Local briefs – September 2

A man facing an attempted murder charge in connection with a domestic dispute remains in custody.

Attempted murder suspect held

A man facing an attempted murder charge in connection with a domestic dispute remains in custody.

Tibor Frank Smode, 44, of Red Deer reserved his plea until Sept. 8 when he appeared in provincial court Wednesday.

Smode, who is represented by Red Deer lawyer Lorne Goddard, remains in custody after he was arrested on Aug. 23.

RCMP were called to a residence near 39th Street and Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer about 8:50 p.m. as the result of reports of an assault.

Police allege that a man held his common-law wife against her will, bound, smothered and threatened her. She was eventually able to run to a nearby residence and call police.

The woman didn’t require hospital treatment.

Smode is also charged with forcible confinement, aggravated assault and uttering threats.


Sex assault suspect without lawyer

A care worker charged with sexually assaulting a severely disabled man is still searching for a lawyer.

Leo Ducharme, 57, of Red Deer reserved his plea on a sexual assault charge Wednesday in Red Deer provincial court.

His case was adjourned until Sept. 8 so he can apply to legal aid to appoint him a lawyer, Legal Aid Society duty counsel Pat Penny told court.

It is alleged that the mother of the 29-year-old disabled man came home to find a man sexually assaulting her son on Aug. 11.

Ducharme is free on $1,000 bail and was ordered earlier to have no contact with the alleged victim and stay five blocks from the man’s house.

There are several other restrictions regarding avoiding areas where children are typically present..

The name of the alleged victim is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

Ducharme was interested in exploring Christian themes in his art, which were on show last month at a local art gallery. The art was billed as an expression of his faith and spiritual journey.


Charges laid in knifing incident

A 19-year-old man faces charges following an alleged knifing incident in downtown Red Deer Tuesday night.

RCMP responded to a fight in progress complaint in 4900 block of 51st Street around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said Wednesday.

When they arrived police found a 39-year-old man had confronted the suspect about an earlier incident in which the suspect brandished a knife and cut the alleged victim.

The wound was deemed to be superficial, DeHeer said.

No names have been released.


Man beaten with crutch

A Red Deer man suffered multiple injuries after getting into a tussle outside with a man on crutches early this morning.

Red Deer city RCMP report a 20-year-old man had been at the Xstatic strip club with friends when he began talking with a man on crutches. The patron left the bar between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. and was walking south on Gaetz Avenue when he met up with the man on crutches.

Police say a fight ensued and the victim was punched, kicked and hit repeatedly with the man’s crutch. The suspect was with two other men who joined in the assault as well.

RCMP learned of the assault at about 4:40 a.m. when the victim went to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect is described as Caucasian, approximately six feet tall, has short brown hair with blond streaks, and uses crutches.

Anyone who may have witnessed the assault or has information on the identity of the suspect is asked to call RCMP at 403-343-5575. Anonymous tips can be phoned in to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.tipsubmit.com


Robbery suspect reserves plea

A young Red Deer man charged with a weekend convenience store armed robbery reserved his plea Wednesday.

Scott William Smith, 18, returns to court Sept. 29 to enter a plea on the robbery charge.

His lawyer Pat Penny, who was just retained, said he needed time to digest the disclosure provided by the RCMP concerning the early Saturday heist.

RCMP said earlier the Eastview Express 24 on Ross Street and Erickson Drive was held up by a lone male about 4 a.m.

Court heard the culprit was armed with a knife and made off with $255.

Smith was released from custody shortly after being charged.


Outdoor pool closing for season

The Red Deer Recreation Centre outdoor pool closes on Labour Day for the season.

The pool remains open Saturday and Sunday but closes Monday with a noon to 1:30 p.m. swim.

The pool is open for public swimming through Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Lane swimming runs from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., noon until 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. through Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday lane swimming goes from noon until 1:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

The fall pool schedule begins Sept. 7.

The indoor pool will remain open after the long weekend and fitness programs will run through the year.

More information about fall programs and swimming lessons can be found at www.reddeer.ca.looknbook.


