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Stettler RCMP investigate shooting, three arrested

At 1:30 p.m., Stettler RCMP responded to a 911 call reporting an alleged assault at a residence located in the northwest area of Stettler.  While investigators initiated a patrol for the suspect , a second call was received from the Stettler Hospital, reporting that there was a male being treated for gunshot wounds.
Investigators soon determined that the wounded male was the same one identified earlier in the assault investigation. 
The shooting victim,  a 29 year old male from Red Deer, was transported to Foothills Hospital by STARS with non life-threatening injuries.
A 27-year-old male, a 22-year-old male and an 18-year-old female, from the Stettler residence were arrested without incident and charges are pending.
All persons involved in the investigation are known to police and this was not a random incident.  RCMP believe there is no further risk to the public
Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details will be released at this time.

Writ dropped for May 5 election


    Ready or not the election is upon us, and the campaign is ramping up. In less than a month, a new provincial government will be in place, and  candidates are hoping to be a part of it going forward.
    Current MLA Rick Strankman says there is a positive attitude for the party going forward.
    “I feel in my heart we are on the right track with our principles of frugality and less government in Alberta. That has been the hallmark of the success in Alberta,” he said.
    Strankman says he still feels the government should have respected its own legislation and waited to call the election.
     “Ultimately the government made a law… so why would the pass a law if they were not going to follow it?” asks Strankman.
     He says the key to his campaign will be the constituent’s acceptance of the most recent budget brought down by the government. This includes income moving away from a flat tax for residents who make more than $100,000 and healthcare premiums for Albertans who make over $50,000.
    “This budget is the best reason I have seen to put the mandate to Albertans and see what they say,” said Strankman. “Our first perusal showed tax increases in 59 areas.”
    Another area of focus is healthcare.
    “We need to have healthcare that works,” he said. “There is a premium on healthcare for people who are in a more successful wage earning category. I don’t know if that bodes to the equality that we strived for in the province. I understood that healthcare delivery, access and cost are to all Albertans is supposed to be equal.”
    Another focus is property rights. While Premier Prentice repealed Bill 19 legislation that was not proclaimed, he still feels there are threats to property rights.
    PC candidate Jack Hayden says in the next 28 days he will be criss-crossing the riding to meet with constituents. He says the effects of falling energy process is forefront in his mind.
    “Right off the bat I am concerned about some of our constituents. In February, we lost 1,300 jobs out of the oilfield in the province, and I know we have lost them in the valley and area,” said Hayden. “It is going to be great when the oil prices come back and that is the only thing that is going to cure that.”
    Another concern for him is healthcare, particularly in the constituency.
    “Some of our rural hospitals are under attack,” he said. “The Edmonton Journal did a write up that said they should close the Oyen, Castor and Hanna hospitals. We need those hospitals there, it’s a huge issue.”
    He acknowledges there has been concerns with ambulance response times but says, the new rural health study will help alleviate that by making sure the hand-off of patients to hospitals from ambulances is done quicker.
    “If I am elected I will be sitting with Minister Mandel and talking about it,” he said.
    Education is another important aspect of rural life that he feels needs attention.
    “We need to look at some of the formulas again so that everybody gets fair treatment. It is not that anyone out here wants more than anyone else, we just want to be treated equally.  For example, the rural transportation grants for school buses are still locked in for 65 cents a litre for diesel fuel - when was the last time diesel was 65 cents?”
    Another concern he has heard from residents is wanting an answer from the province for funding for flood mitigation and proper flood mapping for the area.
    “We have to get it done, and we have to get it right because if we don’t, then nobody will be able to get insurance and nobody will be able to build anyway,” said Hayden.
    He is excited to get moving on the campaign.
    “I was through every community about four times during the nominations, and in the 28 day campaign I’ll be back in every community at least four times,” he said.
    “I don’t have the job yet, but I have never stopped working for the community…you can make a difference.”
    The NDP have named Emily Shannon as their candidate in the Drumheller-Stettler riding.  
    According to their website, that while Drumheller is her hometown, she has lived in Edmonton since 2002.   She discovered her passion for politics while working on Rachel Notley’s campaign. Currently  she has a position with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union #401.
    She is interested in seeing a change in government that reflects the interest of working and middle class Alberta families.

Dragons celebrate 2014/2015 season


    An evening of celebration and wishes of good luck took place this weekend during the Drumheller Dragons annual end of season awards banquet.

    Parents, billets, fans, staff members, and volunteers came together to celebrate the 2014/2015 Dragons season coming to an end on Saturday evening, and to wish good luck to the six players who are 20-years-old and will be moving on to other endeavours.
    The evening began with thank you’s from coaching staff to all those who made the 2014/2015 season a success.
    The first award given out was for the volunteer of the year.
    This year’s recipient was Susan Doyle who has volunteered for many years with the Dragons doing 50/50 at the games.
    The Chinook Financial Fan Favourite, presented by Junior Dragons fan Averie Thompson, was given to goaltender Curtis Skip.
    The Hardest Working Dragon for the 2014/2015 season was Carter Czaikowski and Tristan Thompson received the award for Rookie of the Year.
    Dakota Zaharichuk, one of six players who is 20-years-old and will be moving on from the Junior ‘A’ organization, received the award for top scorer during the season with 21 goals and  33 assists for a total of 54 points.
    The award for Academic Achievement was received by Craig Ofner and the Most Improved Player award went to Connor Duncan.
    Jim and Kari-Ann Faubion presented the Faubion Family Unsung Hero award to Jacob Schofield.
    Ryan Suchorab received three awards on Saturday evening, Top Defenseman, Most Valuable Player, and the Jeff Hendricks Memorial Award which was presented by Marty Weymark.
    Suchorab said it was great to see everyone get recognized, especially the volunteers and fans.
    Scott Ivey had many experiences in the community this past season and received the award for Community Involvement.
    The award for playoff performer went to Hunter Mills. Those in attendance were proud to hear Mills’ name when the award was presented after the controversy when the power failure occurred during the final game in the Camrose playoff series.
    Mills recalls the events in Camrose that night by saying, “I saw Tristan Thompson had the puck at the point, so I wanted to get in front of the net, had a good play, shot it off the boards and it went wide, there was a scramble for it, it ended up on my stick, right in front of the net, and I shot it, put it on the pads, put it on net and then I saw it go in. I saw it hit the mesh, I threw my hands in the air and then it just went black, I was just celebrating by myself. I just kind of looked around and saw everyone’s phones and some lights in the stands and I didn’t really know what was going on so I thought we had to celebrate in the dark, but it turns out that they didn’t count it. The ref said, it’s playoffs and you can’t count that which is understandable, everything happens for a reason.”
    Mills’ said receiving the award Saturday night was a huge honour. “I honestly thought it could have gone to five guys on this team if not more. It was awesome playing with these guys.”
    As the staff, fans and volunteers wish good luck to Skip, Mills, Zaharichuk, Suchorab, Mitchell Cook and Marcus Messier, they will now prepare to welcome new Dragons to the team for the 2015/2016 season with spring training camp which will take place this weekend at Memorial Arena.