One year from now we will know some very cool things about Pluto – National

Posted on 11/09/2018

TORONTO – It may have been demoted from planet to dwarf planet in 2006, but those involved with the mission to Pluto aren’t letting that stop their enthusiasm.

“It’s kind of hard not to be excited,” said Dipak Srinivasan, of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Srinivasan worked as a system verification engineer on the New Horizons spacecraft that is a year out from reaching its destination.

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READ MORE: New names for Pluto moons; Vulcan neither lives long nor prospers

Pluto – once considered the ninth planet in our solar system – is the most mysterious world in our solar system. At an average distance of 5.9 billion km from the sun (about 3 billion from Earth), its composition and exact nature has eluded astronomers.

But in just one year, that won’t be the case.

New Horizons, the fastest spacecraft ever built – travelling at a mind-blowing 43,000 km/h  – will pass within 10,000 km on July 14, 2015.

Two of Pluto’s small moons – Nix and Hydra – are photographed here in 2005.

NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto Companion Search Team

Getting to this point has been a long time coming for those who have worked on the spacecraft.

“Some of us started working on the mission back around 2000 or 2001, so to finally be at this point right now is very exciting,” said Mark Holdridge, New Horizons’ Encounter Mission Manager with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

But unlike other spacecraft – such as NASA’s Cassini, now in orbit around Saturn – there will be no stopping: being ultra-fast means being ultra-light which in turn means being unable to stop. That means that the data collected will be within a very short time-span.

WATCH: New Horizons

That’s not to say that it will only have a day to observe and collect data: the cameras on New Horizons will be focused on Pluto and Charon – the icy world’s largest moon – months before it arrives. It’s seven scientific instruments will collect data on Pluto’s composition, atmosphere, and as well as how the solar wind might influence the tiny world.

A planet by any other name

American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona (interestingly, the name was chosen by an 11-year-old British girl).

In 2006, little Pluto was “demoted” by the International Astronomical Union and reclassified as a dwarf planet after similar worlds were discovered beyond its orbit. The decision was met by anger. World-renowned astrophycist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is also the head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, received angry letters blaming him for the “death” of Pluto, claiming he got the ball rolling (in 2000, the redesigned planetarium omitted Pluto from the collection of planets in the solar system, reclassing it as a member of the Kuiper Belt, a region beyond the orbit of Neptune that is home to icy worlds).

But to Holdridge, it doesn’t make a difference.

“To me, it doesn’t matter because it is what it is, regardless of what label you put on it,” Holdridge said. “It doesn’t really change what it is….Regardless of how big or small it may be, it’s still going to be as interesting.”

“It’s all about discovery and just figuring out another piece of the puzzle of our solar system,” Holdridge said.

READ MORE: Hubble Space Telescope spies smallest moon yet around former planet Pluto

But once New Horizons reaches Pluto, its mission isn’t over. Scientists plan to further explore the outer reaches of our solar system in the Kuiper Belt, home to not only Pluto and many other dwarf planets such as Eris, discovered in 2003 by Mike Brown (which lead to Pluto’s demotion), Makemake and Haumea.

The orbit of Pluto and Eris in the Kuiper Belt.

NASA

“One of the interesting things is that we’re going to fly by Pluto, but then the journey is ongoing… It will be interesting to me to see where we go next,” Srinivasan said.

Holdrige is hoping that the mission discovers things that scientists haven’t even considered about Pluto.

“I think it’s the unexpected I’m hoping for,” said Holdridge. “It’s the excitement of discovery.”

WorkSafe report overhauls investigations

Posted on 11/09/2018

VANCOUVER – The agency that investigates workplace accidents in British Columbia will undergo a significant overhaul to ensure cases involving potential wrongdoing can be successfully prosecuted in court, the provincial government announced Tuesday, following botched probes into two fatal sawmill explosions.

The province outlined the changes as it released a report examining both the risks associated with sawmill dust and, more broadly, how workplace injuries and fatalities should be investigated by WorkSafeBC.

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The report, which the government said would be fully implemented, includes more than 40 recommendations, including specialized teams that would work with prosecutors and police, increased inspections, and a wider array of penalties.

