Archive for October, 2010
Friday, October 29th, 2010
There’s no word yet on whether convicted sex offender, Graham James, will get or seek bail on the 9 new charges he’s facing. A lawyer for James appeared briefly in court yesterday to have the case put over til Monday. James was not in court himself, and remains in custody. The former junior hockey coach is facing charges that include sexual exploitation, sexual assault and gross indecency that date back as far as 1979.
Manitoba was the 2nd biggest spender in the country last year on health care. The province spent 6,249 dollars per person last year, second only to Alberta.
A man was injured after being hit by a transit bus on Main street last night. Police and emergency crews rushed to the area on the west side of Main near Dufferin, just after 6 p.m. So far, the man’s condition is not known, and police continue to investigate what happened.
Well now that the winds and rain are gone from Wednesday’s weather bomb, the damage done is being added up. Several Manitoba communities were hit hard, and some have now declared local states of emergency because of flooding. One of the hardest hit areas was in the RM of St. Clements and Patricia Beach. Some 45 cottagers had to deal with water as the winds whipped up high waves, which then blew inland. And in the Gimli area, water levels are also still high and some roads washed out, after again, high waves and water were blown on shore.
Well even though his claims sound just a little whacky, American actor Randy Quaid insists that neither he or his wife Evi, are crazy or criminals. The 60 year old Quaid came out of an immigration hearing in Vancouver yesterday and repeated allegations of “Hollywood star whackers” conspiring to kill him and other celebs and steal their millions. Quaid said others, including Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson have been victims of a similar conspiracy. The couple by the way is due in a California court next week on vandalism charges.
Watch out….Rebel is here ! Manitoba’s Natural Resource officers have added a 2nd canine unit to their tool kit for protecting wildlife and fish from poachers. Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie says both Rebel, and the unit’s other dog, Jake, provide valuable assistance on the front lines.
It’s a biggie ! Jackpots worth more than 61 million dollars are up for grabs tonight as the Lotto Max jackpot maxes out. Lotto officials say it’s the 12th time since Lotto Max was launched last fall that the pot has grown to 50 million dollars. There’s also 11 separate one million dollar prizes for the taking as well. Tomorrow night’s 6/49 jackpot is nothing to sneeze at either…it’s 21 million dollars.
Indonesia’s most volatile volcano is once again spewing clouds of hot ash and debris. Mount Merapi has already taken 33 lives since it sprang back to life early this week.
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Well its term number 3 for Sam Katz. After all the votes were counted, Katz beat out close rival Judy Wasyclycia-Leis in yesterday’s civic election. Katz says it was a tough race and he and his team never worked so hard. Meantime, city council will have 4 new faces on it. In Charleswood, Paula Havixbeck will now represent the ward. Ross Eadie won the council seat in the Mynarski ward. Devi Sharma took the win in Old Kildonan. And, Thomas Steen won the ward of Elmwood-East Kildonan.
Despite yesterday’s cold and wet weather….voter turn out was actually pretty good. About 47.1 per cent of Winnipeggers cast a ballot, surpassing the turnout of 38.2 per cent back in 2006.
Graham James accusers reacted with both relief and worry after the convicted sex offender surrendered to police yesterday. James is wanted on 9 new sex related charges involving 3 individuals over a 15 year span. Former NHL star, Theo Fluery says it’s one less predator on the street, and says he will for sure testify if the case goes to trial.
City police are hoping a big reward for clues in last weekend’s fatal shootings will lead to a break in the case. Chief Keith McCaskill says rewards of up 6 thousand dollars could be given out through the Crime Stoppers program. Police still haven’t found a link connecting the north end shootings that killed 2 men and injured a 13 year old girl.
The Nissan motor company has announced a massive recall this morning. The Japanese automaker is recalling a total of 2.14 million vehicles in North America, Europe and Asia for an ignition problem that may stall the engine in more than a dozen models built from 2003 to 2006.
