Local briefs – September 12

Sarah Holm of Red Deer is this year’s top rain barrel decorator. Holm wins a new barrel for her work in the August contest.

Top barrel decorator named

Sarah Holm of Red Deer is this year’s top rain barrel decorator.

Holm wins a new barrel for her work in the August contest.

Holm won after she submitted a photo of her barrel painted with Alberta’s flower, the wild rose, said Donna Trottier, water conservationist specialist for the city.

“I enjoyed decorating my barrel and thank the city for the opportunity to beautify Red Deer, even though it’s only in my own yard,” Holm said.

Holm was one of about 150 people who bought a rain barrel from the city.

Trottier said the contest is a way to publicize the need for everyone to conserve water.

She said the ultimate goal is to reduce water consumption by 20 per cent by 2012.

Trottier reminded people to empty their rain barrels before winter.

People still interested in buying a barrel can do so by visiting the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

Barrels cost $70 and are available all year on a first-come, first-serve basis.

City seeking housing proposals

The City of Red Deer is looking for proposals for capital projects for affordable housing.

Roxanna Nielsen Stewart, program co-ordinator for social planing with the city, said affordable housing is a top priority in Alberta.

The project goal is assisting eligible organizations with one-time grant to address the issue, she said.

Low to moderate income families, individuals, seniors who live independently and persons with special needs will benefit from the projects.

Funding of $2.2 million to $3.3 million is still available.

The city will implement a two-phased process for the project.

Applicants are asked to submit an expression of interest form. They will then receive a notification to proceed before submitting their proposals.

Deadline for expression of interest forms is Oct. 1. Applicants will be notified of their status by Oct. 16. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 9.

Call Nielsen Stewart at 403-309-8592 or go on the Internet at www.reddeer.ca/socialplanning

Rocky men to appear on drug charges

Four men arrested in a three-month drug trafficking investigation in Rocky Mountain House will make their first court appearance on Wednesday.

Joshua Sciberras, Lance Peters, Alex Jasman and Ryan Swedish, all of Rocky, are charged with trafficking in cocaine and possession of the proceeds of crime.

They were among a group of 13 people busted by RCMP undercover officers and Calgary officers in a joint investigation, Cpl. Jim Harrison of Rocky RCMP detachment said on Friday.

Police said numerous street level seizures of powder cocaine were made.

“The operation was borne out of a significant street level drug trafficking problem in Rocky, an issue that citizens have identified as a top policing priority for the RCMP,” Harrison said.

Ten of the 13 suspects have been arrested and one was remanded in custody.

Arrest warrants were issued for the remaining suspects, who are actively being sought by police.

The RCMP and elements of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams based in Calgary combined to pull the operation off.

ALERT is an initiative of the Alberta solicitor general and minister of public security, bringing together municipal, provincial and federal policing resources in a integrated environment to target organized and serious crime in Alberta, Harrison said.

Police plan to take information gleaned during the operation to target upper levels of the drug trafficking hierarchy in the Rocky area, including people responsible for bringing cocaine and other illegal substances into the area.

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