Parapan Am promotion offers $5 tickets in final events

TORONTO — Parapan Am Games organizers are hoping to own the bleachers as well as the podium, offering a special promotion to entice more fans to attend.

TO2015 promoters have unveiled a “$5 Friday” campaign, offering fans deeply discounted tickets to both the final athletics and swimming sessions on Friday afternoon.

When asked if the promotion might reflect disappointing ticket sales, a Parapan Am Games spokesperson said it’s strictly part of a larger push to show strong fan support for the Games.

READ MORE: Canada’s Michelle Stilwell and Benoit Huot race to Parapan Am gold

A #SoldOutSaturday 桑拿会所 campaign has Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne joining the chorus to encourage full stands.

“The aim of the $5 ticket promotion on Friday and the #SoldOutSaturday campaign is to finish the Games strong and let all Parapan Am athletes know the region is 100 per cent behind them,” TO2015 spokesperson Heather Irwin said in an email.

The #SoldOutSaturday remains a work in progress. The wheelchair basketball finals will play to a full house, but tickets are still available for the goalball and football seven-a-side matches. Irwin says the Parapan Am Games have sold “nearly” 85,000 tickets to date.

Canada currently sits second in the medal standings, behind a dominant Brazil and just ahead of the third-place U.S.

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©2015

Riverhouse Art Gallery a colourful landmark in revitalized Riversdale

Watch above: It sits along the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon with a park as its backyard. Meaghan Craig introduces us to the Riverhouse Gallery, its owner and its history.

SASKATOON – Saskatoon is filled with diverse neighbourhoods but Riversdale takes the cake for character homes. One home in particular that may catch your eye as you walk along Spadina Crescent West is the Riverhouse Art Gallery,  a house that has evolved over the years along with the city blocks around it.

Nestled along the riverbank, the home’s eye popping exterior creates a picture of this home’s colourful past.

“I feel that I don’t own the house that I’m the current care taker. It has a life of its own, it has a spirit of its own,” said homeowner Cecilia Elizabeth.

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In 1995, Elizabeth and her husband bought the home for both its views and ample space for an art studio on the main floor.

“I fell in love with the house, I always wanted a great big old house and so to me it didn’t matter where it was.”

YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD: Pioneer Cemetery sheds light on Saskatoon’s first residents

The vision for this home even before it was built was grand with the soul intention that someone of prominence would call it home.

“The house cost, in 1908, five thousand dollars to build it and that was what was on the land-title.”

While it isn’t designated a heritage property according the Elizabeth, the home’s history runs deep and at times has been known as the “Lawton House” in addition to the “Woman’s House.”

“This house, out of the 10 owners, has been owned by eight women.”

A number of Saskatoon’s rich and famous have lived here as well as some rather infamous people. Elizabeth says according to one landlord, convicted murderer Larry Fisher lived here on the third level in the ’70s.

“All she would say is he was not a good tenant.”

Elizabeth admits the Riversdale neighbourhood has had it’s ups and downs over the years but revitalized it’s come a long way.

“I would have friends that would say I won’t drive through Riversdale unless I lock my doors that’s changed. I have 40 students coming weekly to my classes and they never worry about coming here to do classes.”

Riversdale is in a period of rebirth as new boutiques open, eateries with new builds reshaping one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. Elizabeth says if she has her way she’ll continue to live and eventually die here.

“It’s my kids inheritance,  I say ‘Be nice to me because this is your inheritance ’cause they’re not to get any money’,” laughed Elizabeth.

©2015

Patrick Kane investigation: EA Sports drops Blackhawks star from NHL 16 cover

VANCOUVER – EA Sports is pulling Patrick Kane from the cover of its “NHL 16” video game after police confirmed last week the Chicago Blackhawks star is the subject of an investigation.

Kane was to be featured on the cover alongside teammate Jonathan Toews.

EA Sports says that “in light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports ‘NHL 16.”‘

The company says Kane will not be on the cover of the game or attend any promotional events.

