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Freezing rain to change over to rain in the GTA on Tuesday

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 16th, 2017

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Toronto and the GTA, calling for the potential of freezing rain on Tuesday.

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor says the freezing rain will start in the GTA around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and then change to rain by 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. as the temperature rises.

CityNews weather specialist Frank Ferragine said the risk of freezing drizzle will start after 9 p.m. on Monday.

The national weather agency says the switch over to rain may happen later in other areas of southern Ontario, with rain arriving in the afternoon or evening.

Taylor said around 15 millimetres of rain could fall in the GTA on Tuesday accompanied by a gusty wind.

Warmer than usual temperatures are in store for most of the week. Monday’s high is a mild 4 C, and temperatures are expected to be between 3-5 C for the rest of the week.

TTC proposing 35 weekend subway closures in 2017

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 16th, 2017


The TTC has unveiled its list of closures for the coming year and if there’s any good news it’s that there are slightly fewer of them than last year.

Twenty of the 35 planned closures will affect Line 1, Yonge-University, with the first of the year coming next weekend when a large portion of the system will be closed from Downsview to St. George stations.

Portions of Line 2, Bloor-Danforth, will be closed 10 times while three closures will affect the Scarborough RT. The Sheppard Line will see just one closure in 2017.

The bulk of the closures will be in April, May and June with some part of the system closed every weekend during those three months.

Sports fans in Toronto will bear the brunt of the frustration as 22 Blue Jays games will be affected by the closures including the weekend of June 3 and 4 when division rival New York Yankees are in town. That is also the weekend for one of the 11 full closures of the Yonge-University line from Downsview to St. George.

Other sporting and cultural events affected by the closures:

– 5 Toronto Maple Leafs games including the February 25 match against the Montreal Canadiens
– 4 Toronto Raptors games
– Honda Indy Toronto weekend July 15 & 16
– Ariana Grande concert at ACC on March 5
– Tim McGraw / Faith Hill concert at ACC on June 24
– Bruno Mars concerts at ACC on August 26 & 27

The TTC says the closures are necessary and that shutting down portions of the system over a single weekend allows crews to do the equivalent of five weeks of overnight work.

Most of the closures are to implement ATC – automatic train control, which the TTC says will allow them to run more trains at higher speeds, thus providing more reliable travel times.

The closures are expected to be approved at a meeting of the TTC Board on Wednesday.

GTA construction worker goes viral busting a move to Ariana Grande

Faiza Amin | posted Monday, Jan 16th, 2017


It was a video of a Toronto man dancing while on a construction job, shared among family and friends on Facebook, that instead quickly spread like wildfire to reach tens of millions people worldwide… and even got Hollywood’s attention.

The man at the centre of it all is Tony Restivo. He can be seen in uniform, doing some pelvic thrusts and high kicks to Ariana Grande’s ‘Into You.’

“The first 15 to 20 seconds, I didn’t know,” Tony told CityNews. “Then from the corner of my eyes, I saw Anthony taping me, and he always tapes me at work when I’m doing something funny.”

It was like any other day for Tony, who started busting out in some dancing, as a way to lighten the mood among his co-workers, something he says he does daily when they work long hours.

“The guys were really quiet that day, and not in good spirits and I just started cranking my music and dancing like I always do,” he explains. “It’s actually a normal thing, I dance all the time at work, to make the guys laugh and have a good time because our job is hard enough as it is.”

The father of two doesn’t even have Facebook, and only found out about the viral video, after his wife Sandy Restivo, told him about the millions of hits.

“I didn’t know it was going to reach this,” said Tony. “I thought only the family was going to see it, and if I knew, I probably would have told Sandy not to put it on.”

Sandy found the video on his phone and put it up online, and to her surprise, it instantly went viral.

“The most common comments I get are, you made my day, thank you for the laughs,” she explained. “I’m glad construction workers have a good time, they’re hard workers.”

Tony’s videos have been also made their way to other social media sites, like Twitter and Instagram. That’s also where Grande herself, gave him two thumbs up for his choreography, posting the video with the caption “hell yeah dude.”

“If she got a kick out of it, that’s great and I hope everybody else got a kick out of it,” Tony said. “In my normal life, this is what I do, have fun with work and life, and go on from there.”

The dancing moves, now watched by 16 million people on Facebook by Sunday evening, have left some asking the inspiration behind that talent.

“Watching Michael Jackson, John Travolta, Elvis Presley, I grew up watching those guys,” he explained. “It just comes naturally, it didn’t come from any particular place.”

