Thursday, August 31, 2017

Good turnout for SGB Fitbodies grand opening


Brooklyn celebrates SGB Grand Opening

Toni Lucas  - SGB Fitbodies held a grand opening celebration and open house on Wednesday, August 23 at 1348 McEachern Street. This gave an opportunity for people who were curious a chance to check out the facilities, try different courses, enter for prizes, or just have a smoothie while checking out the nutritional supplements. I decided to try a class and see how it worked for me. I tried the I.C.E modifiable cardio workout, with Ali Thibert instructing.

Habitat for Humanity project planned for Pincher Creek

Toni Lucas - At their regular meeting of July 24 council for the Town of Pincher Creek unanimously voted to approve a memorandum of understanding with Habitat for Humanity and the local Pincher Creek Elks Lodge #474. The Elks are acting as the point organization for the project which has garnered a lot of interest. Mayor Don Anderberg said, "Virtually every service club in town is going to come on board to help raise funds and work toward a habitat build in Pincher Creek."

2017 Pincher Creek Children's Festival

Photos by Diane Burt- Stuckey (including above), T. Lucas, C. Davis

Toni Lucas - The annual Pincher Creek Children's Festival held on Friday August 18 was a fun family event to kick off the rodeo weekend. Hosted in the park behind Town Hall on a warm but windy evening, the free event attracted approximately 600 people. Although winds kept the bouncy castles off the grounds, organizer Kiera Greenly said there were many other things to keep the kids busy. "The petting zoo was a huge hit this year, and so was the giant twister. The pop up playground by Pincher Creek and Area Early Childhood Coalition was fun for kids."

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Special air quality warning issued by Environment Canada

Note: A Heat Warning is still in effect for most of southern Alberta

Issued by Environment Canada at 9:21 pm, Wednesday August 30, 2017

Special air quality statement in effect for:
  • M.D. of Pincher Creek near Beauvais Lake Prov. Park, Cowley, Burmis, Maycroft, Town of Pincher Creek, and Twin Butte
  • M.D. of Ranchland
  • Municipality of Crowsnest Pass including Coleman and Frank
  • Piikani Reserve
  • Waterton Lakes Nat. Park and Blood Res. 148A
  • Note: Similar warnings have been issued for most of southern Alberta, click here for the most current Environment Canada information.

Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.

Visit for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

Issued by Environment Canada, Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Health

School fees slashed as students return to class

Minister Eggen announces reduction in school fees at Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School in Sherwood Park

Government of Alberta - As K-12 students head back to class, families with two students taking the bus to school will save $800 or more, thanks to the elimination of transportation charges and fees for instructional supplies and materials.  The parents of nearly 600,000 students from across the province will realize savings as a result of the government’s decision to eliminate fees for specific instructional supplies and materials, as well as transportation fees for those travelling more than 2.4 kilometres to their designated schools.  An Act to Reduce School Fees, proclaimed in June 2017, eliminated fees for textbooks, workbooks, photocopying and printing, and paper. Transportation fees for eligible students residing more than 2.4 kilometres from their designated schools were also removed. In addition, through Budget 2017, funding is being provided to school boards to help offset any potential revenue loss as a result of this legislation.

What parents need to know about children and vaping

Michelle Sauvé
Michelle Sauvé, Tobacco Reduction Counsellor, Addiction and Mental Health Services - The start of the school year is such an exciting time! There are many ‘firsts’ for children and lots of new opportunities. Unfortunately, for some children and teens, there is one ‘first’ that many are entirely unprepared for. It is the pressure to try ‘vaping’ with a device called a vape, also known as e-cigarettes, mods, e-hookahs or cloud pens. If you aren’t sure what these electronic smoking products are, take a closer look at the big ‘clouds’ drifting around inside cars or surrounding people outside schools and convenience stores.

