Local briefs – November 24

Three Stettler males, including one aged 15 and one aged 17, have been charged with sexual assault on a girl stemming from a September incident.

Stettler teens face assault charges

Three Stettler males, including one aged 15 and one aged 17, have been charged with sexual assault on a girl stemming from a September incident.

The three accused were charged on Friday and all were taken into custody, said Stettler RCMP Sgt. Rowland Schmidt.

The 15-year-old and 17-year-old appeared in Red Deer youth court on Friday and were released into parents’ custody.

Both were ordered to appear again in Stettler youth court on Dec. 8.

Those two are also charged with unlawful confinement on the girl, who was under age 14 at the time of the alleged Sept. 23 assault at a Stettler residence. The complaint was reported to police on Nov. 6.

Timothy Anthony Ralph, 18, was remanded in custody until Thursday when he appears in Red Deer provincial court.

He’s charged with sexual assault.

Vandals paint northside property

Vandals went on a spray-painting spree in Highland Green and Oriole Park on the weekend.

The culprits defaced 11 properties and six vehicles with vulgar messages sometime overnight Saturday, said Red Deer RCMP on Monday.

“There is no evidence at this time to suggest any of the properties or vehicles were specifically targeted,” says a news release from RCMP media liaison Const. Sabrina Grunow.

Those caught spray painting graffiti face a minimum fine of $2,500 under the city’s community standards bylaw.

Anyone with information is asked to call RCMP at 403-343-5575 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). If the information leads to an arrest, tipsters are eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000.

Burnco workers talk contract

Unionized workers and management for the Burnco ready-mix plant in Red Deer feel they are inching closer to a deal after being without a contract for the past year.

Last Wednesday, company officials and representatives from Teamsters Local 362, which represents the eight workers in Red Deer, met through a mediator in Calgary.

Bernie Haggarty, business agent for the union local, said some progress was made and he is hopeful that differences can be resolved with further meetings.

Morale on the picket line has improved and workers who have been locked out since Oct. 19 are hopeful that they will soon have a new contract and be able to go back to work.

Company official Neil O’Connor, speaking from his office in Calgary, also said the company and union representatives had a productive meeting and have made progress.

Both men said another meeting will be held in the near future but a date has not been set.

Alberta’s first Fair Trade Town

Olds has become Alberta’s first official Fair Trade Town.

The community joins six others across Canada that have been designated by TransFair Canada, a not-for-profit certification and public education organization promoting Fair Trade-certified goods. The Fair Trade system has been structured to help farmers and workers in developing countries by ensuring they receive fair prices for their products and labour. The goal is also to promote sustainable environmental practices while ensuring developing communities receive improved social services and investment in local infrastructure.

The designation was pursued by the Fair Trade Olds committee, a group of volunteers working under the guidance of the Olds Advisory Group for Sustainable Living.

“Becoming Alberta’s First Fair Trade Town further distinguishes Olds as a leader in sustainability and confirms our commitment in supporting the principles of Fair Trade,” says Cody Becker, chairman of the advisory group in a news release.

“We strongly hope this initiative will help encourage Albertans to make ethical and sustainable choices in their everyday lives.”

To become a Fair Trade Town, Olds town council has to use designated products and show support for the campaign.

Stores, restaurants, workplaces, faith groups and schools must also use the products.

Public awareness events and other media events must be promoted, a steering group created, and other ethical and sustainable initiatives promoted within the community.

Robbery suspect sought by police

Red Deer City RCMP are looking for a suspect after an attempted robbery in the Glendale area on Sunday night.

Police say a man entered the Running on Empty Convenience Store, in the 7100 block of Gaetz Avenue and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk wouldn’t comply. The man left without incident and no one was injured.

The male was last seen on foot, travelling westbound from the store. Red Deer RCMP dog services assisted in the search for the suspect but he wasn’t located.

The man is described as having a darker complexion and being 1.83 metres ( five foot 10 inches) in height. He was in his late 20s or early 30s and was wearing black pants, a camouflage hooded sweater and running shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Red Deer City RCMP at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com

Eckville man faces charges

A 22-year-old Eckville area man returns to court Wednesday charged with arson and other offences.

Tanner Geisbrecht was arrested on the weekend in the Red Deer area after the report of a small fire at a rural residence in the Gimlet area, about 27 km northwest of Eckville.

Geisbrecht reserved his plea on the arson charge and a charge of uttering a threat to cause bodily harm when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Monday.

Sgt. Mark Groves of Rimbey RCMP said later that police responded to a complaint from a woman that a man had tried to ignite a fire at the residence late Friday using an accelerant.

A suspect was arrested a few hours later in Red Deer. He was take into custody.

Geisbrecht also faces a separate theft charge.

Groves said there was minor damage in the fire, which didn’t require the assistance of firefighters or other emergency personnel.

No one was injured in the incident.

Following his Wednesday court appearance in Red Deer, Geisbrecht is expected to appear again on the arson charge in Rimbey or Wetaskiwin provincial court since the offences are alleged to have occurred in that jurisdiction.

City crashes down slightly

RCMP reported 37 crashes in the city for the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, down slightly from the 40 the previous week.

The number of hit and run investigations increased slightly to 23 from 18 a week earlier.

Other traffic stats include:

• impaired driving — 32

• 24-hour suspensions — 13

• liquor tickets issued — two

• non-moving violations, such as driving with a suspended licence — 42

• speeding tickets — 143

• no-insurance tickets — five

• red light and stop sign tickets — 14

• seatbelt tickets — three

• bylaws and other tickets — 27.

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