Alberta | DrumhellerMail - Results from #15
Last updateFri, 24 May 2024 12pm
  • Conservatives Unite

    MLA Rick Strankman wasn't surprised that voting membership of the PC and Wildrose Party voted 95 per cent in favour pf unification

    The political climate shifted Saturday afternoon as the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta and the Wildrose voted to unite.

    Each party held a referendum on whether to move forward together or apart. A clear message was sent as 95 per cent of the Wildrose members that voted and 95 per cent of the voting PC members chose unity.

    While many described this as monumental, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, Rick Strankman wasn’t surprised.

    “I have been hearing that a long time in the constituency, where people are saying they are sick and tired of the NDP, and saying you guys got to get it done,” said Strankman.

    President of the Drumheller-Stettler PC Constituency Association Mark Nikota said the voting went as he expected.

    “I wasn’t that surprised, on the PC side, they did a lot of work for a long time on that. The number was quite high on the Wildrose side, I was a little surprised about that number,” he said. “When you look at it, the unity people were really encouraging people to buy memberships in both parties, so it’s not that surprising in the end because it was the same group of people that voted in both.”

    He says while it appears to be a strong show of support, of the eligible members, about 55 per cent turned out for the vote.

    “I know lots of people who were not in favour of it just didn’t bother voting, so I don’t know if it is as quite as strong as 95 per cent, but it doesn’t matter in the end, it is going forward,” said Nikota.

    The next step in the process is to pick a new leader. Jason Kenney has indicated he would run for the leadership of the new party and on Monday, Brian Jean officially launched his bid. MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills Nathan Cooper has been appointed the interim leader of the United Conservative Party.

    Strankman says they are still working on plans to go forward within the constituencies.

    “The interim joint board is supposed to be sending out some instructions and working on some form of modeling for the constituency associations to get together and legalize their relationship for the new party.”

    Strankman feels there should be a democracy path forward as they organize.

    “What ever has to be done, has to be done in a democratic fashion, it is a new dawn and that is something we have to recognize even as MLAs, we are representing tentatively a new party,” he said.

    Nikota also sees a democratic way forward.

    “The next steps are going to be interesting, basically, you are starting from scratch. My feeling is you have to have an open competition for everything, board spots in the local CA, as well as your nominees for the next election,” he said.

    “They have been touting all along that this is grassroots, open and honest. If they don’t have (open competition), that it flies in the face of everything they are putting out there.”

  • Coulee fire brings area fire departments together

    Coulee Fire 1

    At approximately two o’clock p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the Drumheller Fire Department was notified of smoke coming from a coulee southwest of Drumheller, due west of the Penitentiary and responded with two trucks and eleven firefighters. Upon arrival, they found a deep coulee full of spruce trees and tall grass engulfed in flames.

    After sizing up the fire and evaluating the risk of the fire spreading, the team requested mutual aid assistance from the Dalum Fire Department, Rosebud Fire Department, and Munson Fire Department. A tour helicopter provided some aerial reconnaissance for them as well. With lots of equipment and great teamwork, the fire was brought under control within a couple of hours.

    The cause of the fire is not known, but just as a reminder, there is a fire ban in the Drumheller area. This advisory represents a severe fire risk with respect to open air fires.

    Coulee Fire 2

    Open air fires include fires for the burning of weeds, grass, leaves; fires related to recreational uses in non-approved containers; and the burning of coal, straw and/or other materials. Please note the following regarding the fire ban restriction.


    Incinerators (for farm and acreage use)

    - All Fire Permits suspended

    - All Fireworks

    - Regulated burning barrels

    - Solid fuel barbeques (charcoal briquettes)

    - Recreational fire pits under Bylaw 04.07


    - Internal household fireplaces

    - Gas or Propane stoves and Barbecues that are CSA approved or UL certified

    - Portable propane fire pits that are CSA approved or UL certified

    - Catalytic or infrared-style heaters

    - Fires contained within approved facilities and appliances in designated camping and recreational areas.

