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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pincher Creek RCMP summary to Oct. 29, 2017


Pincher Creek RCMP - The following is an overview of the nature of the complaints that the Pincher Creek Detachment received for the period of October 23 - 29, 2017. Note that the summary indicates what was reported to the police and may not have been substantiated.

Total calls for service - 43
Assaults - 1
Fraud / Forgery - 2
Uttering Threats - 1
Mischief (vandalism) - 1
Theft of motor vehicle - 2
Theft under $5000 - 1
Driving complaints (general) - 3
MV Collisions - 4
Liquor offences - 2
Assistance to General Public (general) - 2
Assistance to other agencies - 3
False Alarms - 5
911 calls (invalid) - 2
Animal calls - 3
Prisoners held - 1

Beiseker grass fire ignited by carelessly discarded cigarette


RCMP Alberta - RCMP are calling on all smokers to keep their cigarette butts to themselves after yet another grass fire was ignited by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

In Memoriam: Ronald Wayne Draper

(in memoriam)
Ronald Wayne Draper
(1947-2017)

On Friday, October 27, 2017, Ronald Wayne Draper of Pincher Creek, Alberta, passed away suddenly at the Peter Lougheed Hospital in Calgary from complications of surgery. He was surrounded by his loving wife Karen and his family.

It was the family’s request that a private memorial service be held at a later date.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fatal Blairmore residential fire


RCMP Alberta - Crowsnest Pass RCMP and Fire investigators are looking into the cause of a fire that claimed a woman’s life in Blairmore last night.

At approximately 3:00 am, Crownsest Pass RCMP with dispatched to a residential fire at an apartment on 20th Avenue in Blairmore. The local fire department entered the unit where the fire had occurred and removed the lone resident from the building. Paramedics pronounced the resident, a 55 year old woman, deceased at the scene.

No one else was injured in the fire and the cause is under investigation. One other resident of the building was evacuated as a result of the fire.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Chimney Rock fire now held, evacuation order rescinded

Alberta Emergency Alert (12:38 pm) - The Chimney Rock Road fire is now being held, and the Mandatory Evacuation Order and Alert is being rescinded. Travelers and residents should be aware that heavy smoke may remain along Highway 22 in the area affected by the fire causing decreased visibility. Any persons having trouble breathing due to the smoke should seek immediate medical assistance.

Travelers and residents should continue to take all necessary precautions, and are to follow the directions of local authorities.

Pincher Creek Town Council agrees to help Children's World Daycare


Chris Davis - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek met in-camera on October 10 with Children's World Daycare (CWD) representatives Clayton Lejan and Melissa Theriault, who requested support from the Town. Included in the request: That the accounts receivable for rent and upcoming rent until April 1, 2018 be waived; that the Town provide a grant to the Society in the amount of up to $20,000; and that a council member be appointed to the Society's board.  Council agreed to the request.  At their October 23 regular meeting councillor Sussanne O'Rourke was appointed to the CWD board, with councillor Wayne Elliott as an alternate.  Council appointments are reviewed annually.

New board of trustees for Livingstone Range School Division


Livingstone Range School Division - Following the conclusion of municipal elections across the province, Livingstone Range School Division (LRSD) is pleased to announce the results of votes for the LRSD Board of Trustees.

In Ward 1, encompassing Nanton, Stavely, Claresholm and Granum, the positions were sustained by incumbents John McKee and Brad Toone.

Ward 2, representing Cowley, Lundbreck and the Crowsnest Pass, saw incumbent Clara Yagos retain her position and new candidate Greg Long filling the spot formerly held by Kristy Stevens.

In Ward 3, representing Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, incumbent Lori Hodges retained her position, joined by new candidate Lacey Poytress and Jim Burdett, a former LRSD trustee returning to the office. Former Ward 3 trustees Martha Ratcliffe and Shannon Scherger opted not to vie for their positions in this election.

Judith Green appointed to Rec Advisory Committee


At their October 10, 2017 meeting council for the Town of Pincher Creek appointed Judith Green to the Pincher Creek and District Recreation Advisory Committee for a three-year term.

Municipal Government Act updated


Recognizing the proclamation of the Municipal Government Act: Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association President Lisa Holmes, Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties President Al Kemmere.  (Government of Alberta photo) 

Chris Davis, from documents - The Government of Alberta yesterday announced the final stage of a three part process to update the Municipal Goverment Act (MGA) is complete now that the An Act to Strengthen Municipal Government has been proclaimed as law.  The MGA guides how municipalities operate and provide services to their citizens.  This final step in the process occurs just after province-wide municipal elections, and has been anticipated by the administrations and incumbent elected officials of both Pincher Creek councils.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Okotoks RCMP request help to identify suspect after patrol cars rammed



RCMP Alberta - Okotoks RCMP are asking for the public's assistance to identify a male suspect after two police cars were rammed.  On October 26 at 5:53 pm, Okotoks RCMP were dispatched to a report of an erratic driver in the Walmart parking lot. Officers attended and located the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle rammed both RCMP patrol cars, and fled the scene.No injuries were sustained by the RCMP members involved. Further investigation after the events revealed that truck had been reported stolen two days earlier.  Okotoks RCMP are now asking for the public's assistance to locate the involved vehicle and identify the driver.

