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Last updateThu, 02 Feb 2023 3pm

90 day sentence for aggravated assault


A Trochu man is serving a 90-day intermittent sentence after pleading guilty following a serious attack on his wedding day.
Lonnie Middlebrook appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, January 27. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
The court heard how on August 7, 2022, Three Hills RCMP responded at 1:16 a.m. to a man bleeding from his ears and mouth following a violent altercation. Middlebrook was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm.
The victim was transported to a Red Deer hospital and then to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary because of a brain bleed and was in a coma for several days.
The injuries have had a lasting effect. Because of the seriousness of the injuries, Middlebrook's charges were upgraded to the more serious charge of aggravated assault.
The evening of the incident was Middlebrook’s wedding night. During the evening a significant amount of alcohol was consumed. Outside, a conversation between Middlebrook and his father-in-law became heated and they entered into what was considered a consensual fight.
The initial punch thrown by Middlebrook was defensive in nature, but what became problematic was he continued to throw punches while the victim was on the ground and unresponsive.
Middlebrook has no previous record and the event was spontaneous. There was no weapon involved.
The judge accepted a joint submission from the crown and defence for a sentence of 90 days and allowed Middlebrook to serve this on weekends. This is followed by 24 months of probation.
As a primary designated offense, he is to submit a DNA order and has a weapons prohibition for 10 years.

RCMP seek input on priorities

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Drumheller RCMP has completed a series of open houses to talk to residents as it sets its priorities for the coming year.
Staff Sergeant Robert Harms along with officers from the detachment last week held open houses in Delia, Carbon, and Drumheller. These were information sessions that let the community know the work the RCMP is actively engaging in, the areas that are of concern, and to hear residents' feedback on what they would like to see. Of the meetings, Carbon had the greatest turnout with 23 residents coming out to share their concerns.
“All of the meetings were very positive,” said Harms.
Issues brought up ranged from problematic animals to property crime and theft of vehicles, and how residents can protect themselves.
“I had a lot of people come up afterwards and shake my hand and say it was great hearing from us. That is part of it, being available and meeting people,” said Harms.
The Drumheller RCMP has an online policing survey available as another tool to hear what residents feel are the priority for the coming year.
While the results are preliminary, Harms said so far people are expressing their priorities including property crime, especially as it related to drug issues and traffic enforcement.
This week K-Divison is launching Operation Cold Start. It is an awareness campaign focused on the theft of vehicles, especially in the winter when residents leave their vehicles running. He notes, in Alberta, 50 per cent of vehicles that have been stolen were unlocked. Of those, 50 per cent had the keys in them.
On hand were also partners in crime prevention including Rural Crime Watch and Citizens On Patrol, which did presentations. Kneehill peace officers also attended the Carbon presentation to address Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. The RCMP is also working hard on its program to help people not be victims of crime.
The policing survey is open until February 10. To submit your response, go to:

Church responsible for utility bills says Big Valley council

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Big Valley village council has determined the Evangelical Free Church within the municipality will need to begin paying for its utilities following a motion at its regular Thursday, January 12 council meeting.
Council were first presented with information sharing the church, under a previous policy, does not pay monthly utility bills during the December 8 council meeting; at the time, council directed administration to look at what other municipalities within the surrounding areado and bring this information back in the new year for consideration.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Elaine Macdonald looked at a total of 10 municipalities, including the County of Stettler, Town of Drumheller, and villages of Alix, Linden, Trochu, and Morrin. Of those municipalities CAO Macdonald reviewed, eight billed churches for utilities at the regular municipal rate, while two only billed for garbage collection.
It is estimated, without water consumption charges, the village was losing some $640 annually for utilities on this account.


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