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Author: Breeze Content

Logo for RCMP online crime reporting website

RCMP encourage online reporting of crime

Since August 2020, Alberta RCMP have offered online reporting for theft and vandalism. While traditional in-person or telephone reporting is still an option, online reporting is a convenient way for people to contact police and get them involved faster.

“From the standpoint of property crime, say like stolen bicycles or items out of a yard, it speeds up the process for the individual reporting it,” says Cpl. Marty Reed of the Pincher Creek detachment.

“Officers often get tied up on other matters, so it can take several hours to a day or two to even respond to the call.”

Online reporting is available 24-7, though it is offered only for items under $5,000 that have been lost or stolen. Victims of vandalism can also submit a report if the cost to repair the damage is less than $5,000. Thefts over $5,000 can be reported only by oil, telecommunications and utility companies.

The online system will only process crimes that were committed within the jurisdiction of Alberta RCMP. Additionally, crimes involving a witness or suspect cannot be reported online, along with thefts involving personal identity, firearms, licence plates or decals.

All online reports will be followed up with a phone call from a police officer within five business days.

Although online reporting is offered only for smaller theft and vandalism crimes, reports submitted to the RCMP online will be investigated the same as any other crime reported any other way. The reports also help police identify where they are needed and provide information that can guide future patrols.

To avoid duplicate files, only victims are able to report crime online. Although there isn’t a way to track a report once submitted, individuals can follow up with their report by calling 1-855-565-7555 or emailing kocr-selc-information@rcmp-grc.gc.ca and providing the reference number they received when they submitted their online report.

Online reports can be made here.

RCMP logo over red and blue lights noting that a missing couple has been found deceased near Crowsnest Pass

Foul play not suspected in deaths of missing couple

One day after Red Deer RCMP requested public assistance to locate Beverly Lampert and Richard Vanderbroek, police advised that the couple had been located deceased.

This followed a statement made June 30 by the Red Deer RCMP requesting public assistance locating the couple, last seen June 21.

Lampert, 63, and Vanderbroek, 82, were believed to be travelling to Cranbrook, B.C. 

Concern for their well-being was raised after the couple were not heard from after an expected return date of June 25.

They were located deceased July 1 near Highway 22 in the Crowsnest Pass area north of Lundbreck. An autopsy July 4 suggested no foul play, police said, but their deaths remain under investigation. 

Southern Alberta RCMP’s major crimes unit has been leading the investigation, with a media release noting assistance from Red Deer and Crowsnest Pass RCMP.

Four Indigenous Piikani Nation men wearing orange T-shirts drum and sing on Indigenous Peoples Day

Shootin’ the Breeze – June 28, 2023

Piikani Nation celebrates Niitsitapi honour

Drummers Joshua Crow Shoe, Brian Plain Eagle, Jaron Weasel Bear and Kyle Plain Eagle of Piikani Nation lead a solidarity walk on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Young boy in yellow shirt smiles broadly as he holds up two 10-inch ponytails the woman behind him has just cut off for him to donate for kid's cancer wigs.

Shootin’ the Breeze – June 14, 2023

Rylan shares his locks with Wigs for Kids B.C. 

Rylan Williams is donating 10 inches of hair to Wigs for Kids B.C., a group providing free wigs to children dealing with life-threatening illnesses, and has raised more than $3,700 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Beatrice Little Mustache, a Piikani Nation Indigenous elder, stands against a clear blue sky. She is dressed in full regalia of light, fringed leather and turquoise beading, with a white feather at the back of her head.

Shootin’ the Breeze – June 7, 2023

Triumph of spirit

Beatrice Little Mustache (Ii naak sii pii taa kii), a Piikani Nation elder and knowledge keeper has been presented with an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of British Columbia.

Four young male football players from the Pincher Creek Mustangs stand with a male coach.

Shootin’ the Breeze – May 17, 2023

Mustang might

Pincher Creek Mustangs players Owen Olsen, Ben Poloni, Beau Rector-Hunink and Will Schoening played on the winning team at the U15 bantam all-star game in Lethbridge on May 7 where the White Knights came away with an 18-14 win.

Create wedding ambiance with flowers

Nicki Schoening, owner of C&D Floral in Pincher Creek, loves a good bouquet challenge.

On your wedding day, the flowers should be there for you, but Nicki notes that flexibility is often crucial when seeking out your dream bouquet.

