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Edmonton

Former Edmonton Oilers scout Barry Fraser dead at 82

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Former Oilers head scout Barry Fraser, whose shrewd draft picks helped build a hockey dynasty in Edmonton, has died, the team announced Sunday.

He was 82.

Fraser was one of the architects of the great Oiler teams of the 1980s and ’90s.

After being named the team’s director of scouting in 1979, the Kirkland, Ont. native was credited with drafting future Hall of Famers Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr.

The franchise went on to win five Stanley Cups in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990.

The Oilers revealed in a Twitter post that Fraser died Sunday in Edmonton.

The cause of death was not released.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2022.

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Alberta

Popular roller-coaster at West Edmonton Mall amusement park to be removed

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Canada’s largest shopping centre says a popular roller-coaster at its amusement park is being removed after nearly 40 years in operation.

West Edmonton Mall’s vice-president of parks and attractions says in a statement that while the Mindbender will be missed, the mall is excited to announce it is working on new plans for the site.

The Mindbender was known as the world’s tallest and longest indoor, triple-loop roller-coaster.

In 1986, three people were killed on the roller-coaster, which forced the mall to shut it down for a year for safety modifications.

Galaxyland initially opened in 1983, but was known as Fantasyland until 1995.

The indoor amusement park partnered with Hasbro in 2022 and features attractions licensed from the franchise.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.

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Alberta

Alberta spiritual community leader charged with four counts of sexual assault

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Photo from Johnderuiter.com

Edmonton – A self-styled spiritual leader has been charged with four counts of sexual assault stemming from separate occasions between 2017 and 2020.

Police say Johannes de Ruiter, the leader of an Edmonton group known as the College of Integrated Philosophy or the Oasis Group, was arrested Saturday.

Edmonton police allege that de Ruiter, who is 63, would tell certain female members that he was directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them, and that doing so would provide them with the opportunity to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

The group operated out of a building in an industrial area in northwest Edmonton from 2007 to 2021.

Before his arrest, de Ruiter was holding meetings at an office building in St. Albert, Alta., and would host spiritual retreats out of a campground near Smith, Alta., a hamlet more than 200 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Police say in a news release that investigators believe there may be additional victims and are encouraging them to come forward to police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2023.

 

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