Archive for June, 2010
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
What a way to kick off Canada Day. A Winnipeg woman who works at a group home for people with disabilities, pretty darn happy yesterday as she picked up her one million dollar LottoMax cheque yesterday. 24 year old Alicia Jongstra won one of the 45 million given out on June 18th. Alicia says she now plans on going on a trip, buying a house and getting some laser eye surgery with her winnings.
Police have confirmed that the body found along the Winnipeg River on Monday is that of a teen reported missing more than 3 months ago. 14 year old Tyler Arkinson disappeared from the Sagkeeng First nation after he left a bush party on foot on March 21st.
A special court set up to handle G-20 related arrests in Toronto, is now slowly working its way through a huge caseload this week. About 900 people were busted since June 18th.
It seems exercising while you’re young can have some long lasting benefits for the mind. A new study has found that exercise can help stave off dementia. It found that dementia was definitely lower in people 65 and older who reported they were physically active as teens. So, parents, you might want get your kid a new soccer or baseball instead of the latest soccer or baseball video game.
Well some will say, including myself actually, he probably should have done this a few years ago. But Larry King says he’ll step down sometime this fall from his prime time show that’s anchored CNN’s lineup for some 25 years. King told viewers last night that he’s tired of the nightly grind and feels its time to “hang up” his suspenders….although he still would like to do occasional specials.
The Queen will wrap up her 3 day visit to Halifax today. Yesterday she presided over a celebration of the Canadian Navy’s 100th year. Today, it’s on to Ottawa for a busy couple of days that’ll include her attendance in tomorrow’s Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. Saturday, she’ll be here in Winnipeg for a brief 6 hour visit.
It’s now Hurricane Alex. The first big hurricane of the Atlantic season is churning through the western Gulf, taking aim at the Mexico-Texas border…and fortunately, far away from the massive BP oil spill. The National Hurricane Center says Alex’s arrival is actually pretty early. It’s the first big storm that’s hit in the month June since 1995. Most hurricane’s usually arrive in July or August.
Who knew this stuff was still around? Rare memorabilia of French Emperor Napolean, fetched a lotta cash in New Zealand yesterday. Things like a lock of his hair, which was cut after he died in exile in 1821…sold for 19 thousand U.S.
And this stories a beaut. Transcona….known for its lawn flamingo’s, is now apparently a lobster hot spot ?! Recently, city staff found an actual lobster trap in an artificial lake off a development near Plessis Road. They’d been called in to see what was clogging the pond’s drainage system. Sadly though no lobster was found in the trap….and now the hunt is on to find out who actually put the thing in their.
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Reinforced fire crews are holding an enormous forest fire at bay near Cranberry Portage. Officials say the flames are now within 13 kilometers of the northwest town. Right now, the blaze actually covers 540 square kilometers.
Travel Manitoba wants to convince more people in the U.S. and Europe to vacation in our province. So, both the federal and provincial governments have come up with funding for a 3 year strategy that’ll showcase things like fishing, and exotic animals like polar bears and beluga whales.
Manitoba won’t appeal a decision to allow Vince Li to take supervised walks at the Selkirk Mental Health Center. Li was found not criminally responsible last year for the 2008 beheading of Tim McLean on that Greyhound bus near Portage. A spokesperson for the province’s justice department says there are just no legal grounds to appeal the order.
It’s almost like a James Bond movie….but real. U.S. authorities say they’ve arrested 10 alleged Russian spies, and are now looking for an 11th. 4 of the accused apparently took the names of Canadians…some of them dead….while operating in the States for the past decade. So far, no word yet on how successful any of the spies were gathering info on the U.S. government.
Thousands will be on hand today around Halifax harbour, as the Queen marks the 100th birthday of the Canadian Navy. The Queen will board the HMCS St. John’s for a fleet review, which will also include a flypast by the Snowbirds. Her Majesty will arrive in Ottawa tomorrow and then Winnipeg early Saturday afternoon for a brief visit.
Well the G-20 may be over, but the protests continue in Toronto. Yesterday more than a thousand people rallied outside police headquarters. They were ticked at what they say was the excessive force police used during the summit. And they called for a public inquiry into the officers behaviour.
