Demi Lovato reveals she has brain damage from 2018 overdose; Man arrested in hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj's father; Luke Combs apologizes for Confederate flag imagery. (Feb. 18)
Demi Lovato reveals she has brain damage from 2018 overdose; Man arrested in hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj's father; Luke Combs apologizes for Confederate flag imagery. (Feb. 18)
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
A conservation officer who gained national attention after losing his job for refusing to kill two orphan cubs in Port Hardy in 2015 has filed a petition to get his job back. In June 2020, the BC Supreme Court of Appeal ruled the Conservation Officer Service illegally dismissed him, and nullified the action. Instead of letting him go back to work as he expected, government union organization BCGEU filed an appeal supported by B.C. government. That appeal was squashed this January by the Supreme Court of Canada, leaving the June 4 B.C. court decision in tact. “My dismissal has been overturned. I have a right to exercise the duties of my post, and a responsibility to return to work, but am being stopped. I’m not asking to be rehired, I don’t need to be reinstated. I am a conservation officer,” he told Black Press Media in an interview Wednesday (March 3). But Casavant alleges the Conservation Officer Service still has not acknowledged that his dismissal has been nullified, and has not allowed him to return to work. The petition, filed Feb. 23, gives them 21 days to respond. RELATED: Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears RELATED: Union takes former conservation officer who refused to kill 2 bears back to court RELATED: Former BC conservation officer feels vindicated after appeals court nullifies dismissal Recounting the legal history, Casavant sounds fundamentally offended that the court decision is not being acknowledged. “I need compliance with the law,” he implored. “In my experience in law enforcement and as an academic, I am not aware of any other constable being treated this way.” Other incorrect dismissals were simply reinstated, he said. Casavant was formerly a military police officer and recently earned a PhD in the history of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. It shouldn’t take a court order to get the decision makers to respond; the chief conservation officer has the power to correct the mistake, Casavant argues. Even the former Environment Minister, Mary Polak, agrees. She told Casavant recently she was never properly briefed on the file, and is now advocating with him to get the error corrected, he said. Black Press Media has not yet spoken to Polak. “This is way beyond two bear cubs at this time. I don’t have the financial resources to fight the largest union in B.C. and now on to the second administration of government. I’m starting to wonder if I should have just gone to law school, instead of getting my doctorate.” The BCGEU has not responded to requests for comment. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: email@example.com Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
TORONTO — CBS All Access will be renamed Paramount Plus on Thursday, which brings heaps of new streaming programming to its U.S. subscribers, but not Canadian customers.A representative for ViacomCBS says while American audiences will have access to a library of Paramount films on the platform, as well as TV series from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Showtime and Comedy Central, none of those options will be available north of the border.Instead, the Canadian rebrand to Paramount Plus is little more than a logo change, at least for now.Michelle Alban, vice president of communications for the Canadian market at ViacomCBS, said programming announcements are expected at an undetermined future date.It's another twist in the increasingly complex world of streaming rights for Canadian viewers.Last week, ViacomCBS executives pulled out all the stops for the revamp and rename of the U.S. streaming platform. More than 50 new productions were announced for the streaming service in the coming years. They include original series based on popular Paramount films, among them "Fatal Attraction," "Flashdance" and "The Italian Job." But whether those shows wind up on Paramount Plus in Canada is still unclear.Several years ago, leadership at ViacomCBS began selling off licensing rights to its marquee CBS All Access original series, including "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Star Trek: Picard."Those shows went to Canadian broadcaster Bell Media who first aired them on traditional TV channels before they appeared on Crave, its own streaming platform. Others were acquired by fellow streamers.That left CBS All Access with the leftovers of its own service in Canada, a handful of less memorable shows such as a remake of "The Twilight Zone" and "Why Women Kill."With its new life under the Paramount Plus brand, the streaming platform's future is still to be charted in Canada.For now, Paramount Plus will be absent of Hollywood movies and largely house older TV series, such as "Beverly Hills 90210," "Taxi," "The Brady Bunch" and "I Love Lucy," and a live feed of CBS News.A commercial-free subscription to Paramount Plus will remain at its current price of $5.99 a month in Canada.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press
