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Last updateFri, 20 Jul 2018 1pm

Car calendar to raise funds for cystic fibrosis

bobra family

The local parents of two children with cystic fibrosis are creating a classic car calendar to help raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
    Chelsea and Stephen Bobra will be selling the calendar in September and will donate funds to the not-for-profit organization which aims to find a cure for the disease they have been living with since their children were born.
    Sebastian, 8 months, and Winnie, 2, were born with the genetic disease which affects the lungs and digestive system. The degree of CF severity differs from person to person, but typically there is persistent lung infections with gradual destruction of the lungs and lung function. They must have two physio sessions daily to break up mucus in their lungs, take numerous pills (Winnie takes up to 50 pills a day), and eat a high fat, high sodium diet.
    “It takes up a lot of time, but it’s all we’ve ever known,” says Stephen. “It was the road we were given.”
CF is passed from parents who carry the disease in their genes. Alberta Health screens babies when they are born with the disease but do not offer parents testing unless they have a proven history of the disease in their family. There is no known cure.
    While they deal with the extra responsibility of being parents of Sebastian and Winnie, Chelsea and Stephen have also regularly raised funds for CF Canada and have totalled about $3,000 in the last three years. Chelsea plans to attend the CF Canada Walk in Machu Picchu this year and has a minimum fundraising goal of $4,200.
    The calendar will feature rides like a 44 Ford Roadster and 2008 Mustang GT 500 which were submitted by local people, with photography being donated by Broken Curfew Photography. The calendar will have wider appeal by featuring photographs with the badlands as a backdrop.
    Those interested in purchasing a calendar in September can call Stephen (403-436-0086)  or Chelsea Bobra (519-619-2774) for details.


Rural crime still ‘hot topic issue’ in region

cruiserdoor

Rural crime continues to frustrate residents as reports of crimes like property theft and attempted break and enters are regularly reported by police and on social media.
    “All over the southern part of the province rural crime is a hot topic,” says Hanna RCMP Constable Braden Marlow. “It has increased as people are going out and taking advantage of the rural areas.”
    Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles says while he is not seeing abnormal trends in crime in the region, he says a lot of the crimes taking place are those of opportunity.
    “People are still leaving their vehicles unlocked and running. Gone are the times that you can do that,” he says, adding the best way to prevent being a victim is to secure your property.
    “Perhaps because it’s recorded more and analyzed more now because rural crime is a hot topic, but it’s not like it’s running rampant,” he said.
    S/Sgt. Charles says while individuals from urban-centres like Calgary are committing offences in this jurisdiction, there are certainly criminals who call Drumheller home.
    “I think there is a core group of people who are responsible. It’s fueled by wanting stolen property and that could be for drugs or for a source of income. We have a couple in Drumheller who we are keeping tabs on but there are also criminals from other jurisdictions who steal a vehicle and commit offences throughout the rural area – it makes things difficult,” he said.
    Rural crime poses particular challenges to RCMP members compared to city crimes. Small towns and villages can be 20 to 30 minutes away from the nearest detachment, giving criminals plenty of getaway time before police can respond. There is also less security and surveillance on rural properties and residents out in the country may not be as likely to secure their property.
    The NDP government earlier this year pledged $10-million to the RCMP to fund up to 39 new RCMP officers and around 40 civilians in response to concerns raised by rural Albertans about crime rates in their community.
    The United Conservative Party recently released a report on rural crime and strategies to combat it based on consultations with rural residents and organizations. The report suggests crime has increased 250 per cent in some communities and identifies police response time, court delays, and repeat offenders as some of the causes. Some recommendations include streamlining the court system and creating stronger communication between detachments and rural crime watches to increase intelligence capabilities of the RCMP.
    Drumheller-Stettler UCP MLA Rick Strankman says he hears ‘frustration’ from his constituents regarding crime in their communities.
    “They’re compassionate to police but it seems there is a lot of frustration in regards to our legal system. There’s a lot of congestion, and in many cases, there is a lack of, should I say, justice,” Strankman says, people often view sentences handed down to criminals as unproportional and inadequate to the crime.
    S/Sgt. Charles says the detachment has been using the tools at its disposal to combat crime here. They have talked about acquiring a bait car to catch car thieves, and are using intelligence-led policing to help catch regular offenders.
    “We have some other programs available as well, things I can’t get into, but we’re working at it. It’s one criminal at a time here,” he says.

Local riders compete at Calgary Stampede

Zeke Thurston 300x240

Three-time Calgary Stampede Champion Zeke Thurston was hoping to make history with four wins in a row, but it was a tough crowd at this year’s event.
    The saddle bronc rider started strong winning on Day 1 with an 89 on  Stampede Warrior and finished third on day 3 with an 85.5  and third again on Day 4. He finished second in the pool in money.
    At Sunday afternoon’s performance, he was back on top, but Sunday night saw Milford, Utah rider, Ryder Wright take the top spot. Thurston’s second-place finish was still good enough for a $25,000 purse.
    Thurston wasn’t the only local competitor at the Stampede. Carbon bareback rider Cole Goodine was also in the hunt. Day 2 saw his best performance where he tied for third place and earned $3,000.
    On Saturday, July 14 he performed well in the wild card rounds. This is where the top two finishers earn a spot in the Sunday show for a chance to get back in the winner’s circle.
    Goodine scored an impressive 87, tying him for second and a berth into the final. They went to money earned to break the tie and Clayton Biglow went on to compete Sunday.
    Big Valley barrel racer Diane Skocdopole also competed but was not able to move out of the pool rounds.


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