Month: September 2018

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

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.

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

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

Alberta lifts publication ban on children who die in care

EDMONTON – Alberta’s Bill 11 was proclaimed on Wednesday, getting rid of the publication ban on children who have died in the care of the province.

“I believe we must empower those who are closest to these children to speak or not to speak,” said Human Services Minister Manmeet Bhullar.

“It is their right as human beings.  If we do not have the right to speak up about justice as individuals then we have taken away too much.”

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In April, the Alberta government introduced changes to allow the publication of names and photos of children who die in government care.

READ MORE: Alberta changes rules on child foster deaths 

“It is the basic right of each and every one to express grief publicly or to protect privacy in a period of tremendous stress,” said Bhullar at that time.

“This is not a decision for the government to make.”

Last November, a Postmedia newspaper series detailed gaps in child death investigations and frustration over parents not being allowed to talk publicly about the death of their loved ones.

Using documents obtained under freedom of information rules, the series revealed the province has used its privacy laws to avoid telling the public about the deaths of 89 children in care since 1999.

READ MORE: Alberta to review how it investigates, reports foster child deaths 

Bhullar, after he was named to the human services portfolio in December, then released information that indicated there were hundreds of other deaths of children who were not in direct care — but had been at one time, or were in indirect care, or had injuries under investigation.

With those figures added in, the total number of deaths since 1999 stands at 741 out of 275,000 children.

“Upon my appointment as Minister of Human Services seven months ago, I pledged to change the province’s laws that govern what information can be shared about the tragic deaths of children in care,” Bhullar said on Thursday.

“Whether it was at our two-day roundtable in January or through a unanimous vote in the legislature, the broad consensus was that the publication ban must be lifted.  Yesterday, Bill 11 was proclaimed and the ban no longer exists.”

Bhullar added there is a legal process in place for any person, including families with children in care, to apply for a publication ban with the courts. The Act will put a quicker, simpler process in place.

The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Amendment Act will also give Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff and officials more latitude and powers to investigate the deaths or serious injuries of children in care.

Follow @Emily_Mertz

With files from The Canadian Press

Continue reading Alberta lifts publication ban on children who die in care

How to tell if your $5 bill is a counterfeit – Toronto

TORONTO – The variety of security features on Canadian money can make telling counterfeit cash from the real thing rather difficult.

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Chances are your money is real but it’s important to keep the Bank of Canada’s ‘touch and tilt‘ motto in mind. The Bank of Canada suggests touching the bill to feel for a raised surface and tilting the money to look for changing colours and images that should be visible if the money is real.

“When you give it to somebody who doesn’t know what to look for then you get the confusion,” said Bank of Canada representative Manuel Parreira. “Most people in Canada today are accepting the ones with holograph stripe.”

The Bank of Canada has issued three series of notes since 2001.

The first, the Canadian Journey series of $5 and $10 bills was introduced in 2001. The Bank of Canada added enhanced security features while reintroducing $20 bills in 2004. The $5 and $10 bills were changed soon after.

The Bank of Canada next started using polymer in 2011, first introducing a $100 note, followed later by $5, $10 and $20 bills in November 2013.

Global News tested retailers in Toronto to see if they would be willing to accept an original Canadian Journey $5 bill – without the metallic stripe.

The owner of the Fortune Smoke & Gifts Store on Queen Street East, Wendy Liu, knew right away. She made a point of feeling Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s jacket for texture.

“I’d take it,” she said. “I’m looking (to see if) it’s fake or not but this is okay.”

Officials from the Bank of Canada recommend that if someone’s unsure about the validity of a bill, to take it to a bank or report it to police.

Older, paper notes are more likely to be counterfeited.

“In 2013, we had about 48,000 counterfeit notes passed for about 1.9 million dollars,” Parreira said.

There were approximately 1.6 billion genuine notes in circulation last year, worth about $65 billion.

The $20 tends to be the most counterfeited note, making up approximately 70 per cent of faked bank notes, followed by $100 bills. The $5 bill represents less than 2 per cent of fake bills in Canada.

