Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal has your national forecast for Dec 21
Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal has your national forecast for Dec 21
NORTH PERTH – Residents are being encouraged by Amy Gangl, interim manager of recreation, to have their say in the development of a community park which will replace Listowel Memorial Arena after its demolition this year. Municipal staff are working with consultants, SHIFT Landscape Architecture, to explore design options to help shape the future park space, and they are looking for input on two preliminary design options presented on Your Say North Perth. On the Memorial Arena Park design options project page at YoursayNorthPerth.ca, residents can review the designs and provide feedback through a survey until Jan. 18. “We’ve received some great input and quite a bit of engagement from the community which is fantastic news,” said Gangl. “That is one of the items council was hoping for and our consultants are already quite pleased with the… input regarding the concept of the designs.” Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
Tunisia's defence ministry said Monday that army units deployed overnight and police have quelled days-long social unrest that saw violent protests by young people in various cities across the North African country. The ministry said military units were called in on Sunday night to protect public buildings and “seats of sovereignty,” and the situation was “calm” Monday. Tunisians are angry at the state of the economy and of public services. Many feel disappointed that on the 10th anniversary of the uprising that ousted the autocratic former president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, little seems to have improved. There is also added frustration over coronavirus restrictions. The defence ministry said the army will conduct joint patrols with security forces in the regions of Siliana, Kasserine, Sousse and Bizerte, where clashes with police broke out Sunday evening for the second consecutive night. The interior ministry said authorities had made 630 arrests linked to the violence on Sunday alone. According to local media the outbreak of violence spread to other parts of the northeast, in particular Nabeul and the south, including the region of Kebili where demonstrators looted shops and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at official buildings in some places. Tunisia on Thursday commemorated the 10th anniversary since the flight into exile of iron-fisted Ben Ali, after a popular revolt that foreshadowed pro-democracy uprisings, strife and civil war in the region during what became known as the Arab Spring. But a pall of disenchantment still hangs over Tunisia, marked by extremist attacks, political infighting, a troubled economy and unfulfilled promises, including development of the interior. Despite numerous democratic elections, protests break out, especially in the central and southern regions where youth joblessness reaches 30% and the poverty level is above 20%. According to the Tunisian Forum of Economic and Social Rights, more than 1,000 demonstrations took place in November alone. Months of sit-ins paralyzed production of oil and phosphate, a key resource, for months, costing billions of dollars in lost state revenues. Bouazza Ben Bouazza, The Associated Press
WINGHAM – North Huron Food Share reported a 77 per cent increase in the need for emergency food boxes last month, compared to last year. Joyce Johnston, a board member for the agency, told Midwestern Newspapers that overall, the numbers are up 23 per cent, including more seniors and new residents. Approximately 87 new families were added to the number of clients they provide for, 2020 seeing 211 families compared to the 140 families assisted in 2019. Board member, Roxane Nicholson, said 50 families utilized the food share program when they opened their doors for the first time in 2021, up from 30 – 35 families reported in previous years. The board members want to acknowledge the community’s overwhelming support and the generosity of their landlord, Doug Kuyvenhoven, plus the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre, who are crucial for their ability to fulfill the increased needs of the community. The increasing necessity for assistance prompted Kuyvenhoven to expand the current facility, as reported by the Wingham Advance Times in Nov. 2020. The new space is now open, the extra 300 square feet help to ease the congestion. “Between the increased volume, the addition of deliveries, and our attempts to follow COVID-19 protocols, the new space will take the pressure off the congested space we were working in,” Kuyvenhoven said, adding “the new number system of calling customers in one at a time ensures that customers and volunteers are able to maintain proper physical distancing.” The food share program receives fresh food every Monday from the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre, and thanks to the new space and the recently purchased walk-in freezer, they can store, package and deliver more fresh produce along with other goods. They also share the donated items with the local Salvation Army who runs their own food distribution agency. The current needs include a request for cash gifts to fill the gap left after receiving donations. Volunteers can use the cash to purchase items at a reduced price at local grocery stores. Foodbank Canada said on their website that “providing food to those in need can be difficult at the best of times. With COVID-19, that task just got harder. Yet food banks continue to be leaders in their communities to provide food to those who live with food insecurity. “Food Banks Canada is in regular contact with the network of food banks across Canada, and already there are signs of COVID-19’s devastating impact on the food bank system: Food banks are already seeing drastic declines in the number of volunteers that can support their work in the days/weeks ahead. Food banks are concerned about the amount of stock they have access to, as a dwindling workforce means fewer pickups. Most food banks are worried about how to support themselves through this crisis and beyond financially. While the public prepares for possible impacts of COVID-19, food bank users cannot afford the same measure, leaving them more vulnerable. Food banks are adapting to these rapidly changing circumstances, but it is clear that help is needed.” To donate cash or food or apply for a hamper, contact the North Huron Food Share program at 519-357-2277 ext. 4, or visit them on their website at nhfoodshare.ca. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Abandoned houses and properties are found everywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador. They are houses with chipped paint, boats laid on the shore for the last time and old barns that have been beaten down by the elements. Sometimes, families just left these places and never came back. Other properties fall into disrepair because owners aren’t quite sure what to do with them. Regardless of how they were left, these objects are living history and lend themselves to the story of the people who lived there. Photographer Cory Babstock has documented many of the abandoned structures and objects in his home of Clarenville and the surrounding area. He even produced a small book made up of images of houses left behind, called "Unsettled." “It is important to me. … I’m all about preserving what I can for my kids so that they know we didn’t always live in these bungalows, clumped together in orderly fashion,” he said. That idea of preserving history is part of the reason Babstock takes such pride in photographing the buildings and objects that are left behind. The photos he takes are a historical record of the people and the places where they lived. Last fall, what was left of the Mary Ruth, a sailing vessel built in 1918, had disappeared from its usual spot in Southport. An old home in Open Hall-Red Cliffe that Babstock had photographed frequently has blown down in recent years. Someday, others will be lost to time and there won’t be any record they were ever there. “There is a whole other story, and somebody has to document them," said Babstock. “Sometimes families aren’t able to.” Joe Woods started the Abandoned and Historic Newfoundland and Labrador Facebook group in 2016. He did so to showcase the many such structures across the province to a wide audience. It allowed photographers and those interested in those buildings to interact while sharing their experiences and their work. The group has about 20,000 members and there are several posts daily. “I love finding new places to explore, and Newfoundland and Labrador is endless with them,” Woods said in a social media conversation. In the group, there are pictures of ancient graveyards, abandoned