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UPDATE: Body of 19 year old recovered from Sylvan Lake


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From Sylvan Lake RCMP

UPDATE #3 August 22

At 6:35 p.m. today, the body of the 19-year-old male was located and recovered from the lake. The male was located in close proximity to the location identified as the last known point of sight.

The RCMP extends a thank you to all the agencies and citizens who provided support during this search.   Family, friends and members of the public have been deeply affected by this tragic event.

There is no further update anticipated.


UPDATE #2 August 22, 4:15 PM

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to drowning

This morning the RCMP worked with partner agencies searching the lake for the male.  Efforts included the RCMP, Sylvan Lake Fire Department, Red Deer County Search and Rescue and Alberta Environment and Parks.

The RCMP recovered the objects that the males were on – they were not inner tubes, but rather they were objects similar to round inflatables.


The Central Alberta Rescue Diving Society, Underwater Recovery Team will be assisting in the search late this afternoon.

Efforts will continue into this evening, as weather permits.



August 21, 2019

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to possible drowning

Sylvan Lake, Alta. – Just prior to 9:00 p.m., the search for a male who is likely the victim of a drowning was suspended for the evening due to lighting conditions. Agencies including the RCMP, Red Deer County Fire Department, Sylvan Lake Fire Department and Fish & Wildlife will be back on the water early tomorrow morning to continue the search.

Information obtained indicates that two adult males were on inner tubes when a wave knocked both off their tubes.  One male was helped out of the water by other citizens who were close by on a dinghy.  They were unable to locate the second male.  Following that, one of the occupants of the dinghy, a child, swam to shore for help.  At no time were any children needing rescuing.

Several people offered assistance on the water to locate the male, and the RCMP appreciates the efforts of all involved.

From earlier today

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to possible drowning

Sylvan Lake, Alta. – This afternoon at 3:35 p.m., Sylvan Lake RCMP responded to Sylvan Lake for a report of a possible drowning.

A male in his early 20’s fell into the water while on an inner tube and did not resurface.

RCMP with Sylvan Lake and Red Deer County Fire Departments have been conducting searches but the male has not been located.  The RCMP helicopter has also been deployed.

Boats remain on the lake with people actively searching.  There is no further information available at this time.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Veteran activists campaign for Biden’s immigration reform

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RENTON, Wash. — Immigrant rights activists energized by a new Democratic administration and majorities on Capitol Hill are gearing up for a fresh political battle to push through a proposed bill from President Joe Biden that would open a pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million people.

The multimillion-dollar #WeAreHome campaign was launched Monday by national groups including United We Dream and the United Farm Workers Foundation. It starts with ads on Facebook and other social media to reach lawmakers and the constituents who can pressure them.

“We are home,” a young woman’s voice declares in the first video spot showing immigrants in essential jobs such as cleaning and health care. “Home, even when they say we don’t belong.”

The effort is a longshot. Immigration remains a third rail dividing Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. and opponents of the measure have pledged to fight it. Although Democrats now account for 50 of 100 senators, with a deciding vote by Vice-President Kamala Harris, the bill will need at least 60 votes to pass.

Opponents promised to launch their own social media blitz, as well as TV and radio ads. They also said they would write letters and meet virtually with members of Congress.

But organizers say they enjoy the momentum of a new administration and growing public support for giving people in the U.S. illegally a chance at citizenship. The activists note they are also more seasoned.

“The movement has matured,” said Lorella Praeli, the Peruvian-born co-president of Community Change, among the national groups leading the campaign. “It’s more diverse, experienced.”

Praeli, now 28, was brought to the U.S. when she was 10 so she could get better medical treatment after losing a leg in an accident. She became an immigrant activist in her teens.

Praeli honed her skills as Latino communities outreach director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign before addressing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

She said the new battle is being waged on various levels, from grassroots organizing in communities to lobbying on Capitol Hill. Participating groups will bankroll the campaign with their own fundraising and the help of the New Venture Fund, a non-profit social advocacy group.

