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Archive for March, 2010

News for March 17th/2010

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

No injuries after a small plane crashed into a ditch north of the city yesterday.  The single engine Cessna went down on Highway 4, near Selkirk.  The pilot, who was the only one on board, had just taken off from a small air strip in the area.  The Transportation Safety Board is now investigating but police suspect mechanical failure led to the crash, which left the plane upside down.


Well we may be enjoying the warm weather in southern Manitoba, but it’s a different story up north.  At least half a dozen semi’s delivering supplies to remote northern communities, are stuck in the mud on thawing winter roads.  The trucks were dropping off loads like groceries when the drivers found themselves bogged down in mud.  Most of the drivers are currently sleeping in their cabs, waiting for a bulldozer to help pull them out.


Flooding has got residents of North Dakota and Minnesota just a little worried this morning.  As we told you yesterday, the Red River is expected to crest in Fargo this weekend, almost 7 meters above flood stage.  That has meant the call for volunteers and sandbaggers has gone out, and a state of emergency has been put in place for the area.


Barely an hour after yesterday’s announcement by Tiger Woods that he’ll make his return to pro golf at the Masters next month, at least one odds-maker made him the favourite to win.  British bookmaker William Hill made Woods a 4 to 1 favourite.  Phil Mickelson by the way is second at 6 to 1.


Prime Minister Harper has snuffed out any hope that younger voters have that his government would one day legalize marijuana.  In answering questions in his first ever virtual town hall meeting last night on YouTube, Harper said his government will never legalize pot.  The PM said the reason pot is not legal now, is because it’s bad.


The puck Sidney Crosby scored the gold medal goal with at the Olympics last month, will go on display today in Toronto.  The puck will be at the Hockey Hall of Fame.  And while the Toronto building will be the puck’s permanent home, it is expected to make trips from time to time elsewhere in the country to allow all Canadians to celebrate it.


Another vehicle recall to tell ya about this morning….but this time it’s not Toyota, rather Honda.  That company says around 350 thousand vehicles in North America have got brake problems.  Apparently the brakes become soft over time.  Under the recall are 2007 and 08 model Honda Odyssey minivans and Honda Element SUV’s.


If you like your Lays smokey bacon potato chips…..better listen up.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public that those Lays chips may be contaminated with salmonella.  Apparently, even though there have been no reported illnesses in this country, the warning has gone out.


News for March 16th/2010

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

So, the Red River is expected to crest in Fargo, North Dakota by this weekend, which is about 2 weeks earlier than first thought.  The crest had been expected in early April but warm weather and rainfall has meant the river could rise to 38 feet by Friday, which is 20 feet above flood stage and just 3 feet below last year’s record level.  Manitoba flood forecasters are expected to provide out latest flood forecast by tomorrow. 


Premier Greg Selinger has announced that Olympic gold medalist, John Montgomery has received the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.  It was part of Sunday’s big celebration in Russell.  The Order was founded back in 1957 to recognize the outstanding and distinctive contributions of leaders in areas like politics, business, sports and entertainment.


Prosecutors blame a drug turf war between a couple of city gangs for the fatal shooting of an innocent teen.  In opening statements at the 2nd degree murder trial of Jeffrey Cansanay, jurors were told they will show Cansanay fired at 2 other people with a 22 calibre rifle, but, missed and struck Phil Haiart.  Haiart and another male were about to cross a street when they were hit by runaway gunfire in October of 2005. 


Well many in this country have joked about it…..but now, one member of the Ontario legislature thinks it’s time for Toronto to split itself off from the rest of Ontario and become its own province.  Owen Sound’s Bill Murdoch says rural Ontario is fighting a losing battle against what he calls a “Toronto mentality” that ignores rural voices. 


Toyota has stopped short of calling it a hoax, but says a California Prius driver’s claim of sudden acceleration last week, just doesn’t square with their tests.  Toyota says its own tests found the car’s gas pedal and backup safety system were working just fine.