    - Camp stoves

    Natural gas and propane barbecues are not affected by this fire ban restriction.

    This fire ban takes effect Friday July 28, 2017 at 4:00 P.M. and will remain in effect until further notice. This fire ban restriction is for all properties contained within the Municipal Boundaries of the Town of Drumheller.

    Coulee Fire 3

    Coulee Fire 4

    Coulee Fire 5

  • Dino Dedication

    Dinosaur Dedication to Hensley

    Ironosaurus Wrecks made his official debut at the Badlands Community  Facility Saturday, June 8. The newest dinosaur installation named Hensley, was designed and built by Knibb Construction. They held a short ceremony with prizes and cake. (l-r) Parker and Austin Knibb are joined by Jennifer Madsen and Shannon Healy to cut the ribbon and welcome Hensley.
    mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

  • Dragons keep building for season

    The Drumheller Dragons AJHL hockey team commit to another season of play with their schedule becoming available in

    The Drumheller Dragons are busy on the off season fortifying their lines, and a have added to their roster after completing a number of transactions.
        On June 16 they announced the completion of future considerations from a transaction finalized on January 10, with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Last January Captain Stefan Wood requested a trade, and this week the Dragons acquired 98 born forward Brett Edwards.
         Edwards brings experience. The Grande Prairie native had 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 114 games. Brett has 14 play-off games under his belt and was part of last year’s Oil Barons run to the final four in pursuit of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Gas Drive Cup. During that run, Brett scored 2 goals and added 2 assists.
        “Edwards is an experienced player from a respected program. He will add to the speed and depth of our team and will be relied upon to create in the offensive zone. We believe Brett will contribute on the special teams and he will be trusted in key situations during games,” said Dragons coach Kevin Hasselberg.
        This came a week after the Dragons picked up forward Dawson Bruneski. The team completed the futures from a transaction finalized on December 31, 2016 with the Whitecourt Wolverines. In exchange for 97 forward Evan Tschumi, the Dragons received the playing rights of 97 born defenseman Josh Bishop and now will add 99 forward Dawson Bruneski to complete the trade.
        “Dawson is a welcome addition to our hockey team. He is familiar with returning players on the current Dragons Roster and has earned the respect of his peers already at just 18 years of age. We believe Dawson can be an offensive contributor combined with his efforts to play a 200 foot game. His courage, grittiness, and selfless play will help forge the culture of our team as we head into the 2017/18 season,” said Hasselberg.Bruneski of Camrose Alberta played in 56 games last season and had 5 goals and added 13 assists for 18 points.
         Dragons’ prospects will be arriving in Drumheller for Main Camp on August 25th for fitness testing. The first ice sessions are scheduled for August 26. A full schedule will be made available on the Dragons website in early August.

  • Drumheller Halloween a success

    Witches, dragons, superheroes, butterflies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more filled the halls of Greentree School for the traditional Halloween parade on October 31.
    Grade six students were the first to start the parade. They would walk around the next grades classroom before moving to the next.
    The class that was waiting would file behind the other class to continue the parade. When all the classrooms were reached, they would head to the gym where excited parents took pictures.
    Later in the day, Downtown Drumheller was flooded with more impressive costumes. Business owners and staff waited out in the cold or in the front entrance of their buildings and handed out numerous amounts of candy.
    The Pioneer Trail Seniors Centre said they have seen a year as high as 900 children due to perfect weather conditions.
    The overall temperature for the day was resting around 2 degrees celsius with a skiff of snow which immediately melted. By the end of the day, the snow had turned to rain.
    mailphotos by Terri Huxley

    20171031 Halloween Parade TJH 0020

    Sully Farmer, 1, was dressed as a dragon for Halloween. As everyone waited for the costume covered kids to arrive, Farmer would occasionally move around and retrieve his ball before throwing it again, enjoying every minute of it.

    20171031 Halloween Parade TJH 0113

    Mr. Robert Rowland led his grade one class around the gym during the parade.