barns, empty storefronts and the skeletons of wooden boats. Often, the interactions inspire others to seek out the images they find in the group, while adding their own. When a new picture is posted, the comment section will sometimes spiral into a cross-section of a person’s connection to the object in the photo, people marvelling at the photo and others who seek to add that object to their photo bucket list. After a quick scroll through the comments, it becomes swiftly evident that these callbacks to an earlier time strike a nerve with people. “One day photographs will be all we have to remember they even stood one time,” said Woods. “It's second chances to admire the beauty and architecture.” The abandoned places Babstock walks don’t always feel like they’re supposed to. Those homes hit your senses differently as you try to picture how families lived a life that was so different from your own, he says, and stepping through their doors pulls you somewhere else. “Every one of these places has a different feel to them,” said Babstock. “Some places resonate with sadness.” He recalled an abandoned home he entered — Babstock always gets permission first — where he found a bed that was left behind. It still had some dressing and a pillow laid on top of it. The floor of another home had long collapsed when he found it. Babstock found a table in the home with dishes still set on it. The dishes appeared to have been left behind in a hurry, he said. “There is a different weight to (the place),” said Babstock. Life has kept west coast photographer Jaimie Maloney from chasing life through a camera lens recently, but that hasn’t diminished her love for photographing and exploring old buildings. When her schedule did allow her to explore the west coast, she found herself drawn to the older structures she found there. “I find it draws me in because it wants to tell me a story,” said Maloney. “I go looking at them and feel the energy and think of various people living there and what they may have done. “It's like the building is talking to you and wants you to share it and pass the information along. It’s almost like being a detective.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
PARIS — France's Michelin Guide, which has long served as a bible for foodies, is adapting its awards ceremony in Paris for the year that was like no other - 2020. It is handing out its stars for the shuttered industry at a virtual ceremony to a virtual public. From the panoramic splendor of the Jules Verne restaurant on the the Eiffel Tower's second floor, judges are giving out this year’s stars for their 2021 France guide — based on reviews of eateries that have for large periods of time been completely closed nationwide. The country famed for its cuisine saw restaurants shut for large parts of last year during what was one of Europe's harshest lockdowns, while strict curfews disrupted the dinner service. Michelin France told the AP that it squeezed its anonymous reviews into a reduced six-month period, from May to October, when restrictions on restaurants were eased. And it called for help from overseas for its secretive inspections, bringing in twice as many foreign inspectors as usual. France had two lockdowns last year, one in spring and the other starting in the fall. The Michelin guide has 28 issues covering 25 countries, though awards in other countries are handed out at different dates. Thomas Adamson, The Associated Press
The emergency department at Kings County Memorial Hospital in eastern P.E.I. will open at 8 a.m. Monday as usual, after being forced to close on Sunday. Heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding in that area of the Montague hospital on Sunday, forcing its closure at midday. It was uncertain at the time when it would be able to open again. Health PEI confirmed Monday morning the department was ready to reopen. The emergency department at the hospital is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. More from CBC P.E.I.
MANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus infections in the Philippines have surged past 500,000 in a new bleak milestone with the government facing criticism for failing to immediately launch a vaccination program amid a global scramble for COVID-19 vaccines. The Department of Health reported 1,895 new infections Sunday, bringing confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to 500,577, the second highest in Southeast Asia. There have been at least 9,895 deaths. The Philippines has been negotiating with seven Western and Chinese companies to secure 148 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine but the effort has been fraught with uncertainties and confusion. About 50,000 doses from China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd. may arrive later next month followed by much larger shipments, according to the government, but concerns have been raised over its efficacy. President Rodrigo Duterte says securing the vaccines has been difficult because wealthy nations have secured massive doses for their citizens first. Duterte’s elite guards have acknowledged they have been inoculated with a still-unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine partly to ensure that they would not infect the 75-year-old president. Duterte’s spokesman and other officials have denied the president himself was vaccinated. A flurry of criticism has followed the illegal vaccinations, but few details have been released, including which vaccine was used and how the guards obtained it. Some senators moved to investigate, but Duterte ordered his guards not to appear before the Senate. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed Monday to get the pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympics this summer with ample coronavirus protection. In a speech opening a new parliament session, Suga said his government will revise laws to make anti-virus measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its virus caseload manageable with non-binding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing and for people to stay home. But recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes toward the anti-virus measures, and doubts are growing as more-contagious variants spread while people wait for vaccines and the Olympics draw closer. The health ministry also reported Monday that three people who have no record of recent overseas travel had tested positive for the new, more easily transmitted coronavirus variant first reported in Britain, suggesting that it is making its way in Japan. Suga said his government aims to start vaccinations as early as late February. Japan has confirmed more than 330,000 infections and 4,500 deaths from COVID-19, numbers that have surged recently though they are still far smaller than many other countries of its size. — A Chinese province grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases is reinstating tight restrictions on weddings, funerals and other family gatherings, threatening violators with criminal charges. The notice from the high court in Hebei province did not give specifics, but said all types of social gatherings were now being regulated to prevent further spread of the virus. Hebei has had one of China’s most serious outbreaks in months that comes amid measures to curb the further spread during February’s Lunar New Year holiday. Authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale. Hebei recorded another 54 cases over the previous 24 hours, the National Health Commission said on Monday, while the northern province of Jilin reported 30 cases and Heilongjiang further north reported seven. Beijing had two new cases and most buildings and housing compounds now require proof of a negative coronavirus test for entry. — Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has unveiled a new 15 billion ringgit ($3.7 billion) stimulus to bolster consumption, with the economy expected to reel from a second coronavirus lockdown and an emergency declaration. Muhyiddin obtained royal consent last week to declare a coronavirus emergency, slammed by critics as a desperate bid to cling to power amid defections from his ruling coalition. The emergency, expected to last until Aug. 1, doesn’t involve any curfew or military intervention but suspends Parliament, halts any election and gives Muhyiddin’s government absolute power, including in introducing new laws. It came at the same time as millions in Kuala Lumpur and several high-risk states were placed under a two-week lockdown to halt a surge in coronavirus cases. Muhyiddin on Monday acknowledged concerns over the emergency but repeated that it was only aimed at curbing the coronavirus. He said the economic impact from the lockdown will be manageable because more activities are being allowed this time. He said the stimulus will provide more funds to battle the pandemic and support livelihoods and businesses. A businessman has filed a lawsuit challenging the emergency declaration and the opposition plans to appeal to the king to rescind his support. Malaysia has recorded more than 158,000 coronavirus cases, including 601 deaths. — Nepal’s health ministry says the country's first cases of the new, more infectious coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom have been confirmed in three people who arrived from the U.K. The ministry said Monday that samples from six people who arrived in Nepal last week were sent to a laboratory in Hong Kong with the help of the World Health Organization. Three of the people — two men and a woman — tested positive for the new variant, it said. Two have recovered and one is still sick, the ministry said. Nepal has recorded 267,322 coronavirus cases, including 1,959 deaths. The Associated Press
