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Alberta

Hundreds of young athletes grow more anxious by the day – ACAC season a series of “options”

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While addicts ponder cross their fingers at every hint the National Hockey League’s big-money dance toward a playoff schedule and perhaps a Stanley Cup final sometime this year might be successful, hundreds of young athletes grow more anxious day by day, hoping they get to play at least part of their schedules in various college sports.

And money is close to the least of the concerns for these kids.

The five-day annual spring meeting of Alberta College Athletic Conference institutions ended a week ago with little clarity on the issue although CEO Mark Kosak and various other officials in the 18-team league came away – mostly – with a positive outlook.

As expected, a wide series of “options and alternate start dates” was devised and analyzed, he said.

A committee established to evaluate likely effects of the coronavirus pandemic will meet at least once a week in preparation for “a really big and important meeting dealing with massive variables” on June 25. Many essential details applying to all sports – when to start a season, length of schedule, possible change of regular play into tournament-style competition – will be put on the table.

Progressively, Aug. 1, a date in September and others in January have been debated in depth.

All options remain open, Kosak said, pointing out that safety of athletes, students, spectators and staff remains as the dominant factor in every discussion. Principals at some institutions have made it clear they do not expect any sports to be played in what normally is the ACAC fall season. Close to 50 per cent of the principals have made clear their concern that moving too quickly in one sport or one schedule might destroy all the good that the current cautious program may achieve. If necessary, all games would have to be sacrificed.

The veteran administrator posed one conservative, hypothetical and frightening prospect: A school from a difficult place (where control of COVID-19 might not be at the ideal level) when it goes to play a road game in a safer area. Then, say, one player on the home team comes down with the virus.

“What options are open if that happens?” Obviously, no organization could possibly benefit from such an occurrence. “I understand fully what those presidents are concerned about. At this point, they’re all justified to be worried about the potential for an outbreak on campus.”

Fortunately, Kosak said, all of the presidents recognize the value of college sports, mentioning the appeal of an athletic event, additional enrolment and potential gate receipts. He did not mention students’ enthusiam when they support a successful individual or team, but that element has been demonstrated for as long as athletes have competed at any level of education.

Cost of operation has prompted some ACAC schools to make deep cuts in athletic expenses. “We all have a similar problem” said Kosak. “Each school deals with it as best they can.”

Hockey budgets have been questioned most severely. A few weeks ago, NAIT Ooks head coach Tim Fragle accepted an offer to become head coach and general manager of the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League.

They are not, of course, the fabled senior Smoke Eaters who won the World Hockey Championship for Canada in 1961, but Fragle treats the switch as a sort of homecoming. He is a former Smoke Eater captain, having played there after his career with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Fragle was named coach of the year three times for NAIT.

Former Ooks standout Scott Fellnermayr moves up from the assistant’s job to replace Fragle as head coach.

WCBL season cancelled ending the Edmonton Prospects run at Re/Max Field

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Alberta

RCMP deploying more Mounties in Alberta under agreement with the province

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EDMONTON — The RCMP says it will add 76 additional Mounties to Alberta this year, many of whom will serve as front-line police in rural detachments outside major municipalities.

There will also be 57 new civilian support positions.

RCMP say some of the additional Mounties are to serve in detachments at Beaverlodge, Edson, Evansburg, Mayerthorpe and Valleyview.

In the south, detachments in Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks and Strathmore will get more police.

New Mounties are to be assigned to the central district, including in Camrose, Blackfalds, Leduc, Morinville, Parkland, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Strathcona and Thorsby.

More RCMP are also being assigned to work in Athabasca, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Elk Point and St. Paul.

Officials say the staffing increase is part of a five-year, $286-million policing agreement announced by the Alberta government in December.

“Rural Albertans asked for action against rising crime, and our government responded with Alberta’s largest single investment in policing since the RCMP’s March West,” Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said Thursday in a release.

“Putting more boots on the ground in rural Alberta will help protect residents and ensure they feel safe in their communities.”

The force says so far it has filled 25 of the front-line positions in rural communities and 18 centralized police to provide support and specialized services to all rural detachments.

Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Alberta’s top Mountie, said the additional funding is in response to concerns expressed by rural Alberta communities.

He said the RCMP is committed to continuing to provide Albertans with the high quality, modern provincial police service that they expect and deserve.

“The RCMP is committed to working in partnership with our communities to ensure Albertans feel safe in their homes, in their backyards and in their farm yards,” Zablocki said in a release.

Last month, Alberta’s government-appointed Fair Deal Panel recommended the province examine the idea of creating a provincial police force. The panel suggested the RCMP is becoming too bureaucratically inflexible and smaller communities aren’t getting enough front-line officers.

