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  • admin 20:52 on 11/09/2018  

    SEATTLE – There are two ways to view the smartphone Amazon introduced to the world on Wednesday: It’s either the latest in a long line of phones with fancy features many people will never use or a magic wand for shopaholics.

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    The phone’s most significant feature, called “Firefly,” employs audio and object recognition technology to identify products and present the user with ways to purchase the items through Amazon. Users can simply snap a photo of a book, for instance, and Firefly will offer up its title and author, give more information about it and provide ways to buy it through Amazon with a single click.

    Seven years after Apple’s iPhone took over the category, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes there is room in the market for something different. Even with the dominant leads that Apple and Samsung hold, Bezos told The Associated Press in an interview, “it’s still early” in the wireless device business.

    People change phones all the time, he said. It’s not about taking market share right away, but making a phone that is ideal for a certain customer and hoping it takes hold.

    “We wanted to make a device that’s great for one person,” Bezos said. “It’s like a certain person likes chocolate and another person likes vanilla. The customer can choose.”

    While the new Fire Phone comes with some features that are practically industry standard — like a slim profile, a sturdy glass touchscreen, minimalist buttons and one camera for facing toward and away from the user— it breaks new ground in other areas.

    The phone’s Firefly object recognition feature can identify items and product names captured with the device’s camera. It can also pull in useful information such as phone numbers, website addresses. The company has catalogued more than a hundred million items that Firefly can recognize and has tweaked the technology to recognize words and characters in a variety of real-life situations.

    Another feature, called “dynamic perspective,” uses four infrared, front-facing cameras that tell the phone where the user’s face and eyes are located. The feature adjusts the user interface so that tilting the screen relative to the viewer’s face can toggle through screens, scroll through websites, make online video game characters fly up or down, and render buildings and other custom-made art in 3-D.

    The entry-level Fire phone costs $199 with a two-year AT&T contract, which places it at the high end of smartphone pricing. But the phone comes with 32 gigabytes of memory, double the standard 16 GB. It also comes with 12 months of Amazon Prime, the company’s free shipping, video, music and book subscription plan, which normally costs $99 a year.

    “This is a very aggressive price point for a premium phone,” Bezos said.

    The new device fits with Amazon’s broader aim to create a more efficient shopping experience while steering more consumers to its retail products.

    “It goes back to the mission of Amazon, which is to sell you stuff,” said Ramon Llamas of the research firm IDC. “It reduces the number of steps it takes to buy things on the phone.”

    Fire also comes with a 4.7-inch screen, suitable for using with one hand, and earbuds with flat cords and magnets that are designed to eliminate tangles.

    Persuading consumers to buy the Fire over an iPhone or Samsung phone will be tough, analysts say, particularly because Amazon isn’t offering price breaks the way it has with Kindle tablets. And sophisticated technology such as 3-D will appeal primarily to early adopters of technology.

    “The technology’s cool, but consumers don’t buy technology,” said Julie Ask, an analyst at Forrester Research. “We buy solutions. We buy services. We pay for things that make our lives easier.”

    Charles Golvin, founder of Abelian Research, believes the phone will appeal mostly to people who already use Amazon services heavily.

    “Any loyalist of iPhones or Google is going to have to judge whether there’s enough value in what Amazon is offering with Fire to make the transition,” he said.

    Samsung and Apple dominate worldwide smartphone sales with a combined 46 per cent share, according to IDC. And in the U.S., Apple leads with more than 37 per cent, with Samsung at nearly 29 per cent.

    Amazon could succeed even if it doesn’t steal market share from the top phone makers. Michael Scanlon, managing director with John Hancock Asset Management, said success will be measured by whether Amazon can increase loyalty among its Amazon Prime members and get them to boost purchases.

    Amazon is giving Fire owners a free year of membership, which normally costs $99, and existing subscribers an extra 12 months of membership. Prime offers free two-day shipping, encouraging impulse purchases. It also offers free access to some movies, TV shows, music and books and could encourage consumers to buy additional content, once they are used to the offerings.

    Meanwhile, Firefly could encourage more purchases. The feature lets you snap bar codes, phone numbers and more. It can even direct you to facts and data, such as a Wikipedia entry with information about a painting you snapped. It listens to songs, TV shows and movies and can pull up extra info like lyrics, actor bios and other information through its IMDb database.

