Archive for February, 2012
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Today isn’t just Leap Year Day – it’s the last day to make RRSP contributions to take advantage of the tax break for 2011.
After a 14 year tax freeze, Winnipeg homeowners have to dig deeper for their property taxes after a 3.5% increase was announced yesterday. This year’s budget has a 53-million-dollar increase over last year, mostly due to emergency services costing more. Other highlights from the city’s operating budget include 20 more firefighters and 50 more police officers.
The City of Winnipeg also announced a water-and-sewer hike yesterday. The average homeowner can expect to pay 50 dollars more this year.
If you’ve noticed a lot more police officers out handing tickets, it’s not just your imagination. Late last year, the Winnipeg Police Service launched it’s strategic plan, which includes hundreds more traffic tickets per month, along with tickets from tactical supports, street crime and general patrol.
RCMP are warning the public and businesses about a recent increase in counterfeit $100 U.S. bills circulating in Winnipeg. These are high quality fakes. The paper is a little irregular, but there’s very little otherwise to show it’s counterfeit.
Passengers on board the disabled cruise ship in the Indian Ocean received food and flashlights yesterday from a helicopter. The ship has been without power since Monday after a fire in the generator room knocked out engines, lights and air conditioning. More than a thousand people are on board, including 14 Canadians.
It appears Apple is about to announce their new iPad next Wednesday. People have been speculating about the new gadget for months, and most think the new iPad will have a sharper screen and faster processor. No word on release date or price as of yet.
Americans love their Labrador Retrievers. For the 21st straight year, it is the most popular breed. German Shephards have held on to number two and Beagles have nosed into third.
Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom, Ander Management, will debut June 28th on FX with the first two episodes on premiere night and then 8 more new episodes to make up the first season.
If you thought gas prices were bad here, yesterday in Montreal it jumped up 14 cents to 144.9 at most stations, and the experts say those prices could be seen all across the country in the coming weeks.
Test results have been released that confirm former Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore died last February from a heart attack following a night of heavy drinking.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
All eyes will be on city council this afternoon with the budget is coming down. The issue on everyone’s mind is if they’ll be lifting the property tax freeze among the rising cost of city services like policing and road repairs.
A Liberal party researcher has resigned for tweeting messy details about Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to protest the government’s online surveillance bill. That Twitter account (@vikileaks30) has since been closed and an apology has been extended to Toews.
Members of Parliament have said they’re going to work together and share any information they have about alleged dirty tricks played during last year’s federal election. They’re looking into accusations that voters in dozens of ridings were misled or discouraged from voting.
The largest meteorite even found in Manitoba, sometimes called the Elm Creek Meteorite, is joining the Manitoba Museum. The size of a football, it was found while grading country roads and used as a doorstop for years before anyone realized what it was.
We have delicious water! Last Saturday was the 22nd annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting in West Virginia and the best bottled water prize went to Jackson Springs Natural Premium Spring Water of Winnipeg.
An Ottawa-based advocacy group is trying to have restaurants make nutritional information available on their menus. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Associaltion doesn’t think the menu is the right place to post nutritional stats.
If you haven’t been paying your taxes, it might be a good idea to get on it. Rosalie Chobotar, a Manitoba chiropractor, has been sent to jail for six months for income tax avasion. The 53-year-old has ties to the anti-tax movement, a group that doesn’t believe they have to pay income tax or recognize the court’s authority.
The province’s “most loved” service dog, credited with helping seven Canadian forces combat veterans, died Monday. Stinky, a Manitoba Search and Rescue dog, died at age 11. Stinky was inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame last year for her work with vetrans suffering from PTSD. She also travelled across the province to teach kids how to safely interact with dogs through a Winnipeg Foundation program.
In celebration of its 16th birthday this month, WestJet is offering Leap Year babies, from any year, the chance to fly for only $16 one way, plus applicable taxes and fees. You do need to be flying on your birthday though.
Having completed their Las Vegas run, Motley Crue are back in the studio recording a new song. They’re recording at Tommy’s studio with James Micheal’s producing
Robert California is leaving The Office. James Spader had initially only been hired for last season’s finale but they thought they’d leave him in for star power when Steve Carell left.
