Another Lethbridge mother is coming forward with a story about a close call with a six-year-old child and a discarded drug needle.
Roisin Gibb said her son often collects interesting items he finds on the ground because he is curious and inquisitive, but Gibb never imagined this innocent habit could put both her and her child at risk.
Gibb and her husband were packing their son’s lunch into his backpack recently when they found a used drug needle in the backpack. Her son told her he found it on the grounds of his southside school and Gibb immediately put a call in to the boy’s teacher.
“The teacher went to investigate the area, and in the area where my son said he found the needle, there was other drug debris there,” she recalled. “At that point the reality set in for me that it really was a drug needle and honestly, from a parent’s perspective, it was an emotional roller-coaster for me. It was very much up and down. I dropped my kids off Thursday morning, and I cried as they were getting out of the vehicle because I felt as if they weren’t safe at school. And I have never felt that way before.”
The school and school district both immediately took extra steps to deal with the problem in response to her concerns, which Gibb is grateful for, but she feels this incident, and an incident earlier in the week where a local boy stabbed himself by accident with a discarded drug needle, should be a wakeup call for everyone in Lethbridge.
Explosion results in charges
A 32-year-old man has been charged after detonating an explosive device early Saturday morning.
Lethbridge Police Service responded to two separate reports of a loud bang, believed at the time to be a gunshot, at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday in the area of 17 Street and 9 Avenue South. When police arrived they had to extinguish a small fire in an alley. Police determined, due to the debris field, likely an explosive device had been detonated.
During a neighbourhood canvass, the investigation led police to an address in the 800 block of 16 Street South which resulted in the arrest of two men from inside the residence. The Criminal Investigation Division executed a search warrant later the same day in the basement suite with the assistance of the Explosive Disposal Unit. Inside the residence additional evidence and explosive materials were located and seized.
Shaun Hlavach of Lethbridge has been charged with intent to cause an explosion and making or possession of explosives for an unlawful purpose.
Gutsy Walk surpasses goal
About 200 people, a record number, came out to the annual Gutsy Walk at Henderson Lake on Sunday to show their support and raise funds on behalf of those suffering with Crohn’s and colitis in the community.
“It’s great to see so many people out,” said Gutsy Walk co-ordinator Karen Gay. “Our goal here was to raise $40,000, but already this morning we were already at 97 per cent of our goal. We are definitely going to exceed it, because a lot of people just bring in cash and cheque pledges today.”
The Gutsy Walk took place in 60 communities across Canada on Sunday. About 233,000 Canadians suffer the effects of Crohn’s and colitis, two closely-related inflammatory bowel diseases.
Pot retail plan mapped out
Details of how the retail side of cannabis regulation will be handled by the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission were laid out during a public meeting on cannabis legalization.
Graham Wadsworth, senior manager, inspections south with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, spoke at the City’s Community Issues Committee recently in Council Chambers.
Wadsworth said the AGLC has a commitment keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth; protect public health; promote safety on roads, in workplaces, and public spaces; and limiting the illegal cannabis network.
The AGLC is responsible for licencing the cannabis retail environment. The new regulations define the rules for retail in four areas: who can work in a retail store, who can operate a retail store, where they can be located, and how the stores will operate.
All licence applicants will be subject to vigorous background checks, including criminal record checks, business history, tax and financial information, and no history of integrity offences, violent crimes, or links to organized crime.
Wadsworth made it clear no licences would be issued to anyone with links to organized crime or those with a history of drug trafficking — although a previous record of minor cannabis possession would not automatically disqualify an applicant.
Licences will need to be renewed annually and background checks will occur every one to three years to ensure applicants are still qualified for licensing.
Optimistic time for trade
Don’t be drawn in by the “doom and gloom” surrounding negotiations in the North American Free Trade Agreement deal — not when there are so many market opportunities becoming available for businesses in Lethbridge on the international stage.
That was one message from Carlo Dade, Director of Trade and Investment Centre for the Canada West Foundation. Dade was in Lethbridge last week to speak at a lunch event hosted by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce regarding the state of trade and the effects of potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Dade said counter to the negativity currently being fed to the public through politics and the media, potential changes to NAFTA also could bring opportunity for those companies ready for it. “You look at the onslaught of information that’s coming out — especially from certain individuals south of the border on Twitter — it’s not just overwhelming, but it’s debilitating,” he said.
In spite of that message, it is an optimistic time for trade, according to Dade.