Saturday, December 31, 2016

New beginnings

Shellie Byers - The clock strikes twelve, the whistles blow, a cheer erupts from the crowd as friends hug and sweethearts steal a kiss. There is joy and anticipation about what the year ahead will bring. The air itself seems electrified and alive in the moment. All things seem possible as we make restitution for our shortcomings in the prior year to move ahead in exuberance into the next. Imagine how many dreams are spoken to heaven in one day.

The torch is passed at The Co-operators

Kenton Farrow and Brenda Heisler
After 29 years with The Co-operators in Pincher Creek, agent/owner Brenda Heisler officially passed the torch to Kenton Farrow in December, celebrating the transition with a farewell hamburger and cake lunch for the public in Brenda's honour at the Ranchland Mall on Thursday, December 15.  Heisler has retired after 29 years at The Co-operators. Farrow officially takes over as financial advisor/owner on January 1, 2017.  He's been transitioning into the role since December 1.

A Christmas story

Citrigno Family and Judy Lane (lower right)

Submitted -
Sofia Citrigno surprised family members with memory lap quilts and a pillow for family friend and Holy Spirit Catholic Schools Trustee Judy Lane. Sofia sewed all of them using her Grandma Elaine Schmidt's clothes. Elaine passed away in 2014. Now that's love!

Citrigno family (Sofia lower left)

Pincher Creek RCMP summary for Dec. 19-26, 2016

Pincher Creek RCMP - The following is an overview of the nature of the complaints that the Pincher Creek Detachment received for the period of December 19-26, 2916. Note that the summary indicates what was reported to the police and may not have been substantiated.

Total calls for service - 40
Fraud / Forgery - 1
Uttering Threats - 1
Mischief (vandalism) - 1
Theft under $5000 - 2
Impaired Driving - 1
Disturbing the Peace - 1
Driving complaints (general) - 1
MV Collisions - 9
Assistance to other agencies - 4
False Alarms - 3
911 calls (invalid) - 2
Prisoners held – 4

Solutions and substitutions by Reena

Reena Nerbas

Tips this week: burnt popcorn smell in a microwave, oil spots on paving stones, measuring tape alternatives, avocado answers

In Memoriam 2016

We, at Snodgrass Funeral Homes (Pincher Creek), are thinking of our families, whom we walked with this year.

(Deceased's name/date of death)

2016 Parade of Lights, Moonlight Madness, and Hamper Scamper

Toni Lucas -  Pincher Creek's annual Parade of Lights and Moonlight Madness event was held on  on Friday, November 18.  The event had the good fortune of warm weather for this time of year with only a slight breeze to the appreciation of those who lined the streets waiting to see the floats go along the parade route.  Even though the parade was short the enthusiasm of the crowd could not be dimmed.  Santa Claus himself rode on the firetruck waving at the crowds.

One of the traditional events of the evening was the balloon drop at Ranchland Mall, and a new one was the Hamper Scamper held there as well. The balloon drop ran into technical difficulties when one of the bags of balloons did not release as planned to the disappointment of the crowd underneath. Many were hoping to have the ticket for a big winning item inside of a balloon they would claim. Deputy Fire Chief Pat Neumann came to the rescue by climbing a ladder and releasing the balloons to the cheering crowd below.

Deputy Fire Chief Pat Neumann releases the balloons
For the Hamper Scamper event you had to buy a raffle ticket, and those names drawn won the right to go to the next level and enter the Hamper Scamper.  This was a contest of shopping ability and was limited  to 10 contestants who had the right to go through the aisle of the Co-op grocery store at 8:30, just after the McMan and Rotary used the Hamper Scamper as a fundraiser for the Food Bank managed by McMan.  Food banks need donations all throughout the year but during the Christmas season there is additional stress on the system.

One raffle winner could not attend, so they donated their placement back to the organization.  Their placement was auctioned off at start of the event to Kyla Bruns who bid $110 for the ticket.  Then the ten contestants got a shopping cart and a grocery list, to fill as accurately as possible within a five minute time frame.

Some hilarity ensued as people had a mad scramble to obtain as many possible items out of the 30 items listed.  The event was cheered on by onlookers in the mall outside of the Co-op.  Once all the items were tallied, it was found there was a tie for third place.  The person who had the largest dollar value of the tie.  The winners were:

Hamper Scampet First Place: Christine Harrison

  1. Christine Harrison  9 items   $600 gift card
  2. Kyla Bruns           7 items    $400 gift card
  3. Betty Whipple        5 items  $300 gift card
All the other participants received a $100 gift card

Harrison was very happy to be awarded the $600 grand prize.  She said, "This was a lot of fun. I would definitely do this again!"