Anyone found with counterfeit money in their possession can be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Continue reading How to tell if your $5 bill is a counterfeit – Toronto

Postpartum care funding fails to keep up with demand: psychologist – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Improvements to postpartum mental health care have been made in the year since Lisa Gibson killed her children and herself – but funding hasn’t kept pace with demand, says a Manitoba psychologist.

“The problem is that we do have, with increased awareness, we have bona fide referrals that are coming through, but we don’t have additional resources at this point to support providing this service,” said Dr. Carrie Lionberg of the clinical health psychology program at St. Boniface Hospital.

“We’re hoping to get more resources in place so that we can meet the demands and the needs.”

Gibson drowned her children Anna, 2, and Nicholas, 3 months, in the bathtub at their Winnipeg home before drowning herself in the Red River on July 24, 2013. She was suffering from depression at the time and had sought help at a hospital, Dr. A. Thambiraja Balachandra, Manitoba’s chief medical examiner, said in November.

“The three deaths were preventable,” a news release from his office said after it finished its investigation.


Murder-suicide mom ‘slipped through the cracks’: medical examinerGibson family tragedy
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Steps toward making sure such tragedies are prevented in the future have been taken, Lionberg said.

Awareness has been raised and education is being provided to health-care providers, as was recommended by the medical examiner, she said.

Community-based organizationsa are providing information on services and materials they offer as well, she said.

The health authority is offering more perinatal programs for women and their families and friends as well.

The Winnipeg Birth Centre now has a standing once-a-week session called Coping with Change for any new mom who wants to attend, offers a workshop for family and friends of new moms and includes a session on mental health in its prenatal program, the health authority said.

The Postpartum Depression Association of Manitoba website also offers a wealth of resources, Lionberg said.

However, psychologists such as herself are overwhelmed by demand and place limits on the care they can provide out of necessity, she added.

She urged those concerned about limited resources to contact Health Minister Erin Selby and their local MLAs about the subject.

“Publicly funded psychology services are extremely limited,” she said.

“If women and their families are concerned about the scarcity of resources or the difficulty accessing resources, they should advocate for increased funding to support increased perinatal health.”

READ MORE: What is postpartum depression?

Continue reading Postpartum care funding fails to keep up with demand: psychologist – Winnipeg

Top 10 cheapest places to travel in the United States

CALGARY- Those heading stateside may be wise to head as far south as possible if money is a concern.

MoneySense magazine and TripAdvisor partnered up to determine the cheapest U.S. cities to visit, and seven of the top 10 are in the southern United States.

The study looked at the cost of things like hotel rooms, taxis, dinner and cocktails, to figure out how much a night on the town sets the average traveller back.

By far the cheapest place to book a room is Las Vegas, which costs an average of $139 USD per night. If you fancy a couple of drinks, Minneapolis, Minnesota is your place, with the price for two cocktails coming in at $20.

Dinner is cheapest in Atlanta, Georgia, costing an average of $72.70 per couple, while a return taxi trip is the best bargain in Denver, Colorado at just $15.64.

Click on the gallery below to see the top 10 rankings.

#10: Denver, Colorado: $366.38

#9: Minneapolis, Minnesota: $354.50

#8: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $352.43

#7: Dallas, Texas: $339.09

#6: Houston, Texas: $338.25

#5: New Orleans, Louisiana: $323.36

#4: Orlando, Florida: $322.99

#3: Atlanta, Georgia: $314.31

#2: Miami, Florida: $311.29

#1: Las Vegas, Nevada: $276.03

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    Travel: Tips for long haul flights

    Travel: Airline fees

  • 5 free things in the Orlando area that don’t include theme parks

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  • 5 free things to do in the once-sooty city of Pittsburgh

Continue reading Top 10 cheapest places to travel in the United States

Edmonton area and parts of Alberta under weather warnings – Edmonton

EDMONTON – Conditions are ripe in parts of the province for the development of “dangerous thunderstorms” that might bring “large hail and torrential rain,” according to Environment Canada.