Lance White is retired now. He has lived in Fort Liard for about 28 years. He hasn't spoken to anyone since the hamlet entered a containment order on Saturday, but he thinks the right steps are being taken. Three people in Fort Liard have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Friday. More cases are expected to follow. “It is what it is, so you just have to deal with it," White told Cabin Radio by phone on Sunday. “You don’t see many people walking around at the best of times. I notice the utter silence, lack of vehicles driving about. “But everybody, I would suggest, is taking this very seriously.” Under Dr. Kami Kandola's containment order, gatherings are banned for two weeks in Fort Liard and non-essential businesses and facilitates must close. Non-essential travel in and out of Fort Liard is “strongly discouraged,” the chief public health officer said, but not formally prohibited. Everyone must wear masks in public indoor spaces unless an exception is granted. Lucy Sanspariel works as a teaching assistant at Fort Liard's Echo Dene School, which has closed for the time being with students learning from home. She described worrying about trips to get supplies. “I have two small ones here with me so it’s kind-of scary for me to go out the door, but I have no choice. It’s kind-of hard to go to the store,” said Sanspariel. She thinks more supports like grocery delivery may be needed in the community, especially for Elders and those who are the most vulnerable. Currently, curbside pickup is available. Fort Liard resident Christine Abela thinks the GNWT has taken positive steps to keep her community safe since the cluster of infections began. However, she worries about barriers preventing people from obtaining and understanding the public health information being distributed. Abela says residents who are the most vulnerable – such as those who have limited internet access, no radio contact, low literacy rates and language barriers – may not be getting the information they need. “I think that’s a little bit where the disconnect is,” she said. As an example, Abela described circumstances in which people appeared unclear what was expected of them during isolation. Some 50 people have been asked to isolate by public health officials in a bid to contain what threatens to become an outbreak. “If you’re leaving the health centre and you are unsure about what those instructions are for isolation, then that’s where I think the message is being lost,” Abela said. “I do think, on a macro scale, things are being taken care of. But it seems there’s a lack of understanding by decision-makers … on what is necessary to convey that information.” While word-of-mouth is usually important in the hamlet, rumours and misinformation are being spread, she said. At the moment, the CBC's transmitter in Fort Liard is understood to be out of service. CKLB is broadcasting, while a community radio station on the 95.1 FM frequency recently reentered service. On Sunday, the community station's staff were hoping to receive messages in South Slavey to broadcast locally. Asked on Sunday what steps the territorial government was taking to ensure clear, easily understood information was being provided, Premier Caroline Cochrane said radio, the news media, social media and posters were at the heart of her government's strategy. Minister Shane Thompson, the MLA for Nahendeh, said his office was working with local leadership to answer questions residents may have and share information, both on Facebook and in person. He urged residents to use 8-1-1, the COVID-19 hotline, as a resource. There remain no public exposure advisories related to the three Fort Liard cases. Dr. Kandola said on Sunday there appeared to be no exposure risk in public places along the first patient’s travel route from Hay River, where they had been isolating before returning to Fort Liard. Vaccinations are set to take place in the hamlet on Thursday and Friday this week, a scheduled that remains unchanged. Territorial medical director Dr. AnneMarie Pegg said only inclement weather would stop those vaccination dates going ahead. Anyone isolating in Fort Liard this week must wait for the vaccination team to return. Pegg said her team would try to ensure that happens sooner than currently scheduled so a second opportunity can be provided. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Should councillors be talking to the media independently? That was the second time in a week the matter had come up before a North Simcoe council, after it had been discussed at the Penetanguishene council Wednesday night. This time, it was Tay Township's deputy mayor that was asking if it was best for the mayor or chief administrative officer to respond to media requests when representing the municipality. Once again, the media request was a yearend survey sent out to all council members by MidlandToday's Community Editor Andrew Philips. "He didn't email it to council; he emailed it to all of us," said Coun. Jeff Bumstead. "I could see all the recipients. The way I took it is that they were looking for a specific response from all of council. I didn't see any harm in the questions. I didn't see anything specific that was going against the township. It was just the general feel of how I felt as a councillor." He then talked about a MidlandToday reporter reaching out to him for a story he had brought to council's attention (poppy masks being made by a local resident). "She had reached out and I asked the mayor about it," said Bumstead. "She was just looking for an opinion from me on a specific topic. The advice I got was that media is asking a question there's no problem is answering it." "If we want to clamp down and direct media to the mayor and CAO, I don't have a problem with it," he added. "If it's not okay for individual councillors to answer behalf of the township, then we can have it in the code of conduct." Fellow Coun. Paul Raymond also talked about what the integrity commissioner had outlined in the code of conduct policy. "We do have a right to an opinion as long as we make it clear it is our opinion and not the township and council as a whole," he said. "That is when the CAO or mayor come in. It's very important we take great measures to make sure that distinction is made. "As far as the other social media, I'm sure there will be other questions there," added Raymond. "We are allowed to be approached for our opinion but our opinion only." Coun. Mary Warnock said she had sought clarification on the survey, asking if it was to be based on personal opinions or a council view. "I did want to clarify that before I answered it," she said. "If it's a message coming from council or township as a whole, it should come from the CAO or mayor. You want your message to have some control and precision." CAO Lindsay Barron agreed that the councillors had raised some good points about distinguishing between an independent opinion and a township stance. "A clear distinction is if he/she is responding as an individual member of council or on behalf of the township," she said. "In the second case, it should be coming from the mayor or myself." Deputy Mayor Gerard LaChapelle said maybe the next time a reporter reaches out to an individual councillor, he/she can seek direction from the CAO. "I would suggest we should contact the CAO to find out if we can speak to it individually," he said. That didn't sit well with Raymond. "I don't go to the CAO for permission on anything, with all due respect to the CAO," he said. "We are allowed to be individuals. If we're going to go on an endeavour like this, we give a heads-up to the CAO and mayor. If they feel it's not beneficial to the community on the whole, they can let us know. We all want betterment for the township and we all have different ideas of how that can be accomplished." The conversation then turned toward answering questions posed by residents. "A lot of times we get emails from