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UPDATE: Driver responsible for hit-and-run death of PoCo teen expected to be sentenced today – BC

UPDATE: Irwin Richard Franz, the driver involved in a hit-and-run that killed 16-year-old Annie Leung, is expected to be sentenced in court today. More to come. 

A Port Coquitlam man has been charged in the hit-and-run death of 16-year-old Annie Leung. On March 18, 2015, he pleaded guilty to failing to remain at the scene of an accident that resulted in the death of another person.

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His case has now been adjourned to April 8, 2015 at 2 p.m to fix a date for sentencing

73-year-old Irwin Richard Franz spoke to Global News reporter Ted Chernecki in July, 2014, and says he confessed to police just days after the accident.

“I was in a haze, just in shock,” says Franz. “I walked down there and said ‘oh my god’ – am I involved in this? I didn’t know for sure, I didn’t know.”

“I walked down, and to see if I could help, and she had all the help she could have, and I heard the ambulance coming, so I just — I just gotta walk away and get my thoughts sorted out,” says Franz.

“I wasn’t even thinking – I don’t remember driving home.”

Leung was crossing the road in the crosswalk with another girl at the corner of Pitt River Road and Mary Hill Road when the accident happened on September 12.

Police said a black pick-up truck, possibly without a canopy, being driven by an older male with graying hair fled the scene after hitting the teenager.

After the incident, investigators say, the driver stopped a short way down the road, got out of his truck, saw what happened, got back in and then drove away. Mounties say there is no way the driver did not know he had hit someone.

In the days following the crash, Coquitlam RCMP released surveillance footage from the scene, asking for public’s help to identify the driver.

Leung’s parents also made an emotional plea for the driver of the truck to come forward.

Cpl. Jamie Chung with Coquitlam RCMP says they reviewed countless hours of surveillance footage and interviewed numerous witnesses before being able to charge Franz.

More than 100 tips from the public have also been received.

WATCH:  Cpl. Jamie Chung with the Coquitlam RCMP announces the charges

Continue reading UPDATE: Driver responsible for hit-and-run death of PoCo teen expected to be sentenced today – BC

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From Saskatoon to On Broadway for Kyle Riabko – Saskatoon

Watch above: Kyle Riabko recalls his roots and performs “Holding My Breath”

SASKATOON – Kyle Riabko has made a big splash in New York City, and he attributes much of his success to growing up in Saskatoon; in fact, his first shows were on the stage at Buds on Broadway.

The talented singer, guitarist, composer and actor said “you don’t try to break out” when speaking of his success.

“You should never have to feel like you must transcend where you come from, you should be where you come from.”

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Holding true to these words, Riabko stopped by Global Saskatoon’s Morning News for an interview and performance of his self-composed “Holding My Breath” ahead of two shows on Friday, July 25 at the Bassment.

“For me it’s a great excuse to see my family and everybody, this is a vacation for me. There’s no place like home,” said Riabko.

“It all started here. I have Saskatoon to thank.”

Before starring on Broadway in both Spring Awakening and Hair, Kyle released a full-length album of original music at the age of 17 and has opened for a wide range of artists, including crooner John Mayer, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, BB King, Buddy Guy and James Brown.

His most recent project, called “WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Bacharach Reimagined” played off-Broadway in New York City and features Kyle’s arrangements of the music of his idol, Bert Bacharach.

He is currently working on the next steps for the production.

Continue reading From Saskatoon to On Broadway for Kyle Riabko – Saskatoon

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COMMENTARY: A $5 coin? Say it ain’t so! – Hamilton

There’s no official word from the Canadian Mint, but there are rumours in financial circles that we may be heading toward dumping the $5 bill and replacing it with a $5 coin.

For the record, it’s been 30 years since we ditched the $1 bill in favour of the loonie and about 20 years since the $2 bill was replaced with the toonie.

We’re told that both changes saved the mint lots of money, and maybe that’s true, but enough is enough.

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Another coin to carry around would be a royal pain in the pocket.