Earlier this year, Crown prosecutors announced there would be no charges in connection with two fatal mill explosions in 2012, which each killed two workers. The blasts — first in Burns Lake and then in Prince George — have both been linked to dust from dry, pine beetle-infested wood.

In each case, the Crown declined to approve charges in part because of concerns that evidence collected by WorkSafeBC wouldn’t be admissible.

WorkSafeBC has a range of special powers, such as warrantless seizures, that are designed to allow it to determine the cause of an accident. However, that sort of evidence isn’t admissible in court.

To avoid that apparent conflict, Tuesday’s report said the department that handles injury and death investigations should be split in two.

If investigators determine a case could lead to a prosecution, it would be handed off to a separate team that would start over, obtaining warrants and warning employers of their charter rights. The teams would work directly with prosecutors from the criminal justice branch and a special constable would be assigned to co-ordinate with police.

“It is absolutely essential that once there is a recognition that there is potential for prosecution, the case begins from that point,” said Labour Minister Shirley Bond.

The report also recommends a range of new measures to target employers found to be violating occupational health and safety regulations.

Those include the introduction of tickets and citations, with escalating consequences ranging from warnings to fines; expanding the scenarios in which stop-work orders can be issued; and changing the law to prevent employers from declaring bankruptcy to get out of paying financial penalties.

Opposition New Democrat labour critic Harry Bains said WorkSafeBC had failed to enforce rules that existed before the explosions.

While he said some of the proposed changes were promising, he argued the Liberal government’s plan should have gone even further. In particular, he said the province needs a special prosecutor who would specialize in workplace accidents.

“I think they have not gone far enough to put enough incentives or deterrents for negligent employers to protect workers,” said Bains.

The explosions at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake and the Lakeland Mill in Prince George have been linked to combustible dust.

While investigations suggested the explosions were preventable, Crown prosecutors said both mills had taken steps to mitigate the buildup of dust.

The Burns Lake explosion killed Carl Charlie, 42, and Robert Luggi Jr., 45. In Prince George, 43-year-old Alan Little and 46-year-old Glen Roche died.

Family members have called for a public inquiry to examine the explosions and the failed investigations.

Luggi’s widow, Maureen, said an inquiry is still the only way her family and the public will know exactly what went wrong.

“The province has failed me and my children; WorkSafeBC has failed us,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

“They could have prevented this if they were doing their inspections properly. If they did their investigation properly, the Criminal Justice Branch would have called for charges.”

The province has ruled out a public inquiry, pointing to the various reports and investigations that have already happened, as well as the plans for inquests by the BC Coroners Service.

The explosions prompted increased inspections to ensure mills were taking steps to control dust.

The latest phase of inspections found 84 per cent of sawmills tested were in compliance, up from 58 per cent during the previous round. Other manufacturing operations, such as pellet mills, had a far lower compliance rate of 40 per cent.

Why some clothes could pose a safety hazard during MRI exams – Toronto

Posted on 11/09/2018

TORONTO – Health professionals are warning clothes containing metal fibres can be dangerous during MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

“Because you’re going into a magnet,” Sara Lamothe, a MRI Technologist at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. “You’re putting metal into a magnet. It can actually react and spark or heat up and burn them.”

Jenn Marr learned that the hard way during a recent MRI exam when she was wearing her yoga pants.

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“I was getting a burning sensation so strong that I had to press the emergency button for them to stop the machine and pull me out,” she said.

“I said I’m burning. ‘What do you mean you’re burning?’ Like I’m burning. My legs are on fire.”

No one made the connection with the pants butafter a quick break, Marr decided to remove the pants and try again.

“I was in the machine for 15 minutes and had no burning whatsoever,” she said.

But the technologist still didn’t think the problem was with the pants. The next day, a fifth-year resident  she met told her the pants have silver in the material that can cause burning during the exam.

MRI Technologists admit it is still fairly new. That’s why some hospitals may not ask you if you are wearing certain clothes.

Queen’s University has a MRI Safety Questionnaire that asks patients if they are wearing clothing with silver or gold threading, like Lululemon Silverescent.

