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Around Red Deer June 1st – 4th…..

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10:51 am – RCMP have wrapped up a multi-pronged property crime investigation in Red Deer. Read More.

10:45 am – Red Deer’s Westerner Park is a busy hive of activity over the next several days. The Southside RV Centre Spring Event continues until Sunday, while the RDC Convocation Ceremonies take place on Friday, June 2nd. Meantime, the West Central 4H Regional Horse Show runs June 2 – 4, while the Red Deer 4H Beef Show runs June 2 – 5. Read More.

10:36 am – From Art Shows, to Live Theatre, a downtown Scavenger Hunt and fundraising Walks for Muscular Dystrophy and Arthritis, there’s lots going on in Red Deer over the next several days. Details Here.

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10:26 am – STARS Air Ambulance helicopters can now land at the Hospital in Didsbury! Read More.

10:19 am – Red Deer’s Blue Grass Sod Farms Central Spray Park and the Recreation Centre outdoor pool open for the season today! Read More.

10:16 am – A Boil Water Advisory is in place for several addresses on Red Deer’s South Hill near Taylor and 32nd Street. Read More.

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10:07 am – Tips from the public have helped Red Deer RCMP make several arrests in our city over the past week. Read More.

10:01 am – École Camille J. Lerouge School Grade 9 students are working in conjunction with Kevin Traptow, owner of the “Cool Beans Coffee Company” to launch an initiative called “Pay Ahead for Daily Bread.” The aim of the project is to encourage Red Deerians to pre-pay for various food or drink items at the Cool Beans Coffee bus so that when someone in need stops by the coffee shop, there is a cup of warm coffee or a small snack available for them to have free of charge. On Friday, June 23 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Grade 9 students will be at Cool Beans Coffee Company to serve coffee and lunch to its patrons while encouraging the citizens of Red Deer to “Pay Ahead for Daily Bread.”

9:46 am – The Aboriginal Voices on Housing Network (AVOHN) is excited to launch the findings of its Gap Analysis on Housing supports for Aboriginal people in the city of Red Deer. The report entitled Red Deer Aboriginal Housing Gap Analysis: Towards an Aboriginal Strategy on Housing, is having an official launch at the Snell auditorium on June 2nd from 2:30 – 3:30. The launch includes representatives from 4 levels of government and will include a presentation by the researcher, Linda Many Guns of the University of Lethbridge, on her findings and recommendations.

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9:32 am – On May 31st, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry Science and Technology, for which Red Deer – Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen serves as Vice Chair, tabled its report on the state of Canada’s manufacturing sector. The report, titled The Canadian Manufacturing Sector: Urgent Need to Adapt, included an overview of the issues currently facing the manufacturing industry. According to the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the industry has seen a notable drop in employment over the past decade.

9:25 am – Heads up Red Deer drivers! There will be some road closures throughout the city this weekend to be on the lookout for. One for Saturday’s Market and the other for the Hudson’s Heart project on Sunday. Details Here.

9:17 am – Red Deer College invites central Albertans to celebrate the best films of the year at Film Works 2017. This annual event features films created by RDC’s latest student actors, directors, cinematographers and all-around filmmakers. Show times are 7 pm on Friday, June 2nd and Saturday, June 3rd at the Welikoklad Event Centre.

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9:03 am – RDC grads will celebrate their achievements at the 53rd Annual Convocation Ceremonies at the Parkland / Prairie Pavilions in Westerner Park on Friday, June 2nd!

8:52 am – Grade 6 – 9 students from St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School in Red Deer will perform what they have learned this school year in a year-end band concert. It’s from 7 – 8 pm at the school tonight!

8:27 am – Students at Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School in Red Deer will take some time today to enjoy a Bike Roadeo. This means all students will bring their bikes and ride through a course. Elsewhere, the Lindsay Thurber Choral Music Program presents One World, One Song. It’s their year end choir concert with tickets available at the Lindsay Thurber bookstore or at the door for $10. On Friday night, Hunting Hills High School has their 9th Annual Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Art programs show. This runs from May 24 – June 17, with the opening reception on June 2nd.

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Biden raises concerns with Putin about Ukraine confrontation

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, directly raising concerns about the Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s border.

Biden told Putin the U.S. would “act firmly in defence of its national interests” regarding Russian cyber intrusions and election interference, according to the White House. Biden also proposed a summit meeting in a third country “in the coming months” to discuss the full range of U.S.-Russia issues, the White House said.

The call comes amid a surge of cease-fire violations in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a conflict since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

More than 14,000 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement have stalled.

