Archive for November, 2009
Monday, November 30th, 2009
The city’s Chamber of Commerce wants Premier Greg Selinger to loosen up the Sunday shopping laws. Chamber president, Dave Angus says it’s been a few years since his organization has raised the issue….but he says now with new faces in both the premier’s and labour minister’s office, now’s the time to gauge the interest.
Icy roads may have been to blame for a driver losing control of a car that crashed into a house here in the city. The car ripped dozens of stone bricks off the side of Marla Wiebe’s home and pushed a vehicle across the driveway onto the lawn. The woman driving the car appeared to be fine. Police are still trying to figure out what exactly caused the crash.
Manitoba lawmakers are back at their desks today, as the provincial legislature resumes sitting. A throne speech will open the very brief 9 day sitting. Premier Greg Selinger says his government’s main focus in the next few weeks will be on stimulating the economy.
Tiger Woods is calling his low speed, single vehicle car crash outside of his Florida home early Friday, “embarrassing” and all his fault. The golf phenom’s statement on his web site says it’s a private matter and will stay that way. But, PR experts say he’s not likely to get that wish….. especially since he has continually put off routine questioning by police. Apparently, today, Woods and his wife will sit down with officers to go over what exactly happened.
Back to work legislation could be tabled today to end the strike by CN Rail’s 1700 locomotive engineers. The feds are threatening to end the strike and send the dispute to binding arbitration if talks between the company and its union don’t reach an agreement by today.
Anyone planning to buy their true love all the gifts mentioned in the song, “12 Days of Christmas” will need more than 87 thousand dollars U.S. this year. But, that’s an increase of less than one per cent over last year. The research company that came up with the total, says lower energy costs and wage increases kept its Christmas Price Index from rising higher.
Vampires and werewolves still rule at the North American box office. “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” remains the top movie for the 2nd straight week, raking in more than 42 million U.S. The football drama, “The Blind Side,” also had another good weekend, coming in a close 2nd with a 40 million dollar take. “2012” rounded out the weekend’s top 3 flicks.
Shots have been fired at a Seattle, Washington home where a man sought in yesterday’s coffee shop slayings of 4 police officers, may be holed up. The police gunfire followed negotiators use of loudspeakers and explosions to find out if the suspect is indeed inside, and to try and prod him to surrender.
Friday, November 27th, 2009
There’s been a big jump in the number of swine flu cases in the province. But, health officials say fortunately, most of those who came down with the flu have mild symptoms. In fact, officials say only one swine flu patient was actually admitted to hospital and intensive care last week. In the past week, there’ve been just over 700 confirmed cases, bringing the provincial total up to 1200.
A Winnipeg woman who stabbed a city cop with a large hunting knife will be sentenced on December 10th. The Crown wants to send 21 year old Vianna Redhead to jail for 12 years and 3 months, that’s in addition to the 33 months she’s already spent in custody. But the defense argues just 2 more years are needed. Redhead was convicted earlier this year of attempted murder for stabbing a veteran constable in the chest.
You can blame it on Dubai ! The financial markets are being rattled today, thanks to Dubai’s mountain of debt. The price of oil is down almost 4 dollars a barrel this morning….that’s about 5 per cent. That’s blamed for dropping our loonie to 93.41 cents….down from yesterday. Both Tokyo and Hong Kong saw their markets plunge overnight. And, analysts expect more of the same today on North American markets.
Here’s a sad story. 5 officials from the Toronto Humane Society have been charged with cruelty to animals. The 5 will appear in court this morning. Apparently, dogs, cats and other animals were left to suffer and die in cages at the Toronto shelter. No word yet on how or why this happened.
Prime Minister Harper is in Trinidad and Tobago this morning, for the opening of the Commonwealth leaders summit. Climate change, the economy and human rights will be the major topics on the agenda.
Saved by the stick shift. A carjacking in town was foiled, all because the shotgun wielding thief didn’t know how to drive a standard. Apparently, the guy was warned by the driver that the car had a manual transmission…which he didn’t know how to use. So, he tossed the car keys back to her, apologized and ran away.
So Safeway is apparently rushing hundreds of watermelons from California to Calgary. Why ? It’s for the benefit of Roughrider fans who’ll be at Sunday’s Grey Cup game between Saskatchewan and Montreal. Roughrider Melonheads carve and gut watermelons and wear them on their heads, much like the NFL’s Green Bay Packer fans do with cheese.
