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Around Red Deer March 22nd…..

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5:01 pm – The City of Red Deer is pleased that the Federal Budget announced on Wednesday will continue with stable Gas Tax funding for municipalities but is also hoping to benefit from Infrastructure Investments. Read More.

2:39 pm – Red Deer RCMP have arrested numerous people wanted on outstanding warrants. They were arrested between March 15th – 21st. They include 29 year old Daniel Wade Shields, 24 year old Rickell Jessica Frenchman, 27 year old Kayla Marie Cecka, 22 year old Kyla Joy Harter, 25 year old Matthew Robert McKinney, 20 year old Courtney Darlene Reid, 40 year old Brandy Christine Carl, 25 year old Nicholas Dale Krock and 46 year old James Mitchell. Read More.

1:13 pm – The Red Deer Catholic Regional School District has amended it’s Three Year Capital Plan. This, after Alberta Education’s school projects announcement on March 21st that indicates St. Patrick’s Community School will receive funding for modernization and has now been removed from this plan. Priority #1. Our Lady of the Rosary 8 classroom addition. #2. A new 6-9 middle school in Red Deer. #3. A new K-5 school in Red Deer. #4. A new K-5 French Immersion school in Red Deer. #5. A new K-5 school in Sylvan Lake.

12:48 pm – Red Deerians are being encouraged to turn off the lights for Earth Hour Saturday night! Read More.

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12:19 pm – Members of the public are invited to join the Red Deer College Board of Governors, President & CEO Joel Ward and special guest, Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt on Wednesday, March 29th from 5 – 6 pm as RDC’s new Board Chair is introduced. A report on the College’s contributions to central Alberta will also be presented. A reception is to follow in the Arts Centre Foyer.

11:54 – The Honourable David Eggen, Minister of Education, will visit St. Patrick’s Community School in Red Deer this Saturday, March 25 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the new modernization project. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Minister Eggen announced funding to modernize St. Patrick’s Community School on March 21st. This comes as exceptional news as the school has been operating at 130% capacity. The school is one of seven in the province to undergo modernization. This modernization will provide improvements to the school including functional upgrades to ensure students have access to effective and modern learning environments. The Minister will visit with the school Principal, Senior Administration and Trustees.

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11:16 am – Red Deer RCMP are looking for a missing woman. Read More.

10:59 am – On Friday, March 24 at 7:00 AM, Red Deer County road bans will come into effect. With the recent warmer conditions, Red Deer County Operations staff have implemented road bans on many different County roadways, excluding all industrial and commercial subdivisions. Gravel roadways will be banned on an as-needed basis. For a complete listing of effected roads, go to www.rdcounty.ca or contact Red Deer County at 403.350.2150.

10:23 am – Rocky Mountain House RCMP are looking for an assault suspect possibly on the O’Chiese First Nation. Read More.

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10:09 am – Improvements to Main Street in Lacombe will soon be underway. Here, the City’s Engineering Services Manager Jordan Thompson provides a brief overview of the upcoming 2017 Main Street Improvements project:

9:54 am – The Red Deer Regional Catholic School Board received an update Tuesday regarding their current capital projects. St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School Work is progressing in the last stage of the project. This work is expected to be completed by the end of March. St. Gregory the Great Catholic School Ceiling grid has started on the second floor, painting is occurring in all areas, gym floor hardwood is starting in April and all other work is progressing on schedule. The school is scheduled to be completed at the end of May. St. Joseph High School Construction is complete other than some seasonal deficiencies which will be addressed in the spring. Our Lady of the Rosary Modular relocation is currently out for tender with results expected by the end of this month. St. Elizabeth Seton Modular relocation will be going out to tender shortly. Father Henri Voisin Modular addition planning has begun. ABC School, as part of the P3 contract, will deal with all aspects of this project.

9:32 am – The Red Deer College Men’s and Women’s Curling teams are competing in Camrose for a national title over the next few days. The University of Alberta (Augustana) will host the event from March 22nd to 25th at the Rose City Curling Club.

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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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