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Last updateFri, 03 Apr 2020 4pm

Man receives probation for possession of stolen property, assaults


    A young man whose move to Drumheller was designed to help him get on the straight and narrow, is now on probation after being sentenced on a number of charges including assault, possession of stolen property and mischief.
    Andrew Edwards, 29, was in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, April 23 for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property, possession of drugs, assault with a weapon, assault, mischief and a number of breaches on an earlier date.
    Edwards was picked up on September 29, 2009. RCMP in Drumheller were alerted to a stolen Audi from Calgary in town. They placed surveillance on the car, and Edwards and a number of other individuals were observed in the car.
    The car was pulled over and the occupants arrested. Upon searching Edwards, police discovered seven tabs of oxycontin and a stolen iPod. When asked if he had any other stolen property in his possession, he admitted to having car stereos at his residence. When police searched they found a number of stolen items. According to an earlier police release, many of these items were from a rash of thefts from vehicles in the Midland area, and have since been returned to their owners.
    Edwards was arrested again following an incident on October 12 of last year. Edwards was at home with an acquaintance when he insisted the two smoke a joint in the garage. The guest refused, and when a youth known to Edwards approached the house, Edwards told the youth to grab the guest. The guest was punched and kicked and received stitches as a result of the attack. Edwards admitted to kicking the victim.
    Edwards was also sentenced for allegations arising on January 19, when police were again alerted to his activities. His former girlfriend alleges on January 14 he threw a cell phone at her and struck her. On January 18, his girlfriend also alleges she observed Edwards drinking and using illegal drugs, constituting a breach of his release conditions. The two went for a walk and Edwards broke two windows at The Salvation Army Church. When they returned to the home he assaulted his girlfriend again. She fled the home and obtained shelter with a friend before calling the police.
    When the police came to arrest Edwards, he showed resistance to the officers. He has remained in custody since the arrest.
     The court heard that Edwards had had difficulties all his life, and was living in a group home by age 12. His father takes care of his financial matters and about a year and half ago purchased a home in Drumheller for his son to reside to remove him from some of the negative influences in Calgary. A pre-sentence report said Edwards was a moderate risk to reoffend, but the risk increases with his use of alcohol and street drugs.
    The Crown was satisfied the three month of pre-trial custody (giving credit for six months) filled the punitive goals of sentencing. The Crown expressed concern of recidivism of the offender if he continues to reside in Drumheller without daily support, and without access to some of the resources that would help him. He suggested a conditional sentence order rather than probation. That way, if there was a breach, Edwards could be taken into custody to serve his sentence, rather than being charged with a breach of probation.
    Judge Shriar, in sentencing recognized that many consider Edwards not welcome in the community, but could not dictate where Edwards lived. He was given two years probation. For the first year he is to abide by curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is barred from having company at his residence between those hours. He is also to have no contact with a number of named individuals, and is to complete 200 hours of community service or structured activity.

On-site security to remain at Health Centre

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    For the time being, the Drumheller Health Centre will continue to be served by on-site security.
    The Drumheller Mail told readers in its January 6, 2010 edition that Alberta Health Services was planning to remove on-site overnight security, and replace it with a mobile unit that would oversee facilities in Drumheller, Three Hills and Stettler.
    Alberta Health Services has since said they will retain staff for the time being.
    This comes as welcome news for Judy Nelson, chair of Big Country Victim Services. She had concerns about the loss of security for the protection of staff, and for the protection of clients of victim services.
    “It was what we wanted,” said Nelson.  “With security in place, we knew it was at least safe.”
    This comes after Nelson had an audience with the Minister of Health Gene Zwodesky, outlining her concerns. She said it was productive and he seemed genuine about safety.
    “I found him very sincere, and he shows his sincerity as he follows through,” she said.
    Tony Weeks, executive director of Protective and Parking Services for Alberta Health Services, said while some have characterized the changes to security as a reversal, he said they are reassessing the situation.
    “We are listening to the community concerns and our staff concerns at these sites, and they are feeling that this is exposing them to risk,” said Weeks. “Basically, we are putting our plans on hold so we can do a proper review. It might take six months, it might take a year, but the idea is we can get in there, take a good look at the activity on the site, the number of incidents that are occurring, and work with the staff to make some of the decisions moving forward.”
     While Alberta Health Services has halted the removal of on-site security personnel from rural hospitals, it intends to go ahead with the mobile unit.
    “Basically, where our hospitals don’t have security on-site, we’ll provide mobile coverage for the next little while,” said Weeks.
    He explains the original changes were an attempt to redeploy resources. By removing the on-site service and dedicating the mobile unit, it was hoped they would realize some savings.
    One area he is optimistic about retaining savings in Alberta Health Services is contracted security.  Paladin will now deliver security services to the rural hospitals.
    “We’ll realize some savings there, and we will put it towards the mobile coverage,” said Weeks.
    He adds the security will be high quality.
    “Alberta Health Services has reduced from 15 different security contract providers to one, so we will really keep the management and quality close to our chest,” he said. “The company we have hired is actually providing enhanced security training for every health care security provider they are giving to us, so some of the training ,in some cases, will be better than what the in-house staff had, and certainly more up to date.”
He said Alberta Health Services is responsive to community needs.
    “We always keep an open mind, and are always committed to the fact if something changes in a community, we will re-look at that and redeploy our resources as required anywhere in the province," he said.
    Nelson said the changes to contracted security at the Drumheller Health Centre would be relatively seamless, as Paladin has hired the existing security providers on-site.

WLD Legacy Fund assists Rosebud Centre expansion

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A cheque for $25,000 has been donated to the new Rosebud Centre from The World’s Largest Dinosaur (WLD) Legacy Fund. On Wednesday, April 21, officials from both groups gathered at the building site in Rosebud for the official presentation, which saw Chamber President Cindy Clark offer congratulations to Rosebud Theatre’s Board Chair, Jason Knibb.
“The WLD creates funds to donate to worthy projects like this in Drumheller and area, and we (the Chamber) are happy to be able to assist Rosebud in their current project”, Ms. Clark told The Mail. In a prior donation, a $10,000 cheque was received in 2005 during the planning stages for the Centre, according to Chamber Manager, Heather Bitz. The $5,000,000 project includes a kitchen, eating area and gift shop expansion on the main floor, with convention meeting space available on the second floor. Total space will reach close to 10,000 sq.ft., and is being built immediately north of the current building. Accepting on behalf of the Board, Mr. Knibb commented that they are “very grateful to the Chamber and the Legacy Fund for the donation in helping us realize our dream.”


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