Man arrested on child pornography charges at Sherwood Park dayhome

ALERT - A Sherwood Park man is facing child pornography-related charges after ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit arrested him this week at a residence out of which a dayhome was also operating.  On August 29, 2017, with the assistance of Strathcona County RCMP, ICE investigators executed a search warrant at a home in central Sherwood Park. There, they arrested Adam Downing, 32, and charged him with possessing child pornography and making child pornography available.  The suspect’s mother was operating a dayhome at the residence. No children were present when the search warrant was executed. Families of children who attended the dayhome were notified, and there is currently no evidence to suggest offences were committed against any of those children.  Investigators also believe the suspect worked as a camp counselor with junior and senior high school students this past summer at Camp Van-Es, located at South Cooking Lake, approximately 40 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

2017 Business in Bloom Award winners announced

2017 Pincher Creek Business In Bloom First Place - Stardust Motel/Sweets and Treats
Rhonda Oczkowski (Town of Pincher Creek/CIB), Dia Comeau (Stardust Motel/Sweets and Treats), Marie Everts (Town of Pincher Creek)

Chris Davis - The Town of Pincher Creek and Pincher Creek Communities in Bloom announced the winners of the annual Business in Bloom contest on August 22.  Community members submitted their recommendations for the best-gardened business locations in Pincher Creek, and judges made the final determinations.  Stardust Motel Sweets and Treats was awarded first place Golden Shovel trophy, Boese and Company was awarded second place, and several other businesses received an hounourable mention.  First and second place also received a Golden Shovel trophy.

2017 Pincher Creek Business In Bloom Second Place - Boese and Company
Rhonda Oczkowski (Town of Pincher Creek/CIB), Chelsey Olsen (Boese and Company), Marie Everts (Town of Pincher Creek)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Blue-green Algae bloom advisory issued for Chain Lakes Reservoir

Alberta Health Services - A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has been identified in Chain Lakes Reservoir. Residents living near the shores of this reservoir, as well as visitors to this reservoir, are advised to take the following precautions:

Monday, August 28, 2017

CIB Summer Favorite Yard award winner Rocky Blakeman

Rocky Blakeman and his award winning yard

Toni Lucas - This year the Town of Pincher Creek and Pincher Creek Communities in Bloom added a Judges Summer Favorite Yard category to their summer monthly Blooming Contest. Each month, the judges received nominations for a yard owned by Rocky Blakemen at 933 MacLeod Street, earning him the Summer Favourite award.  Blakeman has his personality displayed everywhere around the property.

August 2017 CIB Yard of the Month winners Karen and Lyle Regehr

 Karen and Lyle Regehr in their award winning garden
 Toni Lucas - The Town of Pincher Creek and Pincher Creek's Communities in Bloom Committee presented the August Yard of the Month award to Karen and Lyle Regehr of 1102 Huckleberry Court.  The competition is meant to encourage local gardeners. Karen explained the gardens scattered throughout the property are an ongoing project. There were lovely places to sit and reflect, to enjoy the changes of the season.  The garden was planned with consideration to shade and windbreaks, and includes a vegetable garden and a greenhouse. The couple's passion and pride in their garden was evident, as they showed off many hidden treasures with delight. Karen named many of their plants and explained why she chose to plant them in specific places. She also made many of the bent willow chairs decorating the gardens, and the grounds are well kept, neat, and have a nice traffic flow.

2017 Lundbreck Corn Festival parade

Toni Lucas - The Lundbreck Corn Festival was held Saturday, August 26. The day kicked off with a community breakfast, followed by a parade for all to enjoy. The children were thrilled with the extra attention they got from the participants.  that, and maybe all the candy.  Following the parade Patton Park was busy with activities and a car show.  The regular annual softball tournament was canceled, but may be brought back in future years.  A chili cook-off  had 6 entrants demonstrating their culinary skills. In the skate park coaches helped people learn new and better moves on their boards. Bouncy castles kept small children entertained. The day came to an end with a pot luck supper, followed by a free family movie for everyone to enjoy in Lundbreck Hall.

Blue-green Algae (Cyanobacteria) bloom advisory issued for Yellow Lake

Alberta Health Services -  A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has been identified in Yellow Lake (near Bow Island). Residents living near the shores of this lake, as well as visitors to this lake, are advised to take the following precautions:
  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible. 
  • Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
  • Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).

Grass fire west of Coalhurst affecting Highway 3 traffic

A grass fire west of Coalhurst in the middle ditch of Highway 3 is causing delays in the area. (1:28 pm)

Waterton Wheels show and shine attracts 107 vintage automobiles

Melissa Friesen photos

The annual Waterton Wheels Show and Shine was held yesterday, August 27 at Waterton Lakes National Park, and featured 107 entries.  These photos are courtesy of Melissa Friesen of Springridge Ranch.

Mischief to wind farm near Halkirk

RCMP Alberta - Sometime between August 14 and 24, 2017, a firearm was discharged at a Capital Power wind turbine and nearby road signs. The site is located near township road 382 and Highway 855, near Halkirk, Alberta.  In this instance, there was an occupied property within the line of fire, which places a greater danger to the residents in the area. Residents are urged to be aware of suspicious activity and unfamiliar vehicles, and to report these occurrences immediately to the Coronation RCMP.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

High River RCMP investigate accidental drowning

RCMP Alberta - On August 26, at approximately 8:45 p.m., RCMP were dispatched to assist with a report of a missing 48-year-old male from High River who was swimming with friends in the Highwood River in the early evening. The male left the group to find a deeper area to swim and did not return.  RCMP members with the assistance from Calgary Police Hawcs helicopter, RCMP Police Dog Services (PDS) and Foothills Search and Rescue searched along the river for the male. Efforts were made into the evening, when the search was suspended due to low light conditions.  Today, at approximately 9:30 a.m., the missing male who was pronounced deceased was located in the river by High River Fire personnel.

Bread for the Journey

Joyce Sasse

“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven…”

The leader reflected on this passage from Ecclesiastes at the conclusion of her time with a group of teenage campers.  During the week she had been inviting them to explore, in a variety of ways, how they could express their understanding of what the surrounding mountains, sky, water and flora meant to them.  It was so appropriate that she now used the words of “The Preacher” (as the Hebrews called him). The Book of Ecclesiastes is a collection of wise insights The Preacher had gathered through a lifetime of experience. This Wise One shared his thoughts with young men embarking on their own life-journey.

Spiritual authority shifts this reality

Cain kills Abel (Gustave Dore - Wikimedia Commons/public domain)

Shellie Byers - Yesterday a video was circulating of the forced removal of a cross from the steeple of a 60 year old church on a University Campus. As I drove through Brocket a red dress was hanging from a skeletal, dead tree on the highway to remind us of the missing and murdered indigenous women whose blood and tears cry up from the ground. Just as Abel's blood cried for vindication from the earth to God. Our world is changing and evolving in ways that can plant fear in our hearts. We try to comfort ourselves into believing one person can not change the world. We go to our prayer closets and beg God to intercede on our behalf or we become so complacent that we emotionally separate ourselves from the reality we are living . Do you know what has happened? Most of us are never told who we are in Christ and we do not understand our identity.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Missing Innisfail man found safe and sound

The missing Innisfail man has been located safe and sound. Innisfail RCMP thank the public for their assistance in locating him.

Friday, August 25, 2017

PCES responds to another field fire

Toni Lucas - Pincher Creek Emergency Services was called to a field fire approximately two kilometres south of town east of Highway 6 on Thursday, August 24 at approximately 4:30 pm. The fire appears to have started due to equipment/mechanical reasons. Deputy Fire Chief Pat Neumann said the fire was extremely small, was doused quickly, and there were no injuries . "The farmers are prepared, and have equipment to deal with emergencies like that."

Fatal MVC east of Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek RCMP - On August 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm, RCMP officers from Pincher Creek and Piikani Nation attended a three vehicle motor vehicle collision involving two pickup trucks and a semi. The collision occurred on Highway 507 and range road 27-2, approximately 30 kilometres east of Pincher Creek. The 66 year old female driver and 72 year old passenger from one of the pickup trucks were transported to hospital with serious injuries. While on route to the hospital the 72 year old male passenger died from his injuries. The driver of the other pickup and semi truck driver were not injured. The RCMP collision analyst was called to the scene and the matter is still under investigation. As this incident remains under investigation, no further information is available in relation to the cause or contributing factors of the collision.

Southern Alberta UCP MLAs announce support for Brian Jean

MLA David Schneider, Brian Jean, MLA Pat Stier, MLA Wayne Anderson

Chris Davis -
On August 22 three more UCP MLAs announced their endorsement of Brian Jean's bid for the leadership of the recently formed United Conservative Party (UCP), including Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier (Pincher Creek and area is part of his electoral district), Little Bow MLA David Schneider, and Highwood MLA Wayne Anderson.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sundre RCMP investigate bear attack in Panther River area

RCMP Alberta - Today at approximately 4:00 pm Sundre RCMP were contacted by EMS and advised that a 32-year-old male from Calgary was being transported to the Sundre hospital after being attacked by a bear in the Panther River area.  Police were advised the bear attacked had occurred early this morning at approximately 9:00 am while the male was eating. The bear came out of the woods and grabbed him by the legs. The male managed to fight off further attacks and was able to hike back to his vehicle several kilometers away and drive to a lodge in the Panther River area to seek assistance.

Sept. 1 deadline for Alberta Historical Resources Foundation grant

Government of Alberta - If you happen to visit a restored heritage property; come across a heritage plaque or marker; or read a community history book, chances are the project was supported by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.  As the Government of Alberta’s primary window for heritage preservation funding, the Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program provides matching grants and scholarships to support initiatives that preserve and interpret Alberta’s rich heritage. The next grant intake is just around the corner. The next application deadline is September 1.

Fatal MVC near Elkwater

RCMP Alberta - Redcliff RCMP responded to a single vehicle collision about 5 kilometers south of Elkwater shortly after 6:30 this morning. The collision, along Highway 41, resulted from the driver failing to negotiate a curve in the road. The reason why this occurred is still under investigation. A 46 year old male, a resident of Medicine Hat, is deceased.

RCMP wish to remind motorists that use of a smart-phone by a driver is considered distracted driving. During the investigation, the driver of a vehicle coming through the scene was witnessed by police to be taking photographs. This driver was ticketed by members. It is illegal, unsafe and disrespectful when driving through a collision scene to be taking photographs of a scene under investigation.

CPS officer-involved shooting determined to be lawful and justified

ASIRT - On Jan. 24, 2016, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed by the Director of Law Enforcement to investigate the circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of a 53-year-old man.

On that date, at approximately 4:35 p.m., as a Calgary Transit bus driver proceeded into the lane of travel westbound on 78 Avenue NW, having picked up a passenger, the driver’s side window of the bus shattered and the driver was hit in the face with flying glass. The driver pulled the bus quickly over to the curb and observed a bullet hole in the window and a bullet lying on the floor by his feet. He contacted his dispatcher and at 4:37 p.m., and the Calgary Police Service (CPS) received the complaint of a gunshot hitting the bus.

Pertussis immunization booster dose clinics in AHS South Zone

  • Clinics ongoing – book your child’s appointment today.

Alberta Health Services - Alberta Health Services (AHS) has begun offering a booster dose of immunization that protects against pertussis (whooping cough). Children aged 10, 11 and 12 with a birthdate between September 1, 2004 and August 21, 2007, who are living or attending school in the South Zone of AHS, are eligible for this booster dose, now through August 31 only.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Castle Area Servicing Study completed, to be presented to province

CDTL - On June 27, 2016 the Government of Alberta announced a $448,832 grant to support detailed design work to extend the MD of Pincher Creek's regional water supply system to include the community of Beaver Mines. In late March of this year the Government of Alberta announced a $9 million grant to extend the Beaver Mines potable water pipeline connection along Highway 774 to Castle Mountain Resort.

Agricultural fire northwest of Cowley


Chris Davis - Pincher Creek Emergency Services (PCES) was called to the scene of a fire on agricultural land northwest of Cowley near Range Road 2-0A/Township Road 8-0 this afternoon at approximately 2:30 pm.

Unidentified Canadian First World War soldier laid to rest

National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces - A First World War soldier who could not be identified by the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was today laid to rest with military honours at Canadian Cemetery No. 2 in Neuville-St. Vaast, France, within Canadian National Vimy Memorial Park. The Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, was in attendance at the ceremony.

Public meetings regarding repeal of Daylight Saving Time to be held in September

As announced in June of this year, the Government of Alberta has formed a committee to review Bill 203, the Alberta Standard Time Act, which would repeal the Daylight Saving Time Act and require the year-round observance of Alberta Standard Time, defined as being six hours behind co-ordinated universal time, meaning Alberta would remain on Mountain Daylight Time year-round. A subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future will be conducting public meetings to gather input for the review. “The result of this review could have an impact on the entire province of Alberta,” said Graham Sucha, Committee Chair and MLA for Calgary-Shaw in June, “It is important for this committee to hear from as many people as possible about Bill 203.”