Well I guess you can’t blame a girl for tryin. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s estranged wife, is seeking 68 million dollars a year in alimony…something that was immediately rejected by her former hubbie. The request, part of separation proceedings, would work out to more than 5.5 million a month. Berlusconi is listed by Forbes magazine as the 70th richest person in the world….but his lawyers say, there’s no way his wife will walk away with that kind of cash.
Lots of bogus bills out there apparently. City police say they’ve gotten several reports of fake money, particularly 100 dollar bills being passed at businesses. Cops are now urging retailers to make sure they take a very close look at all money that’s coming in to make sure it’s legit.
Thursday, November 26th, 2009
A pretty frightening experience for a 20 year old woman tanning in a Winnipeg Square salon. Less than 5 minutes into her session on Tuesday, the woman noticed a man in his 20’s had climbed over a wall into her room as she lay in the bed. Cops say the woman yelled and the intruder fled by climbing back over the wall. So far, there has been no arrests.
Manitoba’s Auditor General says there are way too many nursing homes that aren’t up to snuff. Carol Bellringer found more than half of the homes failed to meet 4 of the 5 core standards set out by the province. One union spokesperson says the reason for that is…many homes are simply short staffed.
Thrilled to be freed after 15 months in captivity in Somalia, Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout has arrived in Kenya in the first leg of her long journey home to Alberta. Lindhout and another hostage were released by their Somali captors yesterday. She had spent 459 days as a captive…and says during that time she was isolated, beaten and tortured. Apparently her captors were paid 700 thousand dollars for her release.
Federal mediators have called a meeting with CN and its union for locomotive engineers….to try and stop a strike from happening. With the railway’s 1700 engineers threatening to walk off the job as early as this weekend, mediators have called for both sides to sit down in Montreal tomorrow to try and resolve the dispute.
So did you hear about this security breach? The Secret Service is now reviewing its security procedures after 2 socialites crashed Tuesday’s state dinner at the White House. The uninvited Virginia couple even had their arrival announced and actually posed for pictures with the vice president and others. But, it turns out neither of them were invited. Now the hunt is on to see how they got in.
A new report is offering up a grim picture of what climate change is doing to the country’s north. The report says we’re not prepared to effectively deal with the threat global warming poses to communities and infrastructure up their. It’s concerned about the damage that looms from things like storm surges and melting ice roads.
A Swiss court has granted Roman Polanski bail…at a cost of 4.5 million. The fugitive director is apparently days away from being placed in house arrest and under electronic monitoring at his Alpine resort. Polanski is still wanted in the U.S. after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a 13 year old back in 1977.
Well if you’re heading south to take in some the deals on black Friday….you’ll like this news. Yesterday, our loonie jumped over a cent…and is now sitting at 95.28 cents U.S. Some analysts are still expecting the loonie to be at par with the U.S. greenback by the new year.
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
A 14 year old Winnipeg boy has been suspended indefinitely for bringing a handgun to school. Students at Arthur Leach School are being credited with letting staff know about the gun being at the school. Police say they took the boy out of class without incident. He was packing a small caliber handgun, ammunition and some marijuana.
Convicted murderer Frank Ostrowski will have to wait several more days to find out whether he can leave jail. We first told you about this story yesterday…..Ostrowski has spent 22 years behind bars for the 1986 shooting death of a fellow drug dealer. But he claims he never did it. Now, his conviction is being reviewed because some evidence was withheld from the defense.
One minute, a Coquitlam B.C. man was on cloud 9 after winning 365 thousand dollars at Sunday’s BC Poker Championships. The next day, he was under arrest by the RCMP in the murder of 6 people 2 years ago in Surrey. Sephon Sek was busted Monday.
Don’t know if you’ve seen shots of this on the news or not…….officials say hundreds of icebergs are drifting towards New Zealand and could actually pose a risk to ships in the area and the country itself. The ice apparently split off from Antarctic ice shelves. And while it’s a normal process, one expert says the increasing rate appears to be the result of global warming.
This didn’t take long. A class action lawsuit has been launched against the makers of those drop side cribs which were recalled yesterday. A law firm has now begun proceedings against Stork Manufacturing, as well as Fisher Price, Sears and Wal-Mart, concerning the nearly 1 million cribs that were recalled. Claims will apparently also be filed in other provinces today…including right here in Manitoba.
Some American health officials are concerned that holiday gatherings could help spread the swine flu virus. U.S. Thanksgiving, which is tomorrow, is typically followed by at least a modest bump in seasonal flu cases. Doctors say people should make sure they don’t travel if they’re not well, and make sure they wash their hands often.
