June 21st, 2024

MHPS, Hatters have busy August long weekend

By Gillian Slade on August 7, 2018.


For many people the long weekend was an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors but police were kept on the hop with twice as many arrests, the Medicine Hat Police Service reported.

“We had all kinds of things going on on Friday,” said MHPSStaff Sgt. Ryan Thorburn. “One individual was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of meth for the purpose of trafficking and other drug-related charges.”

Four people with outstanding warrants were arrested, four people were taken into custody for being intoxicated in public. Typically on a Friday night you would see one or two, said Thorburn. Four arrests were made that related to mental health issues triggered either by calls from family members or close friends who had concerns about the person’s well-being.

There were three or four physical assaults with some being domestic issues and one an aggravated assault, which is a higher level and is considered a “very significant file”, said Thorburn.

There were two vehicles stolen, one of which was recovered on Monday, said Thorburn.

For Hatters the long weekend was a chance to spend time with family and friends and enjoy outdoor activities.

No wind and plenty of sunshine Monday morning made ideal conditions for early risers to enjoy some paddleboarding, said Christy Wickenheiser, who was already inflating her paddleboard by about 9:30 a.m. at Echo Dale Regional Park’s boat launch.

This is her third year paddleboarding. She explained she would be standing on the board and paddling her way down the South Saskatchewan River all the way to Strathcona Island Park. Her mother was going to meet her there and drive her back to Echo Dale to retrieve her vehicle later.

Two young children wanted nothing more than a chance to do a little fishing this weekend. Even though they had not been successful in catching any fish the process itself was enough to provide plenty of enjoyment, said Brittany LeBlanc who was supervising her daughter Josephine, 2, and son Luca, 6. They had packed a picnic and were planning to move to the shade as the temperature increased.

In anticipation of the warmer temperatures later in the day, Rod Canham had made an early start taking his dog, Rayne, 7, out for a walk at Echo Dale.

Nearly 500 visitors stopped in at the Tourist Centre this weekend, said Jace Anderson, executive director Medicine Hat Destination Marketing Organization. Some of the visitors were looking for information on campsites and places to stay but the bicycles, that are available to borrow, are also becoming increasingly popular.

There is no charge to use the bikes, helmets and a lock is provided. Users are required to sign an online waiver and leave a photocopy of picture identification.

“Those bicycles were loaned out 11 times this weekend,” said Anderson. “They’re very popular year round.”

From the Visitor Centre location there is easy access to the 115-kilometre trail network and there are trail maps at the Visitor Centre. Staff provide direction depending of the type of riding experience people are looking for.

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