Monday, February 27th, 2012
The first silent film to win an Oscar in 80 years won 5, Christopher Plummer won his first Oscar at the age of 82, documentary filmmaker T.J. Martin dropped an f-bomb during his acceptance speech and J-Lo had a nip-slip. Last night’s Oscars belonged to ‘The Artist,’ ‘Hugo,’ and Meryl Streep. If you missed the Academy Awards, we have the full list of winners up on the Tom & Joe page and you can see the video highlights online at Oscars.org, the official website of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A Toronto-bound train derailed Sunday afternoon, killing three engineers and injuring 32 passengers — three of them seriously. If you are looking for information about passengers on the train, call 1-888-842-6141.
A Winnipeg man is facing charges after city police busted an alleged pot-growing operation at a home on Park Grove Drive. Officers seized about 690 marijuana plants valued at approximately $774,000, as well as an estimated $20,000 worth of gear used to grow it.
Jamie Christopher Korne, 40, a former Manitoba Bandidos member who cops claim was once linked to the reformed Rock Machine gang, is accused of selling hundreds of grams of cocaine to a police snitch. Cops quietly sought arrest warrants for 16 suspects in this case and each have been directly indicted into court.
Xena, Warrior Princess, lost her latest battle. Police arrested actress, Lucy Lawless, and five other Greenpeace activists andcharged them with burglary after four days protesting aboard an oil-drilling ship docked in New Zealand. They were there to raise awareness about oil drilling in the Arctic and prevent the ship from leaving.
A group of 8th graders from Landmark have won an extreme sledding competition. They built a sled out of a sheet of cardboard, rope, glue and duct tape, on the spot, and then had to pull a team member in it. The competition was part of the Skills Manitoba event that took place in Winnipeg last week.
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is the latest rocker and member of the band to write an autobiography. He tweeted yesterday that more info would be coming soon about publisher, release date and all that.
A new study shows that high-calorie foods can affect the brain in the same way that drugs do. Basically, the more a person consumes high-fat, high-sugar and high-energy foods, they develop a tolerance to it, similar to what happens with drug or alcohol addiction. You enjoy those bad-for –you, but delicious, foods like ice cream if you only eat them occasionally.
Friday, February 24th, 2012
Winnipeg jumped from ninth to third in the Eastern Conference on Thursday with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
More information has been released on the murder of Walter Madonick and the police are looking for help. The 55-year-old was fatally shot sometime between 2 a.m. —when he was dropped off by friends on Simcoe near Wellington— and 4 a.m. If you know what happened in those two hours, call the homicide unit at 986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 786-TIPS (8477).
We should expect gas prices to be going up. Yesterday oil jumped up $1.55 and today another 60-cents. GasBuddy says the average price of regular gas across the country is $1.26 a litre.
Another case of an attempted assault on a young girl in our city. A 17 year old girl managed to escape the grasp of a middle aged man near Main and Mountain on Wednesday as he tried to get her into his car. Police are hoping the public will come forward with more details.
Winnipeg police have arrested two more men after an investigation into stolen Winnipeg Jets tickets being sold. It is recommended fans seeking Jets tickets go through an accredited source such as Ticket Master.
A Selkirk Avenue apartment building was evacuated last night after fire broke out in the kitchen of one of the suites. Three families were forced out of the building and one man was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
Manitoba has a new program to train school staff and volunteers how to spot signs a child might be a victim of abuse, bullying, harassment or neglect. The Respect in School program is an online course and will be available to any adult in the school system.
Do you have snow tires on your car? Because none of Manitoba’s 160 ambulances do and, considering they can hit 140 kilometres an hour when answering emergencies, that puts everyone in danger according to the president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union.
It’s been 30 years since eye doctors were trained in Manitoba, but details about a new ophthalmology residency program in Winnipeg will be unveiled this morning.
The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre at the Assiniboine Park Zoo received its first patient on Thursday…even though he’s not a polar bear. A black bear cub found in the Whiteshell area is now calling the facility home. The zoo’s veterinary team says it is in reasonably good health but malnourished. He’ll be transferred to another zoo once he’s feeling better.
The Oscars usually feature those musical breaks when nominees for Best Song are performed but not this year. The composers will still go to the Oscars, but there won’t be any performances. The Oscars run Sunday.
Every wish you could nab the guy stealing your food from the fridge at work? Down in Texas, they set up a sting operation and caught the lunch bandit via video surveillance. Deer Park police Officer Kevin Yang has been charged with misdemeanor theft and suspended for 30 days without pay. He says he was just trying to keep the shared fridge clean.
Journey drummer Deen Castronovo has been sentenced in connection with an assault last month. The drummer received a sentence of 80 hours of community service and he must attend anger-management classes.
If you’ve been downloading porn, an awkward legal case in Detroit is showing you’re better of streaming it or buying it. An adult film production company is suing 240 people for illegally downloading their movies and they’re settling with some individuals for as much as $5,000!