Michael Jackson’s estate has landed the late King of Pop the biggest recording deal in history.  It’s a 200 million dollar guaranteed contract with Sony, for 10 projects over 7 years.  One source says one of the albums will be of never before released Jackson recordings.


Well we first told you about this last week……that stolen recycling truck from Emterra Envirionmental, has now been found.  The truck had apparently been abandoned in Transcona.  Company officials say, so far it doesn’t look like there’s any major damage to it.  City police are still looking for whoever stole it.



News for March 15th/2010

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Well it was a homecoming of Olympic proportions.  Thousands of people crammed the streets of Russell yesterday to welcome Jon Montgomery home from his gold medal win in the men’s skeleton.  Montgomery says he’s still coming to grips with how the Olympics have touched people.  He also says he has no firm plans for the immediate future, other than spending time with friends and family….and Tom and Joe !  Jon will be with us coming up tomorrow morning.


As you may have heard on the weekend, one of the province’s ice cutters is now sitting at the bottom of the Red River.  It sank near the Selkirk lift bridge on Saturday.  Crews tried to recover it yesterday, but, with no luck.  A spokesperson says the cutter will likely be retrieved within a couple of months and will need some work, but will hopefully be back in service next year.


A tragic end to a St. Paddy’s celebration.  A 20 year old man from Laval, Quebec was killed yesterday after he jumped from a flatbed truck during Montreal’s St. Patrick’s parade.  It happened along the parade route.  Witnesses say the float literally rolled over the man.


Toronto politicians little surprised to hear the news that, their city will be paying for Corey Haim’s funeral.  That according to Corey’s mother.  Judy Haim told “Access Hollywood” that Toronto is being generous about picking up some of the tab for tomorrow’s funeral in her son’s hometown.  Haim of course died last week in California at the age of 39.


The man convicted of stalking ESPN reporter, Erin Andrews and shooting nude videos of her through a hotel room peephole, faces sentencing today in Los Angeles.  Michael Barrett, a 48 year old insurance executive, has plead guilty to stalking and agreed to a 27 month prison sentence. 


Well, if you talk to most Manitobans, they’ll tell ya that this winter?  We kind of got off easy.  Not the case in the U.S. Northeast however.  They are once again in clean up mode, after a weekend storm brought heavy winds and torrential rain.  At least 7 deaths in 5 states are being blamed on the storm, and hundreds of thousands of customers lost power.  The storm came just a couple of weeks after the same area was hammered with a huge snowstorm.


Toyota plans to hold a news conference today to release its preliminary findings on that alleged sudden acceleration of a Prius last week on a southern California highway.  Officials say they’ve been unable to duplicate the incident, but police say there’s no indication the incident was staged.


A federal program that helps women deliver healthier babies has been very successful….but needs more money.  The Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program is helping many poor mothers to be, stop smoking and drinking and eat healthier.  But the program’s 27 million dollar annual budget hasn’t been increased since 1999.


Well the feds are expected to release a national emergency response plan today, 4 months after being slammed for not having one.  Auditor General Sheila Fraser complained last fall that the plan’s blueprint was still not done.  But later this morning, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to outline an emergency plan that’s been approved by cabinet.  It’ll spell out which department will take the lead on different kinds of calamities, as well as co-ordination efforts between Ottawa and the provinces. 

News for March 12th/2010.

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Lawyers for 4 television networks are in a Winnipeg court this morning.  They’re trying to convince a judge to allow them to televise the inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair.  He was the man who died after a 34 hour wait in a hospital emergency room back in September of 2008.


A couple of Winnipeg men accused of tampering with ATM’s to steal debit card data and money, are now facing more than 100 criminal charges.  According to police, financial institutions were bilked out of more than 200 thousand dollars in the card skimming scam.  The men, aged 30 and 39, have been released on a promise to appear in court. 


Just a reminder…….this is the weekend that most Canadians switch from Standard Time to Daylight Time.  Before hitting the sheets tomorrow night, make sure you turn your clocks and watches ahead by one hour.  The major Canadian exception is of course Saskatchewan, which stays on Standard Time year round.


