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Alberta

Update 3: Charges laid against 4 people – Drayton Valley RCMP on scene at firearms incident

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UPDATE #3

July 30, 2020

Drayton Valley RCMP on scene at firearms incident – charges laid

Moon Lake, Alta – Following an incident on July 28 that saw a pursuit, a vehicle fire, and the deployment of the RCMP Emergency Response Team, charges have been laid against four accused subjects.

At 8:32 a.m., Drayton Valley RCMP were dispatched to a home invasion which had just occurred.  The suspects fled the house prior to police arrival.

The suspect vehicle was initially spotted on Highway 759 by an Alberta Sheriff, but an attempt to stop it was not successful. The vehicle continued to flee. The vehicle was spotted by a homeowner on Range Road 72 near Highway 624. The vehicle fled that property and was located by members in a field off of Range Road 73 near Moon Lake Hall. The RCMP set up containment when the vehicle was spotted on a field. The vehicle caught fire in the field, and the attending RCMP members contained the area.

Neighbouring detachments of Evansburg, Mayerthorpe and Parkland all provided assistance with the containment.  Supporting units, including Police Dog Services, Emergency Response Team and Air Services were all engaged.

Two males were located initially at a residence near Highway 22.  The other two subjects were located as a result of a tip from the member of the public.

Three of the accused were treated and released at a local hospital as a result of injuries believed to have been sustained by jumping from the moving vehicle. No one else was injured during these incidents.

Shawn Victor Fleming (30), Stuart Kevin McMillan (19) and Dylan Alexander Andres (21) all of Edmonton are jointly facing numerous criminal code charges including; break and enter to a dwelling house, using a firearm while committing an indictable offence, possession of a prohibited weapon, et al.

Judicial Interim Hearings were held and all three accused remain in custody to attend court on August 4 in Drayton Valley.

A 38-year-old female from Edmonton is also facing charges which have not been sworn in court yet.

Information received led investigators to a location where two firearms were recovered.

The public assistance received by the RCMP was very appreciated throughout this incident.

Background

UPDATE #2

July 28, 2020

Drayton Valley RCMP on scene at firearms incident – All suspects in custody

Moon Lake, Alta. – Thanks to a public tip, the male and female suspects have been arrested without incident, with the assistance of the Emergency Response Team.

Residents in the area are free to leave their homes, and the public is thanked for their assistance during this unfolding incident.

The investigation remains ongoing.  A further update by the RCMP is not anticipated until tomorrow morning. This allows the RCMP an opportunity to conduct their investigation which includes determining the nature of the incident and gathering facts.


UPDATE #1

July 28, 2020

Drayton Valley RCMP on scene at firearms incident – Two in custody

Moon Lake, Alta – Two males have been taken into custody by the RCMP and two suspects remain at large in the Moon Lake Hall area.

Following a home invasion resulting in a stolen vehicle, reported at 8:32 this morning, the RCMP continue to search for a male and a female suspect.  They are believed to be armed and should be considered dangerous.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team has been deployed to assist in their capture.

Further updates will be provided when available  


Background – Drayton Valley RCMP on scene at firearms incident

Moon Lake, Alta. – The Drayton Valley RCMP currently have a field contained in the Moon Lake Hall area, north of Drayton Valley, near Township Road 520 and Highway 22.  All area residents are asked to remain in their homes and shelter in place.

An unfolding incident involving firearms is actively occurring.  The police have suspects contained in an area.  This is a dynamic situation and an update will be provided when available.

 

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Alberta

Alberta adds 700 enforcers to stop COVID-19 rule-breakers as hospitalizations climb

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CALGARY — Alberta is giving 700 more peace officers the power to enforce COVID-19 restrictions as hospitalizations for the virus continue to climb in the province. 

“We are not asking these officers to stop cold their day-to-day priorities or to harass responsible Albertans going about their everyday lives,” Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said Friday, as Alberta reported 1,227 new COVID-19 cases and nine more deaths. 

Police officers and health inspectors also have the ability to enforce the rules. 

