Archive for March, 2010
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Well the continued dry weather in Manitoba is leading to even lower projected crests on the Red River. Government officials say the water level from St. Adolphe to the floodway will be even lower than the previous forecast. And the Red is now clear of ice at all points.
A city man plans on taking his Mom on a trip to France after winning the Set for Life lottery. But it took Louis Dufault more than a month to realize he’d won a big ole pile of cash, because he had stuffed the 5 dollar scratch ticket away without checking it. When he finally pulled it out of a dresser and really looked at it, he was pretty shocked. It was worth a cool million dollars.
So, you might want to think twice if you’re considering pulling off a prank against a co worker tomorrow, on April Fool’s Day. Bad pranks at work could cause hard feelings amongst co workers. A new Canadian survey found that almost 60 per cent of managers and executives feel that April Fool’s pranks are unsuitable for the office.
Reps from more than 130 countries, including ours, will be at U.N. headquarters in New York today, to discuss the huge challenge of Haiti’s long term, post earthquake reconstruction. Haiti’s government estimates that it’ll cost 11.5 billion dollars to rebuild from the January 12th quake, that killed more than 200 thousand people.
So, who are the latest inventors being inducted into the Hall of Fame? Well the people who came up with Post-it notes and GPS technology. They’ll be among 16 new members going into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include the inventor of the stock ticker.
The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that WestJet needs to boost the amount of compensation it pays for lost or damaged luggage. The ruling is a response to a complaint from a Winnipeg professor who argued the airline’s 250 dollar limit is far too low. He notes that Air Canada’s cap for luggage compensation is 1500 dollars. WestJet says it’s too soon to say what they’ll do about the order….but they do have 20 days to respond to it one way or another.
There’ve been more suicide bombings in Russia this morning. Russian officials say 2 bombings have killed at least 9 people, including 2 police officers. The blasts happened near the border with Chechnya. The incidents come just 2 days after another pair of suicide bombings tore through the Moscow subway system, killing 39 people and injuring dozens more.
Looks like we’re gonna get details today on the new stadium for the Blue Bombers. Reports say there’ll be a press conference this morning at 10 a.m., where plans for the new stadium out at the U of M site will be announced. Sources say construction is slated to begin within the next month.
The numbers just aren’t good….and now the RCMP are hoping people change their ways. Stats show that so far this year, 8 out of 13 fatal collisions in our province, have involved people not wearing a seatbelt or a helmet. An RCMP spokesperson says it’s a spike that they don’t appreciate seeing and that there’s no logical reason for it. People need to buckle up.
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
So, just how nice was it yesterday? Well howabout record breaking nice. 13 were smashed around the province yesterday, including right here in Winnipeg. We hit 18.2 degrees on Monday, which beat out the record of 17.8 set way back in 1918. Today, could also be another record breaking day.
So all this dry, warm and windy weather is leading to a better than expected year for flooding in Manitoba. The Red River is expected to crest Thursday in Emerson where the water is still well below the top of the town’s dike. The Red is now almost completely free of ice, but a jam led to a couple of flooded garages in Petersfield, yesterday afternoon. The ice did clear within a couple of hours and water levels started dropping very quickly.
World security will top today’s agenda at the G-8 foreign ministers meeting, happening in Quebec. Iran’s nuclear ambitions and yesterday’s suicide bombings in Moscow’s subway system, will likely be among the topics discussed.
When all else fails….bring in the big boys from NASA. Experts at the space agency as well as the National Academy of Sciences, will join the U.S. government’s effort to try and figure out what causes unwanted acceleration with some recalled Toyota’s. The automaker has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide.
A national day of mourning is underway in Russia, following yesterday’s suicide bombings in Moscow’s subway system. 2 female suicide bombers believed to have ties to Chechen rebels, are blamed for at least 39 deaths, and injuring scores of others.
Nissan says its new electric car, which’ll be called the LEAF, will set ya back about 40 grand U.S. in Japan, and North American pricing on the vehicle will be announced later today. The LEAF will have a range of 160 kilometers on a single battery charge, and will be emission free.
