2010 Airdrie Echo Year in Review.

Dec 29, 2010/By Scott Mitchell & Marie Pollock/Airdrie Echo


– Airdrie-Chestermere MLA Rob Anderson crosses the legislature floor, moving from the Conservative Party to the Wildrose Alliance, citing differences in philosophy. Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Heather Forsyth joins him.

– Mayor Linda Bruce announces she will seek a third term as mayor in the October election.

– Paul Schulz is named as the successor to retiring city manager George Keen.

– Midtown development in the inner city gets the green light from city council. The development would later be put on hold, due to landowner issues.

– RCMP shuts down a million dollar grow-op in Sagewood. Police seize 833 marijuana plants.

– George Keen reflects on his 13-year run as the city's CAO.

– Airdrie Koinonia Christian School tackles stereotypes by performing the play "Yearbook" as their annual theatre production. The students also made a contribution to the Alberta Children's Hospital and Open Doors Ministry.

– Mackinnley Collings arrives 11 days after her due date, and becomes Airdrie's New Year's Baby.

– Several organizations decide to hold fundraisers and collect donations to help relief efforts after the Haiti earthquake.


– City council votes 3-2 in favour of rezoning land next to Monklands Soccer Park for a controversial Habitat for Humanity development. Council chamber was packed throughout the entire two-month process.

– RVS investigates teacher conduct after a Muriel Clayton substitute teacher was caught on tape scolding a student.

– RCMP investigates a knifepoint robbery in Stonegate.

– Following a six-month pilot project in four Alberta communities, the RCMP and Alberta Sheriffs announce they are hitting the local highways full time.

– Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky agrees to meet with Mayor Linda Bruce about the city's integrated ambulance and fire service.

– City council takes the first step toward annexing land into Airdrie.

– Once confined to his darkened bedroom, Airdrie teen Dylan Nielsen is symptom-free after brain surgery in California.

– Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky talks to the Nielsen family about the family's ordeal and their dealings with the Alberta health care system.

– Terri Amey discusses the Dec. 9 crash on Highway 2 that landed her in a long-term care facility, recovering from multiple injuries.

– Google Street View expands to 130 new cities and towns across Canada, including Airdrie.

– Stephen's Backpacks Society launches a new initiative, called "Hugs for Haiti," to help with Haiti earthquake relief.

– Muriel Clayton Middle School student Caitlin Haacke starts collecting tents and sleeping bags from her classmates to be shipped to Haiti.

– Airdrie hosts its fourth annual World Religions Conference. The event brought together leaders from four major religions to discuss faith-related subjects.

– Planning begins for the 2011 Airdrie Regional Air Show after Peter Brown is elected chair of the Airdrie Regional Air Show Society.


– Construction of the Chinook Winds skate park nears completion as the snow begins to melt.

– The federal budget is announced, promising plans to curb spending, cut deficit.

– After a hostage scenario at a Calgary school, the Echo takes a look at RCMP plans if a similar situation were to occur in Airdrie.

– City announces new Think Airdrie campaign that will stress the importance of residents and businesses shopping locally.

– City officially, and emotionally, decides to move ahead with a standalone fire service.

– Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky makes his long-awaited appearance at city hall in Airdrie to meet with city officials regarding the integrated service. While he listened, in the end, nothing comes of the meeting.

– Nexen Inc. Announces plans to shut down a 49-year-old Balzac sour gas plant in the next 12 to 17 months.

– Airdrie posts a 3.3 per cent decrease in power consumption during 2010 Earth Hour.

– St. Martin de Porres High School raises more than $25,000 for Haiti earthquake relief. The school held a number of fundraisers since the beginning of the year, including t-shirt sales, and concession food sales. Many of the students also participated in a 24-hour famine.

– Former Wild Rose MP Myron Thompson follows in Rob Anderson's footsteps and joins the Wildrose Alliance.

– A man charged in connection with the 2009 kidnapping of an Airdrie woman is sentenced to 13 years in prison.

– The Students 4 Change group at George McDougall High School raise money for women's education in Afghanistan at the 7th Annual Breaking Bread Pot Luck Dinner for Afghan Women.

– Jacob Pryor, a student at Meadowbrook Middle School, decides to hold a jam session at his school to raise money for cancer research.


– City workers fire up the street sweepers as spring-cleaning begins.

– Council looks at a new false alarm bylaw that would implement fines for residents and businesses alarms going off with police response.

– Fire rips through Big Springs, destroying four homes on a quiet Monday night. Damage totals $3 million.

– RVS trustees are divided on capital project priorities.

– New Highway 2 barriers installed are designed to improve safety, stop vehicles from crossing into oncoming traffic.

– The community steps up to help three families left homeless by the fire in Big Springs, organizing numerous fundraisers across the city.

