Archive for June, 2009
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
Well if you’re trying to call up north, you may find nobody will answer. That’s thanks to a fire at a communications tower. The blaze on Sunday destroyed all kinds of equipment and knocked out long distance service to the province’s northwest area. Officials say it could be up to two weeks before things get restored. Areas like Lynn Lake and Leaf Rapids have been affected.
Cleanup has begun after a weekend storm left people from Beausejour to Berens River with wind and rain damage. Up to 110 mm of rain fell in some areas, and wind gusts of 100 kilometers an hour and over were recorded. The Red River is expected by the way to rise 4 to 6 feet from Emerson to Winnipeg by the weekend….but it’s not expected to spill its banks.
Well, Bernie Madoff, may have MADE OFF with hundreds of million’s of dollars by ripping off investor’s….but yesterday, it was payback time. A judge said he would leave jail in a box by slapping him with 150 years behind bars. The 71 year old did not say much in court yesterday, other than giving a weak apology to some of the victim’s who were in attendance.
Sometimes texting your buddies, can pay you. A Toronto teen won the 25 thousand dollar grand prize for texting, even though she ignored her parents pleas to spend more time doing homework. 16 year old Kathy Spence became this year’s Canadian texting champion yesterday. Spence says her training regimen consisted of sending about 200 text messages a day….something her parents were getting pretty upset about.
Farrah Fawcett’s family and friends will gather for her funeral in Los Angeles this afternoon. The private service will be at a Catholic cathedral called, Our Lady of Angels. Fawcett’s long battle with anal cancer came ot an end last Thursday. She was 62.
From the strange but true file this morning…..there’s a whack of gold missing from the Canadian Mint. In fact, there’s a 15.3 million discrepancy between how much gold the Mint has in its Ottawa vault, and how much its records say it’s supposed to have. Deloitte and Touche looked into it and concluded that accounting errors are not to blame…so now a full investigation is underway.
Monday, June 29th, 2009
Even though junk food was supposed to be out of the province’s schools by the beginning of the year, it’s still being sold in many schools. Some places, like the River East Transcona Division, allow junk food to be sold, because they’re worried about black market sales. Kid ya not. Officials say they were also worried it could create a situation where students would simply descend on the local corner store to buy the stuff, they could no longer get at school.
Well heavy rain pounded the province on the weekend prompting officials to even issue a flood advisory. The storms also knocked out power in much of Manitoba’s cottage country. A hydro spokesperson says it’s hard to gauge the number of households still without power, but hundreds of people are affected.
Well he wasn’t exactly a Hollywood star…..in fact most people didn’t know his name….but they sure knew the face and the voice. The burly, bearded t.v. pitchman, hawked products like OxiClean and Zorbee’s…and today, Billy Mays is dead. The 50 year old Mays was found by his wife yesterday morning. An autopsy is expected to be done today.
Bernie Madoff is back in court this morning. He’ll finally find out his punishment for running that massive Ponzi scheme. Madoff’s lawyer has asked the judge to give his 71 year old client 12 years behind bars, but prosecutors want him to die in jail and are asking for 150 years.
As far as many Canadians are concerned, some of the country’s most iconic faces, are just another face in the crowd. A new poll found that only 4 in 10 recognized a picture of our first prime minister, Sir John A Macdonald…even though his face is on the 10 dollar bill. And, just 19 per cent recognized Tommy Douglas, the father of universal health care.
The alien robot movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” grabbed top spot at the box office this weekend. It brought in some 112 million dollars U.S. in its first weekend, and over 200 million since opening Wednesday…well on its way to becoming the year’s top grossing movie. “The Proposal” and “The Hangover” rounded out the weekend’s top 3 flicks.
Friday, June 26th, 2009
To say that some extraordinary news came out of Hollywood yesterday….might be a bit of an understatement. First, we learned that Farrah Fawcett had passed away yesterday morning. Her death, not totally unexpected….as she had been battling terminal cancer for almost 3 years now. Still, it was a shock when it was learned that she had finally lost that battle at the age of 62.
But what happened next has really got the world talking today. Mere hours after Farrah’s passing, we found out that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had also died. Apparently, Michael was found at his rented home in California, suffering from a full cardiac arrest. 9-1-1 was called, he was rushed to hospital, but despite doctors attempting for over an hour to resuscitate him, he passed away yesterday afternoon. He was only 50 years old.