“When you look at pictures on the internet, the shades of flowers that you’re gonna see, the combination of fresh flowers and silk flowers, the availability of flowers in the area where you’re getting married might all change in real life as opposed to what you see on the internet,” says Nicki.

She explains that one thing to consider in picking your flowers is your dress style, such as pairing elegant dresses with elegant flowers, country style with country style or trailing with trailing.

Popularity and trends can be other interesting aspects of choosing your bouquet.

“There are different things that have come and gone in fashion in the time that I’ve been doing this,” says Nicki. She notes that eucalyptus and trailing flowers have been very popular in recent weddings.

 

 

When it comes to floral decor, it is important to consider the place and the weather conditions if you’re outside.

“You have to take the wind into account, because it’s going to make a difference,” says Nicki.

“It’s almost impossible to do tall vase arrangements outside without it blowing over, so you need to think about maybe a lower, broader style of container if you’re putting arrangements outside. Make sure that you’ve got a place where they can be firmly attached if you’re putting them onto an archway or something like that.”

“Challenge us,” says Nicki. “We’re always looking for a fresh challenge. We’ve done a lot of wedding flowers over the years of all different sizes, colours, styles, price points. We love challenge!”

C&D floral is here for you and your wedding for anything flower-related.

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Outdoor wedding considerations

From a picture-perfect view to the relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of reasons to have your wedding outside. However, you’ll need to take particular care when choosing your dress, shoes and hairstyle to ensure you look and feel your best. Here are some things to consider.

The ground

If you’ll be walking on grass or sand during the wedding ce­­­remony, stilettos are out of the question. For comfort and balance, choose shoes with a wide heel, or better yet, an elegant pair of ballerina flats.

The wind

A long veil, flowing skirt and loosely pinned-back hair can quickly get out of hand on a gusty day. Consider a birdcage veil and opt for a secure up­do style with beautiful pins to hold your hair in place.

The temperature

For a summer wedding, sandals and a strapless or sleeveless dress are the way to go. Consider a matching jacket or shawl in case it gets cool in the evening. For a fall ceremony, opt for long sleeves and booties.

 

 

Southwestern Alberta is a beautiful place to have your outdoor wedding, and many local venues are ready to accommodate your special day.

Castle Mountain Resort, Crowsnest Mountain Weddings, Heritage Acres and Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village all offer unique wedding packages that allow couples to celebrate their union while celebrating nature and the local scenery.

At Castle Mountain Resort, wedding goers can venture into the backcountry to exchange vows in the heart of nature.

Crowsnest Mountain Weddings uses SpringBreak Flower Farm as its venue. After the garden centre shuts down for the season, an outdoor area is provided for ceremonies and the greenhouse becomes the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful event while protected from the elements.

Heritage Acres is complete with beautiful grounds and heritage barns and buildings that can be rented for ceremony and reception. 

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village offers a gorgeous outdoor space for larger gatherings and rustic antique buildings for smaller gatherings.

The nice thing about outdoor weddings is the scenery itself is part of the decor.

As you plan your outdoor wedding, keep trusted local business in mind!

 

Guide for local brides

 

 

Things to do before saying ‘I do’

Use this month-by-month checklist to make sure you don’t forget a thing.

12 months before

  • Decide on the type of wedding you’d like (civil or religious, big or small)
  • Choose a date
  • Determine the number of guests
  • Establish a budget
  • Pick venues for the ceremony and reception (it’s best to reserve early)

11 months before

  • Make your guest list
  • Choose a caterer (meet with a few first)
  • Select your wedding party
  • Hire a wedding planner

10 months before

  • Start shopping for a wedding dress
  • Decide on a theme for your wedding
  • Choose an officiant if you haven’t already done so

 

9 months before

  • Book a photographer
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests
  • Purchase a wedding gown
  • Shop for the groom’s attire and purchase it

8 months before

  • Meet with your officiant to plan your ceremony
  • Book your entertainment (DJ, band, MC, etc.)
  • Shop for and purchase your bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Design and order the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards

7 months before

  • Create a gift registry
  • Hire a florist
  • Plan your honeymoon

 

6 months before

  • Send out the save-the-date cards
  • Book your hair and makeup appointments for the day of (and trial runs for both)
  • Book a hotel room for the wedding night if necessary

5 months before

  • Create a schedule for the big day
  • Decide on dates for bachelor and bachelorette parties
  • Shop for and purchase shoes, jewelry and accessories

4 months before

  • Reserve wedding day transportation for the wedding party
  • Select alcohol and other drinks for the reception
  • Taste and choose your wedding cake
  • Buy wedding bands
  • Shop for and order the groomsmen’s attire

 

3 months before

  • Purchase wedding favours for your guests
  • If you’d like a loved one to say or read something during the ceremony, let them know
  • Write down your vows
  • Decide on activities for the reception (photo booth, dancing, games, etc.)