The District of Taylor is taking the wheel on the North Peace Rural Roads Taskforce, drafting a memorandum of understanding for a new coalition. The taskforce was dissolved in January after the 2020 contract was completed. Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser the municipality is prepared to host a new contract during PRRD’s Feb. 11 board meeting. The MOU outlines a coalition between Taylor, Electoral Area B, and Hudson’s Hope, and has been renamed as such, replacing the taskforce. “Our council wanted to make sure there was a commitment by all of the potential participants, and so this MOU was drafted to pull together an agreement between us that would allow this to go forward,” said Fraser. “We’re hoping the regional board will endorse this MOU so we can proceed forward with this rural roads taskforce.” He added that securing funding for the taskforce has been a challenge for the PRRD. Together, the three will set new contracts and annual funding. The MOU draft estimates that each local government could contribute between $50,000 to $150,000 per year, but must reach consensus on what is being spent and how. “The North Peace Rural Roads has been doing fantastic work and has been returning to the region, as much or more as we’ve been putting into it,” said Fraser. “Our council wanted to see this proceed. Everybody was trying to figure out a way to continue this and make it work.” Hudson’s Hope Mayor Dave Heiberg says the group has always worked from the ground up, adding that its goal remains lobbying for needed road improvements. “One of the things I think that the board should realize is that this is a grassroots-driven organization,” said Heiberg. “It has gained traction, and we want to keep that momentum.” Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead says he sees the value of the trio continuing the taskforce, but is concerned with optics of the new coalition. “Shouldn’t it be the Peace River Regional District Rural Roads Taskforce? And shouldn’t it have a strategy aimed at that, on behalf of the whole region, not just one segment?” said Bumstead. “I use that as an observation, not as a criticism of the work.” Director Dan Rose pointed out that the PRRD as a whole could still be on the hook for funding, despite the MOU only including Area B. “If we agree to this as a regional district, we also agree to the funding portion of it. If for some reason it falls out of Area B, the rest of us are responsible for it,” said Rose. “Even at the width and breadth it’s at, it’s a function. And we haven’t asked anybody if they want to fund it yet.” He further added that it could be separated by a resolution through the rural budget committee. Electoral Area B Director Karen Goodings says invitations remain open. “We are certainly open to inviting other members of the board should be interested in joining us. I want to thank Taylor for stepping forward and putting together this MOU,” Goodings said. firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News
Members of the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board have ruled the Town of Paradise was correct in refusing an application by Fairview Investments in August of 2019 for a commercial plaza with a drive thru on Topsail Road. The main concern of the town, as citied in the appeal board document, was the safety of students attending a nearby school. The board found that the Town followed due process as per its Development Regulations, which require that it consult with the public and that representations received be considered by council before taking a vote on a discretionary use application. The Shoreline reached out to Fairview to inquire as to whether there were plans to submit the application for another location, but did not receive a response. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
The Paradise Warriors Minor Hockey Association may be formidable foes on the ice, but they’ve been doing plenty of good off the ice. In mid-February, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, who has become a household name during the pandemic, asked residents to consider donating to local food banks and charities, rather than sending her personal gifts. Groups, businesses, residents, and sports leagues across the province, including the Warriors, took Fitzgerald’s request to heart. The Warriors hosted a virtual fundraiser which ran from February 19 to February 28. In just that short amount of time, the association raised $5,540. “As an association, we are extremely proud of our members for being able to help out the community during this latest lockdown,” said Paradise Warriors Minor Hockey President Greg Barton. “It is a testament to how lucky we are to have so many great people involved with our association.” Barton said the virtual food drive helped meet a community need while keeping players, who are currently unable to play due to the pandemic restrictions, active in the association. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
OTTAWA — Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing anti-Semitism concerns ahead of a public conversation between NDP MP Niki Ashton and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.The heads of the Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Board of Deputies of British Jews say Corbyn is "toxic" and that the planned livestream talk between him and Ashton risks pulling New Democrats in a direction "antithetical" to Canadian values.Corbyn was booted from the British Labour party in October amid accusations he had weakened efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism.The party has been grappling with allegations anti-Semitism was allowed to fester under Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians and a critic of Israel who led the party for almost five years from 2015. Ashton has been promoting the March 20 chat, which will be hosted by Progressive International, an organization launched in 2018 by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Canadian author Naomi Klein and other progressive politicians and activists.Ashton and the NDP did not respond immediately to requests for comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021.—With a file from The Associated Press The Canadian Press
SALEM, N.H. — Police have made an arrest following a 15-month-long investigation into vandalism at a group of rock configurations in New Hampshire called “America's Stonehenge." Mark Russo, 51, of Swedesboro, New Jersey, has been charged with one count of felony criminal mischief, accused of defacing the stone in Salem in September 2019. A lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf Tuesday. Police said the rock tablet appeared to have been damaged by a power tool. It was carved with “WWG1WGA” and “IAMMARK." Police said the first stands for “Where We Go One, We Go All," a motto affiliated with the QAnon conspiracy theory. An 18-inch (45-centimetre) tall wooden cross was found suspended between two trees, and attached to the cross were several photographs and hand-drawn images. Police arrested Russo after finding images of the stone and Russo online and linking to him an “iammark" Twitter account with a reference to “a few improvements" made to the site. Images on the cross also were linked to Russo. Bail was set at $3,000 cash for Russo, who is scheduled for a hearing on April 21. An email seeking comment from Russo's lawyer was sent Tuesday. America’s Stonehenge, which features cave-like, granite enclosures, has drawn believers who say it’s 1,000 or more years old, and skeptics who say the evidence suggests it was the work of a 19th century shoemaker. The Associated Press
HALIFAX — A First Nations chief in Nova Scotia has released a letter from Ottawa outlining a plan to have Indigenous fishers participate in moderate livelihood fisheries during the commercial season. In the letter released today by Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says her department wants to give Indigenous fishers access to commercial fisheries through voluntary buyouts of existing licences. She says her department is prepared to negotiate agreements with Indigenous communities to establish "small-scale" moderate livelihood fisheries during the commercial season in the "near term." Jordan says the fisheries will operate while negotiations continue on how First Nations in Nova Scotia can affirm their treaty rights to fish for a moderate livelihood. She says any moderate livelihood fishing activity must be authorized by her office through licences issued under the Fisheries Act. Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia say a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision affirms the Mi'kmaq treaty right to fish for a "moderate livelihood'' when and where they want — even outside the federally regulated commercial fishing season. That decision was later clarified by the court, however, which said Ottawa could regulate the Mi'kmaq treaty right for conservation and other limited purposes. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says extra vaccine shipments could make it possible to vaccinate all willing Canadian adults before September. The United States has an earlier target at the end of May, but Trudeau cautions against using the U.S., with its worse record of infections and deaths, as a guide for what Canada does.
LONDON — Prince Philip is “slightly improving” and the royal family is keeping its fingers crossed for the hospitalized royal's recovery, his daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said Wednesday. Philip, 99, has been hospitalized since being admitted Feb. 16 to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday, he was transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s, to undergo further treatment alongside testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. “We heard today that he’s slightly improving. So that’s very good news," Camilla said during a visit to a coronavirus vaccination centre in London. "We’ll keep our fingers crossed.” The duchess is married to Prince Charles, eldest son of Philip and Queen Elizabeth II. Buckingham Palace said Monday that Philip was “comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’” The two-week stay is already Philip’s longest-ever stint in hospital. His illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and the queen, who is 94, received COVID-19 vaccinations in January. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — A driver has been killed and her passenger was badly hurt in a head-on crash in North Vancouver. RCMP say the collision occurred late Tuesday night on Low Level Road. Police say a vehicle with a lone male inside crossed the centre line, hitting the vehicle with the woman and her passenger. By the time emergency services arrived, the man's vehicle was on fire, although he had been removed before the fire sparked. All three were taken to hospital, where police say the female driver was declared dead, her passenger remains in critical condition and the male has serious injuries. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in the crash. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Facebook Inc will lift its temporary ban on political advertising in the United States on Thursday, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. The social media giant has had a months-long freeze on political, electoral and social ads, which it introduced as part of an effort to crack down on misinformation and abuses around the Nov. 3 elections. Facebook had temporarily lifted its ad pause in Georgia for the state's January runoff elections but put it back in place.
One of Kamloops’ most wanted, who had been on the lam for nearly a year, has been arrested in Vancouver. Robert James Rennie, 33, was arrested on Monday (March 1) by Vancouver Police officers following a traffic stop at 2:20 a.m. He was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for charges of armed robbery, assault with a weapon and forcible confinement stemming from a drug-related Valentine’s Day robbery and kidnapping in 2019. Rennie was one of three men arrested in connection with the incident. The other two men — Michael Mathieson and Justin Daniels — have since been sentenced. The robbery and kidnapping took place in the midst of a violent local gang war and involved people active in the Kamloops drug trade. In January, Mathieson, 38, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver to 6.5 years in a federal prison after being convicted of armed robbery, unlawful confinement, kidnapping with a firearm and assault. Incriminating text messages and selfie photos on a phone seized by anti-gang police officers led to his conviction. After credit for time served in pre-trial custody — 1.5 days for every day served — Mathieson has less than six years left to serve. Daniels, charged alongside Mathieson, pleaded guilty last August and was sentenced in October 2020 to 7.5 years in a federal penitentiary. The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to counts of armed robbery, kidnapping with a firearm and robbery. After being given credit for time served, he has 5.5 years left behind bars. Police stumbled upon a kidnapping in progress in the early-morning hours of Feb. 14, 2019, while monitoring a wiretap as part of a separate, ongoing investigation. The violent spree began hours earlier when a man was beaten and robbed inside a suite at the Hospitality Inn in Lower Sahali. Assailants then went to the Acadian Inn, downtown on Columbia Street, where they held a couple against their will and lured an acquaintance to the scene with the promise of money. The target arrived with his girlfriend and another man. The two men were robbed, strip-searched and hog-tied. The woman was then kidnapped and taken to the target’s home in Dallas, which was ransacked, then driven to Kelowna. In Kelowna, the kidnapped woman was handed over to a driver, to be taken back to Kamloops. On the drive from Kelowna to Kamloops, she was rescued by police during a high-risk traffic stop in Falkland. On Feb. 15, 2019, Mounties arrested Daniels at a home on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. Mathieson was arrested five days later, on Feb. 20, 2019, in a home on Brandon Avenue on the North Shore of Kamloops. Rennie was arrested during a traffic stop two days after that, on Feb. 22, 2019, in Kaleden, a small town 13 kilometres south of Penticton, along Highway 97 and on Skaha Lake. Rennie, who had obtained bail following his arrest, fled from a halfway house in April 2020 and had been on the run since, having failed to show up for his trial last September. He remains in custody, with his next court appearance scheduled for March 11. Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week
The Healthy School Foods Program has adjusted its menu this term to offer items more familiar to Island students. “Some families loved the old menu,” said Katelyn McLean, the registered dietitian who has been leading the program. “But maybe the menu items were a bit too unfamiliar, especially in rural areas.” As a food literacy initiative, last semester’s pay-what-you-can lunch menu included items intended to introduce students to new ingredients and foods such as butter chicken, hummus or taco bowls. Some of the lesser known items discouraged some students from ordering the meals rather than trying new foods, according to Ms MacLean. Through talking with parents and students, she has witnessed, the definition of familiar food varies greatly in the province. “When we were developing the new menu and asking some students what they thought, we tried chili with a roll. One of the students had never heard of chili before. This student was in Grade 6.” Ms MacLean explained that the menu will continue to offer foods that are new to some. Providing hot, healthy foods daily even if they are familiar is still a component of food literacy. The pay-what-you-can model continues to ensure equitable access to healthy food for all students. This may be even more crucial as families deal with economic fallout from the pandemic. Ms MacLean didn’t have specific numbers but families paying the full price of $5 for a meal is less than projected. “There are a lot of factors going into that. One being we launched this program in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. Overall the program has been well received. Local vendors had served more than 235,000 meals to Island students by the program’s 24th week running in February. Jayme Brown, Marlee Howlett and Lauren Howlett, Grade 7 students at Souris Regional School have all tried the lunches. They say the program is something that should definitely continue. “It’s great to have a reasonable price for lunches that are good quality,” said Marlee who knows not everyone in her school can afford a cafeteria meal every day. “Some of it is amazing; for the most part it is really good,” Lauren said. Occasionally Lauren has skipped items that didn’t personally appeal to her. “There was a stir-fry I just wouldn’t eat,” she said. The group, however, loves items such as pulled pork and potatoes or spaghetti. They all noted the menu appears to have improved over time. Ms MacLean said that could be attributed to vendors getting used to the flow of things or to the work necessary to come up with a new menu and with Canada’s Smartest Kitchen. Canada’s Smartest Kitchen helped Ms MacLean and her team to thoroughly review what students would like and helped to refine recipe instructions right down to the weights of each ingredient. Jack Kristinsin is in Grade 3 at Souris Regional. After finishing a meal he approved of (carrots, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy) he said he likes the lunches most of the time because he gets a nice hot meal rather than a sandwich that gets “squished” in his lunch box. Just as his peers said, Jack doesn’t like all of the meals. Chloe LaBrech, in Grade 12, says she likes the convenience of pre-ordering online. She doesn’t have to rush in the morning to make a lunch and cafeteria food can be expensive. Ms MacLean sees improving food literacy and maximizing the program’s potential as a marathon of work rather than a sprint. “It’s something that will evolve.” Ms MacLean looks forward to reviewing Island schools’ curriculum and identifying gaps that could be filled. Right now Food Literacy items are learned in science, health, home economics and cooking classes. “I think we’ve already done a good job of incorporating nutrition information and the Canada Food Guide information into the curriculum,” she said. Other areas of Food Literacy could likely use some attention, Ms MacLean said. “Where does our food come from, how do you grow it? How do you prepare it? How does a potato get from the ground to our plate?” She expects Island students could gain a better understanding of answers to these questions. Right now various local food vendors make and deliver the hot meals to most Island schools. However a non-profit has been developed and its board is looking to hire and organize staff to prepare and deliver the meals possibly by September. Ms MacLean said a variety of models may work in tandem next year. Some vendors may continue to provide the meals alongside the non-profits. Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is sharing a quarantine cell in central Russia, allies said on Wednesday, revealing his location for the first time since he was moved from jail in Moscow last week to serve a 2-1/2 year sentence in a penal colony. The whereabouts of Navalny, 44, had been a mystery since he left jail in Moscow. His lawyer Vadim Kobzev told Reuters he had met Navalny at the Kolchugino jail in the Vladimir region northeast of Moscow.
An investigation is underway after a woman died and a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a head-on crash in North Vancouver last night. The two-car collision, which police believe involved a drunk driver, happened just before midnight Tuesday (March 2) at Low Level Road, west of the Neptune Cargill Overpass. Sgt. Peter DeVries, spokesman for North Vancouver RCMP, said officers received a call just after 11 p.m. from BC Emergency Health Services alerting them to the crash. He said RCMP officers arrived to what appeared to be a head-on collision and District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services were on scene extinguishing a fire that had started up in one of the vehicles. A woman and a man were travelling together eastbound in one vehicle when a westbound vehicle, an Audi, driven by a man, appears to have crossed the centre line, according to DeVries. He said the details of how the crash occurred were still being determined. “Unfortunately, the female died as a result of the collision and she was initially brought to a local hospital [Lions Gate Hospital], but she was soon after pronounced dead,” he said. “The male occupant in the same vehicle was brought to VGH for serious injuries and remains in critical condition. We're not sure at this point whether or not the person will survive.” DeVries said the male who was driving the Audi was taken to LGH with serious but non-life threatening injuries. He said the driver of the Audi is now being investigated for dangerous driving and refusal to provide a breath sample. “It looks like this is going to be an impaired driving investigation,” DeVries said. “We do believe alcohol was involved, but we're still in the very early stages of the investigation. "As the investigation continues, officers will work to uncover all available evidence pointing to the cause of this collision." DeVries said it had been "a very sad morning." "We know that this woman’s family and friends are grieving today, that in the coming days and weeks, they will be faced with the difficult task of coping with a tragic loss," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them." Low Level Road was closed this morning (March 3) between East 3rd Street and St. Andrews Avenue due to the police investigation, but has since reopened. Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News
Jasper is another step closer to seeing the Connaught Drive Affordable Apartments become reality following a decision by municipal council at their March 2 regular meeting. Council approved installation of utility services to the GC, GB and GA parcels in 2021 in conjunction with the construction of a 40-unit apartment building, a modular construction containing 32 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom suites. The project represents the first phase for lands identified to host new affordable housing in the community. Council also directed administration to develop the borrowing bylaws required to fund Connaught site utility services, to a maximum of $3.647 million and present them at a future regular council meeting. Administration will also allocate $350,250 in the 2021 budget for upfront project costs for the Connaught Drive Affordable Apartments, subject to approval of a Rapid Housing Initiative grant applied for by the Jasper Community Housing Corporation. At the start of council’s discussion, Coun. Bert Journault said he was opposed to spending the money to extend the services to parcel GA, noting that it was unfair to saddle the taxpayer with the costs. “But I certainly support the proposal for the development of that area,” Journault said. “That’s a late property. It will provide our community with a lot of houses.” Deputy mayor Helen Kelleher-Empey noted all the work should be done simultaneously as the area had many residents and two hotels. “I know it’s a lot of money up front but if we’re going to tear up the west end of Connaught I think we should do the work all at once,” Kelleher-Empey said. “Let’s do the work. Let’s get it done and safe (for) the residents and the businesses on that end of town, to not be doing this piece by piece. Do it at once. It saves money in the end.” Coun. Paul Butler agreed with Journeault initially, while Coun. Jenna McGrath pointed out that administration said parcel GA is important for technical reasons. Chief administrative officer Bill Given said the recommendation is built on the requirement to reduce and eliminate the risk of water stagnation via a dead ending, which would make installing utilities for just sites GB and GC more challenging and costly if not impossible. He also noted an additional challenge is about firefighting capacity. “In order to maintain the appropriate volume of water required for fire flows for the hydrants and for high density housing, as is likely on GB and GC parcels, we need to have a high volume of water coming into the sites,” Given said. “This is not about encouraging or supporting development on GA. It is about maintaining appropriate fire flows.” A table showed that servicing just parcel GC would total about $1,840,434, while servicing all three sites at the same time would cost an additional $1,806,666 for a total of $3,647,100. In contrast, if a phased approach is taken, additional incremental costs of $211,100 would be required. By servicing all three parcels at once, $211,000 would be saved and there would be support for private sector interest in near term development on parcel GB. As well, disruption would be minimized to Connaught Drive. The annual debt servicing costs on a $1.8-million debenture over a 25-year term are about $97,500 and about $195,000 on a $3.6-million debenture over a 25-year term. Wastewater Treatment Plant Council directed administration to enter into contract negotiation with Aquatera Utilities Inc. for a 10-year operating contract of the Jasper Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Since Jan. 27, 2020, the WWTP has been operated by a contracted service provider (EPCOR) under a one-year service agreement. The agreement was extended until June 30, 2021 to complete the RFP process and ensure an orderly transition. A standard services agreement (SSA) was included in the RFP to help proponents refine their services proposals while mitigating the risk of misunderstanding and disagreement during final contract negotiation. “This is a substantial contract,” said Mayor Richard Ireland. The SSA contract will be negotiated and ratified by council and utility rates will need to be adjusted annually. Administration doesn’t anticipate an increase of utility rates for the 2021 year. Canada Healthy Communities Initiative Council carried a motion to approve the submission of an application to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative for up to $250,000 for improvements to public spaces within the townsite. The improvements include a streetscape plan, sidewalk improvements, planters, benches, wayfinding improvements and a patio grant. Applications must be submitted by March 9. Review committees will start meeting to make decisions on March 10 and all applicants will receive results by April 30. Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
SAN DIEGO — Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison for multiple rapes and other sexual offences against five women in Southern California, including one who was homeless when he attacked her in 2018. The 37-year-old son of San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame receiver Kellen Winslow appeared via videoconference at the hearing in San Diego Superior Court in Vista, a city north of San Diego. He declined to comment before his sentence, saying his lawyers had advised him not to speak. San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman said Winslow can only be described with “two words and that is sexual predator." He said he selected women who were vulnerable because of their age or their living situation with the idea that “hopefully he would get away with it in his mind." Winslow was once the highest-paid tight end in the league, earning more than $40 million over his 10 seasons before he left in 2013. He was convicted of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person, assault with intent to commit rape, indecent exposure, and lewd conduct in public. The forcible rape involved a woman who was homeless in his home town of Encinitas, a beach community north of San Diego. The 14-year-sentence was the maximum allowed under a plea deal. Julie Watson, The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy's office and a political blogger have agreed to settle a lawsuit over access to Dunleavy's news conferences. Under terms of the agreement, the governor's office agreed to pay $65,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. Jeff Landfield, who owns The Alaska Landmine website, said his attorneys will receive the full amount. Landfield sued in December, alleging he was improperly excluded from Dunleavy media events. Settlement terms were disclosed Tuesday along with a filing by state attorneys seeking to dismiss the case, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The dismissal request also was signed by an attorney for Landfield. Under the agreement, Landfield would get “the same access” at gubernatorial press conferences as other members of the media. There was no admission of liability or wrongdoing, and Dunleavy's office and Landfield will work to "issue a joint public statement regarding the amicable nature of this settlement.” U.S. District Court Judge Joshua Kindred in January granted an injunction requiring Dunleavy to invite Landfield to news conferences. The state appealed, but the settlement would render that moot. The parties have asked Kindred to sign off on the dismissal request. Dunleavy's press office in a tweet said the matter had been "settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. We are happy to say this amicable settlement will put this dispute behind us.” The Associated Press