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News: February 20, 2017

Yellowhead Rural Crime Watch may face shutting down

Crime is a problem just about everywhere. That goes for those living in Edson as well as Yellowhead County. And the more eyes looking out for crimes helps the RCMP to keep crime at bay.
But Yellowhead Rural Crime Watch Association needs your help. Without an new elected executive, the Yellowhead Rural Crime Watch will not be able to continue.
The Annual Potluck Supper and Annual General Meeting will be held in the Entwistle Seniors Centre on February 25, with a potluck supper at 6 p.m. and meeting to follow. Everyone is encouraged to attend and take part in helping to keep this worthwhile association going.
"We are 34 years old and maybe one of the oldest Crime Watch groups still active. There have been other groups that have dissolved and then started up again a few years later. Back in December of 1982 our name was The Yellowhead Range Patrol Association," said Charlotte Winters who is spearheading the upcoming AGM.
"Crime is still out there. Area residents had and still have a distinct advantage over the RCMP because they know their neighbors, the type of vehicles, and the activities that are normal for their areas. Simply reporting strange activities to the RCMP gives them a head start on catching the bad guys. By working together in this manner the fight against crime is more effective," said Winters.
The Yellowhead Rural Crime Watch hopes to have a good turn out and some interest shown for some executive positions to be filled.
The present Executive will not be staying for another term. Both President and first Vice-President have held their positions for 10 years and the Treasurer for four years. They are willing to help a new executive with the transition.

News: February 13, 2017

Fun Family Day activities planned

by Deanna Mitchener
   Family Day is a statutory holiday that occurs on the third Monday in February.
   The holiday was first celebrated in Alberta in 1990. It was proclaimed by Lieutenant Governor Helen Hunley on the advice of then Premier Don Getty. "It is important for all Albertans to take time for their families and that this holiday would emphasize the importance of family values," said Getty.
   Nine years ago, the Edson and District Caregivers Association started holding a Family Day event at the Royal Canadian Legion with games, music, and prizes to be won as a fun social outing for families.
   Now in 2017, there are many exciting events taking place locally over the Family Day weekend. FCSS Manager Tanya Byers, says, "The Town of  Edson Community Services and FCSS have
organized some fun events for the Family Day weekend. Family time helps children build
confidence, teaches them to interact with others, enhances social well-being, and helps form lasting connections."
   "Building a healthy foundation can have a strong impact on children's everyday choices because as you spend time together your bond deepens and so does your influence," says Byers.
   The Community Services team at the Town of Edson is encouraging the community to come out and have some fun and "Disconnect to Connect" with their families and community.
   On February 18, Hamelin: A New Fable will be held at the Red Brick Arts centre at 1:00p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Red Brick or the Town office. The Edson Kinettes are hosting a free RAK swim from 12:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. and everyone is welcome. There will also be free Family Glow Bowling at the Edson Bowling Alley from 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. or 4:40 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. however; you do need to register your family by calling 780-723-4403.
    On February 19, there is a Free Winter Art Party by the Leaman Exchange and the Town of Edson at Centennial Park from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Willmore Park will have free sleigh rides and a wiener roast from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Then from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., bundle up and bring your telescope to the soccer fields to enjoy star gazing along with free hot chocolate and S'mores.
   On February 20 (Family Day), enjoy Free Public Swimming or Skating at Repsol Place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Be sure to stick around for free pizza from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. Then the famous Edson and District Caregivers Family Day Extravaganza at the Royal Canadian Legion runs from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. ($20 per family).
   Also happening all weekend long will be road hockey, located out beside the Edson Boys and Girls Club. Duane Martin has arranged with the local Fire Fighters and RCMP to come out and take part with families.
   As well, they will be bringing recruitment packages if families are interested in learning more. The hockey fun will start at 6:00 p.m. Friday night February 17, and will go 24 hours a day until around 5:00 p.m. Monday night. They will have lights going all night. There will be free coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts all weekend.
   Then on Monday from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., the Olive Tree will be there offering free pizza.

