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Gifts of the Magi shared with audience

    Rosebud Theatre has for years possessed the gifts of story telling, entertainment, evoking emotions and inspiring.
    This Christmas they are also sharing “The Gifts of the Magi.”
    This musical is based on the classic O’Henry short story of selfless giving and irresistible love. Mark St. Germain and Randy Courts took the simple story and created a tale of the hardship of a young couple in New York City facing the hustle, opulence and poverty of the berg, and a Christmas without snow.
    Cassia Schramm, recent graduate of Rosebud School of the Arts,commnded he stage last season with roles in Oliver! and The Secret Garden. In Gift of the Magi she plays Della, one half of the young couple in their tiny flat furnished with a shabby little couch. Jim, played by Aaron Krogman, who is also recognizable from the Rosebud stage after playing roles in Fiddler on the Roof, Christmas on the Air and a Bright Particular Star, hits the pavement each morning in search of work. While his love for his young bride is unquestioned, being part of a faceless, jobless mass is taking its toll on the young man with Christmas just days away especially when Jim has no means to buy a gift for his wife.
    Those who are touched by the simplicity of the original story would certainly be curious how a musical production could carry the fable without losing its charm.
    Rosebud succeeds. The flavour of New York and all of its hustle is captured through a simple set and the versatility of “City Him” (Joel Stephanson) and “City Her” (Laura Gillespie) who help set each scene. Mike Thiessen, through his homeless character “Soapy” provides comic relief and Natalie Gauthier as a newspaper boy provides a gentle narration to keep the play moving.
     While much is added to the original story in the production, the emotion of the “two foolish children” whose sacrifices pale in comparison to their love, is not lost.
    One of Rosebud’s continual successes is bringing in the Christmas season with its final production of the season. Year after year, the productions warm the heart of its audience, delivering them their first gift of the season.


Town seeks direction on public transit

    At the Committee of the Whole meeting on October 31, 2011, members of council discussed the feasibility of public transit in the Drumheller Valley.
    The closest notion of public transportation in the Valley at the moment is the Valley Bus, a non profit society mandated  to help transport the elderly and disabled. The bus, rather than having routes, is dispatched directly to users who request transportation.
    Plans to implement public transit in Drumheller have remained in park for some time. However, the Town of Drumheller is shifting gears.
    Town administration is in the process of fine tuning a survey to be sent out to Valley residents to determine if and what services residents would desire from any public transit service.
    “Whether there are enough people who would use it, that’s what we don’t know,” said Councillor Tom Zariski. “We encourage everyone to take part in the survey.”
    The initial plan would be to have two routes. One would run between Nacmine and downtown Drumheller. The second would travel between Midland and downtown. There would be  a number of stops along the way for each route. However, other routes would be considered.
    “Depending on the survey results we may have a route to East Coulee,” said Zariski. “We need input from residents to give us direction.”
    The aim of the public transit service would be to accommodate people who are limited in their ability to travel by not having access to a vehicle. At this point, the proposed service would not be a replacement for a daily commute.
    “The transportation routes we have planned are probably not conducive for people going to and from work,” said Zariski. “It’s more for people who want to go downtown occasionally and if they don’t have a vehicle they can plan their schedule around the routes.”
    Another aspect of the public transit service would be to accommodate tourists. Routes could be schedule between hotels and tourist attractions. Getting tourists on board could alleviate parking problems during the busy weekends and help subsidize the service.
    There would be a few job opportunities, depending on how widespread public transit becomes. Drivers, mechanics, cleaners, and more would be needed to keep things operating smoothly.
    Fees for bus use have not been discussed as of yet, but one thing is certain, taxpayers would foot some of the bill.
    During the Committee of the Whole meeting the question was raised as to whether the proposed service would be run by the Valley Bus Society. Council members felt that the Town should lead efforts.
    “The Valley Bus Society has been effective for many years,” said Zariski. “But, it’s mandate is to transport seniors and disabled persons.”
    Were public transportation given the green light, it would not replace the Valley Bus. The Valley Bus service would continue to run.
    As of this time, public transit in Drumheller is only in the research phase and the plans mentioned herein are subject to the desires of residents. The Town of Drumheller will soon be sending out surveys and any input could shape the route public transit takes in the future.

Man receives conditional sentence for drug possession

    A man who was discovered in the possession of about 15 pounds of marijuana was placed under a conditional sentence order of 16 months.
    Steven Michael Brausse appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, October 28 to be sentenced on the charge of possession of drugs for the purposes of trafficking.
    The court heard how, on October 20, 2010 police made a traffic stop on Highway 9 east of Morrin corner after the officer noticed the licence plate on the vehicle stopped was not well illuminated.
    When the officer exited his own vehicle, he noted the strong smell of fresh marijuana emanating out of the stopped SUV.  The search of the vehicle revealed a large box with about 15 pounds of marijuana, of which, about sixpounds was bud while the rest was stems and leaves. There were also items in the SUV associated with a marijuana growing operation.
    Defense for Brausse said his client was assisting a friend to harvest and dismantle a growing operation, and this behaviour was out of character. A favourable presentence report was also provided.
    The Federal Prosecutor and defense agreed a conditional sentence order would be appropriate in the circumstances.
    Brausse is subject to an order where he is to live under house arrest for the first six months of his sentence, and for the remainder of his 16 month sentence he is to abide by a curfew from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Items seized in the stop have been forfeited for disposal, and Brausse also received a mandatory firearm prohibition.


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