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Last updateFri, 24 Mar 2023 11am

RCMP make third arrest in stolen property file

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A third person has been arrested and charged following an investigation into the theft of a truck trailer and snowmobile.
The Mail reported in the March 8 edition Drumheller General Duty members, Drumheller General Investigation Section (GIS), and Southern Alberta District Crime Reduction Intelligence members initiated an investigation to locate and recover the property.
During the investigation, a suspect vehicle was located in Drumheller on March 1 and was subject to a traffic stop where two suspects were arrested and taken into custody; the vehicle contained an imitation handgun (airsoft gun), and both suspects were found in possession of methamphetamine.
The driver was also found to be a suspended driver.
Further investigation and information resulted in a search warrant being executed on a property on the evening of March 1 in Michichi.
As a result of the search, the 20’ stolen Interstate Car Hauler trailer was recovered. Further to this, additional information led to the recovery of the stolen 2000 dark blue Chevrolet pickup truck on the morning of March 2 in a rural area near Morrin.
A short time later the snowmobile was discovered abandoned near Morrin.
Tim Closs, 48, of Michichi was charged with possession of property obtained by crime, possession of methamphetamine; and operating a motor vehicle while being prohibited.
Judith Brown, 41, also of Michichi was charged with possession of property obtained by crime and possession of methamphetamine.
Police say they have made a third arrest in this investigation.
In the late evening of Wednesday, March 8, RCMP members of Drumheller General Investigation Section, along with General Duty members, executed a search warrant at a residence in Cedar Crescent in Drumheller.
Jeffrey Morse, 41, of Drumheller, was arrested and charged with three counts of possession of property obtained by crime and driving a motor vehicle while unauthorized.
Morse was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in Drumheller Provincial Court on Friday, May 26 to answer to the charges.

Wheatland County designates Lyalta, Lakes of Muirfield into hamlet

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The community Lakes of Muirfield was officially recognized as part of the hamlet of Lyalta following a motion at the regular Tuesday, March 7 Wheatland County council meeting.
This was necessary to allow the county to explore wastewater service options through the Alberta Municipal Water, Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP).
“Alberta Transportation administers this program (AMWWP), and they’ve requested that a more formal adoption of the hamlet boundary be provided,” explained Planning and Development Services activating manager Stefan Kunz during the meeting.
Although Lyalta was recognized and referenced as a hamlet within multiple Wheatland County documents, such as the Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw, the Lakes of Muirfield was never formally recognized as being included within the hamlet boundaries. By designating the two communities as a single hamlet, this will allow the county to further explore funding through AMWWP or implement a special tax bylaw if necessary to provide water and wastewater services to the community.

Minister Horner clarifies crop insurance premiums increase

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Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Nate Horner and Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) Vice President of Innovation Emmet Hanrahan held a virtual media roundtable on Thursday, March 9 following claims crop insurance premiums would be increasing by 60 per cent.
Although farmers and producers will see an increase to crop insurance premiums, Minister Horner shared the average increase is about 22 per cent over 2022 premiums.
“Crop insurance premiums will see a rise, and it’s almost entirely due to specific crop commodity change, year over year,” Minister Horner explained during opening remarks at the roundtable.
Minister Horner pointed out, over the last two years, AFSC has paid out some $4 billion due to unprecedented challenges faced by farmers.
This includes the one in 80 year drought which wreaked havoc across the province and other prairie provinces in 2021; there were also some $1.3 billion in payouts in 2022 which were attributed to continued drought in parts of the province, along with hail damage.
He noted some of the confusion and misunderstanding may be due to the fact premium rates have increased by 60 per cent over the last two years, with a 38 per cent increase over 2021 premiums seen in 2022. However, Minister Horner added commodity prices have also increased by 57 per cent over the same period.
“One of the mitigating factors to large swings (in premium rates) is there’s a year-to-year cap of 10 per cent on the premium,” explained Minister Horner. “That 10 per cent on premium rate is a growth driver when the fund is below what actuaries would deem as stable that can grow year over year--everything else is related to crop and elected coverage.”
Minister Horner and Mr. Hanrahan noted the AFSC crop insurance program is a non-profit insurance program which is subsidized by both provincial and federal government levels. As such, it is able to recover losses due to these large payouts in 2021 and 2022 over a much longer 25-year period when setting premium rates.
It is anticipated premiums will increase by some 12 per cent for canola, nine per cent for feed barley, and two per cent for yellow field peas.
The 2023 provincial budget also includes a provision of $61.4 million to ensure the AFSC program has “appropriate funding to support producers during challenging times.”


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