FEBRUARY 2015

By Lloydminster Source staff

January 5, 2016 10:13 AM

The second month of 2015 almost started out with a bang, but police managed to nab a number of weapons before they hit the streets. It would turn out to be a busy month for the RCMP.

Over the course of two weeks, Lloydminster RCMP recovered about $20,000 worth of stolen goods, $7,000 in illegal drugs, $2,500 cash and 10 guns. The operation resulted in 60 charges being laid against five people.
“Being able to seize the quantity of firearms that we did, the cash, the drugs and the stolen property is a big thing for the city,” RMCP Const. Grant Kirzinger said.
“We’re very pleased that we’re able to take illegal firearms off the street, that will provide a safer community for everyone to live in.”
•••
This was the year bylaw officers were granted greater authority.
After some discussion, Lloydminster city council agreed to authorize city bylaw officers to transition into community peace officers.
“It’s a pretty standard move,” said City of Lloydminster public safety general manager Doug Rodwell.
The upgrade costs a one-time fee of $30,000 for new uniforms and to mark vehicles to ensure that they meet provincial standards, as well as administrative fees.
•••
Husky Energy raised more than $120,000 as part of its “Husky has Heart” campaign, the funds of which were divided up and donated to 11 different local charities.  They company also contributed an additional amount, bringing the total up to $190,150.
•••
Don Stang, a seven-year veteran of city hall and former general manager of engineering services, became director of community services.
•••
A local tobogganing hill has risen to national prominence.
An Edmonton man designed a Google Map that allows users to point out tobogganing hills across the country and write a description. “The Great Canadian Tobogganing Map” includes more than 200 hills from Vancouver Island to Baffin Island to Cape Breton Island, and right in the middle of the map is a pin denoting Lloydminster’s very own Jaycees Park hill.
“It’s one of the best hills I’ve tobogganed on to be honest with you,” general manager of parks and recreation Cindy Rekimowich said.
•••
A routine traffic stop turned into a search for eight teenagers, with two young men and a truck still missing.
On Feb. 4 police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on what police describe as a suspicious pickup truck full of people. Instead of stopping, the tuck drove off, only to be found shortly afterwards abandoned in a ditch on 75 Avenue near 34 Street on the west side of town.
With the help of witnesses, police were able to find and identify the truck’s eight teenage passengers. The suspects then tried to run from police, some breaking into garages to hide and trying to commandeer vehicles to make their escape. Police dogs were used and the canines caught three of the suspects, two of which were hiding in a backyard.
By 9:30 p.m. police arrested six of the suspects, three teenage boys age 13, 14 and 17, and three teenage girls age 13, 14 and 15.
•••
The Lloydminster RCMP defeated the Lloydminster Fire Department by a score of 15 to 10 at the first annual Battle of the Badges charity hockey game, held at the Centennial Civic Centre on Feb. 21.
“I think it was actually 15-9 but they gave them an extra one,” joked RCMP Insp. Suki Manj, who helped organize the match.
•••
Lloydminster RCMP seized $80,000 in drugs and cash, along with six illegally-owned rifles and shotguns.
On Feb. 18, Mounties executed a search warrant at a home in the 6700 block of 29 Street.
That’s where the Mounties found more than 750 Fentanyl pills, nearly 200 grams of cocaine, 32 grams of magic mushrooms, 28 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a “small quantity” of marijuana as well as a number of various pills and drugs including steroids.
Of the six seized firearms, two were stolen, one was fully loaded and another was a sawed-off shotgun.
•••
A pair of 12-year-old robotics enthusiasts from Vermilion came back from the Alberta Provincial VEX Competition in Edmonton on Feb. 15 with three awards, ranking fourth overall against 37 high school teams.
Kadin Morritt and his buddy Rhys Racine were by far the youngest participants in the competition, which is all about getting students to design and build a robot to go up against other teams in game based challenges.
The local preteens brought home the Amaze Award — which is granted to the team that demonstrates overall quality in their robot design — earned second place for programming skills and third in driver skills.
•••
An announcement was made Feb. 23 at the Lloydminster Pioneer Lodge that construction on a new wing that would provide an additional 44 continuing care spaces and a needed upgrade to the buildings fire safety system was going to begin in the summer.
The Alberta government provided $4.4 million toward the construction project and $1.39 million to the safety system respectively, with the new wing expected to be complete by late 2016 or early 2017.  “It is truly a relief — we’ve been dealing in this area with this shortage for a long time and the board at the Pioneer Lodge was very aware of it, fighting very hard and talking to our local representatives,” said Joy Bell, administrator at the Pioneer Lodge.
•••
Do not be alarmed, this is only a test.
On Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. until noon the City of Lloydminster held a city-wide emergency training exercise to test for disaster preparedness.
The disaster scenario was a three-day blackout caused by freezing rain. The city’s emergency management coordinator, Anne Danielson says the situation was loosely based on ice storm of 2013, which resulted in six deaths and left at least 45,000 homes in the dark.
Involved in the exercise were city staff, as well as emergency services and local utilities. These included the RCMP, Prairie North Health Region, the Lloydminster Fire Department, ATCO Electric and Husky Energy Danielson says the city tries to hold at least one exercise each year as part of its regular emergency planning.
“Today was extra special because we were fortunate enough to be able to do it with our local partners as well… So it was really unique in that way everyone had their own exercises they were running internally, but they fit into the larger, community-run exercise as well,” she said.
“We were communicating between emergency operation centres and sites so that was a really good exercise for us because communication tends to be the one thing that is criticized the cost during an emergency.
A “warming centre” was set up in the gymnasium at Lakeland College, with about 25 students from Lloydminster Comprehensive High School acting as victims for paramedics from WPD and St. John Ambulance to attend to.

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