    20171031 Halloween Parade TJH 0040

    Many were excited to take photos of the variety of costumes the students had to offer. The three blind mice were even in attendance.

    20171031 Halloween Parade TJH 0052

    Students waved to happy parents during their single-file parade.

    20171031 Halloween Parade TJH 0076

    Kayla Clark takes a photo of one of the classes on the stage. She was dressed up as a mounted Giraffe.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0145

    Vanessa Pitre began her Halloween in Downtown as a Penguin.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0257


    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0176

    Larry-Lo Morton of the Pioneer Trail Seniors Centre dressed up and asked children to toss a ball into a bucket to win some candy. The entire centre was dedicated to Halloween with a ball toss, a fishing game, and more.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0184

    (l-r) Chad Stern, left, and Clint Keller stood outside handing out candy. They had mounted a skeleton dinosaur to the back of their truck to get into the Halloween spirit.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0210

    The Hatt family dressed up with a Star Wars theme in mind.
    Pictured above: Geoff Hatt; Janelle Hatt; Brody Hatt; Devin Hatt.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0215

    Beckett Norman gets handed a piece of candy from Century 21 staff.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0226

    Beckam Jensen was elated to hand out candy. Here he is showing off some of the loot before giving it away to another trick-or-treater.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0237

    Emily Lowry was monkeying around for Halloween and helped hand out candy.

    20171031 Downtown Halloween TJH 0273

    Mike and Carol Tudor dressed up as ‘Sick and Tired’. They stood outside Third Avenue Arts to hand out candy.

  • Dry weather spawns field fires

    fire departments

    A call came into the Drumheller Fire Department at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. A stubble fire had started, roughly 4 km North of the top hill between Munson and Drumheller. Munson Fire as well as Drumheller Fire Department arrived on scene monitor the situation as a scheduled stubble fire was permitted. 

    arial map of fire

    The location of the fire is pictured above^

    20170528 Munson Field Fire TJH 055

    The sheer size of the smoke that was overlapping the road as well as enveloping the clear blue sky.

    far way blaze

  • Farmers get jump on growing season

    20170701 Powwow TJH 0328

    (mailphotos by Terri Huxley)

    For most farmers, the crops are in and it is looking like a great start of the year.

    The Mail checked in with local Agricultural Service Boards and so far, they like what they are seeing.

    “The growing season up to this point has been pretty nice, the crops have germinated evenly and the amount of material there is pretty impressive,” said Starland Ag Fieldman Al Hampton. “In general terms, at least in Starland County, a pretty good crop is on its way. East of Highway 56 is a little further advanced and maybe a little better crop at this point, but in general terms everyone is pretty happy.

    He adds that it looks like there is going to be a good yield on hay.

    Kneehill County Assistant Ag Fieldman Fallon Sherlock says it looks like crops are progressing well in her area, although some were still dealing with last fall’s struggles.”

       “From everything I have seen, everybody got their seeding in, it was a little bit of a late start as a few still had crops in the field and had to deal with the excess litter because they didn’t get to bale, or crops were too heavily lodged to actually take off,” she said.  

    “But as far as everyone I talked to, they had a fairly good seeding and pretty much everyone is done spraying. The wind and the rain did delay spraying a bit.


    20170701 Powwow TJH 0298

    She said the next challenge would be haying.

       “Whether or not we can start taking that hay crop off and hopefully getting that first cut, getting it to dry and not having the winds interfere,” she said.

    According to the Alberta Crop report, so far, in the central region, 80.7 per cent of crops are being reported as in good or excellent condition, and 70.2 per cent of surface soil moisture is rated at good or excellent.

    Hampton said there are always concerns.

    “One thing I have heard that with the amount of canopy with the crops, guys are a little concerned about it getting too dry in a hurry because we have gone through a lot of water. That is a concern, but I don’t think anything is under threat at this point,” said Hampton.

    He adds the humidity could also be concern sing as it could lead to hailstorms.

    “Most crops are about as lush and thick as I have seen them, so far so good, but we have a long way to go obviously,” said Hampton.