2 months before

  • Send out your wedding invitations
  • Do trial runs for both hair and makeup
  • Give your music selections to the DJ or MC

1 month before

  • Finalize the schedule for the big day
  • Choose a seating plan for the reception
  • Break in your shoes

 

1 week before

  • Visit the desired beauty professionals (hair colourist, esthetician, etc.)
  • Practise reading your vows
  • Write out cheques to pay your vendors

1 day before

  • Get your nails done
  • Give the cheques to someone you trust to pay the vendors

Day of, Enjoy!

brown haired man with moustache and goatee speaks into a microphone

Pincher Creek RCMP look to summer staffing in Waterton

Speaking to town council March 27, Hodge assured Mayor Don Anderberg that he’d notify town hall if the detachment anticipated a staffing crunch. 

“If officers don’t come in from out-of-area, the [Pincher Creek] detachment would have to fill in,” Hodge said, qualifying that it was too soon to tell. 

The detachment typically aims to post two Mounties in Waterton Park at all times throughout the summer. Six Mounties were cycled through in pairs last summer, with the detachment occasionally filling in.

“There were definitely periods where we had to supplement [coverage in Waterton] with our own officers, but that was kept to a very minimum level,” Hodge told council. 

It’s not hard to attract Mounties who are willing to spend a summer in the park. The challenge, Hodge explained, is freeing up Mounties from their home detachments. 

 

Ace of spades card on ad for Chase the Ace at the Pincher Creek Legion

 

“Provincewide, we’re finding that resource levels are low and it’s tough to get officers released so that they can come down and work for us.”

Mounties from Fort Vermilion and High Prairie have already expressed interest in policing Waterton this summer, according to Hodge. At the same time, the detachment commander said he was in talks with Cardston RCMP about potentially pooling resources. 

In the meantime, Hodge said, the detachment was “definitely feeling an impact” in the absence of the town’s former peace officers. 

Mounties are being called to respond to complaints about dogs, many of which fall outside the scope of police work.

“We’ll always respond to dog attacks, but we don’t deal with stray dogs or complaints about dogs chasing deer through town. Our officers don’t have the training or the time for that,” Hodge advised council. 

“We’re in the process of filling positions for two bylaw officers,” Mayor Anderberg replied. “We don’t have anyone in place right now, but that’s in the works.”

A woman with long blonde hair and a woman with short brown hair and glasses smile for the camera.

LRSD hires mental health therapists

The pair will be tasked with providing culturally appropriate and evidence-informed practices in crisis intervention, assessment, referral and intervention services for students and their families. Additionally, they may support consultation and professional development activities within LRSD.

Students and their families can access this service through a referral process with a school’s family-school liaison counsellor. 

Through this process, the counsellor determines if the student and caregiver will be best served seeing an LRSD mental health therapist.

If it is determined to be the best course of action, a referral will be made and the mental health therapist will reach out to initiate the service moving forward.

Colette, who is Métis, will be working as the Indigenous mental health therapist for the division. Her focus will be primarily on the Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek areas, given their significant Indigenous populations.

Colette previously worked within the school division as the family-school liaison counsellor at Livingstone School in Lundbreck. 

She provided support to students and families experiencing hardships while acting as a liaison between families and the school system.

Holding a bachelor’s degree in psychiatric nursing from Brandon University and a master’s in counselling psychology from Yorkville University, Colette has the experience and education to excel in this role.

“I am extremely pleased to be chosen to fill this new role and look forward to gaining knowledge and sharing experiences with individuals and families in the Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod area,” Colette said in a press release from LRSD.

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

Kristen will work in the northern and western corridors of LRSD. This includes schools in Nanton, Stavely, Claresholm, Granum, Lundbreck and Crowsnest Pass. 

