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Car stolen at gunpoint in Blackfalds

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From Blackfalds RCMP

Blackfalds RCMP investigate car jacking

The Blackfalds RCMP are looking for two males who are alleged to have stolen a car at gunpoint on Jan. 1 in the evening.

At 9:30 p.m., the RCMP were dispatched to a complaint of an armed robbery which just occurred on Range Road 272A.  Four males were sitting in two separate cars, when a green Dodge Ram truck stopped on the road.  Two males from the truck showed what appeared to be shotguns, took the keys belonging to the occupied Mitsubishi Lancer then drove it away.  Before leaving, they slashed the tires on the second vehicle, leaving it not driveable.

One suspect male fled in the Dodge Ram, one in the Mitsubishi.

The male suspects, who are both believed to be in their early twenties, are described as:

Suspect #1

–          Caucasian

–          Approximately 5’8” to 6’ tall / slightly chubby

–          Blonde eyebrows

–          Wearing a green bandana on his face / black hat

–          Tattoos on his neck and hands

Suspect #2

–          Caucasian

–          Approximately 5’5” to 5’8” tall / skinny

–          Clean shaven, one tattoo on his hand

–          Wearing a grey hoodie

They were last seen driving south on Highway 2A.  The Mitsubishi Lancer is grey, 4 door. The Alberta license plate is CDS4455.

If you have seen this vehicle, or have information about the identity of these males, please call the Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3300.  Based on the information provided, these males are believed to be armed and should not be approached. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

How the Railroads Shaped Red Deer

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A crowd gathered at the Red Deer train station to provide a sendoff for members of “C” Squadron of the 12th Canadian Mounted Rifles Regiment. Heading off to join WWI in May 1915. Photo courtesy City of Red Deer Archives. P2603

Rivers, creeks and streams have shaped the land for eons, slowly carving away earth to reveal the terrain we know today. Much of the same can be said for the impact and influence that railways had in shaping the size and shape and even the very location of what is now the City of Red Deer. 

Prior to the construction of the Calgary and Edmonton railway, which started heading north from Calgary in 1890, what we now recognize as the bustling city of Red Deer was unbroken and forested land. The nearest significant settlement was the crossing for the C&E Trail of the Red Deer River, very close to where the historic Fort Normandeau replica stands today. 

Small town of Red Deer from along the Calgary and Edmonton Railway line looking north circa 1900. The Arlington Hotel and the CPR station can be seen. Photo courtesy City of Red Deer Archives. P4410

 

Above left: The Canadian Northern Railway excavating grade along the side of North Hill of Red Deer, AB in 1911. Using the steam shovel Bucyrus and trains. Photo P782. Above right: Workers building the Canadian National Railway trestle bridge at Burbank siding near Red Deer, AB, 1924. P7028. Photos courtesy City of Red Deer Archives.

Reverend Leonard Gaetz whose land formed the townsite for Red Deer. Photo courtesy City of Red Deer Archives. P2706

Navigating how to handle crossing the Red Deer River would be a significant challenge for construction of the railway route. Initially, the route was planned to take the tried-and-true path that had served animals, first nations people and fur traders for centuries, past the Red Deer River settlement. Yet just as the mighty river powerfully shaped the contours and dimensions of the land, the future site of Red Deer would be singlehandedly determined by Reverend Leonard Gaetz.

Rev. Gaetz offered James Ross, President of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway company,  land from his personal farmlands for the river crossing and the townsite for Red Deer.  Ross accepted and history was forever shaped by the decision, as what is now home to more than 100,000 people grew steadily outward starting at the C&E Railway train station. 

A steam engine pulling a passenger train, likely near Penhold, AB, sometime between 1938 and 1944. Photo courtesy City of Red Deer Archives. Photo P3595.

The rails finally reached the Red Deer area in November of 1890 and trains soon began running south to Calgary. By 1891, the Calgary and Edmonton railway was completed north to Strathcona. Alberta gained one of its most vital transportation corridors and the province would thrive from this ribbon of steel rails.

CPR Station in 1910

Over time, the C&E railyards grew and expanded to accommodate the demand for moving more and more commodities like grain, coal, lumber and business and household items along with passengers. Those passengers were the pioneer settlers who would make Red Deer the commercial hub that it remains to this day.

Alberta-Pacific Elevator Co. Ltd. No. 67 elevator and feed mill, circa 1910. Photo courtesy City of Red Deer Archives Photo P3884.