And more than the usual hoots of laughter were heard in downtown Montreal last night, but, the chuckles weren’t because of a comedy show…….rather, the Grand Laughing Championships. The contest brought together 10 contestants from across Quebec to see who has the best laugh in the province. The event was the brainchild of filmmaker Albert Nerenberg, who hopes to turn the event into a national championship and then a world competition.
Ex-NHL star Theo Fluery says he’s relieved his former junior hockey coach is in custody here in Winnipeg, but says there’s still work to be done. Graham James surrendered to police upon his arrival in Toronto yesterday and was then promptly flown under police guard to Winnipeg. The convicted sex offender had been a wanted man since October 13th, when a country wide warrant was issued for his arrest on 9 charges of sexual assault. One of the 3 new complainants is Fleury, who says he’s at partial peace knowing James is now off the street and can’t hurt anymore kids.
And no one has the winning ticket for the 16 million dollar jackpot prize in last night’s 6/49 draw. So the “pot” for the next draw this weekend will be around 21 million.
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Winnipeg and Manitoba are number one in crime. Statscan says our province had the highest homicide rate of any province in 2009, topping the list for the third year in a row. Winnipeg also had the highest murder rate among the country’s ten biggest cities.
City police have set up shop in the north end neighborhood where 2 men were killed and that teenaged girl wounded. No arrests have been made in what’s believed to be a random shooting case. But police have set up a command post and are continuing to question area residents. They have also increased foot patrols to help those in the area feel more safe.
It’s called a weather bomb….something that usually happens out east. But today, the bomb is hitting southern Manitoba, and some areas are really gonna get nailed. This weather system is dropping a ton of snow to the west of us, and lots of rain here in the city. Forecasters say in fact there’s a winter storm warning in place for areas like Dauphin and Virden and even Brandon. They’ll be seeing upwards of 20 centimeters of snow, before the storm leaves us. Here in the city, looks like we’ll just get hit with rain, lots of it, and lots of wind.
Well it’s municipal election day in Manitoba, and there are some close races to watch. Here in the city, Mayor Sam Katz admits he’s in a tight race with Judy Wasylycia-Leis. In Portage la Prairie, 3 people are running to replace retiring Mayor Ken Brennan. And out in Brandon, Shari Decter Hirst is trying to become that city’s first ever female Mayor. Reminder the polls open at 8 this morning, and they’ll stay open until 8 tonight.
A family of 3 facing fraud charges after allegedly stealing a 12.5 million dollar lottery ticket, will be in a Toronto courtroom today. Police say the family’s father and son worked at a retail store where a winning Super 7 was sold in December of 2003. They told the rightful owner of the ticket it wasn’t a winner…when in fact it was…and for the past several years the family has been living high off the hog in hog town. Officials are still hunting for the ticket’s rightful owner after being deluged by people claiming it was theirs.
A Manitoba fishing guide has caught the big one…..moneywise at least. 54 year old Kimm Blaquiere of Victoria Beach, picked up his 11 million dollar cheque yesterday from lotto officials after winning the 6/49 draw on October 13th. The self described eligible bachelor said he once had a dream that he won the lottery and that all his exes were trying to get back with him. Kimm says he plans on buying a few things, like maybe a new fishing boat, and then making himself scarce and just spending time with his son.
People in Haiti are growing more fearful of the cholera epidemic that has already claimed 284 lives and infected more than 3700 other people. The disease, which was almost unknown in Haiti until the recent outbreak, has sparked protests by those who fear clinics could bring the cholera to their neighborhoods.
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
City police have identified the 2 people who were shot dead on the weekend. 52 year old Ian Layton MacDonald, and 35 year old Thomas Beardy were killed when they were shot Saturday night in the city’s north end. A 13 year old girl who was also shot had her condition upgraded to stable from critical. Meantime, the hunt for shooter continues. Once again, city police are asking for the public’s help…if you know anything about the shootings you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers.
Nearly 200 passengers of a United Airlines flight had to spend last night in the city after their plane made an unscheduled stop. The Boeing 777 was en route from Chicago to Shanghai when there was a report of smoke in the cockpit. Fire crews were on standby but the big plane landed safely. United now plans on flying another plane into the city this morning so the passengers can continue their flight.