– Local artist Susan Harris donates one of her paintings to a silent auction to help fundraise for the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity for their Haiti relief efforts.

– Concert for a Cause, put on by Anita Anderson and Jenni Taylor, brings local musicians together and raises $11,000 for Haiti.

– The City of Airdrie opens the west side recycling depot.

– After 20 years living in Airdrie, and 14 years managing the Home and Garden Fair, Pat Jones moves away.

– The Home and Garden Fair moves to Genesis Place and attracts 9,000 people.

– The Volunteer of the Year awards recognize Kirsten Dyck, Pat Cashion, Murray Buchanan and the Airdrie Lioness Club.

– Cam Clark Ford and Airdrie residents Stan and Jane Grad donate a cargo van to the Airdrie Food Bank.


– In town for the dedication of Good Shepherd School, Education Minister Dave Hancock promises solutions to the growing concern over the lack of schools in Airdrie.

– Nine years after she lost her grandson, Andrew West, to a tragic train accident, Betty Melik is still championing train track awareness and safety.

– RVS trustees fight over school priorities in Airdrie and Chestermere.

– Years in the making, the city breaks ground on a new east side fire hall on May 17. The King's Heights station will serve as a satellite station for the future Chinook Winds main hall.

– The fire in Big Springs is ruled an accident, but investigators can't name the exact cause of the April blaze.

– The province confirms it will take over ambulance delivery July 1 even though the city was holding out hope a deal could be struck.

– A lone suspect robs the CIBC in Crossfield at gunpoint.

– One hundred and fifty women aged 12 to 69 take part in the women's only Try-A-Triathlon at Genesis Place.

– A benefit concert raises $2,500 towards helping the people who lost their homes and possessions in the fire in Big Springs.

– Local author Farhana Dhalla releases her book, Thank You For Leaving Me, which details her spiritual journey after her divorce.

– Good Shepherd School celebrates the end of its first academic year with a dedication ceremony attended by trustees, dignitaries and Education Minister Dave Hancock.

– Nose Creek Elementary School students Taegen Domstad and Avneet Khehra start up the "Friendship Finders" at Nose Creek Elementary. The group walks around the playground during recess looking for students who don't have anyone to play with.

– Airdrie civil engineering student Silvia Fernandez Avila is awarded a one-time national scholarship worth $10,000.

– Airdrie residents Vern Raincock and Keith Ogilvie are selected to pitch their business idea on CBC's Dragons' Den.

– Five Airdrie students advance to the Canadian Skills competition after placing first in their skill categories at the Alberta Skills competition.

– Airdrie resident Wendy Medley discusses her diagnosis and subsequent battle with Multiple Sclerosis, and helps to bring awareness to the disorder during Multiple Sclerosis month.


– Construction begins on a new CrossIron Mills overpass that will ease traffic on Highway 566.

– A break and enter to Airdrie's legion has president Dino Michaud wondering if it was an inside job. More than $5,000 in cash was stolen from the safe.

– Wildrose Alliance MLA Rob Anderson dismisses a new provincial education report, saying there isn't a concrete plan to deal with the school shortage.

– Taxi companies adjust to the first month of new regulations imposed by the city, including new base fares.

– A Fortis float ironically powers down the Crossfield Pete Knight Days rodeo parade after it hits a wooden power pole.

– Airdrie Council of School Councils is formed to deal with the school crisis head on.

– First Student Canada announces plans to axe its commuter service in the fall when the city launches its Intercity Express Service (ICE).

– More than 200 participants brave the elements and walk for 12 hours at Airdrie's 2nd Annual Relay for Life event.

– R.J. Hawkey Elementary School introduces its controversial Learning in Engaging Networked Settings (LENS) Program, which groups students according to their interests, and teaches them the curriculum using that focus.

– The Mayor's Recreation for Life Run attracts 400 participants and raises $14,000 for Phase III of Genesis Place.

– Two students from Bert Church High School receive gold medals at the Skills Canada competition for their work in 2D animation.

– Airdrie's new skate park opens to unanimous praise from the community's youth.

– The fourth annual Airdrie Empty Bowls Festival is hailed a success, after an estimated 1,500 visitors attend in support of the Airdrie Food Bank.

– Alberta's "Marathon Man" Martin Parnell pays a visit to Airdrie's Good Shepherd School. Parnell was running his 103rd marathon, of a series of 250 throughout the year.

– Terri Amey, who survived a crash on Highway 2 in December 2009, meets the two pilots and a paramedic from STARS who helped rescue her from her car.

– Only three weeks after its opening, Airdrie's new skate park is vandalized.

– City council approves a $4 million renovation to the Plainsmen Arena.


– The Rat Hole is no more, as the Yankee Valley Boulevard interchange opens ahead of schedule and under budget. The $42 million provincial project took less than two years to complete.