It’s time for Atlantis and its 7 astronauts to leave the International Space Station. The shuttle will undock this morning, then aim for a Friday landing in Florida.
Police in a small town in Georgia are looking for an apologetic burglar who made off with loot from a local church….but also left behind an apology. The thief’s apology was scrawled on the wall, and read….”Sorry, but I’m poor. Forgive me Lord.”
The province has got the title back….but sadly, it’s not one they’re proud of. For the 9th time in the last 20 years or so, Manitoba has been named the child poverty capital of the country. According to new reports, nearly 1 in 5 kids in our province live in poverty. Family Services Minister, Gord Mackintosh said the province has cut the child poverty rate in half since 2000…but he admitted there was still a lot of work to do.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
Officials at the Manitoba youth center here in the city, are trying to figure out how 4 inmates got their hands on lights or matches to set a fire at the institution. A spokesperson says 4 boys barricaded themselves in 2 cells early yesterday and set curtains and sheets on fire. The boys, all between 15 and 17 will now be facing numerous new charges.
Parents listen up. If you have a drop side baby crib in your home, you need to take a look at the furniture’s manufacturing information. A massive recall was issued last night of 2.1 million cribs in this country and the U.S. The recall involves drop side cribs made by Stork Craft of British Columbia between 1993 and this past October. Apparently a number of children have been hurt because of the crips drop side feature…..so…..people are being urged to stop using the cribs immediately, and contact the company for a free repair kit.
That’s it….that’s all….the Gosselin’s are gone. TLC aired the final episode of “Jon and Kate plus 8” last night. The show came to a halt after father Jon said he didn’t want his kids or himself to be a part of the program anymore. Kate Gosselin said ending the series now is needless and useless and said their 8 kids are sad to see the show over. Meantime, the couple’s divorce hearings have gone well, and Jon’s lawyer says the split could be final by the end of this year.
Things are a little rocky now for Little Richard, but he says he’ll be rolling again soon. The 76 year old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is recovering from hip surgery he underwent this week in Nashville….but says he plans to be performing by the new year.
Absolute tragedy at the Toronto airport this past Sunday. A Winnipeg born toddler fell 15 meters to his death, after wriggling out of his mother’s arms. The boy along with his parents, were in the process of moving from Winnipeg to Burlington, Ontario when the tragedy happened. Police are calling the incident a very unfortunate accident.
A Winnipeg man is asking to be let out on bail after serving 22 years in jail for murder. Frank Ostrowski says he had nothing to do with the shooting death of Robert Nieman in the 1980’s. The federal government is now reviewing the case because of questions about the Crown’s main witness.
Tory leader Hugh McFadyen says the province should scrap its enhanced drivers license program. He says response to the enhanced ID cards, introduced earlier this year, has been poor. The cards are cheaper than a passport and can be used as ID, if you’re driving over the U.S. border. But, McFadyen says with only 8 thousand of the cards issued, obviously the program is a money loser.
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
City police have charged a 20 year old man with a weekend stabbing that left one man dead and another with serious injuries. Jordon Allen Costello is charged with 2nd degree murder in the death of 19 year old Nolan Norman. Police say that Norman had injured a man in a fight and was later attacked by the man’s friends. An autopsy will be done today on Norman’s body.
Cops are on the lookout for a man suspected of groping at least 8 women in the past month. And they are now warning women to make sure they go out in pairs, when out for a walk or jog……since this guy is targeting women who are alone.
A technology expert says recent incidents involving Facebook postings, should serve as a reminder that nothing is truly private on the Internet. Carmi Levy points to a case of a Quebec woman who says her disability benefits were cut off because of her photos on her Facebook profile. Natalie Blanchard says Manulife stopped her payments after seeing a Facebook profile showing her at bars celebrating her birthday….this while she was on long term disability for depression.
And in death, Michael Jackson is still at the top of the music world. He made history last night by posthumously winning 4 American Music Awards, giving him 23 in his career…more than any other artist. But it was Taylor Swift who was named the year’s favorite artist….and was also the evening’s top winner with a total of 5 trophies.
Some interesting findings from the journal “Pediatrics” today. Preschoolers in home based daycare, may be watching a lot more t.v. than their parents realize. A new study suggests 70 per cent of home based daycares, and 36 per cent of child care centers, let the tots watch t.v., dvd’s and videos….in some cases, for up to 2 hours a day. Add to that the 2 to 3 hours of t.v. that many parents allow at home….and the preschoolers are spending about a third of their waking hours glued to the tube.