    The phone will be available July 25 in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T. People were able to start ordering it Wednesday.

    ___

    Anick Jesdanun reported from New York.

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 20:52 on 11/09/2018  

    FARMINGTON, Utah — A Utah teenager pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder, acknowledging that he intentionally and knowingly stabbed his two younger brothers to death last year.

    The 16-year-old agreed to the first half of the plea deal Wednesday in a juvenile court in Farmington, Utah, as his parents sat in the front row. His father wiped tears from his eyes while his mother sat in silence.

    The teen, whose name The Associated Press is not revealing because of his age, remained serious throughout the proceeding. He did not cry as he repeatedly told the judge he understood the parameters of the deal.

    The agreement calls for him to serve time for one count of murder in juvenile detention until he turns 21. At that time, he’ll be transferred into the adult court system and serve a sentence of 15 years to life in adult jail. He’ll be in adult court later Wednesday to formally accept that part of the deal.

    The teen did not say anything about what happened, but his attorney, Todd Utzinger, said the boy is sorry for what he did. The teen decided to take the deal in part to avoid putting his parents through a trial, Utzinger said.

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    The agreement brings resolution to a case that sent shockwaves through the middle-class subdivision where the family lives in West Point, a city of 9,800 about 25 miles north of Salt Lake City.

    The teen’s younger brothers, 4 and 10, were found dead in May 2013 when his mother returned home from taking another sibling to a dance recital. At first, the older brother was thought to be a third victim because he was missing from the crime scene, but police found him hours later with traces of blood on him.

    Authorities said they believed stabbings were an unplanned attack.

    In signing off on the deal, juvenile court Judge Janice Frost said the agreement adequately balances public safety needs while giving the teen access to treatment and rehabilitation services in juvenile court that he needs.

    Frost implored the teen to take advantage of treatment he’ll receive in juvenile detention and the opportunity to finish his high school degree. She said it’s clear he needs guidance and direction he would not receive in adult prison.

    Frost told him multiple times that how he behaves in juvenile detention will impact how long he spends in state adult prison.

    “You can’t make up for what happened. But you can commit to doing better and being better,” Frost said. “It’s a sad thing that happened, but you can move forward from this. I hope you can take advantage of your opportunity.”

    Outside court, Utzinger said sending the teen first to juvenile detention gives him a real chance at rehabbing. He did not discuss what issues he’s dealing with or the motive of the killings.

    “It would be inhumane for any 16-year-old child to go straight to the prison without first having an opportunity for treatment and rehabilitation,” Utzinger said. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”

    ___

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 20:52 on 11/09/2018  

    WATCH ABOVE: Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro. Rachel Lau reports.

    MONTREAL – Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro.

    The accident occurred near the corner of Westbury Avenue at about 10:40 p.m.

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Yannick Gadbois/Global News

    “Investigators are on site now to try and get some info from people around,” said Jean-Pierre Brabant, a spokesperson with the Montreal police.

    “They’re going to be looking at video surveillance this morning to get more information on the vehicle.”

    The 70-year-old woman was transported to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Noemie Cabana/Global News

    According to police, the driver got out of the car, looked around for a few moments and then got back in the vehicle and drove away.

    “We’re looking at an SUV that could be dark or black,” said Brabant.

    “That’s the only information we have, according to witnesses, so that’s why we’re looking for the help of the population.”

    According to Albert Barchichit, a close family friend, the woman was a Dollard-des-Ormeaux native.

    “She was here two weeks ago, you know?” he said.

    “It’s too bad when you know the people, it’s very bad?”

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Noemie Cabana/Global News

    He said that she was eating dinner nearby and was probably on her way home when she was hit.

    “I know her family very well. I have to call them,” he said.

    “This lady, her husband passed away two years ago.”

    Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 9-1-1 or Info-Crime at 514 393 1133.

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Noemie Cabana/Global News

    Watch: Raw video from the scene of the accident in Cote-des-Neiges

    HangZhou Night Net

     
  • admin 16:52 on 01/03/2019  

    PHOENIX – Immigrant-rights advocates filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging business raids by an Arizona sheriff’s office that have led to the arrests of hundreds of immigrant workers on charges of using fake or stolen IDs to get jobs.

    The lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio alleges immigrants living in the U.S. illegally have been singled out in such cases, while only a small number of employers have had court cases brought against them on illegal hiring allegations.

