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Around Red Deer April 28th – 30th…..

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3:11 pm – Red Deer man charged with giving drugs to youth in Airdrie. Read More.

3:04 pm – Red Deer RCMP’s Victim Services Unit is hosting a Volunteer Information event on Thursday, May 4th at 6 pm at the Downtown Detachment. Learn more about this volunteer opportunity!

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2:13 pm – Red Deer RCMP are looking for a suspect who robbed a man at gun-point in a back alley in the Bower neighbourhood April 25th. Read More.

12:17 pm – Results are in from last weekend’s Spring Fever Fun Run. The MS Society fundraiser saw 169 people take part in the event and raise $510 for the MS Society of Canada – Central Alberta Branch. The MS Society’s partner, Blitz Events will also host a 5K / 10K / 15K Roundup Run in Red Deer on Saturday, July 15th. For more details on this run and others coming up in Red Deer, Click here!

10:40 am – Some temporary road closures to make note of in Innisfail this weekend. Affected roads include 47 Avenue between 50 Street and 48 Street on Saturday, April 29 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Spring Fever Road Hockey Tournament will take place on the site at that time. For event details, visit www.deanturnquist.ca

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10:37 am – The following streets are due to be swept in Innisfail today:

47 Ave. from 51 St. to 46 St.
51 St. from 47 Ave. to 44 Ave.
41 St. from 50 Ave. to 48 Ave.
41 St. Close
49A Ave. from 42 St. to 40 St.

10:33 am – Motorists in Sylvan Lake will likely encounter some road closures today. Road or lane closures are planned at various times for:

-50 Street, between 45 Avenue and 47 Avenue;
-Staring on Friday, April 28 at 4:00 PM;
-Ending on (estimated) Saturday, May 13.

These closures are due to emergency utility repairs, and the water main repair project, previously identified.

10:22 am – Red Deer RCMP are hoping you can help them find a missing teen. Read More.

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10:19 am – The Town of Blackfalds is holding a Community BBQ at the Community Hall at noon on Saturday, April 29th. The event will wrap up the Town’s Community Clean Up Campaign.

10:13 am – The following streets are slated to be swept in Blackfalds today:

Broadway North of Indiana
Old section of Park St.
Wilson St.
Waghorn St
East Ave
Lawton Ave.
Queens Cr.

10:09 am – Red Deer RCMP are searching for a suspect after a man suffered a serious hand wound from a sword during a home invasion April 25th. Read More.

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10:04 am – The Town of Penhold is playing host to The 2017 Wheelchair Basketball Junior West Regional Championships this weekend! The first game is at 10:00am on Saturday morning at the Penhold Regional Multi-Plex.

10:00 am – Heads up on a road closure in Gasoline Alley starting Monday. Read More.

9:56 am – Wondering if your child’s car seat is safe? You can have it checked out between 10:15 am – 1:00 pm at the Crossroads Church parking lot on Sunday. Read More.

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9:41 am – Federal MP and NDP Leadership hopeful Charlie Angus will be in Red Deer next Tuesday, May 2nd. His meet and greet with the public will begin at 5 pm at the International Beer Haus in downtown Red Deer. It’s located at 5008 48th Street.

9:35 am – Food Truck Wars are coming to Red Deer’s École Secondaire Notre Dame High School next week. On Thursday, May 4 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Food Studies 30 students will be participating in a Food “Truck” Wars competition in the gathering area to continue raising money for this year’s Grad Service Project – the RCMP Victim Services Trauma Dog. In this competition, student groups will each be preparing six different “food truck style” dishes to see who can raise the most money for charity. There will be lots of unique and tasty dishes, such as gourmet grilled cheese, burgers, panini sandwiches and perogies. All are welcome and encouraged to purchase some tasty food truck creations in the school’s gathering area and support a worthy cause in our community.

9:13 am – Ponoka RCMP are asking for the public’s help in finding 22-year-old Nikita Rabbit. She was last seen on April 26th in the late morning at the Centennial Centre in Ponoka. Rabbit is described as Aboriginal, 5’8” tall, approximately 190 lbs. She has long brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a dark hoodie and blue jeans.

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9:07 am – Red Deer City Council will consider on Monday, May 1st, implementing a Cart Pilot Program next year that would see some City residents given Green carts for organic waste, Blue carts for recycling and Black carts for garbage. Details Here.   

9:02 am – Rimbey RCMP have arrested a man accused of trying to steal a truck at a rural property on April 3rd. Mounties say thanks to tips from the public, they are no longer looking for Quinn Russell Peterson. He is now in custody.

8:48 am – Red Deer’s Gordon Cove has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). Read More.

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8:38 am – A local High School student is going to be graduating a semester early this year! Officials with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools say Nicole Issacs, a Grade 12 student at École Secondaire Notre Dame High School has now completed fourth class Power Engineering at NAIT and a high school diploma a semester early. This program and other dual credit programs provide the opportunity for high school students to participate in apprenticeship training or post-secondary courses. Students are able to earn both high school and post-secondary credits for the same course.

