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News for August 27th 2012

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Blue Bombers fired head coach Paul LaPolice on Saturday and replaced him with defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke.  

If you’ve been hoping for a few more weeks of summer, the Weather Network aims to please. They’re predicting above-average temperatures from Newfoundland to southern Manitoba. To quote the director of meteorology, he “wouldn’t close the pool just yet.”

The City of Winnipeg has closed the civic parkade on Princess, meaning monthly parkers will have been contacted over the weekend to move their spots to the Millennium Library Parkade on Donald. Transit buses will shuttle those drivers to city hall. The Winnipeg Police Service can still use the underground levels of the parkade. The parkade was closed as a precaution after an engineering report was released Friday.

Hundreds of people from the Filipino community were in Winnipeg Saturday to celebrate. The first Manitoba Filipino Street Festival took over Garden City Shopping Centre’s parking lot. A parade kicked off the day with singing, tribal dancing and more in and outside the mall.

Tropical Storm Issac is expected to grow into a hurricane today. By the time the eye comes ashore tomorrow night or Wednesday, somewhere between Florida and New Orleans, it’s expected to be a Category-One or Two. Wednesday is exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina struck catastrophically in 2005.

Elections Manitoba has given Darrell Ackman the go-ahead to be run in the Sept. 4 byelection in Fort Whyte,  even though he faces numerous sex-related charges. Only weeks ago, Ackman, who also calls himself “MrJetztv,” was charged with living off the avails of prostitution, sexual assault, sexual interference and making and publishing child pornography. The charges relate to four girls, all of whom are 14 years old and considered at-risk youth, and police are trying to locate 8 other alleged victims, under the age of 18.

It was a sad weekend for diners along Ellice Avenue, as three establishments within a few blocks of each other have closed their doors for good. The Black Sheep Diner shut down on Sunday. Ellice Cafe and Theatre, on Ellice and Sherbrook, shut down on Friday and the Lo Pub and Bistro served its last drinks Saturday night.

Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, died Saturday at the age of 82. He died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, his family said in a statement.

News for August 24th, 2012

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Lance Armstrong says he’s tired of fighting. He denies doping but chose yesterday to no longer fight charges brought against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency. In his statement, he said “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. He also added “there is zero physical evidence to support … [the] outlandish and heinous claims.”

The head of USADA says his agency will ban Armstrong for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong maintains that USADA doesn’t have the authority to take away his wins.

Anders Verivik, the militant Christina in Norway who killed 77 people last summer, was declared sane and convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder. He was sentenced to at least 10 years in jail, but under Norweigan law he can be kept in jail as long as he’s considered to be dangerous.

The St. Norbert Farmers Market says it’s planning a $1-million makeover because of all the Winnipeg shoppers who are seeking locally-sourced food. The market will start fundraising right away to pay for upgrades like washrooms, better parking and drainage, and an indoor area for some vendors.

It’s not just in the porn world. Though porn shoots in LA may have been put on hold for two weeks after five performers tested positive for syphilis, there’s a rise in syphilis cases here in Canada too. It’s not dumb teenagers either. People 30 years and older made up 73 per cent of all the reported cases in 2010. Syphilis is treated with penicillin but if left untreated can have serious long term affects, including damage to the brain.

More than 50 Winnipeg Jets and Blue Bombers specialty licence plates have been reported stolen this year and MPI is pretty sure it’s crazed sports fans behind the theft. To try and prevent them from being swiped from vehicles they’ve got some special security screws.

By the fall of 2013, you should be able to pay your bus fare online. The electronic fare-collection system Winnipeg Transit plans to roll out next year calls for smart cards that can be reloaded on the Internet, over the phone or in person at retail stores. The new fare boxes will not only be able to read these smart cards, but will be equipped with electronic devices that can tell the value and how many coins you inserted.

For 7th time, Mark David Chapman has been denied parole for the murder of John Lennon in 1980. A parole board refused to release him because they say that would “undermine respect for the law” since he committed a “heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime.”

News for August 23rd, 2012

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

We may soon have a clearer picture of Canada’s north, now that Google maps staff have arrived in Nunavut. This is the farther north the team has ever travelled. They’re not only snapping pictures in Cambridge Bay but Google is also donating computers so other Arctic communities can update their own maps.

Newly released documents show the Mounties have been unable to get a full list of the aboriginal women and girls who’ve gone missing because the aboriginal women’s group making the list is holding back names due to privacy concerns and confidentiality guarantees. The Native Women’s Association of Canada has a database of nearly 600 cases but have only shared data with RCMP on 118 unsolved cases.

Remember the bizarre tale of the woman that fell to her death during a tandem hang-glide while her boyfriend watched? Then the pilot swallowed the memory card of the on-board camera? He may have had reason to swallow it. Pilot error, not equipment failure, is the reason Lenami Godinez fell. Investigations have found that it appears Godinez was never properly attached to the glider in the first place.