Premier Jason Kenney has said his government will study the recommendation.

Under the program announced by the province in December, small and rural communities, with some exceptions, are to begin contributing part of their front-line policing costs starting this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020

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Alberta

Update: Bradley Duff Arrested in Grande Prairie

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July 2, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #7 Duff Arrested

Grande Prairie, Alta. – Bradley Duff is in police custody in Grande Prairie after being wanted for 23 days and eluding police across multiple RCMP jurisdictions.

On July 1, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., Grande Prairie RCMP received a complaint of a break and enter to a rural business located east of Grande Prairie.

While Grande Prairie RCMP were responding to that location, further complaints were received of a male causing damage to the business and allegedly assaulting the complainant, then the suspect fled on foot.

Grande Prairie RCMP responded and attempted to contain the suspect to an area; however, the suspect stole a jeep and left towards the city of Grande Prairie. For reasons of public safety, no pursuit was initiated.

Grande Prairie RCMP received complaints from the public of a jeep being driven erratically within the city of Grande Prairie. The jeep was reported to have allegedly driven into a business, rammed a parked vehicle twice and was involved in a hit and run collision with a single vehicle before being observed heading westbound leaving Grande Prairie towards Beaverlodge, Alta.

While in the Beaverlodge area, Beaverlodge RCMP located the stolen jeep and after the vehicle entered the town of Beaverlodge, attempts were made to contain the jeep. The stolen jeep allegedly was used to cause further damage within Beaverlodge before fleeing on Highway 43 eastbound. Beaverlodge RCMP followed the stolen jeep and a tire deflation device was successfully deployed, stopping the stolen jeep. The suspect fled on foot a short distance before being arrested.

The suspect in this incident was identified as Bradley Duff, wanted on a several warrants of arrest as described in the background below.

As a result of the above noted incidents, Bradley Duff is facing the following charges:

  • Flight from police (x2)
  • Resist a peace officer
  • Assault
  • Operate a conveyance in a manner that was dangerous to the public
  • Operate a conveyance while prohibited from doing so
  • Possession of stolen property under $5,000 (x2)
  • Possession of stolen property over $5,000

Following a judicial hearing, Duff did not speak to bail and was remanded into custody to attend court on August 5, 2020, in Grande Prairie Provincial Court.

The RCMP would like to thank the public and the media for your assistance as tips and calls with information regarding suspicious persons have been invaluable in assisting police in locating and apprehending Duff.

Background:

June 25, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #6 High Prairie arrests

High Prairie, Alta. – On June 25, 2020, following a lengthy search, High Prairie RCMP, along with the assistance of the RCMP Police Dog Service, arrested two males without incident. High Prairie RCMP continue to investigate this incident and the two male suspects remain in custody.

Bradley Duff remains at large and his warrants for arrest remain in effect.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900, 911 or your local police.

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.”

 

June 25, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #5 High Prairie Public Safety Warning

High Prairie, Alta. – Earlier this morning, High Prairie RCMP received a report of an abandoned stolen vehicle and a sighting of an individual matching Bradley Duff’s description in the Gillwood area south of High Prairie. This area is further described as being near Township Road 740 and Range Road 170 south of High Prairie.

Area residents are cautioned to be on the lookout for Bradley Duff who has been sighted on area rural properties. 

Duff continues to remain on outstanding warrants of arrest for the charges noted in the background below.

Bradley Duff (35) is described as:

  • 6’2”
  • 201 lbs
  • Blue eyes
  • Brown hair
  • Multiple tattoos

High Prairie RCMP, along with the assistance of RCMP support services will have a heavy police presence in the area. RCMP are asking that the public please avoid the area and refrain from posting photos and/or video on social media.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900, 911 or your local police.

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.”

June 23, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #4 Warrants

Whitecourt, Alta. – On June 23, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., Mayerthorpe RCMP received a complaint of a suspicious person in a rural area northeast of Mayerthorpe, Alta., in a pick-up truck with a dirt bike in the box. Mayerthorpe RCMP attended the location and located the stolen pick-up abandoned off road in the Connor Creek area. The stolen pick-up truck was linked to the June 18, 2020, incident in Barrhead, Alta., outlined in the background below.

A short time later information was received by Mayerthorpe RCMP of an individual matching Bradley Duff’s description, having been in the area seeking fuel for the dirt bike.

An extensive search of the area was conducted by Mayerthorpe, Evansburg, Whitecourt and Barrhead RCMP along with the assistance of RCMP Air Services, Police Dog Services and the Emergency Response Team; however, the search was unsuccessful in locating the suspect.