customers/residents, what do we think as council is best direction?" said LaChapelle. Coun. Sandy Talbot shared her process around that. "What I always do is if I get an email, I will forward it to a staff member," she said. "It's worked for me for all these years and that's best practice when it comes to residential inquiries." Raymond said each situation is unique. "There's a lot of different types of communications from residents, sometimes it's a question, sometimes they're in a situation where they're at odds with staff," he said. "They approach us as councillors to try and intervene to get the two parties talking. I think that, also, is our role. At the end of the day, we're the bridge between residents and staff and the services they provide." Barron said she hoped residents would reach out to staff before taking matters to their councillor. "Often times, I get involved when the councillor gets involved," she said. "I'd like to see my position as facilitator before council intervenes. If the resident wants to talk to you after, by all means. As far as being copied on the response, I'd really like to see where we get to a point where a councillor forwards it to staff and lets staff handle it." Raymond said when residents reach out to him, it's after they've reached a dead-end with staff. "When the two parties get talking to each other, I will back out and just need to know it's been resolved," he said, adding he didn't think it was pertinent for councillors to get into the weeds of matters. "When I do talk to residents, they're not aware of the structure of staff," added Raymond. "If we had an opportunity to simplify that structure, to let them know which way to go, maybe that would simplify it." Then councillors discussed behaviour on social media. "It has to do with Facebook use so we don't get ourselves in a situation," said LaChapelle. Mayor Ted Walker said he would definitely like directions around that incorporated in the municipal code of conduct. "I have seen some instances where the line has been crossed," he said without mentioning specifics. "The unfortunate part of that is that those that don't use Facebook don't have a chance to give their opinion or correct any errors. I think discussions of that nature need to be held here and not on Facebook." All councillors agreed that the communications specialist should help prepare some do's and don't's for council surrounding social media use. "All they are is a tool to facilitate you," said Raymond. "We already have standards, a code of conduct, that as councillors we're supposed to follow wherever we are. It's easy when you're on social media to get dragged into a fight. You have to know when to stop." Daryl O'Shea, general manager, corporate services manager of technology services, indicated such an endeavour was already underway and would soon be brought to council's attention. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
LOS ANGELES — Phil Spector was viewed as a man with two distinct personas: The late music producer was regarded as a rock ‘n’ roll genius who elevated the genre with his “Wall of Sound” style in the 1960s and created hits for several big names from the Beatles to Tina Turner. But while Spector made his mark as a revolutionary music producer, the stories of him waving guns at recording artists and being convicted of murder overshadowed his artistry. California state prison officials said Spector died Saturday at age 81 of natural causes at a hospital. He was convicted of killing actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life. The reaction to Spector’s death resurrected some mixed feelings about his life and legacy. Some lauded his early contributions to rock music, while others struggled to forgive his volatile past. Beach Boys musician Al Jardine said it would be “nice to remember him only for his songs & production talents.” He said The Ronettes’ song “Be My Baby,” which was produced and co-written by Spector, inspired his brother Brian Wilson. Stevie Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band called Spector a “genius irredeemably conflicted.” “He was the ultimate example of the art always being better than the artist,” said Zandt on Twitter. He added that Spector “made some of the greatest records in history based on the salvation of love while remaining incapable of giving or receiving love his whole life.” Meanwhile, “The Price is Right” host Drew Carey took aim at Spector, calling him a “murderer and an abusive maniac.” “I wish he would’ve gotten the mental health help he so clearly needed, but he didn’t,” the comedian said on social media. “And so instead of (asterisk)just(asterisk) pulling guns on people in anger or for fun, he murdered one of them. Good ear for music tho, I’ll give you that.” Spector’s former wife, Ronnie Spector, remembered him on Sunday as a “brilliant producer, but a lousy husband.” She was the lead singer of the Ronettes. “Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio,” she wrote on Instagram. “Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.” But Darlene Love, who sang some of Spector’s hits from “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” took a different approach despite her problematic relationship with the producer. She felt sadness after hearing of Spector’s death from her son. “It was sad because of what Spector did, the wonderful music he created, and he spent nearly 20 years of his life in prison,” said Love, who admitted that Spector tried to “control my talent” during her singing career. She said Spector had a dangerous temperament at times, but she tried to remember the positive. “I hope people don’t only remember the reason he spent those years in prison, but more or less what he did for rock ‘n’ roll,” she continued. “He changed the sound of rock ‘n’ roll. That’s what brought me to sadness.” Spector was hailed as a visionary for channeling Wagnerian ambition into the three-minute song, creating the “Wall of Sound” in the 1960s that merged spirited vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop monuments as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby” and “He’s a Rebel.” Bruce Springsteen and Wilson openly replicated his grandiose recording techniques and wide-eyed romanticism, and John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.” But the multiple stories of Spector waving guns at recording artists in the studio and threatening women would come back to haunt him after Clarkson’s death. Clarkson, star of “Barbarian Queen” and other B-movies, was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in the hills overlooking Alhambra, a modest suburban town on the edge of Los Angeles. Until the actress’ death, which Spector maintained was an “accidental suicide,” few residents even knew the mansion belonged to the reclusive producer, who spent his remaining years in a prison hospital east of Stockton. Spector became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. But ultimately, his recording artists began to quit working with him and musical styles passed him by. “He self-destructed in the most horrific manner,” said David Thompson, the author of “Wall of Pain: The Biography of Phil Spector,” released in 2004. “But we have to separate the two. There are so many people who were once revered then we find out they did something terrible. It wipes out all of their achievements. I don’t agree with that.” Thompson said Spector’s biography was one of his toughest to write, because he wanted to solely focus on the music. But while working on the book, he found out about Spector’s conviction. “That was a hard balance,” he said. “I wanted to write about the music, just what he did, what he created and what he gave us. But you had to sort of balance it with the awful things he did.” Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
Facebook Inc said on Monday it had started the process of appointing a legal entity as a local representative in Turkey in compliance with a new social media law which critics have said will muzzle dissent. The company said its decision did not change its community standards, which outline what is and what is not allowed on Facebook, nor its process for reviewing government requests. "We will withdraw the representative if we face pressure on either," the company said in a statement, adding that it remains committed to maintaining free expression and other human rights in Turkey.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is urging incoming U.S. President Joe Biden to follow through on a commitment to hear Canada out on the merits of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion before cancelling it following Wednesday's inauguration. Kenney says Albertans are on the hook for $1 billion if the project doesn't go ahead following an earlier decision by his government to invest directly.