Jackson, as you may have heard was just about to start a huge comeback tour. His 50 shows at the O2 arena in London, sold out in just a few hours, and rehearsals for those shows were happening everyday at the Staples center in L.A.
Now the question’s will come. What happened to Michael to cause a cardiac arrest. One of the family lawyer’s, has already come out and said that he had warned of something like this. Brian Oxman says Michael was surrounded by what he called enablers…and that if you thought the story of Anna Nicole Smith was tragic…..wait until the details come out about the people involved in Michael’s life. The LAPD says a full investigation is now underway.
Michael Jackson….dead, at the age of 50.
The price of oil is up this morning. It’s now trading an even 71 dollars U.S. a barrel. That has now prompted another hike at the pumps today. Gas around town is now at 1.05 a litre at a lot of station’s.
The Canadian death toll linked to the swine flu outbreak has risen by one, putting it at 22. The latest victim is from right here in Manitoba….a resident under the age of 18, who did have some underlying medical conditions.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Manitoba Aboriginal leaders say both the feds and the province should follow their lead and declare a state of emergency in affected areas up north, because of the swine flu. Grand Chief, Ron Evans says there needs to be an organized plan, and right now? He says no one wants to accept responsibility for First Nation People.
The Canadian death toll from the swine flu has now gone up to 21. The latest victim was a 68 year old man from Ontario.
Premier Gary Doer is off in Europe for the next 5 days. He’ll attend meetings on trade and climate change in Brussels.
The Canadian military will launch a campaign today to put the spotlight on mental illness, especially post traumatic stress disorder. The Defence Department will expand programs aimed at prevention and treatment of soldiers with mental health issues.
Facebook is testing new privacy controls. Users of the social networking site, will now be able to decide who gets to see their personal updates. Facebook users have previously gotten into trouble with such readers as employers and parents over indiscreet status reports.
Starting next year, the Academy Awards will double the number of films nominated for Hollywood’s biggest honour. That means 10 movies will be nominated for best picture. The academy hopes this’ll boost Oscar’s t.v. ratings, which have plunged 34 per cent in the past 12 years.
For those hopin for a piece of the 6/49 pie yesterday….sorry….
There were only 2 winning tickets for last night’s 15 million dollar prize and both were bought and sold in Quebec.
Well this news is no big surprise for anyone who’s driven around town lately. City councilors are blasting the Doer government for failing to help maintain Winnipeg streets. Councilors and Mayor Sam Katz say the province has given very little money for road upkeep…and enough is enough….it’s time to start payin to do some pavin.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton says, he’ll have a damage estimate from spring flooding sometime next week. But Ashton does say he expects it to be well into the tens of millions of dollars. The most severe damage to private property is along the areas of the Red River north of the city.
Statscan says the province’s population grew by more than 3300 people since just this past January. The agency says those kinds of numbers are slightly higher than the national average, and the highest rate east of Saskatchewan.
Weather radio coverage in the province is being expanded. The government is adding 3 more towers, and has bought more weather radios for schools, daycares and hospitals. Officials say they expect further towers to be built in the next few years….which will mean that approximately 92 per cent of Manitoba’s population will have access to immediate severe weather information.
It seems the swine flu is getting some blame in another 4 Canadian deaths, bringing to 20 the number of Canadians who have died after getting the H1-N1 virus. All 4 of these recent deaths happened in Ontario and Quebec.
And you just gotta love this news ! Could a few extra pounds mean a few extra years? Well a new study seems to suggest so. The study found people who are overweight, actually live longer than those whose weight is normal. Researchers think a few extra pounds may protect people as they get older and their health declines.
Some Manitoba chiefs are looking for an apology from the feds, over the delay in sending hand sanitizers to reserves battling flu outbreaks. New reports say health officials withheld those products because they contained alcohol. Yet, alcohol free sanitizers are available……..but they’re now on back-order. One Chief says this entire issue has shown ignorance and possibly some racism to First Nations people.