Roberto Luongo got huge cheers as he carried the Paralympic flame in Vancouver, where those games begin today.  The Vancouver Canucks goalie played a major role in the Canadian men’s hockey team winning the gold medal at the Olympics 12 days ago.  Luongo says he’s sure all Canadians will support Paralympians at the games, which will end on March 21st.


It’s news which has outraged animal activists around the world.  Chinese media says 11 extremely rare Siberian tigers have died of malnutrition at a cash strapped zoo in northeastern China.  Apparently the big cats were kept in small cages, and fed only chicken bones.  By the way, it’s believed there are only 300 Siberian tigers left in the wild.


Ottawa’s mulling over the idea of allowing random breathalyzer tests.  It’s one of a number of ideas included in a paper posted on the Justice Department’s web site.  The feds say, Australia, New Zealand and some European countries already have this in place, and perhaps it’s time we should too.


Lawyers for legendary music producer, Phil Spector are asking a California court to throw out his 2nd degree murder conviction.  They allege that Spector is a victim of judicial error and misconduct.  Right now, the 70 year old is serving 19 years to life behind bars, for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.


The head of CAA, says the city has pretty much dropped the ball when it comes to potholes around town.  Mike Mager says lots of money has come into the province and the city in recent years, but, our roads are still in terrible shape.  Mayor Sam Katz however, disagrees.  He says the city is doing everything it can to fix the holes.  By the way, if you do see a bad one out there, the number to call is 986-HOLE.


Well, not sure what they’ll do with it, but, somebody ripped off a huge recycling truck from Emterra Environmental’s compound.  The theft happened on Tuesday night.  City police say so far, the trucks whereabouts are still not known.


News for March 11th/2010

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

A 17 year old youth has been charged with kidnapping and sexual assault of a 6 year old girl in The Pas.  Mounties say the girl was walking to school when she was abducted and taken to a home, where she was assaulted.  She was able to escape and then told her mother, who called police.  The girl has now been taken to Health Sciences Center for further medical examination. 

It’s an attack that’s been seen around the world.  The mother of a disabled Winnipeg man, who was severely beaten in Australia, says she can’t bear to watch the video tape of it happening.  Shellan Proden’s 35 year old son, Heath, has been visiting his girlfriend in Sydney since November.  Police say he was returning from a concert and waiting for a train late Tuesday night when he was attacked by 2 young men, who severely beat him, before robbing him of his belongings including his wheelchair.  A manhunt is now underway.  And, Heath will have surgery today to relieve swelling on his brain.

A group of Canadian women are suing the makers of the popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin.  Reports say the women claim they weren’t adequately warned before using the drugs about a higher than usual risk for stroke and other health problems.  Made by Bayer, Yaz and Yasmin are oral contraceptives used by thousands of women across the country. 

Mirror, mirror on the wall….who’s the richest of them all?  Well shockingly, it’s not Bill Gates this year.  It’s Mexican telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim, with a net worth of around 53. 5 billion U.S.  It’s the first time someone from a developing nation has topped Forbes Magazine’s annual list.  Gates did come in second, followed by Warren Buffet.  The richest Canadian on the list, sitting in 20th, is David Thompson and family with 19 billion dollars.

The wonders of modern technology.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper will use new media to talk about last week’s throne speech and his government’s plan for the future.  Harper will apparently appear on YouTube at 9:45 Winnipeg time this morning, in what’s being billed as an online discussion. 

No one has the winning ticket for last night’s 22 million dollar jackpot prize in Lotto 6-49.  So that means the draw this weekend will now be almost 30 million bucks.


Hockey memorabilia lovers are breathing easier with the news that Sydney Crosby’s missing stick and glove that he used to score the gold medal winning goal at the Olympics, has been found.  The NHL superstar and Nova Scotia native says he’s grateful the equipment has been returned.  It turns out the glove was mistakenly put in the bag of teammate Patrice Bergeron, who sat beside Crosby in the dressing room. 

