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Last updateThu, 03 Dec 2020 3pm

Court House evacuated Wednesday as police investigate suspicious package

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There were a few tense moments at the Alberta Court House in Drumheller on Wednesday, December 2, as police investigated a suspicious package.
The court house was evacuated around noon as the Drumheller RCMP investigated the package.
“An individual came into the court house with a grocery bag. He made some indecipherable comments to people in the building, and dropped it,” said Staff Sergeant Ed Bourque.
Upon exiting the building, the individual made a disrespectful gesture by pulling down his pants, exposing his backside.
“Our members were there almost immediately because it comes in as a Priority One call,” said Bourque. “Once they were able to establish it was safe for everybody… they were let back in right away.”
Police arrived, and upon inspecting the package, it turned out to be a full sealed bottle of vodka.
Police were able to identify the suspect, and charges are pending.


Red Bag food drive successful

RedBag food drive

Despite concerns over COVID-19, the annual Red Bag Food Drive went off without a hitch.
On Thursday night, November 26, volunteers combed neighbourhoods picking up donations that sustain The Salvation Army Food Bank.
Captain Ben Lippers of The Salvation Army was grateful for the support of the community.
“Hats off to Drumheller. We need this, and we need it every year. It amazes me every year, just the generosity that comes from Drumheller,” said Lippers.
Because of COVID-19, the annual drive looked a bit different. There was a limited number of volunteers due to protocols. Despite this, they quickly picked up and sorted the food with the crew they had on hand.
While there might not have been as many individual donations, Lippers noted the bags that came in were stuffed to the brim.
It was important for The Salvation Army to have a successful food drive. This year more Drumheller families had to rely on the food bank to meet their basic needs.
There have been more hampers provided by The Salvation Army this year than last year, and this does not account for the coming Christmas season.
With the Red Bag Food Drive complete, The Salvation Army continues to focus on its annual Toy Drive. The Tree of Toys is at The Salvation Army Thrift Store. This is where residents can come and take a tag with a Christmas gift for a family and fill it. If you cannot make it to the Thrift Store, a list of gifts needed is on The Salvation Army website and its Facebook page, as well as the Westergard Ford Facebook page. Toys can still be dropped at Westergard Ford.
The annual Kettle Campaign is already underway. The Salvation Army has a goal of $37,000 and is set up at major grocers as well as Ace Liquor. Those wishing to donate online can go to www.fillthekettle.com. An online donation uses your postal code and will direct your donation to local projects.
There is a need for kettle volunteers. To learn more or volunteer, call 403-823-2215.

Valley featured in filmmakers sci-fi trilogy

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Two months ago, there was a bit of local buzz, about an alien walking through downtown Drumheller. There is no need to worry, it was just Benjamin Ross Hayden doing what he does best.
Many in the valley might be familiar with the work of Hayden. The Albertan Métis filmmaker wrote and directed Northlander, a sci-fi epic with heavy shooting in the valley. This was released in 2016 and was nominated for A Canadian Screen Award, and won a Leo Award and an Alberta Film and Television Award.
Since then, he has been working on two more science fiction features, the most recent to be released is Parallel Minds. It has its theatrical release in Landmark Cinema this fall and will be at the Napier on December 3.
While Parallel Minds is a much different film than Northlander, it too features scenes from the Drumheller valley and also follows a common theatric theme.
“Thematically all of them are chapters of a larger whole. Each of them explores a different topic of science fiction through an indigenous lens,” he said. “Select scenes were shot in the Drumheller area at the Historic Graham Ranch. Stepping back as an indigenous filmmaker from the prairies it is important for me to explore and tell stories in and of the many different landscapes that this part of North America holds.”
Parallel Lines is about the corruption of a revolutionary contact lens that happens when a strange murder in the near future takes place. An old school detective and an intrepid researcher stop a rogue artificial intelligence entity before it is too late.
The film has been entered in 17 international film festivals all over the world, will have primetime viewing on APTN, and they have also locked in an international distributor.
“It is incredible an indigenous film about Canada is making a nice international footprint out there and getting foot traction in the international marketplace,” said Hayden.
As far as the alien on main street, Hayden has wrapped up a third sci-fi feature called First Encounter which is slated to be released next year.
“The Drumheller Badlands were paired with a more rural Canadian back roads in my next featured film coming out next summer, an indigenous extraterrestrial science fiction First Encounter,” he said.
This film features Eugene Brave Rock from Wonder Woman. It has a budget of $3 million and is an interprovincial co-production between Alberta and Manitoba.


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