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A look back at the big newsmakers of 2014 in Taber area

Posted on December 31, 2014 by Taber Times

As the globe begins to spin for another 365 days in 2015, the staff of The Taber Times is taking a walk down memory lane with a retrospective of the leading stories that graced our pages throughout 2014.

JANUARY: The passing of a special operating budget for 2014 to be funded on a projected 2013 operating surplus is defeated by a 3-4 vote by town council.

Named as recipient for this year’s Outstanding Citizen honour by the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce, Audrey Krizsan has given her time and effort to a variety of causes and activities in the past.

Sometimes fortune has occasion to smile on odd circumstances. And the odds against having two new year’s babies in the same extended family? Virtually astronomical, right? You’d be wrong. Beating those odds in 2014, Taber’s newest addition Alina Marie Bareman arrived on the wings of a stork at 3:09 a.m. on Jan. 3 at the Taber Hospital.

It is a story that is becoming alarmingly more common in the province, as legion halls look for ways to keep their doors open, facing increasing expenses and dwindling revenues. Taber Legion Hall is no different, as an emergency meeting is held to discuss the Billy Williams Memorial Hall’s future.

The clock is ticking on the dream of the Taber Spray Park becoming a reality this summer for kids to frolic in. Approved for construction at town council’s Dec. 16 meeting, barely a month into the fundraising campaign and a flood of support has already come in for the project with cash/in-kind donations at approximately $100,000 for the $330,000 project. But, the time is now if recreation enthusiasts want to see the park up and running by June.

Barnwell School is going to get a new lease on life.
During an announcement made at the school on Monday, Rick McIver, minister of infrastructure, announces a modernization project planned for the school.

The small community of Taber has been left aghast after the discovery of animal cruelty just south of town by two local youth as a dog is found deceased, tied to a fence post.

FEBRUARY:
The town and the Taber Spray Park committee will be splitting the cost of a washroom facility in Confederation Park following the approval by council of a request from the committee for additional funds.

No charges are being laid against a southern Alberta man who shot his dog and left it in a field.

A Vauxhall couple is contemplating legal action after what they feel is a case of discrimination involving public breastfeeding. Lisa Garrett and her husband Blair are in Taber provincial court on Feb. 4 tending to a minor traffic issue. While Garrett is breastfeeding her nine-month-old son Lucius Reign in the courthouse lobby she is approached by a uniformed female sheriff who according to Garrett tells her they have received a complaint.

Rail shipping delays across Western Canada that have impacted grain prices for producers are being addressed by the federal government through a series of initiatives aimed at getting shipments back on track.

Medicine Hat Co-op is expanding to Taber as the co-operative grocery brand continues to grow across Western Canada. The local wing of the co-operative retailer will take over the Safeway retail outlet and related gas bar in Taber, it was explained, one day after the announced purchase of 14 Sobeys and Safeway locations across the Prairies.

Gary Bikman, MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner, speaking at the weekly Southern Alberta Council for Public Affairs (SACPA) gathering, does not hold back on his criticism of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, led by Premier Alison Redford, in his presentation called “Burning Issues Facing Albertans and their MLAs.”

The Municipal District of Taber is hoping a new bylaw currently being drafted will help manage and conserve local grasslands as it looks to absorb a massive land injection from the province.

Cases in Taber’s provincial court take only a comparative fraction of the provincial average time to reach trial, according to a report issued to the Taber Municipal Police Commission.
The RCMP are looking for someone who never learned how to clean up after themselves.

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Taber/Vauxhall RCMP receive a complaint about televisions being thrown off the Municipal District of Taber bridge onto the frozen surface of the Oldman River. The items break apart on impact. However, once the ice melts, these items will fall into the river and become a pollutant.

March:
March 5
On the surface, it looks like it is going to be a banner week of sales for some southern Alberta large equipment dealers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are set to change hands with a number of large-purchase agreements which in the end, prove too good to be true.
On the afternoon of Feb. 25, Taber Police Service was called to a suspicious transaction at the Alberta vehicle licensing office in Taber.