If Tony danced his way into your heart, you might also be interested to know that he’s got a voice to go along with those moves. His wife is happy to share him with the world.

“I think it’s great, as long as they smile, maybe they look at their husband’s a little differently at night, I’m happy,” Sandy said.

Ontarians with unpaid speeding tickets to be denied licence plates

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jan 16th, 2017


Speeding scofflaws in Ontario will soon be feeling extra pressure to pay outstanding fines, as the province gives municipalities the power to deny them licence plates.

Under changes the Liberal government is set to enact in May, people who have not paid fines for driving-based offences, such as speeding and careless driving, won’t be able to get or renew their plates.

The current plate denial regime only applies to vehicle-based offences, such as parking tickets and red-light camera fines.

Municipalities in the province are owed a collective $1.4 billion in unpaid fines for provincial offences, including those under the Highway Traffic Act. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has been asking the government for more than a decade for more tools to collect that money.

Some of those fines date back 50 years and couldn’t be feasibly collected, so the government is making the policy retroactive seven years.

About one-third of the defaulted fines are from the past seven years. Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca acknowledged that even with the changes, municipalities won’t be able to collect all of the approximately $500 million, but it sends a strong message to people with outstanding fines.

“If they’ve managed to navigate the system to their benefit up until this point in time, it’s that much harder now for them to do it,” he said. “With any system that government puts in place there will always be those who will find creative ways to avoid playing by the rules, I suppose, but this is another opportunity for us to be able to get those fines collected and make sure people get a clear message that they can’t continue to act in this way.”

Municipalities had been hoping the change would apply farther back than seven years, but are now just anxious to collect more of the outstanding fines, said Lynn Dollin, president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

“If those fines aren’t paid, it’s you and I covering those administration costs out of our property taxes, so we want to make sure that we’re getting the full bang for the buck and everything that we’re entitled to is coming to us,” she said.

People with unpaid speeding tickets are already subject to licence suspension, but plate denial will be an added motivator to pay those fines, said Del Duca.

“A person might be theoretically out there driving with an expired or suspended licence, therefore they’re not going forward to get it renewed, but you have the visual sticker on your licence plate, you have all that stuff that is easier for law enforcement to recognize at a glance,” he said.

The change is one of the last to be enacted under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act that passed in 2015. The legislation also increased fines for distracted driving and “dooring” cyclists and introduced new penalties for drug-impaired driving.

The regulation – which would not apply to jointly owned vehicles or those registered to a company – is posted for a mandatory public comment period, which ends Monday.

Mississauga teen allegedly abducted by two men, Amber Alert issued

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 16th, 2017


An Amber Alert has been issued for a missing 15-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted by two men on Sunday afternoon in Mississauga.

Alyssa Langille was last on Saturday in the Silver Spear Road area and was reported missing by her family on Sunday evening.

Earlier in the day, a witness told police that around 1:25 p.m. a grey or silver van pulled over on St. Barbara Boulevard at Comiskey Crescent, near McLaughlin Road. Two men got out and and forced a female in the vehicle. The vehicle was last seen heading south on St. Barbara towards Derry Road West.

Peel police allege two men forced a female into this van in Mississauga on Jan. 15, 2017. HANDOUT/Peel Regional Police


Langille is white, five-feet-two with shoulder-length blonde hair worn in a ponytail and blue eyes. She was wearing a grey sweater, grey sweatpants, and black and red “Air Jordan” running shoes.

The first suspect is South Asian, around 24 years old, six-foot-two with a thin build. He was wearing a green long sleeve shirt, grey vest, and orange turban.

The second suspect is a South Asian man with black hair.

Dominant third quarter lifts Toronto Raptors to 116-101 win over Knicks

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jan 16th, 2017


Late in the third quarter Sunday afternoon, Kyle Lowry threw his arms in the air gesturing the Air Canada Centre crowd to stand up cheer.

The fans needed little prodding.

DeMar DeRozan had just scored on a driving dunk as part of a thoroughly dominant third-quarter performance by the Toronto Raptors, en route to a 116-101 victory over a horrible New York Knicks team.

DeRozan finished with 23 points, while Lowry had 16 to go with nine assists, in just 28 minutes of action apiece from the two all-stars. Jonas Valanciunas recorded his 15th double-double of the season with 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Raptors (27-13), who are 8-0 against Atlantic Division opponents.

Norman Powell contributed 21 points, while DeMarre Carroll had 20, and Terrence Ross chipped in 12.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to top the Knicks (18-23), while Derrick Rose, who landed in hot water earlier in the week after missing a game without notice to return to Chicago for a family emergency, added 16.