U.S. President Barack Obama is urging greater international co-operation in exploring space. The White House has released a new policy for space exploration and it’s not just about NASA anymore. It includes plans to partner with private companies to explore space and planets.
It looks like the 14 year old boy who has been missing from Sagkeeng First Nation for month’s now, has been found. Unfortunately, RCMP say someone walking near the Winnipeg River, found human remains yesterday. So far, the body has yet to be identified, but, relative’s say they’re positive it’s 14 year old Tyler Arkinson.
Premier Greg Selinger is getting fired up over the Devils Lake watershed. Selinger says the threat to the health of our main waterways is increasing, as North Dakota released more untreated water from Devils Lake. He says in some cases North Dakota has more than doubled the flow of water from the outlet without a filter being in place. The fear is without that filter, fish parasites and fish diseases could enter our waterways.
Monday, June 28th, 2010
Another wild weekend of weather in southern Manitoba. A major storm ripped through the Steinbach area on Saturday, uprooting trees, damaging homes and knocking out power lines. Some residents said they were sure a tornado touched down, but so far the weather office says there’s no indication that happened.
Residents in northern Manitoba are being told they can go back home after thick smoke from a forest fire forced them from the area. Hundreds of people left the Cranberry Portage area because of the massive fire raging near them. But, provincial officials also have a warning to anyone who is going back home….keep your bags packed. They say the forecast is for more hot, dry, windy weather, and that could force them out again.
Trombones, lawn mower’s, Team Canada jersey’s, power tools and golf clubs….just some of the items up for grabs at the police auction yesterday. Big crowds gathered at the auction house in Headingley Sunday morning, as people looked to scoop up deals on goods that have been unclaimed by their owners.
The Queen arrives in Canada today to start her 9 day visit. The first stop is Halifax, where she’ll mark the 100th birthday of the Canadian Navy. She’ll then move on to Ottawa on July 1st, to take in our 143rd birthday celebrations. And of course she’ll be making a brief 6 hour stop here in Winnipeg on July 3rd.
Another new poll out this morning says many Canadians are less than excited about the Queen’s visit. The survey found 45 per cent of Canadians didn’t even know the Queen was coming. And 48 per cent said the monarchy is a relic of our colonial past, and has no place in Canada today.
The G-20 leaders are heading home from Toronto after a weekend summit in which they agreed to a Canadian backed plan to stabilize the global economy. The plan calls for all 20 nations to cut their deficits in half by 2013…something Prime Minister Harper says we’ll do by next year.
Well this’ll be a busy day for a court set up in Toronto to handle arrests made during the G-20 summit. More than 600 people were arrested on the weekend….most after the rampage on Saturday, which saw stores get vandalized and police cars set on fire. Prime Minster Harper says all the craziness on the weekend shows why they needed to spend a billion dollars on security.
You’ll be happy to know that mosquito counts across the city have dropped. And that means, fogging for the critters is now on hold. The city wide average trap count on Sunday was 22…..crews won’t be back out fogging until that number hits 100.
The endless market for images of Marilyn Monroe now extends inside her body. 3 of Monroe’s chest x-rays taken during a 1954 hospital visit sold at auction in Las Vegas this weekend for 45 grand.
Friday, June 25th, 2010
As we told you yesterday, conditions in northern Manitoba, pretty different from the soggy south. Forest fires are raging up north, and one has got residents of Cranberry Portage on evacuation alert. A 100 kilometer blaze is in the area is currently burning out of control. The province is fighting the inferno with water bombers, helicopters and crews from Ontario and Minnesota.
Good news for those who do a little hammerin and a nailin for a living. There’s a new forecast today that says Manitoba’s construction sector will need more than 12 thousand new workers over the next 8 years. The Construction Sector Council predicts this province will experience a building boom between now and 2012.
Prime Minister Harper plays host today to fellow world leaders, as he welcomes his G-8 counterparts to the summit site in Huntsville, Ontario. Talks will focus on topics like peace, security and child health in developing countries.