The new cover will feature an image of Toews alone hoisting the Stanley Cup.

WATCH: Patrick Kane – A look at the Chicago Blackhawks star’s career and allegations

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Hamburg police confirmed the investigation last week, saying it involved an incident that may have happened at Kane’s home outside Buffalo on Aug. 2. Chief Gregory Wickett said police were gathering information and awaiting results of forensic tests.

A person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on Monday that it involves something that occurred between the player and a woman in her 20s.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities have not revealed any details of the investigation.

Kane is from Buffalo and was selected first overall by Chicago in the 2007 draft. He has helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cup championships in the past six seasons, including one earlier this year.

“NHL 16” is scheduled for release in North America on Sept. 15.

Kane was also on the cover of the game in 2009.

– With files from The Associated Press

©2015

UPDATE: NDP raises concerns about bedbug infestation at Regina seniors complex

REGINA –  The Saskatchewan NDP is asking the province to properly get rid of bedbugs at local seniors housing complexes after one resident spoke out about the issue.

Adele Bryson, 80, lives in an apartment at 2121 Rose Street that she said has been crawling with bed bugs for months.

Bryson hasn’t been bitten herself, but when her family comes to visit they leave with numerous bites. Her granddaughter appears to be their favourite victim.

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“When she stays with me overnight, the next day she’s just full of bites on her arms,” said Bryson.

“There’s thousands in there, thousands! You can’t go in there without seeing one,” said daughter-in-law Karren Jackson. “You just touch the bed and you see them crawl.”

Jackson has collected dozens of the bugs in traps to prove the infestation.

“It’s quite embarrassing. Not very pleasant really,” said Bryson.

By July the situation became so bad the senior felt she needed to leave her home, so she moved in with a friend.

Jim Gusul took Bryson in, but admits he’s worried about the bed bugs transferring to his home from hers.

“I won’t go in there. I don’t want her to go in there either. I don’t want to take the chance of coming back to my place with one or two or five in the cuff of my pants,” he said.

Exterminators are scheduled to treat Adele’s apartment, one on each side, as well as on top and bottom. But Bryson’s family doesn’t think that goes far enough in addressing the bigger problem.

They’ve put traps in other seniors’ units further down the hall and found bed bugs there too.

Bryson’s family is concerned that unless the whole building, including common rooms, is treated for bedbugs that the money will be wasted because the bed bugs could return.

“I just want my mom to be safe and comfortable,” said Bryson’s son, Jim Bryson.

“She’s on a small pension and doesn’t have the ability to take everything she owns to a dry cleaner or to move her own furniture. What about all the seniors in that building that don’t have family that can help? Those seniors will suffer, and the bugs from their suites will come right back into mom’s suite making the cost, the effort and displacement of mom all for nothing.”

The NDP is also calling for the entire building to be treated for pests.

“Families are approaching [us] to describe horrible bedbug infestations in seniors housing, and have a real struggle getting the government to properly treat the problem,” said NDP Housing critic David Forbes. “Do it once, so you’re not constantly coming back and having those expenses.”

But Saskatchewan Housing says that’s not reasonable, or necessary.

“It really isn’t practical to treat that many units at any given time,” said Dianne Baird, the executive director of the housing network.

She added the cost for a single treatment is around $1500 and so far this year, Saskatchewan Housing has spent over $700,000 on bed bugs.

She said officials were only recently made aware of Bryson’s issues.

“When an incident is reported, the housing authority jumps on it very quickly so the bed bugs are contained within a particular suite and do not spread,” said Baird.

Before the extermination happens, the home needs to be prepared, and furniture and clothing moved out.

Bryson’s son Jim Bryson, is worried about how other seniors could do that without the assistance of family or friends: “If I wasn’t here, in the city, to do this for my mom – there’s so many seniors that can’t get this done.”

“It’s not like they’re expecting an 80-year-old to do that. But they do reach out to the family and hope they help their family prepare the unit for treatment,” said Baird.

