Archive for October, 2009
Friday, October 30th, 2009
Thanks to a small shipment and sooo many people going out to get the swine flu shot….the city may actually run out of the vaccine. The WRHA says vaccine shipments have been arriving every Wednesday, but this week’s shipment was only half as big as expected…and, as a result, they could be out of the vaccine by this Tuesday.
Now on the heels of that news….the country’s public health agency is warning Canadians that vaccine delivery is gonna slow down a bit over the next couple of weeks. That’s because the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, was asked to make special batches of vaccine for pregnant women….and the switchover will cause a slowdown in production of the regular H1-N1 vaccine.
Waiting lists at Manitoba hospitals are shrinking and have become shorter than the national average in fact. A new report says the wait for hospital treatment in our province, decreased by almost 3 weeks between 2008 and 2009. The average wait is now 14.3 weeks. The Canadian average is 16.1.
A Vancouver man, arrested in one of the largest drug busts in Manitoba, has now been slapped with 12 years behind bars. Police busted 49 year old James Kenyon back in October of 2006. They seized nearly 5 million dollars worth of cocaine and ecstasy from inside his semi.
An Ontario Court judge, will hold a hearing today that could determine if Canwest’s money losing National Post, lives or dies this weekend. The company says it’ll be forced to close the national newspaper, and layoff its 277 employees, if the Post isn’t transferred to another one of its holding companies. The Post is one of a number of Canwest divisions that’s currently operating under bankruptcy protection.
Helicopters and boats are combing the waters off the southern California coast this morning, after a U.S. Coast Guard plane and a Marine helicopter crashed. Officials say 9 people were on board the 2 aircraft, which collided in midair.
Bruce Springsteen sang Billy Joel tunes, and Bonnie Raitt rocked out with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Those were just a couple of the highlights at the first of 2 concerts celebrating the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary. Yesterday’s concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, ran more than 5 hours. The second show today will feature, U2, Metallica, Aretha Franklin and others.
Actor Dennis Hopper has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is now canceling all plans, to focus on his treatment. His manager says the “Easy Rider” star is being treated through a special program at the University of Southern California, but wouldn’t elaborate on his condition. Hopper is 73.
And you thought our weather sucked ! A snow storm absolutely nailed Utah, Wyoming and Colorado yesterday. Those states got more than a meter of snow and blizzard conditions. Schools got cancelled, businesses closed and airports had to be shut down.
This is the weekend most Canadians switch from daylight saving time to standard time. Before going to bed Saturday night, make sure you turn your clocks and watches back one hour. The major Canadian exception, as always, is of course Saskatchewan, which stays on standard time, all the time.
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Well nurses giving out the swine flu shots in the province, have been busy. Almost 15 thousand Manitobans have so far managed to get the H1-N1 vaccine, despite some very long line ups. Officials are still urging young kids, aboriginals and people with chronic medical conditions get the shot first.
A healthy 13 year old Toronto boy, has died from the swine flu….just a day and a half after feeing flu symptoms. The boy had just played in a hockey tournament on Saturday, when Sunday, he started to complain of flu like symptoms. His Dad took him to a walk in clinic, where doctors said…yup, it was the plain ole flu, and sent him home. Monday afternoon, the boy was dead. Officials say this is a really rare case….something that only happens in 1 in 250 thousand cases.
A court will decide if a Calgary area man’s amazing run of lotto luck will continue. Seguro Ndabene, has already won the lottery 4 times in the past 5 years….including 2 wins of one million, another of 100 grand, and a 4th prize of 50 thousand. But his biggest win of all, 17 million dollars in a Super 7 draw back in January is being disputed. Seguro claims he was the sole winner, but another man alleges the winning ticket was part of a group purchase and he wants his share.
This news should make a lot of parents happy this morning. The province is spending 2.35 million to expand daycare spaces in the city. Under the plan, the province will open 7 new day care centers. As well, another 9 will be expanded.
Hard to believe but, one of Michael Jackson’s former doctors has now filed a 50 thousand dollar claim against the singer’s estate. Dr. Arnold Klein says he never got paid for the 26 treatments Jackson received during the final 3 months of his life. They included Botox and Restylane shots…..treatments used to fill in facial wrinkles and creases.
