Police are reminding southern Albertans to secure their homes, after several rural break-and-enter incidents were reported near Fort Macleod.
Rural residents are also urged to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles, and strangers knocking on doors or going onto private property. Thieves may use some kind of ploy or cover story when they’re knocking on doors to see if anyone is home, police add.
Fort Macleod RCMP are investigating several rural break and enters to residences in recent weeks, they report. Suspects appear to know that no one is home and they either find an open door, or force an entry to the home. Once inside, they go through the house to steal electronics, cash and other valuable items.
Police are advising homeowners to ensure doors and windows are locked and to record serial numbers on electronics or other valuable items as a way to help police track and possibly locate items.
Residents with any information about these break-and-enter incidents are asked to contact the Fort Macleod RCMP at 403-553-7200.
LPS event seeks participants
Lethbridge Police are inviting runners and walkers to lace up their sneakers for Special Olympics this fall.
The LPS’ sixth annual Half Marathon, 10K and 5K run is set for Oct. 5 with walkers, joggers and runners of all skill levels encouraged to sign up for the charity event.
Participants will receive a shirt for race day (must sign up by Sept. 5), a finisher’s medal and there will be prizes for the top runners, LPS said in a release.
For more information or to register to run or volunteer visit http://www.lpsrun.ca
Raising opioid awareness
During the 62nd annual Piikani Nation Pow Wow, Lori Vrebosch and a team of dedicated Piikani leaders, community members and volunteers hosted the first Opioid Awareness and Overdose Prevention initiative to reach a large audience to educate attendees about opioid use.
The initiative spurred out of the personal loss of Vrebosch and many other families within the community that have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose.
They want to help bring awareness on the risks associated with opioid use, reduce the stigma of those struggling with addictions and to prevent future overdoses by providing people with free NARCAN Nasal Spray.
“My youngest son was just finishing his first month of work and celebrating his first pay cheque, bought his family dinner and went to bed that night thinking that he was going to do recreational drugs and unfortunately he ended up having an overdose because the drugs that he did ended up being laced with carfentanyl and fentanyl,” says Vrebosch. “The grief of losing my son has reverberated through my entire family, it has effected all of us and the reason I want to help with this initiative for the Piikani Nation is because over the past 10 months, we have continued to see very large amounts of death occurring from overdose and we want to make sure that people have the resources, tools and prevention materials to keep people safe and from overdose death.”
Organizations such as the Pagan Prevention Counseling Services, Lethbridge ARCHES, Moms Stop the Harm, and Faces of Addiction came together to provide a wide-spread of resources from basic information for users, rehab and treatment facilities, detox, family support, and youth services for all over alberta.
County issues fire advisory
More hot, dry weather is predicted. But southern Albertans won’t be facing fire bans if they go camping over the long weekend.
There are currently no restrictions or prohibitions in Alberta’s provincial parks. And everyone who’s managed to secure a campsite in Waterton Lakes National Park can ignite a campfire in their site’s metal firepit.
Lethbridge County has issued a fire advisory, stressing the importance of monitoring any outdoor fire carefully — but indicating no fire ban is needed currently,
Anyone heading east to the Medicine Hat area, however, should be aware of dangerous conditions there.
Officials in Cypress County report an “extreme fire hazard” due to a long dry spell. Outdoor fires are being restricted to camp stoves, barbecues or fire rings fuelled by propane or naptha.
In Forty Mile, municipal officials have suspended all fire permits and restricted fires to recreational use, as above.
Heading west, the M.D. of Willow Creek is restricting fires to the metal firepits located in its various recreational areas.
Corn maze pays tribute to D-Day
Those flying out of Lethbridge for vacation might notice a moving tribute to Canada’s Second World War soldiers in a field down below.
The Lethbridge Corn Maze has carved the Royal Canadian Mint’s image marking the 75th anniversary of the Canadian’s D-Day action on Juno Beach.
“We put the symbol for Juno 75 the Canadian Mint put out into our corn maze this year,” confirms corn maze owner Theo Slingerland. “It’s a maple leaf with a soldier inside of it. And underneath there we put “Lest We Forget.” That is for remembering those who have given their lives for our freedom. We also put an image of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in there.”
Slingerland’s family originally came to Canada from Holland just after the Second World War.
His parents and grandparents lived through the German occupation of their country, and were always grateful to the Canadians for liberating them. Slingerland says he wanted to express his family’s ongoing feeling of appreciation for the heroic Canadian soldiers who risked their lives for a people and a country that was not their own.
Taber corn has arrived
If it’s August, it’s time for corn!
The first Taber corn sales stands have popped up in Lethbridge, as growers start to truck their produce to communities across southern Alberta and beyond.
Like the Okanagan fruit trucks, they’ll soon be found in all parts of the city.
And like their selection of fruit, the varieties of corn at the neighbourhood stands may change as the harvest continues. The peaches and cream variety is often the first to appear.
In Taber meanwhile, growers and local businesses are gearing up for the community’s annual Cornfest celebration.
It’s scheduled for Aug. 22 to 24 this year, starting with a downtown parade and a “sneak-a-peek” evening on the midway.
Outreach services expanding
Outreach services are expanding on downtown Lethbridge streets.
A second team and vehicle have been added to the city-funded Diversion Outreach Team program.
The mobile service, launched in late 2015, provides outreach and transportation supports for vulnerable people downtown who may be showing symptoms of public intoxication or drug use. It’s been operating from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
But now a second team, added this week, is working weekdays until 10 p.m.
Spokesperson David Gabert says the program, operated on contract by the Canadian Mental Health Association, “has established a presence and rapport with at-risk individuals in our community.”
“We’re really good with the human element,” he says.
While part of the outreach is offering a ride to a place of safety — the person’s home, the hospital, the homeless shelter — Gabert says team members’ other role is linking individuals to Lethbridge services and agencies that can help them change their situation.
The initiative also addresses concerns about cleanliness and safety in the downtown area and adjacent neighbourhoods, he says.
It was developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including the Downtown BRZ, the Lethbridge Police Service and the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.