  • Flooding options for flood mitigation present to Council

    thumb IMG 7837 1024

    Terri Huxley
    The Drumheller Mail

    Town Council is moving forward in preparing to take on two flood mitigation projects.
    Drumheller was approved in 2015 under the Alberta Community Resilience Program in the amount of $6.4 million for two flood mitigation priorities at 90 per cent government funding to 10 per cent municipal of cost sharing.
    Council has given first reading to two bylaws. One is to borrow $516,000, the municipal portion of a $3,727,000 for a project in East Midland and Newcastle. The second is to borrow $497,400, the municipal portion of a $3,718,000 project for the construction of a new berm and to raise existing berming in Central Drumheller.
    So far the adaptation of two borrowingbylaws ensures that the borrowing option is in place and the dollars can be accessed immediately when the funding agreement anddyke ownership is finalized with the provincial government.
    With that being said, Town Council intends on debating the consequences of borrowing versus using reserves prior to the final reading.
    Drumheller has had an ongoing discussion surrounding the municipal portions with Provincial and Federal governments, hoping to eliminate or minimize the cost.
    “We’ve worked hard and will continue to work hard to get the maximum amount of funding from the Province and Federal Governments, but it’s time that we get the shovels in the ground to make sure that we are protected from future flooding,” said Mayor Terry Yemen.
    Although, a further grant program from the Federal government may be available down the road to help offset future flood mitigation projects, right now there is no more funding to help the current portions being upheld by the Town. For now, the Town of Drumheller is applying for Federal funding at the end of this month for future flood mitigation projects.
    In summary here are the two finalized projects.
    The first project which is East Midland andNewcastle, has the majority of residents located within the flood fringe. The total 2014 assessed value for residents, not including land, isapproximately $51 million.
    In Midland and Newcastle combined, to protect against the potential of future floods, the existing berms will be built higher as well fixing problems such as erosion control, riverbank stability, and installation of a drainage pipe with a backflow preventer between North Railway Avenue and the CNR tracks.
    Theestimate cost for the project will reach $3,727,000 with the provincial contribution of $3,211,000 and a municipal cost of $516,000. The benefitted cost would be $13.7 million.
    The second project – Central Drumheller 2nd Street West to 5th Street East – will requireconstruction of a new berm andraising the existing berm to help protect central Drumheller from future flooding.
    The total cost of this project will be an estimated $3,718,000 with the province pitching in $3,202,600 and the town putting $515,400 towards it. The assessed value of this portion of the town is at $49 million and has a benefitted cost of 13.4 million.
    Once the funding agreement is signed, the town will proceed to the design phase with hopes of tendering the project this fall.
    “As we work on finalizing the funding agreement, the town is proactively looking at taking steps that will reduce the likelihood of project delays down the road,” said CAO Ray Romanetz.
    For a more detailed scope of the projects, visit

  • Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike embraces valley

    20170606 Heart and Stroke Big Bike TJH 004

    The RBC gold medal team presents a cheque to Heart and Stroke Foundation area manager Josie Doll. The Big Bike is structured to hold 29bikers including the driver to make a total of 30 people at any given time. 


    RBC, Scotia Bank, CIBC, and Western Financial participated in the Big Bike Ride held by the Heart and Stroke Foundation on a trail around town in support of critical heart and stroke research on Tuesday, June 6 at the Badlands Community Facility in Drumheller. 

    “A lot of it’s about team building, about getting out, getting active, getting your heart rate going, and that sort of thing,” said Josie Doll, Heart and Stroke Foundation Area Manager. 

    The groups raised over $10,000 with RBC taking on their fourth year and becoming a gold medal team after raising more than $5,000. Medals are awarded to teams that reach and or exceed the $5,000 goal.

    “That's a lot of money to raise from a small town especially,” said Doll. “We were lucky to have a very beautiful day – clearly great people involved in doing that for us.”

    Each bike holds 29 riders with the addition of a driver who announces and plays music during the ride.

