Archive for July, 2012
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
The Aurora, Colorado shooting suspect was formally charged yesterday: 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the movie theatre rampage that killed 12 people and wounded 58 on July 20. James Holmes was charged with a count of first-degree murder with deliberation and a count of first-degree murder with extreme indifference for each victim. In Canada, no such distinction exists.
Two young men have been arrested after a girl was threatened with a handgun in the North End. The 16-year-old girl was confronted by six individuals, police said today. One of the group had two guns, and allegedly passed one to a younger group member and told him to shoot the girl. The gun was pointed at her but not fired. Both the youth who pointed the gun and the man who told him to shoot are in custody and police say they are gang members.
An American judge issued an arrest warrant Monday for a Winnipeg-raised businessman over his role in an illegal Internet pharmacy operation. Nathan Jacobson, who grew up in Winnipeg, was to be sentenced for conspiring to commit money-laundering but failed to show up for a sentencing hearing.
The 25th edition of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival wrapped up on July 29 with the highest attendance ever. The festival met its goal of selling more than 100,000 tickets. Daily attendance records were also broken on 10 out of 12 days.
A Swiss footballer was expelled from the Olympics on Monday for his threatening and racist message on Twitter about South Koreans. He posted the message after playing in the 2-1 loss against South Korea on Sunday. He is the second athlete being sent home for Tweeting. Last week, Greece Olympic officials tossed triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristo off the team after she posted a comment mocking African immigrants and supporting a far-right political party.
Peter Jackson is adding a third film to what was planned to be the two-part series “The Hobbit.” The films are set in the fictional world of Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings.” The first film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” hits theatres Dec. 14, while the second is set for release Dec. 13, 2013. The third film will come out in the summer of 2014.
A 12-year-old New Jersey girl steered the car to safety when grandfather dies at wheel, foot on accelerator. After being unable to stop the car and couldn’t get service to call 911, she grabbed onto the steering wheel and tried to find a place where she could force the car to stop. She put the car into some trees, thinking she could only hurt herself. The family, though mourning the death of their father, is very proud of her quick thinking.
A writer for the New Yorker has resigned and his book has been pulled after he admitted he invented Bob Dylan quotes. “Imagine” came out in March and has been selling well. Jonah Lehrer has apologized to his readers and his editors.
London Olympic organizers say Paul McCartney was paid exactly one Bristish pound for his part in the opening ceremonies. It’s believed the other performers had the same deal. The fee was offered to make the Olympic contracts binding, but they basically volunteered their time.
Monday, July 30th, 2012
People in Winnipeg and all over southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan are cleaning up after some severe thunderstorms caused widespread damage including destroying a home in the south of St. Laurent. Although property damage was reported, there were no reports of injuries. In North Kildonan, a section of roof was torn from an apartment building. Trees were downed throughout the city. In Twin Lakes Beach, on Lake Manitoba, the wind caved in windows of houses and cottages along the beach. Power was knocked out in several sections of the city and Hydro has called in extra staff to get us back up and running.
Military police are investigating a shooting at Canadian Forces Base Shilo. A soldier was shot during an altercation early Sunday with another member of the Canadian Forces and is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. The weapon used has been seized and it is not a military-issued weapon.
Two fires in Winnipeg sent three people to hospital this weekend. A 43-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman were taken to hospital Saturday after a bungalow fire on Seaton Street and have been upgraded to stable condition. The other fire at a rooming house on Maryland Street sent a 53-year-old man to the HSC in critical condition but he’s since been upgraded to stable. There were five people in the rooming house at the time of the fire.
The son of Manitoba Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh has been charged in connection with an April robbery in north Winnipeg. Gordon Mackintosh, 22, turned himself in to police on Thursday for a robbery on April 20 when a lone male entered a business, demanded and received cash, and then fled.
We may see the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Manitoba as Brandon has delivered it’s bid package to host the games. Their Sportsplex renovation has received a $1 million commitment from the province to complete mechanical system upgrades.
The soundtrack from the opening ceremony of the Olympics has shot up the charts in several countries. It’s number one in Britain, France, Belgium and Spain. The album went on sale as a download minutes after the ceremony ended Friday in London. It features music from David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, Chemical Brothers and more. They’ll be doing the same album release with the closing ceremonies on the 12th where the Who and Spice Girls are supposed to perform.
More Americans watched Friday’s Olympics opening ceremony than any other Olympic opening, summer or winter. 40.7 million were watching. The performance that showed the biggest spike in Tweets – it wasn’t Paul McCartney performing or the Queen jumping out of a helicopter – it was Mr. Bean’s “Chariots of Fire”.
