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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.

NEWS: December 26, 2016

Editorial Comment: Renewed hope of a New Year

New Year's eve will soon be here heralding in a new beginning and a renewed hope. 
We all remember the stories of 2016, often headlined by economic turmoil and new taxes as more people struggled to keep food on the table and a roof overhead. We also remember the difficult stories of tragedy and senseless loss that struck this community so hard.
But what stands as a shining example of what this community should remember 2016 for —is the support, hope, and charity of a community that knows how to come together in the face of adversity.
Edson and Yellowhead County always find ways to make these communities a better place to live.
Perhaps if that were the practice in every country around the world, we might find the peace we all deserve.
Newspapers are part of the social fabric of a healthy community. And our readership at The Weekly Anchor has grown remarkably in 2016 for our newspaper, our website, and social media —for which we are very grateful. 
We take this trust seriously and we will continue trying to make sense of local issues for our readers and encourage dialogue along the way. It's a balancing act that will never be perfect, however, we are committed to bringing you the facts in a fair and balanced way.
It is through our advertisers, and the support you show them, that we can keep doing what we do best, and we thank each and every one.
To all our readers, contributors, letter writers, friends, and our occasional critics we thank you. We hope to hear from all of you, and we wish the best for you and your loved ones in 2017.
Have a safe and Happy New Year!

NEWS: December 19, 2016

Heat goes out at new Edson hospital facility

by Mikaela Kuefler
On December 9, patients and residents woke up to a cold hospital with no hot water because three boilers had temporarily shut down at the new Edson Healthcare Centre overnight.
The boilers were down for two hours while the issue was investigated by the Healthcare Centre’s Facilities, Maintenance, and Engineering team (FME).
The problem was a minor issue with a temperature setting on an HVAC unit attached to the boiler and was rectified by changing the setting.
Alberta Health Services confirmed that “Patient care was not impacted whatsoever and the problem was rectified by early Friday morning. Contingency measures were put in place, including giving patients blankets and turning on gas fireplaces.”

NEWS: December 12, 2016

Edson RCMP conduct 24 hour Impaired Driver Blitz

Edson Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU) was out in full force on Saturday observing the National Day of Enforcement on Impaired Driving.
Starting December 3 and running in to the early morning of December 4, Edson ITU, comprised of RCMP Officers and Alberta Sheriffs conducted Checkstops and traffic stops in the Edson area. Over a 24 hour period Officers charged three drivers with impaired driving, one driver with refusing to provide a roadside sample, and issued a three day Immediate Roadside Suspension (IRS) to another.
“In December we place special emphasis on impaired driving enforcement in accordance with our integrated road safety plan,” states Sergeant Brock Linaker, Commander of the Edson ITU Unit. “We encourage drivers to make the responsible choice by planning a safe ride home ahead of time.”
From January 1 through October 31st of this year, the Alberta RCMP have charged 3,836 adults and 44 young persons with impaired driving. Those charges include 11 adults charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing death and another 29 charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Bodily Harm.
Edson RCMP remain committed to traffic safety in the Town of Edson and Yellowhead County. If you see an impaired driver, please pull over and call 911. Noting the street, direction of travel, licence plate, and vehicle particulars will be helpful to Police to locate the vehicle.