May 25th, 2024

2020 year in review: July

By Herald on December 30, 2020.

Kainai Senior Princess Katana Fox and Echo First Rider perform a traditional dance as Premier Jason Kenney, along with dignitaries and first responders, watch in the background during a recovery communities announcement in Standoff. Herald file photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

The Herald takes a look back at the Lethbridge stories that made headlines in 2020 in a month by month series running through this week to New Year’s Eve

Province to twin portion of Hwy. 3
The Kenney government announced it would be spending $150 million over the next three years to twin Highway 3 between Taber and Burdett as part of its stimulus efforts for southern Alberta.

Surveillance on Phillips inexcusable
Lethbridge Police Service Chief Scott Woods said unauthorized surveillance on then provincial cabinet minister Shannon Phillips is embarrassing and inexcusable. Woods said temporary demotions of officers Jason Carrier and Keon Woronuk are considered to be on the high end of punishment following a story by CHAT News which revealed the results of a recent police disciplinary hearing.

Province pulling funding for ARCHES after audit
ARCHES will be losing all provincial funding to run Canada’s most highly used supervised consumption site after the results of an independent audit revealed serious financial mismanagement. The audit findings include a catalogue of undocumented or inappropriate expenses charged to the SCS and “Everyone Comes Together” program by ARCHES directors, misuse of credit cards for personal expenses, unapproved overtime billing, and a general lack of strong financial oversight by board members.

Mayor concerned about future of harm reduction
Calling the results of an audit of ARCHES, which revealed serious fiscal mismanagement leading to the province’s decision on Thursday to defund the organization, deeply troubling and potentially devastating to the city’s most vulnerable, Mayor Chris Spearman said the City of Lethbridge was committed to working with the province to define the next steps forward.

Father sentenced to 14 years for incest
A 55-year-old Raymond-area man who was found guilty in January of three sex-related offences against his daughter, has been given the maximum prison sentence allowed under law. The man, who can’t be named to protect the identity of the girl, was sentenced Friday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench to 14 years in a federal penitentiary on each charge of incest and sexual interference.

Province sends ARCHES audit to LPS
The Lethbridge Police Service has begun investigating operations of the city’s supervised consumption site and the society that runs it, but it’s still too early to determine whether criminal charges will be laid in relation to nearly $2 million of unaccounted provincial funding. The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has turned over the findings of the audit to LPS for investigation on whether charges are warranted.

Funding announced for recovery centres
The Province of Alberta is stepping up the fight against addiction in southern Alberta. In an announcement in Standoff, Premier Jason Kenney announced a $10-million capital investment to support construction of two recovery communities in southern Alberta. The construction of two recovery communities will add 125 new long-term residential addiction treatment beds in Lethbridge County and the Blood Tribe First Nation as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

‘Enchodus’ fossil found at ammolite site
A Lethbridge-area ammolite mine was the site of a pair of fossil findings last month. When they were finally able to get on the scene, a crew from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology uncovered some sea life from the Bearpaw Formation from approximately 74 million years ago.

Masks to be required in public areas of City facilities
After three hours of debate during a city council public meeting and various amendments introduced by council members, the City of Lethbridge will now be requiring all members of the public to wear masks in public areas of City facilities. The move comes in response to a recent worrying spike in COVID-19 cases in the city and two local deaths due to the disease.

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