Archive for January, 2012
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Testimony continues today in the second-degree murder trial of a former government adviser, Mark Stobbe. Policed allege Stobbe hit his wife, Beverly Rowbotham, in the head 16 times with a hatchet in 2000. A RCMP forensics expert told the court yesterday evidence showed Rowbotham had been killed, then her body was moved to where she was found, in her car north of Winnipeg.
The City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police Association are fighting over the paychecks of about 14 hundred officers and 400 other employees. The association says, in Western Canada, the only police service of 50 officers or more that pays it’s employees less than Winnipeg is Moose Jaw.
Final arguments were heard yesterday at the trial for two men charged with first degree murder of an elderly couple and their son. Jerome Labossiere and Michael Hince are accused of killing Labossiere’s parents and brother, then setting their farmhouse on fire to cover up the crime. The Judge is expected to charge the jury on Wednesday.
A whole community, some of whom had never met the victims, gathered last night to pay their respects to the mother, grandmother and three daughters who died in last week’s West Kildonan house fire. Hamid Farooq, the father who was at work at the time of the fire, thanked everyone for their prayers and support, saying they gave him comfort.
Winnipeg’s newest ground hog, Willow, makes her live debut February 2nd. The Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, which heals and releases injured wildlife, has allowed to take on the duty of letting us know if it will be six more weeks of winter or early spring on Groundhog’s Day.
Don Starkell, the Winnipeger adventurer who set a Guinness Book of World Records paddling more than 19,000 kilometres with his son Dana to the Amazon, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 79. The Starkell family has asked in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the YMCA at Strongkids.ca http://www.ymcastrongkids.ca.
School trustees have to decide between making major cuts or raising school property taxes. Yesterday, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced a 2.2 per cent increase in provincial operating grants for public schools but dropped the tax-incentive grant that added $135 million over the past four years in exchange for divisions freezing taxes.
Winnipeg police have launched the fourth phase of their Just Slow Down campaign. TV commercials started running yesterday meant to show the risks and consequences speeding can have.
Police have charged a female Winnipeg high school teacher and coach with sexual exploitation. Regan Moses, a social studies teacher at Fort Richmond Collegiate, has been put on paid leave after she turned herself in on January 6th. The alleged offence occurred with a former student between February 2006 and February 2008. Police say the charge of sexual exploitation applies when a person is in a position of authority, such as a case with a teacher and a student.
Monday, January 30th, 2012
A sad end to an already tragic story – the sole survivor or last week’s West Kildonan house fire, a four-month-old girl, passed away Friday afternoon. Her father, Hamid Farooq, will make a public thank-you Monday night to everyone who has supported him after he lost his wife, their three children and his mother-in-law. A memorial is being put on by the Manitoba Islamic Association and the Islamic Social Services Association from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Grand Mosque on Waverley St. Friends, neighbours, the children’s schoolmates and members of the public are welcome to pay their respects.
Four kids and an adult were bear sprayed Sunday night just after 9:30 while they were in a home on the 800 block of Mountain. The injuries are not considered serious. No suspects have been arrested and police continue to investigate.
A 28-year-old Mexican man confessed to brutally beating a Canadian tourist in the resort city of Mazatlan last week but said he did not intend to harm the woman. According to his statement, he was drunk & high when he encountered Sheila Nabb at the sixth floor elevator. When he tried to prevent her from leaving she screamed, and he panicked, hitting her. Police identified the suspect from a security video where they could see him getting out of the elevator where Nabb was assaulted and from blood on one his sandals.
Police in Winnipeg have recaptured a man who escaped custody at the Health Sciences Centre with a rope made of bed sheets. Stephane Martin Bissonnette, 29, was walking down the street Thursday, near Balmoral and Cumberland, when police saw him and re-arrested him. What did Bisonnette do while he was on the lam? Allegedly robbed two banks — one on Portage Avenue and one on Main —within an hour of each other on Jan. 26.
Two Winnipeg filmmakers, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, won the world cinema documentary editing prize at Sundance for Indie Game: The Movie, a documentary about video game developers. The win came right after HBO and producer Scott Rudin had picked up the rights to adapt the film for TV.
A 34-year-old man from Grand Marais has died after the snowmobile he was driving crashed into a tree, according to police. The man was found late Saturday night on the Northstar Snowmobile Trail near Belair. RCMP are still investigating the reason for the crash.