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    The advocates aren’t seeking money and instead are asking a federal judge to conclude that a state law banning employers from hiring immigrants living in the U.S. illegally is discriminatory and conflicts with federal law. They are seeking a court order prohibiting Arpaio from enforcing that law.

    Arpaio’s office is the only police agency in the state that has raided businesses in enforcement of the employment law. It has conducted 83 business raids since the law took effect in 2008, leading to the arrests of more than 700 immigrants who were in the country illegally and three managers. Three businesses have had civil cases filed against them.

    The sheriff’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

    The raids are a key element of Arpaio’s signature immigration efforts. A year ago, his office was found by a federal judge to have systematically racial profiled Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols. The sheriff vigorously disputes the profiling ruling and has filed an appeal.

    The employment law was passed as advocates for cracking down on immigrants in the U.S. illegally sought to target employers, who are blamed with fueling the nation’s border woes.

    The lawsuit says the Arizona Legislature acted in a discriminatory fashion when it changed identity-theft laws to include workers who use fake or stolen IDs to get jobs.

    Supporters of the raids say the law has helped combat identity theft and that the fear of raids has caused employers to follow the rules. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the law after business groups challenged it several years ago.

    Immigrant workers arrested on ID theft charges spend months in jail without the chance of getting a bond set, because a 2006 voter-approved law denies bail to people who are in the country illegally and charged with felony offences, from shoplifting and aggravated identity theft to murder and sexual assault.

    Immigrants desperate to earn money to support their families often plead guilty to felony charges to get out of jail, walking away with time served but often facing deportation and unable to ever again enter the U.S. legally, their lawyers have said.

    The lawsuit, filed on behalf of two women arrested in the raids, seeks class-action status that would let other immigrant workers join the lawsuit.

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 16:52 on 01/03/2019  

    Watch above: Sean O’Shea has some tips on preparing for bad weather. 

    TORONTO – When an EF2 tornado ripped through a housing complex in Angus, Ont. Tuesday afternoon, some residents had no idea what was happening until the funnel was right on top of them.

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    Though warnings of the storm system that sparked the twister were all over local news stations and social media sites, depending on what residents were doing they may not have seen the tornado coming.

    “We were outside watching the storm at first,” one resident told Global News. “And then all of a sudden the sky turned green and the wind picked up, so I yelled at my spouse to get down into the basement.”

    READ MORE: Ontario’s deadliest tornadoes by the number

    Angus, like most Canadian communities, does not have a tornado siren.

    But there are many other ways that people can get alerts about impending storms.

    Apps like Weather Alert Ontario – CAD$1.99 in the Apple App store – sends push notifications to the users’ iPhone to display storm warnings issued by Environment Canada.

    According to the app’s description, alerts will be pushed “within minutes from the time Environment Canada issues them.”

    The app has the ability to send audible alerts in the event of potentially life-threatening weather.

    Canada Weather, CAD$1.99 in the App Store, and Weather Warnings Canada, free on the App Store, both have similar functionality for nation-wide weather models.

    Environment Canada, the agency responsible for issuing tornado and storm warnings, does not currently have a mobile app that delivers storm notifications.

    Weather information is available through Environment Canada’s website, automated telephone services and RSS notification systems. The agency would not confirm or deny if it was working on an app.

    “Environment Canada is actively working on exploring and exploiting new technology platforms to disseminate meteorological alert information directly to the public and partner organizations,” read a statement from an Environment Canada spokesperson.

    “This could include using social media as a platform for distributing local weather alerting information.”

    READ MORE: Severe weather is on the horizon: “Keep an eye on the sky”

    Environment Canada does stress that people should invest in a weather radio – a programmable portable radio that issues weather watches and warnings for the user’s area. These radios, with their loud alarms, could serve as personal siren systems during severe weather events.

    The Eton FRX2 weather radio, CAD$50, can be cranked to charge or be plugged in via USB.

    However, for a weather radio to be effective – people must make sure they use them.

     
  • admin 16:52 on 01/03/2019  

    TORONTO — Michael Bublé isn’t feeling particularly sexy sitting in his Vancouver home.

    “I couldn’t look like more of a dork right now,” the singer said Wednesday. “My nine-month-old has smeared pasta all over my face. I’m wearing a black housecoat and I couldn’t find the belt for it so I’m using my wife’s belt from her white housecoat.

