A year in review through Ponoka News headlines

STARS new helicopter just arrived in Alberta (Jan. 2)

  • Jan. 8, 2014 3:00 p.m.

STARS new helicopter just arrived in Alberta  (Jan. 2)

Ponoka Comp reviews actions after gun threat (Jan. 9)

Ponoka RCMP were called immediately. A partial lockdown was in place and staff were notified, shortly after that the student who allegedly threatened violence was placed in custody.

“Gentle” Ponoka man murdered at Calgary party (Jan. 16)

A young Ponoka Comp grad murdered at a Calgary house party last weekend is being remembered as a gentle giant of a man. Brett Wiese, 20, son of Jody and Brenda Wiese of Ponoka, was stabbed by two party crashers at a home in the northwest part of the city.

Ponoka: Impaired Driving Capital (Jan. 23)

“Welcome to the Impaired Driving Capital of Canada.”

RCMP Staff Sgt. Cameron Chisholm opened his presentation at the Jan. 15 Coffee with Council meeting with that provocative statement.

“It’s very sad when you have to say that but that’s the reality we have in front of us.”

Ag event centre board faces challenges to success (Jan. 30)

The Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) faces many challenges not the least of which is communicating its financial position to the community.

Family deals with pit bull bite to their child (Feb. 6)

Nine months after a pit bull bit a girl on her arm, requiring 14 stitches. the case went to court Jan. 29 as Jill and Rob Little, the parents of the girl bitten, wanted

to have certain conditions placed on the dog, such as being neutered, using a muzzle when going for a walk and obedience training.

County pulls support for ag event centre (Feb. 13)

Ponoka County has withdrawn its financial support for the Calnash Trucking Ag Event Centre. The decision was made after negations with the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) to create equitable representation on the board fell through.

Ag event centre manager fired (Feb. 20)

Ag event centre manager Chas Lambert has been fired. Just two and a half weeks after its annual general meeting, the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) fired Lambert on Feb. 13 without notice or reason.

Despite setbacks PAECS Board moving forward (Feb. 27)

Town considers options for new RCMP building (March 6)

Municipal development plan almost complete (March 13)

Airport requests money and membership (March 20)

Ponoka County council has been requested to renew its membership in Ponoka’s Airport Commission and resume returning tax revenue generated by the hangers, which is approximately $7,000. The county used to return the revenue to the airport but stopped more than one year ago.

Highway pile-up injures 100 on Highway 2 (March 27)

Ponoka residents face 2.44 per cent tax increase (April 3)

Teachers’ framework agreement ratified by school board (April 10)

The Alberta government’s teacher framework agreement has been ratified by Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) board of trustees.

New commercial area planned (April 17)

The property is located on 4800 60 Street just north of the Iron Horse restaurant, explained CAO Brad Watson at a regular town council meeting April 9. “They’re asking for a split zoning.”

PCHS designs new program (April 24)

An educational program designed to encourage schools to redevelop the way they support student learning has been extended for another three years.

Local street improvement contract amended (May 1)

Town balks on school resource officer (May 8)

Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) is going to have to look for another option to pay for a school resource officer (SRO). Ponoka town council has decided not to share the cost of a SRO with the division and Ponoka County.

Residents speak up on business bylaw (May 15)

A second public meeting was held May 7 at the Kinsmen Community Centre. The first meeting was held Jan. 15 — after council passed first reading on the business hours bylaw Nov. 27 — to hear from speakers including RCMP Staff Sgt. Cameron Chisholm.

Bonnett’s notice of motion falls flat (May 22)

The first notice of motion by Coun. Rick Bonnett to see some organizational changes to the Town of Ponoka’s administration fell flat in the town council. Some councillors were confused with the wording and felt the motion was more of a discussion item.

Town makes offer to 38th St. (May 29)

In an effort to bring issues to a close, the Town of Ponoka has offered $56,690 to 38 Street residents. This is the first acknowledgement from the town that residents were overcharged for services in a 2006 local improvement project.

Booze bylaw passes (June 5)

Ponoka’s business hours bylaw has passed by a vote of 4-3; liquor stores and off-sales liquor outlets must close by 10 p.m. — except during the official days of the Ponoka Stampede. Third reading of the bylaw was passed at council’s May 28 regular meeting, which left liquor storeowners stunned.

Ponoka baby born on Highway 2, healthy and strong (June 12)

Baby Pieter was born May 28 at 2:40 a.m. with a healthy weight of 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches long. But what is perhaps more remarkable is Pieter was born on Highway 2 at a truck pullout just south of Leduc.