The Municipal District of Taber is looking for options to handle water and sewage service in the hamlet of Johnson’s Addition after receiving a hefty estimate for hooking up to the Town of Taber system. Council discusses the issue with Jack Dunsmore, director of planning and infrastructure, at their regular meeting on Feb. 25.

March 12
The recent Linden View Alzheimer’s and Dementia Cottages Fundraiser at a local restaurant earlier this month met expectations – and way more – according to organizers.

The province is capping the red pens on the operating side of the 2014 budget announced last week, but a blitzkrieg of borrowed billions in infrastructure spending will be pushing total debt to new heights. For the first time in six years, the province will be sporting a fresh $1.1 billion consolidated surplus. There will be no new taxes or tax hikes in 2014, and the political hot potato of a provincial sales tax will remain safely underground.

Taber Recreation Board receives an update likely not to its liking on the progress of Sponsorship Connections and their contract with the Town of Taber on securing sponsorship funding for its various facilities and town-owned assets.

The Municipal District of Taber agrees to make $100,000 in upgrades to the Grassy Lake Fire Hall, with the possibility of more money coming in the future.

March 19
Slipping past the post by a meager 4-3 vote, town council agrees to purchase property and enter into a lease agreement with the Taber Gymnastics Fitness Club (TGFC) for development of a new gymnastics facility.

The name of a man murdered Friday night in Taber has been released. An autopsy is conducted Monday morning in Calgary and the medical examiner has reports 47-year-old Howard Sakebow, of Taber, succumbs to his injuries as a result of a stab wound he sustains to his upper chest.

A boil water order in the Lethbridge area causes havoc in Taber stores as out-of-towners descend on the area hunting for drinking water.

March 26
Town council is firm in its conviction the use and future of the former courthouse, library and police station complex must be decided on before a new lease can be signed between the Arts Council of Taber for the Performing Arts (ACTPA) and the Town of Taber.

Once viewed as an uncompromising reformer destined to take her party and the province in a new direction, the resignation last week of Premier Alison Redford cuts short that vision and opens widening questions about the future of Alberta’s four-decade PC dynasty.

April:
April 2
The dance card of caring has continued for the TANGO Foundation (Taber Assisting Nations through Global Outreach) with its latest contingent returning from a humanitarian effort in Mexico. The mission concluded on March 23.

Shovels will be hitting the ground this spring for a spray park after town council signs off on the location and agrees to take over ownership and operation of the facility upon completion.

On March 24, council votes unanimously to approve use of portions of Lot 2, Block S, Plan 4193JK and Block D, Plan 7282JK (directly south of Parkside Manor in Confederation Park) for a water spray park to be constructed by a group of individuals and companies co-ordinated by the Taber Splash Pad Committee (TSPC), and approves in general the layout and concept of the development plan, with specific details to be addressed through the town’s usual development approval process.

April 9
New federal legislation aimed at getting railway stock rolling for Canadian grain farmers is intended to respond to the challenges currently facing Western Canada’s rail shipping system.
The Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act amends the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Grain Act, providing additional measures designed to help the entire grain transportation system reach the goal of getting product to market quickly and more efficiently following a record crop year for Canadian farmers.

Taber Recreation Board members get an inside look into what the Watoto African Children’s Choir is all about as the Taber Christian Reformed Church sends a representative in waiver request to host the choir at the Taber Community Centre.

In support of the Town of Taber’s twinning relationship with Higashiomi City in Japan, two representatives of the town will be attending the 2014 Alberta-Japan Twin Town Conference in Rocky Mountain House June 13-14.

April 16
Taber Recreation Board members are privy to a conference call with Sponsorship Connections managing director Dave Higgins at its board meeting on April 3.
Sponsorship Connections is the firm the town hired back in November 2011 in an attempt to secure sponsorship dollars for town-owned assets to help offset the rising costs of recreation for its residents to enjoy.

The cream of the region’s youth excellence rose to the top last week with the crowning of four APEX Youth Award recipients. There are 22 nominees at the 13th annual awards ceremony held last Thursday night at the Community Centre Auditorium.