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
The City of Winnipeg wants to look a little more attractive to visitors, so is upgrading a number of major roadways with improvements to lighting and landscaping. On the list: Pembina Highway, Portage Avenue, Main Street, Henderson Highway, St. Mary’s Road, St. Anne’s Road and Regent Avenue West. One street that was overlooked does have people asking why not Ellice Avenue too? It’s the shortest route from the airport to downtown, so is often the first impression of Winnipeg.
Only one third of the population in Manitoba and Saskatchewan expect to be fully retired by the age of 66, according to Sun Life Canada. The survey finds one-in-five expect to still be working full-time, while three-in-ten will work part-time.
When your doctor says the word “colonoscopy” to you, you don’t have to wonder anymore if it really does prevent colon cancer. It does. A study followed 26-hundred patients who had precancerous growths removed during colonoscopies for about 15 years. Their risk of dying from colon cancer was 53 per cent lower than the general population.
It was only night 2 of the new Van Halen tour, and the band has already tweaked their setlist. At Monday’s gig in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Van Halen played a virtually identical set to Saturday’s opening show in Louisville, with one change: the group switched out the rarely-performed 1979 track “Outta Love Again” and replaced it with the “1984″ classic, “Girl Gone Bad.” Great news to VH fans that are hoping to catch more than one show. They’ll be here in Winnipeg May 13th.
If you’re a huge Motorhead fan, Lemmy himself says don’t buy the new box set. Priced at around $600, the set focuses on the band’s early recordings, which they don’t own the rights to. A statement from the band says “Motörhead have no control over what’s done with these early songs, and don’t want fans to think that the band is involved in putting out such a costly box set.”
Only in the UK will you get a singer flipping off the TV cameras and it’s the organizers who issues the apology the next day! The producers of the BRIT Awards have issued an apology to Adele, whose acceptance speech for the Album of the Year award was cut short to make time for a closing performance by Blur.
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
While police still haven’t confirmed they found body parts – as the rumour around the city is – whatever they found in a dumpster at the Chateau York apartments has led to the 5th homicide investigation of the year
Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James will be sentenced in a Winnipeg courtroom today. James pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to sexually assaulting former NHL star Theoren Fleury and another male player he had coached in the 1980s and early ’90s.
Nine members of the 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron of 17 Wing Winnipeg are safe after their CC-130 Hercules caught fire during a training flight in the U.S. They landed safely and the fire was put out. Now they’re trying to find out the cause of the blaze.
That heavy dump of snow yesterday left nearly 1,000 residents in southeastern Manitoba without power. In Winnipeg, clean up from the dump of snow is expected to cost the city about $300,000. Nearly 150 pieces of equipment are expected to be used for plowing, salting and sidewalk clearing.
The Alberta woman severely beaten in Mexico last month has been released from a Calgary hospital. 37-year-old Sheila Nabb faces a long recovery, and will likely need more surgery for her facial injuries.
You can now be served via Facebook status…at least, over in London. A former trader and an ex-broker had been involved in an alleged scam and, after not being able to confirm his address, they were granted the right to track him down with Facebook to serve him with the legal documents.
A man found 345 comic books in his great uncle’s home that are expected to get more than two-million dollars at auction today in New York City. The collection has 44 of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide’s list of top 100 issues, including Action Comics No. 1, where Superman debuted, and Detectives Comics No. 27, where Batman debuted.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
The rain, the snow and the temperature are combining to make some pretty awful driving condition. Highways south of the city are reported as icy and snow covered. Several schools in the province are closed: Ross L. Gray school (Sprague), Shevchenko School (Vita), Adolphe nursery school and child care, Hanover School Division (Steinbach), Sunrise School Division (Oak Bank, Springfield, Anola, Beausejour, Lac du Bonnet), Seine River School Division (staff expected to attend if possible).
Officers were called in after what’s believed to be body parts were found inside a Winnipeg dumpster yesterday. CTV News is reporting an employee of a nearby restaurant spotted what looked like two severed hands sticking out of a dumpster. Investigators were on scene in the 100 block of Donald Street, near York Street, for most of the day. There is no comment from police, other than they’re not in a position to release further details to the public yet.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is facing new threats after his privacy bill drew the attention of internet hacking group Anonymous. Last week Toews introduced a bill to parliament that would allow police to obtain private information about users from internet service providers without a warrant. Since then, attacks on Twitter have revealed some dirty details of Toews’ personal life and the threat is to reveal even more damaging information.
