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Kings topple Ooks for ACAC gold, receive berth in nationals


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Brent Forster – Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics

Edmonton, AB – Since the playoffs started, the Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Volleyball team has found another level.

The RDP Kings received contributions across the lineup and defeated the NAIT Ooks in four sets (25-22, 24-26, 25-22 and 27-25), earning consecutive Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) gold medals.

“It was a hard fought match against a very solid NAIT team in front of a hostile crowd,” said Aaron Schulha, Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Volleyball Head Coach.

The teams were even after two sets, but the Kings showed their resiliency by winning the next two sets, and their 20th ACAC gold.

“Reece Lehman and Dillon Gauci were outstanding with 18 kills and nine kills respectively and both hit for over 58 per cent efficiency,” added Schulha.

Along with his double-digit kills performance, Kings Player of the Game Lehman added two digs, one block, two assists and five of the team’s 10 service aces. Gauci had an ace, block and dig in addition to his kills total.

Six-foot-seven outside hitter Nicolas Possingham, a Bachelor of Science Psychology student, recorded nine kills. Red Deer’s Brett Lower chipped in with six. Setter Maddux Greves accumulated 39 assists, two aces, one kill and a dig. Libero JJ Graham had four digs. Prince George’s Cody Boulding added six kills from the middle.

“We had to grind through some error filled moments and I think that will serve us well moving forward,” said Schulha. “It was one of those times where we didn’t play our best volleyball, but everyone contributed at key times and we are back-to-back ACAC Champions, once again.”

Former member of the Kings, Carter Hills, had a match high 19 kills, earning NAIT’s Player of the Game. Shae McIntyre and Daniel Ward fired nine kills each.

“I’m really proud of this group and very much looking forward to seeing what kind of noise we can make in Quebec at CCAA Nationals,” said Schulha.

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings will challenge for their 14th national title at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Volleyball National Championship from March 25-27. Cegep Limoilou will host the event.



Calgary police identify 15-year-old girl killed in shooting, investigation continues

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Calgary (CP) – Calgary police have identified a 15-year-old girl who was fatally shot this week as investigators try to determine whether she was the intended target or if it was a case of mistaken identity.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting in an alley in the Martindale neighbourhood early Tuesday morning.

They say the teenager was a passenger in a vehicle when she was shot and that the driver, who was not injured, immediately fled the scene before pulling over to call police.

Police say investigators have received several tips from the public.

They say evidence from the scene leads police to believe it was targeted, but investigators haven’t determined whether the occupants of the vehicle were the intended targets.

The girl has been identified as Sarah Alexis Jorquera of Calgary.

“This was a senseless act of violence that took the life of a young girl,” Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the homicide unit said in a statement Wednesday.

“At this point, we have more questions than answers and are working around the clock to hold those responsible accountable. Losing a 15-year-old is a tragic loss for our community, her school, her friends and, most importantly, her family.”

Police ask anyone with any information about the shooting to call investigators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

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‘A crisis’: Calgary charity seeks one-month homes for Ukrainian refugees after influx

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Ukrainian evacuees Dmytro Syrman, left, his wife, Anastasiia, centre, and their four-year-old daughter Varvara attend a news conference highlighting the need for temporary housing in Calgary on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

By Bill Graveland in Calgary

After six months under Russian occupation, Dmytro Syrman and his family decided to flee Ukraine for a safer life abroad and are now in Calgary.

The family lived in Dniprorudne, a mining city of 17,000 in southern Ukraine. Syrman worked as a human resources manager at an iron factory.

In August, Syrman, his wife, Anastasiia, and four-year-old daughter Varvara embarked on a six-day, 3,000-kilometre drive to Poland.

“On the 24 of February, when the Russian army attacked Ukraine and occupied our city in March 2022, we lost everything,” Syrman said Wednesday.

He said they began planning their escape when they realized Russian soldiers weren’t leaving their city.

“We started all of this because we were scared for Varvara,” he said. “When Russian bombs were falling near our city it was really scary.”

Their home is still under Russian occupation.

For the past year the family stayed in Poland, sent in their paperwork to come to Canada, and two weeks ago arrived in Calgary.

They’re now staying with a host family for a month while they look for long-term accommodation and to find jobs.

“We are here and starting a new life. We can’t believe about people who don’t know us and many helped us. We’re really shocked,” Syrman said.

The Syrmans were helped by Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers, which started a campaign to find 100 hosts for Ukrainian families or individuals for a month while they find housing of their own.

Kelly Ernst, chief program officer with the centre, said there has been a flood of Ukrainians trying to take advantage of a federal program that allows them to temporarily resettle in Canada.

The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program has been extended until July and Ernst said he expects people will continue to flee the war-torn country.

“We’re in a desperate, dire need at the moment for host homes to try to accommodate the evacuees coming from Ukraine. It’s reaching the proportions of being a crisis moment,” said Ernst.

He said people arriving elsewhere in Canada are migrating to Calgary because the rents are lower than in larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.

Ernst said approximately 450 people have been arriving in Calgary every week from Ukraine and his organization has helped people staying nights in the airport, off the street and at homeless shelters.

Natalia Shem, who is the manager of housing for the Ukrainian evacuees, said it’s difficult for the newcomers to find somewhere to live before arriving.

“It’s almost impossible to find long-term rent being outside of Canada and people who come here need one month of stay,” Shem said. “It’s an average time a family can find long-term rent, job and settle down here in Canada.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

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