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Last updateThu, 08 Dec 2022 4pm

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.


Ewing sentenced to 30 months

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A former Drumheller man was sentenced to 30 months globally for a number of charges, including a flight from police which injured a police officer and damaged a police cruiser.
Tyree Ewing appeared in Provincial Court in Calgary for sentencing on November 25.
He previously made guilty pleas in Drumheller.
On August 23 of this year, RCMP received a complaint of a break-and-enter on a rural property north of Carbon, where a stolen Dodge Ram was observed being driven. The next day RCMP spotted the same vehicle at Circle K in Drumhller driven by Ewing.
The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, and informed the driver he was under arrest over the vehicle's loudspeaker. The truck took off at a high rate of speed, unpredictably changing directions and hitting speeds of 180 kph.
Officers called off the pursuit due to the danger to the public, but one officer followed in a covert vehicle.
The officer located the believed vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. Inside was a passenger, who reported she was picked up by Ewing at Circle K.
At 2 a.m., the accused was located near Delia.
Another officer deployed a spike belt to disable the vehicle, but the driver was able to evade the device and took off in another stolen vehicle. They located the driver in a third stolen vehicle.
This time Ewing put the vehicle in reverse and rammed the police Suburban.
The officer was injured, suffering a concussion, bruising and bleeding.
Another pursuit was initiated and was soon called off, while an officer continued to follow. Eventually, the accused was arrested at his mother’s home in Big Valley.
Ewing also pleaded guilty to assaults and breaches stemming from domestic violence on January 18 and July 24 of this year.
He also pleaded guilty to theft of a cell phone and an interlock device, as well as breaches stemming from an incident on February 18, 2022.
RCMP entered into an investigation after Ewing, upon being released from jail, stole his girlfriend’s father’s cell phone, keys and vehicle.
His most dated charge, for which he was sentenced on November 25, occurred on December 21, 2021.
The Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit was investigating oilfield thefts and covertly followed a white Jeep Cherokee from Ewing’s home to a battery site where a theft took place.
Ewing was arrested the following day by a plain-clothed officer at a metal recycling facility in Calgary. In the described vehicle, they discovered wire that matched the wire taken at the battery site, as well as drugs and break-and-enter tools.
Ewing was sentenced to 30 months in jail and was given credit for 142 days of pretrial custody. There was also a restitution order of $606 for the police officer’s glasses and $20,805.71 for the damaged police Suburban. The sentence came to Judge Williams as a joint submission.

Drumheller delivers for Operation Christmas Child

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For the sixth consecutive year, Laura Hurst has led a group of Drumheller residents travelling to Calgary to help children in need at the Operation Christmas Child processing centre. Laura, 54, and her group spent Nov. 25 inspecting Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes before they were packed in cartons and transported to Central America, west Africa, Philippines and Ukraine. There, they will be given to children who, in many cases, have never received a gift in their lives. “It makes me feel good to do this,” said Laura. “I’ve done charity work before and this is the closest I’ve come to a mission trip. And this is a really good cause.” (l-r) Amanda Mageto, Sharon Donais and Laura Hurst. This is Amanda and Sharon’s first year at the Operation Christmas Child processing centre.


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