Lululemon uses what it calls silverescent technology, according to information on some Lululemon clothing. The technology purports to stop odour-causing bacteria from embedding itself into the clothing.

But according toAlison Matthews David, an assistant professor at Ryerson University, silver or metal fibres can turn up in other brands but you may not know it.

“If you see the label, anti-microbial, in other words it kills microbes or bacteria, it mostly like does that with silver technology. Nano silver technology,” she said.

David is currently writing a bookabout how clothing can cause bodily harm. She says metal has been used for centuries in clothes butit’s more common now in athletic wear.

“We have bacteria on our skin that causes us to smell bad and the silver kills that,” David said.

Lakeridge Health requires all patients to disrobe and use a gown for MRI appoinments. Marr says she would like to see all hospitals adopt the same policy.

“Clearly, you have no idea what’s in the material. I never would have guessed that there would have been any form of metal in these pants.” she says.

‘An outrage’: World leaders react to Malaysian Airlines MH17 – National

Posted on 29/04/2019

WATCH ABOVE: Malaysian minister calls downing of MH17 “an outrage.”

International leaders and officials expressed grief and shock at the crash Thursday in eastern Ukraine of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet, killing all 298 people on board. The plane, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, had passengers of more than a dozen nationalities – including one Canadian.

Several world leaders pledged to contribute to investigation efforts, which are ongoing as emergency crews sift through the wreckage.

READ MORE: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: More than 180 bodies found at crash site

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

“We understand from reports that a Canadian citizen is among the dead. On behalf of the Government of Canada, Laureen and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the victims of this outrageous act,” Harper said in a statement.

“While we do not yet know who is responsible for this attack, we continue to condemn Russia’s military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine, which is at the root of the ongoing conflict in the region.”

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird:

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U.S. President Barack Obama:

Obama called the crash a “terrible tragedy.” And in a noon press conference Friday he said U.S. intelligence officials believe the surface-to-air missile that brought down the plane came from pro-Russian separatist territory in eastern Ukraine. He also said there was one dual Dutch-U.S. citizen aboard.

“It is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible. We urge all concerned – Russia, the pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine – to support an immediate cease-fire in order to ensure safe and unfettered access to the crash site for international investigators and in order to facilitate the recovery of remains,” the White House said in a statement.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte:

“Possibly one of the worst air disasters in Dutch history. … I am shocked. I am broken up. All of us in the Netherlands are in deep mourning.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak:

“We must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone can be left unturned. If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.”

“This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia. … The flight’s passengers and crew came from many different countries. But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief.”

United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron:

Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine.”

“And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.”

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko:

Called the attack an “act of terrorism” and demanded an international investigation.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott:

“We owe it as well to the families of the dead to find out exactly what has happened and exactly who is responsible. … As things stand, this looks less like an accident than a crime. And if so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:

“We are horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. There are no words adequate to express our condolences to the families of the nearly 300 victims. We offer our sympathies and support to the Governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands at this difficult time, as well as to all those whose citizens may have been on board. We are reviewing whether any American citizens were aboard the flight.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:

“There is clearly a need for a full and transparent international investigation.”

Chris Beyrer, president-elect of the International AIDS Society:

If Dutch HIV researcher Joep Lange was on Flight 17, “then the HIV/AIDS movement has truly lost a giant.”

The World Health Organization:

Why Health Canada might change recommended levels of sugar intake – Toronto

Posted on 29/04/2019

TORONTO – Everyone knows too much sugar isn’t good for your health. But Canadians may soon be told to have even less.

Rona Ambrose, Canada’s health minister, suggested the health agency might soon recommend people only consume 100 grams of sugar each day. That works out to 24 teaspoons of sugar or 20 per cent of the average person’s total caloric intake.

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“Most Canadians right now take in about 50 to 60 grams of added sugar and another 50 grams of naturally occurring sugars. So we do hit 100 grams already and it’s actually pretty easy to reach that amount,” said Cara Rosenbloom, a registered dietitian and president of Words to Eat By. She teaches clients how to read nutrition fact panels, how to navigate the grocery store and how to prepare the purchased items.