The vehicle is described as a 2002 White dodge truck bearing Alberta licence plate BVF5334.
The suspect is described as a caucasian male, approximately 30- 35 years of age, facial hair, medium brown hair.

If you have can identify the male pictured or if you have any information in regards to this incident, please call the Okotoks RCMP at 403-994-6400, or if you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions)

Ranchlands MD fire update


MD of Ranchland No. 66 via Alberta Emergency Alert (11:39 am) - A serious wildfire continues to affect the Chimney Rock Road area of the MD of Ranchland. Heavy smoke remains in the area and is affecting visibility and creating hazardous road conditions. Fire resources are actively working on or near Highway 22 and Chimney Rock Road. As of 10:00 a.m. today Highway 22 is open. Chimney Rock Road remains closed.

There remains a mandatory evacuation order for residents on all of Chimney Rock Road and south to Highway 520 on the west side of Highway 22. This is an evacuation alert for residents north of Chimney Rock Road to Highway 533 on the west side of Highway 22. Residents evacuating please call the MD office 403-646-3131.


Crowsnest Pass RCMP (11:00 am)- The wildfire burning in the MD of Ranchlands remains out of control. Improved conditions have resulted in Highway 22 being re-opened for travel.

Re-entry to the evacuated area is taking place today. Landowners may obtain a permit from the MD office at Chain Lakes which will authorize re-entry. Those individuals who obtain permits and return are asked to do so via Chimney Rock Road where RCMP will check permits.

At this time, there are no reported losses of structures due to the fire. Conditions remain very dry with an extreme fire risk in the area.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mandatory evacution for Chimney Rock Road area


Alberta Emergency Alert, issued Wednesday October 25, 4:56 pm  - There is a serious fire which is affecting the Chimney Rock Road area of the MD of Ranchland. The fire is being fuelled by high winds. Heavy smoke in the area is affecting visibility and creating hazardous road conditions. Fire resources are actively working on or near Highway 22. Highway 22 is closed to public travel between Highway 533 and Highway 3.

There is a mandatory evacuation order for residents on all of Chimney Rock Road and south to Highway 520 on the west side of Highway 22. This is an evacuation alert for residents north of Chimney Rock Road to Highway 533 on the west side of Highway 22. Residents evacuating please call the Municipal District of Ranchland No. 66 office at 403-646-3131.

For the most current information:


Dangerous driving conditions near Hilda


RCMP Alberta - Redcliff RCMP want to warn motorists to use caution while driving on Highway 41 North in the area of Hilda. Todays high winds, combined with blowing dust and ash due to last weeks wildfires have reduced visibility in several areas.

Give them some cupcakes anyway



Hwy 22 closed from Hwy 3 to Hwty 533 due to wildfire

screencap from 511.alberta.ca

511.alberta.ca - Highway 22 from Highway 533 to Highway 3 (south of Chain Lakes and northwest of Lundbreck) is closed due to a wildfire in the area. Expect reduced visibility due to smoke. Drive with caution.

Alberta Emergency Alert update issued Wednesday October 25, 4:56 pm  - There is a mandatory evacuation order for residents on all of Chimney Rock Road and south to Highway 520 on the west side of Highway 22. This is an evacuation alert for residents north of Chimney Rock Road to Highway 533 on the west side of Highway 22. Residents evacuating please call the Municipal District of Ranchland No. 66 office at 403-646-3131.

For the most current information:

Pincher Creek Town and MD councils swear in, hold organizational meetings

Town and MD council swearing in ceremonies  (photos:Brooklyn Glavin, C. Davis)
Chris Davis - The new councils for the Town of Pincher Creek and the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 held swearing in ceremonies followed by organizational meetings on October 23 and 24 respectively. The Town swearing in ceremony was fairly elaborate.  A sizable crowd of citizens was in attendance.  The new council was introduced by CAO Laurie Wilgosh and then led into the council chamber by bagpiper Alec Chisholm.  That was followed by the singing of O Canada, and then the council was sworn in by Bylaw Enforcement Officer Gordon Pitt.  Wilgosh read a Charge to the Mayor. Mayor Anderberg read a Charge to the Councillors and a Charge to Citizens and Supporters.  An intermission provided a chance to eat and mingle before the organizational meeting.  The MD's swearing in ceremony was simpler, with CAO Wendy Kay swearing in the council in front of a small crowd of citizens, before proceeding with the organizational meeting. Upon being elected Reeve, Quentin Stevick gave a short speech and proceeded to chair the rest of the meeting.

