News | DrumhellerMail - Page #12
Last updateFri, 23 Sep 2016 11pm

Fall Sports, Recreation and Art Expo this Wednesday

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Looking for a one-stop shop to learn about all the programming for youth, adults and families?

Look no further than the Fall Sports, Recreation and Arts Expo coming up on September 7.

Program coordinator at the Badlands Community Facility Kim Masson says about 30 exhibitors will be present. Everything from sports teams to service clubs will be on display. There are also many opportunities to see the offerings from the art community; from music to dance and everything in between.

The Town of Drumheller will also have displays outlining the programming it is offering for the coming season.

Masson says this is an opportune time to learn more about what is offered and also to register. Demonstrations of some activities will be available at the Expo.

Potential cougar sighting poses little risk, says wildlife officer

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A potential cougar sighting near Bankview on Thursday evening caused concern from some residents on social media, but a district wildlife officer says cougars are a low threat to humans and pets.

Diana Hanik posted on Facebook after a neighbour spotted the animal in the hills near their home around 1 Street SW in Drumheller on September 1. She told the Mail although she didn’t see the animal herself, the neighbour said the animal was between 60 to 70 lbs.

“There was definitely something big back there. The dogs were barking like crazy,” Hanik said.

Resident Stacy Allison saw what she thought at first was a house cat but later thought it looked too big.

“It looked like a long sleek body of a cat. Thinking back, I was watching it go down the hill and it was bigger than your average house cat. But it was far enough away that I didn’t consider perspective,” she said.

District fish and wildlife officer Jeff Zimmer said although the sighting is possibly founded, 97 per cent of cougar sightings are false and confirmed sightings are usually made by identifying tracks after the animal is long gone.

“Some people think they are like bears and they come into yards to eat dog food, but that’s not the case. When there’s human activity there is less chance of a cougar to be found,” he said. “It’s possible a cougar could have wandered into the area but by the sounds of it it ran away once people came outside.”

Zimmer said cougars follow rivers, creeks, and coulees where there is an abundance of deer, porcupines, rabbits and other small mammals.

He said Drumheller has had regular sightings since the early 2000’s, but he has only found two cases where it was a sighting seemed probable.

“With my experience with sightings is that unless I can confirm it with a track or picture or a cached kill, I can’t confirm it.”

Traditionally, he said, people see things that they think are cougars but they turn out to be cats or dogs. Cougars can be identified by a small head, long body, and a long tail with a black tip. If they don’t have those features, more often than not it's an average house cat.

“Cougars are very distinctive. In some cases, they think they saw a cougar and the more they think about it the more they want to believe it’s a cougar.”

“As far as public safety goes, cougars are not a concern. Cougar attacks in Alberta are rare and we’ve only had one fatality ever. In areas with lots of human activity, you won’t find a cougar unless it’s lost or very young,” Zimmer said.

RCMP to target equipment infractions this September

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Drumheller RCMP will be cracking down on vehicle equipment violations in September, but not without giving drivers of vehicles with potential infractions a grace period to have their vehicles evaluated. 

Starting September 14, Drumheller RCMP and other rural detachments will be partnering with Alberta Sheriffs to heavily target vehicles for equipment infractions such as tinted windows and brake lights, missing mudflaps, license plate covers, and other unsafe vehicle modifications. Until this date, drivers unsure of the legality of their vehicle’s equipment are being invited by officers to bring their vehicle to the detachment for an evaluation, free of the fear of being ticketed.

“The kids are going back to school and we want all vehicles on the road to be as safe as they can be, all the time,” said Constable Eric Doucette. “It’s kind of an underlying issue not just in Drumheller but across the province.”

The top issue for the detachment are tinted windows, and while Doucette says most drivers with this modification are aware of its illegality, many don’t understand why.

“It’s illegal because that plastic film that attaches to the glass changes the way the glass breaks should it need to be broken, such as in an accident or rollover where EMS needs to break the window,” said Doucette. “From an enforcement standpoint, we enforce this because people who are texting or not wearing their seatbelts can’t be seen and if we can’t see those violations we can’t enforce those other safety issues.”

Other issues include the removal of mudflaps from trucks or fender mods causing a truck’s wheels to stick out beyond the vehicle. Vehicles in Canada are also required to have daytime running lights. Brake lights may be tinted but there must be adequate red light coming through, Doucette said, while also noting tinted license plate covers are illegal as they prevent photo radar tickets, and there is a minimum distance officers need to be able to see it in order to read the numbers.

The grace period will run until September 14 and thereafter officers will be targeting equipment infraction hard for a period of time.

“I’d like to say permanently, but after we do this work with Alberta Sheriffs it will go back to current enforcement. That being said, if I stop someone out there I’ve ticketed before I’ll issue a ticket.”

How upset are you that the new iPhone 7 has no spot for headphones?
  • I use wireless headphones so not at all.
  • Extremely, it is an added expense to buy something else.
  • I was going to upgrade, but I will just keep my flip phone.