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Around Red Deer May 31st…..

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3:08 pm – Red Deer RCMP and Citizens on Patrol are continuing their “Lock it or Lose it” campaign. Details Here.

3:04 PM – Red Deer County is among many Central Alberta municipalities to receive transportation infrastructure funding announced by the province today. Read More. Complete list of approved projects.

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2:51 pm – The Lacombe Police Service has received a new School Resource Officer vehicle courtesy of Lacombe Ford! They have generously donated a new 2017 Ford Explorer with new graphics. The vehicle is a fully equipped police unit which will assist the School Resource Officer in his duties and delivering service to Schools and the Community.

9:01 am – Red Deer’s Normandeau School has been named a Regional Finalist in the Samsung “Learn For Tomorrow” challenge. Read More.

8:53 am – It’s the first Downtown Farmer’s Market of the season in Red Deer today. That means some nearby road closures will be in place. Find out exactly where by clicking here.

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8:46 am – It’s a busy day throughout the Red Deer Catholic Regional School District. Canadian acappella group HOJA will present to the entire school community at Holy Family School in Red Deer from 1-2 pm. Elsewhere, there will be an Exhibition of Learning at Ecole Our Lady of the Rosary School in Sylvan Lake from 1 -2 pm. Also, Knowledge and Employability students from all grades, along with their families, are invited to celebrate their year-end accomplishments and personal achievements at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School in Red Deer from 7 – 9 tonight. There will be speeches, a video presentation and many students will be personally recognized.

8:38 am – Girls will play in Rugby Zones beginning at 5:00 p.m. today with the Boys’ team to follow at 6:30 p.m. It takes place at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

8:30 am – It’s Track and Field Day for Grade 9 students in Red Deer today. All the events take place at Lindsay Thurber High School.

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8:19 am – Red Deer’s Eastview Middle School will host it’s year end concert tonight at the Red Deer College Arts Centre! Performing Groups include Jazz Band, Grade 6 Band, Grade 7 Band, Grade 8 Band & Mass Band. Tickets are $6 each/Available in advance at Eastview or at the Theatre Doors May 31st. It starts at 7:00 pm.

8:13 am – It’s a fun day planned at Red Deer’s Westpark Middle School today. The school’s Celebration of Learning will see students and parents participate in outdoor activities including bouncy castles, face painting and games, as well as to go indoors to view examples of projects which have been completed throughout the year. The event runs from 4:30 – 6:30 pm.

8:03 am – Trustees with the Red Deer Catholic Regional School District received an update Tuesday night on the Capital projects underway within the division. Administration is still trying to organize a meeting with Alberta Education to determine the full scope of modernization work at St. Patrick’s Community School in Red Deer, the timelines involved and it’s delivery method. Elsewhere, work is complete on the portion of St. Marguerite in Innisfail but the fire alarm safety devices are unable to be verified until the entire scope of work is complete. This means that students and staff will not be able to move into these spaces until the end of June. Also, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds is scheduled to be completed at the end of May, with furniture orders arriving by then as well.

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Biden to name Asian American-Pacific Islander liaison

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will name Erika Moritsugu, a Capitol Hill veteran and vice-president of a women’s rights advocacy group, as his liaison to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

Biden committed to creating a senior-level role focused on the AAPI community after he received criticism from Democratic Sens. Tammy of Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii for the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in his cabinet. The two senators threatened to hold up his nominees unless Biden remedied the situation, but reversed their stance after the White House said it would create the position.

Katherine Tai, who is Taiwanese American, is in the Cabinet as Biden’s top trade envoy. Dr. Vivek Murthy, the son of Indian parents, was confirmed Tuesday as surgeon general, a sub-Cabinet position. And Vice-President Kamala Harris is of Indian-American descent as well. But the senators expressed concerns that they had no direct liaison within the White House to make their concerns heard.

Biden is set to meet with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus at the White House on Thursday, though Moritsugu is not expected to attend, according to two sources granted anonymity to speak freely about internal discussions.

Moritsugu is the vice-president for the National Partnership for Women & Families, and prior to that held a number of roles on Capitol Hill, working for Duckworth, former Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and the Senate Democratic Policy Committee under former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She also served in the Obama administration as an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The pick comes as the Senate has taken up legislation aimed at combating anti-Asian hate crimes, in the wake of a raft of violence against Asian Americans over the past month.

Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press

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Alberta

'We are going to proceed': Trial moving ahead for accused in Alberta doctor's death

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RED DEER, Alta. — The trial for a man charged in the slaying of a family doctor at a central Alberta medical clinic is going ahead as scheduled.

Deng Mabiour, 54, had been deemed fit last year to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds, who was killed at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer, Alta., last summer.

At his last appearance in March, Mabiour was told that a further assessment was going to be done and that he was being held on a mental-health warrant at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.

No mention was made of the second assessment on Wednesday, but Mabiour has been transferred from the psychiatry facility back to the Calgary Remand Centre.

“We are going to proceed with this trial,” said Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Paul Belzil, who appeared by video from Edmonton.

Mabiour, wearing a blue prison jumpsuit and accompanied by two sheriffs, made his first in-person appearance in court since his arrest and sat quietly through most of the proceeding.

“Do as you want,” he said.

Mabiour, despite urging from the judge to get a lawyer, repeated his intention to represent himself at his trial, which is scheduled from Nov. 22 to Dec. 17.

“This is a criminal trial and it’s my duty to make sure you’re getting a fair trial. You’re facing a very serious charge here, sir,” said Belzil.

“I recommend that you do not do so, sir, but you have a right to represent yourself.”

The case is to return to court May 20 to discuss a number of applications, including one from the Crown pertaining to Mabiour acting on his own behalf.

“The purpose of that, Mr. Mabiour, is there’s a provision in the Criminal Code that allows the court to make an order that you not examine civilian witnesses,” the judge explained.

The accused was asked if he understood what was happening and if he had any questions.

“My question is do you believe that my case is connected with a human rights abuse case?” Mabiour asked.

Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two, was attacked with a weapon while working at the clinic on Aug. 10. He died in hospital.

One witness told media that she was in the waiting room when she heard cries for help and saw a man with a hammer and a machete.

RCMP have said the crime was not random and the two men knew each other through the clinic, although they have not said if Mabiour was a patient of Reynolds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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