A small plane has crashed in Southern Manitoba, about a kilometer north of Manitou. Both the pilot and lone passenger were killed after the plane landed in a lagoon at the end of the runway.

Five Manitobans are reported to have contracted West Nile virus this summer. So far, no one has become seriously ill from the disease but as West Nile’s incubation period is as long as three weeks, it’s likely more cases will come out in the next few weeks.

Taxi drivers in Winnipeg want to charge more but a public hearing would have to take place before any fare increase was approved. Early last year, a 20 percent increase in taxi fares came in to cover the costs of protective taxi shields.

Billy Corgan is not only coming to Winnipeg with his band Smashing Pumpkins on October 2nd, he’s writing his autobiography. He says he’s not approaching it as a tell-all rock biography but more of a spiritual memoir. He also took a lot less money to use pseudonyms for all the celebs in the book, rather than name names.

News for August 22nd, 2012

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A new security measure at Blue Bomber home games mean snacks and drinks from outside the stadium are not allowed at games. Security has been confiscating anything they find and some fans are not happy about it. If you have medical issues like diabetes you can get an exception though.

With the garbage autobins coming to an end, building managers at multi-family buildings were warned to make some plans for garbage pick up. Previously, the city picked up the bins even though they didn’t own them. Some managers did not make new arrangements and trash has been piling up for weeks in some dumpsters. The city says don’t call them – call your property management company.

Police had to shoot five raccoons in East Kildonan after a rise in cases of canine distemper. Usually Manitoba Conservation handles calls about aggressive wildlife, but police have been responding because of a potential risk to the public.

Did not see this one coming but pop-rocker Avril Lavigne and Nickelback frontman, Chad Kroeger, are engaged. The two started dating six months ago after they worked on co-writing a song together. This would be the second marriage for Lavigne and the first for Kroeger, who’s only 10 years older than her.

Filming is on hold down in LA after nine porn stars have reported testing positive for syphilis. The moratorium on shooting is going to last over the weekend so more performers can be tested. Then, after a shot of penicillin and a 10 day waiting period, they can all get back to work.

Officials have found a large number of polar bear dens along the Hudson Bay coast, near the Ontario boundary. It’s good news because the discovery could be a sign the polar bear population in that area is thriving, at least for now. Polar bears are threatened by a shrinking feeding time, due to melting ice. Less food makes it harder for females to gain enough weight to give birth.

Winnipeg-born Clara Hughes is the only Canadian to have won medals in both the Summer and the Winter Olympic games and is tied with fellow Winnipegger Cindy Klassan for the Canadian to have the most Olympic medals – six each. A local man believes the city should name more landmarks after them in tribute.

Edmonton Street will be closing for lunch today and on August 29th. The Edmonton Street Festival has live art, a merchant market and entertainment and will close the stretch of Edmonton between Portage and Graham to traffic from 11:30 to 1:30.

Never trust toddlers not to talk about fight club. Three daycare workers in the States are accused of ordering toddlers to fight each other so they could watch. A cell phone video showed the employees encouraging the three-year-olds to punch each other.

News for August 21st, 2012

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

A Winnipeg School Division school bus strike has been averted in time for the kids to head to school in a few weeks. The new agreement means drivers will be paid by the hour for their regular routes and a flat rate for extra routes, such as for field trips.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be announcing the creation of a huge new national park in the Northwest Territories. He started his annual summer tour of the Canadian North in the Yukon on Monday,

More than 100 people came to Winnipeg’s Southdale Community Centre on Monday evening to discuss the facility’s new user fees, which have caught parents off guard. Parents will be charged $110 for each child over the age of nine to play hockey, and $75 for each child to play ringette, compared to the per-family fee of $85 that was charged last year.

Rosie O’Donnell says she suffered a heart attack last week and is “lucky to be here.” An artery was 99 per cent blocked and a stent was inserted.

NBC has made it official: Michael J. Fox is coming back to series TV with a new comedy series, based loosely on his personal life. Set to premiere in fall 2013, the single-camera comedy will feature Fox as a husband and father of three from New York City, dealing with family, career and Parkinson’s.

Astronauts went spacewalking yesterday to hang shields on the space station as barrier against zooming space junk. This was the ninth spacewalk for Padalka and the fifth for Malenchenko. An American and a Japanese astronaut will venture out next week on a NASA-directed spacewalk

Manitoba farmers are starting to feel good about what could be a banner year for crops. Favourable conditions and high commodity prices translate to a good harvest, which will have a positive impact on Manitoba’s economy.