It’ll take an autopsy and toxicology tests to determine exactly what took the life of Toronto born actor Corey Haim.  The 38 year old former child star’s body was found yesterday in an L.A. apartment, with police saying there were no signs of foul play.  Investigators say the actor did have flu like symptoms before he died and was taking prescription drugs for it.

Don Cherry is giving thumbs up to an agreement by NHL General Managers for a new rule against blindside hits to the head.  Starting next season, the GM’s want refs to call a minor or major penalty for any hit in which the head is the primary point of contact.  Cherry says those kinds of hits should get a 5 minute major.


News for March 10th/2010

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Manitoba is not doing enough to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.  That’s according to Dr. Earl Hershfield, a former TB control director.  He says it’s getting worse because no one has any solutions to the overcrowding and poverty that helps TB spread.  The latest provincial stats show Manitoba recorded 156 TB cases in 2009, a 30 year high.


The girlfriend of a man shot and killed by city police on the weekend says, officers were wrong to shoot him.  Giselle McKinnon says Eric Daniels was upset over a confrontation he had with some strangers on the street, and was hitting a picnic table with a machete.  Police say Daniels refused to put down the machete when they arrived.  McKinnon says Daniels did take a couple of steps toward the officers, but he didn’t go after them with his machete.


A record number of Manitoba medical grads are planning to finish their postgraduate training in the province.  The U of M says 62 of 100 students say they’ll stay.  That’s up from just 38 graduates in 2008.


Governor General Michaelle Jean has wrapped up an emotional 2 day visit to her Haitian homeland.  Jean was greeted by huge crowds yesterday upon her arrival in her hometown of Jacmel, and she continued to give optimistic messages of hope that reconstruction will happen.


A follow up to a story we told you about yesterday.  U.S. government investigators have now been sent to examine a Toyota Prius that sped out of control on a California freeway on Monday.  The driver said it reached speeds of 150 kilometers an hour, before a state trooper helped to slow down the popular hybrid. 


Toyota is expanding a recall announced back in November to fix Tundra pickup trucks.  The recall on 2002 and 2003 models is because of the trucks frame, which could rust and lead to spare tires falling from beneath the vehicle.


One of the country’s latest lottery winners could very well spend some of his windfall on a new vehicle.  Kevin Bowser of Houston, B.C. says when he learned he held one of two winning tickets for last week’s 19 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot, he had to ask his brother for a ride to cash it, because his vehicle wasn’t reliable enough to make the drive to the lotto office.  Bowser says he now plans on quitting his job as a fork lift operator and buy a house and a new car.


New poll out this morning says the federal Tories have pulled into a narrow lead over the Liberals.  The survey shows the Conservatives have the backing of 33 per cent of Canadians who were asked, while the Liberals were at 29 per cent. 

News for March 9th/2010

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Manitoba Health says the number of new HIV cases in the province jumped by more than 20 per cent last year.  The department reports 108 cases, up from 88 in 2008.  The province’s top Doc, Joel Kettner says the result could be because of a push to get more Manitobans to take an HIV test.


A 14 year old girl found unconscious outside a home in Brandon is now at a Winnipeg hospital recovering from exposure.  The girl was found on Sunday at the rear of the home.  Foul play is not suspected. 


A few more details on that train—pedestrian accident we told you about yesterday.  A woman in her early 30’s was taken to hospital in critical condition after being hit by a freight train on Waverley, just south of Taylor around 5:30 in the morning.   Police continue their investigation.


Well this news should make some people happy.  The city’s annual bug fight is going to move to a 100 per cent biological arsenal.  But, it’s not by choice.  Apparently Health Canada has ordered the chemicals normally used, to be used up completely by 2014.  A city spokesperson says they’re not sure yet what they’ll now use, but, they do know it’ll pretty much double the current insect control budget.


Toyota says it’s sent a specialist to determine why a Prius accelerator got stuck and sped the car up to 150 kilometers an hour, before it was stopped on a highway in San Diego yesterday.  Police actually came to the driver’s aid.  The incident happened on the same day engineers with Toyota said the problem of unwanted acceleration is mechanical, not electrical.