Le consultant en préparation mentale Marc-Antoine Roussel lance un tout nouveau projet intitulé Laisse ta Marc, un balado axé sur la psychologie sportive. Les deux épisodes par semaine du podcast permettront d’informer les auditeurs sur l’importance de la préparation mentale, en plus de faire rayonner les parcours d’athlètes, de parents et d’entraîneurs des régions éloignées. L’objectif de Marc-Antoine Roussel est clair: aider les gens dans leur préparation mentale. Selon lui, trop peu de personnes s’intéressent à cet aspect pourtant primordial de la performance sportive. Il considère aussi que trop souvent, quand on parle de santé mentale, le sujet est stigmatisé. Celui qui est originaire de Baie-Comeau a travaillé comme consultant en préparation mentale au sein de plusieurs équipes sportives, dont le Drakkar de Baie-Comeau, les Saguenéens de Chicoutimi et les Mustangs de l’école Odyssée/Dominique-Racine, au hockey, en plus d’accompagner une centaine d’athlètes de niveau élite et plusieurs militaires de Bagotville. Marc-Antoine Roussel a vu, dans le balado, une façon de rejoindre un plus grand public. Une idée dans ses cordes, alors qu’il a toujours aimé discuter avec des sportifs de différents horizons, en plus de vulgariser de l’information. Le kinésiologue donne une quarantaine de conférences par année sur la psychologie du sport et a participé, en 2019, au plus grand congrès des sciences éducatives du monde, à Hawaii, aux États-Unis. Avec Laisse ta Marc, il souhaite démystifier l’importance de la préparation mentale, et ce, dans tous les domaines. «En temps de pandémie, tout le monde est plus stressé, anxieux, et peut ressentir des difficultés à se concentrer. C’est aussi un moment difficile pour plusieurs au niveau de la confiance en soi, de la gestion des émotions et de la communication. Ce sont tous des facteurs de préparation mentale et je me suis dit que j’allais trouver une façon d’éduquer les gens sur ce sujet», explique celui qui a complété un baccalauréat et une maîtrise en kinésiologie à l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). Deux émissions complémentaires Chaque semaine, une émission sera consacrée à un aspect précis de la psychologie du sport, pour éduquer et démontrer qu’elle touche tout le monde, et non seulement les athlètes de haut niveau. Le deuxième épisode de la semaine touchera davantage des sportifs des régions qui performent ou qui ont marqué le sport à leur façon. « Je trouve qu’en région, nous avons des diamants bruts, que ce soit des parents, des entraîneurs ou des athlètes, et que peu de personnes en parlent. Je veux faire rayonner ces gens, qu’ils soient de la Côte-Nord, du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, de l’Abitibi ou d’ailleurs », affirme l’homme originaire de Baie-Comeau. M. Roussel aimerait aussi permettre aux petites entreprises régionales d’avoir accès à une plateforme pour de la publicité à faible coût. Il sait que certains vivent des moments plus difficiles et souhaitent les aider à sa façon. Il encourage d’ailleurs toutes les personnes intéressées par le projet à lui écrire et à lui envoyer des suggestions. « Mon but, c’est vraiment de donner une visibilité aux personnes des régions et de faire connaître la préparation mentale. Je ne le fais pas pour moi. Je veux que la préparation mentale soit plus connue, tout en faisant rayonner des personnes qui ont marqué leur domaine », martèle-t-il. Simplement en se tournant vers ses connaissances du milieu, le consultant a une bonne liste de noms d’invités éventuels de l’émission. Il a déjà en tête assez d’idées pour combler la prochaine année, assure-t-il. Avec la technologie, Marc-Antoine Roussel peut facilement réaliser des entrevues à distance, ce qui lui permet de créer le balado en plein confinement. Cette nouvelle tribune lui permettra aussi de discuter avec des personnes de partout dans la province, et ce, très facilement. Bien sûr, lorsque le confinement sera terminé, il aimerait bien organiser des discussions en face à face quand l’occasion se présentera. Un large spectre En tant que consultant en préparation mentale, Marc-Antoine Roussel peut donner des conférences ou des conseils sur une foule de sujets : l’anxiété de performance, l’attitude gagnante, la gestion des émotions, la fixation d’objectifs, la confiance en soi, le rôle des parents, la préparation aux compétitions, et bien plus. Il peut aussi faire l’évaluation des besoins et de l’accompagnement. Il offre également des services en entreprise. Il est convaincu que la préparation mentale peut aider tout le monde. « Ce qui est fou, c’est que la préparation mentale, elle sert à l’école, au travail, dans les sports. En tant que consultant, j’optimise les performances des personnes avec de l’enseignement et des exercices. La personne qui vient me voir, elle n’a pas des problèmes mentaux. Je vais plutôt lui donner des outils qui pourront lui servir dans tous les aspects de sa vie », continue-t-il. S’il n’a qu’un conseil à donner aux sportifs, qui sont nombreux à ne pas pratiquer leur sport ces temps-ci, c’est que cette pause obligatoire est le moment parfait pour se concentrer sur les aspects de la préparation mentale, afin d’être à leur meilleur lorsque le sport recommencera. Une foule de ressources peuvent les aider. On peut suivre le consultant sur sa page Facebook, Marc-Antoine Roussel, kinésiologue et consultant en préparation mentale. Le balado est quant à lui disponible sur les différentes plateformes numériques, dont Apple Podcasts et Spotify.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
NASHVILLE — As their state faced one of its toughest months of the pandemic, Tennesseans watched Gov. Bill Lee’s rare primetime address to see whether new public restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus might be coming. It was late December, and the state’s hospitals were bursting at the seams with virus patients. Spiraling caseloads placed Tennessee among the worst states in the nation per capita, medical experts were warning that the health care system could not survive another coronavirus spike, and Lee had been affected personally -- his wife had the virus and the governor himself was in quarantine. If ever there was a juncture to change course, the speech seemed like the time and place. But as he stood before the camera, the businessman-turned-politician declined to implement recommendations from the experts, instead announcing a soft limit on public gatherings while stressing once again that stopping the spread of COVID-19 was a matter of personal responsibility. Lee’s decision to stick to his approach has dismayed critics who say the state's situation would not be so dire if he had placed more faith in the government’s role in keeping people safe -- criticism he pushes back against as he keeps businesses open. The first term governor’s response has largely been in step with Republican governors in other states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma, which