– Census results suggest population growth is levelling off. The 4.56 per cent growth shown by the 2010 head count is the lowest in 11 years. A total of 39,822 people now live in Airdrie.

– Mayor, aldermen get pay raises from five-member ad hoc remuneration committee.

– Former Liberal candidate John Burke voices his displeasure with MLA Rob Anderson's actions.

– The first election shoe drops, as two-term alderman Shawn Howard announces he will not seek a third term.

– Veteran alderman Marlene Weaver is also stepping away after three terms.

– Marshall Walton overcomes drug addiction and suicidal thoughts to graduate from Bert Church High School with honours.

– Thousands of residents set up camp on Main Street to watch the Canada Day parade.

– Provincial MLAs best the Federal MPs 16-15 at MP Blake Richards' second annual Wild Rose Hockey Challenge.

– Airdrie's Holly Veillard decides to undergo the controversial "Liberation Procedure" to see if it will help relieve some of her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.

– Sobeys opens in Airdrie, making it the city's first 24-hour grocery store.

– Jason Labait discusses his choice to remain with the fire department, while Stephen Scott moves over to Alberta Health Services to be a full time paramedic after the integrated service split.

– A number of Airdrie residents shave their heads or cut their hair in support of cancer research.

– Two Airdrie residents participate in the Weekend to End Women's Cancers walk in Calgary.

– Lorraine Parkinson and Tracy Work are nominated for the UFA Small Town Heroes Award.


– A CP train carrying anhydrous ammonia derails 1.5 kilometres north of Airdrie, causing fear of a full-scale evacuation of north end residents.

– Fire breaks out in Sunridge, destroying one home. The fire was determined to be caused by linseed oil rags on the back porch.

– Bert Church High School teacher Skye McGowan is killed in a B.C. car crash on August long weekend. The English and philosophy teacher is remembered fondly by students and staff as a lover of language.

– CP finishes the cleanup of wrecked train cars without incident.

– The city makes adjustments to its ICE service following First Student Canada's commuter cancellation. Traxx Coachlines also announces plans to start a commuter service.

– A black bear is caught wondering the city's northwest.

– CrossIron Mills is hit by a sophisticated skimming scam of various stores' debit machines.

– An Airdrie couple is arrested following a wild Bonnie and Clyde chase through the area following a break and enter near Carstairs.

– Ald. Richard Siemens explains his decision to move on from council after 18 years.

– Airdrie hosts the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's Batting Against Breast Cancer baseball tournament. The competition raises $100,000 for the cause.

– The 10th Annual Summer Classic Show and Shine raises more than $10,000 for local charities.

– Vanessa Thain starts fundraising so she can participate in the Impact Apprentice 2010 competition in Toronto.

– Kirsten Dyck is named a finalist in the Direct Energy Volunteer Citizen of the Year. She received $1,000 to donate to the Airdrie Food Bank.

– Airdrie United Church opens its doors to the Muslim community to give them a local venue for their nightly prayers during the month of Ramadan.


– After long delays, a plan to build a horse racing track and casino near CrossIron Mills is revived.

– First Student Canada wants to offer commuter transit once again after initially deciding to cut the service.

– Well-known resident, former city employee Peter Brown announces his intention to run for mayor in October.

– Lifelong resident, 27-year-old Ross Mann announces he is running for mayor.

– Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith talks about the need for more schools outside Ralph McCall School Sept. 9.

– Airdrie man Jordan Darda goes missing following a Labour Day weekend camping trip near Jasper.

– The body of Darda is found Sept. 16, 10 days after he was scheduled to return home.

– Airdrie businessman Bradley Oneil gets a five-year prison term for bilking tourists out of GST refunds.

– A daytime attack at the Yankee Valley Crossing shopping complex is thwarted by election candidate Allan Hunter after a boy is kicked in the head by an unknown attacker.

– Two Airdrie residents announce their intention to run for alderman.

– The new skate park has its official grand opening.

– A Crossfield woman opens up an animal rescue shelter next to her store. She covered all the building fees herself.

– The three incumbent aldermen discuss their decision to run for council again, while five other Airdronians also announce their intentions to run.

– Three RVS trustees announce that they will be seeking re-election.

– Mayor Linda Bruce discusses her decision to run for re-election, while five more residents announce their intention to run for alderman.

– The first annual Airdrie Fest draws 2,000 people.

– Rocky View County approves a land use redesignation application from the Airdrie and District Agricultural Society. The Ag Society plans to use the site for an agricultural facility.

– Airdrie soldier Captain Christopher Nixon returns from Afghanistan in 2010 and looks back on his seven-month deployment.

– The two Rocky View Schools trustees who represent the City of Airdrie are acclaimed after election nominations officially close. The RVS trustee for rural Airdrie, and the trustee for the city's Catholic school division, will be facing opposition at the polls.