If you’ve been enjoying this nice warm winter, so have the deer…and the mice…and the rats. The good news about that is it’s helping a deer population that was hit really hard this year and should mean less deer out on the roads and highways.
The province has started breaking up ice on the Red River and is warning people to stay off. They started using the Amphibex machines yesterday near Netley Creek, to reduce the risk of ice jams on the river this spring. Officials have asked people to stay away from the icebreaking equipment and obey warning signs about dangerous ice.
Canadians still love their money. In the age of credit and debit cards, a survery by the Bank of Canada showed that cash still makes up 53.8% of transactions and, if that purchase was under $25, that goes up to 70%.
If you’re craving a big, juicy burger, this fall scientists can grow one up for you from stem cells. A group of scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has grown small pieces of muscle that look like calamari. They’ll be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to produce a hamburger. The “test tube” hamburger is being developed to help prevent deforestation.
On this day in 2003, 100 people died after pyrotechnics ignited a club during a Great White concert in Rhode Island. Great White singer Ty Longley was also killed in the accident.
Boston have announced the first series of dates for their 2012 summer tour and band leader Tom Scholz is saying if you’ve got them on your bucket list, better hurry up just in case the Mayans are right about the world ending this year!
Van Halen launched their 2012 tour Saturday in Louisville, Kentucy to rave reviews. The 24-song set featured four tracks from the band’s new album, “A Different Kind Of Truth,” as well as a couple of songs they haven’t played live since the early 80s. They’ll be here in Winnipeg on May 13th.
Black Sabbath have called off their reunion tour because of guitarist Tony Iommi’s ongoing battle with cancer. They’ll play one show from the planned dates, the UK’s Download Festival in June. The previously announced shows will feature some guest artists like Zakk Wylde and Slash.
Friday, February 17th, 2012
The Festival du Voyageur starts today and runs for the next week, but snow sculptors are having to use manufactured snow, since we haven’t seen the usual amount of flurries in Winnipeg this winter. The Torch Light Walk starts at the Forks at 6 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 7:30 at Voyageur Park.
In Osborne Village, despite thousands of signatures in opposition, a unanimous vote by the City of Winnipeg’s appeals committee said yes, that Shoppers Drug Mart can expand. They’ll double in size, overtaking Movie Village and Vi-Ann restaurant nearby.
A bit of weather good news; the US National Weather Service says that little snow and dry soil mean odds of Red River flood very low. They also forecast higher-than-normal temperatures for the next few months but say April may bring more precipitation.
The Vancouver Stanley Cup riots put a black eye on Canada, but Ryan Dickinson is now the first rioter sentenced. 17 months, minus three-and-a-half months for time served, after he was videod throwing a newspaper box into an unmarked police car and a mannequin into a tuxedo shop window.
The inquiry into the abuse and death of Phoenix Sinclair, a five-year-old girl, in 2005.will continue as the union representing Manitoba’s child-welfare and social workers has lost a court bid to quash a public inquiry. The inquiry will also examine how Phoenix’s death went unnoticed for months. It wasn’t until March 2006 that her body was found wrapped in plastic in an unmarked shallow grave on the Fisher River First Nation.
Sears Canada is cutting prices by as much as 20 to 30 per cent in hopes of building sales and staying competitive with the big guys like Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, H&M and IKEA. The price reductions are permanent, are are on everything from brand name jeans and lingerie to tools and TVs.
Health Canada is warning Canadians who take prescription antacid drugs knows as proton pump inhibitors may be at a larger risk of developing C. difficile…which will basically make you way more regular than you’d like. As with all medications though, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the possible risk.
Snickers bars are going on a diet.Mars says it will stop making chocolate products that have more than 250 calories. The candy bars will be getting smaller by the end of next year.
Turning 50 marks the most expensive stage of our lives. Researchers calculated those in their 50s can still expect to have hefty mortgage payments while also trying to support teenage children. The cost of weddings, university fees, driving costs, cell phones and house deposits all add to the growing expenses.
If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s happening with Iran and the European Union, it may be about to hit you in the gas tank. Not in the next few days, but analysts say further developments in the Middle East will most likely raise gasoline prices.
The actor who played Derek Wheeler – better known as “Wheels” – on “Degrassi High,” is dead. Neil Hope reportedly died at 35 of natural causes, but here’s the weird thing – he died in 2007, five years ago, but the news was only made public on Thursday.
Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Very slick on the Perimeters. Side streets have a bit of slip to them too, but outlying roads and highways are being rated the worst this morning.