April 23
Recent decisions by the Town of Taber and Municipal District of Taber to back out of the Southern Alberta Energy From Waste Association (SAEWA) plan to create an energy-from-waste facility has prompts a reaction from that organization.

Residential property taxes will see a rise of 2.96 per cent in 2014 after the integration of provincially-established requisitions for schools and seniors.
In passing the 2014 operating and capital budgets late in 2013, town council approved an overall tax revenue increase of 1.5 per cent, with the understanding that school and seniors requisition rates had not yet been set by the province, and would impact the municipality’s overall tax rate increase in the new year.

April 30
The Town of Taber will not be conducting an independent census of municipal population figures in 2014, in advance of a federal census scheduled for 2016.
On April 14, council votes 6-1 to defeat a motion to include a census project in the 2014 amended operating budget in the amount of $25,000, to be funded from general operating reserves. Coun. Laura Ross-Giroux is the sole vote in favour of the motion.

An 11-year-old Taber girl has to be transported to Calgary Children’s Hospital Saturday night, from Lethbridge, due to a setback of injuries she sustained last week when she was struck by a truck while riding her bike.

May:
May 7
On a day filled with love, laughter, and tears, a local woman pulls the Town of Taber together to raise more than $8,000 to help her mom fight cancer.
Terry Dagg has spent the last few months off work, battling Stage 1 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. On Sunday afternoon, May 4, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 20 hall in Taber, her daughter Misty Lutz holds a fundraiser to help her out financially. But more importantly, she wants to do something to show her mom how much everyone cares and is rooting for her as she battles her disease.

Mounting instances of abuse by unscrupulous employers has prompted the federal government to issue a partial moratorium on their temporary foreign worker program.
Late last month, Employment Minister Jason Kenney banned restaurants from accessing the program after fresh allegations of misconduct have arisen across Canada.

May 14
Rains and frost haven’t been enough to derail what could potentially be a good crop year for two of the area’s more prominent crops, sugar beets and potatoes, according to local industry authorities.
There have been 22,000 acres of sugar beets contracted with Lantic Sugar, Inc. for 2014 with growers. Seeding is now mostly completed.

Municipal residents won’t be taking an increased hit on their annual recycling fees — at least not right away.
On April 28, council votes 6-1 in favour of accepting the low bid for recycling services and award the contract to Jen-Ko Rentals Ltd. for $14,730 per month for May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 and $15,170 per month for May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016, and that the Town of Taber absorb a $50,200 shortfall in the 2014 operating budget to cover the additional recycling fees. Coun. Jack Brewin is the vote in opposition to the motion.

May 21
With the multitude of communications mediums available today, the opportunity for fraud has increased exponentially, something the Taber Police Service is attempting to tackle head on this month with the rollout of a fraud prevention campaign.

There is a packed gymnasium of concerned parents at D.A. Ferguson in late April as the crowd hears presentations by various police service agencies over issues that have popped up locally including age of consent and Internet safety.

May 28
Taber’s Clearview Lodge turns 50 this year, and boy, does she look great for her age.
Last Friday, the senior’s residence celebrated the 50th anniversary of when it first opened its doors with the official recognition of a brand new kitchen. It is an afternoon filled with food and entertainment as local politicians and members of the Taber and District Housing Authority speak on the importance of having a welcome place seniors can call home.

Horizon School Division is ending its short stay exchange program.
The news comes from a report by Clark Bosch, HSD associate superintendent of programs and services, during the HSD board of trustees regular meeting on May 20.

A woman facing a second-degree murder charge in Taber will be back in provincial court for preliminary inquiry on July 28.
Trina Michelle Thomas appears before Judge D.G. Redman in Taber provincial court on May 20, via CCTV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.

June
June 4
Construction on the Taber Shooting Range has now been completed for the year.
This is the message from Municipal District of Taber chief administrative officer Derrick Krizsan, who sends out an e-mail announcement on June 2 which includes an update on the work at the range as well as a series of photos of the area taken during construction.