If you’re planning a train trip in the next little bit…ya wanna listen up. The union that represents more than 2 thousand Via Rail workers, has given 72 hour strike notice to the company. The workers have turned down Via’s latest offer, and say they will walk on Sunday night if they don’t get a better deal on wages, benefits and pensions.
Hard to believe but it was one year ago today that the world was stunned with the news of Michael Jackson’s death. City officials in Gary, Indiana, Jackson’s home town, say they are planning a tribute at the family’s home. There will also be a commemoration of his life, at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.
Lotto fever is in full swing, with tonight marking the 4th straight week the Lotto Max jackpot has topped out at 50 million dollars. But the total jackpot is a whopping 105 million dollars, as the lottery is offering 55 bonus Maxmillion prizes of one million each.
Louisiana Governor, Charlie Crist is describing the situation along some of the beaches on Florida’s panhandle as “pretty ugly.” Crude from the massive Gulf oil spill has forced state officials to close some popular beaches around Pensacola.
Unreal story out of southern California this morning. Fists flew and hair got pulled during a kindergarten graduation ceremony yesterday. But, it wasn’t the kids who were fighting….a brawl erupted among a group of parents. It began with an argument between several mothers, and then the guys jumped into the mix. Luckily there were no serious injuries reported and no kids got hurt. But several people are now facing charges.
A Winnipeg man is suing city police, alleging he was beaten after making some obscene comments about an officer’s dead wife. In the lawsuit, Antonio Falvo claims he was assaulted by several officers following an altercation at a Bomber home game. The lawsuit admits that Falvo made some obscene remarks to a cop about his wife, but says he didn’t know the man’s wife had recently died. Falvo claims that officers then assaulted him and he suffered permanent injuries including anxiety, depression and loss of income.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Parts of western Manitoba are tallying up the damage from flooding and rain. In fact, just west of Dauphin, things are so bad that at least 130 road washouts need to be fixed. Farmers are also reporting some devastating losses.
A new statistical snapshot of the city’s aboriginal people shows poverty is down and salaries and employment are up. The survey also found that high school graduation rates have almost doubled to 60 per cent over the last 15 years, while average incomes for aboriginals skyrocketed by 35 per cent in just 5 years.
Weather experts still wondering this morning whether a storm that tore part of a roof off a home northwest of Winnipeg, was a tornado. Homeowner, Gavin Broadbent says he was making dinner Tuesday night when he heard a loud bang and looked up to see his roof was gone. In total, 5 funnel clouds were spotted on Tuesday in southern Manitoba.
An American man on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden is now on the final leg of his trip home to Colorado. Authorities say Gary Faulkner literally lived in the woods of northern Pakistan, with a pistol, a sword and some night vision equipment. The out of work construction workers sold all his tools apparently to finance trips on what relatives have called a Rambo type mission to kill or capture Bin Laden.
They were rock and a rolling out east yesterday. A magnitude 5.0 quake hit in rural Quebec yesterday, about 60 kilometers north of Ottawa. The quake happened around 12:40 Winnipeg time. No serious injuries were reported, but there was some minor building damage in several areas.
BP says it’s put the cap back on that’s being used to contain some of the crude gushing from that blown out well. Engineers had removed it because a robot bumped into the containment system. The system, which has been in place since June 4th, has been capturing about 120 thousand litres of crude an hour. (or at least, that’s what BP says….)
The G-8 leaders will arrive later this morning to begin their summit in Huntsville, Ontario. The actual work will begin tomorrow morning though. Then, tomorrow night, there’ll be a welcome and reception for leaders of the G-20 summit in Toronto.
Well no surprise here….the new iPhone is Apple Red Hot ! Stores in Japan are already running out of the new gadget. Hundreds of customers lined up outside stores across Tokyo today to become among the first in the world to own the device. And most stores sold out of the phones within a couple of hours. The phone by the way will be available in this country starting late next month.
