Archive for February, 2009
Friday, February 27th, 2009
Don’t worry. Keep renovating. That’s the message from Manitoba MP, Steven Fletcher. He says people shouldn’t worry about delays in bringing in this new promised tax credit for home reno’s. Fletcher says it’s not likely the feds will be able to get the legislation in place until at least this fall. So he says people will be able to apply for the credit on their April 2010 taxes.
Denise Pearson can’t believe that someone would shoot her dog with a hunting bow. She was forced to put the dog down after it was shot with an arrow on Wednesday. The woman lives in Dugald, just outside the city and RCMP are now investigating.
Some opposition MP’s say the Harper government is pretty much holding a gun to their heads. The feds have set up a 3 billion dollar fund to fast track its spending package aimed at boosting the economy. The opposition is leery about voting for it without knowing exactly where all that cash will go. But Prime Minister Harper says they’ll find themselves in an election campaign if they don’t vote for it.
The feds will table their latest plan to clamp down on the drug trade today. It’s part two of their one-two punch aimed at getting tough on crime. The first part came yesterday, when they tabled a bill that would, among other things, call for a mandatory charge of 1st degree murder in any gang related killing.
So which car is going to give you the best bang for your buck these days? Well, according to Consumer Reports magazine, that would be the 2009 Toyota Prius Touring edition. The magazine says although companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler make some good vehicles these days, nobody can touch the reliability of Toyota.
Remember the story of that meteorite that streaked across the Texas sky a couple of weeks ago? Well, pieces of it will now go on the auction block in mid May. Auctioneers say one piece weighing only 200 grams, could fetch about 15 grand U.S.
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
A 24 year old American is in jail here in the city, where he’s waiting to be charged for bringing child porn into the country. Apparently, Ronald White arrived at the Winnipeg airport on February 14th. He was going to meet an adult woman that he’d met online. However, cops say the man’s lap was seized after a number of very disturbing pictures were found on it, including at least one that showed the sexual abuse of young children. White will appear in court March 2nd.
Well, Manitobans don’t appear to be breaking down the doors to get their hands on those new provincial ID cards. The card was launched last month, as a way for Manitobans to be able to drive over the Canada-U.S. border without a passport. The government thought about 150 thousand people would take advantage of the new cards, but so far? Only about a thousand applications have been made.
Talk about a difference between north and south ! 2 more of the country’s big banks will report their earnings today. They’ll do so on the heels of yesterday’s report by TD Bank which beat all expectations. TD said it made more than 700 million dollars in the quarter ending January 31st. That number is actually down from last year, but, well ahead of what many analysts had predicted.
Days after “Slumdog Millionaire” stole the show at the Oscars, the film’s child stars have returned to India to a heroes welcome. Hundreds of well wishers awaited their arrival at the Mumbai airport, where they were escorted through the crowds by dozens of police. The rags to riches tale set in Mumbai’s slums, won 8 Oscars on Sunday, including best picture.
Octo-Mom, Nadya Suleman has a job offer to mull over as she looks at raising her newly expanded family of 14 kids. Vivid Entertainment is offering the woman a million dollars, and, a year of health insurance for her family, if she would star in a pornographic movie. So far, no word from Nadya on whether or not she’s interested.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
The owner of an upscale fashion boutique in the city says, she was devastated when she turned up at her store yesterday. Brenda Holden found that thieves had driven a truck through the front window of her store and ripped off about 10 grand worth of luxury items. Police did manage to arrest the suspects a short time later.
There’s word Prime Minister Harper is about to pay a visit to what some call, the gang capital of the country….B.C.’s Lower Mainland. Apparently, Harper will travel to Vancouver this morning, a day before his government is expected to announce some tough, anti gang legislation.
The Barenaked Ladies are saying “so long” to their long time frontman. The popular Toronto based band announced yesterday that lead singer and co founder, Steven Page, is leaving the group to pursue solo projects and a theatre career. This is the latest chapter in what’s been a tumultuous year for Page, who was arrested in New York last summer after being found with cocaine. The band’s remaining 4 members will apparently continue recording and touring together as the Barenaked Ladies.
