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FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012 file photo shows singer Glen Campbell performing during his Goodbye Tour in Little Rock, Ark. Campbell, the grinning, high-pitched entertainer who had such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. He was 81. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Glen Campbell, superstar entertainer of 1960s and ’70s, dies

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Aug 9th, 2017

Singer Glen Campbell performing during his Goodbye Tour in Little Rock, Ark. Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
Glen Campbell, the affable superstar singer of “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman” whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 81.

Campbell’s family said the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville and publicist Sandy Brokaw confirmed the news. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.

In the late 1960s and well into the ’70s, the Arkansas native seemed to be everywhere, known by his boyish face, wavy hair and friendly tenor. He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits, including No. 1 songs with “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”

His performance of the title song from “True Grit,” a 1969 release in which he played a Texas Ranger alongside Oscar winner John Wayne, received an Academy Award nomination. He twice won album of the year awards from the Academy of Country Music and was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Seven years later, he received a Grammy for lifetime achievement.

For a look back at Campbell’s life and career, watch the video below or click here.

His last record was “Adios,” which came out in June, and features songs that Campbell loved to sing, but never recorded, including tunes made famous by Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash.

Campbell was among a wave of country crossover stars that included Johnny Cash, Roy Clark and Kenny Rogers, and like many of his contemporaries, he enjoyed success on television. Campbell had a weekly audience of some 50 million people for the “Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” on CBS from 1969 to 1972. He gained new fans decades later when the show, featuring his cheerful greeting “Hi I’m Glen Campbell,” was rerun on cable channel CMT.

He released more than 70 of his own albums, and in the 1990s recorded a series of gospel CDs. His 2011 album “Ghost On the Canvas” included contributions from Jacob Dylan, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.

The documentary “Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me” came out in 2014. The film about Campbell’s 2011-12 farewell tour offers a poignant look at his decline from Alzheimer’s while showcasing his virtuoso guitar chops that somehow continued to shine as his mind unraveled. The song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” won a Grammy for best country song in 2015 and was nominated for an Oscar for best original song.

Campbell’s musical career dated back to the early years of rock ‘n roll. He was part of the house band for the ABC TV show “Shindig!” and a member of Phil Spector’s “Wrecking Crew” studio band that played on hits by the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers and the Crystals. He played guitar on Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In the Night,” the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” and Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas.”

Born outside of Delight, Arkansas, he was just 4 when he learned to play guitar. As a teenager, anxious to escape a life of farm work and unpaid bills, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to join his uncle’s band and appear on his uncle’s radio show. By his early 20s, he had formed his own group, the Western Wranglers, and moved to Los Angeles. He opened for the Doors and sang and played bass with the Beach Boys as a replacement for Brian Wilson. (In 1966, Campbell played on the Beach Boys’ classic “Pet Sounds” album.)

By the late ’60s, he was a performer on his own, an appearance on Joey Bishop’s show leading to his TV breakthrough. Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers saw the program and asked Campbell if he’d like to host a summertime series, “The Summer Brothers Smothers Show.” Campbell shied from the Smothers Brothers’ political humour, but still accepted the offer.

As he would confide in painful detail, Campbell suffered for his fame and made others suffer as well. He drank heavily, used drugs and indulged in a turbulent relationship with country singer Tanya Tucker in the early 1980s.

He is survived by his wife, Kim; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; and his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane and Dillon. He had 10 grandchildren.

Among Campbell’s own hits, “Rhinestone Cowboy” stood out and became his personal anthem. Written and recorded by Larry Weiss in 1974, “Rhinestone Cowboy” received little attention until Campbell heard it on the radio and quickly related to the story of a veteran performer who triumphs over despair and hardship. Campbell’s version was a chart topper in 1975.

“I thought it was my autobiography set to song,” he wrote 20 years later, in his autobiography, titled “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Durham police probing discovery of decapitated livestock in Pickering

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Aug 9th, 2017

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A beach in Pickering where police said decapitated livestock was found, Aug. 8, 2017. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera
Durham police are investigating after several decapitated animals were found near the Lake Ontario waterfront in Pickering on Monday.

Citizens called police at around 10:30 a.m. after stumbling upon the headless animals in the area of West Shore Boulevard and Beachpoint Promenade.

Police tell 680 NEWS a goat and several chickens were found.

“We’re still trying to figure out exactly what happened to these animals, how they ended up there. We’re still in the early stages of this investigation,” Const. George Tudos explained.

Authorities said it doesn’t appear the animals were part of a holiday Monday barbecue.