8:26 am – St. Elizabeth Seton School will have their first annual Father’s Day Fun Run on Sunday, June 18, 2017 to raise money for a new playground at the school. This 3 or 5 kilometer run/walk will start and end at Kin Kanyon (33 Street & 47 Avenue) at 10:00 a.m. rain or shine. You can register as an individual or as a family. Until May 1, 2017 you can receive special family prices and early bird rates. To register, please visit the Running Room website www.events.runningroom.com. In June of 2016, St. Elizabeth Seton School had to remove their old school playground to make room for new modular classrooms to accommodate their growing school. The school is now fundraising for a new playground to be built on a new site at the school.

8:13 am – The Zone 4 West High School Drama Festival continues at Red Deer’s Hunting Hills High School again today (Apr 28) and tomorrow (Apr 29). Over 20 plays from Central Alberta schools – most of them student directed – celebrate the performing arts by sharing their works at the festival. Two plays will be selected to represent the Zone at the Provincial High School Festival in May at RDC. Plays start at 6:00 pm on April 28th and at noon on April 29th. Admission is $5 at the door.

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conflict

Putin accuses the West of sabotaging Baltic Sea pipelines

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By Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of sabotaging the Russia-built gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Speaking Friday in Moscow at a ceremony to annex four regions of Ukraine into Russia, Putin said the “Anglo-Saxons” in the West have turned from sanctions to “terror attacks,” sabotaging the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in what he described as an attempt to “destroy the European energy infrastructure.”

He added that “those who profit from it have done it,” without naming a specific country.

European nations, which have been reeling under soaring energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have noted that it is Russia, not Europe, that benefits from chaos in the energy markets and spiking prices for energy.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The explosions that rocked natural gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea ahead of huge methane leaks “probably corresponded to an explosive load of several hundred kilos (pounds),” Denmark and Sweden wrote Friday in a letter to the United Nations.

Norwegian researchers published a map Friday projecting a huge plume of methane released by the damaged Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines will travel over large swaths of the Nordic region.

“We assume the wind on the leak area blew the methane emissions north until the Finnish archipelago, then bends toward Sweden and Norway,” Stephen Platt, a professor with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, said.

The independent institution is part of the Integrated Carbon Observation System, a European research alliance, which said was confirmed by ICOS ground-based observations from several stations in Sweden, Norway, and Finland.” the “enormous amount of methane gas” emission

These methane levels aren’t dangerous to public health but the gas is a potential source of global warming.

Moscow has requested an emergency meeting at the U.N. Security Council to discuss the pipelines and called for a thorough international probe to assess the damage to the pipelines, which carry natural gas from Russia to Europe. Russia says “it looks like a terror attack, probably conducted on a state level.”

The suspected sabotage this week on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines have produced two methane leaks off Sweden, including a large one above North Stream 1 and a smaller one above North Stream 2, and two leaks off Denmark.

Following the suspected sabotage this week of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to Europe, there were two leaks off Sweden, including a large one above North Stream 1, and a smaller one above North Stream 2, and two leaks off Denmark.

The North Stream 2 leak “has diminished, but is still on-going,” the Swedish coast guard said. However, navigational warnings for ships were slightly increased to 7 nautical miles (13 kilometers or 8 miles) from 5 nautical miles from the incident areas, the coast guard said in a statement.

The Danish and Swedish governments have described the ruptures as the result of “deliberate actions.”

Russia also has said the leaks resulted from deliberate acts, saying “it looks like a terror attack, probably conducted on a state level.”

Moscow requested an emergency meeting at the U.N. Security Council to discuss the pipelines and called for a thorough international probe to assess the damage to the pipelines. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a study would only be possible once gas stops leaking from them.

Nordic seismologists recorded explosions preceding the leaks. A first explosion was recorded early Monday southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. A second, stronger blast northeast of the island that night was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake.

NATO warned Thursday it would retaliate for any attacks on the critical infrastructure of its 30 member countries and joined other Western officials in citing sabotage as the likely cause of damage to the natural gas pipelines. Denmark is a NATO member and Sweden is in the process of joining the military alliance.

The first leaks in the pipelines that extend from Russia to Germany were reported on Tuesday, prompting energy companies and European governments to beef up security.

Energy infrastructure security has increased across the Nordic region.

The fear of further damage to Europe’s energy infrastructure has added pressure on natural gas prices, which had already been soaring. Russia, a major supplier to Europe, cut off deliveries earlier this year in retaliation for sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine. That has caused widespread economic pain across the continent.

Authorities in Norway, a major oil and gas producer, have reported at least six incidents of drone sightings near offshore installations in the North Sea. It prompted the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway — the Scandinavian country’s oil safety regulator — on Monday to “urge increased vigilance by all operators and vessel owners.“ On Wednesday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said that there was no concrete threat against Norwegian oil and gas off-shore installations.