Well here’s something you don’t hear everyday. A Russian man has won a million dollars, but, he can’t decide if he wants it. The 43 year old man, a bachelor who lives with his Mom, won the cash for solving a math problem that’s stumped mathematicians around the world for a century. But, Grigory Perelman says he can’t decide if he wants the cash.
Premier Greg Selinger says a decision has to be made soon about funding for a new football stadium for the Blue Bombers. Selinger says a new home for the CFL club is necessary because the current stadium at Polo Park needs some 52 million in repairs. Winnipeg businessman David Asper has until October 1st to work out plans for the facility at the U of M, and a retail complex on the site of the current stadium.
Monday, March 29th, 2010
Well Duff’s Ditch has been activated, to make sure the crest of the rising Red River goes around the city. The massive lift gate that forces vast amounts of water into the channel, was switched on yesterday. The river’s crest is still about 50 kilometers from Emerson, but officials are not taking any chances they plan on closing dikes around Morris, St. Adolphe and St. Jean, later this week. And that also means the closure of highway 75.
The wonders of modern technology. A missing Albuquerque man has been found, thanks to his dog’s microchip. 70 year old Jack DeBuck had missing for more than a day. Police say he and his dog walked into a café but the man was disoriented and unable to give his personal information. Someone noticed the dog had a microchip and that’s how they identified the pooch’s owner.
And Pope John Paul the 2nd’s, fastrack to sainthood may be slowing. While the Vatican marks the 5th anniversary of John Paul’s death this week, there are doubts the miracle needed for him to reach sainthood will stand up to scrutiny. A young French nun thought to have Parkinson’s disease was apparently cured she prayed to the Pope two months after he died. But reports today say the nun may have had a disease similar to Parkinson’s but is curable. The Vatican has now called in experts to examine the case.
A 14 year old Winnipeg boy has been charged with aggravated assault, after being accused of throwing a kitchen knife at his mother. Police say he did it to try and stop her from driving drunk. The woman is now in stable condition in hospital. The boy had initially taken off after the incident, but was arrested when he returned home.
Canadian rock icons, Rush, are the newest members of the Canadian songwriters hall of fame. They were honored last night at a gala in Toronto. Rush is the first band to be inducted into the hall.
Henry Winkler has proven that unlike his “Happy Days” t.v. persona, “The Fonz,” he hasn’t jumped the shark. The 64 year old Winkler, got the key to the city yesterday afternoon at the World of Wheels show. Mayor Sam Katz beamed as the famous actor and director admired the large silver key. Winkler by the way, is an avid fisherman and says he’d like to come back to our province to do a little trout fishing.
U.S. President Barack Obama is heading home after a surprise visit to Afghanistan. He met with Afghan President, Hamid Karzai and his cabinet and made it very clear that he wants them to do more to stem corruption. Obama also took the time to visit some U.S. troops….where he told them that the world would be significantly less secure if the Taliban retook Afghanistan.
Global security is the theme as foreign ministers from the G-8 nations open a two day meeting in Canada today. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says Iran’s nuclear program tops the agenda.
Friday, March 26th, 2010
Well all this cold weather we’ve had has caused the Red River to refreeze, and that could mean much higher than expected river levels near Selkirk. The province in fact, has now issued a flood bulletin for the area. If the ice doesn’t break up, water levels around Selkirk could climb to without a foot and a half of last year’s crest.
A Manitoba Mountie has been found not guilty of criminally harassing his ex girlfriend. A judge ruled what Corporal Jeff Moyse did to former girlfriend, Crown Prosecutor, Debbie Buors, was “rude and nasty” but, it wasn’t a crime. Buors had testified that Moyse wouldn’t accept the end of their relationship back in December of 08, and flooded her with hundreds of unwanted phone calls, e-mails and text messages.
Prime Minister Harper, an avid hockey fan, will join Pat Burns today for the unveiling of plans to build a new arena named after the former NHL coach. The Pat Burns Arena is expected to be completed next year, Stanstead, Quebec. Burns by the way, now lives in Florida, and is currently battling cancer.
