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Around Red Deer June 6th…..

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3:12 pm – Finished your spring cleaning now? Well you can find those unwanted items a new home with “Kick it to the Curb” in Red Deer this weekend. Read More.

3:07 pm – Red Deer’s Ross Street Patio is set to open for another season on Friday! Read More.

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2:55 pm – Effective Wednesday, June 7th, Red Deer County has removed all enacted road bans. Read More.

2:22 pm – Prairie Bus Lines has released a statement regarding Impaired Driving charges laid against one of it’s drivers, following a collision where one of it’s busses with kids on board, crashed into a tree and sign, then kept going for a short distance.

“As a result of the investigation and subsequent charges against the driver by the RCMP, we have taken the appropriate action to ensure our Safely Home commitment is upheld. Prairie Bus Lines has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy in place. This includes a process for testing when there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In this case, there were no visible signs of impairment prior to the driver’s afternoon departure. Student safety is paramount to our organization. We are grateful nobody was injured and that a rescue driver was able to take the children home safely in a timely manner.”

2:14 pm – Red Deer RCMP are asking for public assistance to locate 45 year old Sherry Lynn Wahobin. Read More.

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2:00 pm – The Red Deer Public School District is shocked and angry after RCMP confirmed impaired driving charges have been be laid against a bus driver following an accident while students were being transported home from school. Read More.

1:51 pm – A Red Deer woman faces charges of impaired and dangerous driving after the school bus she was operating struck a tree Monday afternoon in the Vanier Woods neighbourhood. Read More.

11:57 am – Red Deer RCMP are asking for public assistance to locate 14 year old Trisha Blackwell. Read More.

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11:49 am – Driver fleeing Police injured after rolling vehicle on O’Chiese First Nation. Read More.

11:41 am – A Red Deer teen reported missing last month has now been found. 13 year old Jayden Lafferty has been located and RCMP thank the public for their assistance.

10:38 am – Heads up Sylvan Lake drivers, there’s some road closures to be aware of over the next couple of days. Read More.

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10:00 am – To celebrate Canada 150, the Town of Sylvan Lake has planted 5,200 Canada 150 tulips. Read More.

9:54 am – Municipal property tax notices were recently mailed out to Lacombe County ratepayers and should be appearing in mailboxes in the coming week. Read More.

9:33 am – You can ride Bolt Transit for free tomorrow. It’s Clean Air Day. Read More.

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9:22 am – The public is invited to a skatepark meeting in the Penhold Multi-Plex starting at 6:30 pm tonight. Read More.

8:02 am – Red Deer RCMP responded to a single vehicle collision involving a school bus around 4:00 pm in the Vanier neighbourhood on Monday. The collision resulted in the school bus striking a tree and sign. There were eighteen students on board the bus at the time of the collision; no injures were reported. The school bus was transporting students from the Red Deer Public School system. Police continue to investigate the cause of this collision and an update will be provided when available.

7:51 am – Landscaping work will result in some road closures in south Red Deer today. Read More.

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7:43 am – Students at Red Deer’s Maryview School will take part in Smudging Ceremonies led by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Support Team members from the Red Deer Catholic Regional School District today. Elsewhere, all are welcome to attend an Open House event at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds on June 6, 7, and 8 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. There will be staff on hand to answer questions and give tours.

7:35 am – Grade 7 students in Red Deer will participate in a Track & Field Day at École Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School today!

7:22 am – It’s a fun day planned throughout the Red Deer Public School District today. Students at Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School will get a visit from Around The World Entertainment at 8:45 am to see some impressive Yo-Yo skills. Students at Ecole Barrie Wilson Elementary School will also get that presentation at 2:00 pm. Elsewhere, Central Middle School Band students will perform their year-end concert at the Red Deer College Arts Centre tonight at 7:00 pm. While Lindsay Thurber music students will perform Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, Ensembles and a Massed Band finale in the school gym starting at 7:00 pm. Tickets will not be sold to this event, but there will be a silver collection 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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