along with Tennessee have ranked among the worst in the country as case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations increase while the governors rebuff calls for new restrictions. As of Friday, Johns Hopkins University researchers reported 1,236 new confirmed cases per 100,000 people in Tennessee over the past two weeks, which ranks eighth in the country. One in every 187 people in Tennessee tested positive in the past week. “We don’t have to be here. We don’t have to continue this trend. We can do something about it,” Dr. Diana Sepehri-Harvey, a Franklin primary care physician told reporters in a video conference Tuesday. Lee, whose office declined a request for an interview for this article, has rejected claims he hasn’t done enough, countering that he aggressively pushed for more expansive COVID-19 testing throughout the state during the early stages of the pandemic and arguing that sweeping mask requirements have become too political to become effective. He says decisions about masks are best left to local jurisdictions, some of which have imposed them in Tennessee, particularly in more populated areas. According to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, about 69% of Tennesseans — but fewer than 30 of 95 counties — are under a face mask requirement. Those researchers found that counties that don’t require wearing masks in public are averaging COVID-19 death rates double or more compared with those that instituted mandates. Dr. Donna Perlin, a Nashville-based pediatric emergency medicine physician, sees mask-wearing and other precautions as basic government safety measures. “Just as we have requirements to stop at red lights, or for children to wear seatbelts, or bans on smoking at schools, so too must we require masks, because the refusal to wear masks is endangering our children and their families,” she wrote in a recent editorial. Despite the criticism, Lee hasn’t wavered from his vow never to close down restaurants, bars and retail stores after Tennessee became one of the first states in the country to lift businesses restrictions last year. He also has long advocated for schools to continue in-person learning and has sent school districts protective equipment for teachers and staffers. The governor is quick to point out the state’s swift COVID-19 vaccine rollout, praising Tennessee for being among the country’s leaders in distributing the immunizations. “In addition to creating a strong infrastructure for distribution, we’re currently one of the top states in the nation for total doses administered, vaccinating more than 150,000 Tennesseans in just two weeks,” Lee said in a statement earlier this month, omitting that the state’s initial goal to vaccinate 200,000 residents got delayed because of shipping issues. The CDC reports that 3.7% of Tennessee’s population has been vaccinated, with more than 251,000 shots administered to date — making it among the top 10 states for administration rates. But community leaders and Democratic lawmakers have tried in vain to appeal to the governor in their campaign for a mask mandate and other public health regulations. “What we are doing now is NOT working!” Democratic state Sen. Raumesh Akbari tweeted. “We need a mask mandate, increased testing and contact tracing, and need to consider some business closures. Our hospitals are at the brink! We must act to save lives!” Some have even appealed to Lee's Christian faith, which he regularly touted on the campaign trail and references while governing. “Wearing a mask is loving your neighbour, and taking care of yourself as a Temple of the Holy Spirit,” the Rev. Jo Ann Barker recently wrote to Lee, speaking for the nonpartisan Southern Christian Coalition. “A statewide mask mandate is caring for the community God gives you to care for. If that isn’t important to you, Governor Lee, then what is?” ___ Associated Press writers Jonathan Mattise and Travis Loller contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak. Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press
La pandémie de la COVID-19 a provoqué une pluie d'annulation d'événement depuis le mois de mars 2020. Le Boréal Loppet a dû changer sa formule pour sa 17e édition afin de s'adapter à la situation sanitaire. « Nous tiendrons le Loppet sous une formule volontaire et virtuelle », de commenter le président de l'activité qui a fait sa marque en Côte-Nord et dans les autres régions du Québec, Éric Maltais. Les 20 et 21 février, au moment qui vous convient, les participants sont invités à faire une sortie en skis de fond, à vélo, en raquettes ou à la course à pied. « Prenez-vous en photo (ou vidéo de 15-20 sec.), et envoyez le tout sur la page Facebook du Boréal Loppet. Précisez la distance parcourue et le temps est facultatif », demande M. Maltais. Il sera alors possible de prendre part à l'événement de sa ville respective. « À Forestville, les gens partiront du stationnement du club de ski, sur la route 138, à l'est de la station Ultramar (et non au restaurant Le Danube bleu) pour la raquette et le ski, la course à pied se déroulera dans les rues et le vélo au club de golf Le Méandre ou dans les sentiers de leur choix », dévoile le président. Les 150 premiers participants recevront une tuque du Boréal Loppet 2021.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Saskatchewan's premier is calling reports of U.S. president-elect Joe Biden scrapping the Keystone XL pipeline expansion "disappointing." Biden is set to take office Wednesday, and transition documents show the Keystone cancellation will be a priority for his administration. In a statement Sunday night, Premier Scott Moe said the project is "critical to North American energy security" and will have a "tremendous employment impact" in both countries. Moe also noted the project has "garnered significant Indigenous support" and is expected to be fully powered by renewable energy by 2030. "While I am urging the Prime Minister to leverage his relationship with Mr. Biden, Saskatchewan will continue exercising our contacts in Washington D.C. to advocate for the continuation of this project that clearly benefits both of our nations," Moe wrote. Moe's comments come after much criticism from other politicians across the country — including Alberta's premier, Jason Kenney. On Sunday, Kenney said in a statement posted to social media that he's deeply concerned that Biden may repeal the pipeline's presidential permit. "Doing so would kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship and undermine U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future," Kenney said. TC Energy, the primary owner of the Keystone XL pipeline, has plans to have the project up and running by 2023. If completed, the 1,897-kilometre pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the oilsands in Hardisty, Alta. to Nebraska, connecting to the original Keystone pipeline that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.
