From the Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Alberta church closes doors, shares last of funds to help end world hunger – Donates $25,000 to support work of Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Blackfalds United Church in central Alberta may have closed its doors, but the congregation’s hearts remain wide open. After selling the building that served as a place of worship for more than a century, the church gave the last of its funds to other local churches and several charities, including $25,000 to the Central Alberta growing project.
Through the growing project, a group of farmers volunteer their time to grow and harvest a crop, and then sell it on the Canadian market. Proceeds are donated to Canadian Foodgrains Bank to be used in the work of responding to world hunger.
“We know the money goes to a great cause,” says Maurice Defoe, the church’s trustee. “The Foodgrains Bank does a lot of good for people around the world, and we are very happy to provide this support.”
A staple in the community, Blackfalds United Church provided a place for many suppers, funerals, weddings and health immunization clinics. Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, dance troupes and other groups also used the space for meetings and community events. Closing the doors of the church was not a decision anyone took lightly.
“With great misgivings and sadness, and with many impacting factors, the decision to close was made in early 2018, and the building was sold just over one year later,” says Defoe. But the selling of the church would not be the congregation’s swan song.
“Maurice Defoe asked me to meet him at Tim Hortons in Blackfalds,” says Doug Maas of the Central Alberta growing project. “I didn’t really know what it was about, and that’s when he showed me the check. I couldn’t believe how big the amount was.”
The Central Alberta growing project started in 1996, when a group of passionate farmers decided to grow food to help those facing hunger overseas. Today, the committee has nine members. Since it started, the project has raised $1.3 million dollars for families in need, before any government matching is considered. And they aren’t finished yet.
Next year the project celebrates its 25th anniversary. Plans for the milestone were nearly derailed with the challenge of finding land this year. But once again, they found support in the community when a Lacombe County farmer made 70 acres of his recently purchased parcel available.
“Thank you to all the people in the community who support this project, our farmers, our partners, and also city churches who sponsor acres from afar,” says Maas. “And thank you so much to Blackfalds United Church for your generous gift.”
Maas says the money will help purchase fertilizer, and if donated land is ever hard to come by, can be used to rent land so the project can continue without worry.
“We’ve always had strong support from the churches, because they believe in the work of the Foodgrains Bank and know they’re careful with how the money is used” says Maas. “I do a lot of volunteer work, and this organization stands out because it has a large volunteer base, admin costs are low, and the food gets to the people who need it. The Foodgrains Bank has a special place in my heart, and I know I’m not alone.”
– Jason Permanand, Content Writer
Blackfalds, Bentley, Eckville, Lacombe County now under COVID-19 measures
From the County of Lacombe
Lacombe County under new COVID-19 measures
Lacombe County has moved to Enhanced Status on the Provincial Relaunch Status Map. The Province of Alberta has implemented a number of voluntary and mandated public health measures for our community to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Lacombe County Enhanced Status applies to the Town of Blackfalds, Town of Bentley, Town of Eckville, Village of Alix, Village of Clive, as well as ALL hamlets and summer villages within our municipal boundaries and the remainder of Lacombe County.
- Hamlets include: Mirror, Haynes, Joffre, Tees, Morningside, Rosedale, Hespero
- Summer Villages include: Gull Lake, Sunbreaker Cove, Birchcliff, Half Moon Bay
Lacombe County currently has 11 active cases, for a case rate of 50.5 per 100,000 people.
We are actively monitoring the situation and continue to monitor Alberta Health Services (AHS) instructions. The health, safety and well-being of County residents, businesses and employees and maintaining essential services for the public are the County’s top priorities.
Lacombe County is under the following Public Health Measures as directed by AHS:
MANDATORY MEASURES (As of November 17, 2020)
- 15-person limit on social and family gatherings – indoors and outdoors – where people are mixing and mingling.
- Restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs must stop liquor sales by 10pm and close by 11pm – applies to Class A, B or C licenses (Nov 13-27).
- 50-person limit on indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and funeral services. VOLUNTARY MEASURES
- Faith-based gatherings limited to 1/3 capacity at one time.