The overall number of teams may be smaller this year, but the spirit still remains just as strong for Taber’s annual Relay for Life which starts this Friday evening.

The Taber Agri-Plex will be a hive of activity this weekend as the 2014 Taber and District 4-H Show and Sale gets underway on Friday afternoon.
Beginning with the steer show, with quality and showmanship judging on Friday commencing at 1 p.m., this will be followed by group of four and the grooming competition.

June 11
A cost-sharing agreement between the Town of Taber and an industrial area business operator has been approved by town council to deal with drainage issues plaguing the property.

Southern Alberta loses a newspaper icon over the weekend as former Taber Times co-owner Walter Koyanagi passes away peacefully at the age of 93.
Co-owning the Times along with partner George Meyer from 1970-1987, Koyanagi helped put the Taber Times in some rare company as a newspaper well past its 100th birthday as the paper continues to publish today.
The dynamic duo would go on to buy the Sunny South News in the mid-70s and in 1978 founded the Vauxhall Advance before selling in 1989.

Taber Recreation Board members are updated on the progress of the idea of a recreation master plan at its June 5 meeting.

June 18
Locals will get to hear many songs sung to the harmony of hope as the African Children’s Choir is set to perform at Taber Evangelical Mennonite Church on June 25 at 7 p.m.
The performance will feature lively African songs and dances along with well-loved children’s songs and spiritual and gospel favorites. Orphaned children performing are between nine and 11 years old from wartorn and impoverished regions, including Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana.

Attempting to better address broad-ranging policy questions for Albertans, the Wildrose Party announces a new series of initiatives it plans to implement if elected in 2016.
Known as Moving Forward Alberta: Solutions for the Alberta of Tomorrow, the new policy approach includes several new announcements covering health care, education, municipalities, finance, support for the vulnerable and several other areas that are intended to help position Alberta for long-term prosperity.

A school bus carrying 19 children from the Vauxhall area is involved in a collision early Thursday which sent one child to hospital.

June 25
To be on the safe side, the M.D. of Taber has decided to keep its local state of emergency intact until Thursday morning from last week’s flooding after the downpour from Mother Nature of between six and eight inches of rain. The state of emergency is for the area south of Highway 3.

Business operators in the industrial area could soon have access to high-speed internet if upcoming negotiations between Shaw Communications and operators facilitated by the municipality reach a successful conclusion.

July
July 2
A major food processing plant in Taber will be shuttering its doors for good on Aug. 29, leaving 38 full-time employees without a job.
Taber’s Lucerne processing plant, known as the Taber Juice and Dry Grocery Plant (located at 5115 57th Street) has been in operation in the community since 1955. The announcement is made to employees at 2 p.m. on June 24.

Taber residents will have a chance to hear more about the subject of temporary work camps in the area as council mulls over the idea of allowing them at some point in the future.

If you are in the mood for a good parade, there will be no shortage of them this Saturday in southern Alberta.
Taber, Enchant and Coaldale will all be having parades to help kick off the early part of July.
Coaldale has its Settler Days and Enchant is holding its 100th birthday celebrations that same day.

July 9
LaVar Payne won’t seek re-election, the Conservative member said last Thursday, citing his wish to spend much more time with his family following the next election.
The sudden death of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty this spring led him to rethink his priorities, he told The Medicine Hat News in a surprise announcement.
It comes just days after a Canada Day and citizenship ceremonies — a task the two-term MP said is among the most gratifying work in his busy schedule.

Karen Ingram from the Taber Irrigation Impact Museum is passionate about the history of Taber. So it is understandable when you see her eyes water just a bit as she recounts the history of Taber’s canning industry. A history that was vital to the town’s economic rebirth and a history that will officially come to an end on Aug. 29 as Taber Juice and Dry Grocery Plant will be shutting its doors for good, leaving 38 full-time employees without a job.
A dangerously damaged playground at Confederation Park is getting a short-term patch-up while Town of Taber administration looks for a long-term solution to the issue.