News: February 6, 2017

First Responders Appreciation Dinner and Dance Feb. 25

by Deanna Mitchener
Local first responders play a critical role in keeping our communities safe and our communities benefit greatly from the services they provide on a daily basis.
Many are volunteers, who without question, jump in and at times put their own lives on the line to help save a life. They do not ask for anything in return. They do it because they care.
Last year the First Responders Appreciation Dinner and Dance was well attended. So the second annual appreciation dinner and dance for First Responders will be held February 25 at the Edson Royal Canadian Legion.
The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and you can count on a delicious dinner catered by the Legion Ladies Auxiliary. A great evening is planned so come out and show your appreciation and enjoy a night of laughter and good times.
Vice President for Edson Citizens on Patrol, Kevin Zahara, said, "The First Responders Appreciation Dinner and Dance is being hosted this year by the Edson Citizens on Patrol in partnership with Edson and District Victim Service and the Edson Friendship Centre."  
"It is an opportunity for the community to recognize the contributions that our first responders make to our community. These individuals often put their lives on the line and spend a large amount of time away from family in order to serve our community. We appreciate what they do for us on a daily basis and we wanted to say thank you. We had a fantastic time last year and we hope for even a larger turnout this year," said Zahara.
"The ladies with the Edson Cancer Support Group have generously offered to help us out again this year as well. The Edson RCMP, The Edson Fire Department, Associated Ambulance, Yellowhead County Fire, and 911 Dispatch will all be recognized at the event," said Zahara.
"There will be a silent auction and 50/50 tickets will be available for a chance to win. Money raised will help cover the costs of hosting the event and any excess funds will be donated to the host organizations," said Zahara. Last year over $3,000 was raised.
Sponsors are in need for the event and they are looking for businesses to sponsor tables of First Responders for $250 as each. First Responder will be receiving complimentary tickets. They are also looking for silent auction items.  Anybody interested can call 780-712-9786 or 780-712-9081.  Tickets are on sale at Bannister GM and the Edson Friendship Centre. 

UPDATE: January 27, 2017

Vader receives life sentence
-Will be eligible for parole in seven years

by Adrienne Tait

Travis Vader was sentenced to life in prison on January 25 after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann. The St. Albert couple went missing on July 2010.
Vader maintains he is innocent and when asked if he had anything he wished to say, he replied, “This court has convicted an innocent man.”
Justice Thomas had originally convicted Vader of two counts of second-degree murder but that conviction was downgraded to manslaughter when it was discovered an outdated section of the criminal code had been used to support the conviction.
Vader will serve his time in B.C. due to threats he has received and will be eligible for parole in seven years.
The defense had argued for a four to six year sentence with credit for time served, while the crown requested a 15 year sentence for the first killing and a life sentence for the second. They stated that Vader had shown no remorse and was on the run from other charges when the murder took place.
The sentence concludes more than six years in the courts.
The RCMP released a statement soon after, regarding the sentencing.
“The RCMP respects the Court's decision on the sentencing of Travis Vader in the 2010 deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann.
When a crime occurs, the role of police is to investigate by gathering evidence and providing it to the Crown in support of a prosecution. The RCMP fulfilled that role in this case.
Today, our thoughts are with the McCann family, who has demonstrated courage throughout the tragic loss of Lyle and Marie McCann and the resulting criminal trial.
The RCMP will not be providing further comment out of respect of any further appeal process.”

UPDATE: January 20, 2017

RCMP officer cleared in shooting of homicide suspect

   The RCMP officer who shot murder suspect Mickell Clayton Bailey, 19, of Edson while attempting to arrest him under a warrant was cleared of any wrong doing.
   Bailey is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, in the deaths of Roxanne Berube and her 16-year-old daughter Jazmine Miller, and second-degree murder in the death of Daniel Miller. RCMP believe the deaths occurred the day before the bodies were discovered inside Miller’s and Berube’s home near Peers.
   Bailey was shot by police on December 1, 2015 when officers tried to arrest him on a warrant in connection with the deaths. Bailey was wounded and taken to an Edmonton hospital with injuries police called "serious." He is now being held in custody pending trial.
   On Dec. 1, 2015, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed by the Director of Law Enforcement to enter into an investigation into the circumstances surrounding an officer involved shooting involving a 19-year-old man.
  On that date, officers of the RCMP Emergency Response Team, along with RCMP negotiators, attended a rural residence, 45 km northeast of Edson on Range Road 134, to arrest the man in relation to a homicide investigation. Officers were strategically positioned around the residence, with two specifically placed on the southwest side of the home. The man was a known firearm enthusiast, and believed to have firearms in the residence.
   While negotiators were preparing to make contact with the man in the house, he exited the south side of the home carrying a bolt-action rifle with a scope. The man fired one shot towards the two officers on the southwest side that resulted in one of the officers immediately discharging his police service weapon in response. Neither officer was struck; however, the 19-year-old man sustained a single gunshot wound to his head.    Officers immediately provided the man with medical attention, and upon the arrival of emergency medical services, paramedics treated him and transported him to the Edson hospital. Once stabilized, STARS Air Ambulance flew the man to an Edmonton hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries. He was released from hospital on Dec. 23, 2015, and remanded into police custody on his outstanding charges.
   ASIRT Executive Director Susan D. Hughson, Q.C., received the completed ASIRT investigation, and after a careful review of the evidence has confirmed there are no reasonable grounds, nor reasonable suspicion, to believe the officer committed any criminal offences in relation to this matter.
   Force intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm is only justified if the officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that the force was necessary to prevent the death or grievous bodily harm of the officer and/or any other person.
   Based on the evidence obtained, the 19-year-old man fired upon the officers. In these circumstances, it was more than reasonable to believe, subjectively and objectively, that the two officers in the line of fire were at risk of death or grievous bodily harm and that the use of lethal force was necessary. As such, the officer’s use of lethal force, having regard to the protections provided in the Criminal Code, was permissible and did not constitute a criminal offence.
   As these matters are now before the courts, ASIRT will not provide any further details in relation to this investigation.
   ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

