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Former Blue Jay Roy Halladay killed in Gulf of Mexico plane crash

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017

Former Toronto Blue Jays star pitcher Roy Halladay has died after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

The sheriff’s department in Pasco County, Fla., confirmed Halladay’s body was found at the scene of the crash.

Halladay won the Cy Young Award twice, first with the Blue Jays in 2003 and again in 2010 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He threw the the 20th perfect game in MLB history on May 29, 2010.

More coming

Ontario police forces receive more reports of objects in Halloween candy

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017

A sewing needle located in Halloween candy. HAMILTON POLICE SERVICES/Handout

BARRIE, Ont. — Police in Barrie say they’ve received another report of Halloween candy that was tampered with — this time a Tootsie Roll with a metal object in it.

Last week, Barrie police had said analysis of a pill found in a Tootsie Roll identified it as melatonin, a supplement to counter the effects of jet lag.

And police in Hamilton say they’re investigating after a child received a chocolate bar containing a sewing needle.

There have been other reports of tainted candy in Ontario this Halloween.

In the Waterloo region, police said on Friday that an 11-year-old Cambridge, Ont., girl underwent surgery after eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that contained a metal object.

And police in the southwestern Ontario communities of London, Windsor and Chatham say they’ve also received reports of needles in Halloween candy.

Use of dashcams on the rise as extra eyes for drivers, police

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017


Dashboard camera’s or dashcams have quickly become a reliable security blanket for drivers in Toronto and across Canada. So much so, that they are rapidly changing the way both police and the courts look at road accidents.

In recent years they’ve proven to be valuable extra eyes on the road that sometimes capture crucial evidence or even disturbing accidents.

“The driving culture in Toronto has become very aggressive and I’m just nervous, I want evidence if I need it” says Craig Michalowsky. His dashcam was rolling when a pothole took out one of his tires on the Gardiner Expressway, and he’s one of a growing number of Canadians who use them.

A recent survey found 35 per cent of Canadian drivers have a dashcam in their vehicles or think it’s a good idea. Toronto Police thinks so too – they’ve been using dashcams in police cruisers for at least 15 years.

Const. Clint Stibbe says dashcams are “invaluable” for the Toronto Police Service.

“A lot of people that are involved in collisions – dash camera is like a third witness which gives us another view into what exactly happened” he says.

Not only are they helpful to police, they’re also useful tools for those looking to go legal. Dashcam videos have quickly become the star witness for personal injury lawyers.

Stephanie Zwicker Slavens with Diamond and Diamond Lawyers says she’s seen the use of dashcam videos as evidence in cases increase exponentially in recent years.

“Probably an increase of 75 per cent in the last year,” she says.

Most major Canadian insurance companies do not offer discounts for drivers who install dashcams in their vehicles. But Pete Karageorgos from The Insurance Bureau of Canada says having one can help expedite the claims process.

“It really can help speed up the claims process when you have an unbiased witness or a visual like a dashcam video to indicate what exactly happened before the crash or at the time of impact … those can be invaluable to tell the story,” he says.

Michalowsky says he certainly plans to use dashcam video to tell his side of the story when it comes to the pothole versus his Mercedes.

“I’ll be contacting the city to see if they have pothole insurance I think and see what they can do” he says.

But a word of caution – don’t get carried away with the story telling. Dashcam videos must be submitted in full and unedited in order to be admissible in court.

Lawyers for Toronto actress suing Weinstein say they can’t find him

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein participates in a panel at the A&E 2016 Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

A lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein alleging the Hollywood mogul sexually assaulted a Toronto actress nearly two decades ago is being allowed to proceed even though lawyers have not been able to track him down.

The woman’s proposed statement of claim says she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein twice, while she had a part in a movie being filmed in and around Toronto. The claim also said she reported the alleged assaults to Toronto police on Oct. 23.

The actress, only known as Jane Doe, is seeking $14 million in damages, claiming she has suffered mental distress, extreme social anxiety and depression, as well as social isolation and feelings of guilt, worthlessness and shame as a result of what happened.

The document also names Miramax – the production company Weinstein and his brother co-chaired – as well as parent company Walt Disney Co. and Weinstein’s assistant. Miramax and Disney have been served notice of the action.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed.

On Monday, a hearing was held in a Toronto court, where the woman’s lawyers sought to move ahead with the claim without using her name.

One of the woman’s lawyers, Alexander Smith of the law firm Henein Hutchison, said the legal team has done everything to serve Weinstein and his assistant.

Smith said they tried and failed to serve Weinstein at his home in Westport, Conn., and believe he could also be in Phoenix, Ariz., or somewhere in Europe. They also repeatedly tried to serve Weinstein’s former assistant at her office and through her lawyer but have not succeeded so far.

Smith said Weinstein is aware of the claim against him, but since the plaintiff’s lawyers were not able to serve him, it left the woman with the following options: proceed with her real name, drop the case or be delayed in getting therapy.

Smith said the woman will proceed with seeing a therapist in order gather evidence of harm for the lawsuit against Weinstein.

The judge has allowed the woman to go ahead with the claim because her lawyers have tried everything to serve him.