July 16
With an over $15 million price tag, Albertans are invited to participate in an online survey now until Aug. 19 to choose which of three proposed designs will be featured on a new provincial licence plate starting in the spring of 2015. The design that receives the most votes will be selected as the new plate. According to a recent media release, Alberta’s new licence plate will incorporate a new design and new features to help make roads safer.

Irrigation is the lifeblood of southern Alberta.
In a semi-arid part of the country, irrigation water has helped our agricultural industry grow and prosper, and produce a wide range of crops once thought to be little more than a dream for the region.
Last week, the infrastructure which supplies that precious resource to farmers was given a $21-million boost from the Alberta government, as irrigation dis- tricts in southern Alberta will receive grants to main- tain and improve systems that supply over one million acres of land with water.

July 23
Jim Hillyer is facing a challenger for the Conservative Party nomination in the Medicine Hat riding. In front of a crowd of approximately 30 supporters outside the Court of Queen’s Bench in Medicine Hat earlier this week, Dan Hein, the former president of the local Conservative Party association and formerly the campaign manager for MP LaVar Payne in the 2011 election, officially announces his intention to become the Conservative candidate for the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner riding.

As the dog days of summer shine down on southern Alberta, the Taber Public Library’s summer reading program is underway to help children keep up their skills in anticipation of another school year.

The tender for work on the M.D. of Taber Park irrigation intake closed on June 26, and M.D. council accepted the lowest bid from Cactus Contractors of Lethbridge.

July 30
A potentially dangerous situation involving an emotionally disturbed man is brought to a peaceful resolution by Taber Police Service last Thursday.
The Taber and District Handi-Bus Association is looking for local involvement in order to help seniors and the disadvantaged in the local community.

With the summer growing season now in full swing for local producers, water usage in the Taber Irrigation District (TID) has reached normal levels for the area.

August
Aug. 6
A government-approved medical marijuana grow-op isn’t about to put down roots in Taber. But that doesn’t mean the municipality might not be viewed as an attractive location for a medical marijuana production facility in future.

Taber Food Bank Society is no longer mincing its words when it comes to the state of its organization. If some serious help does not come soon for the Taber Food Bank, it is in real danger of having to shut its doors for an organization that helps many people in need.

Record heat and little wind mean many Albertans are cranking up the air conditioning, and energy prices along with it. However, consumers are being advised to conserve electricity.

Aug. 13
An ‘aura of power’ surrounding the office of former premier Alison Redford helps contribute to one of the most flagrant abuses of public trust in recent memory, according to a scathing report released last week.

A woman accused in Taber’s first homicide in more than a decade has pled guilty to manslaughter. Trina Michelle Thomas will serve a seven-and-a-half-year sentence following the acceptance of a joint submission by Judge P.G. Pharo on Aug. 6.

Aug. 20
Air support along with fire crews from four towns are called in to battle a massive blaze that erupted along Hwy 864 near Township Road 11-4 north of Taber Wednesday.
Fire departments from the towns of Taber, Vauxhall, Coaldale, and Enchant begin arriving on scene within 15 minutes to battle the blaze, with more than 30 firefighters involved and a number of support vehicles such as water trucks, crop dusters, and a Helitack (HAC) helicopter unit called in to the area. Steve Munshaw, Taber Emergency Services fire chief, estimates there were five trucks and at least 16 firefighters present from Taber, and another two trucks from Vauxhall.

While the weather forecast is not the best it has ever been for Cornfest, nothing will dampen the spirit of the festivities of one of the largest free festivals in the province.
While the weather forecast is not the best it has ever been for Cornfest, nothing will dampen the spirit of the festivities of one of the largest free festivals in the province.

Aug. 27
Town council has assumed direct control over approval of any potential medical marijuana production facility in the community following the passing of an amendment to the town’s land-use bylaw.
At their Aug. 18 meeting, town council votes unanimously to pass third and final reading of Bylaw 9- 2014.

