Alberta briefs – February 24

The saga of the snakes down the drain had a happy ending at the Calgary Zoo.

Snakes found

CALGARY — The saga of the snakes down the drain had a happy ending at the Calgary Zoo.

The two large serpents were found just below the drain where they made their escape a day earlier, slithering into an opening left uncovered by a keeper.

The Malagasy Giant Hognose snakes, siblings named Maddie and Oscar, were being checked out by zoo veterinarians after their night on the lam.


Principal had sex with student

EDMONTON — The Alberta Teachers’ Association has found a former high school principal guilty of having a sexual relationship with a student.

Leonard Lethebe admitted to having romantic and inappropriate relations with a teenage girl, but argued that he did not believe the young woman was a student when the relationship began.

Members of an association disciplinary panel ruled after a two-day hearing that Lethebe, who is not facing criminal charges, be declared ineligible for membership in the ATA.

The organization is also recommending to Alberta’s education minister that Lethebe’s teaching certificate be cancelled and that he be fined $5,000.

The girl, who had a baby in March 2009, told the hearing there is no doubt her former principal is the father.

But she argued that they didn’t start a sexual relationship until after she dropped out of school in June 2008.


Tories support salary review

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has agreed to set up an independent committee to review salary and benefits for the province’s elected members.

Stelmach’s Progressive Conservatives have rejected this option in the past.

But in a rare move, Stelmach stood in the legislature Tuesday and said he would support an opposition motion calling for an independent salary review.

Many Albertans have criticized a 30-per-cent pay raise MLAs granted themselves in 2008, even though the premier partially rolled it back.