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A year in review: November 2021

From sports parents getting bad-behaviour tickets to home teams winning volleyball zone banners, November was one for the books.
  • Like much of Alberta, local food banks said they saw more people coming in as the pandemic continues to put a strain on finances. So far this year the Oilfields Food Bank has served 494 more adults, 84 more than last year and 306 children - double the number of 2020.
  • A man upset over COVID restrictions was issued a ticket for yelling, swearing or screaming in public for an incident at the Black Diamond Arena Oct. 5. A 38-year-old male from Black Diamond, whose name is not being released, was fined $150 under a bylaw ticket in mid-October. He was also banned from the arena for a month, which ended on Nov. 12
  • The Foothills Eagles capped a banner season with a triumphant title. Foothills mixed its passing and running attack to great effect and put forth a dominant defensive performance to chase the Calgary Wildcats 38-6 and win the Calgary Bantam Football Association Division II championship, Oct. 30 at Hellard Field.
  • The Falcons girls went toe-to-toe with some of the top teams in the province and made it to the quarter-final in the 32-team Falcons Classic senior boys and girls volleyball tournament held Oct. 29-30 in Okotoks. In the boys division of the Falcons Classic, the Holy Trinity Academy Knights advanced to the consolation final versus Cochrane after a strong showing in the playoff round. The Knights finished fourth in Pool G with losses to Catholic Central, Camrose and Calgary Christian. HTA then rebounded with a loss to Chinook in playoffs to defeat the Foothills Falcons en route to advancing to the consolation final.
  • November is Family Violence Prevention month and Rowan House hosted the fourth iteration of their popular Breakfast with the Guys event to bring awareness to the cause and provide education on gender-based violence.
  •  Foothills County implemented technology at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink that reduces the amount of energy and greenhouse gas emissions needed to flood the ice surface.  
  •  The former mayor of Okotoks was recognized posthumously for his role in promoting active communities. Bill Robertson was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership for Active Communities Award from the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, for his contribution to sport and recreation during his time as an educator, councillor and mayor.  
  • In June 2021, Shane Koopman’s life changed overnight when his mechanic shop Koop's Auto burned down, but he got back on his feet five months later, providing remote vehicle repair while planning the construction of a new building. 
  •  Conrad Graup, a 2020 graduate of Oilfields High School, headed off to Dubai, United Arab Emirates the second week of November to compete in the 2021 World Karate Federation World Championships.
  • The Okotoks Track and Cross-Country Club completed its fall race series on Nov. 2, an initiative that was launched last season to combat the absence of events due the ongoing circumstances of the pandemic.
  • The Foothills Falcons fought off an early deficit to defeat the Holy Trinity Academy Knights in four sets to capture the Foothills Athletic Council senior girls volleyball championship on Nov. 8 at Foothills Composite.
  • The Holy Trinity Academy Knights scored 32 points in the first-half to overpower the No. 2 ranked George McDougall Mustangs 39-0 on Nov. 5 at Shouldice Park to advance to the Football Alberta Tier II provincial quarterfinals.
  •  Veterans, Canadian Forces members, and residents gathered at the Okotoks cenotaph on Nov. 11 to mark Remembrance Day. The Okotoks Legion also held a live streamed ceremony in the Rotary Performing Arts Centre
  • Okotoks hockey star Peyton Krebs was traded from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Buffalo Sabres along with forward Alex Tuch and a pair of draft picks in exchange for superstar centre Jack Eichel in a blockbuster transaction on Nov. 4.
  • The 14th annual Okotoks Female Hockey Classic returned to the ice this year with 50 teams in 11 divisions ranging from U9 to U18 and the introduction of two Rocky Mountain Raiders teams to the competition, held Nov. 11-14.
  • Premier Jason Kenney, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and federal and provincial ministers were at the YMCA Shirley Stollery Childcare in Edmonton on Nov. 15 to announce the details of a child-care agreement culminating $10 per day childcare by 2026.  
  • Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn was acclaimed as vice-president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) executive board for another term on Nov. 13.
  • Though in a different format, Light Up Okotoks returned to the community on Nov. 19 with fireworks and a community tree lighting. 
  • More than a year after the announcement that Okotoks company CEGEN Environmental Group would be building a first-of-its kind Micro Modular Data Center (MMDC) on North Railway Street, the project is on pause and the land has been put up for sale. 
  • Foothills MP John Barlow was appointed as Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security by Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole on Nov. 9. 
  • The Red Deer Lake School Council worked toward achieving a fundraising goal that would build a new structure for students to play. The new playground is to be physically accessible for all students and incorporates elements attractive to children on the autism spectrum and with other sensory disorders, said committee chair Lindsay Flynn.  