Operations director Mikes Lewis resigns position (June 19)

Residents have choice as Gill joins race for mayor (June 26)

Town drops land price to speed up sale at industrial park (July 3)

A tabled motion from Coun. Rick Bonnett was brought back to council June 24 to make a final decision on a property in the Southwest Industrial Park. The price was reduced to $180,000 from $225,000 after councillors argued the merits of lowering the price.

New MDP in first stages of consultation (July 10)

Teen given probation for school threat (July 17)

The high school senior who threatened gun violence against his classmates via text message last Christmas has been sentenced to 12 months’ probation.

Ponoka CIBC robbed at knifepoint (July 24)

The CIBC in Ponoka was robbed at knifepoint July 17 at 10:30 a.m. Police are looking for a Caucasian man approximately 25 to 40 years old with a large mark on the back of his left hand between his thumb and index finger.

Permit application fees see an increase for developers (July 31)

Town adopts stormwater plan for developing annexed land (Aug. 7)

This plan ensures requirements are in place for development over a 358-hectare area northwest of Ponoka where lands were annexed into the town.

Bench project brings better access to downtown (Aug.14)

Creation of more rest stops is giving Ponoka’s aging residents an opportunity to be more active.

Lift station flood proofing project approved by council (Aug.21)

With flooding a big concern in Alberta, the Town of Ponoka is flood-proofing a lift station along the Battle Rive.

County council examines Bethany Group concerns (Aug. 28)

Ponoka County councillors are taking the Bethany Group to task over recent changes in operations at Golden Leisure Lodge in Rimbey.

Sewage seeps into homes after heavy rain downpour (Sept. 4)

Teri Underhill received a call at her home at 61 Avenue near 59 Street in the early morning hours of Aug. 12. It was from a neighbour whose basement was flooding with sewage and advised her to check the basement.

Town shuts down medical marijuana grow op (Sept. 11)

A medical marijuana grow operation licensed by the federal government has been shut down by the Town of Ponoka.

Ponoka’s MDP passes with few objections from residents (Sept. 18)

Landowners concerned with rezoning applications (Sept. 25)

Despite neighbours’ objection, Ponoka County council has approved two rezoning applications submitted by the same landowner, Dennis Hopper.

Airport lease rates increase (Oct. 2)

Airport lease rates in Ponoka are rising by five per cent.

Brothers run for office (Oct.9)

County resident Jerry Bonnett, 60, handed in his nomination for division 2 while his brother Rick, 47, put his name forward to be mayor for the Town of Ponoka.

Hobbema youth found shot to death in open area (Oct.16)

Hobbema RCMP and EMS crews responded to a call Oct. 12 at 8:43 a.m. of a youth found unresponsive in an open area of the Samson Cree Nation town site. The victim was identified as Teagan Johnson, 15, and it was confirmed by the medical examiner that the cause of death was a gunshot wound.

Mayoral race goes to recount (Oct. 23)

Monday’s elections in the town and county of Ponoka produced unexpectedly interesting results with mayoralty hanging in the balance, pending a recount and both town and county councils welcoming an overwhelming majority of fresh faces, with only one incumbent retaining their seats in each of the governing bodies.

Recreation top priority for new mayor (Oct. 30)

Stampede board, financially secure and looking to expand (Nov. 6)

County no longer seeks equal PAECS representation (Nov. 13)

After a unanimous vote among councillors, county is not seeking equal representation on the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) board — to match the Stampede Association and the Ponoka Agriculture Society — and is content with only one representative.

CIBC bank robber pleads guilty to summer robbery (Nov. 20)

The man charged with robbing the CIBC bank this summer has pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery at a recent court session in Cold Lake. Joseph Rodgers’ sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 29 in the same provincial court.

Ponoka staff laid off after Encana restructuring (Nov. 27)

Kohlman seeks resolution on 38 St. from new council (Dec. 4)

The unending story of 38 Street improvement dispute was once again on the agenda of the Town Council on Tuesday, Nov 26.

Ponoka sees growth in some areas in 2013 (Dec. 11)

Town approves 5.33 per cent tax increase for 2014 (Dec. 18)

Council approved the tax hike during its regular meeting Dec. 10, which provides an additional $256,000 in revenues.

County in good position heading into new year (Dec. 25)

Even as council faced its green beginnings and each councillor stepped into their learning curve, Reeve Paul McLauchlin says the culture of the county hasn’t changed and council remains focused on small government and the people.