Canadians are already lugging around tons of loonies and toonies and quarters and dimes and nickels and adding to that burden could have serious consequences.

READ MORE:
Should Canada eliminate the nickel? New study says it will happen within 5 years

Kate Spade may have to reinforce the bottoms of their purses to accommodate the extra weight from Canadian currency, and men, whose pockets are bursting at the seams with the jingle jangle of coins, may have to resort to the re-introduction of the man-purse to carry our currency.

Do we really want to go there?

I didn’t think so.

Call me sentimental, but I like our uniquely Canadian blue money and I hope we keep it that way for a long time to come.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News.

©2017Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Continue reading COMMENTARY: A $5 coin? Say it ain’t so! – Hamilton

Customer compensated after being denied access to cruise line while pregnant – Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: Michelle Ligori answered an unusual question honestly before boarding a cruise ship. As Sean O’Shea reports her early pregnancy made her unable to get on the ship.

TORONTO – Five months after Michelle Ligori and her family took a cruise aboard the ‘Oasis of the Seas’,  she still can’t believe the question asked by a Royal Caribbean representative when she tried to board.

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“She said, ‘are you pregnant?’ And I said ‘well, actually, yes,’” Ligori told Global News.

The question – and Ligori’s admission – turned the family’s cruise plans upside down. Although she had paid in full for the cruise, Ligori was told she could not board.

The cruise line company insisted Ligori provide medical proof of fitness to travel, something required of all pregnant travellers.

She did not have such a letter. The company’s website states that no woman more than 24 weeks along in her term may board the ship. But Ligori was only five weeks pregnant.

She had taken a home pregnancy test just before leaving home in Hamilton, Ont. She had not yet been to her doctor to confirm she was expecting a third child.

In Osoyoos, British Columbia, Marnie Boers said the same thing happened to her earlier this year when she tried to board the ‘Oasis of the Seas’.

“The pit boss of customer service said: ‘any chance you’re pregnant?” and I said “yes,” after which Boers says the Royal Caribbean representative demanded a letter. Boers, who was 17 weeks pregnant at the time (less than half of a full-term pregnancy) was able to telephone her midwife at home who faxed the letter to the ship and she was allowed to board.

Royal Caribbean is among the few carriers to demand medical evidence of fitness to travel for every pregnant woman. A Royal Caribbean representative told Global News the purpose of the policy is to ensure the safety of the unborn child. .

“I can’t understand why they would have that policy,” said Dr. Jon Barrett, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

“There’s no increased risk of travel, no matter what week you are,” said Barrett, an obstetrician and professor.

Many woman say it’s offensive for a company to inquire about pregnancy, especially in public.

“I think it’s a breach of privacy; it’s sensitive, it’s a personal thing,” said Karen Judd, who owns Moms to be and More, a Toronto store catering to new mothers.

Ali Johnson, who’s 38 weeks pregnant, agrees.”If you choose to share (the news of pregnancy) with family and friends you can but it shouldn’t be anyone’s business.”

Lauren Bull, clutching her newborn daughter Verity inside the store, says a cruise ship isn’t owed that information.

“We didn’t tell anyone until three months because you never know,” Bull said.

Royal Caribbean excludes pregnant women from traveling on ships entirely after their 24th week of pregnancy, but the company doesn’t limit travel for other passengers.

“Are they going to ask people   – are you going to have a stroke, a heart attack? How far do you go?” said Judd.

Boers says it’s wrong to single out pregnant women.

“I’m healthy, I’m young and pregnant – it’s not an illness at all,” she said.

A day after our first story on Michelle Ligori, who paid more than $1,200 for additional hotels, taxi fares and a flight for her family to catch the cruise in the Bahamas two days late, Royal Caribbean contacted her to offer an apology.

“They would like to refund us two days of our trip (for all four of us) as well as our additional expenses incurred. (They) also indicated they would look into revising the wording of their policy and training their customer service representatives,” said Ligori.

“My husband and I are satisfied with this outcome. Thank you for hearing and airing our story. Because of you we were able to get a response that was otherwise going unheard,” she said.