Councillors participating in a biannual overseas exchange with the community’s sister city in Japan will now be receiving financial support from the Town of Taber following a split 4-3 vote last week.

Questions are swirling around what exactly happened during a fire which scorched nearly 700 acres of farmland and grazing land north of Taber two weeks ago. In the wake of that fire, which saw a response from four different fire departments along with help from local farmers and members of the Hutterian Brethren, spray planes, and helicopters, some are questioning the tactics of new fire chief Steve Munshaw to contain and control the blaze, which caused 410 acres worth of crop damage valued at an estimated $120,000.

September
Sept. 3
Repair and rehabilitation costs associated with the town’s sewage lagoon system continue to mount, with town council approving two emergency expenditures on the system last month.

The Fairness Express pulls into Taber on Cornfest Thursday to help kick off Cornfest festivities with raised awareness of the disturbing trend of a disappearing middle class, and the lack of fairness in the tax system with corporations hiding billions of dollars in tax shelters.

Sept. 10
Brynn Lund’s battle with cancer began in July 2010 at the tender age of 10 yrs old. She was sitting on the sofa reading when she noticed a marble-sized lump on the sole of her foot. Brynn was a worry wart about everything, so to calm her, mom Christy made an appointment for her to see her doctor. Dr. Torrie sent Brynn to Lethbridge for a CT scan the next day. The results were inconclusive, so she was sent to Calgary for a biopsy later that week. Three days later, on July 2, while Christy was at home alone, as her husband Kevin was in Red Deer working and all four of her children were out and about, she received a phone call from the Calgary Children’s Hospital. The caller told Christy the results of the scan were not good. Brynn had a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. It is a cancerous tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. It is rare for it to show up in a foot as it is usual- ly found in the head and neck. Christy recalls she dropped to her knees and wept. She was told that Brynn had to be at the Calgary Children’s Hospital the next day.

Alberta will anoint a fresh face at the top with the declaration of Jim Prentice as premier-designate following the Progressive Conservative leadership convention over the weekend.

Sept. 17
The provincial government should do more to further the goal of twinning the Highway 3 corridor from the B.C. border to Medicine Hat.
That is the message from the Municipal District of Taber council during their regular meeting on Sept. 9, when they address a letter from former Premier Dave Hancock.

Restoration work on the main entry area of the historic Taber Courthouse has been approved and a tender awarded by town council.

As the snow was falling in southern Alberta last week, people were likely checking their calendars to see if it was really September.
It is. A weather warning called for up to 15 centimetres of snow.

The Town of Taber will be paying more for library services through the Chinook Arch Regional Library System following the approval of the organization’s four-year budget by town council.

Sept. 24
Town council is pushing hard for some immediate solutions to ongoing drainage issues which have been negatively impacting various business operations in the industrial area.
At their Sept. 8 meeting, council directs administration to engage with the Taber Irrigation District (TID) and Volker Stevin to come back to council with specific immediate solutions for problem areas in the industrial area, complete with timelines for completion.

In a little over a month the Taber Food Bank has gone from whispers of having to close its doors, awash in a sea of financial red, to being well into the black thanks to the generous support of the community.

Since a Taber Times story broke about the financial hardships of the Taber Food Bank on Aug. 6, Vicki Koersen, chairman for the Taber Food Bank Society, noted the community has heeded the call of the organization in need.

October
Oct. 1
Residents will continue to pay the maximum allowable rate of 20 per cent through town-set franchise fees in 2015 following a decision by town council.
At their Sept. 22 meeting, council voted unanimously to retain the 2015 franchise fee rates for Fortis Alberta and ATCO Gas at 20 per cent respectively, and also directed administration to set aside 7.5 per cent of franchise fee revenue in the Energy Conservation Capital Reserve. Coun.(s) Andrew Prokop and Laura Ross-Giroux were absent from the meeting.

Mounting pressure from town council to immediately alleviate drainage problems in the industrial area has encountered some procedural roadblocks that mandate a delay for completion of a stormwater master plan.