The weather authority has issued a wind warning for the Capital Region. A severe thunderstorm watch was in place for Edmonton for part of the afternoon, however, it has since been dropped.

You can see all the other areas affected here.

WATCH: Kevin O’Connell’s weather forecast from Thursday’s News Hour

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Wind warnings are issued when there is a significant risk of damaging winds.

Gusts up to 90 kilometres per hour are expected in some areas, according to Environment Canada, which also predicts that the winds will weaken as the system moves east Friday afternoon.

Environment Canada says a trough of low pressure streching from Drayton Valley to Lloydminster is expected to trigger thunderstorms through central Alberta Thursday afternoon.

“With temperatures in the mid 20s,  thunderstorms will pop up Thursday afternoon and early evening in the [Edmonton] region,” said Global Edmonton’s weather specialist, Mike Sobel.

“Rain will develop overnight continuing throughout the day tomorrow.  The heaviest rain will fall in areas west and northwest of Edmonton. They could receive upwards of 50 millimetres. The city could see 15 to 25 mm.”

There are also rainfall warnings in effect for parts of western Alberta and wind warnings in the southwestern tip of the province.

READ MORE: Environment Canada admits to differing standards of weather coverage

To get your weather forecast on the go, download our Skytracker weather app.

Continue reading Edmonton area and parts of Alberta under weather warnings – Edmonton

Grocers taking some of the ‘shock’ out of surging fresh food prices – National

Food prices have been marching steadily higher in recent months thanks to a few factors, including climbing fuel prices and the Canadian dollar’s swan dive this year.

Food prices in general were up about three per cent last month compared to June 2013, according to StatsCan, while meat and produce prices have in many cases experienced an outright surge.

A steak bought at a supermarket costs as much as a fifth more than it did last summer, while prices for carrots and onions – onions! – have climbed by double-digits at the checkout.

Still, it could be worse.

Galen Weston, president and executive chairman of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., the country’s biggest grocery store operator, said Thursday Loblaw has absorbed some of the hit delivered by the “big shock” in meat and produce prices.

“We took some of the increase and the customer seems to have absorbed [the rest],” Weston said.

How much of the hit Loblaw is taking exactly the supermarket giant didn’t say, nor would it for competitive reasons.

Click here to view data »

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The broad rise in most meat, fruit and vegetable prices fanned overall grocery prices higher by 3.2 per cent last month, an acceleration from the 2.5 per cent rise in May, according to Statistics Canada.

Meat and vegetable prices were roughly 10 per cent higher.

Loblaw as well as other Canadian grocers buy a good portion of their fresh foods in U.S. dollars, and with the loonie slipping this year by several cents (to around 93 cents US at the moment), Canadian food prices have gone up.

Beef and pork have also been hit by North American cattle and pig shortages this year as drought and disease have drained livestock levels.

READ MORE: Grilling getting pricey this summer as meat prices surge

Loblaw  (and almost certainly other grocers as well) is eating a portion of the higher costs, though, as it tries to keep a lid on prices to entice shoppers to keep coming back.

Like the country’s other big grocery chains, Loblaw is feeling significant pressure from bigger U.S. chains Walmart, Target and Costco, all of whom are aggressively expanding their Canadian footprints this year. In less competitive times, Loblaw might not have been as generous, experts say.

Lower prices in the centre aisles

Evidence of the pressures can be found in Loblaws’ dry goods aisles and some bakery items.

While prices are climbing in the sections that surround the supermarket, in the centre aisles (where canned and dry goods reside), prices are actually falling.

A loaf of bread is about one per cent cheaper on average at Canadian grocery stores than a year ago, StatsCan data shows, while coffee and white sugar prices are 5.9 and 8.9 per cent lower, respectively.

Canned apple juice was similarly 1.4 per cent lower in June, according to Statscan’s latest reading on average food prices.

“There’s still deflation in the dry groceries side of the store,” Weston noted on Thursday’s call.

Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys and other Canadian grocers are contending with the bigger and deeper pockets of Walmart and Target, which give the pair far more purchasing power with suppliers.