“People who drink pop are going to hit 100 grams easily. A can of soda can run 40 grams, a bottle 60 grams,” Rosenbloom said.

READ MORE: How much sugar should you be eating? How to follow WHO’s guidelines

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff has been following Health Canada’s progress on creating a new food labelling system for months and wonders how the Canadian government decided on the 100 gram number.

“Its a larger amount than has been proposed by other organizations,” Freedhoff said.

In March for example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended added sugars make up no more than 10 per cent of a persons total caloric intake.

The proposed level from Health Canada – 100 grams – equals roughly 20 per cent.

READ MORE: What Health Canada’s ‘easier to read’ nutrition labels would look like

Yet Freedhoff, who runs an obesity clinic in Ottawa and writes a blog called “Weighty Matters” says any reduction of sugar intake is positive.

“The goal for everyone should be less,” Freedhoff said, “The smallest amount is the right amount.”

Mosquito numbers on the rise in Saskatoon – Saskatoon

Posted on 29/04/2019

Watch above: Continued warm, dry weather presents perfect populating ground for mosquitoes

SASKATOON – A spring filled with rain and now hot, dry weather means mosquito numbers in Saskatoon continue to climb.

Mosquito numbers are up and depending on where you live in the city, you could be seeing more than usual.

Each night, averages of 177 mosquitoes were trapped last week. Around 570 in the Buena Vista area every night compared to only 21 in College Park.

Jun 7 – Jul 11

Neighbourhood

Buena Vista

College ParkSilverspringParkridgeMontgomeryHudson Bay ParkAll*3 yr Average of All**Nuisance Mosquitoes/Trap572.6021.50117.2531.25174.6772.40177.16132.67

“In an area like College Park where you have a lower tree cover, there’s fewer, mature American elms in that neighbourhood, you’re not going to have as high mosquito counts,” said Jeff Boone, the city’s pest management supervisor.

While mosquito numbers are higher than the three year average, Boone says they are not abnormal.

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Related

  • Saskatchewan warned about West Nile virus

“It varies a little bit year to year but when you get heavy precipitation for the months of May and June and then a sudden increase temperature you get a sudden increase in nuisance mosquitoes,” said Boone.

READ MORE: Mosquito that can carry West Nile virus found in Saskatoon

The amount of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes that have been caught in the region has been very low so far; however, the risk of contracting the West Nile virus from this species is still there.

“Normally, human cases are not something that we learn about until much later on, so it is very important to take precautions,” said Boone.

Deputy medical health officer Dr. Johnmark Opondo with the Saskatoon Health Region says while 80 per cent of those infected by the virus will not experience any symptoms, the public is urged to look for the more severe symptoms.

“When you should go and see your doctor is when you have persistent headache, persistent neck pains, symptoms that are like meningitis because that’s how severe it can be,” said Opondo.

“Particularly those that have underlying medical conditions such as cancer or anything else your body might be dealing with, West Nile just makes it worse.”

Watch below: Dr. Johnmark Opondo discusses West Nile virus on the Morning News

Health officials advise the public to cover up especially at dusk and dawn, keep lawns short and remove any standing water.

“Put on DEET as much as it’s going to be nice, warm weather for the next week or so,” said Opondo.

According to city officials, the number of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes in the region will continue to build through into early August, with the risk of contracting West Nile virus peaking the first weekend of August.

Five tips to stay healthy this BBQ season – Toronto

Posted on 29/04/2019

TORONTO – It’s officially the summer – or, unofficially – barbeque season – the time of year when you don the flip flops and throw some burgers and steaks on the barbeque.

But check the expiry date and wash your hands because the incidence of food-borne illness increases during warmer weather, according to Health Canada.

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“We often forget about the steps before cooking,” Global News medical contributor Dr. Samir Gupta said. “I want people to think about , at every stage, how to avoid having their prepared foods or their raw foods contaminated with the bacteria they have on those raw meats.”

Gupta recommends keeping uncooked meats and anything used to handle them, including utensils and plates, away from any other food or surface.

It’s not just the uncooked meat on your homemade Cronut burger that might get you sick. Nearly 250 people were hospitalized in a salmonella outbreak in 2012 that was linked to cantaloupes.