Quite the buzz down at City Hall yesterday. As we told you yesterday, city council has decided to re-visit the idea of buffer zones when it comes to mosquito fogging. As it stands now, if a homeowner requests a buffer zone around their home, that means that several houses on each side, will also not get fogged. And that’s got some people really ticked off. So yesterday, council voted to review the entire issue, including whether aerial spraying for the nasty little bugs, might be an idea to look at as well.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
First mosquitoes, now beavers. Wet conditions in and around Winnipeg are apparently attracting the furry little rodents. City officials say the beavers are busy building dams that are preventing floodwaters from draining. In fact, when one city crew took a dam down the other day, the critters had it rebuilt by the next morning. Officials say they’ve now hired a trapper to get rid of the problem beavers.
Get ready for a tuition hike if you’re a U of W student. The school announced yesterday that most students can expect at least a 5 per cent tuition increase this fall. The move will help balance the facility’s books.
While southern Manitoba has been drowning in rain, the province’s northern regions are suffering from the opposite extreme. Hot, dry weather is causing a high forest fire hazard and Manitoba Conservation has now had to step in. They’ve restricted travel for many areas including Cranberry Portage, Flin Flon and Thompson. The restriction’s mean backcountry travel is only allowed by permit, camping outside an established campground is no longer allowed, and boat or canoe travel must be along developed shorelines only.
Prime Minister Harper will be in Toronto this evening to mark the 25th anniversary of the Air India disaster. On this day in 1985, 329 people died when a bomb ripped apart a Boeing 7-47, over the Atlantic near Ireland.
The top bid is holding for a major piece of Canadian hockey history. It’s the jersey worn by Paul Henderson when he scored the winning goal for Canada in the 72 Summit series against the Soviets. An unknown bidder is offering just over a million bucks for the somewhat worn out and stained jersey. The sale is being run by a Montreal auction House, and they say it’s unlikely anyone will beat out the current bid of a million and change.
A San Diego, California man has been slapped with 75 years to life, for killing his 80 year old gay lover and encasing his body in cement. Prosecutors say 41 year old Thomas Brooke made a large ball out of the cement with this guy’s body inside, and placed it as a decoration in a backyard rock garden.
It’s the great buffer debate, and city council has decided to get involved. Right now homeowners in the city who don’t want their houses to get fogged for mosquitoes, can ask for a buffer zone around their home. But, that usually means 14 or 15 other homes nearby will also not get fogged. This year, when the mosquito population exploded, the number of complaints to city hall about those buffer zones did too. As a result council will meet and discuss the entire issue today.
And then there were two. Mayor Sam Katz is now officially in the race to keep his job for another 4 years. He filed his registration papers for this fall’s election at city hall yesterday. He joins former NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis who announced she was running a few weeks ago. Winnipeggers will go to the polls on October 27th to elect a Mayor and Council.
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Holy Home Invasion’s ! Not one, not two, but three home invasion’s in the North End of the city yesterday morning. City police say so far it doesn’t look like the 3 were done by the same people. And, so far, only one suspect has been arrested in one of the invasion’s. Cops are reminding everyone to make sure you keep your doors locked, even when you’re at home.
Nightmare drive home yesterday for people on McPhillips. Police had to close a good chunk of the street just before 3 p.m. after a paving company accidentally cut a gas line while doing some road work. Homes, business and even the McPhillips Street Station Casino all had to be evacuated for several hours. A full investigation is now underway.
A U of M researcher says he’s got an idea on how to cut the mosquito numbers down. Steve Whyard says male mosquitoes should be sterilized. He says when the sterile males are introduced in some insect species, the population drops dramatically…and he thinks the same thing would happen with mosquitoes. No word yet on whether the city will take a look at the idea.
It’s anyone’s guess when the Trans-Canada highway might re-open between Medicine Hat, Alberta and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. The 100 kilometer stretch has been closed since last Friday thanks to flooding which left the road with giant sink holes in it. The closure is a turning out to be a real headache for Manitoba semi drivers. They’re having to deal with a 2 to 300 kilometer detour to get freight around the closure.
Hard to believe but, it’s been almost a year since Michael Jackson passed away. Since then, the money has been rolling in, that’s for sure. In fact, sources say that Jackson’s estate has earned 250 million this year alone. Executors are apparently using some of that cash to pay off 70 million dollars of debt that Michael had before he died, as well as a 5 million dollar mortgage on the Jackson family compound in Los Angeles.
