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RCMP catch 140 speeders in school zones during first week of classes

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From Red Deer RCMP

Red Deer RCMP issue 140 tickets to speeders in school zones

Red Deer RCMP are urging all drivers to slow down in school and playground zones after issuing 167 tickets, including 140 for speeding during their annual back to school safety blitz during the first week of school.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a big increase in speeding offences this year,” said Sergeant Michael Zufferli with the Red Deer RCMP Traffic Unit. “People are indicating that they have become used to schools being closed due to COVID-19. However, it is important that drivers understand most school zones are in fact playground zones which require a 30 km/h speed limit until 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.”

Further to slowing down, Red Deer RCMP are also reminding students and other pedestrians to use crosswalks and traffic control devices when crossing streets. Police are asking parents to coach their kids about traffic and pedestrian safety and encourage pedestrians and drivers alike to stay off mobile devices.

“The RCMP presence around schools serves as a reminder to drivers to follow posted speed limits and pay attention to the road, and that we are actively targeting this risky behaviour,” said Sergeant Zufferli.

The RCMP Traffic Section monitors school and playground zones and conduct traffic safety campaigns year-round throughout the community as part of The City of Red Deer and Red Deer RCMP’s collaborative focus on safer roads.

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The Latest: Congressman braces for threat against Capitol

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WASHINGTON — The Latest on a possible threat against the Capitol (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

A former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee who was among those briefed about a possible new threat against the Capitol says lawmakers are braced for it.

Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas says he thinks “we’ll see some violence.”

The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon supporters that former President Donald Trump will rise again to power on Thursday, which is March 4, the original presidential inauguration day.

But unlike on Jan. 6, the Capitol is now fortified against intrusions. McCaul says there’s razor wire and a National Guard presence that weren’t at the Capitol on Jan. 6 so he feels “very confident in the security.”

McCaul warns there could be another diversionary tactic — much like the pipe bombs discovered at the political campaign offices on Jan. 6 appeared to be an attempt to lure law enforcement away from the Capitol ahead of the insurrection.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A POSSIBLE THREAT AGAINST THE CAPITOL:

Law enforcement is on high alert around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building again, two months after a mob of Donald Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory.

Read more:

— Takeaways: What hearings have revealed about Jan. 6 failures

The Associated Press


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Alberta

‘A frightened workforce’: Union worries as Olymel reopens after COVID-19 shutdown

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RED DEER, Alta. — Some employees of a pork processing plant in central Alberta that shut down after a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility are afraid to go back to work, the union president says.

Olymel’s facility in Red Deer was shut down Feb. 15 because of the COVID-19 outbreak that claimed three lives and infected 515 workers.

The company announced late Wednesday it had been given approval to gradually reopen by Alberta Health. Slaughter operations are scheduled to resume today and cutting room operations on Friday. The plant processes about 10,000 hogs per day.

UFCW 401 president Thomas Hesse said he received no word from the company that the plant was reopening.

“Obviously the bottom line for Olymel is they’re just putting pigs ahead of people,” Hesse in an interview Wednesday.

“What you’ve got is a frightened workforce. There’s this enormous amount of fear and anxiety, and now a layer of grief on top of that, and they expect employees to jump to attention and parade back to work.”

The union represents about 1,800 workers at the plant.

Hesse said the union interviewed between 600 and 700 workers who indicated they were afraid to return to work. He said that wasn’t done by Olymel, Alberta Health Services or Occupational Health and Safety.

Hesse said he expects some workers will take advantage of their right to refuse unsafe work.

“I have no confidence in the safety of the workplace,” he said.

Olymel said the reopening will come with a number of strict measures. Alberta Health experts will be on site when operations resume and will offer rapid testing. The company said 1,370 employees at the plant have been tested since Jan. 1.

The company says it has added more space to the facility to enhance physical distancing.

Additional staff have been assigned to monitor and enforce the updated measures, Olymel said. Employee groups have been recalled to take part in training sessions covering all implemented health measures, adjustments and the action plan developed for reopening.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021.

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary

The Canadian Press

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march, 2021

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