“Keep fruits refrigerated once their sliced,” Gupta said.

And if you’re buying raw shellfish make sure to get these products from a reputable place.

“You want it to be fresh and you want it to have been cold-stored up to the point where you purchase it,” Gupta said.

Approximately four million Canadians contract some form of food-borne illness a year according to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

There are several precautions you can take to save yourself the (literally) gut-wrenching aftermath of tainted food.

Five more tips to make sure you can spend the summer outside and not in bed:

1. Wash your hands

This may seem obvious – and it should be – but you need to be rigorous about hand washing when around food.

“We’re seeing viral infections withthe Norwalk family of viruses and those are actually spread just by manipulating prepared foods because the virus is on people’s hands,” he said. “So be religious about hand-washing when you’re handling food.”

2. Avoid re-freezing your food but…

Food can be safely refrozen if it hasn’t warmed to higher than four degrees Celsius, Gupta said.

Refrigerators are commonly kept below four degrees Celsius, so if you thaw food in your fridge, you can refreeze it.

“The best way to do that is always thaw your meat in the fridge, so that you know if you change your mind, you can throw it back in the freezer and avoid problems,” Gupta said.

3. Don’t get into a long-term relationship with your food

The fresher your meat, the better but if you’re not planning on eating it right away, Gupta recommends refrigerating the meat within an hour of buying it.

If you’re not planning on cooking the meat within 48 hours, you’re better off freezing it to reduce bacterial overgrowth, he said.

4. Don’t trust the colour of your meat

Most people cook chicken until it’s not pink on the inside but, as Gupta notes, that’s not always an accurate indicator of whether it’s safe to eat.

“You can have pink meat, or even poultry that’s actually well-cooked and you can have white-looking chicken or browned beef that’s undercooked,” Gupta said.

5.  Use a meat thermometer

The best way to check whether your roast beef or chicken breasts are cooked is to use a thermometer.

Gupta suggests cooking steak or lamb to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius), pork or ground beef to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) and poultry to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 degrees Celsius).

Seal pup with umbilical cord attached, rescued after 24 hrs without mother

Posted on 29/04/2019

WATCH: How do you know when wildlife is in need of help and when it’s better to leave them alone. Linda Aylesworth has more on the do’s and don’ts of marine mammal rescue.

VANCOUVER – A young seal pup, with the umbilical cord still attached, has been rescued by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

The harbour seal pup, ‘Oxygen’, was found in North Vancouver at the Mosquito Creek Marina.

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She was exhausted and trying to suckle on objects, meaning she had not eaten in a while. Crews from the rescue centre came to the marina Tuesday morning and brought her back to their facility.

“Summertime is our busiest time of year,” said Lindsaye Akhurst with the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. “And that’s because it’s puppy season. Then next biggest reason why is because people are on the beaches observing these animals.”

“The biggest thing is know is that if you are observing an animal that you feel is in need of rescuing is to call us,” she added. “Keep people and pets away from the animal, we want to make sure that we give mom a chance to come back.”

Akhurst said people should not attempt to rescue any of these animals themselves, despite how cute they may look.

WATCH: Reporter Linda Aylesworth helped rescue a baby seal, found abandoned near Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver

She added that Oxygen was very lethargic in the water and was underweight. “That long umbillicus on her too means that she’s only maybe a day or so old, so mom is not around right now and she should be.”

They don’t know what happened to the pup’s mom at this time.

The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is gearing up for a busy season and are expecting lots of calls from the public.

Tips on what you should do if you see a marine mammal that is in distress. You can call the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325).

– With files from Linda Aylesworth

Douglas Garland remains tight-lipped about triple murder investigation

Posted on 29/03/2019

CALGARY- The man charged in the triple murder of a Calgary family remains tight-lipped, much to the frustration of both police and the devastated family.

Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathryn Liknes haven’t been seen since June 30, when Nathan’s mother dropped him off at the Liknes’ Parkhill home for a sleepover.

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    Who is Calgary triple-murder suspect Douglas Garland?

