The 25th Lethbridge International Air Show felt turbulence of its own after the show was cancelled early Saturday afternoon.
Marc Ouellette, the air show vice president, said it’s the first time he can recall that unfavourable weather forced the show to shut down early.
“Looking at the radar, we had a storm moving in, and it was moving in very quickly, that we had to evacuate,” he said. “We had to clear people for safety reasons and knowing that there was another one coming in — even though it did miss us — it was too close to take that chance.”
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, the air show was cancelled for the day; aerial performers were initially scheduled to continue on until 5 p.m.
But the decision to cancel was not easy.
“It was with heavy hearts that we did it, but safety is first, and there are rules and safety regulations in place for that purpose. As soon as the (storm) was five miles away, we have to call it.”
Five minutes after they called an evacuation, Ouellette said there was a lightning strike on the runway. “It started a fire at the end of the runway Saturday afternoon, during that period of time; that’s how close it was.”
Cigarette blamed for fire
An improperly disposed cigarette is to blame for $2.5-million in damages following a fire The Gardens at West Highlands earlier this week.
No charges will be laid as it was considered accidental.
“After evidence collection and witness statements that have been taken, we’ve found that improper disposal of a cigarette was the cause of the fire,” Chief Fire Marshall Heath Wright said Friday afternoon at Lethbridge Fire Headquarters downtown.
On Tuesday, several 911 callers reported smoke and flames visible from a third floor balcony of an apartment located at 2641 Garry Drive West. Firefighters from four stations responded and were able to extinguish the blaze within 2.5 hours.
All 140 residents managed to escape without injury. Some have been allowed to briefly enter to get medication and some personal items, but none of them are back living there yet, and won’t be for the foreseeable future.
Cops sweep up crime
More than $400,000 worth of stolen goods recovered, along with 45 arrests and 230 criminal charges, are some of the results from a two-month joint forces operation that targeted chronic property crime offenders in and around Lethbridge.
Members of the Lethbridge Police Service Priority Crimes Unit and Lethbridge ALERT recently wrapped Project Street Sweeper. To also show for it: $411,755 worth of recovered property, including 24 stolen vehicles, the recovery of nine firearms, $13,520 worth of drugs seized, 23 warrants executed, and 68 cases cleared.
“The intent of this project was to specifically target chronic offenders in this city who are responsible for property crimes and that’s exactly what we did. It was very successful,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Walper of Lethbridge ALERT, Friday morning at LPS headquarters.
“A great deal of the property crime in this community is rooted in the drug trade so it made sense to bring together our Priority Crimes Unit and Lethbridge ALERT. We decided to combine our teams to focus on targeting chronic property criminals within the city of Lethbridge. The teams worked excellent together.”
Water warning at Writing-On-Stone
Polluted water has once again closed one of southern Alberta’s most popular beaches. And with the heat wave continuing, anglers have been asked to confine their efforts to the early morning.
Elevated levels of fecal coliforms have been found in the Milk River at the beach at Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park, health officials report. So campers and visitors are warned not to swim or wade there until further notice.
At current levels of pollution, they say skin, ear and eye infections may result from contact with the water. Alberta Health Services also reminds campers not to drink untreated lake water because water-borne organisms — including fecal coliforms — can cause vomiting and diarrhea.