Downtown machete attack

A 53-year-old man escaped with minor injuries after he was attacked with a machete in downtown Red Deer Tuesday night.

RCMP said an officer on routine patrol stopped to talk to someone around 53rd Street and Gaetz Avenue when a man ran towards the officer.

“As the man approached the officer he uttered his dismay, then turned and ran in another direction,” says a release from RCMP media liaison Cpl. Kathe DeHeer.

“A moment later another male came up with a machete in his hand and advised he had just been assaulted with the machete by the fleeing male.” A 17-year-old suspect was identified but has not been found yet. Police are not revealing his name citing the Youth Criminal Justice Act.


Gunfire rattles Inglewood

A neighbourhood in south Red Deer was awakened by gunfire early Wednesday morning.

At about 1:30 a.m., police were deluged with phone calls from residents who said they heard gunshots on Ironside Street in Inglewood.

Red Deer city RCMP arrived to find a parked car with a number of bullet holes but no one was around. Witnesses reported seeing a man run from the scene and climb into a car before police arrived.

RCMP continue to investigate and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the person or persons responsible.

Anyone with information can call RCMP at 403-343-5575, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or report online at www.tipsubmit.com.


Thieves target high-tech items

Laptop computers, Ipods and navigation systems continue to be favourite targets for thieves breaking into Red Deer vehicles, a city RCMP officer says.

The police are still receiving numerous daily calls from people whose vehicles have been entered and valuable stolen, says Cpl. Kathe DeHeer.

“This is an ongoing problem and we are concerned about it.

“These are just the incidents reported to us and we know there are at least as many that go unreported,” DeHeer said.

Several people have been arrested and charged in the past few weeks.

In many cases the culprits admit to police they scour streets and parking lots searching for unlocked vehicles or vehicles that have visible valuable items.

Wallets, purses, cellphones and garage door openers are also favourite items stolen.

DeHeer said purses yield a wealth of items for thieves including credit cards, social insurance numbers and other identification.

Garage door openers are particularly worrisome because a thief can return at any time and enter the garage and in some cases the residence because inside garage doors lead into a home.

DeHeer said all valuable should be removed on a daily basis from vehicles for the night.


Book donor off to Bhutan

A Central Albertan who collected 4,000 school books for the south Asian country of Bhutan will finally get to see those books in children’s hands.

Linda Sawyer, of Lacombe, who owns Alberta-based tour company Unique Journeys, visited Bhutan for the first time in 2008 and returns this month for two weeks with travel clients.

“I really want to go back there and see what happened to the books. We’re all looking forward to it so much,” said Sawyer on Tuesday as she prepared to leave for her two-week trip on Sept. 10.

“When we go over this time we’re all going to take books on Canada.

“Everyone is going to take a few.”

Sawyer, who travels all over the world, said she was enchanted by the people and country of Bhutan and wanted to help students with their English studies by spearheading a library book donation drive.

The books were sent to Bhutan, a land-locked county bordering India, in February after a radio campaign promoted the project and Albertans generously responded, she said.

Companies in Edmonton and Lacombe donated the storage space, crates and shipped the books.

The government of Bhutan distributed the books and Sawyer said she will meet with government officials to find out if more could be done.


Grand opening for dream sports facility

People who have spend the last five years dreaming, fundraising, designing and building are ready to celebrate the first two phases of Lacombe’s new MEGlobal Athletic Park, including hosting a national championship football game.

The Lacombe Athletic Park Association has set Saturday, Sept. 25, to hold grand opening celebrations for elements of the project that will be used for the first time on that day.

The EnCana Fieldhouse is now complete, as are the bleachers, scoreboard and lighting that form the core of the $3-million project.

The third phase, including a rubber running track and artificial turf for the playing fields, are to be finished early next year.

Public events for Football Day start with ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Three football games are to be held during the day, followed by the Canadian Major Football National Championship (senior men’s) game, hosted by the Red Deer Buccaneers.

A visitors’ tent and concessions will be open and the Buccaneers will host a beer garden throughout the day.

MEGlobal Athletic Park is located immediately east of the Lacombe Composite High School.