Local briefs – October 30

The province will be looking for funding help from municipalities to keep a program to stabilize Gull Lake water levels going.

Gull Lake water aid sought

The province will be looking for funding help from municipalities to keep a program to stabilize Gull Lake water levels going.

Since the mid-1970s, water has been pumped out of the Blindman River and into the lake to maintain water levels. The original plan was for the province to build the pumps and then it would be turned over to local authorities, which would operate on a user-pay basis. But that never happened. The province has been paying the average annual pumping cost of $114,000, although $50,000 was saved this year by stopping pumping early.

Alberta Environment spokeswoman Cara Van Marck said the pumping program — especially the funding — is among projects under review by the department.

Discussions have been underway with municipalities around the lake to share the cost. Those talks are expected to continue over the winter.

Lacombe County council recently voted to send a letter to Environment Minister Rob Renner urging the province to continue the program.

Reba McEntire coming

Grammy-winning country singer Reba McEntire will perform in Red Deer next spring to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

McEntire, who’s album My Kind of Country made her a star in the 1980s, is known for many hits, including How Blue and Somebody Should Leave. She has released 25 gold- or platinum-selling albums, charted 22 No. 1 singles and has even branched into acting on stage and in TV and film.

The performer will put on a concert at the Centrium on March 22, with special guest Crystal Shawanda and Melissa Peterman. Tickets go on sale today at Ticketmaster.

Trial ordered in drug case

A Calgary woman charged with attempting to smuggle $25,000 worth of drugs into a federal jail has been ordered to stand trial.

Stacey Lynn Crough, 31, waived her preliminary hearing on Thursday in Red Deer provincial court and will now proceed to Court of Queen’s Bench on Dec. 7 to set a trial date.

Crough was charged in August 2007 with attempting to bring illegal drugs into Bowden Institution.

She faces three counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

RCMP allege a woman visitor to the jail brought 140 morphine, 78 dilaudid (codeine based) and 42 ecstasy pills into the jail grounds on Aug. 28, 2007, where she met an inmate.

Police said Corrections Canada officers watched the incident and when they attempted to strip search the inmate, he ran and threw the drugs onto a roof.

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