Local briefs – November 9

Barry Mehr has been named the new chair of Olds College board of governors. Mehr has been on the Olds College board since 2007 and is president of Mehr Holdings Ltd. and a senior fellow in the University of Minnesota’s Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership.

New chair for Olds College board

Barry Mehr has been named the new chair of Olds College board of governors.

Mehr has been on the Olds College board since 2007 and is president of Mehr Holdings Ltd. and a senior fellow in the University of Minnesota’s Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership. Mehr is the winner of the 2010 Industry Builder Award, given out by the Alberta Food Processors Association.

He takes over as board chair from Bill Quinney.

Mehr started his career in the meat processing and food safety industry with Swift Canadian Co. Ltd. and then served in leadership roles in government, including deputy minister of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Alberta Economic Development and Alberta Innovation and Science.

The board has also gained two new members: Gloria Beck and Shirley McClellan.

McClellan is the chair of Horse Racing Alberta and a distinguished scholar in residence at the University of Alberta. She is the former deputy premier and minister of finance as well as having held numerous other government roles, including minister of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and minister of health.

Beck is the owner and CEO of Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre. She has served as a board member and president of the International Garden Centre Association and she is the past president to the Canadian Nursery Trades Association. She has also been a member of the Community Savings Credit Union Board.

The two newest members have taken over from Mehr, who served as a board member before becoming the chair, and past board member Cam Clark.


Break-ins jump in Red Deer

Red Deer city RCMP received an average of 127 calls per day for assistance during the week ending Sunday.

Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said break-ins of businesses and residences increased eight from the previous week to 31.

Assaults also increased six to 34.

Police also received 23 calls for serious domestic violence.

Drug investigations fell four to 17.

There were three reports of sexual assault , a drop of one from the previous week.

There were no robberies but 11 reports of fraud.

Other statistics included:

• 887 calls for service

• six auto thefts

• 157 bylaw infractions

• 43 mischief

• 29 suspicious persons, vehicles or activities

• 59 thefts

• 101 victim service calls.


Clearwater can keep federal funds

Clearwater County will not lose out on federal infrastructure funding even though a major paving project fell short of completion.

County manager Ron Leaf said enough of the 48-km Sunchild Road paving project was completed to qualify for the full federal commitment of $4.3 million. The money was allocated out of the $4-billion federal Infrastructure Stimulus Funding program, which carries a March 31, 2011, completion deadline.

It had been feared that construction delays caused by poor summer weather would leave the project unfinished and cost the county a portion of the federal funding.

Leaf said a certain amount of the project had to be complete to qualify for the full amount and that target was reached before paving was halted by frost last month. About five km of the road still needs final paving. That work will be completed next year.

The provincial government also contributed more than $4 million towards the project.


Wishart Trail open again

Wishart Trail in the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary is again open to the public.

A small section of the of the east loop was closed last week to repair erosion that resulted from inadvertent hydrant flushing overflow.

Maintenance and repairs to the small section of the trail have since been completed but city Environmental Services staff continues to work in the area. Residents are reminded to stay clear of personnel and equipment working in the area.

For more information about the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, visit www.waskasoopark.ca. For more information on Red Deer’s parks and trails, visit www.reddeer.ca/parks.


Condor School water safe

Condor School water fountains should be back in use by next week.

The school 50 km west of Red Deer is a part of the Wild Rose Public Schools.

The fountains will be sanitized and serviced with a high volume flow on Friday so that they can be in use next Monday.

Officials with the division have said that weekly monitoring of water quality will continue indefinitely at the school.

In mid-September, a water treatment system was installed at the school and has been functioning effectively. Water testing has continued to occur on a weekly basis with all tests coming back clear for the past eight weeks. Environmental Public Health and Alberta Health Services has found that every sample taken at the school since the filtration system has been up and running has been satisfactory and as a result will allow the water to be used for drinking again.

In June, Condor School was closed for a couple of days when routine testing revealed unsafe levels of bacteria in the water.

When the students returned, the fountains were sealed and bottled water has been provided for students and staff at the school ever since to ensure their safety.


New Blackfalds fire chief

The Town of Blackfalds has hired Robert Côté as the town’s first full time fire chief.

Côté, who started in Blackfalds on Nov. 1, has over 20 years of experience in the fire and emergency services field.

He has worked with the Town of Crossfield, MD of Rockyview and Morrison Hershfield Ltd. as a code and life safety specialist.

Côté intends to continue to ensure that the fire department is well prepared for the future, continue in the development of the fire department members and co-ordinate town safety programs.