A lot of people like to travel to the big smoke for holidays, (in fact our friend Tom McGouran is there right now) but officials are saying it’s probably best to stay away for the next couple of weeks. Security is getting tighter and tighter as the G-20 summit gets closer and closer…and getting around Toronto these days is pretty tough to do.
And the big Eagles show is finally here. After weeks of waiting, Don Henley and the boys will hit the stage at Canad Inn stadium tonight. Now organizers say the show will go rain or shine….but they’re warning the public to leave their umbrella’s at home. If you bring one this evening, it will be confiscated.
(meantime…remember we’ve got an Eagles ticket blitz happening this morning. Starting at 7 a.m. we’ll be giving away a pair every hour until 10 a.m. And then H will be broadcasting live from Hooters this afternoon, where he’ll have more chances for you to win free tickets to the show !)
Bidding closes tonight on a major piece of Canadian hockey memorabilia. On the auction block is the jersey worn by Paul Henderson when he scored the winning goal in the 72 summit series between the Canucks and Russians. If you really want the scuffed and stained number 19 jersey, you’ll have to beat out the current bid of 340 thousand dollars.
Monday, June 21st, 2010
City police are investigating after a woman reported being sexually assaulted in a back alley Saturday. Cops say a 19 year old woman noticed that a man was watching and following her, as she walked on the street around 6 a.m. The guy eventually grabbed her by the neck and forced her into a back lane where she was sexually assaulted. So far the only thing police know is that the man is believed to be in his 40’s.
The death toll has risen to at least 3 in Edmonton, where a house was obliterated by a massive explosion. Debris landed 2 blocks away and neighbors said it sounded like a huge bomb going off. 15 families have been told to leave because their homes are so badly damaged. The cause of the blast is still under investigation.
BP says so far, it’s spent nearly 2 billion dollars responding to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. That includes more than 100 million dollars paid out to 32 thousand people. Engineers say a relief well is the only sure way to stop the leak, which began almost 9 weeks ago. However, that relief well is not expected to be done until August.
Well you can say good bye to spring. Summer officially arrived at 6:28 Winnipeg time this morning. And that also means there will be more daylight today than any other day of the year.
Buzz Lightyear must be in orbit this morning. “Toy Story 3” opened at number one at the box office this weekend. It took in an amazing 109 million dollars. It’s only the 3rd animated movie to break the 100 million dollar mark in its first weekend out, joining “Shrek” 2 and 3. “The Karate Kid,” dropped to second spot, with the “A-Team,” in third.
Starting today, you’ll wanna watch your speed on Taylor Avenue. Thanks to safety concerns by construction workers in the area, Taylor between Waverley and Wilton, will be watched pretty closely by city police. They’re gonna be enforcing the speed limit which is 60 klicks in a construction zone.
And Winnipeg’s Michael Booth won his 4th Manitoba Marathon yesterday. Booth says he won the event with the help and memory of his late coach, Chris McCubbins, who passed away from cancer last summer. A total of 13,686 runners entered this year’s marathon, which was down slightly from last year’s record total.
Friday, June 18th, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen, the time to hang up is coming. The Province and City police have finally figured out when they’re gonna start nailin drivers for talking or texting in their vehicles. July 15th….that’s the date you could hit with a 199.00 dollar fine for using your phone while driving. That’s also the date the smoking ban goes into effect. You’ll no longer be able to light up in your vehicle if a child is present. If ya get caught doing that, it’s also a 199 dollar fine.
New contract for Manitoba nurses today. Union officials say 89 per cent of those who cast ballot voted in favor of the new 3 year deal. The contract includes a lump sum payment of 2 per cent, and a wage freeze for two years after that. Right now the starting salary for a new nurse in this province is 52 thousand dollars.
