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Alberta

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

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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.”

Background:

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.

An update will be provided when available.

 

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Alberta

Beehives and goat farms: Lacombe school shortlisted in global environmental contest

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Taylor Perez says she learned more about her passions while tending beehives, goats and fruit trees at her central Alberta high school than sitting through lessons in a classroom.

“These are all skills we don’t learn in regular classes,” says the 18-year-old student at Lacombe Composite High School.

“You’re not going to learn how to collaborate with community members by sitting in a classroom learning about E = mc2.”

Perez and her classmates are buzzing with excitement after their school’s student-led beekeeping program, goat farm, fruit orchard, tropical greenhouse and other environmental projects were recognized in a global sustainability contest among 10 other schools.

It’s the only North American school to be shortlisted by T4 Education, a global advocacy group, in its World’s Best School Prize for Environmental Action contest.

“The projects are coming from the students’ own hearts and passion for taking care of the environment,” says Steven Schultz, an agriculture and environmental science teacher who has been teaching in Lacombe since 1996.

“They are going to be our community leaders — maybe even our politicians — and for them to know what the heartbeat of their generation is (is) extremely important.”

Schultz says the projects are pitched and designed by students in the school’s Ecovision Club, to which Perez belongs, and he then bases a curriculum around those ideas.

The school of about 900 students began reducing its environmental footprint in 2006 when a former student heard Schultz say during a lesson on renewable energy that “words were meaningless or worthless without action,” the 56-year-old teacher recalls.

“She took that to heart and a year later she came back and told me that she wanted to take the school off the grid.”

Schultz and students watched a fire burn down solar panels on the school’s roof in 2010, an event that further transformed his approach to teaching.

“As their school was burning, my students gathered in tears. That day I realized that students really care about the environment and they really care about the projects that they were involved in.”

Since then, 32 new solar panels have been installed, and they produce up to four per cent of the school’s electricity. After the fire, students also wanted to clean the air in their classrooms so they filled some with spider plants, including one in the teachers’ lounge.

More recently, students replaced an old portable classroom on school property with a greenhouse that operates solely with renewable energy. It’s growing tropical fruits, such as bananas, pineapples, and lemons, and also houses some tilapia fish.

Two acres of the school are also covered by a food forest made up of almost 200 fruit trees and 50 raised beds where organic food is grown.

The school also works with a local farm and raises baby goats inside a solar-powered barn that was built with recycled material.

“They breed and milk them at the farm because there are really tight regulations,” says Schultz.

“We take the excrement from the goats and the hay and use it as mulch and fertilizers for our garden. The goats also chew up the grass and allow us not to have to use lawn mowers and tractors”

Perez said her favourite class is the beekeeping program with 12 hives that produce more than 300 kilograms of honey every year.

“I love that they have different roles in their own little societies,” Perez says of the bees.

She says while working with local businesses and groups as a part of her curriculum, she learned she’s passionate about the environment and wants to become a pharmacist so she can continue giving back to her community.

James Finley, a formerly shy Grade 10 student, says the Ecovision Club and environment classes have helped get him out of his comfort zone.

“I made friends, which was a hard thing for me in the beginning. But now I have, like, hundreds,” says the 16-year-old, who enjoyed the lessons he took on harvesting.

“Taylor and Mr. Schultz were the main people that made me stay.”

Schultz says the winners of the contest are to be announced in the fall.

A prize of about $322,000 will be equally shared among five winners.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sunday, July 3, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Missing 13-year-old Edmonton girl found alive in Oregon, 41-year-old man arrested

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EDMONTON — Police say a 13-year-old Edmonton girl missing for more than a week has been found alive in the United States.

She was located following a week-long search that began when she was seen arriving at her junior high school but didn’t show up for class.

Edmonton Police Insp. Brent Dahlseide says the girl, who was reported missing June 24, is currently in an Oregon hospital for a precautionary examination after being found safe in the state early Saturday morning.

Dahlseide says a 41-year-old Oregon man will be charged with child luring and is expected to face additional charges in Canada and the U.S.

He says Edmonton police received assistance from other agencies in Canada, as well as from the FBI and other police services in the U.S.

Dahlseide says it’s believed the suspect came to Edmonton, but it’s not yet clear how he initially made contact with the girl or how she crossed the U.S. border.

“We would be speculating to say they crossed the border together, but I do know that they were located together, again, in the U.S. once they gained entry,” Dahlseide told reporters during an online news conference Saturday, noting he believed the two had been communicating online.

“I don’t know how long they may have been in contact with one another. I do know that the reason we’re going with a child-luring charge at this point is that it’s one we can support because of some of the online history.”

Photos of the girl have appeared on billboards and posters across Alberta this past week asking people to be on the lookout for her and contact police with tips.

Dahlseide said an Amber Alert was not issued because investigators lacked a description of a suspect or a suspect vehicle. He said police got that information on Friday and were drafting the alert that afternoon when they learned from Canada Border Services the suspect had crossed into the U.S.

At that point the suspect was no longer in Canadian jurisdiction, Dahlseide explained, which is another criteria for an Amber Alert. He said they made a deduction about where the suspect was going and alerted authorities on the U.S. side.

Dahlseide said he believed the arrest was made outside Gladstone, Oregon, just south of Portland, away from the suspect’s residence. He said the suspect’s name would not be released until charges are formally laid.

He said the girl’s family were informed early Saturday she’d been found safe and they are making arrangements to bring her home.

“I’m sure we likely woke them up, showing up at their door so early,” Dahlseide said.

Canadian investigators have not had a chance to speak with the girl or the suspect yet, Dahlseide said, and other questions remain.

He said investigators believe the suspect was in Mission, B.C. for three to four days, so they’ll be asking RCMP there to speak to people who may have seen him or the girl during that time. The FBI will also be able to help supply bank or credit card information to piece together the suspect’s movements, he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2022

Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press

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