The judge also said the legal team has to keep trying to serve him, but granted a substitutional service order, which allows the woman to move forward with the case – even if they can’t find or he is avoiding being served.

A substitutional service occurs if a party appears to be avoiding being served court documents, then a request may be made to mail it to known address.

The case will return to court on Dec. 1.



Buses vs. streetcars: The debate continues

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017


“They don’t want these damn streetcars blocking up our city!” thundered the late Rob Ford in 2012.

The argument has raged in and out of City Hall for years – buses vs. streetcars. Which is more efficient for riders and drivers?

This summer, the 501 streetcars on Queen Street were replaced by buses during construction. CityNews heard from multiple commuters saying the bus was much faster.

Councillor Michael Ford says he’s even heard from first responders who echo those sentiments. When responding to a call where seconds could mean the difference between life and death, they said buses were the clear winner.

“A Toronto firefighter reached out to us and said … we are responding much quicker, it is easier for us to be getting to calls. And when you have that type of outreach from our first responders and from a variety of people … I think it was a win for everybody. Everyone was moving quicker … and I hope that we will continue to look at this”

Councillor Ford’s motion to conduct a study on whether buses or streetcars are more efficient on Queen Street was rejected by City Council this fall. It was considered redundant as streetcars were already back on that route in September.

The 501 Queen route is the TTC’s longest streetcar line, used by approximately 52,000 riders on a typical weekday. Ford believes some of his colleagues are choosing to remain willfully ignorant and do not want to see what the data might reveal. Having heavily invested in new streetcars, the TTC says they’ve already compiled their own numbers and claim buses are not quicker than streetcars.

Stuart Green from TTC media relations says the decision to use streetcars as the vehicle of choice in the downtown core was made a long time ago and the transit provider is moving forward accordingly. He adds that streetcars accommodate more people than buses and revisiting that decision is unnecessary.

“f you look at Spadina or down on Harbourfront, there are dedicated rights-of-way for the streetcars. Those are the kinds of things that allow streetcars to move even better in traffic, he says. “Certainly in terms of getting people around the city streetcars have proven to be very efficient. Fewer vehicles more people.”

However when it comes to volume, articulated accordion style buses move the same amount of people as a regular streetcar. Transit expert Murtaza Haider is calling on the city to let an independent body dissect the data to see which mode of transit is more efficient – though he says you don’t have to be an engineer to figure out which one keeps traffic moving quicker.

“TTC is looking at operating costs rather than the travel times to make this decision,” he says. “We are told again and again … that a large TTC streetcar carries more passengers than a smaller sized bus, but that’s stating the obvious. What we haven’t been told is that if we deploy the right kind of bus technology – what would be the through put capacity through those versus the streetcar. We already have determined, I believe, that buses would be faster.”

Professor Haider adds that one of the biggest issues with streetcars is the city’s romantic or nostalgic leanings towards the decades old mode of transportation. He questions how much the city and it’s population are willing to pay in terms of travel times and lost proficiency to keep them.

For his part, Councillor Ford says even though his motion was dropped, its a fight he’s looking at revisiting.


Dog owners warned after dead ducks found at Woodbine Beach

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017


A disturbing discovery at Woodbine Beach has some dog owner feeling uneasy.

Thirty ducks and a heron were found dead on the shoreline on Sunday morning.

The dead ducks were scattered across a couple hundred yards of shoreline and Toronto Animal Services were quick to remove the deceased wildlife.

An investigation to determine the cause of death is underway.

In a news release issued on Monday, the city said they are urging dog owners to keep their pets on-leash in the area.

It’s still not clear what happened to these ducks and officials say it will take at least another two weeks to find out.

The city is urging dog owners to contact their vet if their dog was at Woodbine beach on Sunday and is experiencing any signs of illness.


B.C. police officer shot and killed in Abbotsford

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017


A police officer in Abbotsford, B.C., has died following an exchange of gunfire with a suspect who had allegedly stolen a vehicle.

In video footage sent to NEWS 1130, police vehicles can be seen running into at least one other car.

Abbotsford police Chief Bob Rich says the department received a phone call about a stolen vehicle at about 11:30 a.m. PT today.

He says the caller remained at the scene and blocked the vehicle, but the suspect emerged and began shooting at him. Police officers were called and Rich says after an exchange of gunfire an officer was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Rich says he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The suspect fled in the vehicle and police officers pursued him to the intersection of Mt. Lehman Road and Fraser Highway. Rich says a man in his 60s from Alberta was apprehended and taken to hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The deceased officer’s name has not been released.

Woman in her 30s dead after shooting at Hamilton home

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2017

Hamilton police (Dave Ritchie for CityNews)

A woman in her 30s is dead following a shooting in Hamilton on Monday evening.

Police received a 911 call just after 5 p.m. about shots being fired a residence on Lang Street and found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds.

The woman was pronounced dead on arrival at Hamilton General Hospital.

Police have not released her name, adding she did not live at the two-storey home.

Police also said no weapon has been found and they are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect.

They say the victim and shooter are believed to have known each other.



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