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Last updateThu, 02 Feb 2023 3pm

Wheatland, Starland counties present rail line resolution to AAMDC

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    Wheatland County, seconded by Starland County, are presenting a resolution at this week’s Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) Convention aimed at reassessing policies regarding rail discontinuance.
    The fall AAMDC Convention is from November 16-19 in Edmonton. The organization’s mission statement is “through the provision of advocacy, trade and insurance services, the AAMDC will assist rural municipalities in achieving strong and effective local government.” These resolutions guide the organization in arriving these goals.            CAO of Starland County Ross Rawlusyk, says the goal of the resolution, which Ben Armstrong, Reeve of Wheatland County worked on to draft, is to garner more support for rural municipalities where there is a threat of rail discontinuance.
    The resolution reads, “that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial and federal governments to re-assess its policies and procedures regarding discontinued rail lines and, upon notification of a rail line discontinuance, enter into discussions with the involved local municipalities for the purpose of exploring and pursuing partnership opportunities to acquire these rail lines for the purpose of utilization as future regional transportation and utility corridors.”
    The resolution states many of these corridors are valuable to municipalities.
    “Most of the rail lines were constructed in the early years to reach communities scattered across the nation and, given the lack of settlement, the lines were usually the shortest distance between two locations. Given the population and settlement growth to-day, it would be impossible to re-construct such a continuous corridor. To lose these rail corridors would be detrimental; to have the vision to utilize them for future servicing would be beneficial for future generations.”
    The corridors could be used for transportation, or placement of utilities.
    Rawlusyk says there is a role for government in these types of projects. Recently surrounding municipalities are exploring the possibilities arising from the discontinuance of a rail line from Lyalta to Oyen.        Rawlusyk says the net salvage of the line is in the millions of dollars, but there is a chance it could be purchased for much less, and utilized.
    “It makes sense to do it, but we need a bigger partner,” he says.
    The resolution passed at the Central Alberta zone, enabling it to be presented at the convention. The resolution session is today, November 18.

Tickets for Olympic Torch Relay Celebration available soon

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     The Olympics are only three months away, but the torch is on its way through Drumheller in just 59 days.
    Drumheller has shined as an Olympic Torch Relay Celebration Community, and come January 16, 2010 it will take centre stage as the Olympic Torch is brought through Drumheller on its way to the Vancouver 2010 games.
     Tickets will be available staring next week to join in the celebration at The Canadian Badlands Passion Play Site.
    According to John Sparling, co-chair of the committee, the team that has been assembled has been working hard on the event, and they have been taking care of all the details from marketing, promotion, safety and security and complying with the guidelines of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee.
    Many of the details about the January 16 event are falling into place. All kinds of entertainment and on site activities are being planned to make this a once in a lifetime family event, and tickets are expected to be in high demand.
    The committee has planned to distribute the tickets at four different locations over the course of three weeks to allow members of the community to get in on the action.
    Sparling says while the tickets are free, there is only a limited number that will be available.
     “We are extremely lucky the event is on a Saturday and close to the Olympics,” said Sparling, as the games begin on February 12, 2010, just weeks after the Drumheller event.
    “For people picking up the tickets, we are asking for a moral commitment to go,” said Sparking.
 Tickets will be available next Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m at Freson IGA. The next Saturday, on December 5 they will be at Extra Foods in Drumheller and at the Hanna Mall. On Saturday, December 12 there will be tickets available at Drumheller Co-op.
    ‘It is important for us to make this accessible, to the public as a whole,” said Sparling, saying that is why they have planned to distribute tickets at peak periods at high traffic areas.
    On the day of the event the organizers are hoping families will take in all there is to offer, and show up early. Onsite there will all kinds of displays and activities to people entertained until the main event begins. Major national sponsors of the event, Coca Cola and RBC Financial, will have a major presence on site. They have planned a efficient park and ride shuttle bus system that will be departing from Freson IGA and Drumheller Canadian Tire parking lots. This will allow people to get to the site easily without having to endure traffic snarls, or end up walking a long distance in January temperatures.
    Information on the shuttle will be provided along with the tickets upon pick up. Watch in The Drumheller Mail and inSide Drumheller for more news as the Olympic Torch Relay Celebration draws near.
    See ad on B2 for more details.

$1,000,000 windfall!

Lotto win for Rosedale couple

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A Rosedale resident has struck it rich playing the new LOTTO MAX.

Don and Flora Cunningham learned they were $1 million winners of the relatively new lottery. Their winning ticket was from the November 6 draw, the same week the Manitoba resident won $50 million grand prize.
    "I was numb,” said Flora upon learning they were winners.
    The couple are regular lottery players, and every Friday purchase their quick picks for Lotto 649 and LOTTO MAX from the Drumheller Co-op. Last Friday Flora went to buy their tickets for the week and check her previous plays. The machine read out they were $1 million winners.
    “The ticket was laying around on the table, and we stuck it up on the fridge, we never realized we were sitting on a million dollars,” said Don.
    While the couple has played for years, their biggest prize before this windfall was $50.
    Ethel Seippert was working at Drumheller Co-op when Flora came in with the ticket.
    “I was shaking, I was just so happy for them,” said Seippert.
    Cunningham was born in Wayne and grew up in Cambria. He left after high school but returned to the valley when he retired, and has been a volunteer in the community and served on the MD of Badlands and then as a councillor for The Town of Drumheller.
    The couple verified that indeed their ticket was a winner and must travel to St. Albert to pick up their cheque next week. They have locked away the ticket in a safety deposit box until then.
    “I feel uneasy holding on to the ticket,” he laughs.
    For the Cunninghams, they have no plans yet for the money other than buying a new car.
    “Ours is 10 years old and we need a new one,” he humbly says.
    They plan to continue to reside in Rosedale.
    They say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, but it comes pretty close. In March of this year their neighbour in Rosedale won $100,000. They also checked their numbers at Drumheller Co-op.   


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