Well, it’s a toy that I grew up with, and I’m sure a lot of you too. But now, Health Canada is warning people to get rid of it since it’s no longer considered safe. We’re talking about those Fisher Price little people figurines, which were made before 1991. Officials say they’re a choking hazard for small children. The warning comes after the death of a 10 month old Canadian baby.
Some pretty strong allegations from a Canadian soldier this morning. In documents just released by the feds, a soldier says that Afghan authorities routinely executed detainees handed over to them by his unit. Opposition parties are now pressing for full access to all the documents about the transfer of Afghan detainees.
The feds are standing firm. They say Canadian soldiers will leave Afghanistan next year as scheduled. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon was responding to a report that the U.S. will ask Canada to keep up to 600 soldiers in Afghanistan to train the Afghan army. But, Cannon says, quote….”as of 2011, we’re out !”
It appears Canadians will have to pay more for some financial services after Ottawa quietly changed the rules on how the GST is applied. The change appears to mean that the tax is now applied to some services offered by financial brokers and advisers. And, the industry says those added costs, which could total a billion dollars a year, will be passed on to consumers.
In health news this morning…..a new study is saying some disturbing things about kids and diabetes in this country. The report from the Manitoba Institute of Child Health says Type Two diabetes, which is linked to obesity and other health issues, is no longer an adult disease.
Some new stats to tell ya about this morning. According to a StatsCan study, Winnipeg still remains the robbery capital of the country. The study, based on 2008 data, found our city’s robbery rate of 233 incidents per 100 thousand residents, was the highest of major cities, and more than twice the national rate of 97.
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
It’s gonna be a whole lot tougher for people to get prescriptions for the painkiller, OxyContin. In an effort to curb the abuse of the drug, the province plans to restrict it to those who meet specific criteria for pain control. In fact, Doctors will now be required to contact Manitoba Health every time they prescribe the drug.
Still no sign of that 14 year old boy who disappeared in remote area north of the city. Tyler Arkinson, of the Sagkeeng First Nation, was last seen early Sunday morning leaving a house party on foot. Some 85 volunteers spent the day yesterday combing the area trying to find him, but, with no luck. RCMP say they’re worried that Arkinson may be suffering from exposure.
There could be renewed debate over this country’s role in Afghanistan. There’s word that the U.S. plans to ask that as many as 600 Canadian soldiers remain in Afghanistan beyond the end of our combat mission next year. Reports say that request is expected to made through NATO later this year.
Experts at a scientific conference in Spain say, up to a third of breast cancer cases in western countries, could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more. Carlo la Vecchia says drinking less alcohol could help too. He says the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she’s likely to produce, and that could lead to breast cancer.
Lawyers for convicted serial killer, Robert Pickton, appear before the Supreme Court today. They say the former B.C. pig farmer should get a new trial. Pickton was convicted 3 years ago of murdering 6 Vancouver prostitutes and slapped with life behind bars.
A Winnipeg adventurer, who paddled his way to the Amazon is now fighting for his life. 77 year old Don Starkell, was taken to hospital in critical condition yesterday after a fire at his North Kildonan home. Starkell and his son Dana, took a 20 thousand kilometer canoe trip from Winnipeg to the Amazon in the 1980’s, which established them in the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest canoe trip ever. No word yet on what started the blaze, and damage is pegged at 200 thousand dollars.
Times are tough, and as a result a Winnipeg homeless shelter is having to laying off about a quarter of its staff. Officials at Siloam Mission say 17 people will be laid off, thanks to declining donations. Staff at all levels, from front line workers to administrators, will be affected.
She’s known as the Octomom, but that doesn’t mean Nadya Suleman wants your dog or cat to become one too. The California mother of octuplets has agreed to allow PETA to put a sign on her front yard. It reads….”Don’t Let your Dog or Cat Become an Octomom. Always Spay or Neuter.” PETA says it offered Suleman 5 thousand dollars and a month’s supply of veggie burgers and hot dogs, in exchange for allowing the sign to go up.