Phyllis Diller, the legendary, ground breaking female comedian, died yesterday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 95. Diller, who suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1999, was found by her son, Perry Diller. The cause of her death has not been released.

News for August 20th, 2012

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A major to change to the way Osborne Village looks. The demolition of the old Movie Village building and Vi-Ann restaurant starts this week. Across the street at River and Osborne, Papa George’s has confirmed they will be shutting down within the next six weeks.
A cultural event on Saturday is being called a political fundraiser in disguise. Protesters say an Eritrean band that performed at a Winnipeg church on Saturday is actually a military band raising money for the African country’s military dictatorship and that it is travelling with the minister of research and documentation from Eritrea’s ruling party. That could make the event illegal, as back in 2010, Canada adopted a UN Security Council resolution that prohibits anyone from providing money to Eritrea for military activities.

The son of Canada’s most decorated aboriginal soldier has been honoured with a Diamond Jubilee medal. Tommy Prince Jr. was honoured Saturday for his community work, including working as a volunteer counsellor at the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg police have arrested a man they believe is behind a string of robberies dating back to December.  The arrest came Friday when a man wearing a disguise entered a financial institution on Sargent Avenue and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Glen Thomas Muskego, 40, has been charged with five robbery-related counts. He is being held in custody.

John Lennon’s killer is up for parole again. Mark David Chapman will be interviewed by the parole board this week and a decision should come by the end of the week. He was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. He’s been denied parole six times.

The director of Top Gun and True Romance is dead. Tony Scott is reported to have jumped off a bridge and the LA Times is reporting that investigators have found a suicide note. Scott was 68.

Adrenaline Adventures on the outskirts of Winnipeg is hosting the Manitoba Provincial Cable Wakeboarding Championship next month. Preliminary rounds on the evening of the 14th, and the finals on the 15th. Tickets for the all-ages event will go on sale August 22 at AdrenalineMB.com.

News for August 17th, 2012

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Two Manitoba teens have been sentenced for a July 2011 carjacking that caused Roberta McIvor, 32, to be decapitated at the side of a highway. McIvor had passed out in her car with the keys still in the ignition when the two teens — both drunk and possibly high on drugs — saw the chance, hopped in and drove away. After a few minutes they decided Ms. McIvor should be left at the side of the road. Instead, McIvor was caught in her seatbelt. The girls, with music blaring, sped off and dragged McIvor for approximately one kilometre until she was decapitated. The girls, who were 17 and 15 at the time, pleaded guilty earlier this year to manslaughter and car theft. They were sentenced to the maximum youth sentence of two years in jail and one year of community service, with credit for a year of pre-trial custody.

The area where a “suspicious item” was found yesterday in St. James has been declared safe. Police had already evacuated Perkins Restaurant and Bakery and the First Aid Training Centre as a precaution when a delivery driver explained that, what looked like a pipe bomb, was actually his key tube, which holds the key to the door for when they deliver.

A tip from Facebook helped Winnipeg police track a local man who is alleged to have lured and sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl. Facebook staff became concerned about the substance of the online conversation between the man and the girl, both living in Winnipeg, that happened in July. They contacted Winnipeg police, provided police with account information about both individuals, which police used to identify the man and later the girl. The man is facing charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and luring.

Yesterday, Ecuador offered asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  He has been holed up their London embassy in a bid to escape extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations. But, British officials have still threatened to march in and grab him from the embassy, citing a terrorism law established in the 80s, or arrest him as soon as he leaves the grounds.

Gene Simmons Family Jewels has been cancelled. A&E says it could not be more proud of the series but it won’t be picked up for an eighth season. Simmons says he wants to spend more time on the KISS tour that started last March and his other business commitments.

“The Avengers” are coming back in three years, May 1, 2015. Joss Whedon will be back to write and direct the yet-untitled sequel. Lots of comic book movies to see you through though. “Iron Man 3″ is due out next May, followed by the “Thor” sequel in November 2013 and the  ”Captain America” sequel in April 2014. “The Avengers” has taken in nearly $1.5 billion worldwide.

News for August 16th, 2012

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Kate Middleton – yes, the Duchess Catherine of Cambridge – has more royalty in the family. The Queen of Burlesque, her 22 year-old second cousin once removed, Katrina Darling, is gracing the cover of Playboy in September. Her burlesque routine includes a near-naked grind to God Save the Queen, and she’s featured in an eight-page spread

Canadians are among the top sellers and buyers of marijuana, steroids, cocaine and other drugs available online. Silk Road is an anonymous website that functions like a black market version of eBay. Don’t think you can just head online, google the site and start shopping. It’s very difficult to access unless you’ve made yourself anonymous online. If you’ve got teenagers that are very internet savvy though and have started receiving packages in the mail, you may want to have a talk with them though.

