Local briefs – October 21

Central Alberta volunteers are helping make a better world for more than 41,000 people in the Sudan.

Volunteers to help people in Sudan

Central Alberta volunteers are helping make a better world for more than 41,000 people in the Sudan.

Seven people from Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Lacombe will be in the Sudan on Tuesday to help open a project that will provide water to the Sudanese, says Eric Rajah, co-founder of the humanitarian agency A Better World.

The Lacombe computer businessman says Better World has teamed with the CrossRoads Church since April working on the project.

The project, originally set to open in January 2010, is ahead of schedule, Rajah said. The system has been built in conjunction with the West Nile Province Ministry of Water.

Water is being piped from the Nile River to a water treatment centre, then piped several more kilometres to a holding tank in a community of displaced persons outside of the city of Kosti. It is then piped to several surrounding communities.

Prison stabbing in court

An federal prison inmate charged with attempted murder following a knifing about a year ago at Bowden Institution will have to appear in court again on Dec. 1 to complete a preliminary hearing.

The provincial court hearing couldn’t be finished because of the number of witnesses.

Joseph Alexander Mason, 45, is also charged with aggravated assault in the Nov. 14, 2008, incident. He is now housed in an Edmonton jail.

Judge David Plosz will rule after the hearing if there’s enough evidence to warrant Mason stand trial in Court of Queen’s Bench.

The 47-year-old alleged victim, who has since been released from jail, suffered stab wounds to his abdomen, chest and back after another inmate attacked him with a sharpened metal spoon.

The hearing had about 15 witnesses called by the Crown, including Corrections Canada officers, RCMP officers and two other inmates, in addition to a former inmate who was released after the incident.

A ban on publication of information from the hearing was ordered by the court.

Mason has elected to be tried by a judge and jury.

Metal utensils were removed from the prison kitchen shortly after the incident. In addition, cans of pepper spray were stored in prison units so guards can respond to violent incident more effectively.

Stettler has new councillor

Darcy Bachman is the unofficial winner of a byelection in Stettler on Monday.

Running against two opponents for a vacant seat on town council, the former mayor of Bashaw, now living in Stettler, caught 126 votes. Close behind was former Botha mayor Sherry Larter with 111 votes, while oilfield technician Trent Cottam trailed with 63.

The byelection was called to fill a seat left vacant when town Councillor Dick Richards ran unopposed to replace Mayor Jim Hunter, who had resigned to become a provincial court judge. Richards, owner of an insurance business, was acclaimed on Sept. 21.

Byelection results do not become official until noon on Friday.

Shots fired in Johnstone?

RCMP were investigating on Tuesday a complaint of gunshots being fired earlier in the morning in the Johnstone area of north Red Deer.

Const. Sabrina Grunow of city RCMP said on Tuesday afternoon that police forensic investigators were gathering information in the 100 block of Jordan Parkway.

The complaint was registered by police at about 3:30 a.m.

No one was reported injured, Grunow said.

Police request that anyone with information about the suspicious activity in the area contact them at 4030-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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