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Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2024 3pm

Arrests made in alleged fraudulent use of credit card information

    The Drumheller RCMP have made arrests that led to the seizure of hundreds of credit card numbers, and the information to make them usable.
    On Saturday, April 10, police learned from a local business of four people attending to the store and using a credit card in a suspicious manner. RCMP officers located the subjects and they were arrested on a variety of charges.
     Subsequent investigation revealed they were in possession of hundreds of credit card numbers, and the associated security codes that were stolen from a Calgary business, the place of employment of one of the subjects. They were in possession of credit card blanks, and had the ability to make additional cards. In addition, property related to crime, and illicit drugs were located and seized.
    Ashley Whitt, 32, of Calgary, is charged with forging a credit card, fraudulent possession of credit card data, possession of stolen property and possession of morphine. He is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, April 23.
    Valery Zielinsky, 46, of Calgary has been charged with fraudulent possession of credit card data, possession of stolen property, and possession of methamphetamine. She is to appear in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, May 28.
    Anthony Golka, 43, and Holly Boutland are both charged with possession of stolen property and are also to appear in court in Drumheller on Friday, May 28.
    Police say the matters are still under investigation and it is believed there will be other charges laid. These credit card numbers have been used in other jurisdictions. Other police departments and credit card companies have been advised.

Tyrrell helps Paris museum with international exhibition


    The Royal Tyrrell Museum was called upon by the Paris-based Museum of Natural History to help with an international exhibition which opened its doors on April 14, 2010, themed “In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs.”
    Bringing together specimens from many countries, including China, Belgium, Bolivia, Morocco and Germany, as well as the Paris museum’s own collection, the exhibition displays five of the Tyrrell Museum’s specimens, the largest one being an Albertosaurus.
    “It’s always good to be recognized in these major institutions around the world," said Andrew Neuman, the director of the Tyrrell Museum, who attended the opening in Paris.
    "International collaboration is something we like to do and it’s nice for a fairly young player like us to be able to cooperate with a museum that was started during the French revolution. There’s an important historic collection there."         Approached over five years ago about the possibility of taking part in an international travelling exhibit, the museum received a contingency from Paris for an initial discussion with Dr. Phil Currie, then the curator of dinosaurs for the museum.
    About three years ago, plans started to firm up and the project, spearheaded by the French, became serious.
    Originally, the grand plan was to use the Tyrrell’s Tyrannosaurus rex, but due to logistics and space available, the project got scaled back to something more manageable.     
    Five specimens were  shipped to France at the end of February. Pieces sent included a large mammal and three dinosaurs, the largest one being the Albertosaurus, and is on display as you enter the exhibition.
    As well as offering to help with supplying specimens, one of the Tyrrell museum’s scientists, François Therrien, who studies the palaeoecology of extinct animals, also became a consultant for the project, to plan the storyline and ensure its accuracy
    Divided in four sections,  it explores the reasons for the dinosaurs’ extinction and also tries to see if any conclusions can be drawn to prevent further extinction on the planet.
    The story line first establishes what was alive at the same time as the dinosaurs. It then tells the story of the extinction and explains the growth and development of the other groups without the presence of the dinosaurs. To conclude, the exhibition discusses man’s role in potentially speeding up the next extinction.
    The exhibition ends on February 2011 and, depending on its success, may then travel to other localities.

Get ready to Stuff The Bus


    While the oil and gas industry in Drumheller continues to work its way out of the slump it has experienced, the verdict is out on whether the Alberta government’s plan to change royalty structures, yet again, will have any impact.
    Gord MacKinnon of Blackwatch Energy Services says the slowdown was a combination of factors.
    “While I think the royalty debacle was poorly timed and poorly executed, I don’t think it was solely responsible for the down time in the oil industry, but it certainly didn’t help anything,” said MacKinnon.
    He says gas prices were softening throughout 2008 before the new structure came into place. This, combined with lower demand as the US fell into recession, hit the industry hard all over. There was also considerable movement towards developing shale plays in BC and other areas.
    Last month the Alberta government announced changes touted as delivering on oil and gas competitiveness. The changes are expected to create 8,000 jobs in 2010-2011, and then 13,000 jobs annually.
    MacKinnon is hopeful that the industry will turn around, but in the short term it may not have as much impact.
    “I think long term it will affect the whole province, there is no doubt about it. In the short term, you won’t see anything really,” he said.
    One of the reasons he is less optimistic about the short-term prognosis is because companies now have to reassess the latest new deal.
    In 2007, the Alberta government released the new Royalty Framework and in January 2009 introduced a new royalty regime. It has since been adding incentives.
    “Every time they make a change to the royalty regime, it is a trickle down effect. The oil companies get that information, and they go back, analyze it and pick it apart to see what it means to all the different segments of their drilling program, and how they are going to drill wells and how they are going to spend money. That takes time,” said MacKinnon.
    “It is almost as bad making changes every three months to it, than moving it and leaving it that way… when you finally figure out what it all means they come up with a new idea.”
    Miles Travis, service operations manager for Midfield Supply says there is no doubt there is a slump in the market in the Drumheller area, and he says the cause was much more than just the royalties, but he is optimistic.
    “He (Stelmach) had to do something,” he said.
    While the royalty rate didn’t help, the slump in prices was a big factor in the change. While it may be perceived as an exodus, he says many of the players were planning to head to areas such as Northern BC regardless of the rate structure, and Midfield is still doing major quotes and bids for some of that work.
    “It’s been a bad one… but they (the larger companies) will be back,” said Travis.


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