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Last updateTue, 23 Oct 2018 11am

Name released in impaired driving collision

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The name of the woman charged in relation to a multivehicle collision on September 19 has been released by RCMP.

Barbara Krisher Luke, 24, has been charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle over 80 mg per 100 ml and failing to provide the necessities of life, as her infant child was in the vehicle at the time of the collision but was unharmed.

Krisher Luke is scheduled to appear in Drumheller Provincial Court on October 26.

At around 4 p.m. on September 19 a driver of a black Ford Super Duty lost control of their vehicle at a high rate of speed at the intersection of Highway 9 and 10 in Drumheller.

Witnesses reported to RCMP the driver lost control and bounced off a curb before colliding with four other vehicles, including a school bus. There were no passengers on the school bus at the time.

One individual was transferred to hospital with minor injuries.


Helping students understand pitfalls of social media

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The world of technology can be hard for many to navigate. Add it to a classroom and it adds a world of possibilities and pitfalls.

Today many students, from elementary school, right up to high school have smartphones and other devices. These can be a great tool for communication with parents, research and safety. JoAnne Akerboom says the responsible use of these devices has to be a joint effort of students, educators and especially parents.

The biggest thing is for the parent to be aware of it,” she said. “It is the same thing as a parent putting a package of cigarettes in a kid’s hand, sending them off to school expecting us to be responsible to make sure the kid doesn’t smoke. It’s the same thing, put a phone in their hand, send them off to school and we are supposed to look after it? I think we have to have a partnership here.”

Akerboom completed her Masters with her paper entitled Parental awareness and interest in their child’s use of social media: A case study at St. Anthony’s School.

Her project actually supports work that has been undertaken by the school division to deal with issues and promote healthy student relationships in the age of social media.

“The goal of this case study was really to provide more information to Christ the Redeemer because they had already started on an initiative to develop curriculum for the classroom,” she explains. “This isn’t Alberta Education mandated, but we have seen a lot of issues and principals in our school community have said ‘we want to see something done.’”

She says parents do see it is their responsibility to be the primary person in a child’s life when looking at how to use social media and electronics.

“Parents are the number one educators of their children and the schools are there to support that, so if there are challenges that parents are facing they don’t know how to deal with, that’s where the schools do have a role to support that,” she said.

Her work showed parents are very aware of the positive and negative of social media. An interesting point is while they are aware, they are often the ones who are learning.

“We are the digital immigrants, the kids are digital natives, they know more than we do, they know how to use better than we do so we have to learn with them,” said Akerboom.

Like it or not, smartphones are everyday tools for students and adults, be it for scheduling, communication and research. Akerboom says for example classrooms in France have completely banned the phones and the effects on academics are positive. Christ the Redeemer School does not have a blanket policy for technology in the classroom.

“We don’t have a set policy on this, nor will we, because our division feels that you know your school, you know your students, you know your community, you decide what is appropriate,” she said.

In the classroom at St. Anthony’s Akerboom says in the elementary school, the phones don’t enter the classroom and no technology is allowed during recess.

At the junior high and high school levels, she explains the school is taking the approach of wanting to teach students how to use technology responsibly.

“At this end, (the junior high and high school) they can bring their phone in and it is put on the corner of their desk in airplane mode, so no there is no sound. It is a dark black box,” she said. “There are times in the classroom when they want to read a book they have online for example. The teachers want to teach them to use it responsibly because it is a tool.”

One of the biggest concern she has when social media is not used responsibly is students lose the ability to interact. Since the dawn of the technology age, family time has dropped by one- third.

“Children are more connected to their friends through electronic devices. But what happens? They lose their humanity. They lose their ability to have body language, vocal tone, and they are losing their ability to look someone in the eye and have a conversation. They are losing the ability to talk to each other,” she said.

In response, Christ the Redeemer School Division has begun to focus on #relationshipsinadigitalage.

“We are focusing on developing healthy relationships as a way to combat what is coming out negatively from all of this screen time,” said Akerboom.

“It’s not to say that all technology is bad-not at all. Technology can be an incredibly wonderful tool, but it can also be an incredibly destructive tool very quickly.”

Nate Horner wins UCP nomination for Drumheller-Stettler

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There will be a new face representing the United Conservative Party in the Drumheller-Stettler riding come next spring’s provincial election, as Nate Horner has won the UCP Constituency Association’s nod.

Horner, a rancher from Pollockville, ran a successful campaign and unseated incumbent Rick Strankman who has represented the Drumheller-Stettler riding since 2012 when he gained the seat as a representative of the Wild Rose Party.

“Nate has a diverse background, with experience in agriculture, oil and gas, and as a small business owner. This, combined with a deep desire to create a better Alberta for his two small children, makes Nate an ideal United Conservative candidate and I’m pleased to welcome him to the team,” said United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney.

It was an intense campaign for the nomination, where three candidates worked hard to get out the vote. A day before voting Todd Pawsey was disqualified, leaving Horner and Strankman in the race.

Kenny expressed his appreciation to Strankman for his service.

“I would also like to thank Rick Strankman for his immense contributions to the conservative movement, from going to jail to protest the unjustness of the Canadian Wheat Board to getting elected to the Alberta Legislature in 2012. I am looking forward to working with Rick in the Legislature in the coming months and whatever else the future holds,” said Kenney.