Billie Joe Armstrong has been tapped as a mentor for reality show The Voice. The Green Day frontman will join Christina Aguilera’s team to advise contestants in the singing competition. The third season of The Voice premieres September 10th and Green Day has an album trilogy out on September 25th.
Bruce Springsteen has announced new dates for a fall North American tour. It kicks off October 19th in Ottawa and runs through December 6th in Arizona with, sadly, no Winnipeg dates.
Friday, July 27th, 2012
Seven years of planning will be put to the test today with the opening of the London Olympics. Athletes, officials and fans from more than 200 countries will attend the $1.5 billion dollar event. A cast and crew of 10 thousand people will be part of the opening ceremonies, starting at 3pm Winnipeg time. Lots of speculation about performers – we’ve heard Paul McCartney, Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Muse – and even more speculation about who will light the cauldron. The front runner rumours for that seems to be Prince William as well as Steve Redgrave, winner of five Olympic gold medals for rowing,
Winnipeg police say they’ve took down a substantial marijuana grow-op in the North End on Wednesday. Inside a home in the 300 block of Burrows Avenue they found 431 marihuana plants with an estimated street value of $482,000, along with grow operation equipment.
Derrick Mark Sanderson is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Cheri Lynn Richard. She became Winnipeg’s 19th homicide of 2012 when she was stabbed in the city’s West End.
The lawyer for a Manitoba judge at the centre of a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry looking into a sex scandal wants the inquiry halted because of bias. She is concerned her client, Lori Douglas, is not getting a fair hearing. The inquiry, which includes the chief justices of three other provinces, will deliver its decision today.
10-digit dialing for Manitoba starts Sunday. The new area code 431 will be gradually introduced and will co-exist with area code 204. You’re going to need to reprogram your fax machines and cellular phones otherwise, if no area code is used, you’ll hear a reminder message before the call is connected until October 20 when it becomes mandatory.
There is a high risk of exposure to West Nile virus throughout southern Manitoba. The provincial health department says to do everything you can to avoid mosquito bites — even if it doesn’t seem there’s many bugs around. So far this season, 20 positive West Nile-virus mosquito samples have been identified. None were identified last year.
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Good news for some of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting victims and big relief for those without insurance. Members of the public, along with Warner Bros., the studio that released “The Dark Knight Rises,” have contributed nearly $2 million to help victims and three of the five hospitals that treated victims said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills.
RCMP are treating the human remains found near Selkirk as suspicious. The body was identified as 25-year-old Corey Donald Williams of Hollow Water First Nation. He was reported missing in January of this year.
A traffic stop near The Forks yesterday turned up $24,000, a half-kilogram of cocaine on Wednesday. A 25-year-old woman was arrested and later released from custody on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
RCMP are asking the public for help finding a SAM Commander 9mm handgun that was stolen during a break-in at the Libau post officer on May 30. Anyone with information should contact Selkirk RCMP or their local detachment.
Aboriginal and political leaders are set to meet in Winnipeg for the third National Aboriginal Women’s Summit, Nov. 1st and 2nd. Key decision makers from the federal, provincial and territorial governments and national aboriginal organizations will be invited to participate in the summit.
People are shipping less but flying more. A surge in domestic passenger traffic helped Winnipeg’s international airport weather a downturn in cargo shipments over the first half of this year.
Winnipeg police are looking for a man who attempted to grab a young woman off a street in St. Boniface late Tuesday morning. An 18-year-old woman was walking near Rue Des Meurons and Handyside Avenue when a driver pulled over, got out of his car and tried to grab her. The suspect is described as a Caucasian male with balding, fuzzy blond hair and a skinny build. He was driving an older model, smaller, two-door rusty vehicle.
As some Winnipeg football fans suspected, high winds over the winter aren’t the only reason the new football stadium is behind schedule. The general contractor and the structural-steel subcontractor are blaming each other for the delay. The general contractor blamed high winds and Structal Heavy Steel Construction, which they accuse of starting the job three to four months late.
But a spokesman for Structal said the general contractor is to blame, claiming the foundation for the stadium was not done in time to begin the steel work.
Dozens of descendants of Winnipeg’s first postmaster would be in line for a windfall if the city decides to sell the Public Safety. Earlier this week, the City of Winnipeg confirmed the city’s police station sits on land donated in 1875 under the condition it must always be used for public purposes. Under the terms of the agreement, the rectangular parcel bounded by William Avenue, Main and Princess streets and what used to be Market Avenue would revert to the donors’ descendants in the event it’s ever used for private purposes.