“We need an early breakthrough on immigration,” said Praeli. “We have 100 days to set the tone.”

Patrice Lawrence, the Jamaica-born co-executive director for the UndocuBlack Network, said the campaign represents all immigrants “regardless of the colour of our skin, where we live, if we work, how we pray or how old we are.”

Glo H. Choi, of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, said comprehensive immigration reform is overdue.

“The temporary measures of the past have just been kicking the can down the road,” said the Chicago-based community organizer who was brought to the U.S. as a child from South Korea.

The effort offers hope to immigrants like Daniela Murguia, a University of Washington graduate who lives in the Seattle suburb of Renton. Murguia’s family brought her here from Mexico in 2008 when she was 11 and she has no legal status or protections. She recently raised millions of dollars in coronavirus pandemic aid for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and lobbied to include such help in the state budget.

Under Biden’s bill, most people like Murguia would wait eight years for citizenship, but those enrolled in the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA; those with temporary protective status after fleeing violence-wracked countries; and farmworkers would wait three years. The bill includes protections for other kinds of immigrants, too.

Opponents note that President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty for nearly 3 million immigrants was followed by a flood of new arrivals. But immigration enforcement has expanded greatly since, and Biden’s proposal calls for more technology at land crossings, airports and seaports even as he halts construction of former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall.

Still, Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who supported the wall and is a staunch advocate of restrictive immigration laws, describes the bill as “open borders.” He said it has “no regard for the health and security of Americans, and zero enforcement.”

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, a major opponent of the bill, also considers it a kind of amnesty and vows to fight it.

“It would not only reward everyone who has violated our immigration laws in the past, but also induce millions more to come here illegally,” said R.J. Hauman, head of the group’s governmental relations. “In exchange for absolutely nothing.”

NumbersUSA Deputy Director Chris Chmielenski suggested Biden may feel beholden to activists who helped elect him. The group favours reduced immigration.

“I think it has zero chance of passing,” he said.

But the activists have changing public opinion on their side.

Seven in 10 voters said they preferred offering immigrants in the U.S. illegally a chance to apply for legal status, compared with about 3 in 10 who thought they should be deported to their birth country, according to AP VoteCast. The November survey of more than 110,000 voters showed 9 in 10 Biden voters and about half of Trump voters favoured creating a way for people to legalize their status.

Veteran civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, an activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers who now runs her own foundation, said the immigration reform push will benefit from the dramatic stories of children being separated from their parents under the Trump administration.

“I think that is going to make a difference,” Huerta said. “Once people see the justice of the issue they will come onboard.”

Immigrants say a proposal in the bill to replace the word “alien” with “noncitizen” in immigration laws already makes them feel a difference in the way they are viewed.

“I feel more hopeful, more confident,” said Melissa Laratte, a member of National Domestic Workers Alliance, another group organizing the campaign. She arrived with her young son in Miami two years ago seeking asylum as a member of an opposition group in her native Haiti.

“They’re trying to help us,” she said.


Snow reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writers Claudia Torrens in New York and Gisela Salomon in Miami contributed to this report.

Anita Snow And Manuel Valdes, The Associated Press

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‘THIS IS ME’: Rioters flaunt involvement in Capitol siege

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WASHINGTON — These suspects weren’t exactly in hiding.

“THIS IS ME,” one man posted on Instagram with a hand emoji pointing to himself in a picture of the violent mob descending on the U.S. Capitol. “Sooo we’ve stormed Capitol Hill lol,” one woman texted someone while inside the building. “I just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” another wrote on Facebook about a selfie he took inside during the Jan. 6 riot.

In dozens of cases, supporters of President Donald Trump downright flaunted their activity on social media on the day of the deadly insurrection. Some, apparently realizing they were in trouble with the law, deleted their accounts only to discover their friends and family members had already taken screenshots of their selfies, videos and comments and sent them to the FBI.