Pincher Creek Town Council: Wayne Elliott, Brian McGillivray, Mark Barber, Mayor Don Anderberg, Scott Korbett, Sussanne O'Rourke, Lorn Jackson
(Brooklyn Glavin photo)

In Memoriam: Veronica “Vernie” Bruder


Veronica “Vernie” Bruder
1927 - 2017

Veronica “Vernie” Kathryn Bruder, beloved wife of the late Joseph William Bruder, passed away on October 21, 2017 at the age of 90 years. Vernie is survived by her children: Ronald (Rhonda), Carol, Jane (Walter Schauerte), Eric (Olga), Blaise (Linda), son-in-law Dennis Carney (Ann), Myron (Evelyn), David (Bev), Rhona Bartolotti, daughter-in-law Janet Bruder (Steve), James (Lynn), Paul (Chris), Carlos (Glenda), Steven, Tony (Lorraine), forty-eight grandchildren, seventy-one great grandchildren (soon to be seventy-two), and four sisters-in-law Rosalie Leveque, Agatha McRae, Frieda Bruder, and Frances Bruder. She was pre-deceased by her parents, Anton and Julia Bonertz, her husband Joseph, son Kevin, daughter Angela, daughter-in-law Tracey and granddaughter-in-law Jennifer.  Vernie had great love and pride in her family and took great joy in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was always willing to help anybody and with anything. She lived her faith through the love and care she showed to all she came in contact with. 

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. Michael’s Catholic Church (958 Christie Avenue, Pincher Creek) on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:00pm. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael’s Catholic Church on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 11:00am with Reverend Silvano Vargas presiding. Memorial Donations in Vernie’s name may be made directly to the Good Samaritans Society, (P.O. Box 1510, Pincher Creek, AB T0K 1W0).

Dewey "Todd" Starzyk pleads guilty, released due to time served

Pincher Creek Voice file photo

According to Lethbridge News Now, on October 24 Dewey "Todd" Starzyk was given a jail sentence of 180 days after pleading guilty to multiple charges related to incidents in Pincher Creek last February including a standoff with police.  Due to time served he has been released from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre with conditions.  Click here for the full Lethbridge News Now story.

511 Alberta Road Reports




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Thank you from Returning Officer Lou Burnham


Town of Pincher Creek Returning Officer Lou Burnham
- Once again the Municipal Election is over. The residents of the Town of Pincher Creek has chosen a new team to go forward. Thank you to all those people who put their names forward.

Seeing things


Phil Burpee

I’m getting old
but my eyes are still good
and weirdly, I think getting better all the while -
don’t need glasses
to see that line of Limber pine and Doug firs
on that far ridge line – crystal sharp
and I love that
that farness and yet nearness
five spikes there
then a dark comb against the blue
the golden grasses spilling down towards me
in a tawny flood

Pincher Creek RCMP summary for Oct. 16-22, 2017


Pincher Creek RCMP - The following is an overview of the nature of the complaints that the Pincher Creek Detachment received for the period of for the week of October 16 - 22, 2017. Note that the summary indicates what was reported to the police and may not have been substantiated.

Total calls for service - 34
Uttering Threats - 2
Theft under $5000 - 4
Driving complaints (general) - 3
MV Collisions - 7
Liquor offences - 1
Suspicious occurrences (general) - 1
Assistance to General Public (general) - 1
Assistance to other agencies - 1
False Alarms - 5
911 calls (invalid) - 2
Prisoners held – 2

Airdrie RCMP address social media concerns


RCMP Alberta - Over the past several days, numerous posts have been made on various social media Airdrie community groups detailing suspicious encounters with unknown people as well as “attempted abductions”. The Airdrie RCMP is very aware of the stories circulating on social media and is actively investigating each report that has been made to the RCMP.

Annora’s many legacy gifts to us


Joyce Sasse - When I first saw Annora Brown’s paintings in the late '50s, I was awe-struck. They were so much about us. Now we have the opportunity to hear others tell what they believe to be her legacy.

Those who knew her speak of “a wonderful person, who didn’t get the credit she deserved”. She was quiet, never promoted herself, was always dedicated to quality work and was a life-long educator. Students who carried on in the Arts were confident because of the basics she taught them.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fire Restriction Notice issued for MD of Pincher Creek


Alberta Fire Bans - MD of Pincher Creek No. 9, October 19, 2017 - Due to the continuing warm, dry, windy weather fire permits for debris will be restricted. Permits may be issued for a short duration during favourable conditions.

Residential structure fire in Granum


RCMP Alberta - On Saturday October 22, 2017 just after 1:00 am the Fort Macleod RCMP responded to a structure fire in the Town of Granum, Alberta. When officers arrived on scene a house was fully engulfed in flames and fire departments from Granum, Fort Macleod, Claresholm and the MD of Willow Creek were battling the fire. Nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution.