READ MORE: Grocers look to grind down wages as Walmart, Target take aim

While Loblaw is the biggest food retailer in Canada, Walmart Canada still uses the heft of its enormous U.S. parent to make bulk purchases of items like cereal and cookies, allowing the discount behemoth to sell them here for less. And Loblaw must react.

“It really just reflects the competitive pressures,” Kenric Tyghe, a consumer and retail stock analyst at financial services company Canaccord Genuity, said.

Continue reading Grocers taking some of the ‘shock’ out of surging fresh food prices – National

LaBeouf, Baldwin appear in New York courtrooms

NEW YORK – Shia LaBeouf and Alec Baldwin never ended up sharing a Broadway stage as planned last year, but real-life dramatics landed both of them Thursday in a distinctly less celebrated venue: Manhattan criminal courts.

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  • Shia LaBeouf kicked out of Broadway show for causing disturbance

  • Alec Baldwin tweets anger after arrest in New York

Both stars appeared in courtrooms a few blocks apart for separate disorderly conduct cases. LaBeouf is charged with disrupting a Broadway performance, while Baldwin was accused of getting belligerent with police who said they stopped him for riding a bicycle the wrong way down a one-way street.

Their shared court date was just a coincidence, but it paired stars who have become known for acting up, not just for acting.

“Looks like you have a short fuse,” Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John DeLury told Baldwin while looking over the allegations against him; they’re violations, not crimes. After Baldwin repeatedly said he’d pay a fine for the May 13 encounter — though the judge said he was just asking for an apology — DeLury put the case on track to be dismissed if the actor avoids re-arrest for six months. It’s a common outcome for low-level cases in Manhattan.

“Can you stay out of trouble, Alexander?” DeLury asked.

“Sure, sure,” Baldwin said.

“Be a good boy from now on. Have a good day!”

Meanwhile, LaBeouf’s lawyer and prosecutors said they were trying to resolve his case. He’s accused in court papers of playing a boorish role in the audience at “Cabaret” last month, smoking cigarettes, yelling at the actors onstage, and swearing at security guards and hollering as he was escorted out: “Do you know who I am?”

The actor, whose publicist has said the episode stemmed from an alcohol problem and that LaBeouf has since gotten treatment, stood solemnly before a judge during the brief appearance. He and his lawyer, G. Robert Gage, declined to comment as they left court amid a swarm of cameras and microphones. LaBeouf is due back in court in September.

LaBeouf, 28, and Baldwin, 56, were slated to co-star last year in a revival of Lyle Kessler’s play Orphans, but LaBeouf pulled out over creative disagreements — and then publicly tweeted private emails from Baldwin and others involved in the show. (“Sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation,” LaBeouf wrote to Baldwin in one message; Baldwin apparently wrote back: “I don’t have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word.”)

Best known for starting in the first three Transformers movies, LaBeouf has made headlines for his off-screen behaviour in the past year.

He apologized this winter for borrowing the story line and dialogue for a short film from a graphic novel writer. In February, he walked out of a Berlin Film Festival news conference for the movie Nymphomaniac Volume I and then wore a paper bag — emblazoned with “I am not famous anymore” — over his head at the red carpet premiere.

Baldwin, whose career has included Emmy Awards for 30 Rock and Oscar and Tony nominations, has developed an ornery reputation in real life.

A voicemail of him berating daughter Ireland Baldwin came to light in 2007 (he later said the message horrified him), he was kicked off a plane in 2011 after refusing to stop playing a cellphone game, and he’s had a series of run-ins with news photographers. After using an anti-gay slur in one such encounter last fall, he was suspended from his ultimately short-lived MSNBC show; Baldwin apologized and said he hadn’t meant to offend anyone.

In February, Baldwin wrote a New York magazine cover story decrying tabloid coverage of his comings-and-goings in New York City, saying he probably needs to move elsewhere.

©2014The Associated Press

Continue reading LaBeouf, Baldwin appear in New York courtrooms