Budgeting is a pain. But what’s more painful is a bill you can’t easily pay, debt that costs a fortune or not having enough money to retire. Fortunately, you can have a useful, working budget without watching every penny. Automation, technology and a few simple guidelines can keep you on track. The following approach works best if you have reasonably steady income that comfortably exceeds your basic expenses. If your income isn’t steady or doesn’t cover much more than the basics, you may need to track your spending more closely. Also, no budget in the world can fix a true income shortfall, where there’s not enough coming in to cover your basic bills. If that’s the case, you need more income, fewer expenses or outside help. One place to start your search for aid is 211.org, which provides links to charitable and government resources in many communities. Otherwise, though, you can craft a spending plan with the following steps. START WITH YOUR MUST-HAVES Must-have costs include housing, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, minimum debt payments and child care that allows you to work. Using the 50/30/20 budget, these costs ideally would consume no more than 50% of your after-tax income. That leaves 30% for wants (entertainment, clothes, vacations, eating out and so on) and 20% for savings and extra debt payments. A budgeting app or your last few credit card and bank statements can help you determine your must-have costs. The more these expenses exceed that 50% mark, the harder you may find it to make ends meet. For now, you can compensate by reducing what you spend on wants. Eventually, you can look for ways to reduce some of those basic expenses, boost your income or both. “After tax,” by the way, means your income minus the taxes you pay. If other expenses are deducted from your paycheque, such as health insurance premiums or 401(k) contributions, add those amounts to your take-home pay to determine your after-tax income. If you don’t have a steady job or are self-employed, forecasting your after-tax income can be tougher. You can use a previous year’s tax return or make an educated guess about the minimum income you expect to make this year. A withholding calculator can help you determine what you’re likely to have left after taxes. AUTOMATE WHAT YOU CAN Automatic transfers can put many financial tasks on autopilot, reducing the effort needed to achieve goals. If you don’t automate anything else, automate your retirement savings to ensure you’re saving consistently. Also consider saving money in separate accounts — often called “savings buckets” — to cover big, non-monthly expenses such as insurance premiums, vacations and car repairs. Online banks typically allow you to set up multiple savings accounts without requiring minimum balances or charging fees. You can name these accounts for different goals, and automate transfers into those accounts so the money is ready when you need it. My family typically has eight to 12 of these savings accounts at our online bank. I figure out how much I want to have saved by a certain date, divide by the number of months until that date and send the resulting amount, via automated monthly transfers, from our checking account. MANAGING WHAT’S LEFT Return to your after-tax monthly income figure. Subtract your must-have expenses, your contributions to retirement and savings accounts, and any extra debt payments you plan to make consistently. What’s left is your spending money for the month. (Nothing left? Try winnowing some of those must-haves or set less ambitious savings or debt pay-down goals.) In the olden days, you might have put cash in an envelope and used it for your spending money. Once the envelope was empty, you were supposed to stop spending. Some people still do that, but in today’s digital, contactless world, you might prefer other approaches. The easiest would be to put all your spending on a single credit card that’s dedicated to this purpose and paid in full every month. (And since you’re paying in full, consider using a cash back or other rewards card to get some extra benefit from your spending.) Check your balance every few days or set up alerts to let you know when you’re approaching your spending limit for the month. To protect your credit score, you can make payments periodically throughout the month so your balance stays low compared to your credit limit. Alternatively, you could use more than one card, a debit card or a spending app that’s tied to your checking account, such as Venmo, PayPal or Zelle. A budget app or spreadsheet can help keep you on track. You also could consider setting up a separate checking account just for this spending. Again, many online banks offer checking accounts without minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Your budget won’t be perfect and you’ll have to make adjustments as you go. But at least you, and your money, will be headed in the right direction. ____________________________________ This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @lizweston. RELATED LINK: NerdWallet: Budgeting 101: How to Budget Money http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-budgeting Liz Weston Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
Il y a quelques mois, le Québec a fait connaissance avec la pétillante Julie Munger, lors de son passage à l’émission Occupation Double Chez nous. Maintenant que la poussière est retombée, la jeune femme est de retour dans sa réalité, qui a changé du tout au tout, à Chicoutimi. Elle compte maintenant profiter des nombreuses occasions qui se présentent. La maquilleuse est revenue vivre dans sa maison de Chicoutimi, dont elle avait pris possession au début de l’été. Elle vit maintenant avec une amie, ce qui fait que le temps passe beaucoup plus vite, surtout en confinement. « Le retour à ma réalité, qui n’est plus ma réalité, c’est sûr que c’est de l’adaptation. Mais je suis vraiment contente d’être retournée dans mes affaires, dans ma maison, de faire de petits travaux. Ça m’a permis de me remettre à neuf, de prendre un nouveau départ », avoue la candidate d’OD Chez nous, lors d’un entretien téléphonique avec Le Progrès. Une année de surprises Julie Munger n’en revient pas : sa dernière année fut remplie de surprises. De son passage à l’émission à aujourd’hui, elle n’avait jamais vraiment pensé à tout ce qui s’offrirait à elle. La Saguenéenne a été complètement sous le choc d’avoir été choisie la candidate coup de coeur de sa saison, à l’automne. Même si plusieurs personnes de son entourage l’assuraient qu’elle serait choisie, elle n’y a pas cru jusqu’à