Their total lack of concern over getting caught and their friends’ willingness to turn them in has helped authorities charge about 150 people as of Monday with federal crimes. But even with the help from the rioters themselves, investigators must still work rigorously to link the images to the vandalism and suspects to the acts on Jan. 6 in order to prove their case in court. And because so few were arrested at the scene, the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have been forced to send agents to track suspects down.

“Just because you’ve left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out that you were part of criminal activity inside the Capitol,” Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington office, said earlier this month. “Bottom line — the FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation.”

In the last few weeks, the FBI has received over 200,000 photos and video tips related to the riot. Investigators have put up billboards in several states with photos of wanted rioters. Working on tips from co-workers, acquaintances and friends, agents have tracked down driver’s license photos to match their faces with those captured on camera in the building. In some cases, authorities got records from Facebook or Twitter to connect their social media accounts to their email addresses or phone numbers. In others, agents used records from license plate readers to confirm their travels.

More than 800 are believed to have made their way into the Capitol, although it’s likely not everyone will be tracked down and charged with a crime. Federal prosecutors are focusing on the most critical cases and the most egregious examples of wrongdoing. And they must weigh manpower, cost and evidence when charging rioters.

A special group of prosecutors is examining whether to bring sedition charges against the rioters, which carry up to 20 years in prison. One trio was charged with conspiracy; most have been charged with crimes like unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.

Many rioters posted selfies inside the Capitol to their social media accounts, gave interviews to news outlets describing their experience and readily admitted when questioned by federal investigators that they were there. One man created a Facebook album titled “Who’s House? OUR HOUSE” filled with photos of himself and others on Capitol grounds, officials said.

“They might have thought, like so many people that work with Trump, that if the president tells me to do it, it’s not breaking the law,” said Michael Gerhardt, an expert on impeachment and professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Others made blunders, like a Houston police officer, who denied he went into the Capitol, then agreed to let agents look at the pictures on his phone. Inside his deleted photos folder were pictures and videos, including selfies he took inside the building, authorities said. Another man was wearing a court-ordered GPS monitor after a burglary conviction that tracked his every movement inside the building.

A retired firefighter from Long Island, New York, texted a video of himself in the Capitol rotunda to his girlfriend’s brother, saying he was “at the tip of the spear,” officials said. The brother happened to be a federal agent with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, who turned the video over to the FBI. A lawyer for the man, Thomas Fee, said he “was not part of any attempt to take over the U.S. Capitol” and that “the allegation is that he merely walked through an open door into the Capitol — nothing more.”

Another man who was inside the Capitol was willing to rat out another rioter who stole House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern and emailed the video to an FBI agent, even signing his own name to it. “Hello Nice FBI Lady,” he wrote, “Here are the links to the videos. Looks like Podium Guy is in one of them, less the podium. Let me know if you need anything else.”

In another case, a man was on a flight leaving D.C. two days after the riot when he kept shouting “Trump 2020!” and was kicked off. An airport police officer saw the man get off the plane and the man was booked on another flight. Forty-five minutes later, the officer was watching a video on Instagram and recognized the man in a group of rioters. The man, who was wearing the same shirt as the day he stormed the Capitol, was arrested at the airport, authorities said.

Even defence attorneys have acknowledged that the evidence poses a problem for them.

“I’m not a magician,” said an attorney for the man seen in a photo carrying Pelosi’s lectern. “We’ve got a photograph of our client in what appears to be inside a federal building or inside the Capitol with government property,” he told reporters.

Police at the Capitol planned only for a free-speech demonstration and were overwhelmed by the mob that broke through and roamed the halls of the Capitol for hours as lawmakers were sent into hiding. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Trump was impeached after the riot on a charge of “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” Opening arguments will begin the week of Feb. 8. He is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office.

Unlike criminal cases, impeachment trials do not have specific evidence rules so anything said and done that day can be used. And several of the people charged have said in interviews with reporters or federal agents that they were simply listening to the president when they marched to the Capitol.


Richer reported from Boston.

Michael Balsamo, Alanna Durkin Richer And Colleen Long, The Associated Press

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january, 2021

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