Archive for January, 2009
Friday, January 16th, 2009
Well, just one more day of this wicked cold. By tonight, temperatures will begin to rise, and actually go above normal by tomorrow. Even though it looks like we’re not going to see that promised high of plus 2 by Sunday, compared to what we’ve dealt with this week, it’s gonna seem downright balmy.
The premiers and territorial leaders meet with Prime Minister Harper in Ottawa today to talk about what should be included in the next federal budget. The premiers will apparently press for a boost in spending on infrastructure and skills training, as well as more aid for struggling industries. The budget by the way comes down on the 27th of this month.
Scientists, politicians, and Inuit leaders will meet in Winnipeg today for a one day summit on polar bears. Federal Environment Minister, Jim Prentice says the animals are being threatened by thawing sea ice and possible over hunting. Canada is home to about two-thirds of the world’s polar bears.
Last night in his farewell address, George Bush defended his 8 tumultuous years as President. Bush did admit he had some setbacks, and would do some things differently if he had the chance. But, he adds he always acted in America’s best interests, and always did what he thought was right.
and, They’re calling it the miracle on the Hudson. Dozens of aviation investigators are looking into a bizarre near disaster in New York yesterday. Just after taking off from LaGuardia Airport, a U.S. Airways jet hit a flock of geese, disabling both engines. The pilot, ditched the the plane into the Hudson River, where all 155 people on board were able to get out and be rescued.
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
Disciplinary measures have been taken against 4 nurses in the province, caught, abusing booze, cocaine and other narcotics….while on the job ! 3 of them, have been suspended while a 4th, who turned herself in, is not allowed to practice alone.
The province is giving universities 40 million dollars for reno’s and upgrades. The money will be used to fix crumbling infrastructure like windows and roofs, and, will also create jobs. All 4 of Manitoba’s universities will be getting work done.
Everyone it seems is taking a hit on the markets these days, including MPI. The Crown owned insurer says their investment income dropped by more than 93 million dollars. No word yet on whether that’s gonna mean a hike in our autopac rates.
Just 2 years after being convicted of knowingly exposing two women to the HIV virus, Trevis Smith, has been given full parole. The former Saskatchewan Roughrider was busted back in 2005 for having unprotected sex with a couple of women. But yesterday, the parole board said they think he’ll be a manageable risk, and granted him a full release.
The country’s premiers will gather in the capital today, to begin a sit down with Prime Minister Harper, the first of the year. Priority one will be the economy and upcoming federal budget. The P.M. will apparently go around the table ask the Premiers on what they think it should include.
And the Mexican born actor who became a star in MGM musicals, and later, more famous for his role on “Fantasy Island,” has died. Ricardo Montalban passed away yesterday of old age at his L.A. home. He was 88.
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
Well, we warned ya it was gonna get worse before it got better ! Nasty cold temperatures and high wind-chills will mean that it’s gonna be another slow drive to work today. That and, we do expect several school closures. As soon as we get those in, we’ll let you know.
Stony Mountain jail is still in lockdown this morning. And, officials say it could be next week before anything changes. 6 inmates at the prison ended up in hospital following a riot last week.
A program meant to help ex gang members in the city start fresh, faces an uncertain future. Police have arrested 7 staff members and clients of Paa-Pii-Wak, and are looking for another two. Cops allege that Paa-Pii-Wak staff worked to get known gang members released into the program’s care. As well, some staff were actually active gang members themselves.
A former CFL player will apply today for his first shot at freedom, since he was sent to jail for knowingly exposing women to the virus that causes AIDS. Trevis Smith, who used to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, will appear before a parole board panel, looking for a get out of jail free card. Smith was slapped with 5 and half years behind bars in 2007, for having unprotected sex with 2 women and not telling them he was HIV positive.
And, it’s certainly proving to be a very popular want ad ! Yesterday, Australian tourism officials posted what they billed as the “Best Job in the World,” a 100 thousand dollar gig to lay around an Aussie beach and blog about it. So far, about 200 thousand people have jammed the web site for details.
Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Stony mtn. jail is still in lockdown this morning. This, as the investigation continues into weekend violence that left half a dozen prisoners in hospital. Some reports say the fighting was over control of the jail’s drug trade.
Relatives and friends of the city’s first homicide victim of the year say, he wanted out of gang life. They now wonder if Shawn Beauchamp’s desire to shed his gang ties led to his death. A family member of Beauchamp said he had been a member of the Native Syndicate, but, had wanted to turn his life around and leave the gang.
Manitoba plans to double immigration in the next seven years. Ben Rempel, of Manitoba Labour and Immigration says by 2015 all labour market growth is going to be coming from immigration.