  • Parents of missing 5-year-old plead for safe return of son, grandparents

  • Expert outlines next steps in investigation of missing Calgary family

Douglas Garland, 54, has since been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in connection with the case, though no bodies have been found.

“While it is unusual for homicide charges to be laid without the bodies, and there’s obviously a huge amount of information that comes from being able to obtain that additional evidence, what it tells me is that the evidence the police have already collected points to this particular conclusion,” says forensic psychologist Dr. Patrick Baillie. “The prosecution can only go ahead when the crown believes there’s reasonable possibility of conviction, so there must be sufficient evidence in front of them.”

Garland was arrested early Monday at the Airdrie property police have been searching for days in an alleged violation of his bail conditions which included a curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

READ MORE: Who is Calgary triple-murder suspect Douglas Garland?

Calgary Police search a landfill on Wednesday, July 9.

Dani Lantela/Global News

Police search a property north of Calgary.

Sarah Offin/Global News

Police search a property north of Calgary.

Sarah Offin/Global News

Police scour a rural home near Airdrie as they investigate the disappearance of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien, 66-year-old Alvin Cecil Liknes and 53-year-old Kathryn Fay Liknes.

Global News

On Sunday, July 6, 2014 officers could be seen focusing their efforts on a pond about 500 metres north of the home, and brought in the K9 Unit and a boat to search the body of water.

Global News

Police search a property north of Calgary.

Jenna Bridges/Global News

Calgary police investigators check out the home where five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathryn Liknes disappeared, in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Police in Calgary say they’ve made a last sweep of the home owned by a couple who have been missing along with their five-year-old grandson since last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

“We know that Mr. Garland made the decision to go back there, and we can assume he was aware of the conditions he wasn’t supposed to be in that area. So he must have had a reason for wanting to get back there.”

Baillie adds that police likely used the nearly 24 hours between the time Garland was arrested and when charges were formally laid to try and pry information out of him.

“From what I know, investigators attempted to use that time to have a conversation with him, so there may have been some discussions at that time. But I would suggest it’s far too early in the process for any negotiations.

When asked what line of questioning police would likely have for Garland to bring them closer to finding the bodies of the missing family, Baillie says the conversation would be limited.

“There have been other cases where favours have been given to people that have been convicted, but in Mr. Garland’s position, to my understanding there’s been no confession, no admission of responsibility, so he’s not in a position where he wants to give police additional information.”

READ MORE: 4 questions in the Calgary family disappearance-turned-homicide case

Garland also refused to answer any questions from Global News as he was taken by police to have the charges read against him late Monday night.

Police Chief Rick Hanson says officers continue to work hard on the case.

“The days of a couple of gumshoes with fedoras walking around smoking cigarettes and getting a confession from somebody at the end of the day are long over. What it takes is investigative teams that use the assets of the organization and tips from citizens and witnesses and all kinds of pieces of information.”

READ MORE: How you can support the Liknes and O’Brien families

He adds they remain hopeful that the family will get the closure they’re so desperate for.

“We know the family won’t have closure and many people in the community won’t be satisfied and won’t have closure themselves until we find the bodies. So we will relentlessly pursue any leads that may allow us to find the bodies sometime down the road.”

Garland is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday morning.

RCMP’s open letter to Alberta communities addresses ‘youth wreaking havoc’

Posted on 29/03/2019

Watch above: RCMP in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain issued a rare open letter this week about a surge in vandalism by youth. Eric Szeto reports.

EDMONTON – RCMP in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain issued an open letter to citizens on Tuesday about a “handful” of youth committing criminal acts in the last two weeks.

Officers say, since school has ended for the summer, a “small percentage of youth” have been “wreaking havoc on our communities.”

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    Two young men granted bail after violent crime spree in Spruce Grove

    Stony Plain School Vandalism

RCMP say members have responded to more than 30 incidents of vandalism and property damage, including tipped over mailboxes, damaged playgrounds, deliberately set fires, and spray painting in a two-week period.

Officers are investigating these incidents and have arrested several youth in connection with the fires and damaged mailboxes.

Part of the open letter from RCMP reads:

“The vast majority of these incidents are occurring in the early morning hours, leaving many to wonder why these young people are roaming our streets throughout the night.  

