NOVEMBER 2012: Three small schools saved by the bell

Lane Turigan, 18, of Stettler died at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary from injuries sustained in an Oct. 13 highway crash

  • Jan. 2, 2013 9:00 a.m.

Donalda Mayor Bruce Gartside (left) was joined by Beth Fulton and County of Stettler Reeve Wayne Nixon as they addressed the Clearview School Division in November in an effort to save the community’s school.

Lane Turigan, 18, of Stettler died at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary from injuries sustained in an Oct. 13 highway crash about 20 kilometres from Stettler.

Turigan was the driver of the truck that left Highway 11 at the sharp turn just before the Highway 12 intersection in foggy conditions during the wee hours of that Saturday morning.

Friends and family members remembered Turigan as a carefree and fun-loving sort who lived life to the fullest.


Stettler Independent district columnist Jacqui Goddard, a Rumsey correspondent for the past 50 years, died at age 75.

For half a century, Goddard penned the Rumsey and district news for the Independent and the Drumheller Mail.


The Stettler region was in shock after the sudden death of Halkirk-area farmer Steve McKnight, who died in a Nov. 16 farm accident.

McKnight, 59, made an impact in farming and teaching, and had a passion for sports, his friends and colleagues said.


Donalda residents feared their community was in jeopardy if Clearview School Division goes ahead with proposed plans to consider closing Donalda School, along with small schools in Byemoor and Brownfield. Donalda Mayor Bruce Gartside told the school board that Donalda wouldn’t be much of a community without a school.


The County of Stettler hired Rick Green as its first director of engineering “to provide the county with expertise and save funding in outside engineering costs and contracts.”


Bob Byers of Stettler and Rev. David Lilly of Big Valley each received a special Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from federal Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson. Heartland Youth Centre executive-director Winnie Bissett earlier received a medal. Lilly has been a longtime Metis minister, while Byers has served in conservation roles for many years.


The boardroom was packed for the Clearview School Division board meeting, at which trustees voted 6-1 against a motion to consider closing Donalda, Byemoor and Brownfield schools. The trustees also decided to gather more information to try to effectively evaluate the sustainability of all schools in the district.


The Town of Stettler council welcomed news that more police officers would be added locally in the next five years.

Two more officers are pegged for the County of Stettler.


Residents from the Stettler, Castor, Forestburg and Bashaw communities showed Christmas-giving spirit in collecting a record 1,247 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The boxes are bound for impoverished children in Central America. The 2012 count broke the previous year’s mark of 901, after the Stettler Alliance Church depot inadvertently received a double order of 1,200 boxes this fall.


Faye Blakely was honoured provincially after retiring from her 27-year job with Stettler and District Family and Community Support Services, most recently as administrator. She received an award of merit from FCSS Alberta Foundation in Edmonton.

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