We’ve told you about the huge bed bug problem in places like New York City…but, Winnipeg’s critter issues are also getting bad. The bugs have turned up at a couple of city libraries and a hospital now. Reports show the bugs were found inside books at the Millennium library as well as HSC. The city is now working on the problem.
Scientists are warning of the potential for a major blast from Indonesia’s most volatile volcano. They say pressure building beneath a lava dome could trigger one of its deadliest explosions ever. All residents in the area, have already been moved away to temporary camps.
Oscar nominated actor Randy Quaid remains in a B.C. jail despite an order for his release Friday following his arrest on outstanding warrants in California. Reports also say that Quaid’s wife Evi, also remains in custody. Last week, the couple declared they were seeking refugee status in our country for fear of being murdered in the U.S. by “Hollywood Star Whackers.”
Well sellers love this news….buyers not so much. The Economist magazine says its latest global survey of home prices has found that Canadian real estate is over-valued by almost 24 per cent. It says Canadian home prices rose by 4.5 per cent last year, and by 70 per cent since 1997. Now in the U.S. meantime, homes are apparently undervalued by 2 per cent.
The doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s 2009 death is due back in an L.A. court this afternoon. Dr. Conrad Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death. Today’s legal wrangling is in anticipation of January’s hearing which will determine whether there’s enough evidence for the doctor to stand trial.
Winnipeg Police Chief, Keith McCaskill is vowing to do everything he can to solve the seemingly random shootings that left 2 men dead and a 13 year old girl seriously wounded. McCaskill says the 3 separate shootings this past weekend in the city’s north end, were an awful event and his department is committed to closing the case. Police are still not sure if they’re looking for one or more suspects, and have so far found no connection between the 3 victims.
A sentencing hearing that could last several days will begin this morning in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for newly convicted Canadian war criminal Omar Khadr. A military jury will get its first look at the facts, after Khadr’s guilty plea to 5 war crimes charges. Khadr entered the plea in exchange for a return to Canada after one year to continue carrying out his sentence.
Monday, October 25th, 2010
The hunt continues this morning for a masked man, who shot 3 people in the North End this weekend. 2 of those shot are now dead, and a 3rd is clinging to life in hospital. City police say the shootings took place within a 45 minute period on Saturday night; and all appear to be random attacks. The hunt for the shooter continues. But police are reminding everyone that if you know anything about this case, please call CrimeStoppers.
The dates for a couple of Manitoba bye-elections have been set. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that voters will go to the polls in Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette and Winnipeg North on November 29th. Winnipeg North is up for grabs because Judy Wasylycia-Leis stepped down to run for the city’s Mayor chair. And up in the Dauphin area, former MP Inky Mark stepped down as he too has decided to run for Mayor in Dauphin.
Something people can barely see is a giant problem these days in New York City. With bedbugs now marching into places like the Empire State building, Bloomingdale’s and the Lincoln Center, it’s causing big anxiety among tourists. Some are now even canceling trips to the big Apple because of it. Officials with the Mayor’s office says the bugs could put a big bite into New York’s 30 billion dollar a year tourism industry.
A new study this morning warns that lowering the drunk driving threshold could overwhelm this country’s police officers, court systems and jails. The level of .08 was set back in 1969, and is much higher than many countries around the world. So, Ottawa is being pressed by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving to lower the limit to .05.
Some big changes took place this weekend for those buying or selling a home with an agent. Canadian consumers will now have a much wider choice of services from agents. And under a deal ratified by the real estate industry, fees will get cheaper. The new rules will allow discount realtors to offer more flat fee services, such as listings on the Multiple Listing Service, without having to bundle all other services that normally went with the listing.
His whirlwind Canadian visit is coming to a close. The Dalai Lama will fly out of Toronto today after spending his Sunday at the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Center. It was there that his holiness gave a web-broadcast lesson on “long life empowerment and training the mind.”
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
The province is moving to protect workers from mental harassment. Labour Minister Jennifer Howard says new provisions to labour laws will address intimidation, bullying and humiliation. Howard says employers will be required to prevent such actions and to address them if they occur.