Conrad Black may be serving time in the “big house,” but his other big house in Palm Beach, Florida is now up for sale. The ocean front mansion, if you’re interested, would set ya back about 32.6 million U.S. The estate does have 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, a tennis court, pool, movie theatre, guest house and private tunnel to the beach under the road. Black is serving that 6 and a half year sentence in a Florida jail for fraud and obstruction of justice.
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Well it was budget time in the province yesterday. And, thanks to last year’s flood, the H1-N1 problems, and the recession, it looks like we’ll be running a deficit for the next 5 years. That actually goes against the government’s own balanced budget law. But, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk says she decided to run a deficit in order to preserve programs. Some of the other highlights in yesterday’s budget include, a new tanning tax. Smokers will be hit with an increase come July. And everything from camping to filing for divorce is set to cost more.
Searchers have failed to find a trace of a 14 year old boy who disappeared on Sunday in a remote area north of the city. Police say Tyler Arkinson, from the Sagkeeng First Nation was last seen leaving a house party on foot. RCMP say he wasn’t dressed for the outdoors. The search resumes this morning.
A Winnipeg judge has sent a longtime outlaw biker to jail for 15 years, for drug trafficking and money laundering. 58 year old Al LeBras pleaded guilty to several charges. He was among the 18 people police rounded up following a 2007 investigation targeting the Hells Angels and their associates.
Some sobering new research spells out just how much exercise women need to keep the flab off as they age….and, it’s a lot. Older women need at least an hour of activity a day, if they’re already at a health weight and are not dieting. For those who are already overweight…..they need even more exercise to avoid packing on the pounds if they don’t want to diet.
A Montreal Dad is fighting back after getting a 75 dollar fine for playing street hockey. David Sasson is contesting his fine in court and is launching a petition calling on bylaws to get changed. City Hall officials say a municipal worker responded to a complaint to get the game moved to a nearby park. Sasson said he wouldn’t move and would rather be fined….so he was. Sasson says his battle isn’t about money, rather about promoting a healthy lifestyle for children.
Well, as my good friend Tommy always says….monkeys equal funny. And, we’ve got a funny monkey story this morning. There’s a rhesus macaque on the loose in the Tampa Bay area. In fact, this monkey is so smart and wily he’s avoided capture for nearly a year. This week though he was spotted in a woman’s pool in St. Petersburg, and authorities don’t know how he got there. But what they do know, is he’s captivated the people of Florida and beyond, possibly because of his ability to outwit the humans.
No one’s talking yet about an important meeting at the White House last night. U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for more than 2 hours amid a serious dispute between the 2 country’s. In a break with custom, the White House has not issued a statement about the talks….and, Israeli officials are not saying anything either.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
Well it’s budget day in the province today. And Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk says it may be a tough one. Wowchuk says with a flat economy and flat federal transfer payments, some things may have to go. We’ll have all your budget highlights for you, tomorrow morning.
Work is getting underway on Manitoba’s second major wind farm. The 345 million dollar development will be built near the community of St.Joseph. Premier Greg Selinger says he expects power from the site by the end of the year.
The city has launched a police cadet program which Mayor Sam Katz says will free up regular cops to tackle more serious crime. The cadets will be used to enforce some provincial laws, they’ll work alongside officers for crowd control at public events and guard crime scenes. The cadets won’t carry firearms but, will have pepper spray and batons. The city hopes to hire 30 cadets this year and 20 more next spring.
Police in Hillside, New Jersey are looking for a hungry burglar. They say someone broke into a restaurant, got chicken from a freezer and cooked it….along with some rice…in a frying pan. Police say the burglar left his dirty dishes behind, and ignored the 200 bucks in the cash register.
You may have to pay more to watch t.v. in this country….but not just yet. The CRTC says it agrees with television networks that they should be allowed to negotiate payment for their signals from cable and satellite companies. But, they also say they’ll seek an opinion from the courts first. Cable companies have warned that consumers will bear the costs of those fees if they’re imposed.