“It doesn’t appear that they were being utilized for eating, from what we found on the scene, so yes it’s a little bit concerning,” Tudos said. “We want to get to the bottom of this and try to figure out exactly who did this and why the animals ended up here.”

Animal Services was called to remove the carcasses.

Blurred image of a goat found on a beach in Pickering, Aug. 8, 2017. CITYNEWS/Amanda Ferguson

Blurred image of a chicken found on a beach in Pickering, Aug. 8, 2017. CITYNEWS/Amanda Ferguson

If you know anything call Durham Regional police or Crime Stoppers.

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Federal justice minister wants legal alcohol limit for drivers lowered

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Aug 9th, 2017

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Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is considering lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers, according to a letter she sent to her Quebec counterpart.

In the correspondence to Stephanie Vallee dated on May 23, Wilson-Raybould suggests lowering the limit to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood from the current 80 milligrams.

The federal minister said the change would “make it easier to fight the danger posed by drivers who have consumed alcohol.”

She said the current rules were established after research indicated the risk of being involved in a car crash was twice as likely when a driver has 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his or her system.

“More recent research indicates the initial data underestimated that risk,” she wrote.

Wilson-Raybould said the risk is twice as high at 50 milligrams and close to three times as high for 80 milligrams, “and the risk increases exponentially after that.”

The minister said in the letter she was eager to hear Vallee’s thoughts on the proposed legislative change.

Neither Wilson-Raybould nor Vallee was available for interviews Tuesday.

Francois Meunier, who works for an association that represents restaurateurs in Quebec, said the proposed changes would be a disaster for the province’s restaurant industry, particularly for business owners outside the big cities.

“The new rules mean a woman can have one drink and a man, in most cases, two,” Meunier said. “Forget about a bottle of wine for two, for a Valentine’s Day dinner — that’s over.”

Meunier said his members are less worried about losing alcohol sales than seeing a significant drop in total revenues, as people choose to stay home.

“It’s about food sales that go with the alcohol,” he said.

“When it comes to celebrations, parties, all that will be done at home as people change their behaviour. It’s easy to talk about taking a taxi or public transportation, but in the regions it’s not as easy.”

Trump, North Korea trade escalating threats of fire

FOSTER KLUG AND MATTHEW PENNINGTON, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Aug 9th, 2017

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President Donald Trump talks about North Korea at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
In an exchange of threats, U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang of “fire and fury like the world has never seen” and the North’s military claimed Wednesday it was examining plans for attacking Guam.

The high-level tit-for-tat follows reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

Despite regular North Korean threats against Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific about 3,400 kilometres from the Korean Peninsula, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on U.S. citizens. It’s also not clear how reliable North Korea’s mid-range missiles would be in an attack against a distant target given the relatively few times they’ve been tested.

Even so, the competing threats and Trump’s use of North Korea-style rhetoric – Pyongyang has long vowed to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire” – raise already high animosity and heighten worries that a miscalculation might spark conflict between the rivals.

The North Korean army said in a statement that it is studying a plan to create an “enveloping fire” in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles. The statement described Andersen Air Force Base on Guam as a “beachhead” for a potential U.S. invasion of North Korea it needed to neutralize. It was unlikely the North’s threat was a direct response to Trump’s comments to the camera at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with matters related to North Korea, said the North’s army statement hurts efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. Ministry spokesman Baek Tai-hyun said Seoul remains committed to both dialogue and sanctions for solving the North Korean nuclear problem and called for Pyongyang to stop its provocations. Baek did not mention Trump’s comments.

Trump spoke hours after reports indicated North Korea can now wed nuclear warheads with its missiles, including its longest-range missiles that may be able to hit the American mainland. The North has strived for decades to have the ability to strike the U.S. and its Asian allies, and the pace of its breakthroughs is having far-reaching consequences for stability in the Pacific and beyond.

The nuclear advances were detailed in an official Japanese assessment Tuesday and a later Washington Post story that cited U.S. intelligence officials and a confidential Defence Intelligence Agency report. The U.S. now assesses the North Korean arsenal at up to 60 nuclear weapons, more than double most assessments by independent experts, according to the Post’s reporting.

“North Korea had best not make any more threats to the United States,” said a stern-looking Trump, seated with his arms crossed and with his wife beside him. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

“He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

The remarks appeared scripted, with Trump glancing at a paper in front of him. They evoked President Harry Truman’s announcement of the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, in which he warned of “a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.”