la dernière seconde. « Je ne voulais pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué. Je croyais que plusieurs personnes avaient des chances. Mais ç’a été un gros tsunami d’amour et j’ai beaucoup pensé à mon père », avoue-t-elle. Sa mère lui disait souvent : « Pour être aimé, il faut être aimable ! » La maquilleuse pense l’avoir bien écoutée. La Saguenéenne ne s’était pas non plus imaginé toutes les portes qui allaient s’ouvrir à sa sortie de l’aventure. Les Québécois ont déjà pu la revoir à l’écran à quelques reprises, en quelques mois, et c’est loin d’être fini. Après l’avoir vue dans le vidéoclip de la chanteuse Roxane Bruneau, les téléspectateurs ont pu l’apercevoir dans le Bye bye 2020, une émission qu’elle écoute chaque année avec sa famille. « Ç’a été tourné la dernière fois que je suis allée à Montréal, juste après le tournage de L’heure de vérité. Personne ne savait que je me rendais là-bas. Ce qui était drôle, c’est que j’étais la seule candidate qui se personnalisait soi-même. C’est vraiment une fleur que l’équipe du Bye bye m’a faite », admet-elle. C’était une première expérience de tournage de sketches, à l’écran, ce qui est bien différent de ce à quoi elle est habituée. En plus, il y avait une foule de mesures de distanciation en place, ce qui rendait l’expérience d’autant plus particulière. Elle a d’ailleurs beaucoup aimé ce tournage et a même eu l’occasion de rencontrer Stéphane Rousseau et Simon-Olivier Fecteau. Elle a également animé une émission spéciale, en direct d’Instagram, jeudi, organisée par Tel-jeunes, avec une foule de personnalités québécoises à titre d’invités. La soirée avait pour but de divertir les jeunes, qui vivent des moments plus difficiles avec ce nouveau confinement. La suite Julie Munger profite du confinement pour travailler de la maison. Puisque le domaine de l’esthétique est sur pause, elle s’occupe en réalisant différentes collaborations publicitaires sur les réseaux sociaux, pour de nombreuses compagnies. Une foule de projets sont sur les rails, mais la candidate coup de coeur ne peut pas en dévoiler les détails pour le moment. En entrevue avec Le Progrès, elle a précisé que ce n’était pas l’envie qui manquait, d’en dire un peu plus, mais la jeune femme a promis qu’elle pourra en révéler davantage prochainement. Pour le moment, elle admet que l’un de ses projets touche le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. « Je prône toujours la région. Je veux montrer aux autres qu’elle est incroyable, à quel point elle est belle et que c’est beau d’y vivre. J’ai travaillé fort pour avoir un projet en lien avec le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean », se réjouit-elle. La candidate, qui a participé à Occupation Double pour promouvoir la diversité corporelle, entre autres raisons, sait qu’elle ira probablement plus souvent à Montréal dans les prochaines années, pour différents projets, mais elle tient à rester dans la région, qu’elle considère comme un gros terrain de jeu extérieur.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
A Burk’s Falls man is hoping to help those who may be feeling isolated during the second provincial lockdown by bringing back good old-fashioned letter writing. Ryan Baptiste, 32, began the project shortly after the success of the letters to Santa Claus initiative he began before the holidays upon hearing the whisperings of another impending lockdown due to rising COVID-19 numbers. “We can see the emotional effects that lockdown can have on individuals,” said Baptiste, who graduated as an addictions and mental health counsellor in 2011. “We started this as a means to keep people connected and hopefully let them know that there are people out there that care about their well-being.” For the pen pals project, people can drop off a letter and Baptiste — along with two other volunteers, Nicole Byng who lives in Toronto, and Debbie Hope who lives in Almaguin — will reply. While counselling isn’t a full-time job for Baptiste, he said he cares deeply, and the effects of COVID-19 can be felt heavily across the profession. “More intake, referrals and virtual sessions with those who are struggling with the isolation is creating larger backlogs,” he said, adding that lockdowns, isolation and social distancing exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions or addictions. After seeing the success of Baptiste’s Santa mailbox, Penny Brandt, who runs a centre for healing arts at 195 Ontario St. in Burk’s Falls, reached out to him to offer him a spot in front of her office. Brandt shares office space with Yolande’s Hair Salon. “I loved what I saw Ryan do at Christmastime with the letters to Santa, and that really hits the heartstrings because of the children and how important it is,” said Brandt. “He has a councillor background, (but) he’s also understanding that there are some awfully lonely people out there that have nobody and sometimes people want to remain anonymous as well.” “So, when I saw that he was looking for a spot to put the mailbox on the main street it was like hey, and I checked with Yolande and she was fine with it, and I thought, this can only help,” she said, mentioning that everyone is suffering mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially in some way due to COVID-19. “The other thing, for me, is remembering that empathy is a starting point for actually creating a community and taking action like Ryan has just done,” Brandt said. “It is the start of change.” The COVID-19 pen pals mailbox can be found at 195 Ontario St. in front of I Am Centre for Healing Arts and Yolande’s Hair Salon or for those who don’t want to venture outside, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
SUDBURY, Ont. — A class has been sent home from a Sudbury, Ont., elementary school following a confirmed case of COVID-19. Parents of a senior kindergarten/Grade 1 class at St. David's Catholic elementary school were told their children should stay home. Director of Education Joanne Benard says in a letter issued to parents on Sunday that the person with the confirmed case of the novel coronavirus is self-isolating. She says public health officials will notify the parents of anyone considered a close contact. Benard also says all students in the class should self-isolate until Jan. 29 and get tested for the virus as soon as possible. She says "it's understandable that this situation may make caregivers anxious" and says parents of children in other classes should notify the school if they choose to keep their youngsters at home. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021. The Canadian Press