“While summer holidays means more freedom and a break from the routine associated with school,

“this should translate to evening Slurpee runs and dips in the pool to cool off, not committing criminal acts on public or private property.”

RCMP say these issues tie up police resources that could be better used responding to emergency situations.

The open letter asks the community and parents to supervise Spruce Grove and Stony Plain youth and hold them “accountable for their whereabouts and behaviours.”

“This may include calling their children’s friends’ parents, to ensure that they are where they promised to be.  Having once been young ourselves, and being parents, we realize that sometimes, just sometimes, kids may not be entirely truthful with their parents.  The onus is on parents to monitor their activities, not police.”

“RCMP believe that long-term prevention of youth crime can only be accomplished in partnership with the community,” says Insp. Gary Graham, in a news release. “We work closely with local organizations and community services to ensure that young people who come into contact with the police, as either offenders or victims, receive the help they need to overcome challenges in their lives.”

Surrey family man has been missing for 5 years

Posted on 29/03/2019

Surrey man Yashpal Mehay has been missing for five years.

The 45-year-old husband and father went missing after leaving his home to drive to Clinton in the South Cariboo.

He was reported missing on July 15, 2009, when he failed to turn up in Clinton after leaving Surrey the day before. He operated a Petro Canada gas station with his brother-in-law and had made the drive from Surrey to Clinton every-other week for the previous three years.

RCMP say Mehay had no health problems, criminal affiliations or a criminal record and there is no evidence to suggest he met with foul play.

He was driving his grey 2004 Mazda MPV with BC licence plate number 494KVK at the time.

Police launched an investigation after he went missing and confirmed that the last known place Mehay was last seen was the Staples Office Supply in Chilliwack around 3 p.m. on July 14, 2009.

Police believe that Mehay would have travelled from Chilliwack to Clinton via Highway 1 to Cache Creek, then north on Highway 97 to Clinton. This route was searched extensively but no trace of the missing man was found.

Yashpal Mehay is described as a 45-year-old South Asian male, approximately 5’7”, 185 lbs, with short black hair, brown eyes, and a black moustache. He was last known to be wearing a striped green and white long-sleeved American Eagle shirt and khaki pants.

The Mehay family and the police are asking that anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Yashpal Mehay, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to come forward.

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Two years after mass shooting, Danzig community moves forward – Toronto

Posted on 29/03/2019

Watch above: Looking at the community centre some Danzig residents are crediting for helping the community move past the shooting. Mark Carcasole reports. 

TORONTO – The residents of Danzig Street don’t like to dwell on the deadly violence that thrust their typically quiet community into the national spotlight two years ago.

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The east-end Toronto neighbourhood where children play in driveways and toys litter front yards isn’t a bad one, they insist. It just happened to be a place where something terrible happened.

Wednesday marks the second anniversary of a shootout between two rival gangs at a barbecue held in the community. The bullets sprayed into the crowd killed a 14-year-old girl and a 23-year-old man while injuring more than 20 others.

The incident – called an “unprecedented” episode of violence by Toronto police – stunned the country and rocked the community to its core.

Two years later, those who live in the area are eager to move past the night which made the street synonymous with gang warfare.

“It’s peaceful, it’s good, it still is,” 22-year-old Kevin Danquah says of the community he grew up in.

“I never thought the neighbourhood was bad to begin with.”

Danquah now volunteers at a community centre which opened exactly a year after the shooting with the help of a grant from a local businessman. The converted townhouse is a place where kids participate in programs, get help with homework or use a computer lab, among other facilities.

The impact of the centre, called Our Space, is significant, Danquah says.

“When I was growing up, I had no one to help me,” he says of the neighbourhood which is home to a community-housing complex. “As a kid you get lost a lot, you definitely need someone for guidance and if you don’t have that you could easily make a wrong choice.”

The mentorship Danquah is helping provide to youth in the community is exactly the kind of effort Toronto police want to encourage.

“The biggest difficulty facing Danzig, I think like many areas of Toronto, falls back to the engagement of children and the services that are available to them,” said Staff Sgt. Peter Moreira, whose team deals with the neighbourhood’s issues on a long-term basis.

