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One hostage, two attackers killed in Normandy church

Angela Charlton, The Associated Press | posted Tuesday, Jul 26th, 2016

Two attackers seized hostages in a church near the Normandy city of Rouen on Tuesday, killing one hostage by slitting their throat before being killed by police, a security official said.

The identities of the attackers and motive for the attack are unclear, according to the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.

French President Francois Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve are en route to the town of Saint-Etienne-en-Rouvray where the hostage-taking took place, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on France-Info radio.

Anti-terrorism investigators have been summoned in the case, Brandet said.

The incident comes as France is under high alert after an attack in Nice that killed 84 people and a string of deadly attacks last year claimed by ISIS.

France is also under a state of emergency and has extra police presence in the wake of the July 14 Nice attack.

Hockey broadcasters Cherry and MacLean honoured with Canada’s Walk of Fame star

Peter Goffin, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Jul 26th, 2016

TORONTO – Veteran hockey broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron MacLean were honoured Monday with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Speaking at a ceremony in downtown Toronto, Walk of Fame CEO Melanie Hurley said the pair have made incredible contributions to Canadian culture.

Cherry and MacLean have hosted “Coach’s Corner” on “Hockey Night in Canada” together for nearly 30 years.

Cherry, a former NHL coach of the year and minor-league hockey player, started the segment in 1980.

MacLean joined as his co-host in 1987.

Cherry approved of their star’s design, joking that his name was on top “as it should be.”

“It feels good, this here,” Cherry said. “Ron, I know it means a lot to you.”

MacLean said getting the star was special, but noted that his partnership with Cherry was not always so well-received.

“When we first started ‘Coach’s Corner,’ we got nominated for a Gemini and we lost to Bob Izumi’s fishing show,” said MacLean. “Grapes said ‘That’s it, I don’t ever want to have my name put up for anything again, keep me out of these stupid awards.’”

The Walk of Fame distinction comes as MacLean prepares to return as the main host of “Hockey Night in Canada” after a two-year absence.

He was replaced by George Stroumboulopoulos in 2014, after 27 years with the program, though he continued his role as “Coach’s Corner” sidekick and hosted “Hometown Hockey,” profiling towns across Canada.

On June 27, Rogers Sportsnet announced that Stroumboulopoulos would “depart the company to explore new creative opportunities,” and that MacLean would be back hosting the “Hockey Night in Canada” early game on Saturday nights.

“The big chair is next to Don,” MacLean said. “That was always my thing,”

But MacLean says he feels lucky to be back in the top job.

“A lot of nice things have been said, so I felt humbled by it.”

Michael Ford wins byelection in Toronto Ward 2, replaces late uncle Rob Ford

Keith Leslie | posted Tuesday, Jul 26th, 2016

TORONTO – Ford Nation is still a driving political force in Toronto’s Etobicoke North ward, where the nephew of former Mayor Rob Ford has been elected as a new city councillor.

Michael Ford easily defeated 11 other candidates Monday to become city councillor for Ward 2 in a byelection triggered when his uncle passed away in March from a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Ford opened a big early lead as soon as polls closed, taking over two-thirds of the vote with 28 of 31 polls reporting, compared with 21 per cent for second-place Jeff Canning, a small business owner.

Michael Ford was first elected to public office in 2014 as a Toronto school board trustee, but resigned last May to run for the city council seat, which had also been held from 2010 to 2014 by another uncle, Doug Ford, the former mayor’s brother.

The 22-year-old Ford originally ran in Ward 2 in the 2014 election, but dropped and ran for school board trustee instead so Rob Ford could run for the city council seat because he was too ill to stand for re-election as mayor.

Doug Ford became the candidate for mayor that year, filling in for his ailing brother, but was defeated on election night by John Tory, while Rob Ford was elected as city councillor for Ward 2.

Many people in Etobicoke remain staunchly loyal to the Ford family, and some political observers had said the race was the younger Ford’s to lose.

Rob Ford made international headlines after admitting he had smoked crack cocaine while mayor, but Michael Ford said he found a lot of support and only a couple of people had said they wouldn’t vote for him because of his uncle’s antics.

And like his famous uncle, who was known to personally return phone calls to constituents, even as mayor, Michael Ford lists customer service as his top commitment on his website, followed by keeping taxes low, another Rob Ford trademark.

“I am running in this election with a focus on continuing the Ford legacy, built on strong constituent service, hard work, while keeping taxes low for families,” he wrote in a release.

Two killed, 17 shot at Florida nightclub, authorities say

CityNews | posted Monday, Jul 25th, 2016

Two people have been killed and as many as 17 people have been shot in the early Monday shooting at a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida, authorities said.

Club Blu was hosting a teen night when the shots rang out.

Three people have been taken into custody and there are two active crime scenes, Capt. Jim Mulligan said.

The area was later deemed safe, but Mulligan said a street was still closed as authorities investigated.

In a statement, authorities said the Fort Myers police and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were “actively canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in this incident.”

The names of the victims were not immediately available.

The shooting comes more than a month after a nightclub shooting in Orlando that was the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. The shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12 left 49 victims dead and 53 others wounded.

