Following are several of the top stories included in Rimbey Review editions throughout the year that was 2009.
January 13 – Members of the Rimbey RCMP Detachment were pleased to report virtually no incidents in the area following New Year’s Eve celebrations. In fact, neither Const. Matt Benz nor Const. Holly Mueller issued an impaired driving charge, a 24-hour suspension or even requested a single breath sample from area motorists.
January 20 – An important volunteer-driven organization celebrated a big milestone as 2009 opened when, on Jan. 9, the Central Alberta Crime Stoppers Association celebrated 25 years in existence. Working as a liaison between the public and RCMP, Crime Stoppers has contributed greatly to hundreds of arrests and millions of dollars worth of drugs and stolen items being seized.
February 3 – Following the release of the federal budget aimed at mitigating the damages of a global economic crisis by pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure projects, Rimbey Mayor Dale Barr was cautiously optimistic about the community’s ability to take advantage of some of the funding. “Alberta doesn’t look to see a lot of direct benefit from this budget, but again, we’ll see what comes out in the final details.”
February 17 – At the Feb. 10 regular meeting of Bentley town council, it was revealed that the number of building permits had dropped over the previous 12 months. Council heard that $1.3 million in building permits were issued in 2008 for five new homes and renovations and/or expansions to existing homes while 2007 figures indicated $2.5 million in permits were issued for 10 new homes and one duplex.
March 10 – Several wolf pack attacks on domestic and farm animals were reported in the Rimbey area including one that resulted in the deaths of three llamas and an alpaca on the same farm. According to the provincial fish and wildlife office however, the attacks were no reason for alarm as the pack or packs were merely moving through the area and had deviated from their normal diet consisting mostly of deer and rabbits.
March 31 – An announcement reached the community that as part of fundraising efforts the Wild Pink Yonder tour would stop in Rimbey. Following a trail established in 1874 that was used extensively by early settlers and pioneers to the area, along with members of the North West Mounted Police, the tour was intended to raise funds for breast cancer research.
April 7 – During a visit to Rimbey, Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ray Prins said criticism of the provincial government’s controversial Bill 19 was little more than “fear-mongering”. Intended to give the government the right to expropriate land for current or future development, Prins said the bill should alleviate fears in the public regarding any negativity. “What we want to do is make it crystal clear what the intent of the bill is so that people feel protected.”
April 21 – After being oh-so-close, only to lose in the final the year before, the Bentley Generals exorcised a few demons by making it over the top and winning the 2009 Allan Cup championship as the best senior hockey team in Canada. Defenseman Diarmuid Kelly converted a backhand shot at 5:21 of the second overtime period to lift the Generals to a 4-3 win over the South East Prairie Thunder to secure the championship after three previous unsuccessful attempts.
May 5 – A letter to the editor that appeared in the Feb. 10 edition seeking information on a commemorative wooden coin issued by the Rimbey Co-op resulted in a meeting halfway around the world. Collectors Darryl Atchison and his son James of Carrigaline, Ireland were seeking information on the coin, which was issued in 1982. As a result, they were visited by Darren and Lawrence Schrader of Kamloops, B. C. who presented the Atchisons with one of the coins on behalf of their father Al, a previous resident of Rimbey.
May 19 - An overflow crowd was on hand at the Rimbey Seniors Drop-In Centre on May 8 for the grand opening of a new computer room. Named the Seniors Information and Resource Centre, computers and other high-tech equipment for the room was made possible through funding in the amount of $20,997 provided through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
June 9 – A meeting aimed at discussing and debating the route of a new proposed highway heading north of Secondary Highway 771 drew a huge and vocal crowd to the Homeglen Hall in early June. Up for debate was the issue of whether the highway should proceed directly north in a straight line or take two jogs to include the Rimbey Gas Plant. Either way, initial costs for the project were estimated to be between $19 million and $25 million.
June 23 – After a stint of 35 years with the national police force, long-time Rimbey Const. Bill Coulthard announced he was be retiring from the RCMP. Coulthard set an unofficial record in the RCMP by being stationed in the same location (Rimbey) for 25 years and was to make his retirement official in September. Coulthard’s announcement came just over one year after another long-time Rimbey officer, Cpl. Iain McLean, announced his retirement from the RCMP after 34 years of service.
June 30 – Just one week following the announcement that const. Bill Coulthard would be retiring from the Rimbey RCMP after 35 years of service, the public met Sgt. Mark Groves who would assume the position in Rimbey in September. Stationed in Whitehorse, Yukon, Groves said the opportunity to move his young family south, combined with what he saw in a previous visit here, made his decision easy. “Rimbey just hit all the points we were looking for in a community so I put in a request for a transfer…and that seems to have come through.”