Monthly Archives: November 2018

UPDATE: Testalinden controlled burn still under control

OLIVER – Plumes of smoke from a planned controlled burn have alarmed some in the Oliver and Osoyoos areas. However, there is nothing to worry about as B.C. Wildfire Service says the deliberately set fire hasn’t gotten away from them. The B.C. Wildfire Service started a controlled burn earlier today as they continue to fight the Testalinden Wildfire. Ground crews have already started work on that planned burn.

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“The ground crews have what they call drip torches so it is a small type of metal torch that has a mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline in it and the crews actually walk along and light strips of fire in a controlled area within the controlled fire perimeter,” says fire information officer Colette Fauchon.

Fauchon says a helicopter will also be used to ignite the controlled burn in a larger area that is very steep where they can’t get crews on the ground. The method they are using is aimed at creating a low intensity ground fire.

Read More: Testalinden wildfire 80 per cent contained

“We don’t want to burn the trees. So this is one way that we can have a controlled burn and we don’t have to have a candling effect that people often see with high intensity fires,” she says.

The controlled burn is taking place within the fire’s 4506 hectare perimeter.

“The difficulty that we have is that a lot of the fire is on steep terrain. As the fire has been burning trees fall down, they roll down the hill and they just keep spreading the fire within the containment area. So this is one way for us to speed up that process of burning the fuel that the fire is going to burn up anyway over time,” says Fauchon.

The Testalinden Wildfire is currently considered 80 per cent contained. Depending on weather conditions, crews may finish the controlled burn today or continue with the controlled burn tomorrow.

– with files from Angela Jung

Smoke from the controlled burn at the site of the Testalinden Wildfire.

Angela Jung / Global News

Smoke from the controlled burn at the site of the Testalinden Wildfire.

Oliver Daily News

Smoke from the controlled burn at the site of the Testalinden Wildfire.

Oliver Daily News

Smoke from the controlled burn at the site of the Testalinden Wildfire.

Oliver Daily News

Smoke from the controlled burn at the site of the Testalinden Wildfire.

Oliver Daily News

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NHL waiting for Patrick Kane legal process to play out

WATCH ABOVE: Attorneys for Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane may be in talks with the alleged sex assault victim who claims Kane assaulted her in his home. Marissa Bailey reports.

TORONTO – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will wait for the legal process to play out in the sexual assault investigation involving Patrick Kane before making any decisions about his future.

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The Chicago Blackhawks star is under investigation by police in his hometown of Hamburg, N.Y., over an incident that occurred at his house. He has not been charged.

“Obviously when a player is involved in something like Patrick Kane is subject to right now in terms of the authorities investigating, it’s unfortunate, it’s a terrible thing, but we’re going to have to watch the process play out and at the appropriate time we’ll make whatever decisions have to be made at the time,” Bettman said Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

READ MORE: Patrick Kane investigation involves woman in her 20s

According to The Associated Press, the Erie County District Attorney has postponed grand jury proceedings into the allegation against Kane.

Evidence was scheduled to be presented to jurors on Tuesday but the hearings were postponed for about two weeks, a source told the AP. The person, who spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity, did not provide a reason for the postponement.

Kane is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her 20s at his off-season home outside Buffalo, a second person familiar with the investigation told AP on the condition of anonymity because police have not revealed the nature of their investigation.

The Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks are scheduled to open training camp on Sept. 18. With that date looming, Bettman declined to say whether the NHL had to make a decision on Kane by then.

READ MORE: EA Sports drops Blackhawks star from NHL 16 cover

“We will make whatever decision we have to make in the appropriate time frame that we have to make it based on the information that is available to us at the time,” Bettman said. “Beyond that I don’t want to speculate at this point.”

Beyond Kane, a handful of other NHL players have run into legal trouble in recent months.

Free agent Mike Richards was charged with possession of a controlled substance at the Canadian-U.S. border in Emerson, Man.; former Los Angeles Kings teammate Jarret Stoll pleaded guilty to two reduced misdemeanour charges to resolve a felony cocaine case stemming from an arrest at a Las Vegas swimming pool and Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly was charged with impaired driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident in London, Ont.