His spokesperson says he’s being monitored, but doing okay. Comedian Howie Mandel was rushed to a Toronto hospital last night. He was apparently admitted for observation for an irregular heartbeat. Mandel was in T.O. shooting his latest t.v. show, “Howie Do It.”
And researchers say preventing a cold may be as easy as getting more sleep. Adults who had cold viruses sprayed up their noses, but, who got 8 solid hours of sleep a day, were much less likely to get sick than those who slept less than 7 hours or didn’t sleep well.
Monday, January 12th, 2009
Stony Mountain jail is on lockdown this morning. It’s thanks to violence on the weekend which sent 4 inmates to hospital. No official word yet on what sparked the fighting , but one report says a dispute between members of rival gangs led to the trouble.
Police are investigating the death of a 26 year old man gunned down on a city street early yesterday. A police spokesperson says they’re still trying to figure out what happened. 26 year old Shawn Beauchamp was taken to hospital, where he later died. So far, no arrests have been made.
It’s gonna cost you more to mail that letter today. The Post office is raising its rates from 52 cents to 54 within the country. And, a letter to the U.S. will also jump 2 cents to 98.
It wasn’t just the movie world honoured at the Golden Globes. Television was too, with “Mad Men” repeating as best t.v. drama. “30 Rock” won best comedy show, as well as best actress for Tiny Fey, and Alec Baldwin won best supporting actor. Best acting awards in a t.v. drama went to Winnipeg born Anna Pacquin for “True Blood” and Gabriel Byrne for “In Treatment.”
It appears there may be a partial flu shot mismatch again this year…like last year. Data from this country, the U.S., and Britain, suggests the vaccine component meant to protect against influenza B is not a match for the flu B viruses causing the most disease. But experts again advise that even the mismatch provides some protection. Luckily, flu activity has been mild so far this year.
Friday, January 9th, 2009
Winnipeg is launching a new hotline that police hope will take the heat off
9-1-1 dispatchers. The 3-1-1 call center will field inquiries relating to city hall business and other non emergencies. The Police Association says the new number is good thing, since up to 20 per cent of all 9-1-1 calls aren’t emergencies.
One of two men, accused of killing a man, stuffing his body in a barrel and floating it down a Manitoba river, will have to wait until the end of the month to find out if he’ll get bail. 31 year old Corey Tym-chy-shyn made his bail application yesterday. He and Kristopher Brincheski were charged with first degree murder last September. The body of 22 year old Chad Davis was found inside a barrel floating in the Lee river back in late July.
Economists expect bad news this morning when the jobless numbers for December are released. They say it’s not a case of whether the rate will be higher, but rather, by how much.
A financial firm is sounding the alarm over the state of this country’s pension plans. Watson Wyatt Worldwide says low interest rates and recent stock market plunges have hammered the solvency levels of many plans. A spokesperson says a company’s employees and retirees could see their pension benefits slashed if their firm goes bust during this recession.
And a major attraction at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas is Internet ready t.v. Several companies are getting in on the trend, including Samsung, L.G., Panasonic and even Yahoo. Internet ready t.v. sets are due to go on sale in North America by the middle of this year.
The U.N. Security Council easily passed a resolution yesterday which calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where Israeli forces are battling Hamas militants. With the battle in Gaza now into day 14, Isaraeli aircraft attacked more than 30 targets, while Hamas fired more rockets back into Israel.
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
A Winnipeg man committed suicide right in front of city police yesterday. Officers found the guy hiding in a house, minutes after he had run from cops during a traffic stop. The man then fatally shot himself in front of a group of officers. So far there’s no word on the man’s vehicle was stopped or why he tried to flee, but, cops do say he was known to them.
Manitoba is making progress in its war against car thieves. Auto thefts dropped by 36 per cent last year. While the numbers look good, the province has a long way to go to get in line with other provinces. Statscan says Manitoba had more stolen vehicles per capita than any other province between 1996 and 2007.
Couple of sect leaders in the polygamous town of Bountiful, B.C. will be back in court January 21st, and some say this case could end up in front of the Supreme Court. Winston Blackmore and James Oler were arrested yesterday and charged with practicing polygamy. Now although it is against the law to have more than one wife in this country, some lawyers argue that law could be challenged under the Charter of Rights section that guarantees freedom of religion.
Yet again, Canadian troops at Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan will gather on the tarmac to send off another fallen comrade. Our soldiers will bid farewell to Trooper Brian Good. The 42 year old married father of two, was killed by a roadside bomb yesterday, making him the 107th Canadian soldier, and the first this year, to die in the Afghan mission.
