Alberta briefs – May 11

An amateur filmmaker from Edmonton who killed a man, hacked up his body and dumped it in the sewer is appealing his first-degree murder conviction.

Twitchell appealing conviction

EDMONTON — An amateur filmmaker from Edmonton who killed a man, hacked up his body and dumped it in the sewer is appealing his first-degree murder conviction.

Mark Twitchell has filed his papers with the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Twitchell was found guilty by a jury last month in the death of Johnny Altinger in the fall of 2008.

Altinger thought he was going to meet a blind date when he went to a garage that Twitchell had rented.

But the Internet profile Altinger saw of the woman was actually faked by Twitchell to lure his victim.

Twitchell was sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 25 years.


Budget cuts harming daughter’s education: mom

EDMONTON — Alberta’s opposition New Democrats are putting a human face on the cost of provincial education cuts.

Nine-year-old Erin Carter, a little girl in pigtails, round glasses and with Down syndrome, sat next to her mother at a news conference at the legislature.

Kelly Carter says her daughter is being moved into a larger class with students as young as five years old because cuts have forced consolidation at her Edmonton school.

Carter says educators are hamstrung by budgets that have either been frozen or reduced in recent years.

She said she has tried to get help for Erin, but instead only gets the runaround as the school board tells her to talk to the Education Department, which in turn tells her to talk to the school board.

NDP education critic Rachel Notley says the combination of a loss of $100 million provincewide and the fourth year of a funding freeze for special needs children severely threatens their education.


Police hunt rooftop bird shooter

CALGARY — Police are looking for a person who ruffled the feathers of a nesting Canada Goose by allegedly firing a handgun at the bird on the rooftop of a Calgary apartment block.

Officers and the police canine unit surrounded the block and a cul-de-sac in a southwest neighbourhood late Monday afternoon after a woman called 911 to say she had seen a man firing at the waterfowl.

The building was searched and one person was questioned and released. Investigators say it’s still possible that someone fired a pellet gun or an airsoft gun. The nesting goose was spooked and flew away, but was spotted sitting atop its nest Monday evening.

Police say firearms charges and a potentially hefty fine under federal migratory game bird laws are possible if a shooter is caught.

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