But it wasn’t clear what Trump, who is prone to hyperbole and bombast in far less grave situations, meant by the threat. White House officials did not elaborate.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement afterward saying, “We need to be firm and deliberate with North Korea, but reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe.”

The Trump administration considers North Korea to be America’s greatest national security threat and tensions have steadily risen this year.

Pyongyang responded angrily to the U.N. Security Council’s adoption this weekend of new, tougher sanctions spearheaded by Washington. The sanctions followed intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, the second of which was estimating as having a range that could reach more of the U.S. mainland. The newly revealed U.S. intelligence assessment indicates those missiles can carry nuclear warheads.

Denouncing the U.N. sanctions through state media, the North warned: “We will make the U.S. pay by a thousand-fold for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country.”

For North Korea, having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike America would be the ultimate guarantee against U.S. invasion.

It is an ambition decades in the making. North Korea began producing fissile material for bombs in the 1990s and conducted its first nuclear test explosion in 2006. Four subsequent nuclear tests, the latest a year ago, have accelerated progress on miniaturizing a device – something North Korea already claimed it could do. Over that span, multiple U.S. presidents have tried and failed to coax or pressure Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

The secrecy of the North’s nuclear program and the underground nature of its test explosions make it very difficult to properly assess its claims. But the new assessments from Japan and the U.S. suggest that doubts over the North’s abilities are receding.

In an annual report, Japan’s Defence Ministry on Tuesday concluded that “it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads.” Japan, a key U.S. ally, is a potential, front-line target of North Korean aggression.

The Post story, citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, went further. It said the Defence Intelligence Agency analysis, completed last month, assessed North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, including by intercontinental missiles.

Officials at the agency wouldn’t comment Tuesday. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also wouldn’t discuss the report.

It’s unclear how North Korea’s new capabilities will immediately affect how the U.S. approaches the country’s regular missile launches and occasional nuclear tests. The U.S. military has never attempted to shoot a North Korean missile out of the sky, deeming all previous tests to pose no threat to the United States. The U.S. could weigh military action if the threat perception changes.

The calculation of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal at 60 bombs exceeds other assessments, which range from around one dozen to about 30 weapons. The assessments are typically an estimate of the amount of plutonium and enriched uranium North Korea has in its inventory rather than how much of that material has been weaponized. It’s unclear how many, if any, miniaturized warheads North Korea has built.

Last month’s ICBM tests highlighted the growing threat. Both missiles were fired at highly lofted angles and landed in the sea near Japan, but analysts said the weapons could reach Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at a normal, flattened trajectory.

North Korea threatened to hit Guam with its Hwasong-12 missiles, which it says can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Not all technical hurdles have been overcome, however. North Korea is still believed to lack expertise to ensure a missile could re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere without the warhead burning up. And it’s still working on striking targets with accuracy.

Kim Tong-hyung and Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, Deb Riechmann in Washington and Catherine Lucey in New Jersey contributed to this report.

Sidney Crosby charms 3-year-old with cancer during Halifax hospital visit

ADINA BRESGE, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Aug 8th, 2017

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Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby visits Harper Saunders, 3, at a hospital in Halifax on Aug. 6, 2017. Photo credit: Twitter/@keeperofthecup
A three-year-old girl battling leukemia could be a Pittsburgh Penguins fan in the making after Sidney Crosby placed her plush, toy pink kitten atop the Stanley Cup in her Halifax hospital room.

The NHL star welcomed the Cup to his native Nova Scotia for a third time this weekend, surprising fans of all ages as he made the rounds in Halifax with the trophy in tow.

Social media posts show the Pittsburgh Penguins captain showing off professional hockey’s most prestigious trophy at a farmers’ market, a veterans’ retirement home and a children’s hospital Sunday.

Robbie Hall said he and his three-year-old daughter, Harper Saunders, were taking a nap in her hospital room when a nurse woke him up to let him know that Crosby was on his way.

“She loves hockey, but she’s too young to understand who (Crosby) is,” Hall said in an interview. “She’s kind of grumpy when I wake her up, so I told her, ‘Do you want to meet a super hockey player?’”

Hall said Harper has been in and out of hospital since she was diagnosed with leukemia in May. He and Harper’s mother, Reba Saunders, have been travelling back and forth from Woodstock, N.B., to Halifax for about a month while the toddler receives treatment at the IWK Health Centre.

Harper has been adjusting to a new feeding tube in recent days, Hall said, but she perked up during Crosby’s visit Sunday, running in and out of her room as she waited for the ball-capped hockey star to make his way down the hall.