– Four more Airdrie residents announce that they are running for alderman.

– Pat Cashion is announced as the recipient of the newest Winning Edge Award: the Business Leader Award.

– Iron Horse Park may be facing re-location or permanent closure in 2017 when its lease expires with the City of Airdrie.

– Six people decide to run for four councillor seats in Crossfield.


– Resident pack into Bert Church Theatre to listen to election candidate platforms. The full house is treated to an entertaining night, including one supporter being kicked out by the moderator.

– Candidates fume over ex-city manager George Keen writing columns for a local newspaper.

– ICE service starts rolling, making Airdrie the first community to provide a service linked into the Calgary transit system.

– In a surprise result, Peter Brown unseats Linda Bruce in the mayoral race Oct. 18. The first-time candidate topples the incumbent by over 1,000 votes.

– Ron Chapman and Allan Hunter are elected, as aldermen in their first try, while Kelly Hegg, Glenda Alexander and Fred Burley are all re-elected. Murray Buchanan is also elected after a six-year hiatus from council.

– A recount is needed after Hunter beats out candidate Darrell Belyk by eight votes. The recount confirms the original outcome.

– Tim Harriman, the Airdrie resident who biked across Canada in 2007 to support children's cancer research, dies from cancer at the age of 22. An estimated 1,200 people attend his funeral service at George McDougall High School.

– Airdrie resident Chelsea Restall puts her name forward for consideration to be the host of Canadian television series Paradise Hunter.

– Linda Lundeen battles terminal cancer, while putting together 60 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

– Ten chairs painted by local artists are auctioned off at the AIRdirondack Art Project Auction Gala. The event raised $10,000 towards an arts centre in Airdrie.

– With no time to make it to the hospital, Colette and Derek Stamp are forced to deliver their baby in their home. With the help of four paramedics, baby Isaac was delivered without complications.

– The Great Pumpkin Food Drive collects 700 pounds of food and $2,000 for the food bank.


– After being elected the new mayor of Crossfield, Nathan Anderson sits down with his brother, MLA Rob Anderson, to talk politics.

– A busy year of Highway 2 roadwork finishes up, easing the commute between Crossfield and Calgary.

– The new city council tables the budget the first time after concerns about a franchise fee. The first draft proposed a six per cent tax hike.

– An Airdrie man is found dead inside a Big Hill Circle home after a struggle with another man. Police call the death suspicious and no charges are immediately laid.

– Education Minister Dave Hancock changes his tune on the Airdrie school crisis, saying Airdrie is the top priority in the province.

– Muriel Clayton Middle School student Leah Moore prepares to present her petition for more schools to the Alberta legislature.

– Canadian rock bank The Trews, joined by Tim Chaisson, perform at Bert Church Theatre.

– An Airdrie family who lost their home in a fire is given a cheque for $6,500 from the Calgary Bantam Football Association.

– Veteran Weldon Stacey looks back on his time serving as a Royal Air Force pilot during the Second World War.

– Airdrie RCMP Const. David Henry is awarded the Alberta Youth Officer of the Year for his work in schools in St. Albert, Alta.

– Joan Bell, owner of Airdrie Yoga and Fitness, is named one of the top 50 MOMpreneurs in Canada by MOMpreneur magazine.



– After RCMP raids a number of grow-ops in a seven week period, the Echo takes a look at whether or not Airdrie is becoming a haven for criminals and what effect the grow-ops have on the community.

– The city drops rates on its ICE commuter service after Leduc starts a similar transit service into Edmonton.

– In its second appearance before city council, the budget barely passes in a tight 4-3 vote. It includes a 4.9 per cent tax increase.

– Armed robbers hit a Main Street gas station.

– A controversial Habitat for Humanity project is shelved because of financial issues.

– The Airdrie Festival of Lights kicks off its 15th year. Due to insufficient revenue in the last two years, entertainment and the gift shop were cut from this year's festival.

– Genesis Place celebrates the one-year anniversary of the opening of Phase II.

– Creative Airdrie announces the Main Street Art Project, which will showcase works of art from local organizations at the former site of the Old Hotel.

– Former Airdrie resident Jason (J.S.) Johnson serves as co-writer, co-producer and director of his first feature length film, Truth.

– Balzac author Nancy M. Bell prepares to release her short story, The Oak King's Daughter, which will be released as an e-book in January.

– Staff and students of Our Lady Queen of Peace School collect $1,000 through various fundraisers to purchase a bench in honour of former student Chad Pearson, who died last year from a brain tumour.

– Exchange student Tahseen Jamnagarwala discusses her experience coming from India to Airdrie on a year-long exchange.

– A number of local businesses and schools put on holiday fundraisers benefiting the Airdrie Food Bank.


– Compiled by Scott Mitchell and Marie Pollock

Article ID# 2909207

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