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    “If all those beautiful women got to see me right now they probably wouldn’t think I was so special. My wife just looked at me and gave me the thumbs down.”

    Bublé, 38, is spending some time at home before kicking off the Canadian leg of his world tour on Thursday night at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. He then heads east for shows in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, London, Ottawa and Montreal.

    Bublé insisted playing for his native country means the most to him.

    “That’s not to disparage other countries but this is my home,” he said, in a conference call. “No matter where I go or how many shows I do for how many countries, or how big this thing gets, Canada’s always going to be the most important to me.”

    The confident showman said his Canadian fans will love the show.

    “I know how good this show is. I know when I leave the stage … people are going to understand why their Canadian boy did so well all over the world, because this show isn’t a good show — this show is one of the best shows in the world without a doubt.”

    Bublé added: “I think I’m one of the best in the world at what I do. I hope I’m a humble guy but I don’t say that with humility. I really believe I love doing what I do and it shows.”

    He admitted he’s not always thrilled about singing all the songs fans want to hear.

    “I’ve never hated singing a song but, of course, you sing it so many times you get tired of it,” Bublé told Global News. “On the last tour, if I didn’t have to sing ‘Home’ again I probably would have been happy.

    “I was doing it out at the B-stage with just me and a guitar and I think it kind of fell flat for me a little bit. Now, of course, I do it in a different way. I try to soup it up and kind of bring it back to its roots so it’s definitely gotten sweeter for me again. I’ve started to learn to love singing it again.”

    Bublé said he has enough of a repertoire these days to be able to mix things up.

    “I try to make things fresh for me and fresh for my musicians — keep the boys on their toes — so if something does get boring for me or I feel like it’s getting stale, I pull it out and I’ll put something else in,” he explained.

    Connecting with the audience is key, Bublé said.

    “I feel like the audience is truly an extension of my family and I have a lot of love for them. Every single night I stand behind the curtain and I can hear the buzz of 12,000 people or 15,000 people and I get goosebumps,” he said.

    “I thank God for the chance to connect with these people. It’s something I promise myself every single night not to take for granted. I always remind myself of how lucky I am. For me, it’s impossible not to connect. There’s nothing fake about my joy. I really am so comfortable and happy and it’s just a natural thing. I want to hug everybody, I want to sing with them and dance with them. I get to be the host of this beautiful party.”

    Part of what makes Bublé so bubbly these days is Noah, his son with wife Luisana Lopilato.

    The singer’s first Father’s Day involved breakfast in bed, a painting made with Noah’s tiny footprints and a rain-soaked ride on the miniature train at Vancouver’s Confederation Park.

    Bublé said becoming a father has made him a better artist.

    “I’m better at what I do. I’m way better at what I do. There’s a fulfillment and a joy that I have in my life that I didn’t have before,” he said. “I was always a happy guy and had a good life but I didn’t know how good it can be.

    “This kid has brought something to my life that I never knew was there. I didn’t know that kind of love existed. It’s allowed me to be way better at what I do.”

    Both Lopilato and their son will accompany Bublé on tour, as well as various members of his family — including his beloved grandfather Demetrio Santagà.

    “It’s keeping me sane and happy and disciplined,” explained Bublé. “It’s almost like a tent in the rain. It’s really comfortable and it feels cozy.”

    Fatherhood, though, hasn’t turned Bublé into a get off my lawn kind of man. He said he’s got no issue with provocative singers like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga.

    “Miley’s no more shocking than Madonna was in the ‘80s but at the same time she can sing ‘Jolene.’ She sings the s*** out of it,” said Bublé.

    “I’m not that guy. I come from a very liberal family and I believe in that kind of self-expression. I believe it’s your responsibility as a parent to show your kid the way and it’s not my job to come down on other people and make them responsible for how my kid turns out or what’s happening socially in the world.”

    Did he mention how great his show is?

    “When you come and see this show you’ll understand what I’m talking about. When you leave the show you’ll understand how ambitious I am and how incredible this tour is,” he said.

    “It’s a really beautiful thing to walk off stage every single night and know that you’ve won. And know that you’ve given people their money’s worth and that you’ve taken them away for a couple of hours. I have so much belief in myself and what we’re doing that it’s complete bliss for me.”