More news on the way-ward pilot front this morning. The FAA says the 2 Northwest pilots who overflew their destination last week, engaged in conduct that put their passengers and crew in serious jeopardy. As a result the Federal Aviation Administration has now revoked the licenses of both men. The pilots had told investigators they weren’t sleeping on the job, rather using their laptop computers and lost track of time and place.
More than just ghosts and goblins may be lurking in the shadows this weekend at Halloween parties or during trick or treating. Doctors say crowded parties or communal candy bowls could contribute to the spread of the swine flu….but, a little common sense can help people stay healthy. Docs say first and foremost, if you’re sick, stay home. And, everyone needs to pay attention to proper hygiene by washing your hands and throwing out any unwrapped candy.
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Long lines and waits for over an hour, greeted people at clinics in the city offering up the swine flu shot. The rush of people on the first day, actually caused a nursing shortage. The WRHA has now put out the call for more volunteers in the coming days and weeks, to help with things like greeting the public, and assisting with registration and consent forms.
Jury selection continues in the first criminal trial stemming from the raid of a polygamist sect’s ranch in Texas last year. Potential jurors could be involved in the trial of 38 year old Raymond Jessop. Jessop is the man from the Yearning for Zion ranch. He could be slapped with up 20 years in jail if convicted of sexual assault of a child, stemming from his alleged marriage to an underage girl.
Well tonight’s the night that the Michael Jackson documentary, “This Is It” opens in theatres across the country and around the world. Hundreds of people lined up to get tickets to the show, as long as month ago.
Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Sinbad, were among the comics who turned out in Washington yesterday to honor Bill Cosby and his life’s work of making people laugh. Cosby got the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. After the ceremony, Cosby said he had seen his life pass before his eyes…but, it was “all right.”
The man accused of taking 9 people hostage inside a Workers Comp office in Edmonton last week, will get some help with his legal costs. An injured workers group is setting up a legal defense fund for Patrick Clayton. Clayton is facing several charges, after a 10 hour stand-off with police. The Alberta Injured Workers Society says while it’s against violence, it understands how a person whose benefits are denied, could be “driven to that point.”
Bruce Springsteen cancelled a performance in Kansas City last night, after a member of his road crew…who was also his cousin, died. The death of 36 year old Lenny Sullivan was announced on Springsteen’s web site. Sullivan was found dead at a Kansas City hotel just hours before Springsteen was set to take the stage last night. Police are investigating, but they say they don’t consider the death suspicious.
Remember the story we told you about last week, about those 2 Northwest pilots who missed landing in Minneapolis by 150 miles? Well the 2, could soon be out of work. Both pilots deny they were sleeping. They both say they were on their laptops, looking at crew schedules. But keep in mind, the FAA, the airline, and the control tower tried to reach these guys for well over an hour.
City police are on the hunt for a male suspect, who robbed a downtown branch of the Bank of Montreal yesterday. Cops say the guy entered the bank just after 1 p.m., and, got away with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was hurt in the hold up.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
The first doses of the swine flu vaccine will be given out today. Preschoolers, aboriginals and people with chronic medical conditions will be the first to get the shot. The province does promise that eventually everyone who does want a H1-N1 shot, will get one….it just may take a few weeks.
So, if you’re reluctant to get the new swine flu vaccine, there’s a new ad campaign in the works….and it’s being made just for you. Reports say the ads will try to convince Canadians to get the shot to ward off the H1-N1 virus.
Big headaches on the weekend for some MTS customers using the internet. Yesterday, people had trouble logging on, or sending text messages. Retailers also reported problems with debit card machines at some locations. An MTS spokesperson says they’re still trying to figure out what caused the problem.
A 13 year old boy is in custody after leading city police on a high speed chase in a stolen car. The chase ended when the vehicle crashed into a shopping car stand outside of a Wal-mart store. The kid did try to take off on foot, but police eventually ran him down.
Looks like Manitoba is sadly lacking in the vegetable department. No…not growing them….rather eating them. A new study has found that we’re the worst offenders of fruit and veggie neglect. In fact, a Statscan survey showed that only 29.7 per cent of adults in our province, aged 35 to 44, eat 5 or more servings of greens a day. That puts us well below the national average of 41.1 per cent.
The Internet may be about to undergo one of its biggest changes in its 40 year history. That’s if the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the net, agrees to allow domain names to be written in languages other than English. Approval for the change is expected to come this Friday.
