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Town presses for Michichi Creek remediation

    The pressure is on to have the damage caused this spring by high water events in the Michichi Creek remediated.
    In April, the Michichi Creek banks swelled to some of the highest levels known. Residents saw dramatic flooding on properties east of Highway 9 at the intersection of the Verdant Valley Road. But much damage was caused to the banks as it passed by residences on 9th Street West.
    “It took out a lot of property there, it went over two property lines,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “If we have another one like that, there is a garage and sheds that  would be undermined. The part that is critical is where residents could start losing their property.”
    The town lobbied successfully this summer for funding from the province to have the project completed. They were able to secure Ledcor to do the work and had the project engineered.
    According to Mayor Yemen, Fisheries and Oceans, because it concerns a body of water, have to sign off on the project. Last week they looked at the project and have yet to give the go ahead. Yemen is concerned that it might take a while.
    “What concerns me is we dealt with Fisheries and Oceans with the boat launch (at Newcastle Beach), and it took a year and a half,” said Yemen.
    “Ideally, right now is when we would like to do the work,” said Yemen. “We have low water and the weather is still good.”
    His concerns came across in a strongly worded letter he penned to MP Kevin Sorenson.
    “Fisheries and Oceans have only now become involved and the project is basically on hold while the bureaucrats discuss it. If this project is prevented from moving forward as planned, there will be dire consequences in spring 2012 if we have a high water spring runoff again. I would ask that you, in your capacity, make every effort to intervene and strongly encourage Fisheries and Oceans to lead, follow or get out of the way,” stated the letter.
    He received a response from Sorenson's office in a timely manner and says they have followed up with Fisheries and Oceans and are hopeful the process can be sped up.


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.


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