Local briefs – October 16

The hearing for a man the Crown wants declared a dangerous offender has been delayed until Monday.

Accused’s hearing delayed

The hearing for a man the Crown wants declared a dangerous offender has been delayed until Monday.

Clement Joseph Robinson, 51, remains in hospital after suffering stomach pains moments before his month-long hearing was to resume on Tuesday.

His lawyer Arnold Piragoff said on Thursday that Robinson isn’t expected to be discharged from hospital until the weekend.

The hearing, which was entering its third week, could now take until early November to complete.

Judge Thomas Schollie will determine if Robinson should be declared a dangerous offender. That would allow authorities to make him serve an indefinite prison term, followed by lengthy supervision.

Robinson is already classed as a long-term offender who has been sentenced to set jail terms, followed by supervision.

The hearing was sought by the Crown after Robinson pleaded guilty in June 2007 to assaulting a former Red Deer escort by stabbing her with scissors on Jan. 25, 2006. He has been in custody since the stabbing.

Robinson has also served prison terms of four and a half years and seven years for sexual assaults on prostitutes in Calgary and Edmonton in 1993 and in 1982.


Sylvan cat bylaw revised

Sylvan Lake is taking its proposed cat bylaw back to the sandbox.

Town council had planned to give second and final readings this week to a new cat bylaw that would including live trapping of nuisance animals.

But following a public hearing on the proposal, council voted to defeat the bylaw at second reading and start over.

Problems identified with the bylaw were associated with the schedule of fines and with the section dealing with live trapping, said Marilee Littman, executive assistant to the CAO.

Staff are now refining the bylaw and will bring a new draft back for first reading during council’s Oct. 26 meeting, said Littman. Council will decide at that point whether to proceed with all three readings on the revised bylaw, she said.


Hearing set for February

A preliminary hearing will be held in February for a Rocky Mountain House youth who will become the first young person to be tried by a jury in Central Alberta.

The 15-year-old elected earlier to be tried by a judge and jury on charges of attempted murder and robbery.

He will have the one-day preliminary on Feb. 9 in Rocky, Red Deer youth court heard on Thursday.

The youth, whose identity is protected under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged in early September following an incident on the Sunchild First Nation reserve west of Rocky.

A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused stand trial in Queen’s Bench.

The Crown has said it wants to sentence the youth as an adult if he’s convicted.

The youth’s lawyer Patty MacNaughton elected the mode of trial based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says that anyone in jeopardy of receiving a sentence of five years or more has the right to a jury trial.

The youth was released from custody last week.

Rocky RCMP said they responded to a complaint of a robbery and theft of a vehicle during which a female was dragged out of the vehicle and injured.

About an hour later, the vehicle was located and a male was stabbed in the chest during a confrontation.


Grant provided for bridge

The Town of Ponoka has received a federal grant of $185,000 to build a pedestrian bridge over the Battle River on its portion of the Trans Canada Trail.

To be administered by the National Trails Coalition, the grant dovetails with an announcement on Tuesday that Lacombe County would receive $50,000 to build a pedestrian bridge where the original C&E Trail crosses the Blindman River, south of Blackfalds.

Both projects fall within the Central Alberta Regional Trail Society’s intention to create 70.6 km of trail through Red Deer, Lacombe and Ponoka Counties, including 5.2 km of trail within the Town of Ponoka.

Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins announced Ponoka’s share of the funding at the town office on Wednesday afternoon. The federal government, under its economic recovery program, has set aside $25 million to build recreational trails.

Please visit www.tctrail.ca to learn more about the Trans Canada Trail network.


New Ponoka welding courses

Red Deer College wants to take welding into the community.

Ponoka high school students will be offered the chance to learn about welding at an open house on Friday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Augustine High School, says college Regional Trades Initiative co-ordinator Neil Christiansen, who also teaches college welding.

The initiative is designed to enhance and promote trades in Central Alberta by collaborating with all interested stakeholders, including students, parents, businesses, educators and government agencies, he said.

The new welding courses will enable interested students to pursue a first-year apprenticeship while still in high school.

College welding instructor Bob Reid will teach the classes employing the same resources as apprentices use.

The course is set to begin in January and run through February.

St. Augustine principal Kevin Prediger said the school was examining ways to teach a fabrication course similar to a model in Rocky Mountain House.

“With this partnership we have access to an instructor and RDC has a presence in the local community to offer apprenticeship programming without people having to travel,” said Prediger, who is training to be a welder through the college’s programming as well.


Offender to be placed on list

A Rimbey man will have his name placed on a sex offender registry, a judge has ruled.

Samuel Dennis Zelmer, 27, who pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent exposure, will have his name placed on the registry, a Didsbury provincial court judge ruled on Wednesday.

Zelmer received two years of probation when he pleaded guilty to the charges but the registry question was not settled at that time.

Charges were laid after Didsbury RCMP received complaints of Zelmer pulling his van beside women walking down the street and exposing himself to them on Aug. 26 and 28, 2008.

Police said the window of the van was up and the van’s driver made no effort to contact the women.

Police launched patrols and a surveillance program after the second complaint.


Cause of death unknown

Police say that no criminal action caused the death of a 41-year-old Red Deer woman whose body was found near the city on Tuesday.

“The exact cause of death is not known at this time,” Red Deer Rural RCMP Staff Sgt. Gord Glasgow said on Thursday.

He said that any additional release of information comes under the jurisdiction of the Alberta Medical Examiner’s Office.

Police said the woman’s identity will not be released because they have been unable to secure permission of her family members.

RCMP were called after the woman’s body was found on Tuesday afternoon in a small wooded area between the north and south lanes of Hwy 2 near Gasoline Alley.

It was the second time in eight days that a body was found in or near the city.

Police said it appears the woman had been camping in a stand of trees just north of the Delburne Road overpass with a number of others.

She was alive in the morning and was left alone at the camp. But when her companions returned about 2 p.m., they found her dead.


Joe Anglin planning tour

Joe Anglin, leader of the Lavesta Area Group, is making road trip to talk about issues related to Bill 50, which affects processes for routing and construction of power lines. The purpose of the public speaking tour is to raise awareness from the perspective of a ratepayer and citizen, Anglin said in a statement. Local meetings are set for the following dates and locations:

• Thursday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. at the Leslieville Elks Hall

• Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Royal Canadian Legion, 5019 50th St., Rimbey.

• Friday, Nov. 6, noon at the Gaetz United Church, 4758 Ross St., Red Deer.


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

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