It was the deadliest bombing Iraq has seen in 2 years, and the death toll continues to climb. Officials say 155 people are now dead following 2 suicide car bombs that ripped through Baghdad yesterday. More than 700 others were injured.
It’s been dubbed, “angina of the legs,” and it can be deadly. If you’re over the age of 50, cardiologists say you should be regularly tested for a narrowing of blood vessels to the legs. They say the condition called, peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
If you were hoping to go Libya anytime soon, you can forget it. Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, says visas will no longer be issued to Canadians wanting to take a trip to his country. Gadhafi is apparently ticked off with Ottawa for criticizing the hero’s welcome the Lockerbie bomber was given when he returned to Libya after being released from a Scottish jail last month.
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
A city man has been charged with assaulting a baby, during a domestic dispute. The child was taken to hospital in stable condition. Police have so far not said how old the baby was, or given any other details expect that it was domestic related.
With a deadline looming, the province is still trying to stop Greyhound from pulling out of Manitoba. Transport Minister Ron Lemieux says he wants buses to keep running across the province, but, the feds are apparently not interested in helping to subsidize the bus company. Greyhound could stop all service in Manitoba and northern Ontario, in just a few weeks.
Huge blaze last night at Spar-Marathon Roofing Supplies…..a company whose products include shingles and other roofing materials. Fearing that the smoke from the fire was toxic, officials did evacuate several businesses in the area as a precaution.
Manitoba’s Tory health critic is worried about a nursing shortage in city emergency rooms. Myrna Driedger says the number of vacant nursing positions could compromise the care of sick patients. Driedger says the latest figures show 81 of the city’s 418 E.R. nursing positions are currently vacant.
The United States has formally requested the extradition of Roman Polanski. The Oscar winning director was arrested almost 4 weeks ago, when he arrived in Zurich, Switzerland for a film festival. Back in 1977, Polanski fled the States, after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13 year old girl.
California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has just signed a bill allowing construction of a 75 thousand seat stadium just east of Los Angeles. It’s hoped that’ll lure an NFL team to America’s 2nd largest city. L.A. has been without an NFL team since 1995, when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland.
Kind of a startling statement ! Prime Minister Harper says he doesn’t watch Canadian news. However, during a Q and A at a conference in Toronto yesterday, Harper said he does watch lots of American news. Liberal MP Bob Rae says that bit of news is shocking. Rae says its amazing the prime minister takes so little interest in what’s going on in his own country.
An Olympic champion wants to be an MP. Ross Reb-lee-ah-tee, who won gold in snowboarding at the 98 Winter Games in Japan, says he’s seeking the Liberal nomination in a B.C. riding.
A Manitoba man who spent 14 years in jail for a murder committed in 1990, is finally expected to be cleared today. Sources say the Manitoba Crown will not only free Kyle Unger, but have him acquitted as well. Earlier this year, Unger’s conviction was quashed after DNA evidence proved he wasn’t involved.
Manitoba says all options are being looked at as it continues to negotiate with Greyhound. The bus company is threatening to leave the province next month, if it doesn’t get 4 million dollars a year in subsidies from the government.
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
The country’s biggest ever immunization campaign has been given the green light, after the H1-N1 vaccine was finally approved for use yesterday. Health officials say the vaccine is safe and effective, and provinces should start providing the shots as soon as possible.
Manitobans with a high risk of getting swine flu, will be the first to get the newly approved, H1-N1 vaccine. Starting Monday, health officials will begin vaccinating aboriginals, pre-schoolers, and people with chronic conditions.
But, eventually everyone will be able to get the vaccine.
It was no typical day for 8 people at the Workers Comp office in Edmonton yesterday. They found themselves being held as hostages of alleged disgruntled claimant. The man had walked into the building with a long barreled rifle. After 10 hours of negotiations, the man eventually surrendered, and all 8 hostages were let go. Fortunately, none of them were hurt.
A judge in the Bahamas has ordered a retrial in the John Travolta extortion case because of possible juror misconduct. An ambulance driver and his lawyer are charged with trying to extort 25 million dollars from Travolta following the death of his son, Jett.
Another major step towards the Vancouver Winter Olympics took place this morning in Greece, when the Olympic torch was lit. Now, that torch will be relayed around Greece before arriving in Victoria on Friday of next week. It’ll then start a 106 day cross country trek, which will end in Vancouver on February 12th, when the torch will be used to officially start the 2010 Winter Games.