Known to her customers as “Sinful Sydnee”, a Winnipeg 48-year-old married mother of two, opened a brothel to provide a safe haven for sex trade workers…and she is not going to jail for it. She employed at least a dozen young adult women and one 18-year-old man to offer up various kinky services to customers. Queen’s Bench Justice Deborah McCawley said she believed the woman’s motives were genuine. Three years of probation and a $2,000 fine after she pleaded guilty to keeping a common bawdy house.
Winnipeg police need help identifying a person of interest after a sexual assault that started on a transit bus last week. Police say a man sat next to a 21 year-old woman on the bus and touched her leg. She got up and off the bus, but the suspect exited at the same time and groped her in the lower body. The suspect is described between 40 and 50, East Indian in appearance, with glasses and some facial hair.
If you’re hoping to put your house on the market, Canadian home sales posted their biggest monthly decline in a year-and-a-half in January so the long-expected market slowdown may finally be on its way.
The largest automotive-dealership group in Winnipeg got a little bigger this week with the addition of one of the best-known shops in town. The Birchwood Automotive Group has purchased Bob Kozminski’s Keystone Ford on Regent Avenue, so they now own 11 stand-alone dealerships in Winnipeg.
City council’s executive policy committee voted unanimously Wednesday to approve an offroad-vehicle ban that would take effect Nov. 1. Committee chairwoman Paula Havixbeck said city staff promised to present council with a trail-access plan by September which will outline trails and other options for snowmobile riders to get their vehicles from their homes to urban areas,
City Council’s executive policy committee voted unanimously to give Mayor Sam Katz the go write to request a reduction in speed limits around schools in Winnipeg.
PETA wants to put up a roadside memorial sign to honour the 71 cows that were killed on January 31st when a cattle-truck collided with a train near Carberry. The NDP said no, as “Roadside memorials are for families and communities mourning the loss of loved ones.”
All of the members of Guns N’ Roses will be at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in April, according to keyboardist Dizzy Reed. He just doesn’t know if they’ll play together.
You may not be able to go to Whitney Houston’s funeral in person Saturday – it’s private and limited to friends and family – but now you can watch it online. The Associated Press will stream it via livestream.com. Whitney’s manner of death is still listed as “pending investigation” but the authorities have issued subpoenas for her medical and pharmacy records.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
The city’s fourth homicide of 2012 is Wahb Mandamin, 18, who came to Winnipeg from Ontario for his pregnant girlfriend’s ultrasound. According to the Free Press, police have one person in custody and they are reported to be looking for another two.
Hilaire Ndyat has been given a four-year prison sentence for raping an unconscious woman in a downtown Winnipeg apartment. He had been found guilty at trial last year but was sentenced yesterday. Ndyat was a prominent community leader: founder and executive director of the Winnipeg Afro-Aboriginal Cross-cultural Association, where he helps new immigrants and a member of several other inner city organizations.
97% of Air Canada pilots have given their union a strike mandate in favour of a possible walkout but nothing will happen during the mediation process. The airline is telling us to go ahead and keep booking flights; it’s business as usual.
If you’re a frequent flyer, your Nexus card is going to get you through security even faster, starting today. Winnipeg is one of the now eight cities in Canada that let’s people who are not considered a security risk, due to prior Nexus screening, through Customs faster, so other travellers can get a bit closer inspection.
The University of Manitoba has created, what scientists think, is the first hockey-playing robot. The end goal is to build robotic firemen or rescue workers, but this first stage helps them work on the robot’s active balance. “Jennifer” can shoot, stick-handle and skate around a rink.
A Canadian dog was one of the top dogs at the Westminster dog show yesterday. Ace, a black cocker spaniel from Ontario, won best dog in his breed.
Looking to add a new furbaby to your home? Manitoba Mutts are looking for homes for almost two dozen rescued dogs. When first picked up, the poor pooches were dehydrated and starved. You can find contact information at www.manitobamutts.org
The now infamous Mel Gibson arrest, with his big anti-semitic rant, has cost the LA Shefiff’s Department $50,000. The deputy who arrested Mel, James Mee, was Jewish and he says his superiors made him take the offending slurs from the report. When he accused them of discrimination, they settled out of court.
Whitney Houston will have a private funeral Saturday in the church where she sang as a child and no public memorial, at the request of her family. The funeral director says her family shared her with the world for 30 years, but now is their private time to say goodbye. While it was first reported she drowned, sources have now said Whitney Houston was reportedly killed by a cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol.