- Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 09:59
- Written by Pat Kolafa | © DrumhellerMail.com
While the days of moonshining might be a part of Alberta's history, apparently the practice is alive and well at the Drumheller Institution.
A man who was serving at the Drumheller Institution pleaded guilty to running a still in his cell.
Kenton Butters appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, June 14. He faced two charges under the Federal Excise Act for producing spirits and for possession of a still. He pleaded guilty to both charges.
The court heard how on February 10 of last year, institution staff, during their morning rounds, smelled the scent of “jail brew”; fermenting material to produce alcohol.
They tracked the smell to Butters’ cell, where he was the lone occupant.
An image of a working still in a cell at the Drumheller Institution using simple materials such as containers, a heating element, toilet and some piping.
Inside they discovered the working still, which consisted of a heating unit in a kettle made from a cleaning chemical bottle and tubing to capture the alcohol. It used the toilet as a cooler to condense the product, before it was delivered to a final vessel. They discovered three litres of pre-distilled brew and three full 500 ml bottles of liquor.
Penalties for this offence could run up to $25,000 in fines. The Federal Prosecutor recommend one day sentence for the charge of producing alcohol and $1,000-$2,000 fine for the possession of the still.
Butters is no longer serving at the institution and is on parole. Judge Barley expressed his concern that the offense happened almost a year and half ago, and Butters had not been charged until May of this year. Butters also received internal sanctions at the institution.
Judge Barley was concerned that if Butters had been charged earlier, it may have added a short bit to his sentence, and would have been dealt with.
Butters was sentenced to one day, time served as well as an $800 fine.
Staff Sergeant Art Hopkins told The Mail that often brew at the institution is indicative of less drugs coming in. Drumheller RCMP have seized three working stills, as well as a couple that were not in production.
Corporal Mike Black said it has been years since a still had been seized in Alberta, in an institution or otherwise, and years since these types of charges have been pressed.
“It is nice to get a conviction and move forward from there. The stills won’t stop inside the institution,” said Black.
- Published on Sunday, 16 June 2013 08:00
- Written by Michael James | © DrumhellerMail.com
Fatherhood is an adventure few are fully prepared for and when it happens, nothing is ever the same.
Dale Johnston, who is a new father, shared his experiences about how life has changed after his son, Taden, was born only three months ago.
One of the biggest changes Dale noticed, was having to give up a few things, which might sound terrifying to some, but is worth it.
“It’s pretty life altering. Now, you’re looking out for them and you put your own stuff on the backburner,” said Dale. “It’s somewhat of a sacrifice, but totally worth it. It’s pretty cool, I’m not going to lie.”
Dale Johnston holds his three-month-old son Taden, with his wife Dana. Taden is the couple’s first child and Dale described how his life has changed since learning he was to become a dad. Though he has put some of his own interests aside, he is excited to embark on the adventure of being a father to Taden.
Dale and his wife Dana learned a year ago that they were expecting their first child. Up until then, the pressure was off. The news created some mixed emotions in Dale, who wasn’t sure he was ready for the challenge that would come from being a father.
“Excitement, shock, and scared for the unknown. You’re never 100 per cent to be a father, no matter how much you try to prepare yourself,” said Dale.
Dale is learning each day he has what it takes to be a dad, although he could do with a little more sleep.
“The sleep is not as consistent as it once was. You just survive on little sleep, but it gets better and better. Every night the little guy gets closer and closer to sleeping through the night,” said Dale.
Perhaps the most exciting part about being a father for Dale, is the opportunity to watch Taden grow and teach him.
“As one of the old farmers used to tell me, he’s growing like a ragweed. I can’t wait for him to grow up so we can play some catch, because I’m a big baseball nerd. I’m looking forward to doing stuff like that and seeing what the whole adventure entails,” said Dale. “He’s starting to learn more things, smile, and do all the little things. You can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Perhaps the biggest change Dale noticed after becoming a dad, is how it changed his perspective on his life.
“You don’t understand your life without them,” said Dale. “You can’t figure out why you didn’t have them earlier.”
- Published on Saturday, 15 June 2013 08:10
- Written by Pat Kolafa | © DrumhellerMail.com
So far, 11 dedicated Drumheller youth are signing up to take on a grueling trek from the Valley to Banff on bicycles this summer.
A number of Drumheller youth have taken up the Duke of Edinburgh Challenge and Two Wheel View is giving them a chance to fulfill many of their requirements during a seven-day bike trip. They are getting closer to hitting the road.
Grade 10 student Josh Wolfe is planning to go on the trek and put the experience towards earning his silver Duke of Edinburgh award. He has never taken on such a challenge before, but he is pumped.
“I have never really done a biking trip, but I have done lots of camping,” he said.
Most of the participants who registered for the trek, slated for August 20-27, are Duke of Edinburgh candidates. They have a lot to do to get ready for the ride, besides getting in shape to pedal up to 50 kilometres a day.
Two Wheel View outfits the riders with their bike and camping equipment, helps with route coordination, and orientations before the program. The participants have a number of responsibilities in preparing for the excursion. The biggest is fundraising.
Each participant has a fundraising goal of $750 and the group is already working on ways to come up with the funds.
This weekend they are hosting a barbecue at the Drumheller Co-op to raise the funds.
On June 22, they are hosting a major event at Freson Bros IGA. This includes a Bike Safety presentation from members of the Drumheller RCMP. Corporal Kevin Charles says Canadian Tire is also supporting the event with prizes and participants will be hosting a barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The group is planning to collect bottles and perform other fundraising endeavours. Look for them in the community working towards their goal.