But Saskatchewan Housing said they would never leave anyone in a lurch. They will help individuals who do not have family to assist in cleaning their suites out.

According to the NDP, the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation has had its maintenance budget cut to $48.3 million in 2014 from a peak of $93.4 million in 2011.

Two charged in Yorkton, Sask. drug bust

YORKTON, Sask. – Two people have been charged after a drug bust in Yorkton, Sask. The bust happened Tuesday at a residence on Victoria Avenue.

Mounties say they seized marijuana, hydromorphone, drug paraphernalia and weapons while executing a search warrant.

Kenneth Peepeetch, 34, has been charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of hydromorphone, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assault.

Alisha Peepeetch, 25, is charged with trafficking cocaine, production of cannabis resin, possession of cannabis marijuana and possession of hydromorphone.

READ MORE: Three charged after RCMP seize 100 grams of cocaine in Carlyle

Hydromorphone is a controlled drug under Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act.

Both are scheduled to appear in Yorkton provincial court on Wednesday.

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©2015

Edmonton group pushing for regulation of medicinal marijuana

WATCH ABOVE: Should medical marijuana dispensaries be regulated and allowed in Edmonton? One group took its perspective to city hall Wednesday. Vinesh Pratap reports. 

EDMONTON – A local society is pushing the City of Edmonton and the Alberta government to establish regulations that would allow for the legal sale of medicinal marijuana.

Members of Macros  – the Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society – held a rally outside city hall Wednesday morning.

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“We’re here to talk to Don Iveson, to tell him that he’s turning his back on people that need this medicine,” said Aaron Bott, Macros president.

“We’ve been here 11 years and we’ve had no chance to have any regulations at all. We’re here to see if Don Iveson, Mayor Don Iveson, can get us regulations.”

READ MORE: Clients upset after police raid Edmonton marijuana dispensary

In July, police raided a marijuana dispensary run by Marcos. Robert Syre, Janice Syre and their son Aaron Bott are now facing numerous charges including possession and trafficking.

The non-profit group sold medicinal marijuana to people who had a prescription.

The couple is taking the matter to court, arguing it was providing a necessary service for people who need medicinal marijuana.

“Any time law enforcement detracts from a person’s ability to access their own medicine, that is a violation of the constitution, and that’s what we’re here today,” said Robert Syre.

“It’s a necessity service. It covers a lot of people that the government does not cover in their program,” added Janice Syre.

READ MORE: Medical marijuana comes to Alberta as Health Canada grants grow licence

It’s illegal to operate a dispensary in Canada.

However, in some communities police have looked the other way. Earlier this year, Vancouver city council voted to regulate dispensaries despite being illegal under federal law. Dispensaries in Vancouver must now pay licensing fees and abide by zoning rules.

The City of Edmonton said there are no plans to take similar measures.

©2015

Police investigating after man, 27, fatally shot near Toronto Marriott Hotel

WATCH ABOVE:  Police are investigating another shooting outside Toronto Marriot hotel. Lama Nicolas reports.

TORONTO – The city’s Homicide Squad is investigating after a man was gunned down early Sunday morning in front of a downtown hotel.

Police said they were called to the Dundas St. W. and Bay St. area around 2:45 a.m. after reports of gunshots. A man found with gunshot wounds was found in front of the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel at 525 Bay St and was pronounced dead on scene, according to paramedics.

Toronto Police identified the man as 27-year old Kabil Abdulkhadir.

Police say Kabil Abdulkhadir, 27,was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning in downtown Toronto.

(Toronto Police Services)

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Bay St. was closed between Dundas St. W. and Queen St. W. as police continued their investigation, before being re-opened at around 1:30 p.m.

Detective-Sergeant Joyce Schertzer told reporters at a morning press conference the investigation is at “the beginning stages” and called on witnesses to contact police.

