Local briefs – October 23

A global construction firm has contributed $250,000 so Red Deer College can do some building of its own.

College gets cash from construction giant

A global construction firm has contributed $250,000 so Red Deer College can do some building of its own.

Cord WorleyParsons, a division of construction giant WorleyParsons, is making the donation and Red Deer College plans to name an operations demonstration lab at the college’s Four Centres complex.

The working lab allows instructors and students a hands-on learning environment. Instructors provide demonstrations of specific trades on the actual equipment found in industry.

Primarily a construction company, Cord WorleyParsons also specializes in project delivery services such as engineering, procurement and construction management.

Cops hunt fire extinguisher thieves

RCMP are hunting for a couple of fire extinguisher thieves who have been selling their stolen goods.

Const. Sabrina Grunow of city RCMP said on Thursday that in the last several days, businesses have filed complaints to police that two males have sold or tried to sell them fire extinguishers.

The culprits approached staff at the various businesses stating they were delivering previously ordered extinguishers.

The suspects provided staff with a company name and then produced the extinguishers along with an invoice for payment.

Police investigation revealed the extinguishers were stolen from other businesses in the area.

Police only have a vague description of the suspects. One has brown hair and wore a red hat and red sweater. The second one was scruffy looking and wore a winter hat and winter coat.

Contact police at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Council looking at escarpments

The City of Red Deer is looking to tighten rules on developing, grading and clearing next to sloping lands.

Council gave first reading this week to a proposed bylaw amendment concerning escarpment areas.

The Engineering Services Department is suggesting current regulations could be improved in several areas. For one thing, existing standard setbacks were sometimes excessive on flatter slopes and not enough on steeper slopes because they weren’t factoring the height of the slope or condition of the slope.

The current standard setback from a slope is 50 metres.

Under the proposed changes, the height and condition of the slope would be considered.

The city may also get stricter on the kind of information that residents can submit for a development permit.

In some cases, people weren’t giving information that had been verified by a qualified surveyor. The proposed amendment requires a legal survey or historical survey data finished by such an expert.

Councillor Tara Veer said she can see why such changes are needed, particularly as the city annexes more land within the river valley.

“It’s important that we protect it from an environmental standpoint, but also protect development that goes next to it,” said Veer. “It’s critical that we have a plan well ahead of time.”

A public hearing will be held on Monday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. in council chambers before any further readings are given.

Assault trial set for next summer

A man tasered by police because they feared he would cause serious harm to a woman will be tried next summer.

Steven Conrad Poisson, 51, of Sylvan Lake had a trial set on Thursday for July 27 when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court.

RCMP said earlier they feared for the woman’s safety last February after they were called to a domestic dispute at a house in Sunbreaker Cove.

They found a man holding a knife over his head in a manner that appeared threatening to the woman.

The man, who stood 1.9 metres (six feet three inches) and weighed about 160 kg (350 pounds), was then tasered by police.

Police had to force their way into the house and used the Taser when the suspect refused to obey their commands.

Poisson is charged with assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

He was held in custody for a time before he was released on $2,000 cash bail.

Explosion in Johnstone

A police investigation into gunfire at a Johnstone residence early Tuesday morning revealed that no shots were fired, but an explosive device was detonated outside the residence.

RCMP do not know the type of device.

Police received a complaint of gunshots at about 3:30 a.m. No one was injured.

Police are continuing to investigate and anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area is asked to call Red Deer City RCMP at 403-343-5575, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report online at www.tipsubmit.com

Crown wants to revoke man’s bail

The Crown wants to revoke the bail for a man who faces a second drug trafficking charge.

Nathan Blaine Dean, 23, of Red Deer reserved his plea on a charge of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking until Oct. 29 when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday.

Dean also faces a charge of breaching a conditional sentence order for a previous conviction and driving while suspended.

Court heard Dean has a Nov. 9 trial for possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking stemming from a December 2008 charge.

Dean was detained in custody on Oct. 12 when he was arrested during a traffic stop on Taylor Drive.

Police said earlier they allegedly discovered quantities of marijuana, cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia in the vehicle.

Plea reserved on robbery charge

A man charged with the armed robbery of a Lacombe gas station nine months ago still doesn’t have a lawyer.

Jean Marc Viau, 46, of no fixed address, reserved his plea until Oct. 28 to obtain a legal aid lawyer, court heard on Wednesday.

Viau was arrested in February in Calgary and has been in custody since on charges he received in that jurisdiction, court heard.

He faces charges of armed robbery and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public in connection with the alleged Lacombe heist on Jan. 23.

Lacombe Police Services Chief Gary Leslie said that a lone male entered the Mohawk Gas Station in Lacombe, displayed a handgun and fled on foot with some cash.

Police provided photos and video of the robbery suspect to other police agencies in Alberta at the time.