Food banks across Canada are struggling to meet increased demand because of the pandemic at the same time as donations are down and there are fewer volunteers.
Food banks across Canada are struggling to meet increased demand because of the pandemic at the same time as donations are down and there are fewer volunteers.
WASHINGTON — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. It's the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. “I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there," Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate agent who posted a photo on Twitter of herself flashing a peace sign next to a broken Capitol window, told a Dallas-Fort Worth TV station. Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man photographed on the dais in the Senate who was shirtless and wore face paint and a furry hat with horns, has similarly pointed a finger at Trump. Chansley called the FBI the day after the insurrection and told agents he travelled “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021,” authorities wrote in court papers. Chanley’s lawyer unsuccessfully lobbied for a pardon for his client before Trump's term ended, saying Chansley “felt like he was answering the call of our president.” Authorities say that while up on the dais in the Senate chamber, Chansley wrote a threatening note to then-Vice-President Mike Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” Trump is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office. The charge this time is “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” His impeachment lawyer, Butch Bowers, did not respond to call for comment. Opening arguments in the trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the storming of the Capitol say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on. For weeks, Trump rallied his supporters against the election outcome and urged them to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to rage against Biden's win. Trump spoke to the crowd near the White House shortly before they marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” Later he said: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told supporters to walk to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically” make your voices heard. Trump has taken no responsibility for his part in fomenting the violence, saying days after the attack: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” Unlike a criminal trial, where there are strict rules about what is and isn’t evidence, the Senate can consider anything it wishes. And if they can show that Trump’s words made a real impact, all the better, and scholars expect it in the trial. "Bringing in those people's statements is part of proving that it would be at a minimum reasonable for a rational person to expect that if you said and did the things that Trump said and did, then they would be understood in precisely the way these people understood them," said Frank Bowman, a constitutional law expert and law professor at University of Missouri. A retired firefighter from Pennsylvania told a friend that that he travelled to Washington with a group of people and the group listened to Trump's speech and then “followed the President’s instructions” and went to the Capitol, an agent wrote in court papers. That man, Robert Sanford, is accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol Police officers. Another man, Robert Bauer of Kentucky, told FBI agents that “he marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so,” authorities wrote. His cousin, Edward Hemenway, from Virginia, told the FBI that he and Bauer headed toward the Capitol after Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue." More than 130 people as of Friday were facing federal charges; prosecutors have promised that more cases — and more serious charges — are coming. Most of those arrested so far are accused of crimes like unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors this week filed conspiracy charges against three self-described members of a paramilitary group who authorities say plotted the attack. A special group of prosecutors is examining whether to bring sedition charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison, against any of the rioters. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to convict. And while many Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky— have condemned Trump's words, it remains unclear how many would vote to convict him. “While the statements of those people kind of bolsters the House manager's case, I think that President Trump has benefited from a Republican Party that has not been willing to look at evidence,” said Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law who testified before the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's first impeachment hearings in 2019. “They stood by him for the entire first impeachment proceeding, thinking that the phone call with the president of the Ukraine was perfect and I’m sure they will think that was a perfect speech too. There is nothing yet to suggest that they would think otherwise," Gerhardt said. ____ Richer reported from Boston. Alanna Durkin Richer And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
A new book that documents the stories of Gwich'in elders to help bridge the divide between the generations and record a collective history of the Gwich'in people has just been published by the Gwich'in Tribal Council. The book, Our Whole Gwich'in Way of Life has Changed is a compilation of Gwich'in elders' stories from the late '90s and early 2000s. "It's stories from the people of the land," explained Sharon Snowshoe, director of the Gwich'in Tribal Council's Department of Cultural Heritage. "It's the elders telling their own life stories. It talks about residential school. You know, our elders like to tell stories to us, so there's a bit of humour in it, too." Depth of interviews 'overwhelming' Snowshoe said that in 1998, a group led by Leslie McCartney, then a master student in cultural anthropology who was working for the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute, and some community members and youth, set out to interview and record the stories of elders in the four Gwich'in communities. In consultation with elders, McCartney and her team recorded the oral histories of 23 Gwich'in elders, 17 women and six men. "The richness, depth of the interviews was unexpected and overwhelming," said Snowshoe. "Most of the elders interviewed were the last generation where Gwich'in was their mother tongue," said Snowshoe. She said the Gwich'in language is one of the most endangered languages in Canada, and the elders recorded were encouraged to tell their stories in the Gwich'in language so it would be preserved. She added that the stories "also speak to the Gwich'in principles of elders playing a crucial role as teachers of traditional knowledge, history, language and culture." As well, she said the principles are based on a special spiritual relationship between the Gwich'in and the land. Since the council can't have a book launch, Snowshoe sent copies of the book to schools in the Gwich'in area as well as to designated Gwich'in organizations for distribution. Only one elder that was interviewed for the book is still alive so Snowshoe sent a letter and a copy of the book to the oldest family member of the elders who are in the book. The book, which was published by University of Alberta Press, is also available online.
It's getting to be a familiar sight in many of Toronto's inner suburbs: construction crews hard at work adding second floors to post-war bungalows as homeowners try to add more space for growing families. But affordable housing advocates are hoping the city can harness the reno boom to help fill the "missing middle" in the city's housing stock by converting some of those single-family homes into multi-unit dwellings. Builder Peter Lux, of Homes By Lux Inc., started in the home renovation business 16 years ago by adding a second floor to his own home — a post-war bungalow across from Blantyre Park in the Victoria Park and Kingston Road area. "We moved into our bungalow, a young married couple with no children. By the third child we needed more space," said Lux. "I did my own home as my first large project. Then people came to me asking to do theirs." That was in 2005. Now he's renovated many of the houses that ring the park. It's the way much of the housing stock of that era is being renewed and updated for a new generation of Toronto homeowners. "This neighborhood was built in the late '40s and you can imagine at that time there were young families and young kids running around and now we're back to a new cycle with these new families and the parks are filled with kids," Lux told CBC Toronto. One of his first clients was Brian Aucoin who lives a few doors down and bought his home in 1977 for $53,000. "The wartime bungalows are pretty small and we had three boys and obviously we're running out of space," said Aucoin. "Our decision was do we move out of the neighborhood or do we rebuild our house?" While he admits the decision had its costs, Aucoin says his home is worth well over $2 million now. "So it was a fairly good investment," he said. Frank Clayton, a senior research fellow at Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Use, says adding space to existing single-family homes is a good way to revitalize neighbourhoods. "People are buying those bungalows and adding a second story instead of moving to Pickering or something, so I think that's a good move because it keeps families in the city of Toronto." But with bungalows selling for more than $1 million now, before the costs of topping them up, Clayton says they are not in themselves the answer to the so-called missing middle: multi-unit dwellings like stacked townhouses, low-rise apartments and single family homes converted to multiple unit rentals. Philip Kocev, a real estate broker and managing partner at iPro Realty Ltd., says if the city is going to harness the reno boom to build more affordable housing and boost density, it will have to eliminate barriers in the approval process that make it harder to develop multi-unit dwellings. He is a proponent of a city pilot project aimed at finding ways to make it easier to build housing for middle-income earners. Kocev has proposed small-scale projects — triplexes and fourplexes — over the years and says the city's approval processes and fees are barriers for these kinds of projects. "Our lack of planning bylaws that support the missing middle, our bylaws are actually quite antiquated and they really do support single family development versus low rise multi unit residential," he said. Kocev, who has plans for a project in the Dundas Street East and Greenwood Avenue area, says the city treats small developers the same way as construction companies building condominiums. "Once you create more than four units they categorize you the same as a big commercial development, so your committee of adjustment fees are higher. You've got to pay development fees so that makes it really difficult to create missing middle properties." Kocev spoke in support of the proposed pilot project in Beaches-East York that went before Toronto's Planning and Housing Committee this week. If it goes ahead a test project will be built on city-owned land. "It would be good for them to see first-hand what kinds of barriers there are."
The weekend should dawn bright and sunny for most of B.C.'s South Coast, but a change in the weather is on the way. Saturday night is expected to bring the first snowfall of the winter for many neighbourhoods on the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and the Central Coast, and Environment Canada has issued special weather statements warning of the change in conditions. The snow is expected to continue into Sunday. Some of that snow might even linger on the ground for a little while, with accumulations of two to five centimetres in the forecast for most of the affected areas, and up to 15 centimetres in eastern and inland areas of Vancouver Island, including the Malahat Highway. By Sunday afternoon, the snow will be mixed with rain in many areas, forecasters say, but more snow is possible later in the week. In preparation for the wintry weather, the City of Vancouver says more than 100 vehicles and 3,000 tonnes of salt are ready to hit the roads this weekend. The city is also opening additional shelter spaces at the Powell Street Getaway, the Vancouver Aquatic Centre and the Creekside Community Centre.
The only thing Margaret Marilyn DeAdder loved more than tea and toast — was reheating tea and toast. "She burned many a teapot and caused smoke damage countless times, leaving her kids with the impression that fanning the smoke alarm was a step in brewing tea." That's a sneak peak into the life of 78-year-old Marilyn DeAdder — the "clipper of coupons, baker of cookies and terror behind the wheel," who died this week. In the obit, her son, Michael DeAdder, pokes fun at his mom's ability to give the finger as well as her inability to put her car in reverse. 'A champion of the underdog' DeAdder said his mom, who he refers to as Marilyn, was also "a champion of the underdog, ruthless card player, and self-described Queen Bitch." She also loved the spotlight and was the life of every party. So when her obituary went viral this week, DeAdder knew his mother would've been pleased. "My mother was a ham," he said. "She liked to be the centre of attention, not in a bad way, as a joking way." I doubt I'd be a cartoonist without the mom I had. - Michael DeAdder In her obituary, the award-winning cartoonist described his mom as a lifelong volunteer at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, "which her sons suspected was her way of seeing all the shows for free." She was also a trained hairdresser and enjoyed styling people's hair in her kitchen, "so much so her kitchen smelled of baking and perm solution." She loved her three sons, except when they weren't clean shaven. "At least one of them would ruin Christmas every year by coming home with facial hair, and never forgot that one disastrous Christmas in which all three sons showed up with beards." And she adored her granddaughters, feeding them mountains of sugary snacks. "While her sons committed unspeakable crimes against humanity, her granddaughters could do no wrong," the obituary said. And she was also funny — a trait the New Glasgow native passed onto her three sons. "I doubt I'd be a cartoonist without the mom I had." Mom's obituary needed 'a splash' of humour Before writing his mother's obituary, DeAdder perused through a few others for inspiration. But none of them were Marilyn. "The standard obituary is depressing and cold," he said. He knew Marilyn's write-up would need "a splash" of humour — and a dig or two about how she always found time in her busy life to run her children's lives. Then the story wrote itself. "It seemed like every line had a punch line … it took off in a strange direction naturally." The eldest of three said the obituary felt more like a Christmas homecoming, where he and his brothers would spend the holidays teasing their mom — which she loved, of course. After the obit was posted, hundreds of people who knew Marilyn and people who didn't, were coming out of the woodwork sharing condolences, fond memories and many more laughs. "It sort of got out of hand." A different kind of spotlight DeAdder said his mom died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease Tuesday. "Marilyn, ever the penny-pincher, decided to leave this world on the day Moncton went into red-alert, her sons believe, to avoid paying for a funeral." During an interview with Information Morning Moncton on Friday, DeAdder said he wasn't ready for his mom to go this week. "We sort of think she bowed out." But he said Marilyn would've been thrilled about the prospects of being talked about on CBC radio. "This is a different spotlight," DeAdder said. "She wouldn't expect this." In honour of their mom, Marilyn's family asks that people do something nice for someone else unexpectedly, and without explanation.
WASHINGTON — When Joe Biden took the oath of office as the 46th president, he became not only the oldest newly inaugurated U.S. chief executive in history but also the oldest sitting president ever. Biden was born Nov. 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was 78 years, two months and one day old when he was sworn in on Wednesday. That’s 78 days older than President Ronald Reagan was when he left office in 1989. A look at how the country Biden now leads has changed over his lifetime and how his presidency might reflect that. BIGGER, MORE DIVERSE PIE The U.S. population is approaching 330 million people, dwarfing the 135 million at Biden's birth and nearly 60% greater than when he was first elected to the Senate in 1972. The world population in Biden’s lifetime has grown from about 2.3 billion to 7.8 billion. More striking is the diversity in Biden’s America. The descendant of Irish immigrants, Biden was born during a period of relative stagnant immigration after U.S. limitations on new entries in the 1920s, followed by a worldwide depression in the 1930s. But a wave of European immigration followed World War II, when Biden was young, and more recently an influx of Hispanic and nonwhite immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Africa has altered the melting pot again. In 1950, the first census after Biden’s birth counted the country as 89% white. Heading into 2020, the country was 60% non-Hispanic white and 76% white, including Hispanic whites. So, it’s no surprise that a politician who joined an all-male, nearly all-white Senate as a 30-year-old used his inaugural address 48 years later to promise a reckoning on racial justice and, later that afternoon, signed several immigrant-friendly executive orders. BIDEN, HARRIS AND HISTORY Biden took special note of Vice-President Kamala Harris as the first woman elected to national office, and the first Black woman and south Asian woman to reach the vice presidency. “Don’t tell me things can’t change,” he said of Harris, who was a student in the still-mostly segregated Oakland public elementary school when Biden became a senator. The first time Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, there will be two women behind a president, another first: Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. But change comes slowly. Harris was just the second Black woman ever to serve in the Senate. When she resigned Monday, the Senate was left with none -- and just three Black men out of 100 seats. Black Americans account for about 13% of the population. MONEY MATTERS Minimum wage in 1942 was 30 cents an hour. Median income for men according to the 1940 census, the last before Biden's birth, was $956, with women earning about 62 cents for every dollar a man earned. Today, the minimum wage is $7.25. The federal government's most recent weekly wage statistics reflect a median annual income of about $51,100 for full-time workers. But the question is buying power, and that varies. The month Biden was born, a dozen eggs averaged about 60 cents in U.S. cities -- two hours of minimum wage work. A loaf of bread was 9 cents, about 20 minutes of work. Today, eggs can go for about $1.50 (12 minutes of minimum-wage work); a loaf of bread averages $2 (16 minutes). College tuition is another story. Pre-war tuition at Harvard Business School was about $600 a year -- roughly two-thirds of the median American worker’s yearly wages. Today, the current Harvard MBA class is charged annual tuition of more than $73,000, or a year and almost five months of the median U.S. salary (and that’s before taxes). Biden proposes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour -- a move already drawing opposition from Republicans. He’s called for tuition-free two-year community and technical college and tuition waivers for four-year public schools (so, not Harvard) for students from households with $125,000 or less in annual income. DEBT National debt has soared in Biden’s lifetime, from $72 billion to $27 trillion. But it’s a recent phenomenon. Biden finished 36 years in the Senate and became vice-president amid the fallout from the 2008 financial crash, when the debt was about $10 trillion. Now he takes office amid another economic calamity: the coronavirus pandemic. To some degree, this is a biographical bookend for Biden. He was born when borrowing to finance the war effort generated budget deficits that, when measured as percentage of the overall economy, were the largest in U.S. history until 2020, when emergency COVID spending, the 2017 tax cuts and loss of revenue from a lagging economy added trillions of debt in a single year. Reflecting how President Franklin Roosevelt approached the Great Depression and World War II, Biden is nonetheless calling for an additional $1.9 trillion in immediate deficit spending to prevent a long-term economic slide. PLANES, TRANES AND AUTOMOBILES As part of his proposed overhaul of the energy grid, Biden wants to install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, a move analysts project could spur the sale of 25 million electric vehicles. For context, federal statistics counted 33 million cars in the U.S. altogether in 1948, as Biden began grammar school. A FIRST FOR THE SILENT GENERATION Biden is part of the Silent Generation, so named because it falls between the “Greatest Generation” that endured the Depression and won World War II, and their children, the Baby Boomers, who made their mark through the sweeping social and economic changes of the civil rights era, Vietnam and the Cold War. True to the stereotypes, Biden’s generation looked for decades as if it would never see one of its own in the Oval Office. The Greatest Generation produced John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Then Boomers took over. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump were born in a span of 67 days in 1946, the first of the Boomer years. Barack Obama, born in 1961, bookended their generation as a young Boomer. If his inaugural address is any indication, Biden seems eager to embrace the characteristics of his flanking generations. He ticked through the “cascading crises” -- a pandemic and economic fallout reminiscent of the Depression and subsequent war effort, a reckoning on race that’s an extension of the civil rights era -- and summoned the nation “to the tasks of our time.” PLENTY OF FIRST-HAND LEARNING Biden lived through 14 presidencies before beginning his own, nearly one-third of all presidents. No previous White House occupant had lived through so many administrations before taking office. Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
A Dalhousie University science student has created a homemade spectrometer that lets her lab-from-home during the coronavirus pandemic. In pre-COVID-19 times, Alanna Gravelle juggled a career in the Canadian Navy with her academic work earning a bachelor of engineering at Dalhousie, meaning she often had to complete her studies while aboard HMCS Halifax. While lectures were easy enough to handle remotely, lessons in the laboratory were harder. So she started to create her own spectrometer, using a flashlight, a plastic tube, a box and a smartphone. "What that does is shines a light through a liquid and you're able to determine the concentration of the liquid with the amount of light that gets absorbed or makes it through the liquid," she said in a recent interview with CBC News. The spectrometer, for example, can help show how much calcium is contained in a crushed and diluted multivitamin, or how many proteins are found in a urine sample. The devices have practical uses in the mining and recycling industries. By the summer of 2020, Gravelle's unusual problem had become mainstream. She won the Lloyd & Margaret Cooley Memorial research scholarship for women studying analytical chemistry and polished her rough design so other students could create it at home. A regular smartphone provides the analytical feedback. She realized another benefit: students would use the lab spectrometer without really understanding what happened inside the device. By making their own at-home version, students get a better understanding of what the machine actually does. "It allows you to carry out experiments at home and collect data, and it also allows you to see the working parts of the spectrometer and understand what they do to give you that data," she said. With all of her classes happening online during the pandemic, she said it's an important way to retain the hands-on experience of science. "Being an engineering student online, third year, right now is very difficult." Gravelle worked with chemistry instructor Roderick Chisholm. Usually, he said, everything happens in the lab. "We've had to completely change that." Students joining classes via video from across Canada, China, the Middle East and Europe are embracing Gravelle's MacGyver approach to taking things they find around the house to build the spectrometer. "Everyone can do it at home, make those measurements, so they can actually feel involved, rather than looking at a presentation or video," Chisholm said. Paper microscopes Learning how the device works has been an extra bonus. "The disadvantage of using this in the lab is they are literally black boxes, so the students would put a sample in and magically they get a number related to absorption," he said. Chisholm thinks the homemade spectrometer could also help out at high schools, where students typically share a $750 professional spectrometer. The homemade version costs about $20, plus the smartphone. His Dalhousie colleague Jennifer Van Dommelen has also gotten her biology students tinkering at home on a low-tech microscope. "We use an instrument called Foldscope, which is a portable microscope assembled from heavy-gauge paper, a lens, and a couple of magnets," said Van Dommelen, a senior instructor at the university. "The lens has a 140X magnification and resolution of two microns; the user can adjust lighting and focus and even attach the Foldscope to their phone or tablet to use their device's optical zoom and take photos." Assemble at home Van Dommelen sends her Dalhousie students kits and instructions so they can assemble it at home. "Putting one together is similar to using paper dolls — you detach the components from a single piece of paper, fold where instructed, add the lens and the magnetic couplers and then reassemble everything into a working, focusable microscope," she said. "The kit includes paper slides that students can use to mount their own specimens, but standard glass slides can also be used." She'd been using them for online classes since 2018 and they are crucial now during the pandemic. Chisholm and Van Dommelen both hope to keep the best parts of lab-from-home active after the pandemic. MORE TOP STORIES
A Sudbury startup will receive $500,000 from the federal government to help commercialize an innovative medical device and create local jobs. Flosonics Medical will use the funds to hire a team of software developers and industry experts to develop the IT infrastructure needed to roll out its FDA-cleared FloPatch medical device. The IT infrastructure will ensure that the device can be fully integrated with various medical records systems in hospitals and clinics in Canada and the United States. “This device right here is the world’s first wireless wearable ultrasound system,” said Flosonics Medical COO and co-founder Andrew Eibl. “What we’ve done is turned a complex technology into a wearable that is push-button simple that allows nurses and clinicians to get the data they need to care for their patients when they are critically ill and when important decisions need to be made.” The technology allows for real-time hemodynamic monitoring for patients that need cardiopulmonary and fluid resuscitation. When a patient is critically ill and experiencing major trauma, they are often pumped full of fluids to increase blood flow. This process must be monitored closely, especially in patients with weaker hearts. It’s usually done via traditional ultrasound, which can be a slow, inefficient two-person job. The FloPatch is a peel-and-stick Doppler blood flow monitor that can assess patient response to fluid intake. Any paramedic, nurse or physician can use it, and it can also be used to monitor patients remotely. “The project that we’re announcing today is ultimately to enable the deployment and interoperability of this technology in a hospital throughout different departments,” said Eibl. “The system that we’re developing, through hiring at least five new software developers, is going to enable us to roll out communications across North America, as well as leverage that information to further drive the business-use case around the quality metrics that are important to healthcare systems as well as patient outcomes.” The funding will help the company develop IT systems in its early pilot sites and, eventually, roll them out in Canada and the U.S. as the company continues to grow. “It will help doctors make better informed decisions that impact quality of care, and hopefully get patients out of the hospital sooner, avoid complications, and reduce the cost of the overall healthcare delivery system,” said Eibl. FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program is providing the funding. “Supporting Sudbury’s innovators and job creators is a key priority of our government,” said Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre during the funding announcement on Friday. “I’m excited that this investment in Flosonics Medical will help launch a promising new medical device that has the potential to significantly improve patient care in Sudbury and around the world.” The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Fifteen people — including patient attendants, kitchen staff, maintenance workers and cleaners — have packed their bags and said goodbye to partners, parents and children to move into the Manoir Stanstead seniors' home where they work. Also taking up residence is a bulldog-Shih Tzu mix named Snow White. Last spring, staff did the same thing for a month and managed to keep COVID-19 at bay while maintaining a normal life for the residents. This time around, the decision came after the province announced seniors' homes should serve meals in individual rooms instead of the dining hall. "We just don't think that's human," said Manoir Stanstead assistant director and patient attendant Donna Rolfe. "By us locking in, they can go to the dining room and eat and socialize, which is very important for them." Rolfe says the residence is like "one big family," and forming a communal bubble means they can all enjoy bingo, movie nights, hockey games on TV and more socializing. However, staff members are still wearing masks and keeping a two-metre distance from residents, whenever possible. "They're doing fine," Rolfe said. "They're happy with the dog, of course, but they're also happy we've moved in and they feel loved." The move meant big sacrifices for some people, including patient attendant Angèle Trudel, who has a partner and five children at home. But Trudel said her family was understanding and supported her decision. "We do some FaceTime," she said. "It's not the same as being all together but it's good." And Trudel brought Snow White with her, who enjoys rides around the home on seniors' walkers. Rolfe said the staff and their families understand the importance of what they're doing by moving into the residence. She said thankfully there aren't many COVID-19 cases in Stanstead but in the small town, even one case in the residence could be disastrous. "We got all the support from the families that they will not come in while we're doing this," she said. "They'll FaceTime or call, but they won't come in. So this way we're in our own little bubble and the residents can get out of their rooms, not just four walls." It's the second time the staff at Manoir Stanstead has moved in. "We learned a lot from the last time, so it's going really well this time," Rolfe said. She said she's trying to keep life and routine as normal as possible for the residents and staff, including giving employees privacy in their own rooms when they're off the clock. Rolfe says the staff will move out Feb. 8, regardless of whether the province extends its current restrictions. By Jan. 23, all of the patient attendants at Manoir Stanstead will have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
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LONDON — A major British doctors' group is says the U.K. government should “urgently review” it's decision to give people a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine up to 12 weeks after the first, rather than the shorter gap recommended by the manufacturer and the World Health Organization. The U.K., which has Europe’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, adopted the policy in order to give as many people as possible a first dose of vaccine quickly. So far almost 5.5 million people have received a shot of either a vaccine made by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech or one developed by U.K.-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University. AstraZeneca has said it believes a first dose of its vaccine offers protection after 12 weeks, but Pfizer says it has not tested the efficacy of its jab after such a long gap. The British Medical Association on Saturday urged England’s chief medical officer to “urgently review the U.K.’s current position of second doses after 12 weeks.” In a statement, the association said there was “growing concern from the medical profession regarding the delay of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as Britain's strategy has become increasingly isolated from many other countries.” “No other nation has adopted the U.K.‘s approach,” Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the BMA council, told the BBC. He said the WHO had recommended that the second Pfizer vaccine shot could be given up to six weeks after the first but only “in exceptional circumstances.” “I do understand the trade-off and the rationale, but if that was the right thing to do then we would see other nations following suit,” Nagpaul said. Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, defended the decision as “a reasonable scientific balance on the basis of both supply and also protecting the most people.” Researchers in Britain have begun collecting blood samples from newly vaccinated people in order to study how many antibodies they are producing at different intervals, from 3 weeks to 24 months, to get an answer to the question of what timing is best for the shots. The doctors’ concerns came a day after government medical advisers said there was evidence that a new variant of the virus first identified in southeast England carries a greater risk of death than the original strain. Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said Friday “that there is evidence that there is an increased risk for those who have the new variant,” which is also more transmissible than the original virus. He said the new strain might be about 30% more deadly, but stressed that “the evidence is not yet strong” and more research is needed. Research by British scientists advising the government said although initial analyses suggested that the strain did not cause more severe disease, several more recent ones suggest it might. However, the number of deaths is relatively small, and fatality rates are affected by many things, including the care that patients get and their age and health, beyond having COVID-19. Britain has recorded 95,981 deaths among people who tested positive, the highest confirmed virus toll in Europe. The U.K. is in a lockdown to try to slow the latest surge of the virus, and the government says an end to the restrictions will not come soon. Pubs, restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues and many shops are closed, and people are required to stay largely at home. The British government is considering tightening quarantine requirements for people arriving from abroad. Already travellers must self-isolate for 10 days, but enforcement is patchy. Authorities are considering requiring arrivals to stay in quarantine hotels, a practice adopted in other countries, including Australia. “We may need to go further to protect our borders,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday. ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Saturday the kingdom was optimistic that it would have "excellent relations" with the new U.S. administration of President Joe Biden and that it would continue to talk with Washington regarding the Iran nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia has built solid, historical relations where it worked with different administrations.
The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie issued a decree concerning Ontario’s state of emergency last week, detailing how the Catholic church is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Bishop Thomas Dowd consulted with three regional public health agencies as well as the church’s College of Consultors, chairs of the diocese’s pastoral regions, and bishops of neighbouring dioceses before writing the decree. Mass services in all churches of the diocese are closed to the public until Feb. 11, but priests are encouraged to celebrate mass for broadcast from within their church, whether online or via FM radio. “I think it’s important for people to see that the building may be closed, but the church is still open. The community is still open, and we are still here to serve,” said Dowd. Many priests in the diocese have already developed online services, he added, and if a church has an FM broadcast system, parishioners are allowed to attend mass from their cars in the parking lot. “It’s a creative way for people to come together. They remain in their cars, and have no contact with each other, so there’s no danger of an infectious event,” he said. “That would allow the services in the church, such as the priest’s sermon, and people would be able to be there and tune in.” Priests who are broadcasting services, whether online or over radio, may be assisted by a small team of people in the organization of the mass as long as the total number of people remains below ten and all public health protocols are respected. All pastors of parishes still have an obligation to celebrate pro populo mass on Sunday. “For all other masses with a scheduled mass intention, the person who requested the mass should be contacted to see if they would prefer to reschedule the mass for that intention,” said the decree. “If the person cannot be contacted or they wish to continue to have it on that day (for example, because it is a special anniversary of the death of a loved one) the mass should still be celebrated, albeit privately.” Other worship services, like celebrations of baptism, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage, blessings and funeral services, are still permitted provided that the limit of ten people is respected along with other health protocols. “Just as there are some exceptions to the law, for us, there are also exceptional circumstances. If someone is ill, for example, and they would like to receive the anointing or what some call last rights, that strikes me as very important,” said Dowd. “By nature, some of the services we’re allowed to do, don’t gather big groups of people, and it is possible to do them in a limited number.” Dowd also included in the decree that the “pastoral care of the people of our diocese must continue despite the stay-at-home order.” Parishes are “exhorted” to continue providing pastoral counselling, catechism, times of fellowship and faith sharing, pastoral visits and outreach, and opportunities to pray together. It’s also important for parishes to “examine their means of communicating with their parishioners (phone lists, email lists, websites) and make sure they are maintained and efficient. “This is not just about providing religious rites. It’s about being in contact and checking on people, paying attention when people are suffering or in particular need,” said Dowd. “There’s physical health – that is protecting ourselves from the virus. There’s mental and emotional health – that’s our connection with people. And there’s our spiritual health. “You know, a lot of people are asking themselves the big questions – like what is the meaning of life and all of this? I don’t expect public health authorities to tackle that one. That’s us.” Faith, he added, is especially important during unprecedented times like these. “I don’t want us to say, oh, we’re closed, so let’s just kind of give up. No – we have to keep up the fight. We’ve got to beat this thing,” he said. “In the future, I hope to write a pastoral letter for our people and make some suggestions about how we can be a part of the solution. How can we continue, not just to practise our faith for ourselves, but to be protagonists in beating this virus?” Dowd, who recently took over the role of Bishop in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, moved to Northern Ontario from Montreal. He served as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Montreal from 2011-2020. While he was there, he took part in creating an online outreach program to help those struggling with mental health questions in the context of the pandemic, and he hopes to continue working to support parishioners in Northern Ontario. He was sit in on a conference call with religious leaders across Canada and federal public health authorities as part of that work. “Speaking personally, I hate this virus. One of my best friends, his father died of COVID-19. I had to do the saddest funeral because almost nobody could be there. This was early on in the pandemic,” he said. “Another one of my friends, her 30-year-old brother, wound up intubated in the hospital for weeks. It’s not just older people – anybody can catch it. Thankfully, he’s better but he’s still suffering health problems. My own brother died last summer, and we had to have a drive-through service.” He understands how tough lockdowns can be, but he also understands the dangers of the virus. “This decree is really our attempt to be good citizens and to respond to the needs of our time. I think this is what Jesus would want us to do.” Instructions on the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday are forthcoming. The decree took effect as of Jan. 16, 2021. Anyone with questions about its implementation is encouraged to contact the Chancellor of the diocese, Father Jean Vézina. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Humane Canada has been seeing a growth in farm sanctuaries across the country — and an operation run by Brandy and Ryan Mooney and their family just west of Montague, P.E.I. is one of the latest. The Mooneys bought an old farm last year, moving to the Island from Ontario to fulfil their dream of setting up a small sanctuary for unwanted farm animals to live out their lives. So far their Valleyfield Farm Sanctuary has a flock of more than 50 chickens, domestic ducks, a couple of goats, four pigs and three steers. They accept animals from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as well as P.E.I. "Not that we shame others, but our way of life is plant-based, so we try to save as many lives as we can," Brandy Mooney says. "There's no reason in today's world that you need to eat animals. There's so many options as a vegetarian or vegan where you don't need that any longer." To save them from someone's stockpot, we took them in. — Brandy Mooney Mooney said they didn't always feel this way — she grew up on a poultry farm and her husband on a beef farm, and helped care for the animals. But after growing up and raising their own family, they gradually changed their minds and their diets. "We all decided enough was enough," she said. 'We took them in' To support the farm and the family, Mooney's husband Ryan works as a service technician at a local garage. Back in Ontario, Brandy worked as a nurse and as an office administrator, but now she works on the farm full-time. She said the family has chosen to do without a lot of life's luxuries like newer cars, a fancy house and brand-name clothing to be able to afford feed, shelter and veterinary care for the animals. The sanctuary also solicits donations online, and sells branded T-shirts. "A lot of animals that do come do need vet care immediately," she said, citing "bad situations" that left them injured or underweight. Some of the poultry came from backyard chicken farmers who tried the trend during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided it wasn't for them, or discovered they were contravening municipal bylaws, she said. They have 40 hens and a "bachelor flock" of about 15 roosters — often rejected because they're loud — as well as about 30 ducks, some of which people tried to keep in apartments (like in the TV show Friends). The hens do lay eggs, Mooney said, but the family doesn't eat them or profit from them — they feed them back to the chickens. "We have two 11-year-old chickens right now," she said. "We do have some some elder girls that stopped laying and in order to save them from someone's stockpot, we took them in." Animals come from variety of sources A couple of goats were given to them by the family of a man who died, she said, and their two commercial pigs came from the SPCA in New Brunswick, where they were found running down Main Street in Saint John this summer. They found a Jersey calf advertised for sale on Kijiji, she said. Others have been donated by like-minded people who have purchased them at livestock auctions in the Maritimes. They also periodically receive rabbits, cats and dogs, Mooney said. Sometimes they are left at the farm, while other times people ask them to take them because their housing situation has changed. The family has rehomed some to what Mooney considers good homes, and has also kept some of the cats — Ryan especially falls in love with the cats and finds it hard to give them up, he said. The Mooneys have decided the sanctuary is at capacity and are not accepting more animals until they can build more shelter, run electricity where they need it and fence more pasture, which they are planning for this coming spring. The couple's three children help out on the farm, and Brandy Mooney's brother and his wife also live there and help out. 'This is our form of activism' The Mooneys said they think the way most farm animals are treated, especially on P.E.I., is excellent, and they realize farmers care for the livestock. "I give all the farmers so much credit here," Brandy Mooney said. "Especially dairy cows are treated like gold here… it's just the end result sucks. "It's not that they're not taken care of while they're alive; it's just we don't need to eat them." We have certainly seen a growth in farm sanctuaries across Canada and this indicates to us a needed and welcome shift in the way Canadians view farmed animals. — Darcy Boucher, Humane Canada She said response from neighbouring farmers to their operation has been positive — she has become friends with some, and one even helped her when her calf was sick in the middle of the night. They said they don't plan to take their activism any further than peacefully taking in animals. "Having a sanctuary, this is our form of activism," Mooney said, stressing they don't want to make "too many waves." They don't believe they can change the agri-food system — they just want to change their place in it. "If we can only save, say, one animal, well that's one life. We've been blessed so far to be able to save 100 lives." 'It can become overwhelming very quickly' The P.E.I. Humane Society looks after pets including cats and dogs and is not mandated to care for farm animals. Spokesperson Jennifer Harkness urges this sanctuary and people looking to set up others to proceed with caution. "You have to think long and hard about capacity to care and your financial capacity. It's very hard to run an animal welfare organization. "It can become overwhelming very quickly." Their parent organization, Ottawa-based Humane Canada, says it has seen an increase in the number of farm sanctuaries. "We have certainly seen a growth in farm sanctuaries across Canada and this indicates to us a needed and welcome shift in the way Canadians view farmed animals. They are no longer just a food commodity; Canadians are recognizing them as sentient beings with complex lives deserving of love, compassion, and sanctuary," Humane Canada's marketing and communications manager Darcy Boucher said via email. The P.E.I. government does not have a separate set of rules for animal sanctuaries — they must follow the Animal Welfare Act, the same as all farms and pet owners. And they should have a premises identification number, required in regulations of P.E.I.'s Animal Health Act. (The Mooneys do.) There are no inspections of sanctuaries, but the province will send an animal protection officer to investigate if there are complaints of an animal in distress. The P.E.I. Department of Agriculture is currently surveying Islanders about their knowledge about animal welfare, even though they say they are still proud of the relatively new 2017 Animal Welfare Act. A spokesperson said via email the province "is interested to learn Islanders' perspective related to reporting animal welfare concerns and laws in P.E.I. This survey allows us to see if the act and our animal welfare work are meeting the public's expectations." 'We stand by our livestock sector' The P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture's executive director Robert Godfrey said the federation represents the sanctuary since it is a farm, along with all the other more traditional operations. "Everybody's entitled to their beliefs," Godfrey said. "We respect their point of view." But it also represents the livestock sector, and Godfrey responded this way to the fact that the sanctuary says it "rescues" farm animals: "We believe the farmers of this province are exemplary when it comes to their livestock. We stand by our livestock sector… our farmers are world class and respect the welfare of their animals." He noted there is a strong local demand for the eggs, meat, and dairy products that Island farms produce, and they are held to high standards. He noted it is extremely rare for farms to face complaints under the P.E.I. Animal Welfare Act. There are a few other animal sanctuaries on P.E.I. including several run by Buddhist monks, but most of them cater to horses, and are often at capacity. The Mooneys are seeking non-profit status for the sanctuary and they hope to eventually receive charitable status so they can issue tax receipts for donations they receive. More from CBC P.E.I.
What began as a side project for Canadian journalist Daniel Dale soon ballooned into a full-time job, as he fact-checked U.S. President Donald Trump — often in real time — and Trump's near-daily spreading of misinformation. Now, with Trump's four-year term over, Dale reflects on some of Trump's most damaging and befuddling lies. Dale went to Washington to cover analytical and human interest stories for the Toronto Star, where he was the paper's bureau chief for four years. He began fact-checking Trump as a side project. The president, he soon found, provided ample material to work with. "It turned out that the president lied so frequently that it could be a full-time thing," said Dale, speaking with CBC's Leigh Anne Power. "And that's what it became for me." Dale, who moved to CNN in 2019, was often sought out for what was true — and more often what wasn't — in Trump's tweets, speeches, remarks and news conferences. Dale now has more than 1.2 million followers on Twitter. The volume and frequency of Trump's tweets created a demanding schedule, said Dale, and fact-checking the president soon became a kind of lifestyle. "He would lie from sometimes 6 a.m. when he would get on Twitter, to just about midnight where he would stop tweeting," said Dale. "You could be watching a game, or watching a movie, or out at a park or something and just have to jump because the president had said something wildly untrue and your editor is calling." 'Ridiculous' and 'unique' Like other social media companies, Twitter suspended Trump's account indefinitely over his role in this month's violent riot at the Capitol. Through the months, Trump's tweets often veered from the potentially violent to the outright bizarre. While Dale says that all politicians lie or bend the truth in order to win elections or play-up their personal accomplishments, Trump would often claim outlandish and easily verifiable facts about himself. "He claimed that he was once named 'Michigan Man of The Year', even though he never lived in Michigan," Dale said. "There's no reason he would've gotten this award, he did not get this award, but he kept saying it." Another of Trump's lies which stood out was a claim that he had been called by the leader of the Boy Scouts of America, and was told that he had given the greatest ever speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree event. The Boy Scouts of America confirmed to Dale that had never happened. "He made that up, the White House later admitted it," said Dale. "So a president who lies about the Boy Scouts is a pretty unique president." Dangerous tweeting Though Trump's time in office yielded many remarkable claims and fabrications, the more serious of his lies, said Dale, were the ones which put American institutions and lives at risk. "The lies that he won the election, that it was rife with fraud, Joe Biden stole it, or it was rigged— all that. I think we've seen the serious damage to democracy," he told CBC's Newfoundland Morning. In addition to allegations of election fraud, Dale said that the most damaging day-to-day implications of Trump's lying were the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to Newfoundland Morning's interview with Daniel Dale, beginning at 9:30: "[Saying] things were under control and it wasn't that bad, and it was just like the flu," Dale said, "that kind of family of lies I think very likely resulted in a lot of Americans dying, because people didn't change their behaviour in a way they would have if the president had been more honest with them." While some fact-checking might have been as simple as a Google search, others required him to track down obscure characters, and dig into archives or statistical databases. As for what it takes to be a good fact-checker, Dale pointed to a willingness to wade into the weeds to find the truth is imperative. "I would say you have to have stamina. You have to take a breath and second guess yourself, make sure that you are not misunderstanding what's said, and you're not tweeting prematurely before you've listened to all the facts," said Dale. "I think you have to be willing to go the extra mile in pursuing the truth." And while the Trump era has ended, Dale's zeal for checking the facts has not. On Friday, he reported on a false claim by President Joe Biden. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Despite the curfew, frigid temperatures and available shelter space, many of Montreal's homeless prefer the freedom of sleeping outdoors and one Montreal organization wants to keep those who prefer the outside safe from the elements. CARE Montreal, a homeless advocacy organization, is offering 20 bivouac shelters made out of foam insulation with reflective foil to those in need, as part of a pilot project. The shelters are designed to keep people warm by trapping body heat. "Our thinking was, why don't we bring the shelter to them instead of asking them to come to the shelter," said Michel Monette, the founder and director of the organization which is based in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The insulated, waterproof shelters are cylindrical, about two-metres long and come in one- or two-person models that can get up to 20 C warmer than outdoors. "What we know is shelters are not for everyone," said Monette. "They might have had some problems in shelters before and they might not understand the rules, or can't follow them." Monette hopes these portable shelters can be a safer option for people who want to avoid shelters. "It's a very very soft foam and it's insulated and the person inside can be easily protected from the weather," Monette said, noting there is some ventilation to allow for airflow. So far, one homeless person has tested out the shelter and complained of a few flaws but Monette is working with the shelter's designer to make some improvements. The bottom line is, Monette doesn't want to see people sleeping out in the cold. He said he has worked out a deal with Montreal police. He said the SPVM has agreed to not ticket people sleeping in the shelters for violating curfew. When asked to confirm this arrangement, an SPVM spokesperson directed questions to the Centre de contrôle des mesures d'urgence. That centre directed CBC's questions to Montreal public relations. A spokesperson for Montreal directed all questions to the SPVM and the SPVM has not yet responded to a second request for comment. Monette said the main goal is to save lives as temperatures can drop to deadly levels in the winter. "People are still outside, who sleep outside, and it's very sad," he said. "This is what we don't want."
OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it difficult to use secret intelligence in Canada's courts, says the government representative in the upper chamber. Sen. Marc Gold says "a fresh look" at the vexing issue would help highlight possible solutions that could make terrorism and espionage cases unfold more smoothly. "This is not an issue that's going to go away," Gold said in an interview. "There are reasons we are where we are." A former high-ranking U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation official recently spoke out about how the challenges caused delay and frustration in putting handcuffs on Jeffrey Delisle, a Canadian navy officer who was selling secrets to the Russians. Frank Figliuzzi, who was the FBI's head of counter-intelligence, said it fell to him to tell the RCMP about Delisle's betrayal even though the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had been monitoring the sub-lieutenant. CSIS, acting on legal advice, opted to keep its investigation sealed for fear of exposing sources and methods of the intelligence trade in open court. The Liberal government has acknowledged that federal agencies face challenges when attempting to use intelligence in a form that is admissible as evidence. Shortly before being appointed government representative in the Senate, Gold, a constitutional law expert, proposed that a committee delve into the subject. "The fear that sensitive information may ultimately be disclosed may lead our intelligence agencies to decide not to share it with law enforcement, with a corresponding and very real risk to public safety," he told the Senate. "And lest you think this is merely a hypothetical example, you may remember that CSIS chose not to share with the RCMP information it had in the period leading up to the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, which killed 329 people aboard." This "dilemma or conundrum" has led to "very complicated provisions" governing disclosure of evidence, including parallel proceedings in which designated judges of the Federal Court wrestle with the issues while a trial takes place in a different court, Gold noted. It can also mean the use of closed hearings where the affected party — often someone facing criminal charges — is not privy to the intelligence information, as well as the use of amicus curiae, or friends of the court, in certain legal proceedings or security-cleared special advocates in other cases, he said. "These mechanisms have their proponents and their critics, but all stakeholders tend to agree that the intelligence-to-evidence issue has potentially serious impacts on criminal prosecutions for terrorism, administrative proceedings regarding immigration, and on national security and public safety itself." Gold's motion evaporated when Parliament was prorogued last year, but he said in the interview he remains hopeful the Senate national security and defence committee will do a study. "I continue to believe that the issue is one that should be looked at in a serious and comprehensive and non-partisan way." A committee examination would also cast a light on a shadowy topic many know little about, which could help build public support for police and security agencies — something that is critical if they are going to protect Canadians and "the values that define us," Gold said. CSIS, the RCMP and the Department of Justice are working to improve their collaborative approach, Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, said recently. Briefing materials prepared for Blair in late 2019 said work on the question had found that the legal framework was largely sound and that a drastic legislative overhaul to mandates or machinery was not needed. The way forward, instead, consisted of "significant operational reform" at key agencies, complemented by targeted policy and legislative measures. The changes could also involve "significant budgetary considerations," including money for new personnel and advanced information-technology systems, the notes said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
A naked Florida man stole what news footage showed to be a marked police vehicle and crashed it in a wooded area, officials said. Joshua Shenker, 22, was arrested after Thursday's crash on charges including theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of communication or protection and resisting an officer without violence, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report. Officers responded to reports of a naked man running along Interstate 10 in western Jacksonville shortly before noon Thursday. Shenker was lying in the the roadway when an officer stopped on the opposite side of the route, the report said. Shenker then ran across the highway lanes toward the officer, officials said. The redacted report didn't say how Shenker stole the vehicle. Authorities confirmed only that a vehicle belonging to the City of Jacksonville was stolen. First Coast News footage of the scene showed the crashed vehicle to be a marked patrol car. According to the police report, about $10,000 worth of damage was done to the vehicle. Officers noticed Shenker had road rash after the crash and he was taken to a hospital to be checked out, authorities said. Shenker was being held on $4,011 bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney for him. The Associated Press
Germaine McLaughlin's 90th birthday celebration wasn't typical. The pandemic meant there was no opportunity for a large party, but McLaughlin's daughter Cathy Arndt had an idea. She posted on social media asking for people to send Germaine — or "Gerry" — cards. Because of the post, the 90-year-old spent almost all day on Jan. 20 opening cards and receiving flowers from family, friends and complete strangers. "I never thought I'd reach the age of 90 really," McLaughlin said from her home in Weyburn, Sask. "It's quite nice to be acknowledged and just know that somebody's thinking about you," she said. "I'm pretty happy about this … pretty surprised." Arndt said she wasn't expecting to get that much for her mother's birthday, then people started sharing the post, including people outside of Saskatchewan. "Boy, the cards just started coming in," Arndt said. "And every day there was 10 or more cards coming in the mail." "The final count is 91 but it sounds like there's many more on their way to my mom." Cards came in from across Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and one from Germany. "It was overwhelming," Arndt said. "So much love." Arndt said people may have gotten on board because it gave them something positive to dwell on. "With hearing of so many deaths with COVID, it's just such a positive thing to think about." "We have to make the best of everything nowadays. We could be down and out about it all. But really, you have to look at the silver lining and the goodness in the world." Arndt said people shouldn't underestimate the kindness out there in the country. McLaughlin said on her special day she's feeling the love. "Thank you for everything," McLaughlin said. "And for my good wishes."
Veterinary technicians have one of the most wonderful jobs imaginable. Their days are filled with visits from people with dogs, cats, and other beautiful pets. Anyone with a love for animals would be envious of those who enjoy such an occupation. And as fun as their typical days are, a visit from a new litter of puppies like these golden retrievers makes the day even better. These vet techs at Sherbrooke Heights Animal Hospital in were thrilled to hear the the puppies from As Good As Gold breeders were coming for their checkups. Who can resist a bunch of fluffy puppies like these? The puppies are as energetic as they are adorable and keeping them all together is a feat. Their owner brought them to the clinic in a wagon that is perfect for the job. The entire clinic was overjoyed at this wagon full of cuteness and they all gushed over them through the entire visit. They all received a clean bill of health and made their way to the door to go home. The techs all gathered around to see them off!