Pincher Creek Rotary President Dan Crawford and Mustangs matriarch Faith Zachar

Pincher Creek Rotary President Dan Crawford was happy to see such enthusiasm for the event and for the opportunity to forge a strong partnership with McMan Agency and the Co-op.  "We raised over $2,000 for the food bank, and helping people, that is what this is all about."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Poor Lethbridge area roadways during holiday season

RCMP Alberta - Between December 23, 2016 and December 27, 2016 the Coaldale RCMP responded to nearly 30 collisions on highways surrounding the City of Lethbridge. The weather conditions were very poor with extreme winds, heavy snow falls and then windy blowing snow conditions.

New indigenous member appointed to AHS Board

Heather Hirsch with Health Minister Sarah Hoffman

Government of Alberta - Heather Hirsch, an Indigenous woman and 19-year-veteran in frontline health care, has been appointed to the Alberta Health Services Board.

“The AHS Board has been hard at work for the last year making sure our health system is meeting the growing and changing needs of Alberta families. Hirsch’s appointment means we have another competent, passionate member who will bring her perspectives as an Indigenous woman and frontline health worker to the table.” - Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Year's resolutions for drivers

Randy Youngman

Randy Youngman, Alberta Office of Traffic Safety - For many of us in Alberta, our vehicles are a place where we spend a great deal of our time. Unfortunately, when we are driving, we do not always act as courteously as we would like others to, and in doing so, put ourselves and others in danger of being involved in a collision. With a new year looming large ahead of us, let’s resolve to try and do better in the coming year.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Fatal MVC on Hwy 3 between Pincher Creek and Brocket


RCMP Alberta - On December 24, 2016, at 11:30 am, Pincher Creek RCMP and RCMP Collision Analyst responded to a serious motor vehicle collision on Highway 3, approximately 5 km east of the Highway 6 turnoff.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Joseph at the front of the stable

Joseph and Mary arrive at Bethlehem - William Brassey Hole   (Wikimedia commons)
Joyce Sasse - Men have sometimes been labeled as the “stagehands” of Christmas: following through on the orders of their wives, and financing the extravaganza.

But when Ann Weems, in her book Kneeling in Bethlehem, thinks of Joseph’s place in the stable, she envisions him being more central to the Christmas Story.

Let us allow the Child in the manger challenge us

Pope Francis

“The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men” (Tit 2:11). The words of the Apostle Paul reveal the mystery of this holy night: the grace of God has appeared, his gift is free; in the Child given unto us the love of God is made visible.

Blue Christmas meditation

‘Blessed are you because of who God is’

Rev. Donalee Williams for the Blue Christmas Service at First United Church, Fort McMurray - In my experience, loss can bring out some of the worst … advice. In situations of loss I have received well-worn words that give dubious comfort at best. And in humility I confess the times when I’ve offered some less-than-awesome advice.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa spotted in southern Alberta

Cochrane area road advisory issued

RCMP Alberta - Cochrane RCMP are advising that travel on highways in Cochrane and MD of Rockyview area is not recommended at this time due to reduced visibility and icy road conditions. Tow companies in the area have reported there is an extended service call time in excess of four hours for stranded and disabled vehicles. Highway 1 from Calgary city limits to Highway 1x, Highway 1A from west of Cochrane to 1X and Highway 22 north and south of Cochrane are very icy and snow covered and travel is not recommended at this time.

Beacons of Hope

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - At the darkest time of the year, Christmas is a celebration of light ... And that light is shared with the whole community. What a gift!

Carolers sing “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight”. Those who prophecy declare that God cares enough to dwell among us. Storytellers speak of weary travelers searching for a place where the woman can deliver her child. Those who laud the newborn child include creatures of the field, angels from the heavens, astrologers from distant places, and local townsfolk.

The legend of the Christmas rose

Local restaurateur Loretta Packham's award winning display at Mrs. P's included a large homage to one of her favourite Christmas tales, reproduced below.

The Legend of the Christmas Rose speaks of a young girl named Madelon who wanted to come worship the Christ Child. Seeing the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought by others who were drawn to the humble birthplace, she despaired that she had no gift to bring, for Madelon was poor indeed.