Bad day? Crank up some Metallica, and you’ll feel better in no time! A Columbia University professor, Galina Mindlin, says that rocking out to songs with a certain number of beats per minute can generate certain mental states, like productivity and relaxation, Metallica’s hard-rocking tunes fall into that 100 to 130 beats per minute, and so do “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2 and “Lady Madonna” from the Beatles.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have hired Gary Crowton as their new offensive coordinator. Crowton, one of the NCAA’s top offensive coaches in the past decade, has no previous CFL coaching experience but does have NFL; he was the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator in 1999-2000. Crowton spent last season at the University of Maryland and had been rumoured to be heading to the Utah Utes.
Friday, January 27th, 2012
The credibility of the Crown’s star witness in a triple murder case is coming under attack. Jeremie Toupin struck an immunity deal to plead guilty to second-degree murder and life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. In exchange, he’s testifying Jérôme Labossière allegedly hired him and Michel Hince to kill his elderly parents and brother. Labossière and Hince have pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder.
A new, updated women’s correction centre will open in Headingley in the next two weeks. The new structure has about 100 cells and 193 beds, 25 to be set aside for federal inmates. The 120,000-square-foot , $79.5 million, facility will provide more space for programming, like addictions counseling, programs to help develop coping skills, life-skills and other education programming.
The uncle of a four-month-old girl who survived a house fire that killed most of her family says doctors have told the family she is brain dead. The fire broke out Tuesday night in the family’s semi-detached home in West Kildonan. Firefighters pulled out the baby, her mother, grandmother and her nine- and four-year-old sisters, but smoke inhalation had caused too much damage. A trust fund has been set up at all ACU’s for the father, Hamid Farooq, who was at work when the fire broke out. The fund name is #Team204
The City of Winnipeg will set up a grant program to help aging community centres upgrade their facilities. Mayor Sam Katz said the city will offer almost a million dollars for community centre renovations every year. The city has set aside 15 per cent of the proceeds from city land sales for the grants. This funding means community centres won’t have to cut back on programming to repair their facilities.
The brother of a Canadian woman found badly beaten inside a Mexican hotel is defending the woman’s husband, saying he’s concerned that a statement could be misinterpreted. Mexican authorities had issued a statement in Spanish that could be translated to suggest the attack on Sheila Nabb was the result of “domestic violence.” The circumstances around the brutal beating are still unknown, but victims of another attack that stayed at the same hotel have come forward to share their story and warning. In their case, the attack was planned to extort money via a fraudulent private medical clinic.
In the same superpipe where Sarah Burke pioneered her sport, a gathering of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders honored the fallen skier with a torchlight parade. Four gold medals in the superpipe. The first woman to ever spin a 720 in competition. The first 900. The first 1080. Burke died last week in a Utah hospital after tumbling in a halfpipe while training on Jan. 10.
The details on the inmate escape for the Health Sciences Centre Sunday night are Stephane Bissonnette — who was being treated after shooting himself in the leg during a robbery last October — asked the female guards to leave the room so he could change his clothing. Bissonnette — who was not restrained in any way — then tossed a makeshift rope he made from hospital bed sheets out the window and climbed to freedom. He had previously broke out of a Montreal jail in 2007.
After the capsizing of the Costa Concordia near Italy, the company has agreed to pay the cost of the cruise, all transportation and $14,500 for items lost and any psychological damages to each passenger who suffered no physical injuries. Passengers injured while abandoning the ship will be dealt with individually. A consumer group that did not sign the agreement is collecting names to file a class action suit asking for ten times that amount.
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
A 32-year-old man is facing charges of second-degree murder after his wife was stabbed to death Monday night in their downtown apartment. Alche Kidane, 34, had only just arrived in Winnipeg in August last year, after she and her husband made their way from Sudan.
An arrest has been made in the weekend beating of the 88-year-old. Police say Daniel Andrew Campbell, 22, is charged with aggravated assault, break and enter, robbery with violence and breach of probation. The victim remains stable in hospital.
No serious injuries after two downtown fires last night. One was an apartment building fire on Graham, the other in the parkade of CityPlace on Donald where a construction worker was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. This comes only a day after a woman, her daughter and her two granddaughters were killed by smoke inhalation. A baby girl was the sole survivor of that house fire and is in hospital in critical condition.
A man arrested in a string of break-ins in the Stonewall area managed to escape the town’s RCMP detachment ut has been recaptured. Tuesday night, when the man was allowed to call a lawyer in private, they say he escaped through a garage door. An 18-year-old man is now facing a charge of aiding and abetting his escape.
79 dogs are receiving medical care at the Winnipeg Humane Society after being removed from “substandard breeding facility.” The good news is none of the dogs, so far, have needed to be euthanized, but they were thin, thirsty and covered in feces. Some also had gum disease or teeth problems. The animals had been in a 40 by 70-foot shed, some as many as three to a cage.
