red deer advocate, september 16, 2015

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September 16, 2015 edition of the Red Deer Advocate


  • An Innisfail dog owner is heartbro-ken after someone used chocolate to kill her beloved pooch.

    Kim Barlow said someone threw enough pure bakers chocolate into her backyard to slaughter all three of her dogs some time between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Aug. 27.

    They cut up a re-usable shopping bag and made a bowl out of it, said Barlow. They broke up all the bakers chocolate into chunks and dropped it over our fence. It was clearly inten-tional. There was definitely enough

    chocolate to kill all of them.Barlow said her husband let the

    dogs out in the morning and picked up the makeshift bowl and set it in the house. Barlow said she did not give it too much thought. She went about her day and came back home about half an hour later to find her Akeela, her Australian shepherd, dead at the foot of the stairs.

    Police issued a press release last week asking for information that may identify the person responsible for the death. They confirmed the dog died due to complications related to the chocolate.

    Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant that is poisonous to dogs.

    The vet said the chocolate speeds up the heart and she had a massive heart attack and died, said Barlow. There had to be some pain involved. I think she was just playing like she normally does.

    Her other two dogs ate some choco-late but made it to the vet in time.

    Barlow said it took Akeela about six hours to die after eating the chocolate . She said Akeela was not acting strange and did not show any signs of distress.

    I am not doing well, said Barlow. She was not yet four years old. Ive had her since she was born. She was like my therapy dog.


    BLAIRMORE A candlelight vig-il meant to lend hope and support in the search for a missing two-year-old girl dissolved in grief Tuesday night as RCMP informed the crowd that investi-gators had discovered human remains.

    As an official with victims services announced the Amber Alert for little Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette had been cancelled, one young woman crashed into a friends arms and sobbed. Oth-ers sniffed quietly and wiped away tears. Some just stood in stunned si-lence.

    A group cocooned Haileys grand-mother in an embrace.

    This is the news that nobody want-ed to hear, said Crowsnest Pass May-or Blair Painter. This is going to dev-astate our community and its going to take us a long time to heal from this.

    RCMP confirmed in a news release that information they had received led them to what they believed to be Hai-leys body in a rural area near Blair-more on Tuesday afternoon.

    The RCMP extends its deepest con-dolences to Haileys family, said RC-MP Supt. Tony Hamori. This is a sad day for the citizens of Blairmore and all Canadians who have held this little girl in their thoughts and prayers since Monday.

    He said nothing much else could be said about the investigation at this point, other than to thank the public and the media for helping us find Hai-ley.

    Hailey had been abducted ear-ly Monday morning from the town of Blairmore, 220 km southwest of Cal-gary, by someone driving a speeding white van.

    Her father, Terry Blanchette, 27, was found dead in their home and po-lice believe his death was a homicide.

    Mounties have a 22-year-old suspect in custody.

    The tragic photo of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi whose body washed up on a Turkish beach evoked powerful emotions earlier this month.

    Dr. Saman-tha Nutt, one of the founders of the Canadi-an humanitari-an agency War Child, said its a photo that War Chi ld would never use even though its work-ers are con-fronted with similar images without exag-geration dai-ly.

    But I also think there are times in human histo-ry we need to be confronted by ugly truths of it all. And I think that that particular photo captured misery and put a face to a reality that the numbers in and of themselves, as overwhelming as they were, never provoked action, said Nutt, who will speak at the Herr Lecture Series at Burman University on Thursday night in Lacombe.

    I think that people do need to con-front sometimes the hard truth of it all.

    Red Deer AdvocateWEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2015

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    WEATHER 30% showers. High 13. Low -2.

    Syrian crisis one of many:


    Human remains found in Amber Alert case




    RCMP investigations continue at the scene of the disappearance of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore Tuesday.

    Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

    Although not officially here yet, autumn in Central Alberta is certainly on its way. Cooler temperatures, shorter days and the colours of the forest are heralding the changing of the season. Here some people out for a walk in the park enjoy the colours as they cross the pedestrian bridge in Coronation Park at the bottom of the Ross Street in Red Deer on Tuesday.


    Please see HOMICIDE on Page A3


    Dog killer on the looseBY CRYSTAL RHYNO




    Please see WAR CHILD on Page A2Please see DOG on Page A2

    Story on PAGE D4

    Prescription denied by AlbertaAn Alberta mother whose daughter has severe

    epilepsy has travelled to Ontario for a medical mar-ijuana prescription after the girls doctor said he was no longer allowed to provide permission to pur-chase the product.

    FALLEN HEROFALLEN HEROSteve Fonyo focused on rebuilding troubled lifefollowing documentary about him

    Story on PAGE C5


    Defenceman not far off from

    playing full time


  • WAR CHILD: Empowers local people

    Founded in 1999, War Child focuses on empower-ing local people and organizations to lead their own recovery from the devastation of war.

    When I saw that photo of Alan, my heart broke, said Nutt, a medical doctor who has spent two de-cades working with children and their families in major world crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Darfur and Sudan.

    Nutt was in Syria about one year ago where War Child works with people who have fled refugee camps because of threats due to ethnic and regional divisions within the camps.

    Security is a huge issue in camps. There are a lot of women and children especially that dont feel safe. You can have water and sanitation and shelter, but if you dont feel secure and you feel threatened every day, then you wont stay there.

    She said refugees in the community are not al-lowed to work, face terrible poverty and live in bru-tal conditions.

    As this crisis enters into its sixth year, not sur-prisingly, people who have been living out in the community with no resources, no means of employ-ment, are becoming increasingly desperate and ma-ny of them are the ones who are pushing forward and trying to get to Europe.

    As the mother of a 10-year-old son, Nutt said she understands why families make those very, very dif-

    ficult choices to try to escape.We all would do anything, especially for our

    children, to keep our children safe, to help build a better life for them. Many of these are families, the parents know its going to be harder for them. They know they dont speak the language. They know its going to be hard for them to find a job. They know their skills are not transferable. Theyll be complete-ly culturally dislocated.

    Many refugees dont have the money, often from family elsewhere in the world, to pay a smuggler in an attempt to leave, she said.

    Nutt said the swell of refugees arriving in Greece is directly tied to the compassion fatigue seen ear-lier in the Syrian crisis.

    When the war first hit, there was a tremendous outpouring of support, major commitments of fund-ing from international governments. Then as the crisis drags on, those funds become fewer and fewer and harder to access and support services levels drop.

    But Alans photo generated a lot of international attention and discussion and in Canada pushed the four federal parties to come out with their foreign policy platforms during the election, Nutt said.

    Its amazing, even for an old cynic like me. I didnt think that was possible. Its encouraging. Well see what happens. Its putting a human face onto this crisis and hopefully that compassion wont be fleeting. Unfortunately far too often it is and its that fleeting nature of that compassion that has actually contributed to what were seeing now.

    The Syrian crisis is just one that needs attention. According to reports from refugee camps in Uganda, there will be an estimated 800,000 South Sudanese refugees by the end of the year, she said.

    Right now were responding to the crisis in South Sudan. Its a country where weve been operating for many, many years. The violence has intensified with

    horrific acts of abuse against children. Reports of young kids being being brutalized. Little boys being castrated and little girls being raped.

    Weve been intensely focused on how many Syr-ian refugees were going to accept, but we also need to look at our refugee policy across the board and make sure its fair and transparent and equitable be-cause there are a lot high need groups, Nutt said.

    Nutts talk, Conflicte