Huge blaze out in Morris yesterday. The clubhouse at the town’s golf course went up in smoke. So far, there’s no word on how the blaze started, but, damage has been pegged at over half a million dollars. Mayor Dale Hoffman says losing the clubhouse is a blow to golfers everywhere….since they had members not just from Morris, but around southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg.
Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
An investigation is underway after a woman stole someone’s identity to get a job at Manitoba Hydro. Police say, once on the job, the woman used customer account information to apply for credit cards. A hydro spokesperson says the woman disappeared from work back in August. The company is now offering a credit watch service to about 900 affected customers.
Homicide detectives are now on the case of that bathhouse fire, which killed 2 people. Arson was the cause of the blaze but police say there’s no evidence to suggest it was a hate crime. The fire happened back on October 11th. So far, no one’s been charged.
From the strange but true file this morning. A former prisoner from Headingly Jail is now suing the province over an old pair of shoes. Joseph Mason says he broke his leg playing volleyball because jail officials wouldn’t give him a new pair of shoes to replace a pair he says were worn and unsafe. All prisoners at Headingly are not allowed to wear their own shoes and are provided jail issue footwear.
Looks like police have got their man. A 19 year old is now facing charges after that stabbing at the U of M on Monday. 23 year old Tanner Hoplock is recovering from a punctured lung after being stabbed in the chest following an argument with Danny Truong. Apparently a girl was at the center of the dispute. Truong is now charged with assault and carrying a concealed weapon.
Looks like the feds will now have any trouble getting their next piece of legislation through the House of Commons. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson will introduce a bill today, aimed at cracking down on white collar crime. Apparently if passed, the bill would see minimum 2 year sentences for anyone convicted of bilking people out of more than one million dollars.
What a difference just a month can make ! Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff says he’s no longer in a big rush to take down the government. After saying in September his party would try and force the Harper Tories out of office as quickly as possible……Ignatieff has now done an about face. He says it’s because Canadians have told all 4 parties they don’t want an election right now.
As Halloween approaches, we’re learning that researchers have identified a new species of giant spider. And they say it really is giant. The species was found in South Africa this summer. The female spiders have a leg span of about 12 centimeters, and a body width of 4 centimeters. And yes….they are venomous.
And in a case of what goes up…..must come down. Our dollar took quite the hit on world markets yesterday, dropping nearly 2 full cents to close at just over 95 cents U.S.
It was a huge bust for city police yesterday. After raids both inside and outside the city…..cops seized big quantities of crystal meth, cocaine, ecstasy, morphine pills, magic mushrooms. On top of that, they found a number of weapons and cash. 26 people have now been arrested.
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
City police are looking for a suspect following a stabbing outside the school of music at the U of M yesterday. Police say the victim, suffered wounds to the upper body. So far, police have made no arrests.
Manitoba’s chief medical officer of health says he believes a second wave of the swine flu has hit the province. Dr. Joel Kettner says 3 new cases are early evidence of the outbreak.
Meantime…..Health Minister Theresa Oswald is expected to give out details on the province’s vaccination plan immediately after the vaccine gets approved by Ottawa…..and that could be as early as tomorrow. As far as the priority list goes…..it’s likely aboriginal people and pregnant women will get the shot first.
Aaaahhh…..the wonders of modern technology. Thanks to DNA testing, blood found in a leech has convicted a man of robbing an elderly woman 8 years ago. The engorged leech was found at the crime scene, and detectives extracted blood that they thought was from one of the two suspects. Turns out…it was, and the guy pleaded guilty yesterday.
He wasn’t a household name, but 2 of his t.v. theme songs were certainly known by millions. Songwriter Vic Mizzy died on the weekend at the age of 93. He was the man who wrote the theme songs for “The Addams Family” and “Green Acres.” Mizzy always said those “two snaps” from the Addams Family song, bought him a mansion in Bel Air.
A whole lot of financial experts say it’s not what the central bank does this week that’ll get the most attention, but rather, what it says. Analysts fully expect the bank to announce today that it’ll keep its short term policy interest rate down at .25 per cent. But, some think the bank may be looking at boosting interest rates in the near future, thanks to our high dollar and how well the country is doing with the recession.