    “It’s quite a unique experience really for people to get on there and to see it moving,” said Doll. “There is no motor, so we actually do pedal that thing. It can be hard work but everybody had a lot of fun on it so we’ll be back again next year.”

    20170606 Heart and Stroke Big Bike TJH 016

    The Heart and Stroke Foundation plans to reach a southern Albertan goal of $75,000 in support of Heart and Stroke research this year. So far, a grand total of $60,000 has been raised across the southern half. The bike itself can be found all across Canada but two can be found in the province during the summer months.

    “It’s really like you are part of something very large,” said Doll. 

    The money raised usually goes towards research at Universities like the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.

    “There are a number of things where the money goes,” said Doll. “We placed AEDs throughout the country – that was part of the plan last year so we have 8,000 of them across Canada.”

  • Hey Romeo to open for Bachman at Passion Play Amphitheatre

    Hey Romeo

    Drumheller’s own Rob Shapiro and band Hey Romeo will be returning to the valley as opening act for Randy Bachman on August 26.

    Hey Romeo just appeared at Westerner Days in Red Deer and right before the Drumheller show, the band will be playing with High Valley in Paradise Hill, Sask., a small town outside of Lloydminster.

    For Hey Romeo fans, more new music is on the way.

    “Darren Gusnowsky and I from Hey Romeo have been writing music for a new project and have had a couple of trips to Nashville to write with our favourite writers there,” said Rob Shapiro, keyboardist for the country-pop band, in an email interview.

    “Now we have narrowed the new music down to our favourites and are in the middle of bringing them to life in our home studios.”

    Shapiro himself has been busy producing new hits as a freelancer.

    “This summer I also spent some time freelancing, helping out a friend, Aaron Goodvin and played the Nashville North at the Calgary Stampede and at Cavendish Beach in Prince Edward Island,” recounted Shapiro. “I appeared in his new video called Lonely Drum which actually just went gold this week, so that was a blast.”

    Hey Romeo is set to head to the CCMA’s in Saskatoon this year and are looking forward to it.

    To grab your tickets, check out the Canadian Badlands Passion Play website here.

  • Hussar viability review on hold for municipal election

    hussar pic

    A viability review for the Village of Hussar has been suspended as the municipal election looms near.

    The Village requested the Minister of Municipal Affairs to complete a viability review in the summer of 2015. As defined by the Ministry, a viability review is a process where a municipality's governance, finances, infrastructure, and services are reviewed to determine whether changes are required for the community to remain viable.

    Mayor Tim Frank tells The Mail, the suspension of the review is the normal course of the process when an election falls in the same timetable of a review.

    “It has been put off until the end of the election, by ministerial order,” said Frank. “It is the same with every one of the viability studies in the province. It just takes a little uncertainty out of the elections.”

    While a viability review typically takes about a year, Hussar has been going on now for about two.

    “Our infrastructure study took a long time. We are basically waiting on the results of a few final things to finish the infrastructure report,” he said.

    A viability review is not a dissolution study, but a strategy to improve long-term viability. A team was assembled with representatives from the Ministry, the Village of Hussar, Wheatland County, and municipal associations. Throughout the process, there are the consultations with the community. The village initiated the infrastructure review in early 2016.

    According to the ministry, if a municipality is trending towards viability, the review will be concluded. If it is trending towards non-viability, the process moves into its second phase.

    This phase includes a viability plan and typically comes down to two options. These include remaining as a municipality, but making changes into the way the municipality is governed or administered, or to be dissolved into an adjacent municipality.

    It states, “If council votes in favour of dissolution, a public vote is held by ministry staff to determine the community's preference on the options presented.”

    Currently, there are 10 communities in the province undergoing a viability review.

    Frank expects the process will wrap up around the end of the year or early in 2018.

  • K-9 Unit seizes contraband worth $36,800.

    Correctional Officer Jeffrey Hood and his K-9 companion Cotton seized over $36,000 worth of contraband from the Drumheller institution on July 6, 2017.