There were no reports of injuries as a result of the fire.  At this time police and fire officials are investigating the cause.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

We can’t do it alone


Joyce Sasse - Some nights are absolutely unforgettable ... like when we have to stand up to the ravages of nature. Take drought and wind and fire – moving so fast and with such fury… Those who have to face it and try to outpace it do the best they can with their equipment and strategies and prayers. Often, too, they are amazed at the way a change in the wind, a temperature drop or a splattering of moisture makes all the difference.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Turner Valley B&E


RCMP Alberta -
On October 18, 2017 at approximately 4:00 am, a male suspect broke into the Turner Valley Pharmacy located at 101 Sunset Boulevard, Turner Valley, Alberta. Once inside, the suspect proceeded to the rear narcotics counter. A quantity of lower power opiod like sedatives were taken, including small bottles of Apo-Tramadol (central nervous system pain reliever) and Apo-Temazepam (sedative causing profound respiratory depression). These substances were in the pill form. The subject was in the store for less than 5 minutes.

Alberta RCMP reiterate dangers of deteriorated explosives


RCMP Alberta -
Not so long ago, historical rules gave Alberta farmers and ranchers easy access to dynamite and detonators. Because of these rules, there is a large, but unquantified, amount of degraded dynamite in our province today. Every year, many Albertans report finding dynamite or detonators stored, or in some cases forgotten, on their properties. The Alberta RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit urges citizens who find such items on their property to be cautious and immediately report it to their local detachment.

Town of Pincher Creek election results declared official


Town of Pincher Creek Returning Officer Lou Burnham today declared the results of the October 16, 2017 election to be official, as follows:

Mayor votes
Don Anderberg 702 elected
Diane Gray 329

Councillor
Wayne Elliott 844 elected
Scott Korbett 804 elected
Mark Barber 787 elected
Lorne Jackson 765 elected
Brian McGillivray 682 elected
Sussanne O’Rourke 423 elected
Douglas Thornton 338
Tim Blake 316





Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fire Ban for MD of Pincher Creek



MD of Pincher Creek No. 9
EFFECTIVE DATE

October 19, 2017

Due to the continuing warm, dry, windy weather fire permits for debris will be restricted. Permits may be issued for a short duration during favourable conditions.

Firefighting efforts continue in Coleman as residents return home

Government of Alberta - This situation update is current as of 11 a.m. No further situation updates are anticipated.

Current situation
  • The wildfire near Coleman is now being held.
  • The evacuation order in Crowsnest Pass has now been lifted.
  • A State of Local Emergency remains in effect for Crowsnest Pass.
  • Agriculture and Forestry has deployed 43 firefighters and support, five helicopters and heavy equipment to fight the 99-hectare blaze. Today, firefighters will be working to surround the fire with a fire guard and fully contain it.
Government of Alberta support
  • In addition to firefighting resources for the Crowsnest Pass fire, the Government of Alberta provided background support to local authorities during this response. This included:
  • One System on Wheels with 100 radios and three staff deployed to the Crowsnest Pass area.
  • Six Environment and Parks conservation officers supporting RCMP.
  • 72 cots were delivered to Pincher Creek through the Provincial Emergency Social Services system.
  • Six fish and wildlife officers from Justice and Solicitor General.
  • Four field officers from Alberta Emergency Management Agency to support local authorities.

Airdrie fire started by careless disposal of smoking material


City of Airdrie - The Airdrie Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Investigator has determined the cause of the large grass fire in Sharp Hills to be from improper disposal of smoking material.  The origin of the blaze was a grassy area located near the intersection of Township Road 294 and Range Road 264. The initial small fire accelerated quickly and violently due to extreme wind conditions present in the area Tuesday afternoon.

The Airdrie Fire Department urges the public to dispose of smoking materials safely and properly. They should never be thrown from windows of automobiles or placed into containers of plant material.

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass re-entry notice

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass - Due to changing conditions that have reduced the potential risks to evacuees, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is rescinding the evacuation order for McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, McGillivray Road/63 Street as well as the evacuation alert for the rest of Coleman as of 9:30 am on October 19, 2017. Willow Drive evacuation order was rescinded at 3:45 PM on October 18, 2017.

All evacuees must visit the Municipal Office at 8502 19 Avenue in Coleman to obtain a Re-Entry Information Package and Permit prior to entry being granted.

If you have any questions, please call the Municipal Office at (403) 562-8833.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Southern Alberta wildfires update, evening of Oct. 18


Government of Alberta - Firefighting efforts continue in southern Alberta with a focus on safety.  This situation update is current as of 7 p.m. Visit Alberta Emergency Alerts for updates.
Current situation

One State of Local Emergency remains in effect, for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass. Emergency declarations for Wheatland County and Medicine Hat have ended.