The in session light on top of the Manitoba legislature was flashing late into the evening yesterday. Why? Well politicians ended a 12 week sitting of the leg with a bizarre debate over whether a cabinet minister voted against her own bill. The argument was over NDP Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk. She had failed to stand up when it came time to vote for one of her budget bills, and the Tories argued that under parliamentary rules, she was then required to vote against the bill. After a ton of bickering back and forth, the deputy speaker voted in Wowchuk’s favor and allowed the session to wind down.
MP’s have begun their 12 week summer break. The House called it a day yesterday, after what some analysts and even some MP’s say was one of the most unproductive sittings ever. So far this year?…royal assent has been given to only two routine pieces of legislation. That compares to 24 bills that were passed into law last year.
A lawyer in charge of Gary Coleman’s estate says the late actor’s remains have been cremated. The former t.v. star had requested the cremation in his will, and had also asked there be no memorial or funeral service. Coleman died on May 28th at the age of 42, after suffering a brain hemorrhage, but his cremation had been hold because of legal fighting over his estate.
Hey, lots of cash is up for grabs in tonight’s Lotto Max draw. In fact, it’s the biggest lottery prize pool in Canadian history. Tonight’s draw boasts a jackpot of 50 million dollars, plus 45 separate draws for one million dollars each. But for those eager to check their winning numbers after tonight’s draw, you’re gonna have to be patient. Lotto officials say since so many draws will be made tonight, the winning numbers probably won’t get posted until tomorrow morning.
Who knew this was even an option?!! Utah prison officials say convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gartner has become the first person executed by a firing squad in the U.S. in some 14 years. While strapped into a chair, the 49 year old Gardner died in a barrage of bullets early this morning. A team of 5 anonymous marksmen aimed their set of 30 calibre rifles at a white target pinned to his chest. Gardner had been on death row for 25 years for killing a lawyer during a failed courthouse escape attempt.
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Southern Manitoba is getting ready for a big hatching of mosquitoes. The insects are starting to swarm after hatching in standing water from rains earlier this month. City entomologist, Taz Stuart says they will give it another few days before deciding to pull out the fogging trucks. But, with more rain and warm temps in the forecast today and tomorrow, things could be even worse next week.
A dead sperm whale has now been found floating 120 kilometers south of the massive oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials are now conducting tests to figure what killed the whale…..but some are already saying this is more than likely due to all the oil that’s in the water.
Well it’s not uncommon for hotel staff to find some strange things left behind by forgetful guests. But finding human remains, now that’s not so common. Fredericton police are trying to find the owner of an urn containing ashes that was found on the weekend in the parking lot of a Delta hotel in the city.
It looks like schoolgirl killer, Karla Homolka is outta luck if she wants to apply for a pardon next month for her sex crimes in the early 90’s. Yesterday, all parties in the House of Commons quickly agreed to pass pardon reforms, before taking their summer break today. That means, if passed, anyone convicted of a serious personal injury would have to wait at least 10 years after release from jail before being eligible to apply for a pardon. Right now, the wait time is only 3 to 5 years.
Certainly easy to say when ya have it ! Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor, Warren Buffett have a message for other American millionaires and billionaires….give at least half your wealth to charity. They say the effort could generate 600 billion dollars, for those people and organizations in need. Buffet says he couldn’t be happier about his own personal decision back in 2006 to give 99 per cent of his roughly 46 billion dollar fortune to charity.
Took em long enough. After years of dating, actors, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart have finally tied the knot. Apparently the two got hitched at the Governor’s Mansion in Sante Fe, New Mexico on Tuesday.
Man….those BP guys sure keep putting their foot in it. BP chairman, Carl Svanberg says he mis-spoke when he referred to the “small people” of the Gulf Coast yesterday. He’s now apologized for the comment and says his remark was a reference to the small business owners, fishermen and shrimpers affected by the oil spill.
As you know, we’ve got a pretty major storm system on the way for today and tomorrow. As a result, provincial officials have actually issued a flash flood watch for areas in the western part of the province. The area under the watch includes the Assiniboine, Swan and Red Deer river watersheds. It also includes parts of the Interlake and Riding, Duck and Porcupine mountain regions. Heavy rains over the past couple of weeks have already saturated the area, and run off from further rain could cause overland flooding.