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News: February 8, 2016

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Mickell Bailey case held over again

by Adrienne Tait
The Mickell Bailey case was once again held over for election and plea on February 2 with the next court date set for February 16.
Bailey is currently being held in the Edmonton Remand Centre on two charges of first degree murder in the deaths of Roxanne Berube and daughter Jasmine and one charge of second degree murder in the death of Dan Miller.


News: February 1, 2016


Back alley paving policy recommended

by Dana McArthur
The Town of Edson’s Committee of the Whole meeting on January 26 discussed several issues including a back alley paving program in town.
As part of neighbourhood renewal initiatives, some municipalities are undertaking alley paving programs.
 “In most municipalities they have encouraged neighbours to work together for a decision to pave their alley, and if they are willing to pay for it, they come forward and ask the town,” said Ann Dechambeau, CLGM director of planning.
Mayor Greg Pasychny questioned whether the proposal was that community members pay 50% and the municipality pays the other 50% or the residents pay the entire cost. “I would personally like to see a 50-50 split. A paved alley benefits the whole community. Right now, when the wind picks up you’re affected –near an alley or not. We have alleys that are heavily used downtown that cause a lot of dust.
“The idea behind this is when all the neighbours get together and come forward saying they are willing to pay for half, the municipality will pay the other half. It benefits the whole community and this seems a policy worth having,” said Pasychny.
Councillor Brian Boyce said, “I think this is a good policy. All the bases are covered. I’ll motion to recommend this policy.” The motion was unanimously carried.


News: January 25, 2016

Harrison enters not guilty plea; elects for trial by judge and jury

by Adrienne Tait
A plea of not guilty was entered by an agent for the defense council for 37 year old Christopher Harrison, charged with second degree murder in the death of Preston Goulet, at the Edson provincial court house on January 19.
Harrison has elected a trial by judge and jury.  The preliminary inquiry date was scheduled for February 4 and 5 with a trial date set for May 4 and 5 at the Edson courthouse.
The crown prosecutor advised that the defense and crown are in discussions.
Harrison was originally charged with aggravated assault on November 11 but those charges were upgrade to second degree murder following Goulet’s passing on November 15.


News: January 18, 2016


County reduces cost of dust control for residents

by Adrienne Tait
Yellowhead County council passed two amendments to the dust control policy.  After much discussion in previous committee of the whole meetings council unanimously agreed to make the required changes that would see county residents pay just $200 for 200 meters of dust control per application. 
The decrease in cost to county residents represents a 41% reduction from the 2015 rates.
Two applications, one spring and one fall will once again be available.


Town discusses fines for Land Use bylaw infractions

by Dana McArthur
The establishment of fines for contraventions to the Town of Edson’s Land Use bylaw was discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 12.
Ann Dechambeau CLGM, director of planning with the town, said, “In certain areas where there are contraventions it is difficult to ensure people are complying with the land use bylaw.”
“In some cases we can do stop-orders or go to court. And we do have a catch-all through the MGA (municipal government act) allowing for fines up to $10,000 or imprisonment. We do not really want to go that far. We are hoping for something in between,” said Dechambeau.
Currently, when an infraction occurs letters are sent out informing the person of the infraction. If the property owner refuses to comply, the enforcement stage becomes difficult.
The proposal is to implement a penalty structure consisting of a first offence of $500, second offence of $750, and a third offence of $1000.
Dechambeau said it is important to note that the penalties are a last resort measure with emphasis placed on educating and working with residents to solve issues well before it approaches the penalty phase.
Mayor Greg Pasychny said, “I think it’s about time we had this kind of fine. In the past if some had a development permit and didn’t pave their driveway they could say ‘keep my $100 bucks’. Now we can go in with fines. It’s just a different tool we have to help enforce the rules.”
Councillor Brian Boyce said, “I think this is required. But I think the fines are double what they should be. I won’t support it with that amount. It’s too big a hit.”
Dechambeau said the numbers were compared and were in line with Yellowhead County and Edmonton.
Chief administrative officer Mike Derricott said, “We want to find the threshold that will spur someone to action, but we do not want to go too far. We are looking for that sweet spot in this instance.”
Councillor Gean Chouinard asked if a written warning could be sent out first. Dechambeau stressed that fines would be a last resort after letters and all other efforts have failed. “Then I do not have a problem with this as people have been forewarned,” said Chouinard.
Councillor Boyce said, “I do not like putting too much power into the hand of enforcement. I like the idea of a warning on record, but I would still like to see the fines lowered.”
The committee unanimously agreed to recommend to council the establishment of fines be given first reading, with further public advertising of subsequent readings.


News: January 11, 2016

Local survival specialist consults on motion picture

“A once in a lifetime opportunity that comes out of the blue”: Mors Kochanski
by Adrienne Tait
Local survival specialist Mors Kochanski may have forty years of experience as a bushcraft and wilderness survival specialist but the semi-retired 75 year old was in for a whole new experience when he accepted the job as a survival consultant for the newly released film “The Revenant.”
The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is inspired by the true story of Hugh Glass.  Glass was a frontiersman and trapper who was left for dead after being mauled by a grizzly in 1823.  Glass survived the attack and travelled approximately 200 miles to Fort Kiowa South Dakota with no weapons or supplies.
Kochanski said when he got the call asking if he would be interested in accepting the job he was initially hesitant.  Having received similar calls to participate in “survivor type shows,” Kochanski said that type of work is not something in which he is usually interested.

See the January 11, 2016 issue for more....


News: January 4, 2016


Poachers sentenced for partaking in “booze fuelled, adrenaline seeking killing spree.”

by Adrienne Tait
More than two years of investigation by Fish and Wildlife officers and work by Crown Prosecutors office culminated with Judge CD Gardner handing down what the crown called the most severe sentencing penalties ever issued under the Wildlife Act. 
Six area residents were charged with a variety of offenses under the Wildlife Act for acts committed between September 2013 and November 2013.
In what Crown prosecutor John Schmidt referred to as a “booze-fuelled, adrenaline-seeking killing spree” the court listened as the crown read the agreed statement of facts which outlined seventeen separate incidents of poaching.

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