“Kids are always looking for something to do…those are the sort of challenges that appear.”

Danzig Street turned into a hub of police activity in the immediate aftermath of the 2012 shooting. Police tape crisscrossed laneways, cop cars were stationed in the area for days and four people, including two youth, were eventually charged in relation with the incident.

While a shocking event that wasn’t reflective of the community as a whole, it was a wake-up call, said Moreira.

“I think that people finally realized that minor things left unchecked, left unreported can lead to bigger problems,” he said.

“It’s not just a wake-up call for the residents in the area but also the Toronto police in respective of how we were going to approach it. Our emphasis is preventing those things from happening in the first place.”

Moreira said the community’s collaboration with police is arguably one of the largest changes that’s taken place over the past two years.

“We have parents who call us and talk about ‘my son’s running with the wrong crowd, can you talk to them?’ That’s powerful stuff,” Moreira said.

“What that does is that allows us to be proactive in our approach and surgical in our approach. So we’re only dealing with the people that are victimizing our community instead of casting a wide net.”

Like those who live in the community, Moreira is also determined to change the way Danzig is perceived.

“The aftermath of the shooting made it sound like war zone…Danzig is populated by families and good decent people,” he said.

Police have said the shooting on Danzig two years ago was triggered when members of the Galloway Boys, a local street gang who allegedly “took ownership” of the barbecue, turned away a member of the Malvern crew, a rival gang. That individual then allegedly returned to the gathering with a number of associates to confront the Galloway Boys, sparking the shootout.

Two years later, Moreira said street gangs in the area have been dramatically diminished, but for the families of the two bystanders who were killed in the shooting, however, it’s been harder to move past the violence.

In Remelinda Yasay’s Ajax, Ont., home, her son Joshua Yasay’s room is exactly as he left it on the day he died.

“We don’t want to touch it yet,” she said in a soft voice.

“It’s really hard. Sometimes I’m OK, sometimes I’m not.”

Joshua wanted to be a police officer one day and had recently graduated with a degree in criminology from York University, which now has a scholarship in his name. He also volunteered as a youth basketball coach and had recently opened a barbershop with friends.

His mother doesn’t think the courts are being strict enough with those who were arrested in connection with his death.

“I hope one day the law will change,” she said. “I guess more lives have to be wasted.”

Fourteen-year-old Shyanne Charles, who lived in the Danzig Street community, also died in the shootout.

Her family moved out of the neighbourhood, but her grandfather wants her memory to live on, which is why he’s involved with setting up a scholarship at Centennial College in her name.

“I don’t just want to remember her by how she died. I want something good to come out of it…Even though she’s not here she can still contribute to other people who need help,” said Tyrone Charles.

“Shyanne was a child who loved to laugh. We’re not going to cry no more.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Updated: Motorcyclist “lucky to be alive” after crash pins her under SUV – Regina

Posted on 29/03/2019

REGINA – A Regina woman believes she’s lucky to be alive after her motorcycle was trapped under an SUV following a crash in the south end of the city on Monday night.

“I’m in shock that I’m alive. I’m in shock that I’m here. I’m in shock that I’m at home not even 24 hours later,” said Rhonda Cwynar.

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Cwynar, who is the president of an advocacy organization for motorcyclists, suffered a cracked collarbone and a broken ankle after she was hit by a car while riding her motorcycle on Albert Street and Gordon Road.

Regina police were called to the scene at 9:51 p.m. They eventually charged the driver with impaired driving causing bodily harm and driving while exceeding 0.08.

At court on Tuesday morning, a publication ban was put in place as part of the request for release conditions for the accused. Global News is therefore not allowed to name the person charged, but eyewitnesses report that the female driver of the SUV was given a breathalyzer at the scene.

Cwynar said she lost consciousness during the collision but believes she was dragged underneath the car for about half of a block.

“I know I’m lucky to be alive. People have died in crashes that are less [severe] than that,” she said.

Cwynar was on her way back from a trip outside the city at the time.

Emergency crews had to elevate the SUV before they could extract her.

Cwynar said she’s suffered “minor” injuries and hopes there are no further problems, though “time will tell.”