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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archive: July 05, 2008 - Page 1

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Publication: Lethbridge Herald

Location: Lethbridge, Alberta

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   Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - July 5, 2008, Lethbridge, Alberta                                online edition www.lethbridgeherald.com ffURDAY, July 5,2008 f 1       ft -pi INSIDE TODAY: Dion takes plan to Calgary / A2  Mayerthoipe monument unveiled/A7  Jagr off to Russia/B2 Dragon awakened for another year HERALD PHOTO BY DAVID FULLER Members of the Hung Mun Athletic Club perform the "awakening the dragon" while spreading rice along the boats as a part of the opening ceremonies for the Lethbridge Dragon Boat Festival Friday evening at Henderson Lake. Racing begins this morning and continues through Sunday at Henderson. Step toward independence Pilot project helps get people back into the workforce and into their own homes By SHERRI GALLANT Lethbridge Herald If the streets downtown seem cleaner lately and the flowers in the planter barrels a little more perky, it's thanks to the work of a handful of homeless people involved in a new employment program being run by the Lethbridge Shelter and Resource Centre. "This gives us an opportunity to give die community a better image than die image that was being displayed, for lack of a better word," said Francis (who's also called Homer). Francis is one of about 10 men signed up for a pilot project geared toward getting people back in the workforce and into their own homes. He enjoys landscaping, and diiough the program, Francis is not only able to look after flowers downtown but to help maintain the plants and shrubbery around the shelter. Managed by job coach Al Atoa, who formerly drove the MUST van, the employment program's been running for about a month, with short-term funding provided through a grant from the City of Lethbridge, through the Heart of Our City program. Monday through Friday, Atoa takes a crew of six downtown from the shelter at about 6:30 a.m., dropping each person off to clean a route a few blocks long. In four weeks they've made friends, earned the appreciation of downtown businesses, gained confidence and made money. Wearing reflective harnesses and using equipment provided by the city, they pick up trash, sweep debris and water plants. The grant - $30,000 - isn't enough to employ as many as Atoa would like, but it's keeping six people busy for a couple of hours each morning. At $10 an hour, diey'll bank $100 a week-a start toward gaining independence. Atoa explains while the work provides paid employment, it's actually more of an employment-readiness regime, getting people who haven't worked in ages used to rising early, putting in a couple of productive hours a day and staying sober. When they're not working, Atoa conducts the sort of workshops that all employers HERALD PHOTO BY DAVID ROSSITER Joe Buck sweeps up around 4 Avenue and 6 Street South in a pilot employment project for the homeless shelter. could learn something from. "For them to get better with addictions we need to do workshops but for them to sit down and listen to life-skills lessons in a room doesn't work. So 1 take them fishing. We go along the river on the reserve and we talk about survival. But these guys are survivors. They've lived on the streets 24-7 and they know how to survive. They know what to do. "But it's making a difference. Instead of looking for what they're not supposed to do, they're saying Al, are we goin' fishin'?" For diose who want to stay in the work program, there's a no-alcohol rule during the week. Story CONTINUED on PageA2 11-year-old rescues drowning girl in Fort Macleod pool Rescue takes place while lifeguard was talking with a boy during the ordeal By DELON SHURTZ Lethbridge Herald A seven-year-old Fort Macleod girl nearly drowned while an on-duty lifeguard flirted with a boy only feet away. Jade Pack was at the Fort Macleod swimming pool last weekend when she jumped into the deep end, not realizing it was over her head. To her rescue came 11-year-old Samantha Bassett, who pulled Jade from the water only inches from where the lifeguard sat. "She was bobbing up and down, screaming at the top of her lungs, 'help!'" Bassett said of the struggling girl. Only inches away, almost directiy in front of the near-drowning girl, the young lifeguard chatted with a boy, possibly arranging a date or other activity. Bassett said she heard the lifeguard tell the boy, "yeah, sure, Saturday." Bassett was swimming in the deep end of the pool when she noticed Jade struggling to stay afloat. The little girl sank below the water, then as her toes touched bottom, she propelled herself to the surface, took a breath and screamed, before sinking again. Before attempting a rescue, Bassett looked to see if the lifeguard was preparing to jump into the water, but when she saw the lifeguard talking to a boy, she went after Jade herself. Even after she lifted Jade up on the pool deck, the lifeguard still didn't know anything had happened. "She was talking to the boy the whole time." Jade's mother, Amanda, is furious the lifeguard hasn't been Fired. She's also upset pool supervisors were defensive and blamed Jade and her uncle, who had taken her and his two young sons swimming. Amanda said the buoy rope, which normally divides the deep end from the rest of the pool and indicates the point which Jade isn't to go beyond, was not installed. And regardless of the circumstances or who might be to blame, she said the lifeguard's job is to rescue swimmers in trouble. "This is right in front of the (lifeguard) chair, but she was too busy talking to boys," Amanda said. "An 11-year-old child saved my daughter's life because a lifeguard didn't do her job." Amanda met Friday with town manager Barry Elliott, who said he is going to look into the incident before deciding on any course of action. "Of course we're concerned," Elliott told The Herald. He said he couldn't take immediate action since he hadn't heard about the incident until the meeting with Amanda. Nothing less than firing the lifeguard and stripping her of her National Lifeguard Service certificate will appease the upset mother, however. "Anything less than that then I'm getting a lawyer," Amanda said. "I don't think she deserves to be a lifeguard. She's not responsible enough to have tiiat position and I don't want to see this happen to somebody else. I don't want someone to lose their child." Story CONTINUED on Page A2 UofLdaycare closer to reality By DAVE MABELL Lethbridge Herald Work on a day-care centre could start soon at the University of Lethbridge. Tenders will be called this summer, officials say, and the long-sought facility could be open in time for the fall 2009 semester. Jen Prosser, academic vice-president of the U of L Students' Union, says the organization is pleased the university's board gave a go-ahead at a recent meeting. With the number of mature students taking courses and families living in accommodation on campus, the children's care facility will help meet a growing need. "This will help provide better accessibility," in a city where daycare spaces are chronically in short supply. Plans approved by the board would see a 54-space facility built on campus near townhouses in the Aperture Park residences. The site would provide room for expansion, as well as a fenced play area at one end of the single-storey building. Story CONTINUED on Page A2 Ag/Business	B4 Animal House	C5 Books	E6-7 Careers	E1 City	A3-5 Classified	D1-7 Colour comics	F8 Comics	F7 Deaths	D1 Entertainment	C7 Faith	F3 Homes	F4-5 Living	C3 Missing Pets	D8 Mutuals	B6-8 Opinion	A6 Puzzles	F6 Scoreboard	B3 Sports	B1-3 Stocks	B5 Theatres	C7 Travel	F1-2 Weather	D8 Price $1.43	_ Plus GST	 TO OUR 1SATIRN of LETHBRIDGE JUs."DawLUL NISSAN 0685503002722   

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