Continue reading Customer compensated after being denied access to cruise line while pregnant – Toronto

Mass murderer forgoes parole hearing

The mass murder who mercilessly wiped out a West Kelowna family more than 30 years ago will remain behind bars for at least the next two years.

David Ennis, formerly known as David Shearing, shot to death six members of the Bentley-Johnson family in an ambush attack in August 1982. He was set to go before the parole board in September, but has now waived his right to a full parole hearing, which automatically happens every two years. Ennis had also applied for day parole, but according to Gary Sears at the Parole Board of Canada, Ennis also withdrew that application.

Previous parole applications by Ennis have been fiercely opposed by relatives and friends of the Bentley-Johnson family, and all have been rejected by the parole board.

WATCH: Petition to keep killer David Shearing locked up

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Tammy Arishenkoff spearheaded a petition protesting Shearing’s bid for parole and started a facebook page called “Justice for Johnson-Bentley families.”

She posted this on the page after hearing the news:

“Got the call this morning and David Ennis (Shearing) has waived his right to a full parole review as well as withdrawn his application for day parole! Considering he hasn’t even seen our impact statements yet, this is a testament to the power of the people. THANK YOU to everyone who signed a petition, got signatures, sent in a letter and supported us. With hope, our legislation will change and we will not have to do this for another 5 – 7 years.”

Continue reading Mass murderer forgoes parole hearing

South Hamptons condo residents return to suites for first time since fire – Edmonton

Watch above: For the first time since Monday’s fire, residents of the Park Place South Hamptons condo complex were allowed back inside briefly to grab some belongings. Fletcher Kent has more.

EDMONTON – Three days after a massive blaze tore through their homes, residents of the Park Place South Hamptons condo complex were allowed back in their suites Thursday.

Homeowners were given 20 minutes to go inside, assess the damage and grab their personal belongings.

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    Fire Chief Ken Block

“We were both pretty anxious to get in and to see,” said Bethany Erickson, who lives in the building with her husband Tim. “But when we stepped in, and the smell, that’s when I started to get pretty worried.”

Erickson and her husband were lucky; their unit was spared by the fire.

Not everyone was quite as lucky, though. Monika and Steve St. Jean say it’s been an emotional week waiting to see what was left of their home after fire ripped through the west Edmonton condo building early Monday morning.

“We tried to cut the emotion out. It wasn’t until I got to my son’s nursery and the ceiling was down,” said Monika, holding back tears, “with your first born, there’s baby things… you don’t have as much attachment to your own things as you do baby things.”

READ MORE: Residents displaced by west Edmonton condo blaze looking for answers

The St. Jeans’ suite is below the burned out floor. They didn’t even need their full 20 minutes to grab their belongings.

“When you walk in with gumboots into standing water, into everything that you owned, you just shut down,” said Monika.

“You have to realize that pretty much everything left behind after today will be pretty much unrecoverable due to water.”

Fire investigators have since determined the blaze – which caused an estimated $10 million in damages – was started by a cigarette that was improperly extinguished in a flower pot.

READ MORE: Improperly disposed of cigarette likely cause of Edmonton condo fire

Residents are now trying to figure out what to do next. According to the condo board, “longer blocks of time to allow residents to recover larger items will be scheduled over the next several weeks.”

At this time it’s not known exactly when residents will be allowed to return home for good, which is frustrating to many.

“Right now I’m in the situation where I don’t have a home,” said Renols Dehari, who lives in the building with his wife and daughter. The couple also has another baby on the way.

“This is ridiculous. I’m going from hotel to hotel and I don’t know. I don’t know what to say, I’m just basically in the middle of nowhere.”

While frustrating, the St. Jeans say they’ll start looking for a place to rent, adding they’re happy they were able to make it out of the fire with the things that matter most.

“We got our son out and we got our cats out,” said Monkia. “And we have each other.”

Follow @CaleyRamsay

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.

Continue reading South Hamptons condo residents return to suites for first time since fire – Edmonton

Critics sound off about Alberta’s long term care troubles

CALGARY- The story of an Airdrie family who can’t move their father from Ontario due to the cost of long-term care is touching a nerve with Canadians.