For nearly 100 years, the downtown was intimately connected with the railway in the form of hotels built to welcome travelers, grain elevators, warehouses, factories and the facilities required to service the locomotives and equipment that operated the trains. Tracks and spurs dominated the downtown area, especially after the advent of the Alberta Central Railway and the arrival of the Canadian Northern Western Railway (later absorbed into Canadian National railways).

Left: Aerial view of downtown and the railyards in1938. Note old CPR bridge over the Red Deer River along with the old CNR bridge that was demolished in 1941. P2228 Centre: CPR Track at south end of Red Deer, circa 1904 or 1905. P8060 Right: CPR depot water tower and round house in 1912. P3907. Photos courtesy City of Red Deer Archives.

 

Left: CPR downtown railyards in 1983. Photo S490. Right: Southbound morning Chinook train at the CPR station in the summer of 1939. P13391. Photos courtesy City of Red Deer Archives.

By the 1980s, the ever-present tracks and downtown railyard were seen as an industrial blight in the heart of the city that the railway created so funding was sought and plans were made to relocate the now Canadian Pacific rails from their historical home to a new modern yard northwest of the city. 

This was actually the second relocation of tracks from downtown as the Canadian National railway tracks were removed in 1960 which permitted the development along 47th Avenue south of the Red Deer River.

This massive project opened up the Riverlands district downtown to new developments which included condominiums, grocery stores, restaurants and professional buildings. Taylor Drive was built following the old rail line corridor and removal of the tracks in Lower Fairview meant residents wouldn’t hear the rumble of trains in their community anymore. 

Just as the waters gradually shaped the places we know now, the railways definitely forged Red Deer into the vibrant economic hub of central Alberta that it remains today. 

The 45th Street overpass across the CPR tracks. This was demolished in 1992. Photo courtesy City of Red Deer Archives. Photo S8479.

We hope you enjoyed this story about our local history.  Click here to read more history stories on Todayville.

Visit the City of Red Deer Archives to browse through the written, photographic and audio history of Red Deer. Read about the city and surrounding community and learn about the people who make Red Deer special.

My name is Ken Meintzer.  I’m a storyteller with a love of aviation and local history. In the 1990’s I hosted a popular kids series in Alberta called Toon Crew.

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Alberta

RCMP crack firearms trafficking operation based in Blackfalds

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From the Blackfalds RCMP

Blackfalds RCMP – Multi agency attack on firearms trafficking

A comprehensive investigation was initiated in January, and saw at least 11 different partnering detachments, units and agencies collaborating to stop an organized firearms straw buying/trafficking operation.

The investigation was launched by Blackfalds RCMP after receiving intelligence about the possibility of the trafficking.  Extensive evidence had to be gathered which included the engagement of firearms partners; the Chief Firearms Officer, NWEST, Red Deer ALERT and Edmonton Police Service’s Firearms Investigation Unit. These units were able to provide expertise related to the dynamics of straw purchasing and trafficking.

Three suspects were identified and targeted in the ongoing investigation.  On Feb. 12, search warrants were conducted at residences in both Red Deer and Blackfalds.  Because there were two different locations, and given the nature of the searches, Blackfalds, Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Innisfail, Ponoka General Investigation Section Units and Red Deer Crime Reduction Team all provided assistance.  The RCMP Police Dog Services and Emergency Response Team were also on hand to ensure police and public safety.

Three adults were taken into custody. During the execution of the search warrant, a loaded Glock .22 pistol was located with the three adults.  10 firearms and ammunition were seized from the residences.  Some of the firearms were loaded, and had serial numbers tampered with. Continuing investigation led the RCMP to determine other firearms were purchased. The Blackfalds RCMP anticipate seizing two more pistols from a Calgary business.

David Jason Masyk (39), Jason Paul Lafferty (48) and Jennifer Lynn McCagherty (29) were all charged criminally on Feb. 13 related to firearms / firearms trafficking offences.

Lafferty is facing 25 charges, including four counts of firearms possession contrary to prohibition order. Masyk is facing 10 charges, including three counts of Weapons Trafficking and four counts of Weapons possession for the purpose of trafficking and McCagherty is facing 19 charges, including 10 counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Judicial Interim Release hearings were held.  Lafferty did not speak to bail and was remanded into custody until Feb. 17, 2021. Masyk and McCagherty were both released and are set to appear in Red Deer Provincial court on March 17, 2021.

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