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Around Red Deer April 19th…..

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3:03 pm – RCMP are looking for the driver of a stolen truck in Red Deer’s Mountview neighbourhood this afternoon. Read More.

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1:00 pm – RCMP suspect the same trio of two men and one woman are responsible for a pair of armed robberies in Red Deer this week. Read More.

10:55 am – Football Alberta will hand out it’s Frank Morris Tier 1 High School Football Coach of the Year Award to a Red Deer coach! Find out who!

10:43 am – Charges have now been laid against a man accused of fleeing a stolen vehicle that evaded police by driving over a pair of spike belts on Easter Monday. Read More.

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10:35 am – Innisfail RCMP are investigating a two-vehicle crash around 7:45 am in Penhold this morning. The collision took place on Hawkridge Blvd, with both drivers treated at the scene and released by EMS. Penhold Fire Chief Jim Pendergast says fire crews stabilized the vehicles, cleaned up debris and fluids and did traffic management. Hawkridge was closed from highway 2A to Robinson Ave. Acting Fire Lieutenant Bailey McKay said “ There was heavy damage to a jeep with the airbags deploying, and both vehicles were not driveable and blocking traffic.”

10:27 am – Red Deer RCMP are hoping you can help them identify a man accused of robbing West Park Foods at knife point on April 13th. Read More.

9:44 am – The City of Red Deer’s Management and Exempt staff will receive a modest cost of living increase this summer. Read More.

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9:37 am – Red Deer City Council has given first reading to the 2017 Property Tax Bylaw. Second and third readings of the Bylaw will now take place on May 1st. Read More.

9:27 am – Red Deer RCMP are investigating a disturbing incident on April 14th where a man allegedly tried to force a woman to stop her vehicle. Mounties say he attempted to get in and then followed her in his truck after she drove away. Read More.

9:15 am – An Open House will take place next month regarding a proposed development at the Last Hill Golf Course north of Eckville. Read More in the Lacombe County Council Highlights from April 13th.

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9:05 am – RCMP are investigating a rash of vehicle thefts in Sylvan Lake on Easter Monday. Read More.

8:57 am – Hundreds of local students will be striking up the band again today at The Red Deer Festival of Performing Arts. It continues today at RDC. Check it out!

8:42 am – Tonight is your chance to offer the City of Red Deer your thoughts on what the Budget priorities should be in 2018. A Budget Open House is taking place at Festival Hall (4214 58 Street) between 4-7 pm. Read More.

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8:29 am – A series of Public Information Gathering Sessions will begin in Pine Lake tonight regarding Red Deer County’s plans to make Agricultural Development a strategic priority moving forward. Read More.

8:21 am – Red Deer County is hosting an open house at the County office from 3 til 5 this afternoon regarding it’s proposed business license bylaw. Read More.

8:09 am –  Residents of Springbrook are currently experiencing a disruption of water service due to a fire that occurred last night at a water treatment facility. County Fire Services arrived and quickly got the fire under control. No injuries were reported, however there is currently no water for Springbrook residents, as the treatment facility had to be shut down in order to fight the fire. Red Deer County will continue to provide updates as soon as possible. Crews are currently working at the scene and will continue to work until water can be restored. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Environment

CP NewsAlert: City of Iqaluit declares emergency due to water shortage

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — The City of Iqaluit has declared a state of emergency due to a water shortage.

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The Canadian Press

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Crime

Author Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in New York

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CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck Friday by a man who rushed the stage as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The 75-year-old author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested.

State police said Rushdie was apparently stabbed in the neck and was flown to a hospital. His condition wasn’t immediately known. The moderator at the event was also attacked and suffered a minor head injury, police said.

Rabbi Charles Savenor was among the roughly 2,500 people in the audience. Amid gasps, spectators were ushered out of the outdoor amphitheater.

The assailant ran onto the platform “and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten,” Savenor said. He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds.

Another spectator, Kathleen Jones, said the attacker was dressed in black, with a black mask.

“We thought perhaps it was part of a stunt to show that there’s still a lot of controversy around this author. But it became evident in a few seconds” that it wasn’t, she said.

A bloodied Rushdie was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.

Rushdie has been a prominent spokesman for free expression and liberal causes. He is a former president of PEN America, which said it was “reeling from shock and horror” at the attack.

“We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil,” CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

Rushdie “has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered,” she added.

His 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims. Often-violent protests against Rushdie erupted around the world, including a riot that killed 12 people in Mumbai.

The novel was banned in Iran, where the late leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death. Khomeini died that same year.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has never issued a fatwa of his own withdrawing the edict, though Iran in recent years hasn’t focused on the writer.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s attack.

A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.

The death threats and bounty led Rushdie to go into hiding under a British government protection program, which included a round-the-clock armed guard. Rushdie emerged after nine years of seclusion and cautiously resumed more public appearances, maintaining his outspoken criticism of religious extremism overall.

He has said he is proud of his fight for freedom of expression, saying in a 2012 talk in New York that terrorism is really the art of fear.

“The only way you can defeat it is by deciding not to be afraid,” he said.

Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment has lingered. The Index on Censorship, an organization promoting free expression, said money was raised to boost the reward for his killing as recently as 2016, underscoring that the fatwa for his death still stands.

In 2012, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa. The title came from the pseudonym Rushdie had used while in hiding.

Rushdie rose to prominence with his Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children,” but his name became known around the world after “The Satanic Verses.”

The Chautauqua Institution, about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo in a rural corner of New York, has served for more than a century as a place for reflection and spiritual guidance. Visitors don’t pass through metal detectors or undergo bag checks. Most people leave the doors to their century-old cottages unlocked at night.

Police said a state trooper was assigned to Rushdie’s lecture.

The Chautauqua center is known for its summertime lecture series, where Rushdie has spoken before. Speakers address a different topic each week. Rushdie and moderator Henry Reese were set to discuss “the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression.”

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Associated Press writers Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York; Michael Hill in Albany, New York; and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

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