· The Pulse
By Mack Male and Doug Johnson

  • Wastewater analysis suggests that the province is entering yet another COVID-19 wave, spurred on by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Casey Hubert, Campus Alberta Innovates Program chair in geomicrobiology, said the analysis shows that Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, and other municipalities are in the fifth wave.
  • Trisha Estabrooks, chair of the Edmonton Public School Board, told Postmedia in a year-end interview that the board is optimistic the provincial government will invest in its capital project wish list. "Even though we've just opened up a brand new high school, a number of our high schools remain at or above capacity," she said.
  • Kath Oltsher, executive director of Zoe's Animal Rescue Society, said that rescues around town are struggling since Edmonton's Animal Care and Control Centre announced it will temporarily cease taking in new healthy animals due to a shortage of staff. "Dogs are a little bit tough too right now, especially because with the pandemic, puppies are being sent to rescue now because so many people got so many puppies a year ago," Oltsher said.
  • Local author Marty Chan will be hosting two online workshops for students, after the news that they won't be returning to class until Jan. 10. The first session is for youth in Grades 3-6 and will be held on Jan. 5; the second is for students in grades 5-9, and will be held Jan. 6. "I have a personal agenda, a personal passion, for inspiring kids to read and write," Chan told CTV News.
  • A local man has turned his front yard into a long snow slide, complete with twists and makeshift guardrails. Jesse Boulet said that, since the first deluge of snow this winter, he has spent around 60 hours working on the project.
  • Now that the holidays are over, the city will collect real Christmas trees from residents early next week. A tree should be placed un-bagged and on its side in a home's pick-up area, by Jan. 10 at 7am.
  • PCL Construction and its staff have donated $26,000 to Edmonton's Food Bank. "It's been another difficult year for society in general, but it's been fantastic to see business technology and marketing and communications come together to show how our PCL culture rises to the occasion for those in need," said PCL CIO Mark Bryant.