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Cameras considered for school buses

Mounting cameras on school buses to catch illegally passing motorists that endanger students could be a last resort for the Wolf Creek School Division.
Motorists are supposed to know it’s against the law to pass a stopped school bus, while its red lights are flashing.
In Alberta drivers that don’t come to a full stop can be fined $414, and have six demerits registered on their license.
Yet, 60 vehicles failed to stop when buses were loading or unloading Wolf Creek students in the 2013-2013 school year.
And that’s only counting the license plates bus drivers managed to jot down, said the district’s transportation manager Rick Williams.
Whether these drivers are in a fog and don’t see the bus, are unaware of the law, or simply don’t care, Williams said, “it’s a very serious problem that needs to be addressed for the sake of our children.”
The Wolf Creek School Division is starting an education campaign about school bus safety, which includes mounting magnetic sign boards along rural roads that are known to have lots of passing violations.…


County council pay drawing concerns

INNISFAIL — York County councillors admitted Tuesday they failed to consult taxpayers before handing themselves a 46 per cent pay hike.
“Maybe we did err by not involving the public. They didn’t know and they should always be involved,” Councillor Penny Archibald told taxpayers at a town hall meeting west of Innisfail.
In February, council unanimously voted for an annual salary of $30,000 plus about $3,500 in per diems for attending meetings. That compared with $23,000 earned previously in annual combined salary and per diems.
Councillors, who had never before discussed the raise in public, argued salaries should be high enough to attract quality candidates to run for election.
Questioned about the raise on Tuesday, Councillor Stan Bell said he received calls from taxpayers who believed council picked the salary figure “out of the air” and made a quick, arbitrary decision.
Bell said councillors had actually talked about wages for more than a year and had looked at salaries in other municipalities.…


Courting the new immigrant

Axel Griesshaber said “auf wiedersehen” to his family and left Germany last month to work at a York kitchen cabinetmaking shop.
With his snowboard and luggage in tow, the 33-year-old was ready to embark on a new life in Canada and in particular, use his specialized skills at Robco Cabinets Ltd.
Last fall, Griesshaber graduated with a university degree in wood technology. Jobs are scarce in Germany, plus Griesshaber already had in mind he wanted to work in an English-speaking foreign county.
“In my field, it is really tough,” he said of finding work at home. “When I left, there was an unemployment rate of 11 per cent.”
Griesshaber applied internationally through the Internet and Robco replied with interest.
“They called me before Christmas and then we had a telephone conference call,” he said.
He kept in touch with company management through e-mails and in late January, met with owner Rob Brunner in Switzerland.…