It would be complicated, as there are 19 living descendants of Margaret and William R. Ross, according to family records that do not even include the youngest generation.
For the first time I nearly 30 years, Japanese women are no longer the world’s longest living. A reports says they top life-expectancy ranking now belongs to Hong Kong women at 86.7 years.
A computer virus that infected nuclear establishments in Iran forced machines to play AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” at full volume.
Elton John, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, Simon Cowell, Tinie Tempeh and more have signed a letter to the British Prime Minister in hopes that Internet providers, advertisers and search engines – Google in particular – will help crack down on piracy.
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
We’re number one! But, it’s not really anything to brag about. The 2011 crime stats are out and Winnipeg is the murder capital of Canada again, plus we had the highest score on the Violent Crime Severity Index, with a six per cent increase from 2010.
The inquiry into Pheonix Sinclair’s death, the five year old girl who died after being returned to her parents by the child welfare system, is going to be a lot broader than expected. They are, of course, looking into her tragic death, but th inquiry will also look at how poverty and other socio-economic conditions factored in.
The husband of a Manitoba judge being investigated for alleged sexual harassment will continue his testimony today. So far, he’s told the court that he enjoyed taking private photographs of his wife, that it was his fantasy and actions alone that led to him seeking out an extra sexual partner and that she was devastated when the scandal broke back in 2003.
A technicality in a 137-year-old land gift is causing some headaches for the City of Winnipeg. They planned to sell the building where the Winnipeg Police Service is currently located in the Civic Centre complex to help pay for it’s new police headquarters. Problem is, in 1875, that land was given to the city with only one condition – in the event the land is no longer used for a public purpose, it must revert to the donor’s descendant.
Timothy Brown, the first person believed to have been cured of AIDS had a blood stem cell transplant in 2007, using a donor with a rare gene mutation that provides a natural resistance to HIV. Researchers in California recently found traces of HIV in his tissues, but Brown says any remnants of the virus are dead and can’t replicate.
Sherman Hemsley, known on TV as George Jefferson on “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons”, died in his home in Texas at the age of 74. No foul play is suspected.
Alice Cooper is planning two scary mazes for Universal Studios. One maze, based in Orlando, will be called “Welcome to my Nightmare” and will be based on elements from his first album, while the maze based in California will be based on his 9th album and called “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D”. Both will open up this fall.
It’s been 30 years, but former Eagles guitarist Don Felder decided it’s time to do a follow-up to his first solo album. “Road to Forever” hits stores October 9th and guest musicians include David Crosby, Graham Nash, Steven Stills, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Randy Jackson and members of Toto.
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Charges of operating a boat while impaired against Winnipeg Jet defenceman Dustin Byfuglien were dropped in Minneapolis yesterday. Byfuglien pleaded guilty to careless boating, a misdemeanor for not having proper lighting on his boat. Byfuglien is getting a $1,000 fine and a 30-day sentence, with 28 of those days suspended. As part of his sentence he must do “workhouse,” work that might involve duties such as picking up garbage.
Polar bears might be a lot older than we thought – the species, not the bears themselves. Cutting-edge DNA analysis says their species is not 600-thousand years old like we though, but between four million and five million years old.
Officers have charged 18-year-old Darren Bittern with multiple charges in connection with a number of fires in Winnipeg – arson, disregard for human life and six counts of arson damage to property. He was arrested at the scene of a garage fire on Sunday.
Mariah Carey is looking forward to sitting in the judges seat on American Idol. According to an inside source, Carey will get just under $18 million for the one-year contract with a renewal option.
Iron Maiden is in Winnipeg tonight, but don’t spend the show texting. During their headlining set in Indianapolis, Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson busted a fan for not paying attention. “The man the white shirt, you’ve been texting for the last three fucking songs! You’re a wanker!,” said Dickinson to wild applause at the opening of “Wasted Years.”
Monday, July 23rd, 2012
RCMP say human remains found in a rural location north of Selkirk on Saturday evening. An autopsy will be conducted.
It could be months before they learn the motive behind the shootings that left 12 dead and 58 injured. The gunman has lawyered up and is not talking to authorities. Police have said that he began buying guns nearly two months before Friday’s shooting. The semiautomatic assault rifle jammed during the attack at the Aurora movie theatre, forcing him to switch to another gun with less firepower. That malfunction may have saved some lives. A story of at least three heroes has emerged from the attack though. Matthew McQuinn, Alexander Teves and Jonathan Blunk died that night, throwing themselves between the gunman and their loved ones.
Another alleged stabbing this weekend. Winnipeg police say they are investigating the death of a woman on Furby Street as the city’s 19th homicide of the year.
