August – The Year In Review

Staff Sergeant Mac Richards looks over some weekend reports in his office last week. The RCMP Staff Sergeant will be promoted to Inspector this fall when he takes command of the detachment in Port Alberni, British Columbia. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Morinville’s top RCMP member leaving town

RCMP Staff Sergeant Mac Richards announced he would be moving to Port Alberni, British Columbia later in the year, ending a more than three-year stint as Morinville’s Detachment Commander. Richards took on the role as head of policing for the community of roughly 17,000 in the fall and was promoted to the rank of Inspector.

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Public Safety Minister Vic Toews (right) speaks to Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Maureen Kubinec and ac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills MLA Shayne Saskiw prior to Friday’s speech at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Crime and punishment focus of Public Safety Minister’s Morinville talk

The federal government will stay the course on its efforts in keeping the nation’s streets and communities safe. That was the message from Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, The Honourable Vic Toews, during a stop in Morinville Aug. 12, an event organized jointly through the Morinville Rotary Club and Westlock-St. Paul MP Brian Storseth.

Modulars moved

Two modular units formerly used by Morinville Public Elementary School were transported from the former Georges P. Vanier grounds to Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School Monday. Triple H Transport arrived early in the morning to begin the prep work to move the modular units. With the ground saturated due to recent rain, the task of hoisting the structures was a bit more challenging. – Lucie Roy Photo

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Council candidate Kevin Wedick files nomination papers with returning officer Jennifer Maskoske Thursday morning. Six candidates filed papers by the noon deadline. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

By-election to be a contested affair

Nominations for Morinville’s Council by-election closed at noon Aug. 23 after a two-hour period where residents could file the requisite nomination papers with five elector signatures and a $100 deposit.

Those who filed nomination for Van de Walle’s seat were Morinville businessman and former Morinville Chamber of Commerce President Sheldon Fingler, local business owner and substitute teacher Jackie Luker, retiree and former soldier Jim O’Brien, local small business owner and former library employee Bonnie Moerike, former Morinville Town Councillor and mayoral candidate Joseph Trapani, and former police officer and photo radar critic Kevin Wedick.

The by-election took place Sept. 20 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.

Joe picks his winners

Our annual Joe Morinville Awards took place in August. This year’s winners were:

1 – White Rose for Best Lunch in downtown Morinville
2- Higher Grounds Espresso Bar for Best Fancy Coffee Joint
3 – Subway for Best Fast Food Joint
4 – Lisa Holmes for Most Effective Member of Morinville Town Council

The annual Joe Morinville Awards are a people’s choice award determined by our online and in print readers.

Speeding tickets halved but councillors still upset with photo radar practices

The second quarter of 2012 saw a decrease of nearly 1,000 fewer speeding tickets issued than in the same quarter of 2011. Second quarter reports from Integrated Traffic Services Ltd., Morinville’s automated traffic enforcement contractor, showed there were 1,299 speeding tickets issued between April and June this year, compared with 2,281 during the same quarter of 2011. The tickets were issued during 416 hours of monitoring.

While the number of tickets are down by almost half over the same quarter last year, the report shows the period also clocked the highest rate of speed since the program’s inception. On Apr. 15, a driver was clocked on 100 Street near the Tim Hortons travelling at 140 kilometres per hour in a 60 km/h zone.

Some members of Council expressed their concern the focus is on heavy ticket generating areas on the outskirts of town rather than areas where safety is the key issue.

Councillor Paul Krauskopf advocated a need to get photo radar away from the community’s fringes and into the downtown core. “The thing that upsets me is we know that there’s been people travelling 125 kilometres [per hour] right through town, and yet in downtown we’re only spending 40 hours enforcing it,” he said, adding 72 hours were spent on 100 Avenue at 87 Street on the edge of town. “Get downtown. Get these people. There are people speeding through downtown in the daytime. There’s more pedestrian traffic crossing here than at 87 Street or on Cardiff Road.”

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