Legislation states that anyone moving from out of province must live in Alberta for 12 months before being eligible for any kind of continuing care subsidy. If the Hirons family  were to move to Airdrie, they would be on the hook for $7,500 per month for an entire year.

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It turns out they’re far from alone in their struggle.

“We have a member of our family who is in a vulnerable state, who we can’t look after the way we would like to,” complains Rob McNaughton.

His sister-in-law suffered a brain injury eight years ago while living in Saskatchewan, and was eventually admitted to a long-term care facility. Her family tried to get her moved to Calgary to be with them, but they also would have been forced to pay for her care on their own.

“We’re all here,” McNaughton says. “We go back and visit her for a week at a time or so, but really we need to bring her here because this is where our lives are.”

Critics are miffed at the legislation.

“Other provinces don’t have this issue, other provinces can make this work for families, because they understand keeping the family whole is a priority,” says Kerry Tole from the Wildrose Party. “The reality of it is that anyone else who is coming to this province can get health services, and it’s billed back to the province in which they came.

“Even then it’s only a three month wait, not a 12 month wait.”

Alberta’s health minister declined Global News’ requests for comment.

Continue reading Critics sound off about Alberta’s long term care troubles

416: People spending a lot of money to get original Toronto area code – Toronto

TORONTO –  People are paying a lot of money to get a hold of a 416 number.

Bill Pollock is one of those people. He won’t say how much he spent but admits to buying his 416 number.

“We wanted to have a centrally located number that anybody can call from any part of the city and not have a long-distance fee,” said Pollock.

But Pollock says the area code holds status above Toronto’s other area codes.

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“416 is identified as Toronto. Toronto, and in fact it’s referred to often as the 416,” he said.

Pollock obtained his number through vip416numbers杭州夜网, a website which distributes 416 numbers for a fee ranging from $99 to $2000.

And the website may be the only way to get a 416 number, because the Canadian Numbering Association doesn’t distribute 416 numbers anymore.

“The last large group of CO codes, the first 3 digits of the phone number, we handed out would have been 2006.” said Glen Brown, a project manager with the Canadian Numbering Administrator.

The 416 area code has been used since 1947. The area code 647 was introduced in 2001. Some people are not even aware of a third area code, 437, which was introduced in March, 2013.

And of course 905, a Toronto area code Brown says, people forget about.

“What they now associate as the 905 area code was also originally part of the 416 area code and it was sort of split off at one point,” he said.

Many former Torontonians keep their 416 number when they move away. Chris Butryn did when he moved to Durham in 2006.

“It helps you keep in touch with your friends from the old region and makes it easy for them,” Butryn said.

Now a realtor in the Durham Region, Butryn said he is glad he still has the number because it helps connect him to his clients.

“I think it lets people know that you know them. I did live in the city. I have a 416 numbers. I know areas, I know people in the city,” he said.

Continue reading 416: People spending a lot of money to get original Toronto area code – Toronto

Canada Revenue Agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity

OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world, it can only alleviate poverty – because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.

The bizarre bureaucratic brawl over a mission statement is yet more evidence of deteriorating relations between the Harper government and some parts of Canada’s charitable sector.

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The lexical scuffle began when Oxfam Canada filed papers with Industry Canada to renew its non-profit status, as required by Oct. 17 this year under a law passed in 2011.

READ MORE: Calls flooding into snitch line designed to catch Canadian tax evaders

Ottawa-based Oxfam initially submitted wording that its purpose as a charity is “to prevent and relieve poverty, vulnerability and suffering by improving the conditions of individuals whose lives, livelihood, security or well-being are at risk.”

The international development group, founded in 1963, spends about $32 million each year on humanitarian relief and aid in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, with a special emphasis on women’s rights.

But the submission to Industry Canada also needed the approval of the charities directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency, and that’s where the trouble began.

Agency officials informed Oxfam that “preventing poverty” was not an acceptable goal.

“Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not,” the group was warned. “Preventing poverty could mean providing for a class of beneficiaries that are not poor.”

Oxfam Canada’s executive director called the exchange an “absurd conversation.”

“Their interpretation was that preventing poverty may or may not involve poor people,” Robert Fox said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“A group of millionaires could get together to prevent their poverty, and that would not be deemed a charitable purpose.”

READ MORE: Teen charged in CRA Heartbleed hack to appear in Ottawa court

The Canada Revenue Agency prevailed, and the official declaration to Industry Canada about the purposes of the non-profit corporation dropped any reference to preventing poverty.

“Our mission statement still indicates we’re committed to ending poverty, but our charitable (purposes) do not use the word ‘end’ or ‘prevent’ – they use the word ‘alleviate.”‘

Philippe Brideau, spokesman for the Canada Revenue Agency, declined to provide information on the disagreement, saying “we do not comment on specific cases.”

Oxfam Canada was singled out for criticism earlier this year by Employment Minister Jason Kenney over the group’s opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

READ MORE: Charities ‘muffled,’ ‘harassed’ by Canada Revenue Agency audits

And in July last year, Oxfam Canada signed a joint letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, taking issue with reports that government officials had been asked to compile “friend and enemy stakeholder” lists to brief new ministers after the summer cabinet shuffle.

Fox said that despite the new “purpose” statement, the group’s programs and activities have not changed.

The contretemps is yet more evidence of frosty relations between the Harper government and some charities, several dozen of which have been targeted since 2012 for audits of their “political activities.”

The Canada Revenue Agency, armed with $13 million in special funding, is currently auditing some 52 groups, many of whom have criticized the Harper government’s programs and policies, especially on the environment.

The list includes Amnesty International Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Canada Without Poverty, and the United Church of Canada’s Kairos charity.

Pen Canada, a Toronto charity that advocates for freedom of speech, joined the ranks of the audited just this week. The group has raised alarms about the government’s muzzling of scientists on the public payroll.

Charities have said the CRA campaign is draining them of cash and resources, creating a so-called “advocacy chill” as they self-censor to avoid aggravating auditors or attracting fresh audits. Auditors have the power to strip a charity of its registration, and therefore its ability to issue income-tax receipts, potentially drying up donations.

Oxfam Canada is not undergoing a political-activities audit, said Fox.

Chantal Havard, spokeswoman for the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, a coalition of international-aid charities that includes Oxfam, said she was not aware of any other members in mission-statement disputes with the CRA.

©2014The Canadian Press

Continue reading Canada Revenue Agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity

Toddler in Peguis homicide had contact with CFS: minister – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s embattled child welfare agency is under scrutiny again, after officials confirmed a dead toddler had at some point been in the care of Child and Family Services.

RCMP announced Wednesday the death of a 21-month-old girl on Peguis First Nation was being treated as a homicide.

Manitoba Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross confirmed Thursday the child had been in care but refused to provide more details.

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“There was involvement with Child and Family Services with this family, I’m not able to share what the specific involvement was,” Irvin-Ross told Global News in Winnipeg. She wouldn’t say if the child was in foster care or had been reunited with her biological parents.

The little girl was brought from Peguis First Nation to nearby Percy E. Moore Hospital in Hodgson “in medical distress” at about 3 p.m. on July 17, RCMP said. She died later that evening.

READ MORE: Toddler’s death at Peguis First Nation a homicide, police say

The child has not been identified, and police released no information on the cause of her death. There have been no arrests in the case.

Irvin-Ross rejected comparisons to the murder of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair, who was beaten to death by her mother and stepfather in 2005 after being in and out of foster care. The $14-million Phoenix Sinclair inquiry wrapped up less than six months ago, after taking two years to complete. Commissioner Ted Hughes made 62 recommendations to better protect children in care in Manitoba.

“I’m not prepared right now to make that comparison. I think we need to get a lot more information and evaluation about what happened,” Irvin-Ross said.

In addition to the police homicide investigation, an internal review of the child’s case is being launched, provincial officials said. The chief medical examiner will also probe the death, and the province has asked the children’s advocate to make the case a priority.