Danish daily newspaper Ekstra Bladet said a drone was spotted Wednesday near a Danish offshore oil and gas installation in the North Sea.

Sweden stepped up security around its three nuclear power plants.

Sweden’s public power transmission network operator Svenska kraftnat, said that it doesn’t not yet know if an undersea power cable that runs between southern Sweden and Poland was damaged when the Nord Stream gas pipelines some 500 meters (547 yards) away ruptured from what Western and Russian officials both claimed was intentional tampering.

“Since the cable is not in service, it can’t be determined if the cable is damaged in some way,” Per Kvarnefalk, a spokesman for Svenska kraftnat, said late Thursday. “We will therefore perform tests on the cable using special measurement equipment early next week with the aim to determine if the cable is fully functional.”

Svenska kraftnat partly owns the more than 250-kilometer-long high-voltage cable that transmits electricity through the Baltic Sea.

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Disaster

Hurricane Ian heads for Carolinas after pounding Florida

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By Meg Kinnard And Adriana Gomez Licon in Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A revived Hurricane Ian set its sights on South Carolina’s coast Friday and the historic city of Charleston, with forecasters predicting a storm surge and floods after the megastorm caused catastrophic damage in Florida and left people trapped in their homes.

With all of South Carolina’s coast under a hurricane warning, a steady stream of vehicles left Charleston on Thursday, many likely heeding officials’ warnings to seek higher ground. Storefronts were sandbagged to ward off high water levels in an area prone to inundation.

On Friday morning in Charleston, powerful wind gusts bent tree branches and sent sprays of steadily falling rain sideways. Streets in the 350-year-old city were largely empty, an ordinarily packed morning commute silenced by the advancing storm.

With winds holding at 85 mph (140 kph), the National Hurricane Center’s update at 8 a.m. Friday placed Ian about 105 miles (175 km) southeast of Charleston and forecast a “life-threatening storm surge” and hurricane conditions along the Carolina coastal area later Friday.

The hurricane warning stretched from the Savannah River to Cape Fear, with flooding likely across the Carolinas and southwestern Virginia, the center said. The forecast predicted a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2.1 meters) into coastal areas of the Carolinas, and rainfall of up to 8 inches (20 centimeters).

In Florida, rescue crews piloted boats and waded through riverine streets Thursday to save thousands of Floridians trapped amid flooded homes and buildings shattered by Hurricane Ian.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at least 700 rescues, mostly by air, were conducted on Thursday involving the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Guard and urban search-and-rescue teams.

Ian had come ashore Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. It flooded homes on both the state’s coasts, cut off the only road access to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses — nearly a quarter of utility customers. Some 2.1 million of those customers remained in the dark days afterward.

At least six people were confirmed dead in Florida, including two who died Thursday afternoon when their car hydroplaned and overturned in a water-filled ditch in north Florida’s Putnam County, while three other people were reported killed in Cuba after the hurricane struck there on Tuesday.

In the Fort Myers area, the hurricane ripped homes from their slabs and deposited them among shredded wreckage. Businesses near the beach were completely razed, leaving twisted debris. Broken docks floated at odd angles beside damaged boats. Fires smoldered on lots where houses once stood.

“I don’t know how anyone could have survived in there,” William Goodison said amid the wreckage of a mobile home park in Fort Myers Beach where he’d lived for 11 years. Goodison said he was alive only because he rode out the storm at his son’s house inland.

The hurricane tore through the park of about 60 homes, leaving many destroyed or mangled beyond repair, including Goodison’s single-wide home. Wading through waist-deep water, Goodison and his son wheeled two trash cans containing what little he could salvage — a portable air conditioner, some tools and a baseball bat.

The road into Fort Myers was littered with broken trees, boat trailers and other debris. Cars were left abandoned in the road, having stalled when the storm surge flooded their engines.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said his office was scrambling to respond to thousands of 911 calls in the Fort Myers area, but many roads and bridges were impassable.

Emergency crews sawed through toppled trees to reach stranded people. Many in the hardest-hit areas were unable to call for help because of electrical and cellular outages.

A chunk of the Sanibel Causeway fell into the sea, cutting off access to the barrier island where 6,300 people live.

Hours after weakening to a tropical storm while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening over the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center predicted it would hit South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane Friday.

National Guard troops were being positioned in South Carolina to help with the aftermath, including any water rescues. And in Washington, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state, a needed step to speed federal assist for recovery once Ian passes.

The storm was on track to later hit North Carolina, forecasters said. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to prepare for torrents of rain, high winds and potential power outages.

Visiting the state’s emergency operations center Thursday, Cooper said that up to 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) of rain could fall in some areas, with the potential for mountain landslides and tornadoes statewide.

___

Gomez Licon reported from Punta Gorda, Florida; Associated Press contributors include Terry Spencer and Tim Reynolds in Fort Myers, Florida; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington; and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York.

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