Bed bugs are rearing their ugly little heads these days. You’ve probably heard by now, the massive problem some U.S. states are having with them these days, but Manitoba also has an issue or two with the critters. In fact, the Manitoba Child Care Association says some formal guidelines would help its members deal with the bug problem. At least one city daycare has a confirmed case of a child with bedbug bites, but they didn’t want to be identified due to the stigma attached to the critters. The province says they’re now working on the issue with Manitoba Health.
One of only 3 people granted honorary Canadian citizenship status by Parliament will visit the country today. The Dalai Lama will be in Toronto to address a stadium full of devoted followers. The only others by the way to get the nod as an honorary Canadian are Nelson Mandela and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.
Don’t be surprised if there are longer than normal lineups today at lottery dealers. The jackpot for tonight’s Lotto Max draw is 44 million. The big prize hasn’t been won since September 24th, when it started at 10 million. If the pot doesn’t go tonight, next week those extra maxmillion prizes will kick in.
Big day for Lindsay Lohan today. She’ll be in an L.A. courtroom where a judge could send her back to jail or stay in rehab, for yet another failed drug test. This will be the 5th court appearance in just 5 months for the troubled 24 year old actress.
A public gathering will be held today in Belleville, Ontario aimed at helping residents start healing from the shocking crimes of Russell Williams. Area residents are being invited to the market square for a healing circle. Organizers say people need a way to start healing, and to show support for the victims families. Williams by the way spent his first night in Kingston penitentiary, where he’s started serving his life sentence with no hope of parole for 25 years.
So lots of kids like to play driving games….but police say this time it was real. Officers in South Carolina have taken a 4th grader into custody after he lead them on 2 separate car chases in 2 days. On Monday of this week, the little boy hopped into a fire department truck which was training in the area, and took off. That chase lasted about 45 minutes. Then the next day, the kid took off in an SUV taken from a restaurant near his home. The boy has now been placed in state custody.
Remember that Russian spy named Anna Chapman? Well she’s sure not hiding much these days. She stripped down to some pretty slinky black lingerie for a photo shoot in the Russian edition of Maxim magazine. The 28 year old was kicked out of the U.S. back in June, along with 9 other sleeper agents. While Chapman shows plenty in the magazine…she didn’t tell the reporter anything about her undercover activities. In fact, the only thing she would admit to is liking men who need love to be the biggest and most beautiful feeling in their lives.
Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Dozens attended a rally at the Leg last night, calling for an end to homophobic bullying. The rally was prompted by a series of recent suicides of gay teens down in the U.S. Organizers say it’s important to show gay youth they are not alone.
A 15 year old kid will be back in court next month. He’ll be sentenced for killing a resident of a Manitoba senior’s lodge. Court heard the teen was in a fight with 64 year old Mel Renwick after they left a house party in Melita last spring. Renwick suffered head injuries and died a day later at the Melita lodge. Residents and relatives said that Renwick and the accused did know each other.
Colonel Russell Williams is expected to have his fate formally sealed today for his string of break in’s that escalated into sex crimes and then murder. A judge in Belleville, Ontario is expected to deliver the sentence after days of graphic evidence, a videotaped confession and victim impact statements. Williams is facing the mandatory punishment of life behind bars with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Well another recall for Toyota this morning. The Japanese automaker is recalling just over 1.5 million Lexus, Avalon and other vehicles for brake fluid and fuel pump problems. No word yet on how many cars might be affected in this country.
The man who introduced the racy Penthouse magazine to America in 1969 at the height of the feminist movement and the sexual revolution, has died. Penthouse founder, Bob Guccione died in a Dallas hospital yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was 79.
Are women more generous than men? A new study says women across nearly every income level are giving significantly more to charity than men. The study says women these days have more money to give, since more women are working, and their incomes have grown.
Frustration over those new traffic circles in town…continues to grow. And yesterday, an accident on a circle at Harrow and Academy just added fuel to the fire. Fortunately, neither driver in the accident was seriously hurt, but also, neither driver said they knew how the thing worked. When asked about the accident, Mayor Sam Katz said it’s the city responsibility to educate the public…and obviously there’s still some schooling needed for drivers.
