2:47 pm – Imagine if every Canadian did three things for their neighbourhood, their nation, and their world this year. With Canada celebrating its 150th year of Confederation in 2017, Red Deer Mayor, Tara Veer, has accepted the challenge placed by Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, to do “Three Things for Canada”. Read More.
1:08 pm – Lab results from Health Canada have confirmed that drugs seized in Red Deer in March were a mixture of Carfentanil, fentanyl and caffeine, making this the first known seizure of the deadly opioid Carfentanil in the Red Deer area. Read More.
12:56 pm – The Town of Sylvan Lake will celebrate it’s annual summer fair this weekend. 1913 days starts on Friday! Read More.
12:54 pm – Paving work will result in some road closures in Sylvan Lake tomorrow. Read More.
12:43 pm – Police in Lacombe are looking for suspects after some recent graffiti incidents. Read More.
11:59 am – Lacombe Police say thefts appear to be on the rise in the community. Read More.
11:45 am – High School students can check out their career options at a Career High School Info session at the Penhold Regional Multi-Plex today. Read More.
11:15 am – Find out what Alberta’s new requirements are for children in car seats and booster seats. Read More.
11:07 am – Red Deer’s School and Playground Zone times are set to change starting August 1st. Read More.
11:02 am – Red Deer City Councillor Lawrence Lee was elected on Sunday to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) board, which develops policy and advocates in the interests of municipalities to the federal government. Read More.
10:55 am – The Town of Blackfalds is gearing up for “Blackfalds Days” later this month. Find out more.
10:46 am – Ponoka RCMP have arrested 37 year old Mark Carr in connection with an alleged sexual assault on June 2nd. Read More.
10:32 am – Landscaping work will result in some road closures from 39th Street to 37th Street on Red Deer’s south hill on Tuesday. Read More.
10:19 am – Grade 5 students at Red Deer’s St. Teresa of Avila School in Red Deer will perform songs they have learned this school year in a band concert in the gymnasium starting at 1:00 pm. While band and choral students from Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School in Red Deer will share their musical talents at a concert at the Red Deer College Arts Centre tonight at 7:00 pm.
10:04 am – St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds will benefit from a Provincial Grant to help build a playground at the new school set to open this fall! Read More.
9:50 am – An Edmonton-based, door-to-door sales company must pay $15,000 for three tickets it received from The City of Red Deer for operating without a business license. Read More.
9:24 am – Red Deer College celebrated its 53rd Convocation ceremonies on Friday, June 2nd. More than 580 out of 1,900 eligible graduates crossed the stage to celebrate their achievements. Three special award recipients were also recognized. Dr. Bernie Pauly was presented with an Honorary Degree. Red Deer College Foundation Outstanding Student Award was presented to Ben Fleury for his leadership and commitment to RDC. The Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze Level) was presented by Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red DeerMountain View to Kelsie Bakker. Bakker had the highest academic standing of all RDC students this year, as she completed the final year of her diploma-level post-secondary program in Business Administration.
9:05 am – You can help support the United Way of Central Alberta by dining out at some local restaurants! Read More.
8:50 am – A Rimbey resident has won the lottery after buying a Western 649 ticket in Red Deer! Read More.
8:38 am – Visitors to the Red, Deer, Lacombe and Stettler areas will now be able to get tourism information in more innovative and easier ways. It’s all thanks to some new grants being offered by the provincial government. Read More.
8:28 am – Red Deerians are taking part in the Commuter Challenge this week. It’s a week-long event that takes place during Canadian Environment Week from June 4-10, 2017 and features free transit services! Read More.
8:13 am – The City of Red Deer is honouring seniors in our community by offering free admission and discounted monthly passes to City recreation facilities this week. It’s Senior’s Week! Details Here.
8:07 am – The Town of Sylvan Lake and the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to host a Customer Service Workshop from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the NexSource Centre today. It’s a great opportunity for business owners, managers and front line staff to learn how to improve the level of customer service in your business. Details Here.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
WASHINGTON — Capitol Police say they have uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory.
The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will rise again to power on March 4. That was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to Jan. 20.
Online chatter identified by authorities included discussions among members of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia group, concerning possible plots against the Capitol on Thursday, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Members of the Three Percenters were among the extremists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The announcement comes as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies are taking heat from Congress in contentious hearings this week on their handling of the Jan. 6 riot. Police were ill-prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. By then, rioters had broken and smashed their way into the building and roamed the halls for hours, stalling Congress’ certification effort temporarily and sending lawmakers into hiding.