Federal data shows Alberta has the second-highest infection rate in Canada with 208 cases per 100,000 people. Nunavut, with 209 cases per 100,000, ranks highest. 

Alberta has 405 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 86 in intensive care. A week ago, there were 55 patients in intensive care with COVID-19. 

Postponing surgeries is one of the ways the province is freeing up space to accommodate more people severely ill with the virus. 

New measures came into effect Friday to help blunt the spike in cases. Private indoor social gatherings are banned, capacity limits have been imposed on stores and students between grades 7 and 12 switch to remote learning on Monday. 

Fines for breaking the rules range from $1,000 to $100,000 in extreme cases that make it to court. 

When asked whether there would be crackdowns on anti-mask rallies, Madu said police will make independent decisions. 

“But as minister of justice, my expectation is that those who are in violation of the measures that we have put in place would have to be held accountable.”

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said she is disappointed to hear about Alberta Health Services inspectors being verbally abused. 

“Nobody deserves that, least of all the people who are working to keep all of us safe,” she said. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. 

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

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EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed was one of the biggest factors.

The research, published earlier this week in Nature’s Scientific Reports, studied animals killed by trains between 1995 and 2018: 59 bears; 27 wolves, coyotes, cougars and lynx; and 560 deer, elk, moose and sheep.

“The top predictor was train speed,” said lead author Colleen Cassady St. Clair, a biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta. “More animals died where trains were travelling faster.

“Next was distance to water, then the (amount of) water near the site and then curvature in the tracks.”

Train speed and track curvature, she said, make it difficult for wildlife to detect trains, while being close to water — particularly a lot of water — hinders their ability to get off the tracks before being hit.

The study builds on a five-year research project funded by Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway from 2010 to 2015 that focused on grizzly bears being struck by trains in the same two parks. It concluded that giving grizzlies better travel paths and sightlines along the railway was the best way to keep them safe.

Cassady St. Clair said she hopes the latest study “will make it possible to identify types and locations for mitigations that will reduce the problems for all wildlife, not just grizzly bears.”

The research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and the ability of wildlife to see trains, especially at curves in tracks near water.

Canadian Pacific noted in a statement Friday that the company has worked with Parks Canada for the last decade to learn more about how wildlife interacts with the railway.

“CP has engaged with Parks Canada and the University of Alberta throughout this program to ensure the mitigation measures CP implemented were based on science,” it said.

The statement didn’t address whether the company would consider reducing train speeds.

Co-author Jesse Whittington, a wildlife ecologist for Banff National Park, said trains are one of the leading causes of death for animals in the two parks.

“The trains (that) travel through Banff and Yoho national parks kill almost 30 animals a year,” said Whittington, who added that animals use rail lines for travel and access to food.

The latest study, he said, helps Parks Canada understand where wildlife are getting killed, why they are getting hit in that location and the time of year when they are most likely to get hit.

“Mortality risk was highest in areas where animals had difficulty detecting trains and where they had difficulty escaping trains,” he said. “Animals had challenges detecting trains where trains were travelling fast and in areas with high curvature.

“Trains can be surprisingly quiet when they are travelling downhill or coming around a corner.”

Whittington gave as an example an adult female grizzly bear killed by a train in September. She was in an area with a steep slope next to the Bow River.

“There were few places for her to get off the tracks.”

The latest study also found that grizzly bears were more likely to be killed in late spring when, Whittington noted, water in the Bow River is often higher. Other carnivores and ungulates were more likely to get hit by trains in the winter.

“When we have deep snows, we’ll often find elk and deer along the tracks.”

Whittington said some of his Parks Canada colleagues have been working to enhance travel routes for animals away from the rail line by creating more trails through the forest. The agency’s fire crews have also been working to create better wildlife habitat throughout the park with prescribed fires.

“We have a lot of thick shrubs and deadfall that has accumulated over the years that makes it difficult for animals to travel across the landscape,” he said. “To date, we’ve cleared over 50 kilometres of wildlife trails throughout Banff — both in areas around these hot spots and in other areas that are pinch points. 

“We’re hopeful that will help.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

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