The price of oil is holding steady after dropping almost 6 dollars, or 12 per cent on Wednesday. Right now, oil is trading at around 42.60 U.S. a barrel. Traders attribute Wednesday’s price plunge to news that the U.S.’s supply of oil is up, suggesting that demand continues to drop.
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
A sign of the times? The Winnipeg Free Press is cutting staff. Workers have been warned the layoffs could be coming as early as next week. Publisher Bob Cox says economic conditions and rising costs have prompted the move.
It’ll be another week before a woman who stole more than a quarter of a million dollars from a Winnipeg credit union where she worked, finds out if she’ll go tojail. Eleanor Slipetz wants house arrest instead of prison, so she can continue counseling and rehab programs. The 35 year old woman who worked for the Vantis Credit Union stole the cash between 2003 and 2006. She apparently spent the loot on shopping, gambling and weekend drinking.
They may have stopped fewer cars, but, they found more drunks. Numbers from last month’s Checkstop program are out. And despite stopping 160 fewer vehicles than last year, they still charged 76 people with impaired driving. A police spokesperson says the numbers go to show they’re doing their jobs effectively, especially since they started to target problem areas like bars, office parties and socials.
You can thank the mayor for this one. If you woke up Monday morning to a ticket on your windshield regarding the residential parking ban, you can now tear it up. Sam Katz had to admit yesterday that the city failed to give appropriate notice to Winnipeggers about the ban. That means the 852 tickets that were handed out, are now null and void.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
A Siberian style cold snap that’s gripped the Prairies this winter, is making life even harder for the homeless. The drop in center at the Main street project, has been filled with people seeking shelter from wind-chills that have been below -30 almost daily since mid December.
A Winnipeg woman sentenced to life in jail with no parole for 25 years, is appealing her murder conviction in the death of her 5 year old daughter. Last month, a jury convicted 27 year old Samantha Kematch, and her partner Karl McKay, with first degree murder in the death of Phoenix Sinclair. Kematch is now arguing that jurors reached an unreasonable verdict in convicting her.
Get em while they’re young. The Manitoba Securities Commission wants parents to talk with their kids about dollars and sense. The commission is handing out interactive kits, to teach kids about money management at an early age. One spokesperson says, by the time students are in university, many are well on the way to a lifetime on the treadmill of debt. The kits are available for free from Makeitcountonline.ca
Winnipeg’s frozen river trail will beat Ottawa’s Rideau Canal when it comes to length this weekend. Officials are looking to extend the skateway from the Forks all the way to Assiniboine park…about 8.5 klicks. That will confirm Winnipeg as the champion with the longest outdoor skating rink in the world.
Well, can’t say we didn’t warn you. Hundreds of Winnipeggers woke up yesterday morning and will do again this morning, to tickets on their windshields. The city still has their residential overnight parking ban in effect. That means you can’t park on designated snow routes between midnight and 6 a.m. or, you’re gonna get nailed.
International pressure has been mounting on Israel to end its 10 day assault on Gaza. But, Palestinians say the attacks have only intensified this morning. Meantime, an attempt by 36 Canadians trying to get out of Gaza, has been stopped again. Israeli border officials cited security concerns in turning them away yesterday.
Monday, January 5th, 2009
Well, it looks like we’ll begin 2009, just like we ended 2008….cold ! Temps will be in the -30’s again this morning, but, fortunately, unlike yesterday, we don’t have any wind-chill warning’s to go with that. Manitoba actually got off pretty well this weekend, given the frigid temps next door in Saskatchewan where wind-chills of -50 were recorded.
The city has begun cleaning up all the snow we’ve gotten in the last week. Plows started to hit residential streets last night, and that means we’ve got an overnight parking ban which will last for the next few days. The city’s snow route overnight ban also continues, which means no one can park on a designated snow route overnight. If you break either ban, you of course could be ticketed or towed.
A 20 year old man has been picked up by city police after threatening several people with a knife at a bus stop. Cops say Trent Harvey Chubb was picked up pretty quickly, after he went after a family at a bus stop at the corner of Vaughn and Graham. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy is hoping to broker a truce during meetings today with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Sarkozy has got the same view as the Canadian and American governments…..that Hamas triggered Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
And, a U.S. certified pathologist will be in the Bahamas today to help with the autopsy on John Travolta’s 16 year old son, Jett. A statement released yesterday said both John, and his wife, Kelly Preston, are “heartbroken” by the death. Jett is believed to have collapsed in the bathroom of the family’s Bahamas vacation home on Friday, and may have hit his head on the bathtub.