    Bublé, in his mismatched housecoat, added: “There’s never a night that I coast or I save myself for the next thing. I walk off that stage knowing that I gave it everything I had for those people — and I think it’s something they can see.”

     
  • admin 16:52 on 01/03/2019  

    WINNIPEG – A downtown Winnipeg neighbourhood is in the grips of a creepy crawly invasion.

    Countless thousands of worms are covering sidewalks, cars and parking meters, crawling up walls and dangling from trees, and grossing out residents and passersby on Carlton Street north of Assiniboine Avenue and nearby streets.

    “This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this … and I’ve been here 20 years,” said resident Alvin Zorget.

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    “You can’t ride on the sidewalk — you have to ride on the road to get away from them,” said Glenn Muzyka. “It’s disgusting.”

    The long, thin black creatures sport a red head and small red feet at the fronts and backs of their bodies are elm spanworms, a city spokeswoman said.

    “Generally, this native pest feeds on elm, oak, red and sugar maple and ash. Egg hatch may begin in mid- to late May.  Mature larvae, sometimes referred to as “loopers” or “inchworms,” are about 50 millimetres (2 inches) long. The body of the larval stage may be dull or slate black and the head rust-coloured. Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (BTK) can be used to control elm spanworm,” Lisa Fraser told Global News in an email.

    “Our surveillance indicates that there are very isolated pockets (individual trees) of the elm spanworm. If significant damage is occurring to the tree canopy in a neighbourhood, the city would conduct a treatment using BTK. We will continue to monitor the elm spanworm over the next week, but their feeding activity will stop in about a week as they begin to enter their next life stage, the pupal stage.”

    Worms swarm on Carlton Street in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

    Jeremy Desrochers/Global News

    Worms swarm on Carlton Street in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

    Randall Paull / Global News / File

    Worms cover a truck on Carlton Street in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

    Randall Paull/Global News

    Worms climb a wall on Carlton Street in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

    Randall Paull/Global News

    An elm spanworm climbes a wall on Carlton Street in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

    Randall Paull/Global News

     
  • admin 16:52 on 01/03/2019  

    Watch above: Canada and the U.S. must work together if they want to become global energy and climate change leaders, that’s what former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said while in Edmonton. Laurel Gregory was there.

    EDMONTON – Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed a packed audience in Edmonton on Wednesday, discussing U.S. politics and her new memoir.

    She was welcomed with a standing ovation as she took the stage at the Shaw Conference Centre.

    Clinton said she was thrilled to be in Edmonton, “in a city that I’m told is the fastest-growing in Canada.”

    She described the relationship between the U.S. and Canada as “a remarkable accomplishment… No two countries are closer than we are.”

    The 67th U.S. Secretary of State shared her experiences during and shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, running against Barack Obama and then working alongside him, and answered a hypothetical question about her future in politics. Clinton has not said if she plans to run for president in 2016.

    Global reporter Laurel Gregory and Global Edmonton live tweeted the event.

    Clinton told the audience that, when President-Elect Obama asked her to be Secretary of State, she said ‘no’ twice.

    Clinton also talked about her memoir ‘Hard Choices.’

    When asked about the Keystone XL pipeline, she said Keystone should not dictate the entire conversation on energy.

    She ended the event by talking about her newest adventure: becoming a grandmother.

    “I can’t wait. I’m really excited about what this will mean for my life,” she said.

    It was Clinton’s first time in Edmonton.

    Follow @Emily_Mertz

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      US Secretary of State and possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in Toronto today.

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    REGINA – The Opposition NDP says the Saskatchewan government should follow Alberta’s lead and scrap plans to build nine joint-use schools through public-private partnerships.

    The Alberta government has said it would cost $14 million more to build 19 schools through a P3 arrangement and has abandoned the idea.

    It says the right choice for students, parents and taxpayers is to use traditional financing.

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    HangZhou Night Net

    Trent Wotherspoon, the Saskatchewan NDP’s education critic, argues using a P3 model to build schools costs more and can take longer to get shovels in the ground.

    “What we’re calling on this government to do is see the light of day, to learn from Alberta, to learn from Nova Scotia that wasted a whole bunch of money and to save tax payers money and stop wasting time…and build the schools that we need for this province and do so in the traditional way,” he said.

    The Saskatchewan government says the province is still interested in a public-private partnership and points out that Alberta saved money on its first batch of P3 schools.

