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Community celebrates new Morrin School

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The community of Morrin celebrated on Monday afternoon as they officially held a grand opening for the new Morrin school.
Years in the making, students officially began class in the new school at the beginning of 2024. On Monday, June 10, members of Prairie Land School Division, the Village of Morrin, Starland County, partners in the construction and students and staff, past and present gathered for the momentous occasion.
“The rich history of Morrin School is filled with achievement and community spirit. Today we build on that legacy with a new chapter that promises even greater opportunities for our children,” said Ken Macfarlane, Trustee for Prairie Land School Divison.
Former principal Larry Anderson touched on the history of schooling in the community that began 113 years ago when the Alberta Midland Railroad arrived in the community. That same year, the inaugural meeting of the Morrin School Board Number 2513 took place. It took nine years before the first school was built, and classes were held at the Union Church. He described nine different iterations of the school buildings leading up to the new modern school.
Superintendent Cam McKeage says the new school is a reflection of the community that built it. “The school does not belong to the individuals inside, it doesn’t belong to the professionals or the board of trustees, it doesn’t belong to the administrators, it really belongs to the community. Schools have to resonate with the beliefs and values of the community itself. I believe Morrin School does just that,” said McKeage.
He explained the process began shortly after Delia School was constructed and that the need for a new Morrin School was pressing. The process was led by the credo expressed by Chief Deputy Superintendent and former Morrin School teacher Steve Nielsen, “We only get one chance to do it right.”
The go-ahead for the construction was given in November of 2019, and the community came together. The Friends of Morrin School were able to raise over $760,000 to add to and improve the school, making a larger gym, library and community hub space. Jenna Kemp of Group 2 Architecture, with creativity, patience and thorough consultation, put together a design that works for the community. Shunda Consulting and Construction Management undertook the construction, breaking ground in June of 2022.
“Our philosophy in Prairie Land is to always do what is best for the students, and what is best for the students is to give them the best resources we have and make them available to them so they can have the success they all deserve,” said Principal, Don Yavis, who is retiring at the end of the school year. “The programming we now offer at Morrin School is amazing compared to what it was years ago.”
He is happy to see the completion of the school and the possibilities for the students. “With the new school being here, and the saving out the old gymnasium and turning it into the hub we are going to be able to run a baseball program, hockey program. We’ll have a CTS shop there with welding, woodworking and electronics and all kinds of things. We have a huge food lab so we run a food program for junior high and high school kids,” said Yavis.
Yavis states, “The biggest selling point for our school is our family atmosphere and our safe and caring environment. Everything we do here is kids first.”


Drohomerski wins gold at Canadian Racquetball championship

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Drumheller resident Darryl Drohomerski is also a Canadian Raquetball champion.
Drohomerski competed at the Raquetball Canada Championships in Calgary from May 20-24 at the University of Calgary. There were 137 players competing, the largest group since 2019, with players from novice, up to national team calibre players.
He competed in the Men’s 45-plus double category with partner Randy Pentland and came home with gold.
“I am very happy with the results,” Drohomerski tells the Mail.
Drohomerski has been playing for about 35 years, and this was not his first time at nationals. He won the championship in singles elite about eight years ago. This is one step below the international elite level. In the doubles category, he has been playing with Pentland for a few years in a recreational league in Calgary, as well as some provincial tournaments.
Racquetball is an indoor racquet sport developed in the 1950s and had its heyday in the 1980s.
“One of the realities of racquetball, squash and tennis… and pickleball, is the first three sports tend to be harder on your leg joints, so a lot of people gravitate towards pickleball from those three sports, which has helped make pickleball popular, because people still want to play racquet sports, but don’t have to move around as much as in racquetball court,” he explains.
While it may have been surpassed by other racquet sports, Drohomerski tells the Mail racquetball is still strong with a good junior program, with players who are holding their own on an international stage. There are also still active clubs in larger centres.
He often plays in Calgary and also credits the Acme Club with allowing him to continue pursuing his sport.

Legion hosting Fraud Awarensss seminar

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From reports of loved ones in trouble to get rich investment schemes, there is an unending parade of ways scammers are attempting to separate people from their hard-earned wages.
The Drumheller Legion is hosting an anti-fraud awareness session and has invited the Drumheller RCMP as well as representatives from local financial institutions.
The session is on Thursday, June 20, at 2 p.m. at the Legion and the community is invited to attend.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Robert Harms tells the Mail that frauds are endemic.
“It is a continuous problem, and we deal with it regularly, and people get victimized by it regularly. Unfortunately, solve rates are quite low on them because it is done over the phone or computers. It is difficult to identify involved suspects, not to mention they are in different regions of Canada or in different countries,” said Harms.
He says one of the best ways to combat fraud is education.
“Make people aware and educate them so they don’t fall victim to it in the first place,” he said.
Constable Victor Iliescu tells the Mail they have seen a growth of scam attempts involving bitcoin in the area.
He explains there is a common threat to these scams in that they play on people’s greed, promising incredible returns for something up and coming.
He says the scammers will reach out on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp, and it appears they play the long game, not asking for money right away but cultivating a relationship.
He likens it to a pig butchering scam.
“It’s a metaphor, they fatten up the pig. They build the relationship, they get the person comfortable with them in the prospect of talking to this person and introducing an investment possibility and how they make amazing returns and so forth,” he explains.
He says the victims are then directed to send money, sometimes it is through a legitimate-looking website. They will provide a secure login, and any money sent will appear as a balance in an account.
“The money may go to somebody’s Bitcoin wallet, where it is very difficult to trace, and it is most certainly international,” he explains. “Sometimes they will send some money back to build that confidence… which gets them to send more money.”
He said they have seen several victims who have lost in the range of five figures through this scam.
While it is impossible to tell if there is a certain demographic targeted he says the victims are often approaching retirement and are looking at ways to build their savings.
The scam doesn’t end there. When a person asks to withdraw funds, the scammer indicates it is possible however, they will have to pay taxes or fees on the funds, attempting a last grab on the person’s money.
“If that doesn’t work, the recovery scammer will reach out to victims,” said Iliescu.
This is where a person reaches out and tells the victim they will help them recover the funds. And the cycle starts all over again.
“The way the bitcoin scams work is they obscure where the funds go, so getting the money back is almost never a possibility, so education is the best way to combat this.”
“If it is too good to be true, that is because it often is.”


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