Kristen previously spent over 10 years working predominantly for community agencies and Alberta Health Services. 

She holds a diploma in social work from Mount Royal University, on top of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Calgary. 

With a diverse education background and an affinity for helping others, Kristen is excited for this new challenge.

“I am looking forward to seeing the world through a student’s lens and helping support and nurture healthy and meaningful relationships in the process,” said Kristen in the same media release.

The mental health therapist positions are temporary roles made possible through the Alberta government’s Mental Health in Schools Pilot Grant.

LRSD recognizes the importance of having therapists available to its students and felt this was an opportunity the division could not pass up. 

“Oftentimes the ability to access these supports may prove difficult due to travel logistics or financial barriers,” says Holly Stewart, clinical team lead with LRSD, in the press release.

“Having Colette and Kristen join our division and be able to provide these essential services directly and in a flexible, timely manner to our students and their caregivers in the school setting is truly exciting.” 

Colette and Kristen will hold these positions until Dec. 31, 2024, barring any changes.

New birthday phishing tactic puts millions of people at risk

“On its own, a birth date is not a valuable asset to a criminal. It is easy to Google the birth date of almost everyone,” says Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

“However, in combination with other data, such as email, friends list, name and surname, it can be used to target a person using a highly personal email with perfect timing, such as a birthday.”

The data was gathered using NordVPN’s dark web monitor feature, which helps users find out if their data has been leaked to the dark web.

Phishing emails often include a sense of urgency so that a person doesn’t think twice before clicking on a malicious link inside the email. For example, the subject could be “Your password is about to expire” or “Your account is about to be blocked.”

The new trend is that scammers send targeted victims an email on their birthday. Such an email’s subject could be “Happy Birthday!” or “You have received an e-birthday card.” After receiving dozens of birthday wishes that day, the victim doesn’t suspect anything fishy and opens the email immediately.

The email usually includes birthday greetings that invite the user to click on a link to see the full message or receive a birthday e-card sent by a friend. Sometimes the message even states that a victim has an Amazon gift card waiting that someone purchased for their birthday.

Of course, there is no e-card or voucher, and a user’s computer can be infected with malware as soon as they click the link.

 

Ad for Ascent Dental in Pincher Creek

 

How can you protect yourself from birthday phishing scams?

If you know what to look out for, detecting phishing scams is easy. The clues are often hidden in plain sight:

—Watch for generic greetings. Emails addressed to Sir/Madam or Ms./Mr. should not be trusted. Always be aware of language and fluency: shortened words, slang and spelling errors are a dead giveaway.

—Don’t click on links. Instead, hover your mouse on the button to see the destination URL. Check if it looks legitimate and — this is important — if it contains the “https” part. You can also see a screenshot of the first page of that website using https://urlscan.io/.

—Double-check. If you receive an email on your birthday from somebody you know, think twice before clicking any links. Is it typical of this person to send an email? If not, contact them on the phone, social media or other channel to confirm the legitimacy.

—Use the threat-protection feature on NordVPN. It scans your files before you download them, identifies threats, and blocks them before they can harm your device.

“It is important to remember that cybercriminals don’t take days off on special occasions,” says Daniel Markuson.

“There is no need, of course, to ruin your birthday with the paranoia of being targeted online, but staying vigilant and informant is always important.”

Group of Vision Credit Union employees in blue t-shirts presents a giant cheque to three women from the Pincher Creek Food Bank.

Vision Credit Union presents grants in Pincher Creek

The Beaver Mines Fire Brigade, Pincher Creek and District Food Centre, and the Southwest Alberta Regional Search and Rescue Society are the beneficiaries. 

The grants will support these groups in undertaking various capital projects.

Beaver Mines Fire Brigade will use the money to purchase a Zoll AutoPulse device, which provides automated CPR to victims of cardiac arrest.

The AutoPulse will be available at the Beaver Mines fire station for both fire and EMS personnel in the event a call comes in where the administration of CPR is required.

Pincher Creek and District Community Food Centre submitted a grant request to help replace the furnace and install an air conditioning system in its food storage and workspace.

The current heating system is outdated, costing the centre a great deal in utility fees, while a lack of air conditioning makes the space unbearable for staff and volunteers during the summer months.

 

 

The additions will go a long way in keeping things running smoothly at the food centre.