NORAD tracks Santa

The NORAD Tracks Santa website is available in eight languages, features Santa's North Pole Village, including a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Serious injury single vehicle rollover on Hwy 3 near Monarch

RCMP Alberta - On Dec. 23, 2016 at 7:20 p.m. Coaldale RCMP responded to a single vehicle rollover collision on Highway 3 near Monarch. The vehicle, an older pickup truck, lost control on the eastbound lanes of Highway 3 eventually rolling a number of times coming to a rest on the centre median.

Pincher Creek boy gets a new ear

Cayden Kellington
Toni Lucas - Cayden Kellington was born seven years ago and currently lives in Pincher Creek, Alberta.  He was born with the most of the internal working parts of his left ear and his ear lobe, but not the rest of the external ear on his left side.  He just had a lower lobe and a small hole to hear through.  He has now had a new ear built for him and surgically attached.  He is the youngest person in Alberta to have an ear built for him.

Pincher Creek sports shorts to Dec. 23, 2016

Pincher Creek minor hockey players at Superskills Competition
Hockey Superskills Competition and Christmas Celebration
Atom Chinooks host Chestermere and Okotoks
Support the kids
Junior Basketball - Hawks host Piikani
Hockey skills program

Mischief on Highway 2

RCMP Alberta - On December 21, 2016 at approximately 11:00 am, High River RCMP responded to a complaint of mischief on Highway 2. A male suspect forced another vehicle to the shoulder of the road where he exited his own vehicle and began yelling at the driver of the parked vehicle. The suspect broke the victim’s driver's side mirror before departing. The suspect was driving a stolen vehicle at the time of the offence. This incident is still under investigation.

Serious Collision on Highway 2A south of Red Deer

RCMP Alberta - At approximately 12:45 pm on December 23, 2016, the Blackfalds RCMP with the assistance of Red Deer County emergency services responded to a collision on Highway 2A and Lantern Street near Gasoline Alley. The investigation to date has revealed that both driver's involved in the collision have sustained serious injuries. We are seeking the assistance of anybody that directly witnessed the collision.

Please contact the RCMP Operational Communications Centre at (403) 885-3333 and you will be put in touch with an officer.

Lethbridge area highways in poor winter driving conditions

RCMP Alberta - Motorists are advised all Highways around Lethbridge are in very poor winter driving conditions. They are extremely icy. There have already been many collisions. All are minor to this point. Do not travel if you do not have to. 

If you have to travel:
  • Lower your speeds drastically
  • Do not brake or turn sharply
  • Extend your distance between other vehicles
  • Slow even more BEFORE entering curves.
  • Start slowing long before you have to make a turn of the highway.
  • Do not pass - you'll get there.
  • Don't make lane changes if not absolutely necessary - you'll get there.

Fatal single vehicle collision in Lethbridge

Lethbridge Police - Lethbridge Police continue to investigate a fatal collision that occurred during the early morning hours.

On December 23, 2016, shortly before 3 a.m police along with Fire/EMS responded to a single vehicle collision near the intersection of Stafford Dr and 10 St N. Initial investigation determined a Dodge Challenger was travelling northbound at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control and struck a post on the center median. The 26-year-old female driver was transported to Chinook Regional Hospital where she died of her injuries. Two passengers in the car were treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Incident on Highway 520 near Highway 22


Poor driving conditions and multiple collisions south of Calgary

RCMP Alberta - Okotoks RCMP are advising both north and southbound lanes of traffic on highway #2 from Calgary south are in poor driving condition, snow covered, icy and low visibility. There have been multiple collisions. Volker Stevin and Main roads are in the process of sanding the highways.

Cochrane RCMP issue warning about road conditions west of Calgary

RCMP  Alberta - A multi-vehicle collision on Highway 1A has prompted Cochrane RCMP to issue a winter driving conditions warning.
"Motorists should avoid any non-essential travel on Highway 1 until conditions improve."
Today at 11:40 am a multi vehicle collision occurred on the eastbound lanes of Highway 1A at Bearspaw Road. Eastbound traffic was reduced to one lane as crews worked to clear the scene. Both lanes were opened as of 12:30 pm, however, road conditions remain poor.

Highway 3 driving conditions at Cowley highway camera at 2:00 pm Dec. 23, 2016

Click here for the most recent image.

Car with missing wheel involved in Pincher Creek collision

Chris Davis - According to a reliable anonymous source, on December 20 at approximately 1:00 pm a vehicle was missing a wheel before it got into a collision on Robertson Avenue near Main Street, Pincher Creek. RCMP arrived at the scene and took the male driver into custody.  No injuries were reported.

