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Costco offering Hepatitis A vaccinations after frozen berry mix recall

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Apr 19th, 2016

Nature’s Touch brand Organic Berry Cherry Blend. CFIA.

Costco is offering Hepatitis A vaccinations to anyone who purchased a frozen berry mix recently recalled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The CFIA recalled Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend on Saturday due to possible contamination. The frozen berry mix is sold exclusively at Costco stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says 13 cases of Hepatitis A have been linked to the product – nine in Ontario, three in Quebec, and one in Newfoundland and Labrador – with the individuals becoming sick in February and March. It says three people were hospitalized.

The health agency says anyone exposed to the recalled product, or have symptoms of Hepatitis A, should see their health care provider immediately.

The PHAC says Costco Canada is now offering free Hepatitis A vaccinations for anyone who has been affected by the recall. The agency says vaccinations can prevent the onset of symptoms if given within two weeks of exposure.

The agency says Hepatitis A can cause inflammation of the liver, and sufferers can experience a wide range of symptoms including fever, low appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and jaundice.

It notes the symptoms are usually mild and last one or two weeks, however, in severe cases can last several months.

The CFIA said the affected product was sold in 1.5-kilogram packages with best-before dates up to and including March 16, 2018 (UPC code 8 73668 00179 1). Anyone who has the product is urged to throw it out, or return it to the store where it was purchased.

Raptors bounce back to beat Pacers in Game 2

LORI EWING, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Apr 19th, 2016

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Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry (7) and Cory Joseph (6) high-five after Lowry was fouled during second half of game two, round one NBA basketball playoff action against the Indiana Pacers at the Air Canada Centre, in Toronto on Monday, April 18, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points and hauled down 15 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors bounced back to beat the Indiana Pacers 98-87 on Monday, evening their post-season series at one game apiece.

Kyle Lowry had 18 points and nine assists, while Cory Joseph finished with 16 points, Patrick Patterson chipped in with 14, and DeMar DeRozan had 10.

Paul George led the Pacers with 28 points.

The victory was a massive sigh of relief for Raptors fans after a horrible Game 1 that had Toronto looking nothing like the record-setting team it had been in the regular season. That ugly 100-90 loss conjured memories of last season’s four-game post-season sweep by the Washington Wizards.

The big question Monday was: how would the Raptors respond?

They answered with an emphatic victory that saw them cough up an early 18-point lead, but battle back with a terrific fourth quarter.

Leading 74-66 to start the fourth, they found another gear, and when Lowry threaded a gorgeous pass to Joseph under the basket, the bucket put the Raptors up by 15 points and sent the Air Canada Centre crowd into fits of delirium.

A pair of free throws from Lowry with 4:19 to play put the Raptors up by 19 points, and they cruised to a well-earned victory.

Lowry, who had a rough Game 1, was back at his scrappy best, diving for loose balls, and while he shot just 4-for-13 on the night, his passing and defensive effort more than made up for his lousy aim.

The Raptors won virtually without their leading scorer as DeRozan was MIA once again. The two-time all-star shot just 5-for-18, and looked completely out of sorts most of the night, hanging his head each time he trudged to the bench.

The Raptors shot a decent 44 per cent on the night, after hitting just 38 per cent of their shots on Saturday. They protected the ball better, cutting their turnovers down from 20 to 13.

The noisy sold-out Air Canada Centre crowd – including Montreal Canadiens star P.K. Subban – was a sea of purple from a T-shirt giveaway, while once again, Maple Leaf Square outside the arena was jam-packed with fans watching the game on the giant screen.

The series now moves to Indianapolis for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Saturday.

For the second straight game, Valanciunas set the tone, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds in a first quarter that saw Toronto go up by 14. The Raptors took a 27-16 lead into the second.

Terrence Ross drilled back-to-back threes to put Toronto up by 18, but George exploded for 10 points in two minutes as the Pacers battled back, and the Raptors led just 53-48 at halftime.

SIU investigating after missing girl and father involved in rollover

CityNews | posted Monday, Apr 18th, 2016

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Julia Dela-Cruz, 4, was last seen wearing a green shirt and grey track pants on April 18, 2016. OPP/YORK REGIONAL POLICE.

Julia Dela-Cruz, 4, was taken from her mother’s home in Aurora at around 4:20 a.m.

Police identified the girl’s father, Mario Rodrigues, as the alleged abductor and an Amber Alert was issued.

In a release, the SIU said OPP officers near Barncroft spotted the suspect vehicle and attempted to pull it over.

“The vehicle managed to evade police and several further attempts were made to stop the vehicle. Around 9:30 a.m., the vehicle was travelling along Paul Martin Drive in Pembroke, when it rounded a curve in the road and rolled over.”

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Vehicle involved in Amber Alert flips over, SIU investigating. April 18, 2016. Image courtesy: Ryan Courville

The Amber Alert was cancelled after the single-vehicle crash and the girl was airlifted to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Rodrigues, 35, was taken into custody.