Oct. 8
A handful of town councillors and members of the Taber Spray Park Committee were on hand last Friday to turn over the keys to the Taber Community Spray Park.
Coun. Jack Brewin says he is impressed with the amount of work which went into completion of the park.

The time is now if Taber Times readers want to get in on a free ePaper promotion that will end Oct. 31.

Construction of a pedestrian sidewalk on the south side of 46th Avenue has been delayed due to the objections of local businesses and the consideration of a number of potential alternatives.

Oct. 15
Water levels at Yellow Lake, located east and south of Taber, are a concern and in order to deal with those levels, St. Mary River’s Irrigation District is requesting some financial help from the Municipal District of Taber and the County of Forty Mile.

It has been billed as the largest school construction project in Canadian history, and the D.A. Ferguson/W.R. Myers High School complex is going to be a part of it.

A long-awaited modernization for St. Patrick’s Elementary School has been announced as part of a $263 million commitment for school projects across the province. The aging school had been identified as an infrastructure priority for Holy Spirit Catholic School Division in their 2014-2017 Capital Plan. St. Patrick’s Elementary School has an enrollment of approximately 200 students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5.

Oct. 22
Continuing to discharge the town’s raw stormwater directly into the Taber Irrigation District’s (TID) system will not be an option in the future, according to the district’s general manager.
Heading a delegation from the TID at town council’s Oct. 14 meeting, district manager Chris Gallagher pointed out that an increasing emphasis on water quality is putting pressure on irrigation districts in the province to be cognizant of the quality of water they are receiving from multiple sources.

It will be lights, camera, action this Sunday as the Taber and District Health Foundation celebrates its 20th birthday of the Share in the Experience of Giving Telethon at the Heritage Inn.
The day and night with be filled with over 30 entertainment slots as organizers hope the pledge phones will continue to ring non-stop.

In hopes of bridging the gap that exists in terms of a performing arts facility capable of serving the town’s growing artistic and cultural needs, Taber town council established a committee to investigate that gap.

Oct. 29
Last Wednesday was a day no one in Ottawa will soon forget.
For southern Alberta politicians, it represents a nerve wracking 10 hours, as Members of Parliament were on lockdown from 10 a.m. to just before 8 p.m.
Medicine Hat MP LaVar Payne was one of those MPs, as those gathered in the Caucus Room for a meeting is made acutely aware early in the morning something was very wrong.

With flu season beginning to escalate for southern Alberta, the province is encouraging citizens to take advantage of immunization clinics being hosted throughout the region.
Horizon School Division has posted strong numbers when it comes to provincial achievement and diploma exams.

During their regular meeting on Oct. 21, Erin Hurkett, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction, updates the HSD board of trustees on the results of the Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT) for Grade 6 and Grade 9 students and for the Grade 12 diploma exams.

November
Nov. 5
Talk about a 20th birthday party.
As the Taber and District Health Foundation was blowing the candles out of its 20th annual Share in the Experience of Giving Telethon birthday cake on Oct. 26, organizers are shocked to see the final tally as the cameras stopped rolling at 8 p.m. at the Heritage Inn on Shaw Cable 9.

The Taber and District Chamber of Commerce is considering construction of a replacement building serving hybrid purposes, including agricultural interpretive features and providing tourist information.
At their Oct. 27 meeting, town council voted unanimously to accept the presentation from the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce Building Committee delegation for information. Over 2014, the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce board has formed a sub-committee to evaluate options related to a new building.

Nov. 12
Town council is re-examining the merits of moving the town’s solid waste disposal to a roll-out cart system that will encourage separation of compostables and recyclables from garbage.
On Monday, town council will be hosting a drop-in style open house (3-8 p.m.) in the Green Room on the issue for the public to provide their input or learn about the proposed three-cart rollout system for solid waste disposal.

Multi-million dollar upgrades to the town’s industrial wastewater lagoon and effluent irrigation systems will be required in the future to rectify serious deterioration of existing infrastructure, according to a recent engineering report.