Kings defenceman Slava Voynov has been taken into custody by U.S. immigration officials two months after pleading no contest to a domestic violence charge. He was originally charged with a felony and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour charge, and according to the Los Angeles Times, faces possible deportation to his native Russia.

Voynov was suspended last season when he was charged. Richards had his contract terminated by the Kings in late June, and his situation is pending a grievance hearing filed by the NHLPA.

Bettman said the NHL handles each situation on a case-by-case basis “because rarely are two of these circumstances identical.” He also commended the vast majority of NHL players for their behaviour.

“Overwhelmingly our players do the right things,” Bettman said. “We have over 700 players and overwhelmingly they conduct themselves in a magnificent, appropriate way that reflects well on each other, and on their teams, the league and the game.”

*With files from The Associated Press

©2015

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Nova Scotians rally to sponsor Syrian refugees

WATCH ABOVE: Global’s Marieke Walsh caught up with one group from Hubbards which is trying to bring two Syrian families to Nova Scotia.

HALIFAX -A community group in Hubbards is one of dozens across the province that is now hoping to sponsor Syrian refugees.

The group was spurred into action after seeing the picture of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body being carried off a beach.

“It was the spark for the community,” said Shelly Whitman, one of the organizers.

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“It’s not that people hadn’t been thinking about this issue or seeing the images of other migrants. That certainly has been something that people in the community have talked about. But I think that the political will and the momentum was certainly driven by that image.”

Whitman and a core group of people have started a fundraising campaign to bring two Syrian refugee families to Hubbards. At its first meeting over the Labour Day long weekend, the group had 61 people show up and offer financial and organizational help.

The Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia says its been inundated with phone calls from groups like the one in Hubbards asking how they can help Syrian refugees.

In the last three days, ISANS says its received 35 phone calls from individuals and groups who want to sponsor Syrian refugees to come to the province. That’s a marked difference from just a week ago when the organization rarely got a call from the general public.

“We’ve had an amazing response from the public. Our phone has been ringing constantly since Thursday,” said Evelyn Jones, refugee sponsorship coordinator for ISANS.

“We’ve had so many people call and say, ‘What can we do to help?’”

Whitman said the group needs to raise $70,000 in order to sponsor two families to come to Nova Scotia. She said the goal is to raise all of the money by January.

Despite the large amount that must be collected, Jones said she’s been impressed by how much money some groups have already raised.

“I’ve been hearing from people in the community that they’re having immediate commitment of donations,” she said.

Sponsoring refugees, and getting them to Canada can be a complicated process. ISANS, helps people who are making the application, navigate the system and helps them prepare for the arrival of the refugees.

“Sponsorship is not an overnight thing, they are making a commitment to be with the family before they get here, and while they’re here,” said Jones.

The federal government is speeding up the process for settling Syrian refugees. However, even with that Jones said she has seen it take anywhere from a couple of months to two years to bring Syrian refugees to Canada.

The United Nations says the Syrian refugee crisis is on a scale not seen since the second world war. Since January, Nova Scotia has settled 11 refugees. But, 44 more refugees are still having their paper work processed, said Jones. The province asked the federal government to let it settle more refugees but Ottawa hasn’t responded to the request.

ISANS is holding an information session for Nova Scotians who want to sponsor refugees on September 16.

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City of Edmonton could be looking at $10.6M budget shortfall

EDMONTON — Snow removal expenses may be partly to blame for saddling the City of Edmonton with a multi-million dollar shortfall.

The city hasn’t officially started crunching the numbers yet, but Wednesday, council heard it could be more than $10 million in the hole.

Snow removal is one expense that can be difficult to estimate year-to-year, which can then impact the accuracy of the budget.

“As with our budget every year, it all depends on how much it snows,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

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“We are behind $10 million bucks because of snow early in the year.”

The transportation department said Edmonton didn’t get a lot of snow in terms of overall volume, but had small, more frequent weather events that drove up costs.