Chinook Boys Basketball update for Dec. 2016

Dragons vs Hawks
Chris Davis -  Early into the 2016/17 season, Lundbreck's Livingstone Sabres are in first place in the Chinook Basketball League's standings, undefeated in four games.  Coalhurst's Trojans are in second with three wins and one loss (to the Sabres).  St. Michael's Dragons are currently in third place, undefeated in three games.  Matthew Halton's Hawks are still looking for a win after four games.

Click here for the Chinook Basketball League schedule.

PCES responds to one-vehicle collision near Lundbreck, road conditions poor


Recent stories

The world's tiniest snowman

Chinook Girls Basketball update for Dec. 2016

Hawks vs Dragons
Chris Davis -  There are 10 teams in the Girls division of the Chinook Basketball League this season.  Most of the teams have played three or four games, so it's still early in the season and there's plenty of time for the standings to change.

 According to the league's standings, Coalhurst's Crusaders are currently in first place, undefeated with four wins.  Matthew Halton's Hawks are in second place, also undefeated in four games and just behind Coalhurst in points.  Kainai SV is in third place, undefeated after three games. Kainai is a very strong contender this season. St. Michael's Dragons are in fourth place with three wins and one loss.  County Central, Kainai JV, and Crowsnest Pass also each have a three win/one loss record.  This is turning out to be a very competitive season.

Click here for the Chinook Basketball League schedule.

Albertans hard at work over the holiday

Government of Alberta - Many Albertans will be working this holiday season to ensure the festive break is merry and bright.  Health-care workers, utility employees, clerks, restaurant and grocery staff, first responders and road crews will be working to give Albertans an opportunity to make the most of their holiday.

“As you enjoy this holiday season, please take time to think about those who are working during this special time of year. These dedicated workers are spending time away from their families so that we can spend time with ours.” - Christina Gray, Minister of Labour
  • Below: Facts on general holiday pay

Mary and Elizabeth

Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth - M. Reichlich (Wikimedia commons)
Joyce Sasse - Mary, the young peasant girl, found herself pregnant and scared. Luke tells her story leading up to the Christmas event.

This was supposed to be a blessed occurrence, he tells us, but Mary was confused and alone. She thought of Elizabeth, an older relative known for her wisdom.

Food Recall warnings and allergy allerts

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Country Christmas

Joyce Sasse - Think of the many teachings we can share with our children and with the new comers in our midst because the Christmas story is set within the background of a rural culture.

Two tractor trailers end up in the ditch on Hwy 22 due to high winds

PCES on scene at Hwy 22 rollover (Kristy Stevens photos)
Toni Lucas - Recent high winds resulted in two separate incidents where tractor trailers ended up in the east ditch of Highway 22.  Pincher Creek Emergency Services (PCES) including Lundbreck Fire Hall responded to both incidents, which occurred on Highway 22 approximately 10 kilometres north of the Highway 3 junction, close to township Road 8-4.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CRTC establishes fund to attain new high-speed Internet targets

  • Wants Canadians to have access to an unlimited data plan option and speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today declared that broadband access Internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians. The CRTC is also setting ambitious new speed targets and creating a new fund that will invest up to $750 million over and above existing government programs.

Allied Arts Council seeks council's support for Lebel Mansion upgrades

Toni Lucas - Yvan Lebel represented the Allied Arts Council (AAC) when he appeared as a delegation at the regular meeting of Pincher Creek's Town council on Monday, December 12, 2016. The AAC have two proposed projects he discussed. The first is renovations upstairs at the Lebel Mansion, including an elevator.  The second is a power and telecom project to integrate wifi and solar power in the building.

Blackfalds RCMP locate remains of missing Red Deer woman

RCMP Alberta - On December 16, 2016 Blackfalds RCMP were alerted to the discovery of human remains on a rural property. Red Deer RCMP Forensic Identification Section and Major Crimes South completed an examination of the scene and investigated the circumstances of the discovery of these human remains.

Livingstone Ski Academy hits the slopes

Livingstone Ski Academy at Castle Mountain
(Photo: Sam Scholfield, Mountain Drift Photography)
Toni Lucas - Livingstone School's Livingstone Ski Academy from the slopes as a class at Castle Mountain Ski Resort for the first time on Friday December 16, 2017. It was also opening day for the 2016/17 season at Castle.  The students had about two weeks of training time and preparation before they got to strap on their skis and tackle the resort's slopes. The Ski Academy is a skills-based program encompassing freestyle and downhill training at recreational and more competitive levels. Principal Chad Jensen said "This was an amazing day. A lot of work was put in to get to here."