New allegations this morning that Michael Jackson’s doctor stopped doing CPR on the singer, and delayed calling 9-1-1 so he could collect drug vials in the room. Documents show that’s the account given to investigators by one of Jackson’s assistants. Alberta Alvarez says Dr. Conrad Murray was handing him drug vials and telling him to put them in a bag. Jackson died last June from an overdose of a powerful anesthetic and 2 other sedatives that were administered by Murray.
Couple of golfers are the talk of their club in Rancho Bernardo, California. Charles White landed a hole in one on the 9th hole of their club on Sunday. Next up in the foursome was Kitty Tinker, who did exactly the same thing. The players reaction to the back to back aces? Disbelief is a good word. A Golf Digest study has calculated the odds of 2 golfers in the same foursome acing the same hole at 17 million to one.
A San Diego judge has sentenced a married couple to jail for serial shoplifting, and at the same time took a moment to slam T.V.’s Dr. Phil. Judge Irma Gonzalez called the t.v. host, a “charlatan.” The couple the judge had sentenced had appeared on Dr. Phil’s show and admitted to shoplifting. They told the court that they had hoped Dr. Phil would help them, but say all they got was 3 autographed books. The couple is now facing several months behind bars.
U.S. President Barack Obama will sign his new health care bill today in a special ceremony. Then, he’s planning on hitting the road later in the week to try and sell Americans on the deal.
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
The city has its first murder of the year. A 61 year old man is in police custody and facing charges in the death of his 59 year old wife. City police were called to an apartment block on Jefferson yesterday, where they found the woman suffering from serious head trauma. She died a short time later. The husband is now facing 2nd degree murder charges.
7 people, including 3 children, ended up in hospital yesterday after a house fire in the city. The blaze it turns out may have been started by one of the kids who was playing with a lighter. A relative says a 7 year old had found a spider on her bed, so she tried to get rid of it by lighting it on fire. Damage to the Point Douglas home is pegged at 200 thousand dollars.
A child is fighting for her life after a house fire in Point Douglas yesterday may have stemmed from the youngster’s fear of spiders. 4 adults and 3 kids escaped the flames from the home which had apparently started in an upstairs bedroom. Reports say a 7 year old had found a spider on her bed, so she tried to get rid of it by lighting it on fire. Damage to the home is pegged at 200 thousand dollars.
Well Barrack Obama has done what so many American presidents before him couldn’t. He’s ensured that million of uninsured Americans will soon get health care. The U.S. House of Representatives passed Obama’s 940 billion dollar legislation yesterday after a year long debate. Obama says the health care plan may not be perfect but it’ll help millions of Americans.
Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will make a one day visit to Haiti today to assess the country’s needs. President Barack Obama put the 2 of them in charge of U.S. fundraising after the January 12th earthquake.
Jury selection begins today in Brampton, Ontario for the trial of 3 men accused of plotting terror attacks in this country. A massive jury pool….more than 1100 people….is being assembled. The trial comes almost 4 years after a sweep in the Toronto area netted 18 terror suspects.
PETA wants New York City prosecutors to investigate Mike Tyson’s new reality show about pigeon racing. The group says the show is cruel to animals and its races could involve illegal gambling, something Tyson denies. (An.Plan)
The CRTC will rule today on the so called t.v. tax, or fee for carriage. Cable companies have warned it could add 10 dollars a month to consumer’s bills if they’re forced to pay broadcasters to use their local signals. The 2 sides if you’ll recall, have waged a pretty high profile ad campaign, with cable giants urging consumers to say “no,” to what it calls the t.v. tax….and the broadcasters appealing to consumers to save local programming and news.
Well, people down in Fargo are breathing a lot easier this morning. The crest of the Red River has come and gone, and, it was even lower than expected. City officials say they’re relieved the river didn’t cause any major damage this time around. Officials say the crest is now heading towards us, and should hit within 2 weeks time.