Western and Ukrainian officials have raised concerns about increasingly frequent cease-fire violations in the conflict area. Reports of Ukraine’s military casualties have been occurring daily over the past week, and rebels also have reported losses.

Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press

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What’s next as Congress ramps up investigations of Jan. 6

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WASHINGTON — More than three months after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Congress is still trying to figure out how to move forward and prevent future attacks.

While the Senate has already heard testimony from law enforcement leaders who were responsible for failures during the riot, several more committees are examining possible changes to the Capitol Police and a restructuring of the Capitol Police security command. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last month that seven House panels would be probing the attack after hopes faded for setting up an independent, bipartisan commission.

Information continues to emerge about what happened that day, when hundreds of supporters of now-former President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol in a bid to overturn his election defeat. A new report from The Associated Press reveals previously unknown details about the fear and panic inside the building, including an urgent call from Vice-President Mike Pence asking the Pentagon to clear the Capitol.

New security concerns emerged on April 2 after a man rammed his car into two Capitol Police officers outside the Capitol, then emerged from his car with a knife. Police fatally shot the man, described by his family as suffering from delusions. One of the officers, William “Billy” Evans, died from his injuries and will lie in honour in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday.

What’s next as Congress reviews the failures of Jan. 6 and beyond:

FIGURING OUT THE FENCE

A top priority for lawmakers is deciding what to do with the tall black fence that has surrounded the Capitol since Jan. 6 — a stark symbol of the fear and uncertainty in the wake of the attack.

Capitol Police have already removed an outer layer of fencing that had cut off traffic and pedestrians from the area. But a tight inner perimeter remains, preventing most visitors from approaching the building.

Lawmakers in both parties chafe at the fencing and what it represents, arguing that the Capitol should always be open to the people it represents. But police and other security leaders say they need to continue their reviews and ensure the Capitol is safe before taking the fencing down.

FIXING THE CAPITOL POLICE

The House Administration Committee, which is led by California Rep. Zoe Lofgren and oversees the Capitol Police, is holding a hearing Thursday to examine an internal agency report looking at the mistakes that were made. A separate panel led by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is probing the insurrection and questioning law enforcement leaders about how to move forward.

Capitol Police officers bore the brunt of the violence on Jan. 6, engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a violent mob that was able to push past them and break into the building. One officer, Brian Sicknick, died after engaging with the protesters, and another took his own life in the days afterward.

Evans’ death last week was another blow to the force, where morale has plunged and leaders have been working to bring in trauma resources. Officers have been working extra shifts and overtime as staffing issues remain.

“This has been a very, very traumatic time for this force,” Ryan said after Evans’ death.

In a security report commissioned by Pelosi, retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré recommended the Capitol Police hire hundreds more officers and improve training and intelligence capabilities.

RESTRUCTURING THE COMMAND

One change that seems likely in the coming months is a restructuring of the security command in the Capitol.

Before and during the insurrection, then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was hampered by an antiquated chain of command that required him to clear decisions about calling National Guard troops with the heads of House and Senate security and the architect of the Capitol, who together form the Capitol Police Board. Sund and the two security heads were forced to resign immediately afterward.

Lawmakers in both parties have said they’d like to see changes to the board to give the Capitol Police chief more power.

Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said after one of her committee’s hearings on the riots that “a lasting image” she will take of Jan. 6 is Sund calling the two sergeants-at-arms for approval for his decisions after the violence had already begun. “The Capitol Police board clearly needs some reform,” she said in March.

The Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are conducting interviews about the insurrection and are expected to issue a joint report with recommendations by the end of April, Klobuchar said.

INTELLIGENCE FAILURES

The House Intelligence Committee is reviewing why Capitol Police were so massively unprepared for the hundreds of Trump supporters who pushed past them and broke in. Many of the rioters had openly planned their moves online.

Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about the missed intelligence before the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Sund has said he was unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says his committee is focused on three central questions: “What intelligence was missed, how was intelligence shared and was the intelligence acted upon?”

The intelligence panel and six other House committees have asked 10 federal agencies for documents and communications before and during the riot. Schiff’s intelligence panel and the Senate Judiciary Committee are also probing the roots of domestic violent extremism.

MONEY FOR IMPROVEMENTS

Pelosi has said Democrats will propose additional spending for post-Jan. 6 improvements within the coming weeks. She has said the legislation will be designed “to harden the Capitol, to increase the personnel, to make judgments about the fencing.”

That legislation, which she said Sunday is “just about ready,” will force a debate on many of the outstanding security questions.

“We want to make sure that it is the appropriate amount, nothing less than we need but nothing more than we need, and appropriately prioritized to again open up the Capitol,” Pelosi said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press


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