Hall said when the three-time Stanley Cup champion arrived, Harper seemed a little starstuck.

“She was a little shy, but she was excited at the same time,” he said. “I tried to get her to stand beside the cup, because it’s taller than her, but she didn’t want to be on her own there.”

Crosby tried to put her at ease by putting one of her favourite toys – a pink kitten named Sophie – on the Cup’s rim, Hall said.

A photo of the encounter has been shared hundreds of times on social media, including the Helping Harper Facebook page.

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“There’s a lot of hockey fans where we come from, so they were all a little excited and jealous,” Hall said. “They were happy to see it happen to her after everything that’s been going on.”

Crosby autographed a pint-sized hockey stick for the youngster, which Harper has been showing off to all the nurses, Hall said.

“It’ll be a good story once she gets older,” he said. “We just might have a Penguins fan.”

Crosby will celebrate his 30th birthday on Monday by parading the trophy through Halifax and Rimouski, Que.

He has brought the Cup to his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., twice before, including in 2009 and last July.

 

Driver makes wrong turn; car ends up under water in Ashbridge’s Bay

NEWS STAFF AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Aug 8th, 2017

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Police responded to a call for a car submerged under water at Ashbridge’s Bay on Aug 7, 2017. CITYNEWS
A wrong turn left a car completely under water in Ashbridge’s Bay near Woodbine Beach on Monday night.

Toronto police were called to the park around 10:30 p.m. A tow truck managed to pull the car up a boat ramp.

Police say the two women in the car may have mistaken the boat ramp for a parking lot exit.

Despite the car becoming fully submerged, everyone inside the vehicle managed to escape safely.

According to police, alcohol is not a factor.

1 arrested in King and Brant shooting, victim seriously injured

NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Aug 8th, 2017

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Toronto police investigate a shooting at King and Brant streets on Aug. 8, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy
Toronto police have one person in custody after a shooting in downtown Toronto.

Emergency crews were called to King Street West and Brant Street, near Spadina Avenue, around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday.

A man in his 20s was rushed to hospital with serious gunshot wounds.

After shots were fired, a suspect vehicle – a white Chevy Cruze – was seen heading westbound along King. It hit the back of a TTC service truck and came to a stop at Portland Street.

Three suspects got out of the vehicle and tried to flee the scene, but one person was arrested.

King is closed between Brant and Portland for the police investigation.

Toronto police ‘work to rule’ amidst 911 response time ‘crisis,’ union boss said

AVERY HAINES | posted Friday, Aug 4th, 2017

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Frontline Toronto police officers have been quietly “working to rule” for the past month, and it appears to be putting pressure on how long it takes for officers to respond to calls.

Union boss Mike McCormack read through random dates from 911 dispatch to CityNews on Thursday. From suicide threats and domestic violence to gun calls, in many cases it took hours before a unit was sent to the scene.

As an example, McCormack said one person waited more than two days for an officer to come to their home after calling 911.

“Somebody was so aggravated they waited 55 hours to report a break and enter that they walked into the police station to report it. And it’s not that it’s just happening in an isolated area. This is across the city,” he said.

McCormack said the issues are caused by staffing shortages and a deployment re-organization.

However, he acknowledged a frontline “slow-down” is playing out as well due to low morale. He said the service is about to undergo its biggest transformation in decades.

“They’re frustrated at the lack of staffing, the lack of information around the transformation task force,” McCormack explained.

“We’ve advised our members on the street to make sure they don’t jeopardize their safety or public safety… we want them not to be going from call to call, not to be taking short cuts because it could have an impact on their safety, public safety. So when we look at that we will take any appropriate action to take care of our members and to take care of public safety.”

The union said a survey of its members found almost 70 per cent of officers agree morale is suffering and 93 per cent believe police are under-resourced.

But Mayor John Tory said the upcoming transformation has to happen in order to modernize the police service.

“I’m committed to modernizing the Toronto Police Service so we continue to be the safest major city in North America,” Tory said in a statement.

“A shift schedule that hasn’t changed in 35 years doesn’t help us effectively deploy our police service. I can’t understand why the police association doesn’t want to even discuss changing that 35-year-old schedule because I believe frontline officers are looking for change.”

In a statement, the Director of Corporate Communications for Toronto Police Services told CityNews, “we experienced one of the busiest 36-hour periods in recent memory.”

“The public would expect us to deal with the most serious calls, and get to the less serious calls as soon as we could. That is what we did.”

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