Local briefs – October 2

RCMP were still in the process Thursday of assessing a “significant amount” of marijuana seized from a vehicle during a traffic stop bust a week ago.

RCMP discover marijuana in vehicle

RCMP were still in the process Thursday of assessing a “significant amount” of marijuana seized from a vehicle during a traffic stop bust a week ago.

Const. Sabrina Grunow of city RCMP said that police stopped a vehicle on Taylor Drive about 11 p.m. on Sept. 25 and arrested two people.

A significant amount of grass, cash and drug and trafficking paraphernalia was seized, Grunow said.

A 24-year-old Red Deer faces charges of possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking.

He was released from custody and was ordered to appear in court on Nov. 10.

His name hasn’t been released because the information hasn’t been sworn yet, Grunow said.

The passenger was released without charges.


Provincial judge gets promotion

Provincial court Judge Bert Skinner has been named the new assistant chief judge for the Central Region, it was announced on Thursday.

Skinner replaces Justice Monica Bast, who was appointed to Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Aug. 13.

Skinner was appointed to provincial court in 2007 after serving for several years as the chief Crown prosecutor in Red Deer.

Skinner graduated from the University of Alberta in 1978 and has practised exclusively in criminal law in adult and youth court.

He will be responsible for scheduling and other administrative duties of the central region judges, who are responsible for covering courts in Red Deer, Rimbey, Stettler and Coronation.

Central judges also sit in many other Alberta courts.

“I’m pleased to welcome Judge Skinner to this position and am confident he will provide outstanding leadership,” said Alberta Attorney General and Justice Minister Alison Redford.


Optometrists supporting charity effort

Red Deer optometrists will participate in a challenge this month to help raise money to assist millions of people around the world who are vision impaired.

Kevin Hesterman with the Red Deer Eye Care Centre said the World Sight Day Challenge will raise funds to assist more than 670 million people who are either blind or vision impaired because they don’t have access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses.

The centre will make a donation and collect donations from customers to add to the total collected by other optometrists in Canada and around the world.

By the end of this year, the group called Optometry Giving Sight will have distributed about $3 million through its partners to help screen and provide basic eye care services to more than 1.7 million people, train 1,550 mid-level eye care personnel and create 101 vision centre workshops.


Development rules will be revised

Development rules are being revised for properties that lie on any of the escarpments in the City of Red Deer.

Earlier this week, city planner Tara Lodewyk presented the Environmental Advisory Committee with plans to amend the section of the land-use bylaw that deals with building on escarpments.

The proposed amendment, tentatively scheduled for first reading during city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, would more closely tailor the permitting process to the affected area.

For example, the bylaw currently prescribes a 15-metre setback throughout the escarpment areas. A recent geotechnical survey has adjusted that setback to more closely reflect the actual height and condition of the slope at each site, said Lodewyk.

The reason for the change is to improve public safety, she said.

Details of the amendment will be made available to the public once the bylaw has been given first reading. Opportunities for public input will then be made available.