Officials expect Afghan President, Hamid Karzai will concede today that he fell short of the 50 per cent vote share in August’s election. The original vote count had given Karzai 54 per cent of the total. But yesterday, a Canadian led U.N. panel, threw out nearly one third of his votes, saying there was a significant amount of fraud found.
Monday, October 19th, 2009
So, in case you missed it this weekend…………a new nameplate will be going on the door of the Manitoba premier’s office today. Greg Selinger takes over from Gary Doer after winning the NDP leadership race on the weekend. Selinger says the economy and dealing with the swine flu crisis are his top priorities.
Couple of actors filming a bank robbery scene for a movie on the weekend, found themselves staring at the business end of city police guns. The film crew for the flick, “Mother’s Day,” had just wrapped up the scene where they found themselves surrounded by police who were investigating a real bank robbery. The misunderstanding happened after someone saw the blood soaked and gun toting actors in an old station wagon, and, thinking it was the real thing, called the cops. Things got straightened out when the crew produced film permits.
It’s now out and about. The feds have shipped the first doses of the H1-N1 flu vaccine to the provinces and territories. Officials say the decision to ship out the shots early, was so that local health reps would have immediate access to it once it’s approved by Ottawa. And that approval by the way, could come as early as this week.
Authorities in Colorado say it was all a hoax. Now, the parents of that 6 year old boy thought to have floated away in a giant helium balloon last week, will likely face criminal charges. Those charges could see the parents face up to a 100 thousand dollar fine, and up to 6 years in jail. The sheriff by the way says the family admitted the incident was all in the hopes of the family landing a reality t.v. show.
The things people will pay money for these days ! A clump of hair believed to have been trimmed from Elvis Presley’s head when he joined the Army in 1958, has sold for 15 grand at a Chicago auction house. Also among the 200 Elvis related items up for grabs was a shirt that once belonged to the King…which sold for 52 thousand.
The country has a new ambassador to the United States. Former Premier, Gary Doer, took over the post at midnight. One of the issues Doer will deal with in his new job is Washington’s buy American policies in its economic stimulus package.
It was a “Wild” weekend at your local movie theatre. The live action adaptation of the book, “Where the Wild Things Are” topped the box office, taking in 32 million in its debut. The thriller, “Law Abiding Citizen” opened up in 2nd, followed by the horror flick, “Paranormal Activity.”
Friday, October 16th, 2009
Winnipeg paramedics may soon be using cars instead of ambulances when dealing with non life threatening cases. The move is part of a plan to reduce pressure on city emergency rooms, ease the chronic shortage of paramedics and cope better with the looming swine flu pandemic. The city would of course still send a full scale ambulance to critical cases like heart attacks and car accidents.
Things not looking too great out at the U of M these days. In fact yesterday, the school’s president says he can’t balance the books. David Barnard says grants from the province will not cover the almost 37 million dollar shortfall needed next year to maintain the status quo. And that could mean cutbacks in all areas.
It’s a big weekend for the NDP. Tomorrow, the party will choose their brand new leader, and our new Premier. The race is between Greg Selinger and Steve Ashton. Tonight, the weekend convention will kick off with a farewell dinner and party for outgoing Premier, Gary Doer. Doer will officially become the country’s next ambassador to the United States, on Monday.
Another day….another swine flu warning for ya. A medical expert is urging all Canadians to not underestimate the potential danger of H1-N1. Andrew Simor says some people may have been lulled into a sense of complacency by the relative mildness of most swine flu cases to date.
This didn’t take long…..Balloon Boy T-shirts, already being sold on the internet. But, there are now questions about just what happened yesterday as a homemade helium balloon floated away from a family’s yard, north of Denver, Colorado. There were initial fears a 6 year old boy was in the balloon, but it turned out, he was hiding in the family garage. Falcon Heene later told CNN that he didn’t come out of hiding because his Dad told him it was “for a show.”
Hard to believe this still goes on in 2009. A Louisiana couple is considering filing a discrimination complaint against a justice of the peace who refused to marry them. Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay say they were denied because she’s white, and he’s black. The JP, Keith Bardwell, claims he’s not racist, but he just doesn’t believe in mixing the races that way.
“Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is getting out of a Massachusetts jail today, this after serving his time for evading taxes on the 1 million dollars he won during the reality show’s first season. Hatch was imprisoned back in 2006, but was released earlier this year to home confinement. He was sent back to jail in August to serve the remainder of his sentence after giving unauthorized t.v. interviews.