Whitecourt and Barrhead RCMP, along with the assistance of the RCMP Western Alberta Crime Reduction Unit, continue to investigate these incidents.

As a result of further investigation, RCMP have obtained warrants for Bradley Gordon Duff’s arrest in relation to the following charges:

  • Break and enter to a residence
  • Dangerous operation of a conveyance (x2)
  • Flight from police

Bradley Duff is also facing an additional charge of assault relating to an incident that occurred on May 13, 2020, for which Whitecourt RCMP have obtained a warrant for his arrest.

A 28-year-old female from Whitecourt, Alta., is also charged with break and enter to a residence. She was released on an undertaking for Barrhead Provincial Court on September 22, 2020. Her name cannot be released as the information has not yet been sworn.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900, 911 or your local police.

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.”

 

June 19, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #3 Barrhead Incident

Barrhead, Alta. – On June 18, 2020, at approximately 9 p.m., Barrhead RCMP received a complaint of a break and enter to a residence located in the area of Secondary Highway 658 near Fort Assiniboine, Alta. The suspect vehicle attempted to ram the complainant’s vehicle in an attempt to flee the property.

Barrhead RCMP attempted to locate the suspect vehicle and the suspect vehicle came to rest in a ditch in the area of the Athabasca river southwest of Fort Assiniboine, before both suspects fled into the forest. RCMP Air Services and the RCMP Police Service Dog was utilized and one of the suspects was taken into custody without incident. The second suspect remained at large.

Further investigation has resulted in the second suspect being identified as Bradley Gordon Duff 35, of no fixed address.

A 28-year-old female from Whitecourt, Alta. remains in custody awaiting a bail hearing.

Barrhead RCMP’s investigation into this matter continues.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. Barrhead RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Duff’s whereabouts as he is a suspect in this break and enter investigation and has outstanding arrest warrants on unrelated matters.

If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Barrhead RCMP at 780-674-4848, 911 or your local police. 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.”

 

June 15, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #2

High Prairie, Alta. – On June 14, 2020, High Prairie RCMP received a report of a sighting of a male believed to be Bradley Duff during the night / early morning hours in the vicinity of Range Road 185 and Township Road 742 in Big Lakes County, Alta. This location is 3 km’s southwest of Triangle Hall, located 20 kms west of High Prairie on Highway 2, or 25kms south of Mclennan, Alta., on Highway 2.

Duff is believed to have been wearing all dark or black clothing and a red bandana covering his face and was in the process of removing items from a white Dodge truck parked off the roadway. The same white Dodge truck was later reported to Emergency Services by a passerby to be on fire on June 15, 2020, at 12:30 a.m.

Further investigation determined the Dodge truck had been stolen out of Whitecourt, Alta., and Bradley Duff was the last person known to have been seen driving it.

High Prairie RCMP Detachment has deployed multiple police resources to the area, including RCMP Police Dog Services Unit to conduct a search for Duff.

RCMP are asking that the public please avoid the area and refrain from posting photos and/or video on social media.

An update will be provided when available.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. Duff continues to have warrants for his arrest. If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900 or your local police. 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.”

June 9, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update

Whitecourt, Alta. – Whitecourt RCMP members are no longer in the area of Blue Ridge; however, their investigation continues.

On June 9, 2020, at 5:49 a.m., Whitecourt RCMP received a complaint of a vehicle in the ditch with a passenger unconscious with Emergency Services on scene. When the male became conscious, he fled into a forested area.

Whitecourt RCMP’s investigation revealed that the vehicle was stolen out of Edmonton in April 2020. Items in the vehicle and a description of the suspect who fled the scene led RCMP to believe that the suspect is Bradley Duff (35) of no fixed address. Duff is currently on outstanding warrants on other matters.

Whitecourt RCMP, with the assistance of RCMP Police Dog Services and RCMP Air Services conducted a lengthy search of the area and inquiries with residents of the area; however, were unable to locate the suspect.

Whitecourt RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Duff’s whereabouts as he is a suspect in the stolen vehicle investigation and has outstanding arrest warrants on unrelated matters. RCMP caution the public not to approach Duff as he is considered dangerous. Duff has been known to have access to firearms in the past; however, it is unknown if he is armed at this time.

If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900 or your local police. 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.”

 

June 9, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County

Whitecourt, Alta. – Whitecourt RCMP would like to advise the public that there is a heavy police presence in the area of Blue Ridge in Woodlands County between Township Road 594 and 592 near Range Road 102 outside Whitecourt.

RCMP are asking that the public please avoid the area and refrain from posting photos and/or video on social media.

 

 

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