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Last updateFri, 24 May 2024 12pm

Haunted Coal Mine scares record numbers

    The annual Atlas Haunted Coal Mine broke their attendance records during their Big Boo on Saturday, October 29, and Little Boo on October 30.
    “There were lines like Disneyland,” said Linda Digby, Executive Director of the Atlas Coal Mine. “All in all we’re expecting that numbers are a big jump from previous years.”
    Roughly 720 guests braved the eerie mine on Saturday night and 350 guests came for the milder Little Boo the next day.
    Guests took a fright filled walk through the mine, beginning with the tipple, followed by a stop at the ever creepy wash house, which had undergone a radical change.
    “A new team was Andy Neuman and his team,” said Digby. They transformed the wash house like never before.”
    Guests then walked into the night, with scares around every corner, such as the unsettling presence of an unwelcome ghoul on the train or a maniac with a chain saw.
    Attendees had a great time, with comments being positive.
    “We heard lots of screams all over the sights and also a lot of laughs,” said Digby. “It turned out really well.”
    Roughly 70 per cent of the guests were from out of town, indicating that the community event conceived seven years ago is reaching a wide audience.
     “It boosts the shoulder seasons tourism economy”, said Digby. “It helps everyone in the valley.”
    The Haunted Coal Mine was filmed this year as an information piece for those who haven’t attended before. The video will appear on the Atlas Coal Mine website and their YouTube channel.
    When asked what next year has in store, Digby replied “I’ve got some ideas for next year, but I’m not telling.”


Husky Energy lends support to Standard Hall project

    Husky Energy boosted fundraising efforts for the new Standard Community Hall on November 1 with a donation of $50,000.
    In recognition of the donation, a compilation of historical pictures and artifacts from the area are to be displayed in the hall and will be named the Husky Heritage Display.
    The Hussar Gas Plant, now owned by Husky Energy, was originally built in 1959 by Tennessee Gas & Oil Co. and was expected to produce for 10-15 years. Now, 52 years later, this field is still producing and has been an integral part of the community of Standard, providing employment to many residents over the years.
    “Supporting the communities where our employees live and work is a core value at Husky,” said Rob Symonds, Vice President of Western Canada Production. “The new hall will be a focal point in the community and with its enhanced disaster centre capabilities and meeting spaces, it will become an even more vital asset to the area.”
    “Our community certainly appreciates the support of the business corporations within the community”, commented Ron Corbiell, chairman of the Standard Community Hall Building Committee. “Our smaller communities really gain from the support of Husky and other oil industry companies both from donations and employment opportunities.”
    This donation brings the total raised to $1,229,482 through fundraising, private and corporate donations and a matching Community Spirit Grant of $21,657.  More government grants can be applied for when a firm completion date is determined for the estimated $2.6 million project.

Subsidized housing units receive energy saving retrofit

    The subsidized housing units in Drumheller are getting a much-needed makeover, not only for aesthetics, but also for energy efficiency.
    The Drumheller Housing Administration, which stewards the provincially operated subsidized units in Huntington Hills and in the Greentree area, was able to secure a federal stimulus grant through Canada’s Economic Action Plan to make improvements to the properties.
    Over the last three years, the Housing Administration has been able to replace 80 per cent of the furnaces, with high efficiency units. It also retrofitted the hot water tanks and toilets to save energy and water.
    The administration has also been able to renovate the interiors of many of the 50 units as they have become vacant.
    The last step of the process is replacing the siding, and right now crews are in the process of this renovation.
    “Not only does it reduce our carbon footprint, but it also saves money with the energy improvements,” said Jay Garbutt chairman of the Drumheller Housing Administration.
    He adds that even though the province foots the bill for the heat and water; it comes out of revenues supported by taxpayers.
    The Huntington Hills units were built in 1971, and the housing units in Greentree were built in 1967.  Canada’s Economic Action Plan is paying for 100 per cent of the project, and Garbutt applauds the Drumheller Housing Administration management for pursuing the grants to retrofit the units.
    He said the management has been able to take advantage of the Inside-Out program and used federal inmate labours for many of the improvements. It has also extensively used local contractors when possible to complete the bulk of the work, putting more locals to work.
    “This is a direct result of the federal stimulus program,” said Garbutt.


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