A federal panel says it’s time to fight back against heard disease and stroke, this country’s top killer. The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan says if Canadians ate healthier and got more exercise, there would be a direct saving of 22 billion dollars by 2020.
You know times are tough when…..Chesley Sullenberger, the so called “Hero of the Hudson” says the airline business is in so much trouble, he doesn’t know of any pilot who wants their kids to follow in their footsteps. Testifying in Washington yesterday, Sullenberger says his pay has been cut by 40 per cent in recent years…and, his pension is pretty much gone.
Well some sobering news for women this morning. A new massive study from the U.K. has just been released and when it comes to a woman’s risk of cancer, no amount of alcohol is safe to drink. The study found that even a drink a day increases the risk of several common cancers, including breast and liver cancer.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
A big meeting was held last night, and now this morning, schools in the city say they’ll raise taxes by 2 per cent. That means an approximate 25 dollar per year boost on a home that’s worth around 100 grand.
Some teens in Selkirk say the town is turning into “Sel-crack” these days. They say police need to do more to crack down on dealers and drug houses. But cops in the area say they haven’t seen a spike in drug crimes, and say youth who see things going on in the streets are just not reporting it.
Heck of a storm out in the Maritimes yesterday. In fact, nearly a month’s worth of snow fell in the Fredericton area in just a few hours. The weather office says yesterday’s 40 centimeter dump was a “mega bomb”….which is an extreme weather system caused by an intense period of low pressure.
A crab fisherman from Newfoundland and his son in law, have finally landed the big one….12.5 million big ones, to be exact ! Earle Smith and his son in law, Deon, are the first to collect their share of the 50 million dollar jackpot from this past weekend’s 6/49 draw. 3 other winning tickets are still out there….2 more in Ontario, and one in Quebec.
Well he certainly hasn’t been getting the rock star treatment that President Obama got during his first official visit to Canada last week. But, Prime Minister Harper is waving the Canadian flag all over New York anyway, trying to build on the cross border goodwill generated by the President’s visit.
There may be recovery plans in place all over the world, but, the markets sure don’t know it. Fears about the global recession and the world economy continue to push markets down. Yesterday, Toronto’s TSX plunged 302 points to its lowest level since October of 2003. And in New York, the Dow plunged 251 points to 1997 levels. The same kind of drops were also seen over seas.
Friday, February 20th, 2009
People in some areas of downtown Winnipeg are now under the watchful eye of police security cameras. A total of 10 cameras will be set up in the next few weeks. Mayor Sam Katz says the one year pilot project will help determine whether cameras will make the area safer.
Well, the spring melt is still a few weeks away but, residents along the Red, Souris and Pembina rivers are being warned today that there’s a high risk of flooding this year. The province’s flood forecaster, Alf Warkentin says they’ll just have to wait and see what happens with spring rainfall and how the ice breakups this year.
This time of year is hardest on women. In fact, Mental Health America says seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is 3 times more common in women than men. The symptoms are similar to depression, but only reveal themselves in the fall and winter months.
For the 2nd straight year, the average price of new cars that sold in this country, has dropped. Statscan says last year’s average was 25 thousand, 107 dollars. That’s down about 200 bucks from 2007.
Lots of auto news to tell ya about today. Saab, Sweden’s 2nd biggest automaker, has filed for bankruptcy. This comes after the Swedish government rejected a request to infuse money into the company. Meantime, billions more in public dollars will likely be requested today by the Canadian arms of G.M. and Chrysler. The 2 troubled automakers will table their survival plans to both the federal and Ontario governments this morning.
Barack Obama’s first visit to this country as president, produced lots of goodwill and some gifts for his two daughters. Obama charmed everyone from Prime Minister Harper to vedors at a market near Parliament Hill. As he walked through the streets of the market yesterday, he picked up a 4 dollar key chain, and some Maple leaf shaped cookies for his 2 daughters.