Governor General, Michaelle Jean will continue today with what has been an emotional visit to her homeland of Haiti.  Today, she’ll make stop in her hometown of Jacmel, where Canadian troops have set up a home base for humanitarian relief efforts.  Meantime…..

President Barack Obama will host Haitian President Rene Preval tomorrow.  The 2 will talk reconstruction of the earthquake shattered country. 


If you get a ticket from city police this week, it might actually be a good thing.  Cops are on gonna be on the lookout for good drivers, to reward them with tickets to a charity hockey game featuring a bunch of NHL legends taking on the police service’s best skaters.  The game goes March 15th/MTS.


Turns out that 2 of the oldest people in the world, died on the same day….one in New Hampshire and one in Michigan.  Mary Josephine Ray…a Canadian native, was certified as the oldest person living in the U.S. and the 2nd oldest in the world.  She died Sunday at the age of 114 years, 294 days.  Now there’s word that Daisey Bailey died in Detroit, just hours later, 23 days shy of her 114th birthday.  By the way oldest person in the world is Japan’s Kama Chinen….she’s 114 years, 301 days.


News for March 8th/2010

Monday, March 8th, 2010

He had a machete, wouldn’t drop it, and as a result was shot by police.  Now, the investigation is on.  City cops had caught up with 28 year old Eric Daniels after he had allegedly threatened another man.  Homicide detectives are now on the case.


A family of 8 has been treated in hospital for minor injuries after fire destroyed their Winnipeg home.  And police credit the father for making sure all of his kids escaped the blaze. 


One person is in hospital this morning, suffering from smoke inhalation after an apartment fire in town.  The blaze yesterday on the 400 block of Young street caused 200 grand in damage and forced about 20 residents of the building to flee their homes.  The injured person is apparently in unstable condition.  The cause is still under investigation.   


About 150 people gathered at the Leg yesterday to mark International Women’s Day.  They marched on downtown streets carrying props like large keys or crowbars.  The items symbolized women breaking free from poverty.


Another earthquake to tell you about today.  This one happened in eastern Turkey, and has so far killed at least 57 people….and injured hundreds of others.


Food warning to tell ya about today.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public to not eat some pretzel products because they may be contaminated with salmonella.  The products are certain sizes of HK Anderson Pretzel bites honey mustard, and President’s Choice honey mustard flavored pretzel nuggets. 


“The Hurt Locker” is now full of Oscars !  The Iraq war drama won best picture and 5 other statues last night at the Academy Awards, including best director for Kathryn Bigelow.  She’s the first woman in the Oscars 82 year history to win best director.  Top acting Oscars went to Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side,” and Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart.”  Mo’Nique won for best support actress for her role in “Precious.”  And Christoph Waltz won for supporting actor in “Inglorious Bastards.”


Michaelle Jean admits she’s somewhat dreading returning to Haiti.  The Governor General will arrive this morning in Port au Prince to being a two day visit to her native country.  Jean will visit the smashed presidential palace today, and tomorrow she’ll stop in her hometown of Jacmel to check on Canadian aid efforts there.


News for March 5th/2010

Friday, March 5th, 2010

So, do ya like your wobbly pops?  If so, better stock up this weekend.  Beer prices are going up on Monday.  The province’s liquor commission is hiking the price of a 12 pack by a buck and a quarter.  Increased supplier and vendor costs are being blamed.


Most analysts are saying yesterday’s federal budget was pretty ho hum, with nothing new and exciting in it.  The Harper government did admit they would be turning off the stimulus spending taps, and will now start concentrating on bringing down the deficit.  That means, no federal department will be spared the knife…cuts are coming to places like the space agency and defence.  As well, all MP’s, Ministers and Senators will have their wages frozen for the next 3 years…and that also includes the Prime Minister.