    Drumheller Institution Correctional Officer and K-9 Handler Jeffrey Hood and his pup Cotton found a combined total of $36,800 worth of illicit drugs on June 6, 2017.

    In their routine K-9 search, Cotton alerted Hood to what turned out to be 29 grams of Fentanyl as well as 24 grams of MDMA. The fentanyl alone was worth $20,000 in institutional value and the MDMA was an additional value of $16,800.

    This latest seizure is Hood and Cotton’s largest. A massive part of the Drumheller Institution’s strategy is to eliminate contraband.

    Drugs found at Drumheller Institution on July 6, 2017 Drugs found at Drumheller Institution on July 6, 2017

    On the left is the seized Fentanyl which weighs approximately 29.69 grams. The right photo depicts the MDMA which weighed approximately 24.74 grams. 

  • Local woman captures video of hoodoo defacing

    A man is caught on video defacing the protected hoodoo site east of Drumheller, Alberta, on August 3, 2017

    A local woman has turned footage of a man etching words into the Hoodoos to the RCMP to investigate.

    Paula Peake told the Mail she was at the Hoodoos at about 1 p.m. with her family Thursday, August 3, when she witnessed a man engraving letters on the site. She filmed the incident with her smartphone and followed the man and his party to their vehicles when they left.

    “If nothing is done, it invites others to do the same,” Peake stated.

    The man inscribed the word Metten into the site.

    Peake said she reported the incident once she was home and had cell service.

    She also posted the short video on social media where it was met with strong reactions.

    The word metten was etched into the hoodoos on August 3, 2017

    This is not the first time an incident like this has happened. In 2011, the Mailreported that a Calgary man received a $1,000 fine from Judge Grieve for etching the word Columbia in the hoodoo. He too was observed by a civilian who passed the information on to the police.

    The Hoodoos are protected under the Alberta Historical Resources Act and a violation of the act can result in up to $50,000 in fines. 

    The video can be seen below. 





  • Lockdown of Drumheller Institution has now ended

    The lockdown put in place at Drumheller Institution on June 3, 2017 has ended and an exceptional search has been completed. The institution has resumed its normal operations.

    Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is strengthening measures to prevent the entry of contraband into its institutions in order to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone. CSC also works in partnership with the police to take action against those who attempt to have contraband brought into correctional institutions.

    Visits to the institution have resumed.

  • Man sentenced to 18 months for string of crimes

    A Drumheller man has been sentenced to 18 months at the Drumheller Court House

    A Drumheller man has been sentenced to a year and a half in jail after pleading guilty to a long list of offenses including misleading police, uttering counterfeit currency and being in possession of stolen vehicles.
        Jeffrey Morse appeared in provincial court in Drumheller to make his pleas on Friday, June 23, 2017.
        The court heard how on December 6, 2014, Morse, a disqualified driver, was operating a vehicle when he passed through a check stop. He provided the officer with another person’s name. Police determined the person whose name he had used had a warrant for his arrest. Morse then admitted it was a false name. He pleaded guilty to obstructing a peace officer investigation and driving while disqualified.
        He also pleaded guilty to a breach of his release on September 20, 2016, by being in a motor vehicle without the registered owner.  He was involved in a single vehicle rollover driving his mother’s vehicle.
        He was also charged on November 19, of passing counterfeit $50 American bills at the Drumheller McDonald’s and the Extra Food Gas bar.
        On January 9, he was in Hanna at a truck stop when a passerby reported he and others in a recently stolen truck with a stolen snowmobile. When police arrived, Morse was searched and police discovered a small amount of marijuana.
        While he was in custody police learned there might be more stolen vehicles at his father’s home. They obtained a search warrant and on January 24, 2016, in a garage police discovered a stolen Chev Avalanche and a stolen Honda motorcycle.
         Morse has an extensive criminal record and has spent 118 days in pretrial custody. The crown and defense agreed on an 18-month sentence, giving Morse credit 1:1.5 credit for his pretrial custody, leaving 12 months to be served.

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