A known drug house which had kept neighbours on edge for much of the last year has finally been shut down by the Alberta Sheriffs office following the serving of a Community Safety Order by the Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.
The closure and shuttering of the property, which is located on the 1800 block of 7 Avenue North, took place under the watchful eyes of law enforcement on Wednesday.
“I think the neighbourhood has been very good and patient in understanding there is a process in how we have to deal with things,” said Sgt. Mark Smallbones of the LPS Priority Crimes Unit, which assisted the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) with the investigation which led to the safety order.
“These things don’t happen overnight, but they have been very patient in keeping us up to date.”
Insp. Mike Letourneau of the Alberta Sheriffs Branch also praised the house’s neighbours who first reported the drug activity and persisted in working with police despite the difficult circumstances.
Families want book boycott
Lethbridge’s Boulet family is joining a chorus of other Humboldt Broncos family members in condemning the release of a new self-published book by Dr. Barry Heath entitled, “Humble Beginnings of the Humboldt Broncos and the 2017-2018 Team.”
“We hope nobody sells the book,” says Toby Boulet, father of Bronco Logan Boulet who died as a result of the April highway team bus crash. “We can’t stop people from reading it, and he can give the books away for all we care. But we don’t want anyone to read the book. It is not endorsed by the families. He (Heath) told a story that is not his story to tell.”
Heath, a former veterinarian and community coroner in Humboldt, first approached Broncos management and family members mere days after the horrific crash which claimed the lives of 16 people, and greatly impacted the lives of 13 others.
According to Boulet, Heath was first told it was not the time for such a book, and when he persisted in trying to speak to the families even after being ignored by most of them, the families banded together to ask Broncos management to stop him from trying to contact them. At which point Heath did stop trying to communicate, says Boulet, but did not stop putting his book together from publicly available news reports.
Maze hosts fundraiser
The Lethbridge Corn Maze invited families and friends to the fields to raise money for a local organization for their annual Thanksgiving fundraiser.
Over the last 19 years, the Lethbridge Corn Maze has helped raise funds for deserving organizations including local food banks, fire rescue, hurricane relief and Women’s Mission in Mexico which helps women in domestic violence situations.
This year’s organization they raised money for was Rehoboth South Region in Coaldale which provides a variety of services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Some of the services they provide is support, advocacy, public education, opportunities for personal growth, and meaningful participation in society.
The money raised at the Thanksgiving fundraiser goes towards a new interactive outdoor space on the side of the complex where individuals can go to relax, and experience nature.
Blood Tribe gathering data on homelessness
The Blood Tribe hopes by taking part in the Alberta Rural Development Network’s Rural Homelessness Estimation Count it will be able to get hard data on the level of homelessness on the reserve to provide a baseline for future funding applications, says Blood Tribe Family Community Support Services director Bruce Iron Shirt.
Currently due to jurisdictional issues between the province and the federal government, says Iron Shirt, and the lack of an established baseline, there is no real core funding for homeless initiatives on reserve, or even to fund the band’s Moses Lake Shelter year-round. This Band-Aid approach to funding, mainly provided through the band’s own limited support funds, leads to gaps in services, says Iron Shirt.
“Our lack of resources does lead to those gaps, and we are trying to find any source of funding that is outside of the boundaries and jurisdictional issues we deal with,” he says. “We need more core funding. We don’t really have any core funding, and outside of the reserve the province does provide some core funding to shelters.”
Lack of baselines data is a common problem in many rural communities, confirms ARDN executive director Dee Ann Denard, not just on the Blood reserve.
“Rural homelessness is a hidden problem,” says Denard. “So about a year or so ago the ARDN created the first ever guide on how to do rural homelessness estimation, but we needed to test it. We were able to get some funding to do that and get a whole bunch of communities involved. The Blood Tribe is one of the few Indigenous communities that we are doing one in.”
Scholarship winner named
In partnership with the Lethbridge College, Ashcroft Master Builder helped announce the winner of the Ashcroft: Giving Back scholarship contest.
Tyler Dow, 27, will have up to $10,000 of his education paid for to help him succeed at working toward the completion of a Digital Communications and Media diploma, and his dreams of becoming a combat photojournalist.
“This scholarship is really a turning point in my life,” says Dow. “I have lived a very versatile, demanding and otherwise rocky and interesting life as far as where I came from and grew up. The scholarship really gave me a focus, gave me something to really push towards and to achieve that goal.”
The Ashcroft: Giving Back scholarship contest is the latest phase of a multi-faceted partnership between the builder and the college. The contest was open to anyone, with the focus on giving the gift of education to someone who otherwise would not be able to pursue it on their own.
Art solidifies friendship
A unique public art exchange to represent the ongoing friendship of two cities — Lethbridge and Ville Saint-Laurent, Que. — are being realized with the installation of Quebec-based artist Marc Dulude’s dynamic sculpture of four flying geese tethered to a large sandstone.
It is set to be installed at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden today. A line drawn in the earth marks the trail of the stone and references the strength of the friendship that allows the two twin cities to surpass barriers as they continue to honour their 50-year twinning.
In return, Lethbridge will be sending back a sculpture to Saint-Laurent entitled “Coyote2coyote” by artists Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew.
The sculpture has two bronze coyotes set against an abstract coulee form.
Budget allocator launched
The City of Lethbridge has announced the launch of the new online Budget Allocator, which will allow Lethbridge residents to explore how their priorities for municipal services would affect City spending.
The City’s operating budget is determined by the municipal services that are provided, and this fall, city council will set in place a new four-year operating budget.
The budget allocator is the latest of many opportunities before the operating budget is set for residents to examine existing City services and provide feedback on how they compare with their own priorities. It is used as an education and awareness tool intended to enhance residents’ understanding of what all goes into the City’s operating budget.
Campaign benefits baseball academy
As Yukio Kitagawa rolls into Vauxhall on his bicycle on Friday, he will truly be 82 years young in every sense.
A philanthropist for the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball since its inception 12 years ago, Kitagawa has intertwined his thirst for a healthy lifestyle with a Pennies for K’s campaign which will see him pedal his 100,000th kilometre as he makes his way to Vauxhall town limits from Lethbridge.
Kitagawa has taken pledges for every kilometre he has rode in the venture to help raise money for a new indoor training facility for the baseball academy, where the academy will help celebrate his 82nd birthday and his cycling achievement.
Kitagawa’s challenging journey began on a crisp morning on Sept. 1, 2014. He would go on to cycle for 444 consecutive days toward the goal before taking a break. While small in stature, Kitagawa has been known for his big heart and determination as an advocate for seniors to keep active in their golden years.
Teen wins LSO award
A 13-year-old violinist who’s already played at Carnegie Hall has been named winner of the Lethbridge Symphony’s featured Young Artist Competition.
An Edmonton resident, Jacques Forestier will return to Lethbridge for a guest appearance with the full Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra during its 2019-20 season.
Judges heard live performances from five young musicians during a concert here recently, before selecting a winner.
A different panel of judges selected the five — on the basis of performance recordings, no names attached — earlier this summer.
“All five finalists brought their best to the stage,” says symphony executive director Melanie Gattiker. “But Jacques’ performance stood out. He had people on the edge of their seats.”
The protegé began playing violin when he was two, with his mother as instructor. He now studies with Bill Van der Sloot at Mount Royal University, and is part of its academy program for gifted young musicians.