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Last updateFri, 20 Jul 2018 1pm

Tyrrell launches mobile Museum app

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The Royal Tyrrell Museum is embracing mobile technology with the launch of its recent Museum app for Apple products.

The application allows users to enjoy tours, information from exhibits, maps, access events and programs, and even provides information for people on what to do when they find fossils of their own.

The current tour, ‘Journey Through Time,’ is 45 minutes long and guides users through Earth’s 4.6-billion year history and introduces them to the plants and animals that once lived in ancient Alberta.

In its early incarnation, the app is a replacement to the ‘wand’ audio devices previously used at the museum and currently provides tours in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Project coordinator Georgia Ohm says the audio wands made it difficult to add new material.

“That’s the great thing with this app --  we can keep adding new material and switch out stops easily, so it will always reflect what visitors see when they come in,” she said. “It also allows us to try some new approaches to storytelling in the museum.”

Users do not have to be located at the museum to use the app.

“It’s kind of fun to be able to take those stories home with you,” says Ohm.


Downtown plaza opens Thursday

Centre and third

The town is going ahead with plans to create a downtown plaza and walking space on Centre Street starting Thursday.
    Centre Street from 3rd Avenue to the alley behind the Napier Theatre will be closed from July 13 to September 1 so seating areas and useable space can be installed for a variety of activities such as farmer’s markets, festivals, and live entertainment. A platform for seating will be also be installed on 3rd Avenue.
    Benches, lights, and flower planters will be installed by town employees on Wednesday, July 11.
    Costs are estimated at $7-8,000 for planters and some equipment, which will be used again in the future.
    Planning is underway to arrange for entertainment every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for the remaining summer months and most of downtown’s businesses have agreed to remain open until at least 8 p.m. until September.
    Mayor Heather Colberg says the plaza will be a test project to gauge how popular and successful the plaza will be and to see if it will be implemented again next year.
    “The goal is to create a healthier community, to create a place where residents and our visitors can go, have activities, and support local merchants,” she says.
    “I’ve been fortunate to travel the world a lot and wherever I go I always look for this kind of place where you can go and hang out,” says Colberg.
Michael Todor of 3rd Avenue Arts says he is absolutely in favour of the move.
    “It will bring people into the downtown and more people means more money spent. It’s about creating an atmosphere,” he said.
    The Napier Theatre’s Jeff Larson says he is losing parking spots outside of his building but is in support of the plaza.
    “Anything’s worth trying to see if it works. My only concern is I am losing some parking, but if it works well then I’m for it,” he said.
    Residents have voiced concerns about the town focusing too much resources on supporting business downtown, but Colberg says the downtown is an important area for tourism and also is the home to a significant amount of businesses.
    “You have resistance on everything but it’s like anything else -- I tell people to give us a chance. You gotta start somewhere to create a vibe and then the goal is to carry that vibe throughout the community.”
    “If people have ideas on how we can carry it through the community then share them. I’m an open book,” she says.
    There will be performances from July 12 to July 14 with a local ukulele group performing Thursday, the Wayfaring Fiddlers on Friday, and the house band from Newcastle Bar playing Saturday.
    On Thursday there will be an antique car collection on display, Friday will feature board games, and on Saturday there will be a merchant sidewalk sale.

Sentence handed down in ATB fraud case

court house

A former Drumheller ATB employee was sentenced in court on July 6 to nine months in jail plus restitution of the funds taken in numerous cases of fraud. 

    Rebecca Tucker was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to defrauding senior customers while working as a teller at ATB between November 2015 and November 2016. The courts had previously heard Tucker had made 16 unauthorized withdrawals from seven accounts at the bank. The ages of the victims ranged from 73-89. Video surveillance showed the customer had appeared at the wicket on the dates the funds were taken, but the withdrawals were made after the clients had left. In all but three cases, withdrawal slips were completed, but with no signatures by the customers.
    Presiding judge Peter Barley said the defence’s previous request for an intermittent sentence was not appropriate, instead giving her a nine month sentence plus ordering she pay surcharges in the order of $47,538 to be collected by ATB Financial, which was the total amount defrauded. ATB had already reimbursed funds to the victims. 

Tucker was in tears as she was taken into custody after sentencing.


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