    The CEO of the crown corporation, Sask Builds added that Alberta saved money in the past when there were multiple bidders on projects. Rupen Pandya said he expects Saskatchewan to attract multiple bidders because the projects here are different than in Alberta.

    “The last bundle of schools, the fourth in Alberta, is geographically dispersed. There’s a mix of high schools and elementary schools. The Saskatchewan schools are all concentrated, essentially in urban centres; we have schools in Martensville and Warman which are just outside of Saskatoon, but from a market perspective, they’re essentially urban. They’re all elementary schools,” Pandya said.

    Pandya also explained that Saskatchewan will have an independent report done for each P3 to look at value for money.

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    CALGARY- One year after the 2013 June flood, Kananaskis Country continues to rebuild. Over 300 millimetres of rain fell in the mountain park, sprouting pop-up mountain creeks that quickly became angry rivers gnawed through highways and bridges. About 1,200 people had to evacuate from the park, including many who became stranded.

    “Everyone had their close calls throughout the flood…mine was a little dramatic,” says Gareth Short, a Kananaskis park ranger.

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    Short could have drowned when his truck broke through the damaged Rocky Creek bridge. Well after midnight on June 20, 2013, he was headed north on Highway 40 after checking some mudslides further south. From his truck, the bridge appeared to be in good shape.

    “I didn’t know it at the time, but the water had eroded all the soft material underneath this asphalt and left it hanging in the air,” he remembers. “I took it at 60 or 70 kilometres an hour and I felt a large, jarring jolt to my front end. My front wheels actually caved in a portion of that asphalt.”

    Instead of sliding backwards into the three metre by three metre hole and down into the icy, fast moving creek, Short got a flood miracle that night.

    “My truck sort of skipped over the hole, my back end went in, shattered my leaf springs, and I ended up on all four tires on this side of the bridge.”

    “I don’t know how exactly I ended up being as lucky as I was.”

    Minutes later, his luck — and foresight — would also save the life of RCMP Cpl. Jane Boehr, who works out of the K-Country detachment.

    She had stopped further south on Highway 40 at Grizzly Creek.  She could see water on the road, but not how much.

    “I sat there probably for five to 10 minutes trying to figure out what I needed to do,” Boehr says.

    Eventually, through the downpour, she spotted a road sign flickering ominously ahead, and made a frightening realization.  Had she continued to drive she would have run straight into a wall of water, flowing about two metres deep over the road.

    “The water was just pouring over this road sign, and… it would ebb and flow up and down,” she says.  “I don’t know if you would have been able to stop in time, it was so dark out.”

    She turned around and headed back north towards the bridge that crumbled under Gareth Short’s truck as he drove over it minutes earlier. Fortunately, he radioed her to tell her about his experience at Rocky Creek, and warned her not to try and cross.  It would be a second close call for the officer in just a few minutes.

    “That would have been a whole different story. I potentially could have ended up in the creek,” she says.

    But the police officer was now stranded near a steep slope, between two raging creeks. During her career, she has she has worked  through a tornado and an armed standoff.  She says spending the night in her truck next to a steep slope where she was vulnerable to another mudslide, was “more” harrowing.

    “I was scared.  At one point it was like, I have no control.  That’s when you really realize you have no control.”

    20 hours later, a helicopter plucked her out — one of 70 rescue flights during what would be a massive evacuation of the entire park.

    “No one was hurt, no one was injured in Kananaskis during that evacuation, and I think we can be proud of that,” says Michael Roycroft, manager of Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.

    Among the evacuees was a group of 16 Grade 12 students from Prairie Christian Academy in Three Hills. They were on a school camping trip to Carnavon Lake, in the Highwood Pass area. They were wet, cold and stranded in the backcountry, with a lot of people very worried about them.

    “The rain was too thick, we couldn’t get in, and we tried literally three times. It was the third time we got in and we were finally able to sling them out,” Roycroft remembers. He was helping coordinate the evacuations from the Emergency Operations Centre in Canmore.

    “They said afterwards they weren’t sure they were going to make it another night…there was some very appreciative parents and teachers, that we got their kids back,” Roycroft added emotionally, tearing up.

    It was one of over 70 rescue flights, with support from the army. Frank Doll and his wife were camping at Mt. Kidd RV Park in Kananaskis when soldiers knocked on their trailer door. Bridge washouts on Highway 40 on either side of the RV park had stranded everyone in the campground.

