Local briefs – September 11

Police are hunting for a man who attempted to sexually assault a woman in Innisfail. Innisfail RCMP say the attack occurred about 10:30 p.m. while the woman was walking alone, southbound on 52nd Avenue, near 41st Street.

Assault suspect sought

Police are hunting for a man who attempted to sexually assault a woman in Innisfail.

Innisfail RCMP say the attack occurred about 10:30 p.m. while the woman was walking alone, southbound on 52nd Avenue, near 41st Street.

She was grabbed from behind while passing an alley and dragged into a nearby treed area. The suspect may have been laying in wait.

The victim was able to fight off the attacker, but not easily, and managed to escape on foot. The suspect also fled.

Police are looking for a very thin male about 1.7 metres tall (five foot 10 inches) with a darker complexion. He had about two days growth of facial hair and no glasses.

He may have some injuries to his face from the woman’s self-defence.

He was wearing a plain black hoodie, black cap, dark blue jeans and smelled of cigarettes.

Anyone who may have seen or know the suspect is asked to call Innisfail RCMP at 403-227-3342 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Traffic safety events

Red Deer traffic safety week rides out Saturday with a display at Bower Place Shopping Centre.

Christine Waldo, manager of member services for the Alberta Motor Association, said the AMA and various police agencies will have a display on traffic safety issues, including aggressive driving, impaired driving, using proper restraints and potentially vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Winter driving will also be discussed.

Officials will be present to answer questions, Waldo said.

On Monday, a rollover simulator will be at Red Deer College from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Wednesday the safety focus shifts to Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School with a presentation on aggressive driving and drunk driving at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with an outside presentation by Red Deer Emergency Services.

Toxic waste gathered

City residents who want to clean out a summer’s worth of household toxic waste can drop it off at the city waste management facility until Saturday.

The fall toxic roundup runs today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Batteries, paint, gardening chemicals, and household cleaners are among the numerous items that can be dropped off.

The city will not accept used motor oil or any commercial or industrial waste.

The city waste management site is located on the east side of 40th Avenue, south of 19th Street at 1709 40th Ave.

For more details about toxic waste that can be dropped off, call 403-340-2583 or check www.reddeer.ca/envservices

Cultural hub examined

Creation of a cultural hub at the former transit yards is the subject of a talk and lunch on Wednesday.

Redevelopment of the yards is outlined in the Greater Downtown Action Plan for the Riverlands district, says Kristina Oberg, culture superintendent for the City of Red Deer. Deadline for tickets for the presentation is today. Cost is $10 per ticket and that includes a lunch and tour of the Scott Block.

Seating is limited for the information session.

Guest speaker is Tim Jones, president and chief executive officer of Artscape.

Jones has been hired to explore the opportunity for a market and artist studio complex in the former transit yards.

City Community Services director Colleen Jensen said the city wants citizens to “help us revitalize this space and create a legacy development that stands for growth, sustainability, economic prosperity and most importantly community.”

For more information, phone 403-342-8159.

Southpointe plan moves ahead

The City of Red Deer is moving one step closer to allowing mixed-use development near and within the Bower Natural Area.

Council gave second reading this week to the Southpointe Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan, a 157-acre triangular piece between Hwy 2 and Taylor Drive, north of 19th Street.

The area will accommodate up to 1,655 residents, have office and commercial space, plus a lot of natural and wetland space. Seventeen out of 21 acres of the treed Bower Natural Area will be preserved.

During Tuesday’s public hearing, Red Deer resident Brian Stackhouse said he’s glad that much of the natural area has been preserved.

He supports having cross-country ski trails in the area maintained, along with an extended trail loop kept for cross-country running competitions.

A pedestrian bridge planned in the residential areas will be good for cross-country skiing, he added.

Amendments were made to the plan, including having sidewalks on the north side of those businesses next to Hwy 2. Third reading is expected to be held during a special council meeting on Monday.

Backcountry trails reopen

Backcountry trails closed to accommodate controlled burning have now reopened, with some limitations.

Trails in parts of the Clearwater Forest, west of Nordegg, were closed to all users for part of the season because forestry officials were conducting a prescribed burn, says Anastasia Drummond, wildfire information officer for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

While the trails have been reopened, there are some restrictions. Horses will not be allowed in some areas and off-road vehicles will be prohibited from others. Trails are posted, including safety warnings, says Drummond.

Conducted primarily to check the spread of pine beetles, the burns are part of a long-term management plan also geared to ecological renewal and to create fire breaks, says Drummond.

Information, including trail restrictions and maps, is available online at www.srd.alberta.ca/fieldoffices/clearwater/bighornbackcountry

Wildrose leader hopefuls here

Leadership candidates for the Wildrose Alliance will make a stop in Red Deer later this month.

Mark Dyrholm, Danielle Smith and Jeff Willerton, all of Calgary and the surrounding area, are confirmed to be the three candidates from whom party members will make their choice at a convention in Edmonton on Oct. 17.

The three candidates are scheduled to meet Red Deer voters at the Capri Hotel and Conference Centre at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 23. Red Deer will be their last official stop before the leadership convention.

People interested in participating in the selection must be party members before Oct. 3.

For information, visit www.wildrosealliance.ca or call 1-888-262-8888.

City communities’ rezoning sought

Land rezoning is being sought for two of Red Deer’s newest neighbourhoods.

Red Deer city council gave first reading this week to rezone land needed to create the first phase of Garden Heights. The city proposes to develop 40 acres of the land found on the north side of 67th Street east of the Red Deer River. The first phase includes 103 single family lots and 12 narrow-family lots, plus a lot that could allow an assisted living, day care or temporary care facility.

Council also gave first reading to rezone six acres for Phase 4 within Sunnybrook South. A total of 23 single-family lots would be developed in that phase. Sunnybrook South subdivision is between the Bower and Inglewood neighbourhoods.

Public hearings for both will be held on Monday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Rocky youth faces charges

A 15-year-old Rocky Mountain House area youth reserved his plea on an attempted murder charge when he appeared in Red Deer youth court on Thursday.

The youth was remanded in custody until Sept. 17, at which time his lawyer Patty MacNaughton may make an application for his release on bail.

The youth, whose identity is protected under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was arrested after a warrant was issued for him following the Aug. 8 stabbing of a male on the O’Chiese First Nation reserve. The accused is also charged with aggravated assault, robbery and failing to comply with conditions.

Police said that they responded to a complaint of a robbery and a vehicle theft in which a female passenger was dragged out of the vehicle and injured.

The stolen vehicle was found about an hour later and a male was stabbed in the chest during a confrontation.

He was airlifted to Calgary with serious injuries, which were later stabilized.

Ryan George Wildcat, 19, of Rocky is charged with robbery with violence, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, assault and mischief in the same incident. He is to have a trial on March 3 in Rocky provincial court after pleading not guilty.

Driver sought by city RCMP

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a driver who drove a blue Dodge pickup truck onto a front lawn and crashed into a fence in Riverside Meadows late Wednesday night.

The driver abandoned the vehicle and escaped on foot after hitting the fence in the 5900 Block of 61st Avenue.

Police, assisted by a police dog, tried in vain to locate the driver.

The dark blue 2006 Dodge Ram truck has been towed for further examination by Red Deer RCMP forensic identification section.

The event started with a report to police at 11:39 p.m. that a blue truck was repeatedly screeching tires and continually driving by the 5800 block of 60th Avenue. Police spotted a vehicle matching the description fishtailing and driving in an erratic manner, westbound on 60th Street.

After temporarily losing sight of the vehicle, police found it abandoned on a front lawn.

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