Ai-Kon: the celebration of anime took over the Winnipeg Convention Centre Friday and Saturday. It was a weekend packed with contests, video game competitions and autograph signings from well-known anime voice actors. For more information, visit ai-kon.org
Slash took Winnipeg to a hot and sweaty Paradise City Saturday nightat the Burton Cummings Theatre. The sold out show featured Winnipeg-born drummer Brent Fitz who’s been in Slash’s band since 2010, previously playing with Alice Cooper and Vince Neil. Slash is celebrating his birthday today. He turns 47.
I didn’t even know this was possible, but a computer repair tech in California has been sentenced for spying on women changing, via their computer. When they brought their computers in to be fixed, Trevor Harwell installed spywear that let him record live and still images of them undressing along with alerts they were using their computer. A judge will decide if Harwell has to register as a sex offender or not.
Starting next week, if you dial a 7 digit phone number in Manitoba you’ll get a recording reminding you that 10 digit calling becomes mandatory on October 20th.
The music performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics will be released digitally right after each ceremony finishes. New to the line-up, the Spice Girls will play two songs at the closing ceremony, joining the Who, George Michael and Jessie J.
R&B singer, Usher’s 11-year-old stepson, Kile Glover, has been taken off life support and died of his injuries after being hit in the head with a jetski. He had been riding in an inner tube two weeks ago when he was hit and suffered a major brain injury.
Friday, July 20th, 2012
At least 10 people are dead and at least 50 others injured down in Colorado after a gunman, wearing a gasmask, opened fire at a midnight screening of the Dark Knight. The suspect was taken into custody and police also checked the parking lot for explosives. Aurora, Colorado is about 10 miles from downtown Denver.
Environment Canada has issued a humidex advisory in Manitoba today where temperatures could feel like they’re in the 40s. First sign is discomfort, then great discomfort when the humidex is 40-35, where you’re recommended to avoid exertion. 45 and above is considered dangerous and could result in heat stroke.
Vicki Nettleton , a Winnipeg woman was surprised to find a bag containing $3,000 on the street this week and the owners were even more surprised when she returned it to them. The money belonged to Sandy and John Cotie, who own Sandy’s Snack Shack in Richer, Man., a community about 60 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg. Cotie said she is not sure how she lost the deposit bag, but has invited Nettleton and her daughter to visit them for lunch and miniature golf.
Winnipeg is set to begin construction on Pembina Highway bike lanes that will connect to the Bishop Grandin greenway. On Monday, city crews will start the four-month project, which adds buffered bike lanes between Crescent and Plaza drives. When it’s done, this stretch of Pembina will have three lanes of traffic, a buffered bike lane and enhanced bus stops designed for articulated buses.
Manitoba homeowners will be paying a little more on their gas bills starting Aug. 1. The Public Utilities Board announced Thursday that it has approved a 2.9 per cent increase in primary gas rates which works out to about $21 a year more on an average homeowner’s bill
After her boyfriend rescued a black lab, Yvonne Russell was inspired to start PAW Tipsters. She wanted to fight animal cruelty and realized there were no ways for people to anonymously report abused animals and get a reward for those tips. Now, in Winnipeg, anyone with tips about an animal cruelty case can call Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-TIPS (8477) and they’ll get the tips to the appropriate agency to follow up.
Dozens of Winnipeg Fringe Festival shows have been cancelled after the venue they were supposed to be in was shut down by the city on Thursday. Aqua Books on Princess Street hasn’t received its final occupancy permit so can’t open to the public. Organizers are trying to find a new location for approximately 60 shows involving six companies.
Free entrance to all Provincial Parks this weekend in celebration of Canada’s Parks Day. A bunch of interesting events are going on in parks around the province too with more information at ParksDay.ca.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
Shawn Atleo, the hereditary chief of the Ahousaht First Nation in British Columbia, was voted in for a second three year term as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations Wednesday. Atleo has vowed to pressure the government to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. He also plans to continue to focus on education and economic development as top priorities. More than 540 aboriginal leaders participated in the election.
The city unanimously approved a plan to reduce speed limits in school zones, from 50 km/h to 30 km/h, near all schools with students in Grade 6 or younger. The limits will be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, from September to June. Instead of it being rolled out over 5 years, the city shifted $1 million from surplus funds to install new school zone speed signs quicker. The mayor said he hopes the provincial government will approve its plan in time for the next school year.
The city also passed a motion to extend Sunday shopping hours. As of Aug. 5, stores will have the option of opening as early as 9 a.m. but will still have to close by 6 p.m.