    “The army trucks were on the other side of the washout so we went down ladders and so on and loaded up into the backs of these [army] trucks, Doll says. “Good people helped us out and we’re very thankful for sure.”

    The students who were rescued from high in the backcountry were cold but uninjured. The school now has a satellite phone it sends along on all camping trips.  Their bus was stuck near Highwood Junction for several months after the flood until the highway was repaired.

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    Watch the video above: Cost of living increases make for creative education savings

    SASKATOON – As tuition fees across Saskatchewan continue to rise, parents are pinching pennies to put children through post-secondary schooling.

    Kelly Dash is the mother of four-year-old Jack and 16-month-old Joe.

    She and her husband have been balancing the cost of the bare necessities of life with activities their boys are involved in, like soccer and blastball.

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    “We’re just doing our best. We’re trying to save as much as we can put away,” said Dash.

    “It can just be overwhelming at times; knowing the right place to commit your money to make sure it’s the right growth for when they need it.”

    It is a struggle parents nationwide can understand.

    Tuition and compulsory fees in Saskatchewan ranked fourth-highest in Canada in 2012-13.

    These costs are projected to hit $7,912 in 2016-17, according to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    Blogger and mother of three, Tenille Lafontaine, knows what it takes to be Feisty, Frugal & Fabulous. Parents frequent her blog looking for advice and recommendations.

    Saving hard earned cash is, as the title of the blog would suggest, a hot topic.

    “Parents want to find ways to do it that’s easy and not really impacting their life a lot,” explains Lafontaine.

    “Definitely couponing, coupon apps, consignment sales. If you’re going to put clothing in a garage sale or kids’ items in a garage sale – take that money and put that into an RESP.”

    Saskatoon-based financial advisor Sarah King says parents need to sit down and have an open discussion about money.

    Parents are advised to decide where money is best spent and what type of position they would like to be in.

    “I think right away, as soon as the baby is born, you get a social insurance number. You can start into an RESP. It can be as little as $25 a month,” said King, with Independent Financial Services.

    Four out of ten students graduate debt-free from post-secondary institutions, according to the Canadian University Survey Consortium Graduating Student survey.

    Thirty per cent of debt-saddled grads wind up owing less than $12,000. On average, they owe $24,600.

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    CALGARY- Despite a State of Emergency being issued due to flood fears, the city of Medicine Hat says it doesn’t think people will need to evacuate their homes.

    An updated forecast from Environment Canada shows a peak river flow of 2,400 cubic metres per second by Saturday, which is half of what was originally anticipated.

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    Crews are still working to shore up areas that could be affected, but it appears the South Saskatchewan River won’t rise as much as initially feared.

    An emergency operations centre was opened last Tuesday, and an evacuation centre was set up.

    READ MORE: Several southern Alberta communities under state of emergency

    Sean Balfour’s home was flooded last year, and on Thursday he was out sandbagging, saying he’d rather be safe than sorry.

    “Most of us haven’t even finished rebuilding from last year, it’s exasperating,” he said. “It’s very tiring, it’s a huge weight on our shoulders.”

    During the 2013 floods, 10,000 people in Medicine Hat were forced to leave their homes, and hundreds of homes were flooded.

    -With files from the Canadian Press and CHAT 

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    REGINA – New motorcycle laws have taken effect in Saskatchewan.

    Riders in the motorcycle graduated driver licensing (MGDL) program must now display a placard on their motorcycle plate. Learner riders have to display a red “L” while novice 1 and 2 riders are required to display a green “N”.

    Another change is the hours MGDL learners can ride. Riding is not allowed from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise.

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    There are also new equipment requirements for those in the program. MGDL riders must now have arms and legs covered, wear hand-covered gloves, boots that cover ankles and an approved three-quarter, modular or full-face helmet.

    Starting July 16, people wanting to get a motorcycle learner’s licence must hold a Class 5 or higher license and have either passed a basic ability test or completed an approved motorcycle training program beforehand.

    A change that affects all riders is an increase in safe driver recognition and driver improvement program points for certain traffic convictions.

    Also, inspections are now required for all motorcycles deemed a total loss or that were most recently registered in another jurisdiction.

    The province approved the changes after the recommendations were made by the motorcycle review committee earlier this year.

     
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