Nov. 19
Help is on the way for some local residents impacted by flooding earlier this year, but details are still being ironed out by Municipal District of Taber administration.
At the end of October, the provincial government earmarked $30.7 million to help pay for damages from overland flooding which occurred between June 16 and 23.

The Town of Taber’s community services department is requesting a 29.79 per cent increase to their proposed annual operating budget for 2015.
At a special budget meeting of town council held on Nov. 5, director of community services Rob Cressman presents the department’s annual operating budget to council for future deliberation.

The Town of Taber’s engineering and public works department is requesting a 9.65 per cent increase to their proposed annual operating budget for 2015.
At a special budget meeting of town council held on Nov. 5, engineering and public works director Gary Scherer presented the department’s annual operating budget to council for future deliberation.

Nov. 26
The preliminary Town of Taber 2015-2017 capital budget has been presented to town council, and includes almost $15.9 million in capital spending for the upcoming fiscal year.
At their Nov. 10 meeting, town council votes unanimously to accept the proposed capital budget as information. The budget presented to council is a preliminary document and was not passed, including many proposed capital purchases which will be reviewed prior to approval.

Town of Taber councillor and former member of the Taber Municipal Police Commission, Rick Rudy Popadynetz, is charged with assault with a weapon following an alleged incident of domestic violence.
Popadynetz appears personally in Taber provincial court on Nov. 18 before Judge D.G. Redman, and the charge is adjourned without plea to Dec. 2. According to provincial court documents, the alleged incident in question occurred on Nov. 2.

December
Dec. 3
Serious allegations about the quality of care being delivered for residents of Taber’s designated assisted living facility, Linden View, have been raised with Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Gary Bikman by concerned citizens.

Christmas caring is continuing in the community.
Coming of the heels of the successful Stuff a Bus campaign yesterday involving students from St. Mary’s, W.R. Myers, ACE Place and Taber Mennonite School getting food donations for the food bank, the 12 Days of Christmas campaign focusing on charity continues.

A visitor’s centre located near downtown Taber could be a boon to local businesses and be a welcome addition for visitors and local residents, according to the past president of the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce.

Dec. 10
In the wake of recent concerns raised over care pro- vided at the Linden View designated assisted living facility, Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Gary Bikman has been voicing constituent’s concerns in Edmonton.

A preliminary 2015 operating budget for the Town of Taber has been presented to town council, with admin- istration seeking input and guidance on revisions to the document prior to a final approval.
During a special budget meeting on Dec. 3, following deliberation town council votes unanimously to accept the proposed 2015 operating budget as information.

Taber town councillor Rick Popadynetz pleads not guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon which stems from an allegation of domestic violence in early November.

Dec. 17
Discussion of town contributions to community organizations in the proposed 2015 operating budget is held in camera following a resolution by town council.
During a special budget meeting on Dec. 3, following initial deliberation town council
voted unanimously to continue discussion of the matter in closed session, which bars members of the public or media from participation.

Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Gary Bikman is confident recent concerns raised by constituents about Taber’s designated assisted living facility Linden View are being addressed by the facility’s operator.
Bikman spoke last week with Good Samaritan Society president and CEO Shawn Terlson, who detailed the results of a meeting with concerned staff and family members which took place at Linden View on Dec. 8.

Dec. 24
Long-standing local law firm Baldry Sugden LLP has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year.
Partners Richard Sugden and Mark Baldry will be accepting the honour on behalf of the firm at the chamber’s Annual Dinner and Awards Night hosted on Jan. 16, 2015.

“There are some very angry, upset people,” says Gary Bikman.
But the southern Alberta MLA — one of nine Wildrose members who switched to the ruling Conservatives this week — reports he’s also getting positive feed- back from his Cardston-Taber-Warner constituents.

Taber town councillor Rick Popadynetz will stand trial on a charge of assault with a weapon in Taber provincial court on Feb. 5, 2015. The charge is in relation to an alleged incident of domestic violence. According to provincial court documents, the inci- dent in question occurred on Nov. 2. The Taber Police Service has declined to release any details surrounding the alleged offence.

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