Vehicle fire in Fort Macleod spread to a residence

RCMP Alberta - On Monday August 21, 2017 at approximately 5:15 pm Fort Macleod RCMP along with Fort Macleod Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire in the 300 block of 10 Street in Fort Macleod. Large amounts of black smoke were visible from a distance as a single vehicle fire spread to a second vehicle, and then to a nearby residence. RCMP members secured the scene, cleared the involved residence and evacuated nearby residences until the fire department arrived, and were able to extinguish both vehicles and the front of the residence. Thankfully no one was injured in the incident. Both vehicles were heavily damaged from the fire. Thanks to the swift response from Fort Macleod Fire Department, the residence involved suffered mostly exterior damage and was saved from major fire involvement. The cause of the fire has not been confirmed and the investigation is ongoing.

Vandals strike Pincher Creek's Cenotaph Park fountain and various other properties

Vandalized birdbath fountain at Cenotaph Park
Toni Lucas - Pincher Creek has endured a string of vandalism incidents in recent weeks, including damage to the birdbath fountain in Cenotaph park and graffiti to various properties around town. The vandalism has occurred both on public and private property.   "That park is done by volunteers," said Pincher Creek RCMP Constable Wallace. "So it's been a hard week on volunteers in this area. That is dedicated to the memory of our soldiers.  It strikes me as a really horrendous thing to do." Other properties have been defaced with grafitti, including the letters 'ISBG' (meaning unknown to us).  "We have noticed it popping up," said Cst. Wallace.  "The police will record it, then try to get it covered as quickly as possible."  He advises if you see grafitti, please report it to the local RCMP and then after it has been recorded cover the graffiti up so it does not become a normal or accepted thing in our community.  Affected properties include the former Bargain Shop, the Source, the old Source location, behind the Alberta Hotel, and street signs.

If anyone has information regarding these incidents, please contact the Pincher Creek RCMP at 403-627-6010.

Livingstone Cemetery tour hosted by KBPV Curator Farley Wuth

KBPV Curator Farley Wuth
Toni Lucas - Talking Tombstones was a graveyard tour of Livingstone Cemetery led by Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV) Curator Farley Wuth on the evening of Monday, August 21. Over 300 people are interred at the Livingstone Cemetery. The tour highlighted the lives of 24 pioneers that helped shape the beginnings of Lundbreck and area. The tour moved from marker to marker under the cover of night. Standing beside the grave sites, volunteers gave a summary of the life of early settlers. Wuth tried to create a tour that had a wide ranging representation of early life in a then fledgling community.

Made-in-Alberta machine guns seized

Following an eight-month investigation, ALERT has seized four prohibited firearms – including two homemade MAC-11 submachine guns – that were allegedly manufactured at a machinist shop just west of Edmonton.  ALERT Edmonton’s Guns and Gangs unit concluded its investigation on August 17, 2017, with the arrest of two suspects. Edmonton Police Service and RCMP investigators helped search two Edmonton homes and a rural property in Parkland County, where it is believed the guns were being manufactured.  ALERT is still investigating how many MAC-11s were manufactured, but it is believed some of these weapons have found their way to the criminal market.

Bob Westrop to be nominated for Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award

Bob Westrop
TLCD - At their August 22 regular meeting council for the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 decided to nominate Bob Westrop for a 2017 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award. Councillor Fred Schoening's motion was to nominate Westrop "for his years of volunteerism throughout the community." The nomination was in response to a letter from Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda soliciting nominations for "Albertans whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community are eligible to be nominated." Westrop is an ever-present force in the Pincher Creek community, acting as MC, auctioneer, and even preacher at many local events, including the annual Pincher Creek parade, the annual show at Heritage Acres, and Canada Day at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village. In 2012 Westrop was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The deadline for nominations for the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards is September 15, 2017.

Six awards, two in each category of youth, adult, and senior, are presented annually on International Volunteer Day, December 5, at Government House in Edmonton. Albertans whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community are eligible to be nominated. - Alberta Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Home invasion and assault with a weapon in Blackfalds

RCMP Alberta - On August 22, 2017 at approximately 12:33 pm, Blackfalds RCMP responded to a call to assist Emergency Services at a residence where a 47 year old male had been shot. Three male subjects in a dark blue Chevrolet Pickup truck had pulled in behind the residence, entering the garage, shoving a 35 year old female to the ground.  The subjects were wearing black bandanas covering a portion of their face.  The three males than entered the residence through the back confronting the 47 year old male.  An altercation occurred, during which the 47 year old resident was shot.