Stier - 2016 a challenging year for Albertans

Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier -  While 2016 has been a challenging year for many Albertans, it’s also been a time where we’ve seen the very best of one another.

Time and time again Albertans showed their resilience in the face of adversity.

This was most put to the test during the Fort McMurray wildfire. As families were forced to flee their city, it was Albertans across our great province who opened their homes, their hearts and their wallets to help out strangers in their time of greatest need. Many gave more than they ever thought they could.

Albertans now allowed to generate more green electricity

Solar panels at Piikani Nation Secondary School
Government of Alberta - The Alberta government is promoting greener energy by providing more flexible rules about how Albertans can generate their own electricity.  Changes to the regulation that governs micro-generation include increasing the size limit to five megawatts from one megawatt and allowing a micro-generating system to serve adjacent sites, which is especially helpful for operations with more than one building, such as farms.

Water stewardship grant announced

Government of Alberta -  Alberta Environment and Parks has approved a multi-year grant totalling $925,000 to Land Stewardship Centre to help protect Alberta’s water resources, now and into the future. A grant through Environment and Parks for $250,000 has been approved for this year, followed by $225,000 grants for each of the next three years, ending in 2019-20. This funding will allow the centre to support the development of long-term planning and community-based projects.

Peewee Chinooks atop standings midway through season

2016/17 Peewee Chinooks
Chris Davis -  Pincher Creek's Peewee Chinooks are at the top of the Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL) Tier 4 South standings as the league heads into the holiday season break.  The Chinooks have 7 wins and 1 loss so far in the regular season, as does Fort Macleod's Mustangs.  The Chinooks are slightly ahead of the Mustangs on points.  The Mustangs handed the Chinooks their one regular season loss, a close 5-4 contest on December 16.  Fort Macleod's one loss came at the hands of the Okotoks Oil Kings on November 20, the Oil Kings winning that one 8-6.  The Oil Kings are currently third in the standings.

Event photography and videography


Event photography and videography, reasonable rates.
Now booking for Spring and Summer 2017.
Contact Pincher Creek Multimedia at or at 403-751-0025.
We also offer DJ, live music, and sound support services.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pet waste in public spaces a concern for Pincher Creek Recreation Advisory Committee

Toni Lucas - Pincher Creek Veterinary Clinic Veterinarian Kari Grandoni appeared as a delegation before Town council during the regular meeting of Monday December 12 to discuss the dangers of pet waste. Dr. Grandoni was speaking on behalf of the Pincher Creek Recreation Advisory Committee.

Letters to Santa from Livingstone School's ECS class

Santa at the 2016 Pincher Creek Countdown to Christmas parade
Dear Santa Claus,
I am excited for Christmas! At Christmas I like to decorate. This year I would really like a ninja truck, please.
Merry Christmas from Carter G.

The importance of play

Kari Hagen
  • Includes a recipe for homemade play dough
Kari Hagen, Alberta Health Services - As the holidays approach, families typically have more time to spend with one another at home (and fewer work and school commitments to worry about). It is important to create opportunities for play during periods of quality family time, as play helps children learn as well as aids the development of their brains and bodies.

Appointments to indigenous women’s economic councils announced

R to L, Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan, Marlene Poitras, council member, First Nations Women's Council on Economic Security, Sandra Sutter, Chair, Metis Women's Council on Economic Security
Thirty-two Indigenous leaders with diverse backgrounds - including a successful Dragon’s Den contestant - make up the newly appointed First Nations and Metis women’s economic security councils.


DJ, live music, and sound support services


Digital DJ services, live original and cover music by Chris Davis, and/or sound support for your southern Alberta event.

Contact Pincher Creek Multimedia at or at 403-751-0025.

We also offer events photography/videography.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Coaldale RCMP respond to several rollover collisions due to high winds

  • Drivers urged to take caution, particularly if hauling trailers

RCMP Alberta - This morning the Coaldale RCMP have responded to a number of collisions involving semi trucks hauling trailers and smaller trucks hauling trailers in the Coalhurst and Monarch areas along Highway 3 and Highway 23. Coaldale RCMP are asking semi truck drivers and other trucks drivers hauling trailers to consider the safety of pulling their trailers with the high winds. Trailers with light or no cargo seem to be particularly at risk to being blown over.

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