“We are appealing to the public,” said Det. Joyce Schertzer. “There were perhaps people out, given the fact that this is part of the entertainment district and it is a hotel. We are asking anyone with information to contact [investigators].”

Police said they are conducting a witness and video canvass throughout the Bay and Dundas area.

Guests staying at the Marriott could leave the Marriott on foot, but not by car. And guests who have exited the hotel are not allowed to re-enter and check-in is suspended until further notice from police.

Several guests were caught off-guard by the police investigation and not being allowed to re-enter the hotel.

Chris Sherry, who was staying at the Marriott, said she stepped outside to have a cigarette and wasn’t allowed back into the hotel, with his daughter still in their room.

“I finished my smoke and turned around to go back in and they wouldn’t let me in the door,” Sherry said. “I was a little concerned, and I said ‘if it’s not safe enough for me could you please go get my daughter.’”

Police have not released a suspect description or the number of shooters involved.

Schertzer urged any witnesses to “take the initiative” and call 52 Division at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.

This is Toronto’s 32nd homicide of the year and a post-mortem examination has been scheduled for Monday morning.

*With files from Lama Nicolas

©2015

WATCH: Tongue-in-cheek video advocates against leaving dogs in hot cars

WATCH: A PSA reminding people to not leave their dogs in hot cars is making rounds online. WARNING: Offensive language. Courtesy: bchizzle, YouTube.

The creators of a tongue-in-cheek video reminding people to not leave their dogs in hot cars are hoping to spread the important message.

The two-minute video that features local YouTube celebrity Peter Chao shows men clad in balaclavas and black sunglasses, smashing out the window of a car, with a dog trapped inside.

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“We are everywhere. We see everything,” says one man wielding a hammer. “We see your dog in distress and you are not around to open the door, we are going to let the hammers fly.”

“We’d like to remind you that a broken window is nothing compared to an animal’s life,” he adds.

However, the video ends with a disclaimer, saying anyone who sees a dog in distress in a hot car should try to locate the owner or contact their local authorities for assistance.

“Breaking a window can be seen as a last resort in an urgent situation,” it says. “Remember, we are just a YouTube channel, not legal advice.”

One of the people behind the video, Brian Cheung of Vancouver, says it was always meant as a joke.

“We were playing with the concept of disheveled dog owners who would go all out and start smashing car windows,” says Cheung. “We thought that would be terrifying. But then we thought we could maybe sugar coat it and make it entertaining to create the discussion.”

Cheung says he and his friends have personally witnessed a lot of cases of dogs stuck in hot cars and wanted to raise awareness about the problem. But before doing that, they wanted to make sure they get the right message across.

“It is a very strong message, so we did not want to promote the wrong one, which is to go out and smash windows,” he says. “It is just to make people talk about it, that’s all.”

READ MORE: Video shows man lashing out when confronted about dog in hot car

READ MORE: Actress Jennifer Beals confronted after leaving dog in West Vancouver car

Randy Fincham, a media relations officer with Vancouver police, told Global News the video is “an interesting and dramatic approach” to educating the public about the dangers of leaving pets in a hot car.

He says in the event that someone comes across an animal in distress inside a car in the city of Vancouver, they should call 9-1-1 and the VPD will dispatch one of their officers to the scene to assess the need to gain access to the vehicle and determine the associated liability involved in intentionally damaging another person’s property.

For their part, Lorie Chortyk with the BC SPCA says they admire the creativity that went into making the video and getting the message out.

“Anything that draws attention to the issue of dogs in hot cars, we are certainly all for that,” says Chortyk. “We obviously can’t condone people breaking the law and taking matters into their own hands.”

Anyone who sees a distressed animal inside a hot car is asked to call the Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1(855)6BC SPCA (1-855-622-7722) and the BC SPCA will send an officer to investigate.

Since the beginning of this year, the BC SPCA have recorded 1,201 calls about animals trapped in hot cars province-wide.

Bizarre low-speed chase as L.A. police pursue man in motorized glider

TORONTO – Usually, the words “low-speed” and “mid-air” aren’t in the same sentence, especially when it comes to police pursuits.