The Raptors were coming off a 132-113 thumping of Brooklyn on Friday that set a franchise-high for points in a non-overtime game, and saw them score 42 points in the fourth quarter.

No late-game heroics were needed Sunday. The Raptors broke the game open with a 25-2 run to start the third quarter against a Knicks team that all but disappeared on the defensive end.

Toronto would lead by as many as 38 points twice in the third quarter, and took a 96-62 advantage into a fourth quarter that saw coach Dwane Casey sit all of his starters.
The Knicks would pull to within 13 points with just a minute to play, but the game was all but over.

With their 27th victory coming one game before the midway point of the NBA season, the Raptors are guaranteed of at least tying their best first half in franchise history. They won a franchise-best 27 games at the midway point of the 2014-15 season, and had 26 wins at the midway point last season en route to their franchise-best 49-win regular season.

Toronto’s Patrick Patterson sat out the game with a strained left knee, while the Knicks were without Kristaps Porzingis (sore Achilles).

The Knicks put up a decent fight through a first quarter that saw the Raptors hold a brief eight-point lead. Toronto took a 27-26 advantage into the second.

The Raptors opened the second quarter with a 12-2 run, to open an 11-point lead on their visitors. A DeRozan finger roll had Toronto up by 16 points with 3:11 left to play, and the Raptors took a 69-54 lead into the halftime break.

The Raptors play their next three on the road, opening Tuesday in Brooklyn. They play in Philadelphia on Wednesday, then Charlotte on Friday before returning home to host the Phoenix Suns next Sunday.

Uxbridge teen saves enough pennies to build a house for charity

Amanda Ferguson | posted Friday, Jan 13th, 2017


It’s enough pennies that if stacked up would stand the height of 31 CN Towers or weigh as much as five fully-grown African elephants.

An Uxbridge teen has amassed just that – 10 million pennies – or $100,000 for Habitat for Humanity.

“When I started out, I was 11 years old, so I really didn’t know how much money that was,” Josh Morrison said.

penny graphics

The 15-year-old says he was inspired after he walked into a Habitat for Humanity ReStore with his dad who was looking to buy a sink. Josh says a blue display toilet with pennies inside the bowl grabbed his attention. It was part of the non-profit organization’s campaign to collect 10 million pennies to help pay for one of their homes. Josh decided to make it his own personal mission.

“I came into ReStore and I saw they were collecting the money — $100,000, 10-million pennies — and I just felt I was supposed to help out with that.”

Habitat for Humanity Durham CEO Mary Bone said she is blown away by the teen’s drive and dedication. Josh lives by the saying, “Hard is not a synonym for impossible.”

“Yeah, I would tell you it might be impossible, but he tricked me,” Bone laughs.

josh pennies 2

Some of the funds raised were not all in coin form. Eventually corporations came forward with cheques to help the teen reach his goal.

“It is overwhelming,” Josh’s father Greg Morrison said. “His mother and I are very proud of him … Obviously, the goal was amazing, but the determination and not quitting is something we’re very proud of for sure.”

The money raised by Josh will go towards one of a number of townhomes currently being built in Oshawa. The organization is planning to break ground on Josh’s penny house this summer and hopes to hand over the keys to a deserving family by Christmas 2017.

Beer workers at Molson Coors in Toronto on strike after contract talks stall

CityNews | posted Friday, Jan 13th, 2017


Workers at Molson Coors in Toronto have walked off the job after a strike deadline came and went at noon ET on Thursday.

Some 320 employees of the brewery are on the picket line, comprising producers, brewers, packagers, maintenance and warehouse personnel at the Carlingview Drive facility.

The two sides have been negotiating since last October. The union has been without a contract since New Year’s Eve.

According to the union, the company is looking for a 7 per cent reduction in wages, pensions and benefits.

The union says it has offered up reductions in overtime pay and the hiring of more temporary workers. They’ve also offered to give the company 10 per cent co-pay for benefits.

Robert Folk, the president of the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers Local 325, which has represented the workers at the Carlingview facility for 55 years, accuses the company of bargaining in bad faith.

“They are trying to eliminate the middle class,” Folk tells CityNews.

Folk says this is the first labour dispute at the company since 1997. He says the decisions are coming from corporate offices in Colorado, where the mandate is to “lower wages.”

The union says there is no danger of a beer shortage in the short term, noting that the company has been storing beer off-site at two different warehouses in anticipation of a work stoppage.

Molson Coors produces 24 brands of beer including Canadian, Coors Light, Molson XXX and Rickard’s.

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