Headlines: Jan. 20, 2023

· The Pulse
  • A new 24/7 temporary emergency shelter in west Edmonton is set to open Jan. 20 in a former hotel at 155th Street and Stony Plain Road. Operated by the Jasper Place Wellness Centre in partnership with the Tallcree Tribal Government, the shelter will open at 30% capacity and eventually have 209 spaces, including 59 private beds and 150 congregate living spaces. The facility was expected to be fully operational late last year but was delayed due to "unforeseen circumstances." It is expected to remain open until May 31.
  • The Edmonton Police Service said it has discontinued the use of the term "street check reports" and replaced it with "observed reports" and "officer contact reports." The service says observed reports are those made when officers do not interact with an individual, whereas officer contact reports happen when police do interact with someone and collect their personal information because they have the "duty, responsibility, or authority" to do so. Sgt. Jeffrey Westman, who presented the change to the Edmonton Police Commission, told reporters it makes the language more precise and avoids confusion with the provincial Police Act, which was amended in 2021 to ban carding and create regulations around street checks and how officers collect personal information the public. Chief Dale McFee told reporters the change was about doing a "reset" on street checks.
  • Erick Ambtman and Aneela Hussainaly were elected as the new chair and vice-chair of the Edmonton Police Commission at its annual general meeting on Jan. 19. "I am humbled to lead this diverse group of talented individuals making a difference in our city," said Ambtman. The positions are elected annually under the Police Act and the Edmonton Police Commission Bylaw.
  • TransEd said that two small cracks in concrete at Davies Station, which were photographed by a member of the public and posted to social media, are "non-structural" and unrelated to the cracked piers of the Valley Line Southeast LRT extension, which the company said have all been repaired. The photographed cracks at the corner of a construction joint between two concrete pours is the result of water and freeze-thaw cycles and will be sealed "like any other surface crack on the Valley Line" when temperatures are warmer, said spokesperson Dallas Lindskoog. Testing on the line continues but TransEd has not yet said when it will open for service.
  • Angelo and Teresa Gentili, a local couple, have been feeding their family and friends with fresh vegetables grown in a hydroponic garden in their basement, which produces year round. "There's a lot of information on how to build them on the internet," said Angelo, who made his vertical hydroponic towers out of PVC pipes for about $200 each. "It's not hard, anybody can do it really. All you have to do is go on YouTube."
  • Alberta received its first shipment of 250,000 bottles of liquid acetaminophen, a children's pain reliever, which will be distributed to hospitals immediately. The province ordered the medicine in late fall because of widespread shortages as hospitals faced a spike in several respiratory illnesses. An additional supply of 4.75 million bottles with child-proof caps that is also expected to arrive will be distributed to pharmacies for retail sale.
  • Raj Sherman, who formerly served as MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark with the Progressive Conservative party and as leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, announced he is seeking the United Conservative Party nomination in the Edmonton-Whitemud riding. Sherman launched a campaign to become leader of the UCP last June but was disqualified for not meeting the party's requirements for membership duration and supporting signatures.