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Last updateThu, 01 Dec 2022 3pm

15-month sentence for flight from police

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A Joffre man is facing a 15-month jail sentence upon pleading guilty after attempting to evade Three Hills RCMP.
Spencer Black, 24, appeared in provincial court in Drumheller via closed circuit television on Friday, November 25. He pleaded guilty to an array of charges, stemming from an incident on November 1, 2021.
Three Hills RCMP received a call from a farmer reporting a suspicious vehicle near a lease site on his property.
Officers responded and identified the suspect vehicle as one that had fled from them earlier in the evening. The male suspect attempted to flee on foot and was promptly arrested.
Upon searching the vehicle police located break-in tools as well as a set of brass knuckles.
Black pleaded guilty to flight from police, operating a vehicle in a dangerous manner and possession of a weapon.
He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of possession of stolen property with a value over $5,000 from a separate incident in Wainwright.
Defence for Black noted on that evening, he and a girlfriend attended a Halloween party. When the girlfriend saw the RCMP she expressed she had warrants, prompting Black to flee.
The judge went along with a joint submission from the Crown and defence for a 13-month sentence for the incidents on November 1, 2021, and two months for the charge originating in Wainwright, to be served consecutively.

Red Bag Food Drive sees reduced donations

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Volunteers gathered at The Salvation Army on Thursday evening, November 24 to help sort items collected during the annual Red Bag Food Drive. Community and Family Services and Anti-Violence coordinator Amanda Courtenay says donations were down about 60 to 70 per cent compared to 2021. She notes, although the decrease was anticipated, it highlights the importance of the Kettle Campaign this year. The food drive collected approximately three months worth of food items for the food bank, though it is still in need of items like soda crackers, soups, and cereals.

Province doubles 211 funding

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Alberta’s government announced on Wednesday, November 23 it would double its funding to 211, which helps connect Albertans with resources and services, from $7.5 million to over $15 million over the next three years.
Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Nicholas Milliken held a virtual media roundtable on Thursday, November 24 to highlight how this additional funding will help support Albertans looking to connect with local addictions and mental health services.
“Since about 2020, 211 has seen some pretty significant increases in call volume and call duration,” Minister Milliken explained.
This increase has been across the board and not solely limited to mental health and addictions support, and Minister Milliken notes the additional funding will help satisfy rising demands in a number of ways, including increased staffing levels.
The additional funding will also allow 211 to further develop existing partnerships, and help connect individuals seeking support either through local in-person or virtual support.
“It can be a life changing call for these individuals. When they make that call, they are often in a place where they’re struggling,” Minister Milliken said.
While the funding is geared towards critical support for mental health and addictions, Minister Milliken explains the funding will also help reduce barriers to access to ensure all Albertans have timely access to these services.
“We identified the need and built policies to make sure people can get to a place of wellness where they are leading good, productive lives,” Minister Milliken says.
Mental Health and Addictions was recently moved from an associate ministry to a full ministry by new Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, which has given the department more support. Minister Milliken adds this funding is part of the plans to develop a “recovery-oriented system of care,” which is something the ministry has been working towards for the past several years.


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