An escaped cat kept an Air Canada flight grounded yesterday. Air Canada, Flight 603 from Halifax to Toronto, was delayed for a few hours because a cat escaped from a carrying case that a woman had taken on the plane. Spurway says the cat ran into the cockpit, which is usually open at that time, and then somehow got into the wiring in the panels. It took a couple hours for maintenance crews to locate the cat and check the wiring.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
A very sad update. Two young children, both under the age of 10, and two women have died after a house fire and a 6 month old baby remains in critical condition. Firefighters had responded to a call on Sinclair Street, when they noticed smoke from the Woodlark Place home nearby. Crews had to work to revive the people outside the home before they were taken to hospital. It appeared the fire victims were suffering from smoke inhalation.
City police have confirmed detectives are investigating Winnipeg’s first homicide of 2012. A 34-year-old woman was found badly injured in a suite on Assiniboine Avenue Monday night. She was taken to hospital in critical condition but died of severe upper body injuries. The victim had reportedly just moved to Canada within the past year and was originally from Eritrea. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers.
A man who went up on the roof of his house to try and protest its demolition has been arrested. Ed Ackerman is accused of attacking a worker who was there to tear down his house on Bannatyne Avenue. He started throwing glass blocks at workers, went up to the roof of the house, and police blocked off the street, leading to a really strange standoff. It also led to Victoria-Albert School being put in lockup, until the situation was resolved.
A landslide in Papua New Guinea has 40 dead and 20 missing. Local lawmaker told Radio Australia that the landslide completely covered two villages while people slept.
If you opted to watch a movie on a Canadian network, instead of the State of the Union address, Obama focused on income inequality and tax reform. Obama appealed for lawmakers to send him legislation on immigration, clean energy and housing
HERITAGE Winnipeg has given up its campaign to save the city’s old airport terminal from demolition. There had been hope to save the old terminal building, opened in 1964, but now the Western Canadian Aviation Museum plans to build a new museum after tearing down the old building.
Manitobans bring home bronze from the first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games. Adam Brooks, 15, was a member of Canada’s national men’s youth hockey team, while Derek Oryniak, 17, was the second on Canada’s mixed curing team.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
Winnipeg police are on the lookout for a robbery suspect, 29 year old Stephane Martin Bissonnette, who escaped custody while at the Health Sciences Centre. It’s unknown why Bisonette required hospitalization but he was awaiting trial on robbery and firearm offenses. Anyone with information on Bissonnette is asked to call Crime Stoppers.
Workers and equipment are getting ready to start pumping out the half-million gallons of fuel from the crashed cruise ship off Tuscany. The Concordia ran aground and capsized on Jan. 13 after the captain ran it into a reef, forcing the evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew. So far 15 bodies have been found.
Brandon firefighters had to deal with a massive fire in the Sturgeon Tire building around 5:15 last night. It was also the reason 500 Manitoba Hydro customers were without power between 6:30 and 7 p.m. They had to shut the power off to protect equipment, and for the safety of the folks fighting the fire. The building was destroyed and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The 9 million dollar International Polar Bear Conservation Centre is now open at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. It has a research component, an interactive gallery for guests to learn about polar bears and their habitat and will be a nursery for orphaned or injured bears.
Did you see all the emergency vehicles out at the James Armstrong Richardson Airport last night? The pilot of an Air Canada regional jet, bound for Edmonton, decided to return to Winnipeg after a nose indicator light came on in the cockpit. The plane landed with no problems just before 7:30, but there were fire units from the airport and city, and paramedics standing by, just in case.
A fire yesterday afternoon caused an estimated 80,000 dollars of damage to a youth group home on Kent Road. The fire apparently started in a bedroom. There were no serious injuries and the cause is under investigation.
The Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail is expected to open today from The Forks to Churchill Drive. Information on the ice trail can be found online (at rivertrail.ca, or sentierdhiver.ca). Access to all of the skating trails is free. Skate rentals are available at The Forks.
Looking to add a furbaby to your family? Tomorrow, the Winnipeg Humane Society is having a one day Puppypalooza on medium & large puppies where qualified pups are only $100 to adopt.
The Manitoba government is providing nearly $2.5 million to rural communities affected by record flooding last year. Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn says the 42 grants issued to 34 communities will help communities get back on their feet. Projects include restoring damaged tourist facilities, co-ordinating plans for residential and tourism redevelopment and promoting “buy local” campaigns.