“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the agency said in a statement. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” Police did not identify the militia group in the statement.
The U.S. House was abruptly wrapping its work for the week Wednesday night given the threat of violence.
An advisory sent earlier this week to members of Congress by Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant-at-arms, said that the Capitol Police had “no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence.”
But that advisory was updated in a note to lawmakers Wednesday morning. Blodgett wrote that the Capitol Police had received “new and concerning information and intelligence indicating additional interest in the Capitol for the dates of March 4th – 6th by a militia group.”
In her testimony to the House panel, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said her investigators had collected “some concerning intelligence,” but declined to provide any details publicly, saying that it was “law enforcement sensitive” and that she would provide a private briefing for the subcommittee members.
Lawmakers, congressional staffers and law enforcement officials are still on edge after the attack last month, even as the security posture around the Capitol remains at an unprecedented level.
On Wednesday, federal agents were seeking to determine whether there was an increase in the number of hotel rooms being rented in Washington, as well as monitoring flights to the area, car rental reservations and any buses being chartered to bring groups into the capital, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person could not publicly discuss details of the security planning and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security also sent a joint intelligence bulletin to local law enforcement officials Tuesday warning that a group of militia extremists had discussed trying to take control of the Capitol on March 4 and encouraging thousands of people to come to D.C. to try to remove Democrats from power.
There has been a noticeable decline in online activity on some social media platforms surrounding efforts on March 4, and there was already considerably less online chatter than during the lead-up to Jan. 6, a day that Trump repeatedly had promoted for a his rally and encouraged thousands to come to the nation’s capital.
Several QAnon groups still operating on the social media messaging platform Telegram warned followers to stay away from any events on March 4, claiming it was a setup for Trump supporters.
“If there are groups out there planning and advertising events on or around March 4 anywhere in the country (DC included) we strongly urge everyone to avoid them entirely,” one Telegram user wrote late last month in a QAnon group that has more than 65,000 followers.
There’s also a very large fence in place around the U.S. Capitol that blocks off all avenues of entry including on the streets around the building, which was put in place after Jan. 6.
Also, thousands of accounts that promoted the Jan. 6 event that led to a violent storming of the U.S. Capitol have since been suspended by major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, making it far more difficult for QAnon and far-right groups to organize a repeat of the mass gathering on Thursday.
Twitter banned more than 70,000 accounts after the riots, while Facebook and Instagram removed posts mentioning “stop the steal,” a pro-Trump rallying cry used to mobilize his supporters in January. And the conservative social media platform Parler, which many of Trump’s supporters joined to promote false election fraud conspiracy theories and encourage friends to “storm” the Capitol on Jan. 6, was booted off the internet following the siege.
Capitol Police say that they have stepped up security around the Capitol complex since January’s insurrection, adding physical security measures such as the fencing topped with razor wire around the Capitol and members of the National Guard who remain at the complex. The statement said the agency was “taking the intelligence seriously” but provided no other specific details on the threat.
“I think they are definitely prepared for any threats that may come our way in the next couple days,” said Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., who was one of several lawmakers briefed privately by the police. Wexton added that she still questioned the long-term security plan for the Capitol and said Pittman, the acting chief, “has not come up with proactive ways to fix the issues that they had.”
So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died.
Since his defeat, Trump has been promoting lies that the election was stolen from him through mass voter fraud, even though such claims have been rejected by judges, Republican state officials and Trump’s own administration. He was impeached by the House after the Jan. 6 riot on a c harge of incitement of insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant in Houston; Colleen Long, Alan Fram, and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington; and Amanda Seitz in Chicago contributed to this report.
Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
NewsAlert: Vaccine panel recommends going up to 4 months between COVID vaccine doses
A national panel of vaccine experts is recommending extending the interval between the two doses of a COVID-19 shot when faced with a limited supply.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization issued updated guidance today for the administration of all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in Canada.
It says extending the dose interval to four months will create opportunities to protect the entire adult population against the virus within a short timeframe.
Newfoundland and Labrador said today it is extending the interval between the first and second doses to four months, days after health officials in British Columbia announced they were doing so.
Manitoba also says it will delay second doses in order to focus on giving the first shot to more people more quickly.
Ontario previously said it was weighing a similar move but would seek advice from the federal government.
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