Pothole expenses, vehicle maintenance and tax appeals also contributed to the projected deficit.

READ MORE: Edmonton expects to be $10M over 2014’s snow removal budget 

The mayor hopes a mild winter could help get the city back in black.

“If we have a light winter, we’ll make that back up to Christmas,” he said. “If we have a heavy snowfall, we’ll have to dip into our reserve, which is there for dealing with this from one year to the next.

“It’s a normal seasonal variance. Administration has worked hard to clamp down on expenditures in other areas to offset this, so we’re actually off $15 (million) on snow but only off $10 (million) on the overall budget.

“Overall, it’s a risk to keep an eye on but it’s in the hands of the weather gods.”

Council also heard the city’s planning department is already dipping into its reserves. The branch manager said the department will start looking at staffing levels and vacancies. Scott Mackie said layoffs won’t be necessary right now.

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Donald Trump, Ted Cruz square off against Iran deal at U.S. Capitol

WATCH ABOVE: GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both said they opposed the Iran nuclear, with Trump saying the agreement will be “renegotiated, or worse”, if elected president. Major Garrett reports.

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential rivals and friends-for-now Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on Wednesday savaged the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, calling it an incompetently negotiated deal that will cost “countless” American and Israeli lives.

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“We are led by very, very stupid people,” Trump, the Republican front-runner weighed in, at a midday rally on Capitol Hill. He called the deal “incompetent” and poised to fail in the fight against Islamic militants. “We will have so much winning if I get elected, that you may get bored with winning.”

READ MORE: 6 ‘Trumpisms’ that would spell trouble for anyone but Trump

Cruz, who invited Trump to the event, said supporters of the deal will have blood on their hands.

“You cannot wash your hands of that,” he said, naming House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both Republicans, as two men who could stand in the way.

“Any commander-in-chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared to stand up on Jan. 20, 2017 and rip to shreds this catastrophic deal.”

The pairing at Wednesday’s rally, sponsored by tea party and pro-Israel activists, is the product of what Trump acknowledged beforehand as “a little bit of a romance” at this early stage of the 2016 presidential race. In fact, the senator and the real estate developer are competing for many of the same anti-establishment, core Republican activists.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, greet each other on stage during a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The two spoke as Congress debated the deal, which is designed to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Republicans and Israel say Iran can’t be trusted because its leaders want to annihilate the Jewish state.

The agreement struck by Iran, the U.S., China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany in July would provide Iran hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions in exchange for a decade of constraints on the country’s nuclear program. The deal aims to keep Iran at least a year away from being able to produce enough nuclear material for a weapon.

READ MORE: Trump pledges to back Republican party’s 2016 nominee, not run as independent

Both candidates slammed President Barack Obama’s agreement to the complex deal at without negotiating the release of four Americans who remain in captivity in Iran. Trump added this pledge:

“If I win the presidency I guarantee you that these four prisoners are back in our country before I ever take office.”

Trump did not explain how he would accomplish that goal.

The event highlights the unique relationship between Trump and Cruz, a tea party hero who helped shut the federal government in 2013 and ultimately needs the same frustrated voters who have pushed Trump to a surprising lead in early polls. As Republican competitors turn against Trump, Cruz has offered only praise. The strategy could pay dividends for Cruz in the coming months, if Trump drops out of the race.

Still, Trump assured the group: “I’m not dropping out of anything. I never drop out.”

Some protesters carried Israeli flags, but more carried American flags. A few carried posters that said, “Jewish lives matter.”

The day gave Trump an opportunity to address foreign policy less than a week after he struggled to answer basic questions about key players in the Middle East during a radio interview.

The protest won’t change the ultimate approval of the international agreement, which has been clear for days: Even if a disapproval resolution should pass the House and Senate this week, President Barack Obama would veto it, and Democrats have the votes in hand to sustain his veto.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign released an Instagram video clip on the eve of the rally, using Trump’s words against him. Asked in a past CNN interview who he’d like to represent the U.S. in a deal with Iran, Trump responds, “I think Hillary would do a good job.”

©2015

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