Coun. Harvey Smith believes soon-to-be reduced school zone speed limits aren’t enough. He’s requesting a drop in the residential speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h, too. His motion said a pedestrian or cyclist is two to three times more likely to die if hit by a vehicle travelling at the current speed limit than one moving 10 km/h slower
A 23-year-old woman is facing an animal cruelty charge and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose after a three-month-old kitten was brutally beaten with a baseball bat in Winnipeg’s North End. Boots, a black kitten with white paws aptly named by it’s owner, a four-year-old girl, had to be put down following the attack on Pritchard Avenue. An arrest warrant is being sought for the second woman involved in the attack. The animal cruelty charge carries a maximum of five years in prison.
A former Winnipeg police officer offered a lengthy apology in court Wednesday before being ordered to serve the legislated minimum of 14 days in jail for possessing child pornography. Michael Robert Hall was not diagnosed as a pedophile by psychiatrists after 19 illegal images of girls aged 4-12 years old were found on his computer and has been deemed at low risk to reoffend. His defense lawyer classified it as a “porn addiction gone astray.”
Unions and private businesses will compete to manage city-owned golf courses, but not even city council could reach a unanimous decision on how that competition will work. Four city-run golf courses — Kildonan Park, Windsor Park, Crescent Drive and Harbour View — lose $1 million each year.
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec’s drunk-driving woes may not be over, as Manitoba Public Insurance says drivers whose licenses are suspended for drunk driving elsewhere are not legally allowed to drive here either.
In his third day of testimony before a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in Winnipeg, the man making allegations of sexual harassment against a Manitoba judge has been accused of agreeing to have sex with a neighbour’s wife for money. Chapman had earlier told the inquiry he was being paid $500 a week to teach his neighbour’s wife computer skills but handwritten notes in his day planner suggest it was for sex. The lack of notes in the day-timer about a supposed second meeting with Lori Douglas were also called into question, along with his breeching the $25,000 confidentiality settlement he reached with his former attorney and Douglas’ husband, Jack King.
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec has apologized after he pled guilty to a charge of impaired driving in the Czech Republic, in his hometown of Kladno, west of the capital Prague. Pavelec was handed a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered not to drive for 20 months in the Czech Republic. He issued a statement via the Jets
“I’m disappointed in myself for this error in judgment. I’m thankful no one was injured as a result of my actions. I want to sincerely apologize to our fans, the Winnipeg Jets organization, and to my teammates for any embarrassment this has caused. I’m truly sorry for letting you all down. ”
Pavelec signed a five-year contract with Jets last month. His sentencing comes a week before fellow Jet Dustin Byfuglien will stand trial in Minneapolis on impaired boating charges.
Winnipeg police divers pulled the body of a male teenager from a northwest Winnipeg retention pond Tuesday afternoon. He has been identified by several media sources as 17-year-old William Pottinger. Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service crews allegedly responded to a call from a man who said he had been assaulted by a male attacker who then ran into the pond. Witnesses said the teen appeared distraught and possibly injured on Monday before he ran into the pond, located in Albina Park. The youth has been identified by friends but a formal identification from police has not been issued.
A Ste. Anne man is expected to be charged with cruelty to animals after witnesses saw him allegedly attack a Pomeranian that was nosing around in garbage, hit it twice with a hockey stick, pick it up by the throat and then throw it into the ditch. The dog’s owner said she doesn’t know whether her pet will live and, if it does, if it will be paralyzed. The dog’s alleged attacker, a 39-year-old man, was released from custody and allowed to go home. His own two dogs were removed after he was banned from looking after animals.
Police issued a warning yesterday that convicted child molester Adrian Albert Hofer, 22, was released from Stony Mountain Institution after serving four-years for sex offences involving boys. He is at significant risk to reoffend and is expected to settle in the rural area of Southeast Manitoba
Around 5am yesterday on Burrows Avenue the sound of a gunshot woke some neighbours while a teenage boy pounding on their back door, yelling for help woke others. A 15 year old boy was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds to his lower body. No one is in custody.
23 Manotiba arts and culture groups will get $2.2 million in funding, including the Festival du Voyageur and Manitoba Theatre for Young People. The money includes $1 million for the renovation and expansion of the University of Manitoba School of Art’s Gallery One One One, which holds the third largest art collection in the province. The Manitoba Museum has also had $175,000 earmarked for upgrades to its planetarium.
The latest rumours for a new American Idol judge were started by Charlie Sheen himself! He says he’s serious and has dropped his name into the mix to be considered by Idol producers.
The town of Springfield, Oregon wants to capitalize on it’s Simpsons connection. They’re thinking of adding a shopping district with a Simpsons theme.