An evacuation order remains in place for parts of Crowsnest Pass where significant winds continue to have a concerning effect on the wildfire. The reception centre in Pincher Creek remains open.

Fire effects
  • An Alberta firefighter, James Hargrave, lost his life in performance of his duty. The Government of Alberta extends its deepest sympathies to his family, loved ones and colleagues. 
  • A total of 14 homes have been reported lost across the province, including:
  • 2 in the Hamlet of Stobart.
  • 4 in the Hamlet of Gleichen.
  • 1 in Rockyview County.
  • 5 in Acadia Valley.
  • 2 on Siksika First Nation.
  • One barn and one garage were destroyed in Crowsnest Pass.
  • The Allison Creek Fish Hatchery in Crowsnest Pass has sustained no damage. The Raven Fish Hatchery near Caroline sustained wind damage to the roof.
These numbers may change as damage assessments are completed.

Wildfire activity
  • There is currently one wildfire of concern in the Forest Protection Area, west of Coleman in Crowsnest Pass. That fire covers a total of 106 hectares.
  • Wind warnings remain in effect for the southwest corner of the province.
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has 25 wildland firefighters supporting local fire departments. Four helicopters and heavy equipment are also deployed.
  • Travel
  • Highway 3 from Coleman to the British Columbia border is now open; however, caution is urged while driving in that area.
Check 511 Alberta for up-to-date travel information.

Croswnest Pass wildfire updates, afternoon of Oct. 18




Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, issued Wed. Oct. 18 at 4:46 pm - The wildfire still burns out of control west of Coleman, but the situation has slightly improved and everyone living on Willow Drive can return to their residences, as the evacuation order for this area is now lifted. The evacuation orders for McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, and MacGillivary Flats remain in place and no one should be in these areas.

McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, and MacGillivary Flats remain under an evacuation order and a Reception Centre has been setup at the Vertical Church in Pincher Creek, which is located at 1200 Ken Thorton Blvd.. All evacuated residents are asked to register at the church and they can register by calling the church at 403-904-0021.

All Residents from Willow Drive must report to the Municipal Office at 8502 - 19 Avenue, Coleman prior to returning to their homes.

Highway 3 is now open but caution must be used while driving in the area.

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass evacuation update October 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm:


The Municipality has declared a State of Local Emergency on 5:43 pm on October 17, 2017 due to a wildfire located in between the Sentinel Industrial Park and Coleman. At this time residents are advised:
  • Willow Drive has been cleared for re-entry at 3:45 pm as the fire is considered held in this area, residents must stop at the Municipal Office at 8502 19 Avenue for an Information Package which will be necessary to regain entry. The office will be open until 8:30 pm.
  • Due to the wildfire conditions and public safety concerns the other evacuations at McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, McGillivray Road/63 Street will not be cleared for re-entry tonight, however, we will be allowing 15 minute escorted entry for medication, pet retrieval and livestock feeding. 
Residents seeking re-entry into evacuated areas must go to the Municipal office between 5:30 and 8:30 pm to obtain a permit. The permit must be presented at the Road Blocks located at:
  • West end of Carbondale Trailer
  • West access to McGillvray on Hwy 3
  • Hwy 3 access for McLaren Estates (South side of Highway 3)
  • Select properties north of Highway 3 (Dudys’ / Bohomlics)
Additional entry will be permitted tomorrow if fire conditions allow.

The Municipality will continue to keep residents updated as the situation develops.

Lethbridge and Edmonton approved to offer supervised drug consumption services


Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne speaks about the first five Alberta locations which will offer supervised consumption services to people in Edmonton and Lethbridge. (supplied photo)

According to a Government of Alberta press release issued today, Edmonton and Lethbridge are the first cities in Alberta approved to offer supervised consumption services to people at risk of overdosing. So far this year, 315 Albertans have died of apparent fentanyl-related overdoses. The Edmonton community-based sites approved for supervised consumption services are expected to open in late 2017 or early 2018, with ARCHES’ Lethbridge location expected to open in early 2018. The anticipated opening date for supervised consumption services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital is spring 2018.
“This is an incredibly important announcement for Lethbridge that is going to save lives. I want to thank Health Canada and the province of Alberta for recognizing the urgency of the crisis here in Lethbridge and providing a swift approval of the application to establish supervised consumption services in our city. The vetting process for the application is rigorous, and so I also want to commend Stacey Bourque and the staff at ARCHES for working so hard to prepare an exceptionally thorough application.” - Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman

Letter: Strengthening Volunteer Boards workshop worthwhile


Joyce Sasse (Annora Brown Society) - The workshop about “Strengthening Volunteer Boards”, sponsored by the Pincher Creek Rec Office, was most helpful. Leaders were responsive to the many questions raised. At the same time they outlined the responsibilities than help a volunteer organizations operate effectively.

Should an organization need help with such matters as member recruitment, financial planning, developing by-laws, etc., contact Rhonda Oczkowski at the Rec. office. She has access (through Alberta Culture and Tourism) to a wealth of resources at no cost. Knowledgeable workshop leaders can be invited to work hands-on with any community organization.

Thanks for a most worthwhile event.
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                        

Zebra chip pathogen found in western Canadian potatoes for the first time

Potato Psyllid
University of Lethbridge - For the first time, evidence of the zebra chip pathogen has been found in potato fields in southern Alberta, but the University of Lethbridge’s Dr. Dan Johnson cautions against panic.  “So far, the zebra chip pathogen has appeared in only small numbers of potato psyllids,” says Johnson, a biogeography professor and coordinator of the Canadian Potato Psyllid and Zebra Chip Monitoring Network. “The number of potato psyllids in all Alberta sites is very low and many sample cards have found no evidence of the potato psyllid insect. Zebra chip does not normally become a problem unless the potato psyllids are found in much higher numbers than are currently being found in Canada.”

Holiday Train schedules 2017 Pincher Station stop

CP Holiday Train at Pincher Station, Dec. 2015
The popular Canadian Pacific Holiday Train has scheduled a stop at Pincher Station at 11:05 am Monday, December 11, 2017.  Alan Doyle and The Beautiful Band will be the featured entertainment.

The Holiday Train will also stop at Fort Macleod before Pincher Station at 9:20 am, and at Coleman after Pincher Station at 1:05 pm.

The Holiday Train is used as an incentive to donate to local food banks in the United States and Canada. When it last stopped at Pincher Station in 2015 it helped raise $12,000 for the local food bank.
"The Holiday Train program is all about local food banks and food shelves and the critical role they play in our communities," according to Keith Creel, CP's President and Chief Executive Officer. "People come for the beautifully-lit train and stay for the incredible show - all in the name of community. The holiday season is the best time of the year, and we look forward to bringing together thousands of Canadians and Americans this season for this incredibly important cause and a great time."

Cypress County Firefighter killed while combatting wildfire


Redcliff RCMP -  A Cypress County Firefighter was killed during the efforts to combat a wildfire north of Medicine Hat last night.

On October 17, a grassfire ignited in Cypress County near township road 180 approximately 5 miles west of Highway 41. The fire grew rapidly in size and moved quickly eastward due to high winds and dry fuels. Cypress County Fire Fighters and RCMP evacuated the communities of Hilda and Schuler due to the risk posed by the fire.

The fire moved east into Saskatchewan and Cypress County fire fighters assisted Saskatchewan fire fighters to fight the fire near the communities of Leader and Burstall. During the fire-fighting efforts, a collision occurred between water truck and pick-up truck. The lone occupant of the water truck, a 34-year-old male and volunteer fire fighter from Cypress County died at the scene.

This tragic loss of life speaks to the danger that this emergency posed and also to the heroism of the volunteers who sacrifice in service of their neighbors. The RCMP extends its deepest and most sincere condolences to the family of the deceased as well as his friends and colleagues in the Cypress County fire department.

Update as reported by CTV:  The deceased man has been identified as James Hargrave, a 34-year-old volunteer firefighter stationed out of Walsh, Alberta.

Highway 3 reopened from Coleman to BC border

@511Alberta - Highway 3 from Coleman to the BC border has been reopened.

Southern Alberta RCMP wildfires summary


RCMP Alberta - In the late afternoon and evening hours on October 17, several communities across southern Alberta were impacted by severe, fast moving wildfires which were driven by extremely high winds. RCMP officers conducted evacuations of 10 communities in 6 counties/municipal districts. Rural residences and farms in these counties were also evacuated in many areas. These evacuations were carried out by officers in eight different RCMP detachments working in partnership with local firefighters, peace officers and citizens.

At this time, a full assessment of the damages resulting from these fires has not yet been completed. “The events of yesterday are unprecedented. We have never had emergencies and evacuations affecting so many communities at once.” says RCMP Chief Superintendent Tony Hamori, Officer in Charge of Southern Alberta District. “ I am proud of the efforts of our RCMP officers and employees and I thank all of our community partners for their significant role in managing these fires.”

A summary of each RCMP detachment’s current emergency status is provided below.

Southern Alberta wildfire situation update, morning Oct. 18




Municipality of Crowsnest Pass update

The Municipality has declared a State of Local Emergency on 5:43 pm on October 17, 2017 due to a wildfire located in between the Sentinel Industrial Park and Coleman. At this time residents are advised:
  • Highway 3 westbound remains closed between Flummerfelt Park and the lakes in Coleman. We are working with our Emergency Partners to assess the wildfire threat adjacent to the highway. We do not have an estimated time that it will be open at this time. 
  • The fire is still active 
  • No homes have been impacted by the wildfire at this time
  • Evacuations remain the same as yesterday at 6:30 pm and are Willow Drive, McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, MacGillivary Flats. There is no estimated time of re-entry at this time. 
  • The remainder of Coleman remains on evacuation notice until the fire is determined to be held. 
  • Power has been restored to the majority of the community including Coleman and Blairmore, there are still some isolated customers as well as the evacuated areas that remain off. 
  • All Municipal facilities remain closed for regular operations. 
  • A Reception Centre is open at the Vertical Church in Pincher Creek which is located at 1200 Ken Thorton Blvd. Evacuated residents are asked to please register with the Church by phoning 403-904-0021. 
The Municipality will continue to keep residents updated as the situation develops.

Government of Alberta update

Firefighting efforts continue in southern Alberta with a focus on safety. This situation update is current as of 10 a.m. Visit Alberta Emergency Alerts for updates.

Four States of Local Emergency are in effect:
  • Medicine Hat
  • Wheatland County
  • Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
  • Municipal District of Acadia

Evacuation orders remain in place for Crowsnest Pass. An out-of-control wildfire is burning near Coleman. Two barns and two outbuildings were confirmed lost to fire. The local fish hatchery also sustained damage.

Evacuation orders have been lifted for
  • Wheatland County: Residents are now allowed to return home. Four homes were lost in the hamlet of Gleichen, two homes were lost in the hamlet of Stobart.
  • Cypress County: The fire has been extinguished. Local authorities are coordinating return of evacuees.
  • M.D. of Willow Creek: The fire has been extinguished. The Municipal District of Willow Creek Fires Services is coordinating the re-entry of evacuees.
  • Rockyview County: One home was reported lost in Airdrie. Residents have been allowed back.
  • Acadia: Two homes were reported lost in Acadia Valley.
  • Siksika First Nation: Two homes were reported lost.
Evacuation and reception centres
  • The reception centre in Pincher Creek remains open for evacuees from Crowsnest Pass and Coleman.
  • Reception centres been closed in Airdrie, Oyen, Siksika First Nation, Standard and Strathmore.
Wildfire activity
  • Wind warnings remain in effect for the southwest corner of the province. This will hamper local fire responses.
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has 25 wildland firefighters supporting local fire departments and four helicopters are deployed. Fire guards were constructed throughout the night to provide protection for the community of Coleman.
  • There is currently one wildfire of concern in the Fire Protection Area west of Coleman in Crowsnest Pass.
Travel
  • Highway 3 from Coleman to the British Columbia border remains closed.
  • Check 511 Alberta for up-to-date travel information.
Kenow Fire Information Update

The portion of the fire in the national park is classified as ‘under control’ and is not expected to grow or spread further. Parks Canada continues to monitor and patrol the fire, and will identify and extinguish hot spots as needed.

Small pockets of fuel within the Kenow Fire area in Waterton Lakes National Park have continued burning due to continued dry and extremely windy conditions. Smoke may still be visible for several weeks and hot spots could continue to smoulder into the winter. These isolated hot spots are contained within the larger burned area and are not considered a hazard to grow and escape. Some smoke was visible in the Cameron Valley along the Akamina Parkway. The recent high winds have blown significant amounts of ash and fine particulate into the air, which may look like smoke. While this blowing ash and dust may look like smoke it does not pose a fire hazard. It is not necessary to report blowing ash.

The high intensity of the fire resulted in a large number of danger trees, rock falls, deep and hot ash pits and other hazards that continue to pose a safety risk throughout the park. Please respect the area closures. For any fire-related concerns call Parks Canada Dispatch at: 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367).

Town of Pincher Creek recount: Anderberg still Mayor


Chris Davis - A recount of the ballots for Mayor in the Town of Pincher Creek election was conducted this morning.  The results: Don Anderberg 702 (compared to 701 in the original count) and Dianne Gray 329 (compared to 330 in the original count).  All numbers are 'unofficial' at this time.  Gray asked for the recount (click here for that story).

Town CAO Laurie Wilgosh and Returning Officer Lou Burnham signed the below letter that responds to questions asked by Gray in her request for the recount.

Congratulations to all those recently elected from MLA Pat Stier


Emergency wildfire situation in Crowsnest Pass



Alberta Emergency Management Agency update, issued Tues. Oct. 17, 2017, 11:53 pm:

The Wildfire between the Sentinel Industrial Park and Coleman continues to be out of control, and Highway 3 west of Coleman remains closed to all traffic. Willow Drive, McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, and MacGillivary Flats are evacuated, and no one should be in these areas. Everyone else in Coleman should be prepared to evacuate on short notice.

A Reception Centre has been setup at the Vertical Church in Pincher Creek, which is located at 1200 Ken Thorton Blvd., and all evacuated residents are asked to register at the church and they can register by calling 403-627-9457.

Willow Drive, McLaren Ridge, Carbondale Trailer Court, and MacGillivary Flats remain under an evacuation order, and everyone else in Coleman should be prepared to evacuate on short notice. Highway 3 west of Coleman remains closed and there is heavy smoke in the area. All evacuees should go to or call the Vertical Church in Pincher Creek to register. Phone # 403-627-9457.

Information Shared by Real Country Radio at 9:30 pm:

Emergency command is set up at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre.

The town asks that residents try to conserve water until power is restored. We don’t want to tax our water reserves too much.

We have no definite timeline for when restoration will be complete. It could be back by midnight, or not until tomorrow morning.

The outages here in the Pass are the absolute #1 priority for Fortis. Of all the locations experiencing outages through the province right now, we have the most crews responding to try to get us back up and running.

The work is slow due to wind, and related challenges caused by wind. Crews have to check every pole for downed lines, lines affected by fallen trees.

Schools:

All schools in the Pass will be closed today.

If the situation changes:

If you still have a charge on your phone, download the Alberta Emergency Alert App through your app store. If new evacuations are ordered, or the situation changes in any significant way, you will receive a very loud, annoying alert that will wake you in the middle of the night.

If the worst were to happen and you needed to evacuate in the middle of the night, there WILL be people going door to door.
Alberta Wildfire Info update at 8:15 pm: The wildfire near Coleman is over 50 hectares in size and is listed as out of control. It is located less than 3 kilometres west of Coleman. Crews are expected to work through the night.

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass at 9:30 pm, October 17:

At this time, Highway 3 westbound remains closed at Flummerfelt Park in Coleman.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Evacuation order issued for Gleichan


RCMP Alberta - Ongoing wildfires fuelled by high winds has resulted in an evacuation order being issued for the town of Gleichen. All residents of Gleichen are being asked to attend to a reception centre at either:
  • Strathmore Civic Centre, 120 Brent Blvd
  • Standard Community call, 150 Yorick Ave, Standard.
  • Reception Center for pets is at Lord of All Lutheran Church in Strathmore.

RCMP officers are going door to notify residents as quickly as possible.
Visibility is affected due to heavy smoke. Follow the directions of local authorities.
More details on www.wheatlandcounty.ca

Evacuation Alert issued for Hamlet of Moon River Estates


8:25 pm update

Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26, issued Tues. Oct. 17, 2917, 8:25 pm: A wildfire is being fought at the Hamlet of Moon River Estates in the south east corner of the M.D. of Willow Creek. Those who have not yet evacuated, please gather at the Horse Paddock by the river in the Hamlet and follow all instructions from Emergency Services and Law Enforcement. A reception center is open in Fort Macleod Hall on Highway 3. (307-25th Street).

To Moon River Estates Residents - those who have not yet evacuated, please go to the Horse Paddock at the bottom of the hill and follow all instructions from Emergency Services and Law Enforcement.

Evacuation of hamlet of Acadia Valley




Update: evacuation orders for Acadia Valley and Empress lifted as of 9:30 pm.

Oyen, Alberta - Evacuation orders have been lifted for the hamlets of Acadia Valley and Empress. Residents of both communities are permitted to return home. Hwy 41 remains closed south of Acadia Valley and a local state of emergency remains in effect.



Grass fires in Strathmore area


RCMP Alberta - Strathmore RCMP are advising that two grass fires have ignited in the Strathmore area.  The first is located near Highway 910 and Range Road 264. Preliminary reports indicate a train caught fire near the Agrium Plant which in turn created a grass fire due to the extreme winds. The train did not derail. No injuries have been reported.  The second is located in the area of Highway 817 and Highway 24 near Sisksika Nation. Some residents in the rural area near the fire have been evacuated.

Also, be advised that Highway 1 is closed from Highway 21 to Range Road 214 due to the fires.

All evacuees or anyone concerned for their safety are asked to attend the Strathmore Civic Centre.

Details are limited at this time as the wildfire situation is changing rapidly. Additional information will be released as it becomes known. The RCMP appreciates Media's patience and assistance with keeping the public update.

Voluntary evacuation in Scenic Heights area of Lethbridge

Steven William Brown photo

City of Lethbridge advises Lethbridge Police are contacting residents in the Scenic Heights area for voluntary evacuation due to fire in the coulees. Scenic Heights residents are advised mandatory evacuation may be necessary due to fire and to prepare to leave on short notice. Firefighters are responding to a grass fire in the coulees west of Mountainview Cemetery. Please avoid the area.

Lethbridge Police Service advises mandatory evacuation may be necessary for Scenic Heights residents due to fire and should prepare to leave on short notice

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