* Wetaskiwin Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins announced he would be seeking his second term in office following the announcement that voters would be heading to the polls on Oct. 14 for a federal election. Other candidates who said they would be throwing their hats into the ring included Rita Dillon of Winfield who would represent the Liberal Party, Shawn Mann of Bluffton representing the Canadian Action Party, Les Parsons representing the Green Party and Tim Robson of the New Democratic Party.
* One of the community’s most politically active residents found himself south of the border to join the campaign to elect Barak Obama as the next president of the United States. A self-described “political junkie”, Joe Anglin spent 10 days in Montana working as an organizer in a rural county and planned on returning following the Canadian federal election.
* After living outside of the community for the better part of 20 years, Heather Torris returned to her old stomping grounds and became the new manager of the Rimbey Food Bank, and she couldn’t have picked a busier time to do so. Fresh off Thanksgiving demands, the local food bank was on the verge of another storm as they began preparations for an even busier Christmas rush.
* After a weekend that included a number of vehicle collisions, injuries and demands on the fire department, things went from bad to worse as emergency crews responded to Gull Lake to search for two men who had been reported missing in late-October. Unfortunately however, the bodies of 24 year-old Josh Groves and 45 year-old Kelly Birch, both of Red Deer were pulled from the frigid water a day after the search began.
* A Bentley gardener was recognized nationally for her efforts in growing one of the Top 10 organically-friendly gardens in Canada on the basis of an on-line vote that resulted in more than 5,000 ballots being cast. Bobbie Palanuik’s garden was selected as the first place entry in the Outstanding Ornamentals in the contest, which was sponsored by the David Suzuki Foundation.
* A merger announced on Nov. 1 saw branches of Community Savings – including the one in Rimbey, grow substantially as they joined with Servus and Common Wealth Credit Unions. With the merger, the assets of the new organization reached nearly $10 billion with 2,000 employees and 100 locations in 64 communities throughout central and northern Alberta.
* With the assistance of Ponoka County and a number of corporate partners, the revamped Bluffton Commemorative Memorial Park was officially opened on November 11 with dignitaries, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the public in attendance during the chilly ceremony. The long-neglected park on Bluffton’s northern edge underwent a major facelift that included extensive groundwork, four new flagpoles and a plaque attached to a large rock saluting the early pioneers and war veterans.
* Thanks to some dedicated and hard work from employees of the Rimbey Ambulance Service and the kids at the Rimbey Nursery School, less-fortunate children from impoverished nations around the world would have a happy holiday season as part of Operation Christmas Child. For five years emergency medical technicians have been spearheading local efforts to collect and process shoeboxes donated by the public and sent overseas. The 2008 campaign saw approximately 350 boxes collected in the Rimbey area.
* Thanks to the combined efforts of the Town of Rimbey, the local Chamber of Commerce and several non-profit groups in the community, residents throughout central Alberta can expect to see an icon aimed at representing the community in parades and fairs this coming summer in the form of a vintage 1934 International truck. Playing on the theme of the Smithson International Truck Museum, the ’34 was deemed to be a perfect fit in promoting Rimbey at various functions throughout the area.
* Wetaskiwin Member of Parliament Blain Calkins of the Conservative Party told the Rimbey Review that a coalition formed of members of the federal Liberal, New Democratic and Bloc parties lacked the public support needed to overthrow the government and form their own. “Neither the Liberals nor the Bloc Quebecois had a mandate to form a coalition. In fact they campaigned against it,” Calkins said. “… the NDP certainly does not have a mandate to implement a secret deal with a party that wants to break up Canada.”
* At first, the shelves were empty, then they were filled to capacity, and then they were very quickly left bare again, but it was all for a very good cause as the Rimbey Food Bank – along with the help of some very generous corporate sponsors and an army of hard-working volunteers, approximately 70 Christmas hampers were distributed to less-fortunate families in Rimbey and the surrounding area. Part of that assistance came in the form of a $5,000 donation compliments of ConocoPhillips.
* In partnership with Alberta Health Services and the DTHR Foundation, the David Thompson Health Trust awarded ten scholarships to assist individuals with their health care-based education including two from the local area. Michelle Costello of Bentley was presented with the Cec and Phyl Holmes Scholarship Fund while Emily Falk of Rimbey was presented with the Youth Volunteer Scholarship.
* The year 2008 was closed in the pages of the Rimbey Review just as it had started 12 months earlier with a synopsis of the events and newsworthy items that occurred in and around the community.