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
The Mounties have identified that 21 year old highway worker who was hit and killed by a vehicle east of the city on Monday. Brittany Murray had been working as a signal person for Mulder Construction since last spring. So far, police have not laid any charges against the 67 year old driver who hit her. However, their investigation continues.
Alanis Morissette may have the Grammys and the Junos, but in the world of Yoga and New Age practices, it’s her twin brother who’s the rock star. Wade Morissette who is a teacher, author and singer will be in Winnipeg this weekend to lead 3 yoga workshops as part of his North American tour.
City police have 4 youths in custody after there was a 9-1-1 call made about guns entering an elementary school. Officers say the call came in yesterday afternoon from Elwick school in the Maples. The school was completely locked down while officers hunted for a gun. In the end, 4 kids were arrested at the school and one pellet gun was recovered.
Well now that he’s been formally convicted on all charges, the sentencing phase of the hearing for Colonel Russell Williams gets underway today in Belleville, Ontario. The former commander of CFB Trenton, Ontario was convicted of the first degree murder of 2 women as well as numerous other charges.
If ya stocked up on those American dollars last week….you did a good thing…as our loonie took a nosedive yesterday….dropping almost 3 cents from last week’s high to the 97 cent mark U.S. Analysts say a couple of things made that happen, including the central bank in this country saying it now looks like a full economic recovery will take longer than they had thought.
French President Nikolas Sarkoczy wants to raise the retirement age in France…but that’s not going over too well with the French these days. This morning, rioters are rampaging through the streets in Paris, breaking shop windows and hurling stones at police. This is just the latest protest over Sarkoczy’s plan…other parts of the country have been hit with vandalism, protests and strikes.
And from the strange but true file this morning….a cat in Reno, Nevada has broken the Guiness world record for world’s longest domestic cat. A 5 year old Maine Coon named Stewie was certified as the new record holder after measuring in an astounding 48.5 inches…which is a little more than 4 feet long.
U.S. conservatives are fighting back against Gary Doer, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., and our former premier. On Monday, Doer had criticized a Tea Party candidate saying she was wrong to have suggested that the men who engineered the 9-11 attacks entered the U.S. through our country. But Michelle Malkin a popular conservative commentator says several terror suspects are linked to us. She says the Canadian-U.S. border is porous and homeland security officials have been concerned about it for years.
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
A highway signal worker has died after being hit by a car east of the city. Oakbank RCMP say a Chrylser Intrepid was north on highway 207 yesterday afternoon when it struck a female signal person working in a construction zone. The 21 year old woman from Winnipeg was transported to hospital by ambulance, but later died. The Mounties say the driver of the car was a 67 year old man. An investigation is now underway.
Child Find Manitoba has issued a warning to the public about a magazine subscription scam. The group has gotten numerous calls in recent days about youths going door to door in rural areas, fraudulently claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions in support of Child Find. But officials with the agency say they don’t do door to door campaign’s, and they know nothing about the people trying to sell the magazines.
That 18 year old man we first told you about yesterday is now facing 25 charges after tormenting a city family in a home invasion on the weekend. Police say the attack was completely random and the victims didn’t know the intruder. Fortunately, the family managed to eventually overpower the suspect and held him until officers arrived.
Colonel Russell Williams days in the Canadian Forces are officially numbered. The chief of Defence staff says after the former commander is sent to jail for 2 murders and other crimes, he’ll be kicked out of the military. In fact, the government says they’re working as quickly as possible to get em out, but can’t really do much until there’s a formal conviction.
The feds are working overtime to make sure Americans get the facts straight about the origins of those behind the 9-11 attacks. In fact, former Premier, and now U.S. Ambassador, Gary Doer tried to make that point to Nevada’s Republican Senate candidate, Sharon Angle yesterday. She had said recently that the terrorists came through, or across the Canadian border before the attacks. Doer has since however, set her straight.