Continue reading Toddler in Peguis homicide had contact with CFS: minister – Winnipeg

Hep C among street youth ‘alarming:’ study

VANCOUVER – Vancouver street youth face an alarmingly high risk of hepatitis C infection because of a high incidence of injection drug use, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS tracked youth aged 14 to 26 over the course of six years.

Of 940 people recruited between September 2005 and November 2011, 100 tested positive for the disease at the outset.

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Of the people 512 who tested negative at the beginning and showed up for at least one subsequent visit, 56 were positive in follow-up tests — 10.9 per cent.

And of those 512 youth, 166 — about 32 per cent — reported prior use of injection drugs.

“We found that the risk for (hepatitis C virus) acquisition among street youth in this setting was alarmingly high, and that intravenous drug injection remains a primary risk factor,” said the study, led by Dr. Scott Hadland.

The study was also the first to look at the risk of hepatitis infection from injecting opioids like oxycodone and morphine, which is on the rise throughout North America.

It found that while the risk of infection is elevated by the injection use of heroin, cocaine and crystal meth, it does not appear to increase with opioid injection.

The researchers acknowledged that there was a relatively small number of youth in the study who engaged in prescription opioid misuse, which could have limited the ability to measure risk in opioid users.

It is also possible, the study said, that opioid users may not be as entrenched in the local drug scene and, therefore, may not associate frequently with hepatitis-positive drug users.

Either way, the excessive risk of infection among street youth requires specific prevention and mitigation strategies, the study found.

The street youth are a marginalized and difficult-to-reach population, Hadland wrote.

There are challenges to providing maintenance programs such as methadone to the population, and harm reduction services such as needle exchanges and safe injection sites may not effectively target younger users, he said in the study.

Continue reading Hep C among street youth ‘alarming:’ study

Jays pitcher Stroman allows no hits through six in rout of Red Sox – Toronto

TORONTO – Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons couldn’t help but worry just a little. Marcus Stroman had a no-hitter alive through six innings, but the prized 23-year-old prospect was up to 91 pitches in a game the Blue Jays were well on their way to winning.

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Stroman’s third pitch of the seventh inning and 94th of Thursday afternoon hit Shane Victorino’s bat and landed in centre field for a bloop single. The sellout crowd of 46,683 applauded, while Gibbons could take a deep breath knowing he wouldn’t have to make the impossible decision on whetehr or not to keep the young pitcher in the game.

Stroman ended up throwing seven innings of one-hit ball in an 8-0 victory over the Red Sox.

“I can’t say that I’m glad he gave up a hit,” Gibbons said, trailing off. “If this keeps going, you’ve got a young kid, you’re trying to win a division and you keep throwing him out there over and over. I don’t know if relieved is the word, but it didn’t hurt. Sorry, Stro.”

A night after 22-year-old prospect Aaron Sanchez threw two perfect innings of relief in his major league debut, Stroman allowed just one hit over seven innings to give the Blue Jays (54-49) not only an important victory in the American League East race but optimism about the future of the pitching staff.

“He had good stuff,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He was able to get the ball on the ground, get a ground ball double play when he needed to. A couple of different types of breaking balls, with a pretty good power slurve along with a cutter. Throws a lot of strikes.”

Stroman improved to 6-2 with a 3.21 earned-run average, admittedly surpassing his own expectations in his rookie year.

“It’s definitely been a ride so far,” Stroman said. “But I’m not surprised. It’s just all the hard work that goes into it and going out there having your game plan and attacking hitters. That’s the biggest thing is just attacking hitters and getting ahead in the count.”

Stroman attacked Red Sox hitters on Thursday with a still-relatively-new sinking fastball to go along with his curveball. He couldn’t locate his four-seamer well enough, so he adjusted, and the combination he stuck with helped him finish with seven strikeouts.

Catcher Dioner Navarro joked that the best thing the young right-hander did all day was not shake him off even once. Better than that, he tamed a fearsome Boston lineup, including the same David Ortiz who tormented the Blue Jays earlier in the week.