NEWS: January 16, 2017

New Edson School named Mary Bergeron Elementary

   At today’s Public Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees was pleased to choose the name for the new elementary school currently being constructed in Edson.
  Based on three recommendations from a Naming Committee (including Evergreen staff and parent representatives; A.H. Dakin staff and parent representatives; a student representative; Superintendent of Schools and two local Edson trustees) who went through all of the names submitted by the public, trustees chose to name the school after a well-respected and beloved teacher, Mary Mackay Campbell Bergeron.
   “We were very happy with the large community response of a number of name suggestions provided to the Committee to consider for our new school,” noted Board Chair Brenda Rosadiuk. “It was important that the name mean something to the community as well reflect the division, and we were also hoping that the name would somehow align with the merging of the two schools. Mary was a wonderful choice - one of her supervisors was A.H. Dakin and she also taught at Evergreen School.”
   Mary was a teacher at Trail School for Edson School Division from 1939-47 (she was the first teacher at Trail). She taught Grade 1 at the Red Brick from 1951-59 where A.H. Dakin was her principal, and then she transferred to Evergreen School to teach Grade 2 from 1959 until she retired in 1980. Mary passed away at the age of 84 on February 6, 2000 in Edson.
  The Committee had also recommended to the Board to consider two community members as potential names for the school: Ron Linford or John Switzer. Chair Rosadiuk spoke on behalf of the Board when she noted that all three names were more than worthy of being put forward. “These two gentlemen have also contributed greatly to the Edson Community as well as its schools, and the decision for the school’s name was not an easy one.” She also sincerely thanked the work of the Naming Committee members for their time in selecting the three names to bring forward to the Board.
  An informational plaque about Mary Bergeron will be placed in the foyer of the new school. The elementary school is currently under construction and is scheduled for opening for the 2017-18 school year.

NEWS: January 9, 2017

Excitement builds as HRH plans
to host basketball Provincials

by Mikaela Kuefler
The Holy Redeemer High School basketball Boys team anxiously await to host the 2017 Alberta High School Men's Basketball Provincial 2A Championships on March 15-18.
Twelve teams from all over the province will attend provincials, which starts with opening ceremonies on March 15. Everyone is welcome to attend for a slide show, prizes, and guest speakers.
“It’s going to be a very special event and I think people are going to remember it for a very long time. A lot of excitement building now that the basketball season is underway,” said HRH Boys Basketball Coach Peter Saik.
After the ceremonies, teams will attend the players and coaches breakfast at the Sacred Heart Church. Fruit, eggs, waffles, and bacon will be served.
To start off the Championships, four games will be played on March 15, giving the top four teams a bye. “I don’t know when anyone will play because it depends on how everyone is ranked,” said Saik.
To help with the ranking, Saik is one of the ASAA Basketball Rangers this year and is also a Basketball Commissioner for zones.
HRH has been attending provincials since Saik started coaching in Edson five years ago.“I grew up playing basketball in high school. I went through a very successful program and went to provincials every year I was in high school,” said Saik.
Attending Edmonton Christian High School, Saik’s team won provincials while he was in grade 10 and 11. They won a bronze medal while he attended grade 12. Currently, the Edmonton school runs a very successful 3A team.
 “I came from a fairly competitive program, so I brought a lot of the same things I had learned growing up, to the school (HRH). I learned a lot from my coach. He was heavily involved in basketball and I followed him. He was one of the guys who got me into teaching as well,” said Saik.
While in college, Saik made the team but had transferred to the University of Alberta and focussed on a sprinting scholarship instead.
Saik has completed multiple coaching and basketball specific courses, in post secondary, to obtain a level three certification for coaching basketball.
 “Basketball is definitely a passion on mine and it’s been neat to watch it develop and grow in Edson,” said Saik.