Peter Nygard has won Round 3 of his legal battle with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The case is one of many launched by Nygard relating to CBC’s Fifth Estate documentary, Larger Than Life. Nygard claims the CBC induced and conspired with Nygard employees to breach confidentiality agreements they had signed with the fashion company in the making of the documentary. A separate criminal suit was also launched for defamatory libel. All allegations have yet to be proven.
Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach, died yesterday at 85. Only time will tell if he’s remembered as the winningest coach in major college football history or as the man who helped cover up one of the biggest child sex scandals in football history.
Four years after New York stunned previously undefeated New England in the Arizona desert, the Patriots and Giants are going at it again at the Super Bowl — this time in Indianapolis.
A home invasion turned into an assault on Saturday afternoon. After hitting the 88-year-old woman, the attacker took off with some cash and the woman was taken to hospital. No description is available yet, but if you have any information, police are asking you to call Crimestoppers.
A domestic disturbance call led to an illegal gun seizure on Saturday. Charles Matthew Wesley, 22, was arrested and charged with six counts, including breach of probation and possessing a prohibited firearm with ammunition
If you were in the Exchange District at around 2:15 Sunday mornings, that wasn’t a car backfiring that you heard, it was gunshots. No injuries were reported and the investigation is ongoing.
Tec Voc High School was placed into lockdown Friday after administrators received a possible threat. Winnipeg police responded to the school late in the morning to investigate. The threat turned out to be unfounded and doors were unlocked at around 2:30 p.m. Details on the nature of the threat were not released.
The City of Winnipeg agreed to go ahead with widening Kenaston Boulevard earlier this week, but legal arguments over who owns the land have put those plans on hold. The court date is set at end of April to decide if the land belongs to the Canada Lands Company or the seven First Nations tribes who signed Treaty 1 back in 1871. Then, the city will have to buy the land from whichever side is proved to be the owner. The cost of buying that land isn’t included in the 129 million dollar estimate for the project.
A Winnipeg woman, who threatened to sue the city if staff tried to take her dogs away, has reached the end of her one year deadline. Barbara Camara owns 6 dogs; twice the number allowed by city bylaws. She is applying for an excess animal permit to keep all of her dogs. The complaint was originally filed by neighbours who had a problem with all the barking.
Busy weekend for firefighters. The first fire was on Magnus Avenue Friday night, forcing 2 people from their home. Then there was a second fire Saturday morning in an apartment block on Kennedy. And a fire in Point Douglas at 5am Saturday sent one man to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Two Winnipeg men were married in what’s believed to be a Canadian first: they tied the knot at a conservative synagogue.
Winnipeg Jet Evander Kane has been the victim of some gossip saying that he skips out on his bill at local restaurants. All the restaurant owners that were rumoured to have been stiffed have come forward to deny that gossip though.
Friday, January 20th, 2012
Canadian skier Sarah Burke has died of injuries from doing the sport she loved. Sarah Burke was an X Games star; a daredevil Canadian freestyle skier, who helped get superpipe accepted into the Olympics. She was 29.
The Forks named Canada’s Great Public Space for 2011.The award was handed out by the Canadian Institute of Planners, and beat out over 6,000 other nominees in the category.
Parents, if you buy President’s Choice Brand infant cereals, check your cupboards. Eight types are being recalled because they may be rancid: the 227 gram Mixed Grains, Oat Cereal and Wheat Cereal, all in green and white packages. There is one reported illness linked to eating them and symptoms to watch for are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. You can return the recalled cereal to stores for a full refund, with or without a receipt.
A Facebook page has been created to remember the victim of Wednesday’s fatal car crash, 19-year-old Kaitlyn Fraser. She was on her way to a job interview when her SUV went through a guardrail on the Disraeli Bridge and hit the ice below. She’s being remembered by her closest friends as a sweet, bubbly young woman who dreamed of becoming a nurse.
Winnipeg Transit driver charged for hitting a passenger. The 42-year old bus driver is charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm after the city bus he was driving hit an 84-year-old while he was getting off the bus at a designated stop back on December 20th.
Media reports say Ottawa has expelled four Russian embassy staff in connection with a Canadian naval officer accused of passing secrets to a foreign power. Officials in both countries, however, are keeping their mouths shut – confirming or denying nothing about the growing scandal.
One advantage to this week’s cold weather, part of the river trail at The Forks is now open for ice skating!
Almost half of Canadians say they are not financially prepared for retirement — including baby boomers who are mere years away from putting their working days behind them. Christina Kramer, an executive vice-president at CIBC, suggests instead of making an RRSP contribution just before the Feb. 29 deadline, we should take some time to review our whole financial picture and decide what changes might be needed to keep making progress in their investments.