A hospital in Memphis, Tennessee says Apple founder Steve Jobs is recovering well from a liver transplant, and that, he has an excellent prognosis. Officials at Apple say Jobs should be back at work next month.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
City police have pulled 8 so called “party buses” off the road….citing safety concerns. The buses, are usually used for things like pub crawls and grads. Cops say they issued 13 liquor violations during an inspection blitz this weekend. As well, they say things like emergency exits on some buses didn’t work, and there were faulty brakes and worn tires on others.
Staff from about 30 First Nations are taking part in a 3 day training session here in the city, to help them deal with the outbreak of swine flu up north. As well as learning how to communicate effectively with residents during a pandemic, they’re also learning how to mobilize and gather resources and supplies.
The search for more victims continues this morning, at the site of a commuter train crash in Washington, D.C. At least 9 people were killed and more than 70 others injured when one train plowed into the rear of another during rush hour last night. Authorities are now working to determine what caused the worst accident in the 33 year history of the city’s subway system.
The results stand. That’s what Iran’s top electoral officer has to say about that country’s disputed presidential election earlier this month, in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner. State run television says officials found no major fraud and the results stand.
Okay, so not like we didn’t see this coming but…..Jon and Kate are going their separate ways. The co stars of the T.L.C. reality show, and parents of 8 kids, have now filed for divorce. The couple’s increasingly troubled 10 year marriage has dominated their show in recent weeks. They say by the way….the show will continue, with their segments of the show, being filmed separately.
It’s 5 years probation for singer Chris Brown, after a plea deal was reach in the February assault of his former girlfriend, Rhianna. Yesterday, Brown pled guilty to felony assault…and in August, will be sentenced to 5 years probation and 6 months of community service.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
There was a pretty lengthy high speed car chase in the city this weekend, and that’s got a Tory MLA calling for the province to kick in cash to buy police a helicopter. Justice critic Kelvin Goertzen says having a chopper would increase safety for police and the public during pursuits. A new city copter would cost about 1.5 million, and take about half of that to run every year.
Well, for those planning a trip out east this week…..it’s shaping up to be a stinky one in Toronto, as a garbage strike is now underway and a summer heat wave is about to move in. About 24 thousand of the city’s inside and outside workers went on strike at midnight after contract talks failed. The walk out means no trash or recycling pick up, and other services like city run daycares, rec centers and summer camps will all be shut down.
There’s a new strategy in the fight against cow gas….and global warming. 15 Vermont farmers will today, start feeding their cows flaxseed, alfalfa and grasses high in Omega 3 fatty acids, to try and cut down on burps. Of course cow burping adds a significant amount of carbon to the atmosphere, which in turn contributes to global warming.
Sandra Bullock’s latest flick was the top draw at the North American box office this weekend. In fact, it was her best opening ever. “The Proposal” took in some 34 million dollars U.S. “The Hangover” slipped to 2nd, followed by the Disney movie, “Up.”
A Canadian journalist working for Newsweek magazine has been detained in Iran. Iranian born Canadian citizen, Maziar Bahari is a renowned writer who’s been living in and covering Iran for some 10 years. The magazine says his coverage has been fair, but he’s now being detained without charge in Tehran. The magazine is calling on the government to release him immediately, but so far, there’s been no response.
Scooter and moped drivers aren’t gonna like this news. MPI says they stand by their increases for the 2 vehicles. Spokesperson Brian Smiley says the hike is statistically driven. He says there are more scooters on the road now than ever before, and because of that increased traffic, there’s been more accident claims being filed……hence the reason for the hike.
Friday, June 19th, 2009
That doctor from Libya, who’s been accused of sexually assaulting a young boy at Children’s Hospital, is now free on bail. The 29 year old man posted a 5 thousand dollar bond and turned over his passport yesterday. The doctor is facing numerous charges after assaulting a boy last weekend. He’ll be back in court July 22nd.
The body of a 68 year old man, who disappeared during spring flooding in southern Manitoba, has now been found and identified. Walter Imbeck was last seen checking a drainage pipe in the R.M. of St. Clements in early April. Friends and family think he must had fallen or slid into the swollen Red River.
So how do Manitoba hospitals rank when it comes to wait times? Well a new report card says we come 3rd in the country. The Wait Time Alliance gave B.C. and Ontario A’s across the board, and Manitoba was actually pretty close behind with all A’s and just one B.