But that’s exactly what unfolded Monday afternoon in the skies over Castaic, California, as Los Angeles County sheriff deputies in helicopters pursued a man in a motorized hang glider they believed dropped contraband into the yard at Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center.

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“We have several open compounds, so there was concern that somebody might be dropping contraband or there could be some crazy escape attempt. It was really hard to say,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen told ABC News-7 in Los Angeles.

WATCH: Good Samaritan saves little boy hanging by his neck off balcony in China

The incident unfolded around 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon when police spotted the motorized glider in the airspace near the California prison.

Turns out it was all a mistake. The hang glider pilot, identified as 62-year-old Ron Nagin, hadn’t dropped any contraband and said he was merely blown off course by high winds.

So why the pursuit? Turns out there was more than one misunderstanding in the skies of California that afternoon, as Nagin said he didn’t hear police sirens and loudspeaker requests that he land over the sound of his own engine.

Once he did hear them, he said he misunderstood their intentions.

“At first I thought they were just looky-loos, just trying to investigate the sport, but I figured when they cut in front of me twice, I’d better turn around and land,” Nagin said.

By 6:05 p.m., Nagin had landed in a nearby outdoor paintball field and was detained by authorities without incident.

Police later declined to press charges or levy a citation.

WATCH: See what playing soccer is like from an elephant’s point of view

©2015

Better Winnipeg: Seniors centre dials up new opportunities for older adults

Twice a month, Brenda Taylor spreads out her bingo cards on the living-room coffee table, picks up the phone and gets ready to play.

It’s a routine she’s been enjoying for a number of years – telephone bingo from the comforts of home.

The games are offered through a program called Senior Centre Without Walls – an initiative of A&O Support Services for Older Adults located in Winnipeg.

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There are about 70 regulars like Brenda who play telephone bingo. They get patched into a teleconference and experience the game as a group – even though they live all across the Manitoba.

“We’ve got groups in Churchill, Eriksdale, Swan River, Beausejour and other parts of Manitoba,” Lydia Roberston, Program Assistant for A & O: Support Services for Older Adults explains.

The small, portable bingo cage sits on Roberston’s desk as she turns the handle to dispense the game balls.

That, along with a hands-free phone and computer is all she needs to operate the game.

Most of the registered players call the toll free number and enter their code before the session. Those who can’t, receive a call from Robertson.

There aren’t any big jackpots to be won. It’s the camaraderie that draws players in.

“They’re interacting with one another. They might be lonely. They may not be speaking to a lot of people. It may be hard for them to get out,” Robertson says.

The Senior Centre Without Walls doesn’t just offer bingo games. It offers 60 different programs throughout the day by phone, Monday to Friday.

“We offer educational presentations. We tour different museums like the Manitoba museum. We do health and wellness. We offer art therapy, music therapy, meditation all over the phone,” Michelle Ranville, manager of community services at A & O: Support Services for Older Adults explains.

She first learned about the concept after hearing of a similar program in the United States. In 2009 Senior Centre Without Walls was launched in Winnipeg and then across the province a year later.

“I thought if a program could be popular in California then imagine what it would be like in our Manitoba winters,” Ranville says.

About 150 seniors in Manitoba are registered for the free programming.

Taylor participates in several of them regularly.

“Each one of us knows that at around 10 in the morning there will be somebody on the other end of the phone. You’ve got a reason to get up in the morning,” Taylor says.

Many of the people who present programs are volunteers.

New event calendars are released every four months. The next one starts in September and runs until the end of December.

Global News Anchor Heather Steele and I (Eva Kovacs) will be calling the Bingo games in September. For more information on Senior Centre Without Walls is available online or by calling A&O at 204-956-6440.

Better Winnipeg is a weekly feature that focuses on people and events that make Winnipeg better. If you have suggestions for stories, send them to [email protected]杭州丝足.

©2015