The Olympic torch makes its way to New Brunswick today. The famous flame spent the weekend in Prince Edward Island, and today, will cross the Confederation Bridge.
A pilot project will be launched today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, aimed at helping homeless people with mental health issues. The project will involve 2300 people who are homeless and living with a mental illness in 5 different cities….Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and right here in Winnipeg. More than 1300 will be given a place to live and social services, while the others will get services that are currently available.
There was a pair of stand-offs in the city yesterday. The first happened at a home on Trent Avenue in Elmwood yesterday morning. Police were called after a report of a number of males with weapons were inside. Once inside though, no weapons were found. Then, cops were called to another report of a man with a weapon on Manitoba avenue. Cops say the man at the residence was known to police, but so far, have not released his identity. He was taken into custody though yesterday afternoon.
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
Winnipeg’s health authority goofed and improperly stored a supply of swine flu vaccine, that ended up having to be thrown out. About a thousand doses were apparently stored in a freezer instead of a fridge. An authority spokesperson says, very little vaccine has been wasted since then.
A lunch hour crash injured 6 city high school students yesterday. 4 of them had to be taken to hospital after the Jeep they were in rolled several times. The Jeep, which didn’t have a top, ended—upside down with a smashed windshield and one tired ripped off, as police, firefighters and paramedics worked at the scene. So far no word on how or why the accident happened.
The province has just established new standards for replacement furnaces and boilers used in homes and small businesses. The new rules set higher standards for energy efficiency. The new rules will come into effect on December 30th, and should reduce greenhouse gas emission by more than 800 tonnes in the first year.
So, what word sums up 2009? Well, the New Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year is, “unfriend.” It means to remove someone as a friend on a social networking site, like Facebook. Other word finalists this year, included, netbook and sexting.
It’s taken a team of surgeons 25 hours to successfully separate twin Bangladeshi girls who were joined at the top of their heads and even shared part of a brain. Reports say the 2 year old girls are apparently doing very well. But, it’ll be several days before doctors know whether either girl suffered any brain damage in the surgery.
Here’s an interesting story….what would you do? A U.S. Army cook may face criminal charges after skipping her deployment flight to Afghanistan. Alexis Hutchinson says she’s a single mom, and had no choice but to miss the flight because no one was available to take care of her infant son while she was overseas. Her lawyer says the army had told her she should put her son in foster care while she was away…something she said she just couldn’t do.
Opposition parties are accusing Prime Minister Harper of giving up on climate change talks, before they even begin. 3 weeks before a UN climate conference is set to open in Denmark, Harper says there’s a strong consensus that the world’s countries are a long way from reaching a treaty on climate change. Opposition parties say Harper’s attitude on the issue is counter productive.
Monday, November 16th, 2009
Some scary times for a 52 year old man yesterday. It took firefighters about an hour to rescue him, after he had fallen down a cement shaft. The man was trapped in the hole about 8 meters below the ground, for 5 hours yesterday before someone finally heard his cries for help. The city says the shaft is actually a drainage sewer on city owned property. Fortunately, the man only suffered injuries to his feet.
So, Manitoba’s opposition is wondering when exactly the leg will resume sitting. Tory leader, Hugh McFadyen says there are a lot of key issues for the government to start dealing with. He says the top 2 are the economy and the flu pandemic. Premier Greg Selinger says dates are being finalized for a short session that’ll start either later this month or early in December.
Prime Minister Harper is on his first visit to India since taking office nearly 4 years ago, and he intends to make it count. Harper was first in Mumbai this morning, hyping trade and investment between our 2 countries.
U.S. President Barack Obama is in China today, where just ahead of talks with China’s president, he urged Beijing to stop censoring the internet. During a town hall style meeting, Obama told a huge crowd of university students that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes.
Twitterers will all be aflutter today, when the shuttle Atlantis blasts off from Florida on a mission to the international space station. Last month, NASA invited its Twitter followers to sign up online for a chance to see a shuttle launch up close. About 100 fans won the chance to go to Cape Canaveral and Tweet away as the shuttle roars into orbit this afternoon.
Parks Canada is exploring some new ideas on how to get more people to its parks. Stats show an overall 9 per cent drop in attendance at the country’s national parks between 2007 and now. Some officials say many Canadians may be loosing their love of roughing it in the wilderness, so some parks are gonna start offering amenities like cushy cottage tents with wooden floors, beds, tables and heaters….and maybe even wireless internet.