Manitoba’s finance minister is breathing a sigh of relief following yesterday’s federal budget.  Rosann Wowchuk says she’s happy Ottawa isn’t cutting transfer payments to the provinces.  That being said however, Wowchuk went on to say that the entire budget, in her estimation, was pretty vague in nature.


The budget will not trigger another election, even though all 3 opposition parties are rejecting the document.  Liberal Leader, Michael Ignatieff says even though he doesn’t like it, he knows Canadians don’t like the prospect of going to the polls, even more.


Toyota executives are hoping a little rah-rah-sis-boom-bah, will help company morale.  In Japan today the company held a rally aimed lifting the spirits of embattled workers.  Company President, Akio Toyoda, urged workers to…in his words….”go with high spirits, have fun, and be confident while staying humble.”


Another morning of aftershocks in Chile today.  The city of Concepcion was rocked by a strong aftershock today.  It measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.  That sent people running into the streets in panic.  It was one of dozens of aftershocks to hit the country since last weekend, when it got hammered by that huge 8.8 quake. 


A man in Calgary is facing charges after a hostage taking at a junior high school.  A secretary was held at knifepoint by a 25 year old ex student who blamed the principal for a sports injury he suffered 10 years ago.  2 hours after the incident began however, the man gave up after he was given a bottle of water.  Luckily nobody was injured.


News for March 4th/2010

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Well all this nice sunny, warm weather is doing more than just putting people in a spring like mood.  It’s also lessening the threat of a serious flood.  But, Chief Flood Forecaster, Alf Warkentin does remind people that the province needs a lot of sun before it significantly changes the flood outlook.


The Minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission says they plan on targeting the vices of teens this summer.  On the heels of a survey that showed 20 per cent of Grade 9 students said they binged when they drank, Gord MacKintosh says the government plans a crack down.  He says fines will be increased and a public awareness campaign will be launched.


Yesterday it was the Throne Speech, today, it’s the budget.  Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will rise in the Commons this afternoon to deliver the document…which is to be the Tories last free spending budget before working to chip away at the 56 billion dollar deficit. 


One of the nuggets in yesterday’s speech was news that the Harper government might gender-neutralize our national anthem.  The feds apparently plan to ask a Parliamentary committee if the words, “in all thy sons command” should be replaced by “thou dost in us command.”  A tongue-twister for sure….it’s the exact phrase in the 1908 poem on which the lyrics are based.


Looks like the fix isn’t in, at least when it comes to the problems some Toyota cars are having.  At least 15 Toyota drivers have told U.S. safety officials, their cars have sped up on their own, even after taking them in to get them fixed. 


Indeed, it was cheese in his pants.  And no, he’s not happy about the sentence he got.  A California man convicted of walking out of a store with a bag of shredded cheese hidden in his pants, has been sentenced to nearly 8 years behind bars.  But, believe it or not, it could’ve been worse.  At first, prosecutors were seeking a life sentence under California’s three strikes law.


Olympic bronze winning figure skater, Joannie Rochette will say her final goodbye today to her mother and her number one fan.  The funeral for the 55 year old Therese Rochette will be held this afternoon in Quebec.  Therese if you recall died of a sudden heart attack two weekends ago, shortly after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter compete in the Winter Olympics.


Did you see this on the news yesterday?  U.S. federal aviation officials are none to amused by an air traffic controller at New York’s JFK airport, who brought his son to work last month, and let the kid converse with pilots on the runway.  As you can imagine, that controller and his supervisor have now been suspended. 


The pilot who landed that U.S. Airways plane safely on New York’s Hudson River last January, says he’s retiring after 30 years of flying the friendly skies.  Captain Chesley, “Sully” Sullenberger flew his final flight yesterday.  The 59 year old says he plans on spending some of his time pressing for more flight safety.


Quite the seen yesterday at the Public Safety Building downtown.  It was evacuated yesterday after a handful of workers suddenly became ill.  Most were complaining about nausea and difficulty breathing.  The building was searched and air quality tests were done, but, nothing was found.  People were allowed back in about 5 hours later.