The spring session of Parliament will end today with a whimper rather than a bang. The last order of business will be passing a routine spending bill. An agreement earlier this week between the Liberals and the minority Conservative government, spared Canadians from a summer election. But, gotta tell ya….talk of us going to the polls in the fall is getting louder and louder everyday.
NASA has launched its first moon shot in over 10 years. An unmanned spacecraft took off from Cape Canaveral yesterday. The launch came one month shy of the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s original moon walk. NASA by the way plans on sending humans back to the moon by 2020.
The world’s oldest man has died at the age of 113. Tomoji Tanabe passed away in his sleep today at his home in southern Japan. Born in 1895, Tanabe was certified as the world’s oldest man when he was 111. By the way Tanabe had said one of the secrets to living long was drinking milk everyday and eating shrimp and clams.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation says Ottawa should make the food industry reduce trans fats in prepared products. It says producers have had 2 years to voluntarily slash trans-fat levels, or face regulation…but, not all companies have complied.
Thursday, June 18th, 2009
A huge boost for the city’s aerospace industry. Standard Aero has signed a 15 year, 850 million dollar deal with WestJet, to service engines powering the airline’s 737’s. Some 250 new jobs are expected to be created because of this new deal.
A bail hearing is expected to proceed this morning for a 29 year old doctor accused of sexually assaulting a teenaged boy at Children’s Hospital this past weekend. The 29 year old resident doctor, originally from Libya, has now been suspended indefinitely….and, has been at the Remand Center since Tuesday.
Another day….another new total on the H1-N1 front. 34 new cases were confirmed yesterday, bringing our provincial total to 260. Nearly half of the cases, about 122 in fact, have come from Winnipeg residents, while most of the rest are northern Manitoba cases.
A Gorilla with a knife caught people’s attention at the Calgary Zoo yesterday. A Zoo keeper apparently forgot a paring knife in the gorilla enclosure and a curious primate named Barika picked it up. At one point she looked like she was going to stab an unsuspecting male nearby. But fortunately, she finally lost interest in the knife and left it on a chair.
Prime Minister Harper says the Liberals will end up losers if they keep threatening to force elections to try and get what they want. Right after Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced they had a deal yesterday to spare us from a summer vote, there was talk on Parliament Hill about a possible fall election.
You know that the late night guys are gonna have a field day with this news. U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton fell downyesterday and fractured her elbow. Officials say it happened while Clinton was on her way to the White House….and, she will require surgery in the coming week.
And the province of Alberta is having big problems with forest fires this year. In fact, they’ve seen a 25 per cent increase in blazes this year alone. The big problem has been lightning strikes……more than 100 thousand have been recorded in that province since this past weekend.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
The swine flu has now killed 2 Manitobans, and, the province’s chief medical examiner expects more people will die of the disease. Dr. Joel Kettner says the victims were a man and a woman….both in their 40’s. The woman had, had some underlying medical conditions, but the man, did not…something Kettner says is quite surprising. Right now there are 74 new cases of the swine flu, pushing up our provincial total to 226.
A doctor at a Winnipeg hospital faces several charges after a young patient was sexually assaulted. Police are still not releasing many details but, we do know the child boy was between the ages of 13 and 17, and the doctor has been suspended. The incident happened twice apparently early on this past Monday morning.
So, a lot people out there ticked off about their photo radar tickets….and as a result, security has had to be beefed up at the downtown court office. The government has refused to issue refunds for construction zone speeding tickets….and that’s got a lot people really upset and apparently taking their anger out on sheriffs officers.
Well not to worry, it doesn’t look like we’ll be having to sweat through a federal election this summer. There’s word Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff have reached a tentative deal that would allow the government to survive a confidence vote this Friday.
Some pretty strong words comin out of North Korea today. That country is making more threats against anyone…any country that provokes it “even a bit.” The state media is warning that, it’ll retaliate a “thousand fold” against the U.S., or, any of its allies.
Well the infamous hydrogen gas leak has struck again. The shuttle launch planned for this morning has been scrubbed. NASA says fuelling was stopped when a potentially dangerous hydrogen leak was spotted near Endeavor’s external fuel tank. That’s the same spot as the leak that shutdown this past weekend’s flight. Canada’s Julie Payette and the other 6 astronauts may get another chance to launch on July 11th.