The Toronto man suffered minor injuries in the single-vehicle crash.

“(Rodrigues) forced his way into his ex-wife’s residence, took the couple’s 4-year-old daughter without the mother’s consent and left in a vehicle,” York Regional police said in a press release.

The suspect gained entrance to the home by smashing a front window.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

 

The alert was issued after reports that the girl was abducted by her father in Aurora. More to come 0418mariorodrigues

 Mario Rodrigues is 46 years old and is five-foot-five and 160 pounds with short, dark hair, brown eyes and is clean shaven.

Two Canadians among more than 270 killed in Ecuador earthquake

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 18th, 2016

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Global Affairs Canada says consular officials are in contact with the families of two Canadians killed in a devastating earthquake which struck Ecuador on Saturday night.

Rescuers pulled survivors from rubble Sunday after the strongest earthquake to hit the country in decades flattened buildings and buckled highways along its Pacific coast. Officials said the quake killed at least 272 people and injured more than 2,500. Vice-President Jorge Glas said at a sombre news conference that the death toll was likely to rise.

The magnitude-7.8 quake, the strongest since 1979, was centered on Ecuador’s sparsely populated fishing ports and tourist beaches, 170 kilometres northwest of Quito, the capital.

“I am saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life stemming from Saturday’s devastating earthquake near the central coast of Ecuador, which has already cost the lives of at least 233, including two Canadians,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion in a statement.

The Globe and Mail reports the two are from Quebec, identifying them as Jennifer Mawn and her teenaged son Arthur. Mawn’s husband, Pascal Laflamme, and her daughter Laurie-Ann, suffered minor injuries in the quake. The family, originally from Montreal, had just recently moved to Ecuador after spending the last eight years living and working on an island in the Indian Ocean.

“Canadian officials at our embassy in Quito are reaching out to Canadian citizens in-country and providing assistance to Canadians affected by the earthquake. We will continue to work with local authorities to assess impact and needs on the ground,” said Dion.

Global Affairs Canada has asked friends and relatives of those known to be travelling in Ecuador to contact their emergency response centre.

“As developments continue to unfold, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims. I also extend my wishes for a swift recovery to those who sustained injuries,” said Dion.

Much of the damage occurred in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil – all several hundred kilometres (miles) from the centre of the quake, which struck shortly after nightfall Saturday.

In Pedernales, a town of 40,000 near the quake’s epicenter, dozens of frightened residents prepared to sleep in the streets for a second straight night as power cables were strewn across streets with no prospect of electricity being restored soon.

Pedernales Mayor Gabriel Alcivar pleaded for authorities to send earth-moving machines and rescue workers to help find people in the rubble. He said looting had broken out amid the chaos but authorities were too busy trying to save lives to re-establish order.

“This wasn’t just a house that collapsed. It was an entire town,” he said.

President Rafael Correa, who cut short a trip to Rome to oversee relief efforts, declared a national emergency and urged Ecuadoreans to stay strong.

Searchers scrambled through ruins in the provincial capital Portoviejo, digging with their hands trying to find survivors. As officials set up shelters and field hospitals, residents said they felt like the entire town had been flattened.

More than 3,000 packages of food and nearly 8,000 sleeping kits were being delivered. Electricity mostly remained out in Manabi province, the hardest-hit region, as authorities focused on finding survivors.

On social media, Ecuadorians celebrated a video of a baby girl being pulled from beneath a collapsed home in Manta.

But the prospect of another night in the streets grew more worrisome for many people after authorities announced that 180 prisoners from a jail near Portoviejo escaped amid the tumult after the quake.

The quake was about six times as strong as the most powerful of two deadly earthquakes on the other side the Pacific, in the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands. A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck Thursday near Kumamoto, followed by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake just 28 hours later. Those quakes killed 41 people and injured about 1,500, flattening houses and triggering major landslides.

With files from The Associated Press

Why you should remember to prune after bloom – Frankie Flowers

Frank Ferragine | posted Friday, Apr 15th, 2016

With warmer, spring-like temperatures finally here, it’s time to kick your garden into high gear!

Frankie Flowers shares the first of his need-to-know garden tips and this tip is all about pruning.

Is this the secret to a beautiful garden? Frankie says yes, and remember, prune after bloom!

Watch the video for more information and stay tuned for more quick gardening must-knows from Frankie. 

Headache-filled weekend for drivers, TTC riders: DVP and subway closures

CityNews | posted Friday, Apr 15th, 2016

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Traffic on the Don Valley Parkway. SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/Floydian

Spring-like weather is set to blossom this weekend with sunny skies and milder temperatures, but that happy feeling won’t last long if you’re driving around town or taking the TTC this weekend.

There’s a scheduled closure on a major Toronto artery, a partial subway closure on one line and a late opening on another. With the Toronto Raptors in playoff action at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday and a slew of other events taking place in the city, getting around may be stressful.