Well no change in interest rates is expected today when the central bank announces its latest key lending rate. The bank is being urged to hold the line on rate hikes, which could make things more costly for Canadians dealing with rising debt-loads, as well as pushing our dollar even higher.
And winning a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics hasn’t given the Canadian women’s curling team an edge when it comes to sponsorship. Skip Cheryl Bernard and her teammates have actually been forced to launch an advertising blitz to gain a new sponsor for the upcoming season. Starting today, billboards will dot major routes in Calgary with a photo of Team Bernard, with the message, SPONSORS WANTED….HURRY HARD !
Cha-ching for Apple. Some incredible earning results yesterday from the tech heavyweight. Apple says their net income for the past quarter was up by 70 per cent, thanks to big sales on I-Phones and I-Pads.
And Levi Johnston continues to look for another 15 minutes of fame. Now, the former fiancée of Bristol Palin, has decided he’s gonna run for Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. But, when grilled on the t.v. show, “The View” yesterday about his mayoral ambitions, Johnston said there are really no qualifications to hold the job that Sarah Palin once had, and as a result he doesn’t even have a plan on what he would do if he won the Mayor’s chair.
Monday, October 18th, 2010
U of M profs, librarians and instructors all have a new deal today. The agreement retroactive to April of this year, gives them a 4.4 per cent wage increase over the next 3 years. One union spokesperson says the small salary increase is a sign of the times.
Police say 4 members of a Winnipeg family managed to wrestle an intruder and hold him until officers arrived. Investigators say the family got a knock on the door around midnight Saturday and that’s when a suspect with a gun and a knife forced his way into the home. The family was able to subdue the man, and police say an 18 year old suspect is now in custody.
Today’s the day that a once rising star in the military, will plead guilty to the first degree murders of 2 women, home invasion sex assaults of 2 more, and scores of other break and enters. Former CFB Trenton, Ontario commander, Colonel Russell Williams was arrested back in February. His lawyer says today’s guilty plea will be followed by the start of a sentencing hearing at which victim impact statements will be presented to the court.
Well Public Safety Minister Vic Toews sure wasn’t feeling the love from everyone at yesterday’s convocation ceremony at the U of W. Valedictorian Erin Larson slammed her school for awarding the minister an honorary degree. Larson didn’t name Toews directly, but told the audience she wasn’t proud to be sharing the stage with this year’s recipient of an honorary doctorate of law. Larson and others who had protested the school’s choice, were upset over his opposition to same sex marriage and abortion.
A licensing hearing gets underway this morning in Los Angeles for the doctor who helped Nadya Suleman conceive her octuplets and 6 other children. Dr. Michael Kamrava is accused of implanting too many embryos in the single mom, who has now become known as the “Octomom.” A state medical board could revoke or suspend the doctor’s license.
In some health news this morning…..there are new guidelines for performing CPR on someone you think has suffered a cardiac arrest. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has switched up the steps, telling rescuers to start with hard, fast chest presses before giving mouth to mouth. Officials say it puts the simplest step first, and also reduces the delay for chest compression, which keeps the blood circulating.
Big, big concert announcement this morning. And, in case you missed it….let me tell ya…U2 is coming to town as part of the 2011 92 CITI FM classic rock concert series. The band will play Canad Inn stadium on May 29th…..and tickets will go on sale starting next Monday at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets. But of course, keep your radio locked right here as we will be beating the box office this week, and will also have a ton of tickets to give away after that.
Well much to the chagrin of health and nutrition experts, the Double Down hits Canadian outlets of KFC today. The restaurant chain’s most infamous sandwich features 2 slabs of seasoned chicken with bacon, cheese and a secret sauce in between….equalling 540 calories, 30 grams of fat and 1700 milligrams of sodium. The Double Down will only be available in Canadian KFC’s for a month to see how consumers respond.
Johnny Knoxville and his “Jackass” gang are even bigger in 3-D. “Jackass 3D” the group’s latest big screen collection of crazy stunts and antics, opened on the weekend with a whopping 50 million dollar take, soaring past the box office debuts of their first two movies. Premiering in 2nd was the action comedy, “Red,” followed by “The Social Network.”