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Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Inmate charged with kidnapping, escape

    An inmate serving time for second-degree murder at the Drumheller Institution, confined, bound and assaulted a corrections officer during an escorted absence, but was quickly apprehended by RCMP.
    On Tuesday, October 18, shortly after 6 p.m., the Drumheller Institution was notified that an inmate escaped from an escorted temporary absence while returning from Buck Lake, Alberta. Three Hills RCMP received a report that the officer had been taken hostage on Highway 587, west of Huxley.
    According to a release from Three Hills RCMP, the inmate, being escorted by a lone female officer, was not handcuffed or secured. He feigned sickness while travelling on Highway 42, west of Highway 21, and overpowered the corrections officer by choking her with his hands and seatbelt. He bound the officer in the backseat of the minivan that was being used to transport the prisoner and let her out on Highway 587. Members of Olds RCMP located the minivan and took the suspect into custody without incident. The corrections officer was taken to the Three Hills Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries and released.
    Donald Fowler, 32, has been charged with escaping lawful custody, assaulting a peace officer, kidnapping, forcible confinement, theft
and dangerous driving. He  will appear in provincial court in Drumheller on October 21.
    Fowler is a first time federal offender serving an indeterminate sentence for second degree murder and possession of a schedule I substance. His sentence commenced on July 2, 1997.
    The Correctional Service of Canada says, in a release, it will review the circumstances surrounding the escape and will take necessary measures to address any safety and security issues stemming from this incident.

Tyrrell up for national award

    The Royal Tyrrell Museum is following up a stellar year with another award nomination. This time on a national stage.
    The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a finalist for a Tourism Industry Association of Canada, 2011 Tourism Award.
    Executive director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum Andrew Neuman said this is the first time the museum has been up for the award. He said the nomination is valuable to the museum, and reflective of the hard work of the staff at the museum.
    “It is a wonderful opportunity because there is marketing prestige surrounding it,” said Neuman.
    The Tyrrell has been nominated as one of three finalists in the National Cultural Tourism Award category.  It is in recognition of an organization demonstrating commitment to authentic, innovative and enriched cultural visitor experience. It can also recognize a tourism organization that has demonstrated a commitment to culture as a key aspect of encouraging and promoting tourism growth in their region.
    The awards have been around since 2003 and are presented by the Toronto Star. There are 43 finalists in 14 categories from across Canada.
     “We are very pleased to once again recognize the hard working and innovative organizations and individuals that continue to make Canada a world-class destination,” said TIAC President and CEO David Goldstein. “We are extremely proud of this impressive collection of finalists who endeavour each and every day to create the very best visitor experiences in the world.”
    The awards will be presented at a gala dinner in Ottawa on November 24 at the Château Laurier as part of the Tourism Congress, the associations’ annual convention. Also nominated in the National Cultural Tourism Award  category are the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton Island, NS and the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac in Quebec.
    This nomination comes on the heels of the Tyrrell's nomination for a 2011 Alto Award as part of a marketing group. Last year the museum won an Alto Alberta Pride Award.

Ghosts gathering for 7th annual Haunted Atlas Coal Mine

    The 7th annual Haunted Atlas Coal Mine will run the last two weekends of October.
    Big Boo runs Saturday evenings, and Little Boo runs Sunday afternoons.
    “Big Boo is scarier, and we don’t recommend it for children under 9,” says Kelly Eddy, event organizer.   “At Big Boo, visitors walk around the Atlas Coal Mine, in and out of buildings, with just their flashlight for illumination. Everything is that much more frightening in the dark, and the ghouls are creepier. Little Boo is for younger children, but also for adults who want a lighter scare.”
    Going into its 7th year, the Haunted Atlas Coal Mine is attracting visitors from a wide area. In 2010,  more than a third of the “victims” came from out of town, and this year that percentage is expected to grow. “This event is unique in the province, and well, the Atlas is just plain scary after dark,” explains Linda Digby, Executive Director. “Add to that the fact that we are actually a haunted historic site, and it becomes that much more fascinating.”
    “Every year is different, and some years are scarier than others.  There is no way to avoid that, not every year can be the scariest! We think this year will be quite spooky,” said Eddy. “For one thing, we will include the tipple again.  Last year, this iconic building was undergoing restoration and wasn’t available.”
    This event is a fundraiser for the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. This year, the organizers of the very spooky Sunbeam Haunted House, near Morrin, are adding their devious tricks to the Haunted Atlas Coal Mine.
    “Their building was not available this year, and these volunteers needed an outlet to practice their dark art.  We are delighted to work with them this year,” said Eddy.
    More special guests are Guns of the Golden West, who will make visitors dance at Big Boo.
    Kelly suggests people consider attending the first weekend, when lineups are shorter, and the temperature is usually milder.


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