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Westerner Days, Phony Lawyer Charged & Live Entertainment!

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1:21 pm – Officials with Catholic Social Services and the Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) in Red Deer, are hoping you can help them find a missing man. 22 year old Heri Lumwanga has only been in Red Deer for one month and speaks no English, only Swahili and a little French. He has a medical condition that requires daily medication and he hasn’t been seen since July 18th. He’s 5’6, 140-150 lbs. If you see him, contact Lusambiya at 403-598-3625, Elisabeth at 403-598-0194 or Red Deer City RCMP at 403-304-7764.

10:09 am – On July 11, 2017, Blackfalds RCMP located and recovered a stolen mini excavator, a stolen John Deere tractor and an outboard boat motor from a rural location near Blackfalds. The John Deere tractor and mini excavator have been returned to their owners. Police have not been able to identify the owner of the boat motor and are seeking the public’s assistance to locate the owner. Investigators are asking anyone who may have information regarding this occurrence to contact Blackfalds RCMP at (403) 885-3300.

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10:01 am – From Live Theatre, to Rappelling down a Red Deer high rise, to a mobile escape room, there’s lots to do in and around Red Deer this weekend. Check it out Here!

9:54 am – Swing Dancing at “Cool Beans” tonight from 7:00 – 9:30 pm, hosted by the Red Aces Dance Club! Details Here.

9:43 am – It’s the Bard on Bower tonight with a live theatrical performance of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” on the Bower Ponds stage,  7:00 – 9:30 pm. Read More.

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9:39 am – A BBQ and live music at the Bower Branch of ATB today from 11 – 3 in support of their Financial Literacy program! Read More.

9:12 am – Check out the festive atmosphere with some live music on the Alexander Way Parklet today from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Read More.

9:02 am – Going to be out and about today and over the weekend? Know where the road and trail closures are, so you don’t encounter any traffic delays! Details Here.

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8:50 am – Red Deer RCMP worked with Sylvan Lake RCMP to arrest and charge a woman after a stabbing on July 13, while a number of other recent arrests by Red Deer RCMP involved crimes in progress that were reported by citizens, including frauds, the recovery of several stolen vehicles and a break and enter in progress. Read More.

8:42 am – A Red Deer man faces 12 Criminal Code charges after a months-long RCMP investigation in which the suspect is alleged to have defrauded a number of victims between December 2016 and April 2017 while representing himself as a lawyer. Read More.

8:32 am – It’s day three today of Westerner Days at Red Deer’s Westerner Park. The gates open at 12 noon with tonight’s musical entertainment including Jamie Woodfin, Ken Stead and Tom Cochrane with Red Rider. The shows start at 8 pm on the Enmax Centrium Main Stage. Read More.

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Canada agrees to take part in WTO talks to waive patent protections on vaccines

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WASHINGTON — Canada’s international trade minister says the federal government will take part in talks to waive the global rules that protect vaccine trade secrets.

Mary Ng made the announcement today in the House of Commons. 

The move puts Canada squarely onside with the United States, which surprised and delighted progressive anti-poverty groups Wednesday when it agreed to the negotiations. 

In theory, a waiver would make it easier for developing countries to import the expertise, equipment and ingredients necessary to make their own vaccines. 

The pharmaceutical industry says a waiver won’t have the desired effect and would undermine the development of innovative drugs. 

Other medical experts say a waiver would take too long, and the developed world should focus instead on ramping up existing production. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

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Herd immunity may not be reached in Canada but a return to life similar to that before COVID-19 is possible through immunization, experts say.

Such immunity is achieved when enough people are immune to a virus, either through vaccinations or natural infections or a combination of both.

Prof. Paul Tupper of Simon Fraser University’s mathematics department said herd immunity is unlikely to happen with COVID-19 for a few reasons.

The virus is being transmitted worldwide, which means it is reintroduced in different places across borders and immunity through vaccination and infection doesn’t last permanently. The vaccines don’t seem to be completely effective against some of the new variants, he said.

“So, I think what is more likely to happen is that we end up in a situation like we have with seasonal flu,” Tupper said.

“We have to live with the flu, and I think something similar is going to happen with COVID.”

The level of immunity among the population also changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains, he said.

Sarah Otto, a University of British Columbia professor, said the disease’s reproductive rate is hard to pinpoint, which makes it difficult to establish a herd immunity target. Otto is an expert on the mathematical models of pandemic growth and control in the university’s zoology department.

The reproductive rate is the number of additional people infected by a single person with COVID-19, which has also changed because of the variants, she said.

Canada might also fall short of herd immunity because people can still get infected after vaccination, even if they are less likely to develop symptoms, she said.

“We don’t yet know how effective vaccines are at reducing transmission from person to person and that matters a lot,” Otto said.

Vaccinated people are getting fewer infections but those who do can still suffer severe symptoms, she said

“Before the pandemic, we didn’t have working vaccines for coronaviruses, so we don’t know exactly what the outcomes are going to be. It’s very unusual to have a disease with such wildly differing outcomes, with asymptomatic individuals and severely affected long haulers. How are vaccines going to change that mix? We don’t really know why the severe cases are so severe.”

Tupper said public health guidelines will change as more people get vaccinated.

“But the goal of eradicating COVID just does not appear to be realistic.”

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said vaccines can significantly reduce transmission rates, regardless of whether Canada reaches herd immunity.

“Some communities might have no transmission while other communities, even within the same province, might have some low levels of transmission and it’s all based on vaccine status,” he said.

“But regardless, we will achieve very, very low rates of transmission in our communities because of vaccination.”

Community level immunity is when a virus is not completely eliminated, he said.

“There may be some transmission of COVID-19 but sporadically with small outbreaks or with low levels of transmission, while most people are largely unaffected due to widespread vaccination.”

It had been suggested that herd immunity could be reached when about 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated, but now researchers don’t know what level of protection is required because of the variants.

Otto said there are more questions than answers at this point.

“With every partial answer we get two or three more questions. These are hard and tricky issues and I wish we were less uncertain, but that is the truth of the matter.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

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may, 2021

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