Vandals destroy volunteer effort to restore Chipman Creek fish habitat

Before: Volunteers working to restore Chipman Creek fish habitat

After vandals destroyed the efforts of Chipman Creek fish habitat volunteers

  • If anyone has information regarding this incident, contact the Pincher Creek RCMP at 403-627-6010.
"Literally, the entire project was ruined.  Everything that we put in place was displaced, and discarded.  But we'll keep going. The objective now will be to replace what can be salvaged at that site, and then try to come up with ways to prevent it from occurring again."  - M.D. of Pincher Creek Environmental Services Technician Lindsey Davidson

Lindsey Davidson, BSc. Environmental Services Technician, M.D. of Pincher Creek - A collaborate effort to restore fish habitat in Chipman Creek (a tributary of Pincher Creek), was made on Saturday, August 19. Volunteers from multiple organizations including Trout Unlimited Canada, The Oldman Watershed Council, The Oldman River Chapter of Trout Unlimited, The Municipal District of Pincher Creek and local community members came together in a coordinated effort to restore and re-vegetate a decimated stream crossing.

2017 Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo

Chris Davis - The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) came to town August 17-20 for the annual Pincher Creek Rodeo.  The event was very well attended, possibly setting a record, and the weather co-operated throughout as contestants vied for a spot in the Canadian Finals Rodeo, to be held  November 8-12.

Related stories:

Pincher Creek cowgirls with sponsor flags

RCMP police service dogs work hard in the fight against fentanyl

RCMP Alberta -
Earlier today, Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean, Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP, in collaboration with the National Police Dog Service Training Centre hosted a special RCMP police dog services demonstration in Innisfail, Alberta. The demonstration focused on police dogs trained to detect fentanyl.

Volunteers spruced up Pincher Creek ahead of rodeo weekend

Co-op's Stew Postlewaite and Co-op Volunteer Barb Sabo

Toni Lucas - Many around here know 'Old Paint' may be the nickname of a pinto horse, but new paint was visible all around the Agricultural grounds on August 16, Volunteer Lethbridge’s Project Paintbrush worked with members of Avail, Co-op and the Ag Society who collectively spruced the site up, getting it ready for the Pincher Creek Rodeo.

Grain truck loses encounter with a deer

Toni Lucas - At approximately 2:00 am Monday, August 21 a member of Livingstone Colony was driving a fully loaded grain truck on RR 15, a gravel road near the Cowley Glider Strip.  RCMP Cst. Wallace said the driver tried to avoid the deer, but as that area of the road has almost no shoulder and a very steep grade, once the wheels went past the road the driver lost control and ended up laying the vehicle on its side, dumping the grain.  The driver sustained on injuries.  The spilled grain has since been reclaimed.

Sarahah: Parents need to know about new "honesty" app

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents aware of a popular new anonymous feedback app called Sarahah, now one of the most popular downloads in the App Store.

What is the concern?

Initially created so that users could receive anonymous "constructive criticism" from friends and co-workers, Sarahah has quickly turned into a platform for cyberbullying and harassment.

What can parents do?

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection encourage parents to:
  • Talk to your teens about the harm anonymous message apps can cause and limiting their use of the app.
  • Ensure that teens who are using the app change the settings to remove them from the search function and only share their user names with people they know. To do this, tap on the person icon on the bottom right of the screen, select the gear icon (settings) at the top right, and under "Privacy" swipe left on "Appear in Search" and "Receive messages from non-registered users".
  • Review the app to ensure it is age appropriate – the App Store states that you must be at least 17 years of age to download Sarahah. has more online safety information for youth available here.

Province appeals AIT panel decision on breweries

Government of Alberta - President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Joe Ceci issued the following statement regarding the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) panel decision on the Alberta Small Brewers Development program:

“I am proud of the success of the Alberta Small Brewers Development (ASBD) program. Since the program started a year ago, 18 new breweries have opened their doors, created jobs and made great Alberta beer. In short, the program works and is doing what it intended.