Thursday, February 19th, 2009
A veteran Winnipeg cop is on administrative leave, this after being charged with assault and uttering threats. 46 year old Keith Zoroneck was charged following a disturbance last summer involving a number of people at Whiteshell Provincial Park. The Mounties say Zoroneck was off duty at the time. His job is now under review however.
Well it was a sad day in Blue Bomber-land yesterday, as Milt Stegall called it quits. After a couple of years playing in the NFL, Stegall joined the Bombers in 1995, and went on to have an amazing career with the team…… including breaking several records. The Bombers have already announced that Milt will be inducted into the Winnipeg Football Hall of Fame immediately, waiving the mandatory waiting period. As far as what Milt will now do? You can look for him doing some football commentating on TSN.
They’re rollin out the red carpet in Ottawa today. President Barack Obama is comin to town this morning to begin a 6 hour visit and meeting. Obama will sit down privately with Prime Minister Harper for about 10 minutes, before they’ll join other politicians and officials for broader talks on the economy, energy, the environment and the Afghan war.
Busloads of spectators have traveled to Ottawa, hoping to catch a glimpse of America’s new popular president today. They’re expected to fill the streets around Parliament Hill. But chances are good they won’t see anything more than the presidential motorcade. Obama has no public events or speeches planned.
No one in the country can retire just yet. There was no winning ticket for last night’s massive 6-49 jackpot worth 39 million dollars. So the pot grows. The jackpot for this weekend’s draw should be around 48 million.
School can be a pretty dangerous place for kids who like to play. New study today says about one fifth of childhood injuries happen at school….with most taking place on the playground or during sports activities.
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Prank calls to 9-1-1 has led to the arrest of a Winnipeg man. Police say the 49 year old suspect made 2 bogus 9-1-1 calls lately, but, is responsible for more than 200 in the last year. This idiot sent officers all over the city to investigate bogus calls, including some false reports of major incidents that required a large response.
The city is expected to bring down their budget this Friday. And despite some bad news on funding from the province, council will apparently try to keep the property tax freeze in place. The trick now is, to freeze taxes without cutting any services.
Since they’re not prepared to think about bankruptcy, both G.M. and Chrysler say they need double the U.S. government bailout money they’ve been given so far to stay alive. Both companies had to file restructuring plans in Washington yesterday. They also said they would need to cut another 50 thousand jobs, mostly at G.M. and Chrysler will stop producing 3 of its vehicle models.
As Parliament Hill gets set for tomorrow’s big visit by President Barack Obama, Canada is already getting some praise from the man himself. Obama says the U.S. could certainly learn a thing or two from Canadian banks. He says it’s amazing that our banks have managed to avoid any costly government bailouts, and it appears we’re pretty good managers of our financial system.
Workers near Buffalo, New York have retrieved the remains of all 50 people who died in last Thursday’s fiery crash of a commuter plane. They wanted to get the grim task done before today, when the area was supposed to get snow and rain. Although investigators have recovered about 80 per cent of turbo prop plane, they say, it’ll be months before the exact cause of the crash is known.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Well to most of us, this doesn’t come as a surprise. This winter has been a pretty unusual one, with everything from wicked cold to rain. Climatologist Dave Phillips says December and January tied for the 3rd coldest on record, with an average temperature of -19.6. And while this month has been off to a warmer start, getting rain last week was highly unusual. Phillips also says that, southern Manitoba will stay with below normal temperatures until at least mid March.
American drones are flying along the international border between Manitoba and North Dakota. They’ll be looking for contraband items being smuggled across the border into the U.S. Manitoba has got 12 official border crossings, but only 2 are open 24 hours a day. Much of the land in between is either swampland, lakes or farmers fields.
Today’s the deadline for G.M. and Chrysler to submit their restructuring plans to the U.S. government. Both companies are asking for another bailout, worth billions of dollars.