  • Youth in the Oilfields High School textiles program put their talents to work creating tote bags and ribbon skirts for clients of the Rowan House Emergency Shelter.
  • Workers were prepared to hit the picket lines in December if a deal couldn’t be made with the Cargill meat-processing plant north of High River .Union representatives said an overwhelming 97 per cent of voting members endorsed strike action on the heels of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak last year. Notice was served to Cargill’s vice-president of labour Tanya Teeter on Nov. 10 stating if a new agreement can’t be made, workers will strike as of Dec. 6.
  • The Okotoks Female Hockey Classic saw nine hometown teams qualify for finals at the 14th annual event with golden performances at the U18 A, U18 B, U15 A and U11 A levels.
  • Foothills Composite was home to both the senior girls and boys 4A South Central Zone championships in volleyball while the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans and Oilfields Drillers play host the 2A senior girls and boys competitions, respectively, from Nov. 19-20.
  • The Holy Trinity Academy Knights exceeded their own expectations by capping an undefeated season in the Foothills Athletic Council senior boys volleyball ranks with the team's first league banner in five seasons after taking out the Foothills Falcons in the all-Okotoks gold medal match, Nov. 9 at HTA.
  • The Foothills Falcons saw their playoff hopes dashed by the high-octane Raymond Comets who earned a 44-7 result in the Football Alberta Tier I provincial quarterfinal Nov. 13 at Falcons field.
  •  The Jack Frost meet, held Nov. 5-7 at the Seton YMCA, represented the Okotoks Mavericks Swim Club’s first home hosted meet since the outset of the pandemic.
  • An incident at a high school Remembrance Day ceremony shook an Okotoks EMT, who said the AHS model for ambulance service has been a problem for years. Krisztina Giffen said her son told her that during his school’s Remembrance Day ceremony one of the older speakers fainted and while the fire department was there quickly, the ambulance took a long time to arrive.
  • The Town of Okotoks had a successful stint at the Alberta Municipalities Convention, where their request to expand authority to support affordable housing was overwhelmingly supported by the association's voting body.
  • The late Mayor Bill Robertson and former Coun. Ed Sands were honoured for their service during an award ceremony at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Convention in Edmonton on Nov. 18.
  • The members of the Diamond Valley Sustainable Living Centre were hoping they can move into the Oilfields Recycling Centre if the town decides to shut it down. The recycling centre is a joint operation between the towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley, which are both switching to curbside pickup of recyclables and compost early in 2022.
  • The Oilfields Food Bank held a drive-thru food collection on Nov. 23. 
  • The Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market made its comeback Nov. 26-28 and Dec. 3-5. 
  • The Holy Trinity Academy Knights outlasted the run-heavy attack of the Lacombe Rams to score 21-unanswered points in the second half to win the Football Alberta Tier II provincial semifinal 35-7, Nov. 20 at Calgary’s Hellard Field.
  • The Foothills Falcons made the most of home-court advantage to win both the senior girls and boys volleyball 4A South Central zone banners on Nov. 20 as each squad booked its ticket to provincials for the first time in four years.
  • The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans boys punched their ticket to the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association 2A Volleyball Championships after coming through a tough field as the winners of the South Central Zone tournament held Nov. 19-20 at Oilfields High School in Black Diamond.
  •  The voices of more than 100 students rang together in protest outside the front doors of Foothills Composite High School on the morning of Nov. 25, demanding better sex-ed, improved mental-health support and real consequences for sexual harassment, among other issues.  
  • A Canada-wide warrant was issued for a husband-and-wife duo who lived in Millarville for a period of time, relating to their involvement in an investment scam valued at approximately $1.3 million.  
  • Foothills County council had a meeting with Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney on Nov. 24 to discuss concerns surrounding safety on well-travelled roads.  The Okotoks overpass at Highway 552 and Highway 2A, the 338 Avenue and Highway 2 overpass and median closures on Highway 2 were just some of the topics up for discussion.  
  • Okotoks took four of a possible six points from its Nov. 26-28 sojourn through Grande Prairie, Whitecourt and Drayton Valley to improve to 12-15-1 in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
  • The Okotoks Jr. B Bisons (19-2-1) saw their 19-game point streak snapped with their first road defeat in regulation time this season to the Coaldale Copperheads followed up by a 5-4 overtime triumph over the Medicine Hat Cubs as part of gruelling three-game weekend for the Heritage Junior Hockey League squad.
  • Despite a valiant effort the Holy Trinity Academy Knights were defeated 35-19 by the undefeated and top-ranked St. Joseph’s Celtics in the Football Alberta Tier II Provincial Championship, Nov. 26 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.
  • The Foothills Falcons advanced through to the quarterfinals after a strong showing in pool play at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association 4A Girls Volleyball Championships, held Nov. 25-27 in Red Deer.