Annora Brown lectured on the Buffalo Berry

Joyce Sasse - “No berry, except the Saskatoon, is mentioned more often in the journals of travelers in the west a few generations ago (the buffalo berry).” Annora Brown said when speaking to a Fort Macleod audience in 1939.

“The Indian name of the Bull-Berry, signifying Rabbit Berries, but the fruit was so commonly used as a garnish for the buffalo roasts and steaks of that day that the voyageurs were soon calling it Buffalo Grease or Bull Fat. From there it is a natural step to the common name of Buffalo Berry and Bull Berry, when the French-Canadian population began to be outnumbered by the English-speaking population.

Bike safety

Lisa Doyle

Lisa Doyle, AHS - As summer comes to an end and people are starting to arrive home from vacation, back to school becomes a major topic of discussion. With that in mind, it is important to talk to your children about bike safety as they may be riding to school. Bike safety is a significant issue as Statistics Canada has indicated in a report that from 1994 to 2012, on average, there were 74 cyclist deaths each year. There are, however, ways to prevent an injury or reduce the severity of an injury that may occur.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fire bans continue, hot and dry harvest season sparking fires

Fire bans in effect for most of southern Alberta

Area fire chiefs want to remind residents that a Fire Ban is in effect for most of southern Alberta, due to above normal temperatures, forecasted to continue, which continue to create the potential for fire starts and extreme fire behavior. The above normal temperatures are forecasted to continue. If you have a fire start or see a fire call 911 immediately.  Fire bans are in effect for the Town of Pincher Creek, the MD of Pincher Creek, and Piikani First Nation. All fires are banned and fire pit permits are suspended until further notice.

"If you see something that looks like smoke right now, we would rather go and investigate and find it is just dust, than find out it is too late and we have a wildfire." - Peigan Fire Chief Floyd Provost

Aftermath of fire at Piikani Nation (Peigan Fire photos)
Stubble fire at Piikani Nation

Peigan Fire responded to a stubble fire that was reported to 911 at 5:22 pm on August 18. Fort Macleod Fire provided mutual aid and assistance. The fire was burning south of the Peigan CPR Crossing in Band Farmland. Fire crews were on-scene until just after 12:30 am August 19. According to Peigan Fire Chief Floyd Provost a harvester was swathing a crop when a spark was created from contact with a rock, igniting straw stubble. The fire burned eastward approximately half a kilometre to the reserve boundary fenceline pushed by a westerly wind; and then crossed the municipal boundary and burned approximately two kilometers into the MD of Willow Creek before being contained by the creek bottom there. The fire burned a total length of approximately 2.5 km, and was approximately 1 km at the widest point. A large number of local farmers assisted in containing the fire. RCMP from Fort Macleod and Peigan assisted with traffic control and notification of a possible evacuation. Crop land, pasture land, a hay field, and fence lines were lost to the fire. Fire units were instructed to protect the power transmission line in the immediate area.

"With the tinder dry conditions right now, everybody should be aware right now, and be cautious about fires," said Provost. "Safety is paramount." He encouraged people to not wait before calling 911 with smoke sightings right now. "If you see something that looks like smoke right now, we would rather go and investigate and find it is just dust, than find out it is too late and we have a wildfire.

"With harvest in full swing, a lot of farmers are being extra cautious," added Provost, including having a water truck nearby when working in the fields, or having equipment ready to make a fire perimeter if anything does spark up.

Smoke from this fire could be seen far east of Fort Macleod.

Bale fire at Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony

Bale fire at PC Hutterite Colony
Pincher Creek Emergency Services (PCES) responded to a bale fire at the Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony on Sunday, August 20 at approximately 11:30 am.  The colony is located two miles west of Pincher Creek, just north of Highway 507.  Approximately one acre was affected, and approximately 30 straw bales were consumed.  The fire was largely under control by the time PCES arrived due to quick action from colony members.  "The Colony had actually put a guard around it with a disc (harrower), when we arrived," said PCES Chief Dave Cox.  PCES and the members of the colony worked together, breaking open bales and extinguishing the fire.  Cox explained that sparks caused by machinery or metal striking rock can easily turn into a blaze in the dry conditions we currently are experiencing.

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