Friday, March 19th, 2010
Well the flood forecast is out, and people in the Red River Valley should be able to breathe a little more easily this spring, than those further south. Alf Warkentin says with average weather between now and mid April, the Red River should be about a meter lower than last year’s near record level. But he does say the water will still be high enough to swamp some 600 square kilometers of farmland and roads, including highway 75 to the U.S.
Float planes will likely head out today in an effort to rescue 20 or more drivers stranded on a muddy ice road up north. The drivers had been delivering supplies in Island Lake areas, when the warm weather caused ice roads to deteriorate.
Next week is budget time for the province. And, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk says she plans on no huge spending cuts. But she does say there is a need to raise more revenue. How that’ll happen….guess we’ll find out next Tuesday when the budget comes down.
Well you saw the ad fight about this issue for month’s on various channels, now, the CRTC is set to rule next week on whether cable companies will have to pay t.v. networks for carrying their over the air signals. The networks, including CTV and Global say they need the cash. But cable companies like Shaw say if they’re forced to pay the networks….they’ll pass that added cost on to customers.
Reports this morning say Google, Sony and Intel are collaborating on a project known as Google t.v. Sources say the venture would funnel search, video, Twitter and other web applications into t.v. sets. The group is hoping to make the web as accessible on t.v. as it is currently on a computer.
Well the name you probably won’t remember but the character should ring a bell. Fess Parker has died in California at the age of 85. Parker’s heyday was in the 50’s and 60’s when he played Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone on t.v.
It appears Revenue Canada is doing a better job of getting its hands on Canadian cash hidden around the world. Reports say tax collectors have found some 600 million dollars in offshore income this year alone.
Hey…the rules are there for everyone to follow. That’s something Veterans Affairs Minister, Jean Pierre Blackburn should know. He apparently had quite the run in with Ottawa airport security, when he tried to get a bottle of tequila on board a flight. Blackburn got just a little upset when security took that bottle away because it exceeded the 100 millimeter limit for carry ons.
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
That Portage la Prairie man who was beaten last week by a couple of teens in Sydney, Australia, is now out of hospital. 35 year old Heath Proden, who is confined to a wheelchair, suffered a fractured skull in that attack last week. He had required lengthy surgery to repair the damage. Doctor’s say he’s now doing just fine.
3 men and a woman face charges in a series of elaborate break-ins where thieves slipped through rooftop openings to get access to buildings. Cops say in the past 5 months, merchandise, safes and ATM’s have been stolen from 10 locations in and around the city. The 4 were busted Sunday though when they tripped an alarm at a cigarette warehouse in the city.
If you’ve got a trip planned down south, you’re gonna love this news. Our loonie is flyin high these days. In fact, it’s now closing in on parity with the U.S. greenback. Yesterday our dollar closed at 98.98 cents U.S., and it’s about even in overseas trading this morning. Experts by the way say they expect the dollar to stay high like this for quite some time.
Authorities in California have made an arrest in an alleged illegal prescription drug ring linked to the late actor Corey Haim. The 80’s teen icon died last week at the age of 38. He apparently had an enlarged heart and water in his lungs, but a coroner is awaiting toxicology test results before saying exactly what killed him.
Kraft Foods says it’ll cut the salt content of its products by 10 per cent over the next two years. The company says more than one thousand products will be affected and more than 4 million kilos of salt eliminated. Kraft says the move is good for consumers health, and should be good for its business too.
Sandra Bullock has cancelled her appearance at the London premier of “The Blind Side,” not even 2 weeks after winning an Oscar for her role in the film. The 45 year old actress says she can’t go abroad for unforeseen personal reasons. The news comes amid tabloid reports that Bullock’s husband of 5 years, Jesse James, was having an affair with a model last year while Bullock was away filming the movie.
Hey….no winning ticket for last night’s Lotto 6-49 jackpot. So that means the this weekend’s draw is gonna be massive. Lotto officials say the jackpot should be somewhere around 41 million.
Some interesting results from the Canadian military’s first ever random drug tests. Apparently almost 5 per cent of those tested used illegal drugs, “recently.” Far and away, the most popular drug among users was marijuana. The survey also showed the military drug users are generally men, aged up to 39.