Thursday, January 19th, 2012
In the –40 C to –47 C range: exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.Dress in layers of warm clothing, with a wind-resistant outer layer; Cover all exposed skin; Wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves, a scarf, neck tube or face mask and insulated, waterproof footwear; Stay dry; Keep active
The 19-year-old woman in the SUV that went off the Disraeli Bridge yesterday afternoon died, Winnipeg police confirmed. She was the lone occupant of the vehicle that crashed through the railing on the bridge and landed upside down on the bank of the Red River.
Jérome Labossière was upset with members of his family in the weeks before his parents and brother were murdered at their Manitoba farmhouse, according to his brother-in-law, Bernard Grenier, who took the witness stand yesterday. The trial has now been adjourned until Monday.
Ex-coaches in Manitoba hockey hazing get a longer suspensions. A report by retired Winnipeg police detective Ron Bell concluded that veteran members of the Neepawa Natives picked on rookies in at least four separate hazings. Head coach Bryant Perrier resigned from the team last year and remains suspended from coaching until April 1. The suspension of former assistant coach Brad Biggers has been extended to July 1. The suspensions mean the men cannot work for any team anywhere in the country that is part of Hockey Canada.
A Winnipeg restaurateur has filed a court motion asking Mayor Sam Katz to step down from office or repay all costs paid by the City of Winnipeg to Hu’s Asian Bistro. In December, Katz held a taxpayer-funded Christmas party at Hu’s Asian Bistro, a restaurant he owns, for the second year in a row. Previously, the mayor has defended his decision, saying many places are booked up over Christmas and he can get a big discount there.
Parole has been denied for a Haitian-born murderer at an aboriginal hearing. The girl’s father says the killer should not have been allowed to have an aboriginal hearing because, although he’s a Canadian citizen, he was born in Haiti and is not aboriginal. He says it makes a mockery of First Nation, Inuit and Metis people.
With the U.S. killing the Keystone proposal, for now, the government says this increases the likelihood that China will become a major new buyer of Canadian oil. $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast,was bitterly opposed by environmentalists and endorsed by Republicans, who say it will create needed jobs in the U.S.
Facebook is adding 60 new apps that let users share everything from photos of what they cooked for dinner, to what concert they scored tickets to. They call it “frictionless sharing,” meaning once you sign up for the apps, they automatically share your Ticketmaster purchases or Rotten Tomatoe reviews on your timeline. That said, you can still limit who can sees what when you sign up for the apps, the same as any other Facebook updates.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Wouldn’t it be nice to go over last year’s budget and find out you’ve got some extra cash?
The City of Winnipeg will close the books on 2011 with a surplus of more than $3.6 million! We saved money by not fogging for mosquitos last summer and not needing to use much of our December snow-clearing budget. The surplus will be applied to this year’s operating budget.
Slow down. Winnipeg police are just reminding everyone that the cold weather has made city streets especially icy with bridges and overpasses are the worst affected. We had a whole whack of minor collisions yesterday morning. Drivers are encouraged to keep a safe distance back from the vehicle ahead of them.
With this cold, Winnipeg’s assistant fire chief is advising people against plugging in vehicles inside garages or running heaters.Bill Clark says anything from a frayed cord to something falling on the element of an in-car heater could spark a fire. Garages are usually enough shelter to make sure a vehicle will start even in the coldest temperatures.
Have you heard the tape from the cruise ship sinking in Italy? The captain of an Italian cruise ship that ran aground off Italy made excuses and resisted a coast guard officer’s repeated orders for him to reboard his stricken liner and aid passengers, an audio recording released Tuesday reveals. Prosecutors have accused Capt. Francesco Schettino of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his vessel before all passengers were evacuated
Scientists has said yes, a piece of Mars has landed. 6.8 kilograms of Martian meteorite fell over Morocco last summer — the first time in 50 years such an event has occurred. It is only the fifth time newly fallen Martian rocks have been confirmed chemically by experts. Known Martian meteorite falls have happened only once every 50 years or so
This year’s Genie Award nominations didn’t give a lot of love to Winnipeg movie makers. Heather Neale’s costume design work for gangster flick Keyhole, was nominated.
Former Winnipegger Ryan Ward got the nod for best original screenplay as co-writer for Son of the Sunshine. And The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, mostly filmed in Manitoba, received a nomination for best editing.
The awards will be broadcast on March 8 at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has confirmed that he and Steven Tyler will play The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Friday