Neurosurgeons in Australia have begun a complicated surgery to separate 2 year old sisters joined at the top of the head. The girls, from Bangladesh shares parts of their skull, brain tissue and blood flow. A member of the medical team says the chance of a successful operation is only about 25 per cent. However, if they did nothing…the girls would eventually die on their own.
Friday, November 13th, 2009
Fire has destroyed the Bahamas home of Winnipeg businessman, Peter Nygard. The blaze, which actually happened early Wednesday morning, damaged much of Nygard’s sprawling residential compound on a private island. So far, Nygard hasn’t been available for a comment …..but one spokesperson says it’s likely he will rebuild.
Health Minister Theresa Oswald says the increase in swine flu cases shows the second wave of the virus is now well underway. Officials say there’ve been 225 new confirmed cases in the province this week. That brings the total number to almost 300.
Manitoba Justice officials want a mentally ill killer moved to a more secure facility out of province. They say they can no longer control 26 year old Earl Joey Wiebe. Wiebe has caused nothing but problems since being found not criminally responsible in 2001 for the grisly murder of his stepmother Candis Moizer at their home in Niverville.
So, Air Canada thinks passengers are willing to pay extra for preferred seats that have some extra leg room. That includes bulkhead seats and seats at the emergency exits. So, they’re now gonna start charging an extra 14 bucks one way for the privilege to sit in those areas.
Pleas of guilty are expected today in a Colorado courtroom, from the parents of the so called, “Balloon Boy.” Richard and Mayumi Heene are charged with falsely claiming their 6 year old son floated away last month in that helium balloon. Reports say the 2 struck a plea bargain that would see them spend no more than 90 days in jail.
Little bit of sports news in the news this morning. Today is the final day of arguments before the BC Court of Appeal, on whether women ski jumpers have the right to compete at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The jumpers say if men’s ski jumping is allowed at the Games, there should be a similar event for women. A ruling could come as early as this afternoon.
It’ll be quite the road trip for the Prime Minister. Stephen Harper is flying to Singapore for a summit with Asia-Pacific nations. He’ll be in Singapore for only 36 hours before departing for India. There, he’ll make stops in Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar.
You gotta know this guy is just a little pissed at Pelicans. A driver says he was distracted by a low flying pelican, southeast of Houston, Texas yesterday. He says that caused him to veer off the road and drive his car into a salt marsh. So far, it’s unclear if he can salvage the car….a one thousand horsepower Bugatti Veyron, which costs well over a million dollars.
Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Well, after being closed for several days, the city’s swine flu clinics will be up and running today…..with an expanded list of who can get one. Now, anyone between the ages of 6 months and 18 years are on the priority list. The change comes as a result of many school aged kids around town having flu like symptoms.
Dozens of the world’s top AIDS and HIV researchers will meet in Winnipeg this weekend. They’ll be trying to plan a new strategy to curb the disease’s deadly toll….including, looking at ways of developing a vaccine. Some 75 researchers will take part in this weekend’s conference.
The Manitoba Law Society wants some answers from a lawyer whose client files were found blowing around a city neighborhood. The records were those of Fred Bortuluzzi. He says he had stored them in a greenhouse which got vandalized. But the law society says he had an obligation to store the personal files in a safe and secure place….even if they were old. The files by the way did contain info like personal health, bank and tax records.
Looks like big bad Mike is in trouble with the law again. Police in L.A. are investigating after reports of an airport scuffle between Mike Tyson and the paparazzi. The photographer claims that Tyson hit him once, knocking him to the ground and causing him to get hospital treatment. Tyson’s spokesperson though, says the former boxer was defending himself, since the guy was being overly aggressive. Both men ended up being booked and released on suspicion of misdemeanor battery last night.
Prince Charles and Camilla’s 11 day trip to Canada comes to a close today, with the royal couple flying back to England this afternoon. Yesterday, the man in line to be this country’s next King, paid tribute to the country’s war dead at CFB Petawawa, Ontario.
Score one for the girls ! Toronto’s mayor says he’s willing to move some male hockey leagues out of publicly owned arenas, or to different time slots, in order to accommodate girls hockey. Reports say David Miller made the comment after one girls hockey league threatened to launch a human rights complaint.
The Olympic flame continues its march across Atlantic Canada. It arrived yesterday in Labrador where it made 5 stops. The torch relay is almost 2 weeks into its 106 day journey on its way to open the 2010 winter games in Vancouver in February.