Crooks, pets and Hemingway

You may be interested to know the outcome of three stories I wrote about in the past three months:

You may be interested to know the outcome of three stories I wrote about in the past three months:

A crime committed in rural Alberta March 26, 2009 is due to conclude May 26  when the injured party is to be sentenced for defending his property from thieves.

The incident began when three men attempted in the wee hours to steal an ATV from Brian Knight’s farm near Tees, Alberta . While struggling to load the stolen ATV into a pickup, their noise woke Knight. He gave chase in his truck as two escaped in the pickup and the third, Harold Groening, tried to flee on the ATV.

Knight caught up to Groening, bumped into the ATV, and both ATV and Groening ended in the ditch. 

Groening took off running. Knight hauled out his shot gun loaded with light bird shot and fired, aiming high. Nonetheless 17 bird shots lodged in Groening’s back and backside. Knight called on neighbours to help him nab Groening and hold him until RCMP arrived.

Groening was flown to hospital for treatment. Knight was arrested and charged with half a dozen counts, including criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Over the next months the thieves were sentenced for theft, one serving 15 days in jail intermittently, another paying a $400 fine, and eventually Groening – who failed more than once to appear in court to be a witness in Knight’s trial – serving 30 days in jail.

Groening’s failure to appear in court to testify against Knight delayed his trial unduly.

Canada’s justice system has no means to force a crook to appear as a witness.

January 14, 2011, Knight pleaded guilty to a reduced, single charge of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. He faces a maximum sentence of ten years in jail when he is sentenced May 26.

In a recent Terrace controversy that at one point threatened to spark a lawsuit, a resident of McConnell Estates was prohibited from replacing her 18-year-old dog with a kitten. The resident had moved in eight years ago when the seniors’ complex opened. No written pet policy existed then. However, she was told, after her dog died, that she could have a kitten. Then that permission was revoked.

In October, a residents’ meeting smoothed the situation to the resident’s satisfaction; she is allowed to keep her kitten. But in future, no new furry pets will be allowed to take up residence in McConnell Estates.

Further to my quest for the meaning of “four-besider with a built in Hemingway”, offered for sale in a fake 1960s ad placed by the editor of the North Battleford News Optimist to gauge readership of his newspaper’s classifieds, two readers responded with unrelated answers.

Dwight Holmberg wrote:  

“My wife and I took a trip to Florida one year and took in a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s residence. In his garden he had a urinal taken from a hotel.  I believe that the ad was for a “four-hole out house with a built in urinal”,  thus – “a four besider with a Hemingway.” 

Jack Dixon of Red Deer wrote:  

“I was working as a mechanic in the 50s & 60s and my best guess would be, this is a Dodge car in SLANG wording. A Fourbesider, would mean a V8 engine, and a built in Hemingway would mean it had hemispherical combustion chambers. This could be a DODGE CHARGER WITH A HEMI ENGINE, a very hot car.

“To further clarify what was being offered for sale. This would be a car engine, it was a CHRYSLER engine. Chrysler started using the HEMI engine in the early 1950s. It was popular in their muscle cars, Baracuda, Magnum, Charger, to name a few.  Thanks for the fun.”

Claudette Sandecki watches the world from Thornhill.