News | DrumhellerMail - Page #4
Last updateFri, 26 Feb 2021 10am

Drumheller RCMP issue warning to public following deaths from suspected drug overdose


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The community of Drumheller is mourning the loss of three young people in what appears to be drug-related fatalities.

On Feb. 20, 2021, at 7:42 p.m, Drumheller RCMP received a 911 call of sudden deaths at a residence in Drumheller.

Drumheller RCMP attended the residence, along with emergency medical services. It is known at this time that three individuals are deceased as a result of what is believed to be suspected drug overdoses. 

The Drumheller RCMP are issuing a warning to the public as it is suspected that these deaths may be associated to drugs that may be laced with lethal quantities of opioid-related substances such as fentanyl, carfentanil or methamphetamines.

The autopsies for the 21-year-old female, 27-year-old female, both from Drumheller, and the 31-year-old male from Rosedale, Alta., are scheduled for later this week at the Calgary Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Drumheller RCMP’s investigation continues and will include laboratory analysis of the substances suspected of being contaminated with lethal quantities of opioid-related substances such as fentanyl, carfentanil or methamphetamines. 

Mayor Heather Colberg released a statement.

 "This tragic news is difficult to hear. Our prayers and condolences go to those who are mourning the loss loved ones. I would like to remind everyone to respect people's privacy and to be kind to others during this difficult time. Our local RCMP detachment is investigating the incident. They have asked us to remind everyone that there are risks of opioid-related substances laced into drugs. Alberta Health Services 24-7 Addiction and Mental Health helpline provide support to Albertans experiencing addiction and mental health concerns. That number is 1-866-332-2322," said Colberg. 

If anyone has information about this incident, please contact the Drumheller RCMP at 403-823-2630 or your local police. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.


Sheerness conversion to natural gas underway

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Heartland Generation is continuing with the conversion of the Sheerness Powerplant to natural gas.
Recently crews were staying in Drumheller working on the conversion which is expected to be completed not later than the end of 2022.
“Each of the past three years, we have steadily lowered our emissions footprint by increasing our natural gas firing capacity at these sites,” said in a statement from Heartland Generation CEO Rob Dutton.
This came after Westmoreland announced the Paintearth and Sheerness Mines will be ceasing operations.
“With our only customer transitioning to gas firing capacity at the Paintearth and Sheerness stations, Westmoreland is saddened mining will soon conclude. We are greatly appreciative of the accomplishments of our Sheerness & Paintearth employees, some with the company 40-plus years. We greatly appreciate the long term relationship with our Heartland and TransAlta customer, together we have provided low cost and reliable power to the citizens of Alberta”, reads a statement from Kyle Hobbs general manager.
Heartland Generation is aware of the changes.
“While coal deliveries from Westmoreland are anticipated to cease in mid-2021, Heartland Generation will continue to optimize its fuel selection beyond summer 2021 as we thoughtfully plan the transition from coal-to-gas, which will be completed no later than the end of 2022,” said Dutton. “We thank Westmoreland for being one of our valued business partners for more than 60 years and look forward to continuing our working relationship as reclamation activities continue at Battle River and Sheerness over the next several years.”
Westmoreland will continue its reclamation.
“With the transition over the past few years, many jobs have been affected and the mine and Union collaborated with the Government of Alberta and Service Canada to form a Work Force Adjustment Committee to support the transition for employees to new careers or retirement as best as possible,” said Hobbs. “Just like mining, we are now focused on performing best in class reclamation. We will always strive to do our best and finish right to put lands back for use by the community and local shareholders.”

AJHL gets greenlight to play

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The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) has received approval from the Government of Alberta to restart the 2020-21 Season under the protocols of a comprehensive Return to Play Plan.

Players, coaches and support staff are currently self-isolating in preparation for Training Camp, which is scheduled to begin at the start of March. Competition will also begin in March and include game play exclusively on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through to the end of May.

“We are grateful for the guidance provided by Alberta Health Services and our Chief Medical Officer in developing the protocols required to safely resume the season for our athletes,” said AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk. “Thank you to the Government of Alberta for the opportunity to allow our athletes to develop and excel here in Alberta, and to all 15 AJHL teams for the significant dedication to your players and communities across the province.”

AJHL teams have committed to utilizing private PCR testing through DynaLIFE on a weekly basis throughout the remainder of the season as well as twice before commencing Training Camp. DynaLIFE testing was used by the NHL during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and by the IIHF for the 2021 World Junior Championship in Edmonton, AB.

Following the results of two negative COVID-19 tests, and assurance that individuals are asymptomatic as per the SureHire Risk Assessment Program, team members will proceed to team activity at Training Camp. If a member of the AJHL cohort - players or staff - test positive for COVID-19 at any point in the season, the team will be required to isolate and suspend all in-person team activities for 14 days.

Enhanced daily screening for all AJHL players and team staff will be monitored through the SureHire Risk Assessment App. Teams will be diligent in following the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines in order to best protect themselves and our AJHL communities.

Spectators are not currently permitted at AJHL games due to provincial restrictions; however, all games will be broadcast on HockeyTV.

The AJHL completed over 80 games in the opening months of the 2020-21 season before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a pause. An updated League Schedule and a list of participating teams will be announced shortly.


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