A 28-year-old Winnipeg man is facing charges of fraud over $5,000 after two people believed they were buying a 2005 BMW online through Kijiji. In January and February, when individuals in Regina and the Toronto area used the Kijiji online advertising service to buy cars from a Winnipeg man. In one case, the victim sent $19,000 to the suspect but never got the car.

Mayim Bialik almost lost her left thumb in serious car accident. The 36-year-old “Blossom” actress currently stars in “The Big Bang Theory” as Amy Farah Fowler. Her left hand and thumb were cut severely after another car crashed into Bialik’s vehicle shortly before noon Wednesday but she’s tweeted it sounds like she’ll keep all her fingers.

Jimmy Kimmel is engaged to his long-term girlfriend Molly McNearney. Jimmy and 34-year-old Molly – who is a co-head writer on her partner’s show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ – began dating in October 2009. It’s the second marriage for Kimmel and the first for his fiancé.

Today in 1977, 35 years ago, Elvis Presley died at the age of 42.

News for August 15th, 2012

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

The kids go back to school on September 5th in the Winnipeg School Division, but getting there might be tricky. WSD school bus services are contracted out to First Student Canada and their current deal expires Aug. 27. The union voted to strike as soon as the deal expires, which would affect kids being bused to and from school along with field trips and extracurricular activities, including football.

It looks like only a 41-day-old marriage for Chad Johnson— formerly known as Chad Ochocinco — after the football star’s wife has filed for divorce after he was arrested for allegedly head-butting her over the weekend. According to Davie, Florida, police, Evelyn Lozada found a receipt for condoms and confronted Johnson about it at dinner. They kept fighting on their way home, and when they arrived at their driveway, he allegedly head-butted her. Their romance was chronicled on “Basketball Wives” and his July 4 wedding to Lozada was taped for a spinoff show called “Ev & Ocho.” It was supposed to premiere Sept. 3, but VH1 shelved it yesterday after his arrest.

The US military launched a hypersonic unmanned vehicle in a test flight over the Pacific, with the X-51A expected to reach mind-boggling speeds of Mach 6. At that speed, a flight from Paris to London would take 48 minutes or 400km in 200 seconds. The Waverider, which looks like a missile with a flat nose, was dropped off the wing of a B-52 bomber at an altitude of 50,000 feet. They’ll be releasing more information about the flight later today.

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary all rank in top five on list of world’s most liveable cities. We were beat only by Vienna in second and Melbourne in first. The yearly survey of 140 cities uses more than 30 criteria – healthcare, education, infrastructure, stability, culture and environment — with a score out of 100.

Remember the old tag line “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up?” Well, you may be able to use your smartphone to get help now. An app is available for Apple and Android phones that lets you get in touch with police, other authorities and even family or friends, if you end up stranded, hurt of lost in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. It lets your phone produce an emergency beacon and gives directions on how they can track you down.

Why did the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols and David Bowie not take part in the Olympic closing ceremonies? They didn’t want to. The Guardian newspaper is reporting they were all asked, but turned it down.

Around 4-million Bumbo baby floor seats are being recalled after nearly two dozen reports of skull fractures. Consumers are asked to stop using the seats and contact Bumbo for a free repair kit that includes a restraint belt and instructions on how to safely use the seat. The repair kit can be ordered by visiting www.recall.bumbousa.com or calling 866-898-4999.

News for August 14th, 2012

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

An NHL lockout wouldn’t just be disappointing for Jets fans, but also to the bars and stores that enjoyed an increase in sales with the return of Winnipeg’s hockey team. It also would mean less people travelling to our city, with no games for them to see. The NHL has said it will lock out it’s players on September 15th if a new labour deal isn’t in place. The player’s union is expected to ask for an expanded revenue-sharing model and changes to the salary cap systems.

Olympic bronze medalist and member of Canada’s national women’s soccer team, Desiree Scott, landed home in Winnipeg last night while hundreds of fans alternated between screaming her name and singing O Canada.

Winnipeg’s outdoor pools go back to their regular hours today. Nine spray pads will stay open until 9pm until Sept. 3. You can get the information on which pools have which hours by heading online or by calling 311.

There’s a scam happening over in the Phillipines offering people there the chance to work in Winnipeg. Nurses and health care employees there were told a job was waiting if they paid about $90 to cover a “British English Training Fee.” It’s totally bogus.

If you want to see Guns ‘N Roses, start planning your trip to Vegas. They’ll play 12 shows in Vegas from October 31st-November 24th. They’re calling the run, “Appetite for Democracy,” since it’s going to cover each and every album.

The f-bomb has gone official. The term - which I’m fond of using instead of dropping the four letter word – has been added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary along with sexting, flexitarian, energy drink and life coach. (A flexitarian is someone who mostly eats vegetarian but occasionally eats met.)