Michael Phelps says he looks forward to diving back into the pool. His statement came after a South Carolina sheriff said Phelps won’t face drug charges over a photo showing him with a marijuana bong. The sheriff says there just isn’t enough physical evidence to charge the 14 time Olympic gold medalist.
In Connecticut, a chimpanzee that was kept as a pet, was shot and killed by police after it attacked a woman visiting the owner’s home, leaving her with serious facial injuries. The 15 year old chimp, often rode around in trucks belonging to the towing company operated by his owners. The owners say the chimp was toilet trained, dressed and bathed himself, ate at the table and drank wine from a stemmed glass.
Thursday, February 12th, 2009
A Winnipeg man who went to Texas for cancer treatment, after being told his case was terminal, is now suing his doctor and the regional health authority. 53 year old Wesley Coyle says he went down to Houston for alternative therapy, something he says his doctor said was his only hope. But apparently, doctors in Houston told him the only treatment he needed was what doctors in Winnipeg should have given him. Coyle by the way is now in remission.
This is the day that Canadians will get their first look at the design for the torch that’ll open the 2010 winter games in Vancouver. The designer says it was a real challenge because it’ll have to stay lit in some of the world’s most challenging weather conditions. The torch begins its cross country trip in Victoria in October, and will wind up in Vancouver for the opening of the games, exactly a year from today.
In the first ever crash of its kind, 2 big communications satellites collided 800 kilometers over Siberia. One was American, and the other was Russian. NASA says Tuesday’s crash created a huge debris cloud that does pose a slight risk to the international space station.
Could be another rough ride on the markets today. Big losses were piled up by 2 of Asia’s major stock markets overnight. Analysts say investors doubt the costly American bail out plan, will do anything to help the U.S. economy.
Time to get the pools going again. Nobody had the winning ticket for last night’s lotto 6-49 draw, worth 16 million. So that means the jackpot for this weekend’s draw should be around 25 million.
A Desperate Housewife is moving out of Wisteria Lane. ABC confirms, Nicollette Sheridan is leaving, although the network is not saying when. From day one in 2004, Sheridan has played Edie Britt, Wisteria Lane’s resident vamp.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Manitoba New Democrat MP, Judy Wasylycia-Leis says the federal government is turning back the clock on women’s rights. She says legislation to make pay equity part of the collective bargaining process takes away a woman’s right o complain to the Human Rights Commission.
A lack of a building code for farm buildings may have had something to do with the collapse of a structure out in Portage that killed a farm worker. The fire commissioner’s office says they found no records which even approved the construction of the building. The accident on Monday took the life of 48 year old Scott Giffin, one of the owners of Mayfair farms. The province by the way, is now looking into building codes for all farm structures.
Almost as good as the home land. Out of work Icelanders have been flocking to the Gimli area for weeks now. Last fall’s economic meltdown hit Iceland hard, where 11 thousand out of just 300 thousand people are unemployed. Gimli of course is home to the 2nd biggest Icelandic community in the world.
Another day….another octuplet story. The mother of the 8 babies born a couple of weeks ago, now says she’s done with having kids. In a “Dateline” interview that aired last night, 33 Nadya Suleman says the octuplets were a sign from God that she should stop having kids. By the way, in case you didn’t know, Suleman is divorced and unemployed.
Wall Street is not warming to this bank-bailout plan put forward by President Obama. Yesterday, the Dow Jones fell 380 points or about 4 and a half per cent. One critic says the good news is the government is going to spend nearly a trillion dollars….but the bad news is “they don’t know how.” Toronto’s TSX also took a hit yesterday, dropping 229 points.
A Sussex spaniel named “Stump” has become America’s new top dog. At 10 years old, the pooch became the oldest Best in Show winner ever last night, at the Westminster Kennel club show in New York. “Stump” by the way was a sentimental favourite, he nearly died 5 years ago, and came out of retirement only last week.