Local briefs – September 24

City RCMP have experienced an increase in complaints pertaining to suspected pyramid schemes in the area.

Pyramid schemes probed

City RCMP have experienced an increase in complaints pertaining to suspected pyramid schemes in the area.

Pyramid schemes are destined to collapse and are illegal in Canada, Cpl. Kathe DeHeer says.

The scams come in many forms and ultimately they all involve an initial investment of money and promise high returns.

It’s all contingent on recruiting new investors.

The scam starts with an initial investor or investors who may or may not invest any money into the venture.

New investors pay money to get in and the people first involved receive dividends.

New investors must then recruit more people.

A portion of all new investment money is paid up the ladder to the initial investors, who are the only people making any money.

Police warn that people who invest in one are subject to criminal charges and could serve a maximum two-year jail term if convicted.

Police advise you to take the time to research if it’s a legal investment opportunity and to never be pressured into investing.

Police also advise that if it’s too good to be true, then it’s most likely a scam.

Artists can help gallery

Local artists who want to support gallery space in downtown Red Deer are being asked to donate an original artwork for a fundraiser.

The non-profit Harris-Warke gallery at the rear of the Sunworks store on Ross Street survives solely on the 20 per cent commission it receives from the sale of exhibited artworks (70 per cent goes to the artist and 10 per cent goes to Sunworks, the landlord and sponsor).

An annual fundraiser needs to be held towards gallery maintenance, exhibit advertising costs and receptions, said board member Paul Boultbee.

Previous benefits have amassed anywhere from $100 to $1,000, and Boultbee is hoping the seventh-annual fundraiser, planned for Nov. 5 to 19, will be a success.

“This year we hope to raise enough to replace our lighting system and improve the gallery ceiling,” he added.

The grand opening, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, will begin with poet Emily Ursuliak reading her work This is Somewhere, which was commissioned during last week’s Alberta Arts Days to celebrate Red Deer.

Donated artworks should be based on the same theme and delivered to the gallery at 4924 Ross St. from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 or Nov. 3. Each contributed piece will be sold for $30 at the fundraiser.

The words to This is Somewhere are posted on the gallery website at www.harriswarkegallery.com, or can be heard read by local actor Jeff Woodward on www.facebook.com/reddeerartsdays.

For more information, email the gallery at harriswarke@canoemail.com.

Lacombe forum set

Candidates seeking election in the City of Lacombe will face voters at a candidates forum on Oct. 7.

The forum, sponsored by the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lacombe Memorial Centre, 5214 50th Avenue.

Former town councillors Bill McQuesten, 59, and Steve Christie, 44, are competing to become mayor and nine candidates are looking to fill the six seats on council.

Council candidates include Joanne Boruck, Peter John Bouwsema, Grant Creasey, Rueben Konnik and Nik Willing, along with incumbents Ian Foster, Outi Kite, Dawn Parent and Wayne Rempel.

Forum doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m.

Shoeless suspect sought

A shoeless male with a knife pushed around a store employee before robbing the Glendale Express 24 on Thursday.

Red Deer RCMP said they responded to a complaint just before 4 a.m.

A lone male entered the store wearing a bandana over his face and brandishing a knife. The male, who took money and cigarettes, pushed the store employee during the robbery.

The employee did not suffer any injuries.

The suspect was last seen leaving the store on foot, and is described as approximately 1.8 metres (six feet) tall, average build, wearing a blue bandana, dark pants and tuque, three-quarter-length canvas jacket (possibly Carhartt brand) and only socks on his feet.

If you have information regarding the identity of this suspect, contact Red Deer City RCMP at 403-343-5575, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. To report online, go to www.tipsubmit.com. If the information leads to an arrest, tipsters are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.