News | DrumhellerMail - Page #6
Last updateThu, 13 Aug 2020 12pm

Strathmore RCMP lay attempted murder charges

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Strathmore RCMP have laid charges in relation to a shooting incident that occurred last week in Wheatland County.

On July 29 at 6:10 p.m., Strathmore RCMP responded to a report of an injured male and female on a rural property in Wheatland County.

Police located an adult male suffering from serious life-threatening injuries and an adult female suffering serious non-life threatening injuries. Both were transported via EMS to hospital. 

It is alleged the male was shot with a firearm and the female was run over by a vehicle at their residence during an altercation with two other adults known to the victims. 

Jesse Lane Roberts, 24, of Wheatland County has been charged with attempted murder with a firearm, attempted murder with a vehicle, pointing a firearm, and assault with a weapon.

Following a judicial hearing, Roberts was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Strathmore on Aug. 21, 2020.

As these matters are now before the courts, no further updates will be provided.

FCSS grant helps kids attend camp

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Drumheller FCSS has received a grant that will help young people attend summer camp despite financial limitations.
FCSS coordinator April Harrison tells the Mail, they have been successful in a grant application to offer a subsidy to lower and moderate-income families to attend the Sun’s Out Fun’s Out (SOFO) summer camps. It provides a sliding scale with up to 75 per cent discount.
“The grant is through Alberta Blue Cross, it is a COVID grant,” said Harrison. ‘We applied just to be able to provide a subsidy so as many kids as possible can go to camp knowing they have been stuck indoors for so long. We are just trying to reduce barriers.”
The camps are run outdoors, based at the Newcastle Recreation Area for youths 6-9 and 10-13. There is a different theme each week.
“One of the things we are really pleased with this year is the Family Resource Network is offering a session a week for us as well. This is doing some wellness stuff with the kids, doing a check-in, helping them think about their feelings in a fun way,” she said, adding AHS will also be offering some services.
“We know it has been, for some kids, quite the trauma, not being able to see their wider families, not being able to see their friends, not being able to go to school and see their teachers.”
She says the grant fits with the mandate of FCSS.
“FCSS is about preventative social programming to the community regardless of their household income,” she said. “The mandate of FCSS is to reduce barriers and meet community needs. And the reality is one of the community needs right now is kids not to be stuck in their houses.”
Harrison says there is a quick application available online at as well as on the Drumheller FCSS Facebook page.
“We are very happy to offer a subsidy, it is something we have been hoping to offer for a few years and we are really pleased this funding has been made available,” she said. “We never want to exclude anyone and this just means everyone has a chance to be involved.”

Trees key to flood mitigation and climate adaptation efforts

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Preparing for the next big flood event evokes thoughts of constructing man-made berms and dikes, but trees can also play a vital role in flood mitigation.
The Town of Drumheller is utilizing natural resources along Drumheller’s waterways, including the Red Deer River, in its flood mitigation and climate adaptation efforts.
Chief resiliency and flood mitigation officer, Darwin Durnie said, “We find the plains immediately adjacent to the river (both upstream and downstream of Drumheller) are barren except for a ribbon of what we call riparian area that’s well-treed with poplars.”
These riparian areas found along rivers are important because of the role the vegetation plays in soil conservation and habitat biodiversity. Vegetation in this area can provide a natural filtration system for waterways, and can impact flood events by slowing the flow of water and reducing soil erosion and flood damage.
One area Drumheller residents can already see this impact is at Newcastle Beach.
The willows along this section slow the flow of the river, leading to higher deposits of silt and gravel on the inside bend, while increasing erosion on the outside bend near the hospital. Removing these trees will “improve channel capacity to slow down erosion,” according to Durnie.
Grubbing, or the clearing and removal of trees, will also be focused between the Hoodoos and Cambria to help establish new berms, and in the area between the Gordon-Taylor Bridge, Badlands Community Facility, and Centennial Park. Dangerous trees which may impact future dike enhancements will be removed, or culled, from this area. Early work in the area was halted due to shutdowns from COVID-19 and Durnie is hopeful work will continue in August.
Culling trees is only one portion of the program, however.
Part of the flood mitigation efforts deals with climate adaptation. Trees play a vital role to slow or reverse pollution by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While operations at coal mines in the valley stopped in 1979, there is still plenty of the fossil fuel remaining which, according to Durnie, may impact changes in climate.
One of the struggles of climate adaptation, Durnie said is trying to “predict what the climate is going to be in the future.” Temperatures will go one of two directions, either increasing or decreasing, and there is a probability of more intense rainstorms.
Durnie added, “On the climate adaptation front, we need to be able to look at how much cooling effect can we get by having trees throughout the area to help cool it down and make it a more comfortable place to live, but also maybe slow down some of the storms that come into the area.”
Two students, from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Geomatics and the Geographical Information System (GIS) program at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, were recently involved with the project. The students took inventory of trees along the Red Deer River to assess their health and how they play a part in both flood mitigation and climate adaptation.
“We’ve gone out and looked at (trees in public areas), documented type and location, and with that we can make maps that show what the cooling effect might be of that grouping of trees,” said Durnie. He added, “Most of the trees we see throughout (Drumheller) and other neighbourhoods were planted and introduced.”
The flood mitigation office is working closely with Drumheller Institution in regards to the town-owned tree farm managed near their facility. The inventory students took will help ensure the tree farm has “enough inventory over the next 40 to 50 years” to replace trees in public areas to benefit the climate of the valley.
“The tree farm will be the backbone of the tree improvement program,” Durnie said. He added it will play an instrumental role in replacing trees the office has to remove, although some trees will be imported from nurseries due to the current capacity of the tree farm.
Durnie told the Mail, “(The public will) see some activity this fall of us moving some trees.”


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