First up, drivers: The Don Valley Parkway will be closed between the Gardiner Expressway and Highway 401 from 11 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday for annual spring maintenance. If it rains, the maintenance will be moved to the weekend of April 29 to May 1.

Road crews will be fixing bridges, filling potholes, sealing cracks, flushing and inspecting culverts, inspecting and repairing 73 overhead signs, guiderail repairs, sweeping up of debris, and re-lamping the street lights, among other work.

Motorists can use Don Mills Road, Bayview Avenue, Victoria Park Avenue, and Kingston Road as alternates.

And if you thought the TTC will be the better way to get around this weekend, think again. Subways won’t be running on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) between St. George and Lawrence West stations on Saturday and Sunday due to signal and track work.

Shuttle buses will be running and stopping at all stations except for Glencairn, Eglinton West and St. Clair West stations. In these three cases, buses will stop near the stations. Click here for details.

Also, subway service will start at noon on Sunday on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between St. George and Pape stations due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct. Shuttle buses will be stopping at all stations.

But wait, that’s not it. The 506 Carlton streetcar will be diverting between Lansdowne Avenue and Bathurst Street from 10 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday for overhead wire work. Shuttle buses will run between Spadina Avenue and Landsdowne Station.

If you’re heading to Pearson International Airport, Metrolinx says UP Express service will be affected starting Friday and into the weekend due to GO Transit work on the Lansdowne Bridge.

Trains will be running every 30 minutes, instead of 15 minutes, and there could be times when service is temporarily shut down. During the rail shutdown, replacement buses will be provided between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.

Upcoming road and TTC closures

TTC
This weekend’s Line 1 closure is the latest in a series that started in March. The subway will be closed for at least a weekend every single month until December for TTC upgrades.

The next scheduled closure is on Line 2 between Kennedy and Victora Park stations on April 23-24.

City highways and streets
Spring cleanup on the Gardiner Expressway is scheduled to take place May 13-16. Click here for a full list of upcoming closures on the Gardiner, DVP and Lake Shore Boulevard.

And starting next week, it will be a tight squeeze through a section of Gerrard Street downtown for the next few months. As of Monday, one lane on both sides of Gerrard from Yonge to Church streets will be closed while the watermains are replaced, the road resurfaced and the bike lanes and sidewalks are upgraded.

The Gerrard closure is expected will last until the end of July.

Construction hours have been extended to speed up the project, and the city warns there will be times when overnight work will be required.

Newmarket library CEO apologizes for foul note

CityNews | posted Friday, Apr 15th, 2016

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Newmarket Public Library. Google Street View.

The CEO of the Newmarket Public Library has apologized for sending out a note telling patrons they needed a shower.

“Over the past few days, I’ve had a chance to really think about some of our recent actions to help make sure the library is a comfortable environment. I realize that my approach wasn’t the best one and I am committed to improving it.

“It was absolutely never my intention to come across as discriminatory or degrading to anyone, and for that, I am sorry,” Toddy Kyle said in a statement on Thursday.

The library had handed out a letter to some patrons in January that not-so-subtly urged them to spend some time with a bar of soap.

“This is a notice that complaints have been received about persistent, noticeable odour from your person that is affecting other users’ enjoyment of library facilities,” the letter reads.

It then reminds patrons that they can access free public showers at Trinity United Church, which is across the street from the library on Park Avenue.

On Thursday, Kyle had changed his tune.

“All are welcome at the library. If there is a need to resolve challenges with individual patrons, we will address it with greater sensitivity, on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is a library that’s full of people where everyone feels welcome.

“I invite anyone who would like to speak with me directly to contact me by e-mail at tkyle@newmarketpl.ca or by phone at 905-953-5110,” Kyle said.

Library Odour Notice

Newmarket Library asks some readers to take a shower

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 14th, 2016

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The Newmarket Public Library is handing out letters to people with body odour, pointing out that free showers and laundry facilities are close by.

Some are suggesting that the letter discriminates against the homeless.

Library CEO Todd Kyle says that many library users have openly complained about the financially disadvantaged who often stay at the library all day. In fact, some people have suggested to staff the homeless should not be allowed into the facility at all.

“I’ve had people comment to me that it’s too bad we have human rights laws, otherwise you could kick them out; I don’t have a response to that.”

At least two letters have been given out so far.

Public libraries have long been havens for people with nowhere else to go.

In the U.S., a growing number of library systems are adding services for patrons who are homeless, hungry, or suffering from drug addiction or mental illness. In D.C., libraries are hiring social workers, partnering with non-profits and organizing social hours.

Kyle said the Newmarket library does regularly provide a number of services to homeless and at-risk people. They can use computers and telephones to search for jobs and access social services.

Staff will also connect visitors to Inn From the Cold and other York Region social services, but he stresses it’s not the library’s role to find long-term solutions to homelessness issues.

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