Coaldale RCMP along with Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Highway 4 and Range Road 205, Saturday evening at 7:41 p.m.
At the scene, it was determined a semi tractor hauling agricultural equipment heading southeast on Highway 4 collided with a Chevrolet Equinox entering Highway 4 northbound at that intersection. The speed limit on Highway 4 at that stretch of road is 110 km/h. The Chevrolet Equinox was truck broadside by the larger semi tractor in the centre of the highway. Vehicles entering Highway 4 are to stop prior to entering the highway as directed by a stop sign.
The impact on the small car was severe with the driver’s side being crushed. The two occupants of the car, an older couple in their 80s from Taber, were pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver and passenger of the semi tractor were not injured.
The names of the deceased will not be released, and there will be no charges arising from the incident.
Northside residential fire
Lethbridge firefighters responded to a residential fire in the 2300 block of 7 Avenue North, Friday afternoon, after several calls from the public reported to 911 at 12:30 p.m.
Four stations and 27 firefighters responded to the fire, along with additional support from Lethbridge Police and Fire Prevention.
When crews arrived on scene, they were met with heavy smoke and intense heat, but were able to safely evacuate all occupants and two pets that were in the home. One firefighter was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The amount of damage from the fire is estimated around $200,000, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. No further information is available at this time.
Fewer rattlesnake encounters
In what may be one more sign of Lethbridge’s slowing homebuilding industry, there are fewer rattlesnake encounters with humans being reported in the city this year.
“The seasons for 2017 and 2018 were unusually busy,” explains Ryan Heavy Head, an ecological consultant with City of Lethbridge’s rattlesnake program. “We jumped from having somewhere on average 60-80 calls a summer to having 170 plus calls both those years. I think it was mainly because of the snakes losing habitat to Melcor development in The Canyons and the Destination Project at the university so they were just bumping into people more. This year the snake calls are way down.”
For comparison, Heavy Head says through May-June last year there were 73 calls for removal of snakes. This year, he says, there have been only 22 calls over the same time period.
One odd trend in 2019, however, is more of those calls are also coming from the southside than in previous years, says Heavy Head.
Highway 3 project not confirmed
The Kenney government is reviewing $100 million in funding for the Highway 3 bridge replacement allocated by the former NDP government for that purpose just prior to the spring election, and is making no guarantees the project will go ahead as previously announced.
In a statement emailed to The Herald last week credited to Minister Ric McIver from the Ministry of Transportation, McIver confirms the funding review for the replacement bridge, and suggests it will have to be revisited after a blue ribbon panel on public spending (led by former Sask. Party cabinet minister Janice MacKinnon) reports later this fall.
“We intend to honour the NDP’s budgeted infrastructure commitments, subject to the advice that we get from the MacKinnon panel regarding the province’s fiscal health,” the statement reads.
“The Highway 3 bridge was one of several projects that were announced just before the election and not included in the budget, however it will be considered as part of the overall capital planning process.”
The City of Lethbridge expressed its hope the minister would re-confirm the Alberta government’s funding commitment for the much-needed Hwy. 3 bridge replacement project after the review.
Vulcan plays host to Trekkies
Vulcan showed its Star Trek pride over the weekend with their annual convention which showcased all of the history of the show and the town.
Throughout the weekend, fans of the show and other community members were able to meet some of the original cast of Star Trek and other sci-fi shows, dress up in their favourite cosplay outfit, shop through the vendor market and much more.
“This past weekend we had our Vul-Con event and it is an event where we pay homage to our name Vulcan, and of course we are the Star Trek capital of Canada and so every year we have a Vulcan Convention,” says Bonnie Ellis, community services manager for Vulcan.
“It is all grassroots Star Trek. It’s not like a big event like Comicon where you are just a number, here you get to mix and mingle, and it is a very fun and intimate event. This convention is something that has put us on the map, we are known all around the world and we have people that visit us from all over.”
Joining the town this year for the convention was Tracee Cocco who has been in over 100 episodes of various Star Trek affiliated shows, Mary Chieffo who played L’Rell Discovery in Star Trek, and Bobby Clark who played the original Gorn in Star Trek.
Prof rides for Alzheimer’s
It’s a journey he won’t forget. University of Lethbridge professor Richard Larouche is back on campus after completing a 7,600 km bicycle trip across Canada.
The Cabot Trail, the hilly streets of St. John’s, the lush Okanagan Valley — they’re just some of the highlights of an expedition that also allowed time to visit family and friends in Quebec.
But there’s another reason for the ride. For Larouche, it’s a way to combat a disease that robs Canadians of their memories.
Funds he raised along the way are earmarked for the Alzheimer Society.
That’s a cause close to his heart, he explains: too many family members have been diagnosed with the disease in their later years.
Research has led to advances in prevention and treatment of a number of diseases affecting older people, Larouche observes. But there hasn’t been as much progress with Alzheimer’s disease.
“There’s still a lot of research to be done.”
The U of L, he points out, is where some of that is happening.
With the journey completed, Larouche is returning to his own research pursuits.
A public health researcher in the university’s health sciences faculty, his recently published book Children’s Active Transportation stresses the importance of instilling “active transportation” habits like riding a bike to school.
Visit the Whoop-Up Trail
It’s a unique Lethbridge experience. And it’s selling out!
On Wednesdays through the summer, local residents and visitors have the opportunity to learn more about frontier life here 150 years ago — while enjoying a drink, a rustic meal and a closeup dinner theatre presentation.
It’s “Life on the Whoop-Up Trail,” a first-time attraction at Fort Whoop-Up. It’s being presented weekly through the summer, with a limit of 24 dinner guests.
A guided tour of the fort, a fast-paced bartering session and a keepsake souvenir are also part of the evening, a collaboration between the Galt Museum and the replica fort, and New West Theatre.
Fort Whoop-Up and New West also present “Trader Tales,” an interactive evening Thursdays, at regular admission prices. For further information or dinner reservations, check galtmuseum.com/fort-whoop-up or call 403-320-3777.
Southside tourist centre reopens
Visitors can once again learn about Lethbridge attractions at the information centre at Scenic and Mayor Magrath Drives. A playground, washrooms, parking and a sani-flush station for recreational vehicles are also offered in the park-like facility.
William Slenders, executive director of Tourism Lethbridge, says the centre will remain open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the end of September.
For now, the non-profit agency’s marketing and administrative functions will remain in the 5 Street S. location downtown.
Tourism Lethbridge was unable to move into the Mayor Magrath Drive facility until building ownership issues were resolved, he said Thursday. Now, travellers arriving in larger vehicles will be able to park and walk in and find the information they need.
“There is a recognition that visitors with large vehicles need easy access to quality information about our city,” Slenders said.
“As this location already hosts the city’s sani-dump station and a large lot of free parking, it only makes sense for us to be there.”