Lastly, the Southwest Alberta Regional Search and Rescue Society will put its grant money toward acquiring 20 new radios for use during training and rescue.

The radios are part of SARSAR’s plan to overhaul its communications system as the group looks to continue a resurgence following difficulties faced during Covid-19.

Vision Credit Union’s Helping Hands Grants program is intended to help financially support qualified organizations with capital projects designed to benefit communities and the people that call them home.

Through the program, Vision commits $180,000 annually to organizations within its 23 branch communities.

“We were pleased by the interest in this program and impressed by the amazing work being done to further quality of life in our rural Alberta communities,” Steve Friend, CEO of Vision Credit Union, said in a press release.

“We’re honoured to play a part in supporting these efforts.”

Grant applications were evaluated by a grant committee made up of the credit union’s CEO and board, based on each project’s foreseen benefits to its community.

A group of people dressed in warm winter clothes cheers before heading out on a cold-weather walk.

Blairmore walk raises $45K for Crowsnest food bank

Held each year in 166 communities across Canada, Coldest Night of the Year walks raise money for charities supporting those experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness.

The local food bank hosted its first CNOY walk in Blairmore on Feb. 25, raising money to help cover the ever-growing costs of food and its transportation over the course of the year. 

Originally, the fundraising goal was set at $20,000. However, residents of Crowsnest Pass and surrounding areas stepped up to more than double that goal with their unwavering support.

“Our community has always been very supportive of the food bank. We have had so many changes in the past year, including a 40 per cent increase in usage,” says Desiree Erdmann, manager of the food bank.

“Having everyone come together for a common goal, and all the laughing and hugging, was certainly very uplifting for everyone at the food bank.”

 

Ad for Dragons Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek

 

Community members embraced the opportunity to support their local food bank. Twenty teams made up of 89 walkers participated in the event, with 40 volunteers, 770 donors and 18 sponsors contributing to the success of the walk.

Despite chilly, windy conditions on the day of the walk, the community pulled together and showed up for a great cause. 

The generosity of everyone who contributed has not gone unnoticed.

“The Crowsnest Pass Food Bank is very thankful for the support and kindness of our community. We appreciate everyone who had a part in Coldest Night of the Year,” Desiree says.

With the success of this year’s walk, many locals have already expressed a desire for a second edition of the event in the Pass next year.

As luck would have it, the CNOY will return to Blairmore next year on Feb. 24 to once more help support the food bank, as it has supported the community for over 25 years. 

If this year was any indication, the event will only continue to grow in its ability to make a positive impact on the community.

A woman scoops fresh popcorn into a green and blue popcorn bag.

Scoop for Love

For every 30 minutes a volunteer bags popcorn, the theatre will donate $15 to a charity of the volunteer’s choice. 

Scoop for Love volunteers are also welcome to enjoy a free bag of popcorn and watch whatever movie is playing at the time.

Amanda Leaming, co-owner of Fox Theatre, says Scoop for Love was introduced after she came across similar programs running successfully at other theatres. She feels it’s a good opportunity to develop a community connection while supporting worthy causes.

“My motto is the famous Helen Keller quote, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,’ ” Amanda says.

“Having people come in to volunteer their hours and give that money back to the community, in terms of their charity of choice, really helps develop a strong sense of community and joy.”

Prior to the launch of Scoop for Love, Amanda reached out to some local non-profit groups to let them know about the program.

Felicia White, executive director of the Pincher Creek Humane Society, was thrilled to learn of the program and how it could help the animal shelter.

 

Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek

 

“I get people who want to volunteer and help the shelter that can’t because they’re allergic to the animals, so this is a way that they can help without stepping foot in the shelter,” Felicia says.

“Fifteen dollars may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to helping us here at the shelter, whether that’s buying cat litter, bleach or other products we require.” 

While the emphasis will be on local organizations, volunteers can select whatever charity or non-profit they wish to receive their donation. 

The theatre will eventually have a list of local charities and non-profits for volunteers to consider, should they wish.

Interested candidates should contact the theatre and set up a date for a small amount of training, to ensure they’re confident and comfortable with the work.

A schedule will be up at the theatre with time slots open for volunteers to bag popcorn. As long as there are slots available, there is no limit to how much time someone can volunteer.

For more information, or if you wish to volunteer, you can call the theatre at 403-627-3444, email foxtheatre@omratech.ca or swing by in person.