- Limit your cohorts to no more than 3: your core household, your school, and one other sport or
social cohort. Young children who attend child care could be part of 4 cohorts, given that child
care settings have not been a high risk for spread.
- Wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace, like an office or
cubicle, where you are safely distanced from others, or an appropriate barrier is in place.
- No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community. Instead, socialize
outdoors or in structured settings, like restaurants or other businesses that are subject to legal
limits and take steps to prevent transmission.
- Employers in office settings should implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.
WHY THESE MEASURES ARE NEEDED
We must take action now to help slow the virus’s spread and make sure the health system can continue supporting patients with COVID-19, influenza and many other needs. There is a time lag between when people get infected and when new cases are identified. This means the cases we see today were infected up to 2 weeks ago. By following provincial recommendations, staying home and reducing close contacts, you can lower the chance of spreading the virus to others.
We must work together to protect each other. These measures will help protect our health care system, keep schools and businesses open, and protect vulnerable Albertans by limiting the spread of the virus.
WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
We must continue following existing public health measures to keep ourselves and others safe:
- Keep two metres apart when you can, wear a mask when you can’t
- Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes
- Monitor your symptoms every day
- If sick, stay home, get tested, and follow mandatory isolation requirements while waiting for
o if positive, isolate from others for 10 days or until symptoms are gone, whichever is
o if negative, stay home until you’re better
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Get the flu shot to keep influenza cases low so health workers can focus on the COVID-19
- Stay informed: Stay up to date on the situation and get your information from reliable sources,
such as this webpage: www.alberta.ca/COVID19.
RCMP looking for suspect in connection to robbery and kidnapping
From Ponoka RCMP
Ponoka RCMP lay charges after social media meeting results in kidnapping – Female Wanted
The Ponoka RCMP have laid charges and made arrests against two males and a female following a 911 complaint of a kidnapping, beating and robbery which occurred on Sept. 7.
At 4:23 a.m. on Sept. 7, Ponoka RCMP were alerted to the above incident which was reported to have occurred, hours earlier, in Ponoka. Investigation reveals that a 22-year-old male victim from Slave Lake met a female online, and after almost a year of online communication, agreed to meet her. The male got into a vehicle, determined to be previously stolen, with the female in Ponoka.
Allegations are that the while in the vehicle, the male was assaulted by two unknown males, one of whom had a gun. Over a lengthy period, the male was driven to several banks where he was forced to provide his banking information in order for withdrawals to be made from his accounts. The victim’s truck and cell phone was stolen, and he was eventually dropped off in Blackfalds.
Ponoka RCMP General Investigation Section members collaborated with Red Deer and Blackfalds RCMP to coordinate intelligence on this incident. The suspects were identified as Amber Loretta Knickle (21), Jared Michael Mcleod (26) and Chasetin Jon Arthur Morin (25). Charges were sworn against all three subjects. An arrest warrant was issued for Knickle on Sept. 9 and for Mcleod and Morin on Sept. 15.
Knickle is charged with robbery, while Mcleod and Morin are charged with robbery with a firearm (x2), kidnapping and assault.
On Sept. 16 at 11:58 a.m., the Central Alberta District Crime Reduction Unit located a stolen vehicle in Gasoline Alley, and with assistance from Blackfalds RCMP, arrested Jared Mcleod and Chasetin Morin, who were both in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle incidental to arrest led the RCMP to recover an imitation firearm, a loaded shotgun, ammunition, methamphetamine, and at least 61 pieces of miscellaneous stolen identity documents. Charges are pending.
At the time of his arrest, Morin was wanted on an arrest warrant out of Red Deer for an earlier incident where he fled from police while driving the victim’s stolen truck.
The RCMP have been unable to locate Amber Loretta Knickle and are seeking public assistance. Amber is described as:
– Caucasian female
– 5’3” tall / 119 lbs.
– Blonde / brown hair and green eyes
– Unknown tattoo on one of her fingers
If you have information about the whereabouts of Amber Knickle, please contact the Ponoka RCMP at 403-783-4472 or call 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 ( http://www.p3tips.com) or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.
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