“He barreled down, he got ahead of hitters and he’s not afraid of throwing the ball over the plate,” Navarro said of Stroman. “You’ve got to utilize your defence, we got a great defence out there and he did a great job, I think, getting ahead of hitters and finishing was a big key to the success he had today.”

The Blue Jays’ bats staked Stroman to a significant lead by beating up on Boston’s Rubby De La Rosa (3-3), who gave up six earned runs on nine hits in four-plus innings. First-baseman Juan Francisco (3-for-4 with 4 RBI) finished a double short of the cycle, and left-fielder Melky Cabrera drove in two more runs.

It was an offensive explosion as the same Toronto team that got blown out 14-1 Monday to start the series put up 21 in the past three games to take three of four from the Red Sox (47-55). Despite being without Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie, the Blue Jays moved to within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Baltimore Orioles.

“It’s hard to go through the whole season with nobody getting hurt,” Navarro said. “Hopefully when we get those guys back they boost us up and we do what everybody wants us to do, which is make it to the playoffs.”

The long term – maybe not the playoffs but certainly the next couple of months – was on Gibbons’s mind as Stroman was mowing down the Red Sox. But even as the pitch count was rising and Gibbons thought the situation was “getting a little hairy,” Stroman was confident he wasn’t going to get pulled from the game had the no-hitter remained.

“They’re definitely watching pitches so it becomes tough if I would’ve got up into the ninth and I would’ve had 120, 130 pitches,” he said. “It’s almost like ‘What do you do?’ But I’m pretty sure they would’ve let me go.”

Stroman only needed to make one mistake, hanging a curveball to Victorino, to make it a moot point.

“He was down in the count, so he battled and squeaked it in there,” Stroman said.

Consistently good since being called up to the majors, Stroman made a statement with Thursday’s one-hit performance. His only lifetime no-hitter, to his recollection, came in a seven-inning game at the age of 12 in Cincinnati.

In the decade-plus since, Stroman has grown into a pitcher the Blue Jays are counting on for years to come. With Toronto in the playoff hunt now, it’s helpful that he’s proving up to the challenge.

“He knows he belongs here. This was his goal,” Gibbons said. “He’s pitching like a veteran that’s been around a long time, and he’s been very successful.”

Notes – Ortiz tweaked his back on a swing in the ninth and left the game. Farrell called him day-to-day with back spasms. … The 46,683 on hand marked the eighth sellout of the season at Rogers Centre and the largest crowd since opening day. … The Blue Jays begin a three-game series Friday at the New York Yankees. … By starting at second base, Boston’s Brock Holt became the first player in franchise history to start a game at every position except pitcher and catcher in a season.

©2014The Canadian Press

Continue reading Jays pitcher Stroman allows no hits through six in rout of Red Sox – Toronto

Police investigate if Douglas Garland has links to other violent crimes

CALGARY- Police are trying to determine if the man accused in the triple murder of a missing Calgary family has connections to any other unsolved, violent crimes.

Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathryn Liknes haven’t been seen since the end of June, when they vanished from the Liknes’ Parkhill home.

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Douglas Garland, 54, has since been charged with three counts of murder in the case, despite no bodies being found.

Global News has learned that investigators are now seeing if he has links to any other violent crimes, which experts say is common in cases like this.

“If you have unsolved crimes and you have no idea who might have done them, then you have an individual who you suspect is capable of doing a range of very violent actions, then it makes sense,” says forensic psychologist Dr. Perry Sirota. “There might be a fit between what this person is suspected of doing, because of course it’s alleged now and it might fit with a pattern of crimes that remain unsolved.”

One of the cases being looked at is the death of Helena Mihaljevic. The 32-year-old was found dead in a rural area near Airdrie in 2007, nearly a year after she went missing.

Garland was previously charged with drug trafficking and stolen property, and was also caught using the identity of a 14-year-old Alberta boy who was killed in a car crash.

Continue reading Police investigate if Douglas Garland has links to other violent crimes