.

George Jones here in October

Fans of country music legend George Jones are in luck.

Tickets go on sale on Monday at 10 a.m. for his Red Deer show.

That show is at the Centrium on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Jones, now 75, had his first No. 1 record 50 years ago with the rockabilly-flavored White Lightning. His classic 1980 rendering of He Stopped Loving Her Today was voted the Greatest Country Music Song of All Time in a poll of country music radio listeners.

Jones continues to perform 100 concerts a year.

Tickets are $57.50 plus applicable service charges and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, at the Centrium box office, by calling 403-340-4455 or going online at www.ticketmaster.ca

City seeks breaker to boost power

The City of Red Deer wants to add a new breaker to a North Red Deer electric substation in order to gain more power supply for new developments on the city’s north side.

The City of Red Deer’s Electric Light and Power Department manager Ligong Gan said more electric capacity is needed for the new Clearview North and Timberlands Town Centre subdivisions, the new civic yards, and the Olymel expansion.

On behalf of the city, the Alberta Electric System Operator intends to file an application with the Alberta Utilities Commission by Wednesday. It will state that the demand for electricity in the North Red Deer area is growing and that the need could be met by adding a new 25 kV breaker at the existing Red Deer North substation.

As part of the application process, the public must regularly be notified. Gan said a variety of general consultations were done earlier this year, and people living within 800 metres of the substation were individually contacted by letter. No concerns have, so far, been expressed to the city. “Everyone has been in support of it,” said Gan.

Anyone wanting more information about the project can go online at www.aeso.ca or call the operator at 1-888-866-2959, or email stakeholder.relations@aeso.ca. A copy of the Needs Identification Document can be downloaded at http://www.aeso.ca/transmission/16386.html

Blood drive pushed by Rotary

Rotary clubs of Red Deer are out for blood in their first ever blood challenge.

The clubs have banded together in a competition to see which club can secure the most blood donations.

The challenge runs from Monday to Friday.

Rotary members are encouraging family, friends and members of the community to donate on behalf of their Rotary club of choice.

The challenge will be officially launched on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Canadian Blood Services at 5020 68th St.

Call Canadian Blood Services at 1-888-236-6283 for blood donor clinic information, eligibility, or to book an appointment.

For more local briefs on upcoming events, see “Home Front” and “Switchboard” under the “Community” tab.

RCMP investigate home invasion

RCMP are searching for two males believed responsible for an early Friday morning home invasion in Red Deer.

Const. Sabrina Grunow of city RCMP said police were called to a residence in the 3700 block of 46th Street at about 12:45 a.m.

She said two males knocked on the door and forcibly entered the residence.

Both were disguised and one produced a weapon.

The three occupants of the residence were forced into a bathroom while the culprits removed various items, including electronics.

The suspects are believed to have fled in an unknown vehicle.

No one was injured, Grunow said.

Further investigation revealed that the suspects were known to the victims.

One of the suspects is described as an aboriginal wearing faded jeans, red jacket and white DC runners.

The other suspect is described as wearing dark clothing and a denim baseball cap.

Anyone with information is urged to phone police at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com.

Nordegg lands treatement beds

Ten addiction treatment beds for young adults will be open by July in Shunda Creek near Nordegg.

Enviros Association of Calgary has received $1.4 million from Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Justice to operate the treatment facility for 2009-10.

“They are going to operating 10 beds in what was a correctional facility,” said Kathleen Range, spokesperson with Alberta Health and Wellness.

“The renovations are going on right now and they’re expected to open in late June or early July.”

The Enviros beds were among 50 new mental health and addiction beds at five health centres announced by the province on Friday to improve treatment access for young adults, age 18 to 24.

The 50 beds are part of a government initiative to provide longer-term intensive programs for youth at risk and young adults with alcoholism, drug addiction, psychiatric conditions, or a combination of these conditions.

As part of this initiative, Ponoka Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury received $3.8 million for 2009-10 to operate 25 new beds for young and older adults with both a severe mental illness and severe substance abuse.

The beds opened April 1 and were not previously available at the centre.

Last fall, the centre received $560,000 in provincial funding.

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