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New St. Anthony’s School lessens environmental impact

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    When the new St. Anthony’s School on the Midland road is complete it will feature some of the greenest modular  childcare facilities in the province.
    The new school, slated to be completed by January 2011, will have eight modular classrooms that meet some of the highest environmental standards.
    St. Anthony’s principal Tim Gregorash is excited the construction is coming along. He says the  modular relocatable classrooms are designed into the plan to allow the school to grow, as well as right size when populations drop. The portables also take into consideration the environment.
     The modular childcare facilities are manufactured by Calgary based Modus Inc. and helps to support a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver rating. LEED is a third party certification program, and is an internationally accepted benchmark  for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
    Mr. Gregorash said this entails a number of considerations; from automated lighting systems to low flush toilets. Even window size and placement are factored into the design to stabilize temperatures.
    According to Janeen Norman of Modus Inc., the environmental aspects go beyond energy efficiency.
    “Recent studies show that children in green learning environments are healthier and more productive because of improved air quality, lower levels of chemical emissions and a generous provision of natural day lighting,” she said  in a press release. “The benefits of cleaner indoor air have been linked to lower asthma rates, fewer allergies and reduced absenteeism.”
    Mr. Gregorash says the most recent update on the construction is crews have completed the ground work and will start pouring cement, and the gymnasium walls are standing.
    “Once the cement is set they will start constructing the walls of the school,” he said. “They have prefabricated some of the walls so they can be put up fairly quickly. It seems to be pretty close to on schedule.”
    Recently the Albert Government announced the first new green modular child care facilities aimed at housing preschool children, and Modus has been awarded the contract  for 24 new modular facilities.
    “The Alberta Government  continues to be a leader in its commitment to green learning environments across the country,” said Randy Ludwar, CEO of Modus. “We are pleased that our legacy of providing children with the healthiest, safest and most sustainable learning environments in the market today extends to children of all ages.”

Truck collides with house, person trapped beneath vehicle

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Emergency services in Drumheller responded to a single vehicle accident on 3rd Aveune West shortly after 12:30 p.m. on January 1. It appears a truck lost control and crashed into a house on the south side of 3rd Avenue near the Navy League Building. A person was trapped under the vehicle and the Drumheller Fire Department freed the individual and Badlands EMS administered medical treatment.

Shopkeepers optimistic going into 2010

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    With the Christmas shopping season starting to wind down, with Boxing Day sales on the cusp, local businesses are optimistic about the future.
    Traditionally, the Christmas rush is a boon for local shop owners as residents bustle to find presents during the holidays.
    Worries began in early 2009 as the word recession began to creep back into the daily lexicon. For some shop owners, they are holding their own this holiday season, while others have yet to see any marked improvement.
    “We are close to being even with last year,” said Mark Notland, owner of Drumheller Sears. “The big thing is Boxing Day, that will be the determining factor that will show whether we are up or even.”
    As the economy began to slow, Notland went into the Christmas season hoping to be on par with last year after a marked slowdown in the last part of 2009, and so far it appears his business is on track.
    “If I could be even with last year, I’d be satisfied with that, just because of the conditions we have gone through,” he said. “We had a good last year. The slowdown didn’t start until about February.”
    He said the lowest point came through the summer, but Christmas has helped to bring in customers. He knows others were not so lucky.
    “There are some stores that are down 20 or 30 per cent. When you start losing a third of what you did from last year, that’s a pretty big slice,” said Notland.
    He says part of the slowdown could have been exacerbated by the media.
    “The news media forced a lot of this. Sure there were corrections that needed to be made, but a lot of people were starting to read that this may not be just a recession, but  maybe we’d slip into a depression. That was a little extreme,” he said.
    Despite the concerns
of a recession, Mel Cragg of Bill Cross Men’s Shop says he was expecting to be down, but has been pleasantly surprised. Business has been steady.
    He says he had a pretty productive summer, supplemented by many out of town shoppers. He shad a steady stream of visitors to the valley shopping at his store .
    Marylyn Faryna of Merle Norman, Marilyn’s Fashions and Esthetics and the Underground Galleria says she has yet to see a turn around.
    ‘I am down this year for sure,” said Faryna. “I haven’t done my numbers for December, but before December, I was definitely down. I know this month hasn’t brought me back up. This last week has been good, but before that, it wasn’t even like December.”
    “I was expecting that December was going to pull me back up from the downward spiral.”
    Despite this she says she is hopeful for the future.
    "I’m optimistic, things are going to come around,” she said. “I am optimistic for next year, I think there are going to be good things.”

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