More to come

Child reunited with family in East York

CityNews | posted Monday, Jul 25th, 2016

A child has been reunited with her parents after she went missing in East York on Monday morning.

The girl, who is approximately three years old, wandered into a Sobey’s on Broadview Avenue north of Pottery Road around 2:20 a.m.

Employees then called police, and the girl was taken to a police station.

The parents woke up around 5:15 a.m. to find the front door open and their daughter missing.

They called police, and were reunited with her around 5:45 a.m.

It appears the front door was locked, Toronto police said, but the girl was able to open it on her own.

Severe thunderstorm watch ends for Toronto

CityNews | posted Monday, Jul 25th, 2016

A severe thunderstorm watch has ended for Toronto.

After a hot and dry weekend, Toronto saw a heavy downpour accompanied by a lightning show, all before 7 a.m.

Environment Canada ended the warning for the city as well as most of the GTA but Oakville and Burlington are still under a watch.

The rest of the day should bring sun and cloud, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said.

The high will be 32 C but it will feel close to 40 with the humidex. Overnight, it will be clear with a low near 18.

Rogers Cup serves up action this weekend; heads-up about TTC closures

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND AMBER LEBLANC | posted Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016

It’s going to be an ace of a weekend as the Rogers Cup descends on Toronto starting on Saturday.

This is also your last weekend to check out Summerlicious and the Beaches International Jazz Festival, so get out there and enjoy the weekend.

Keep in mind that there are two TTC closures to contend with this weekend, both involving Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth).

There are also several road closures in place for events and construction, so be sure to plan your route ahead of time.


Rogers Cup
Professional tennis is back in Toronto. The men return to the Aviva Centre at York University with some of the top names taking part in the Rogers Cup, one of the biggest events on the ATP Tour.

Along with hometown favourite Milos Raonic and fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil, expect to see world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. While big names – Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal – have pulled out of the tournament, the stars of tomorrow plan to take part. Richmond Hill’s Denis Shapovalov, who won this year’s Junior Wimbledon, will be there.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Lleyton Hewitt in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 24, 2012. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Andrew Brownbill
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Lleyton Hewitt in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 24, 2012. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Andrew Brownbill

This weekend is the Pizzaville Free Community Weekend where you can watch qualifying matches and see the top seeds practice.

The men’s tournament takes place July 23-31, while the women play in Montreal on July 22-31. Tickets are available here.

If you haven’t checked out Summerlicious yet, this is your last weekend to do so.

The annual culinary event, which started earlier this month, allows food lovers to check out various restaurants around the city for special prices.

A salmon dish prepared by Bymark, one of the restaurants participating in Summerlicious 2016. CITY OF TORONTO
A salmon dish prepared by Bymark, one of the restaurants participating in Summerlicious 2016. CITY OF TORONTO

More than 220 restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe lunch menus (priced at $18, $23 and $28) and dinner menus (priced at $28, $38 and $48). There are 24 new restaurants featured at this year’s food festival.

Click here for a list of participating restaurants.

Beaches International Jazz Festival
Once you have finished having lunch or dinner at a Summerlicious-participating restaurant, head down to the Beach for some foot-stomping jazz.

StreetFest on Queen Street. COURTESY: Beaches International Jazz Festival
StreetFest on Queen Street. COURTESY: Beaches International Jazz Festival

Dance or sway to the sounds of jazz, big band, blues, funk, reggae and Latin music at the annual jazz festival, which culminates this weekend along Queen and at Woodbine Park. A portion of Queen will closed off this weekend as the party takes over the roadway for StreetFest.

Carnival Run
Runners and walkers are gearing up for the first annual Toronto Carnival Run, which takes place at Inukshuk Park on Saturday.

The park is situated along the Martin Goodman Trail, located near Lake Shore Boulevard and Newfoundland Road. Participants can choose between a 5K run or walk, while children have the 1K run option.

After the run and walk, organizers will serve up a Caribbean-inspired breakfast.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer
It’s beer for as far as the eye can see this weekend in Toronto. The event is taking place all weekend long at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place, presented by the Beer Store.

Stock image of beer. LEHTIKUVA/Jussi Nukari
Stock image of beer. LEHTIKUVA/Jussi Nukari

Pace yourself (and drink responsibly) because there are 333 brews to sample, including some of the beers of Sweden, which is new this year. Reminder: don’t drink and drive. Click here for tickets and more information about the festival.

Big on Bloor
Bloor Street is closed Saturday and Sunday between Dufferin and Lansdowne for Big on Bloor, dubbed one of the 20 best festivals in Toronto.

The Big on Bloor Festival. Photo via facebook.com/BigOnBloorFestival.
The Big on Bloor Festival. Photo via facebook.com/BigOnBloorFestival.

The two-day car-free event is a celebration of arts, culture and small business in the neighbourhood of Bloordale. Along with various art projects, there will be food and lots of family activities, and it is free.

Youth Day
Young people take over Yonge-Dundas Square on Sunday for the 10th annual Youth Day. The free event, which runs from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., celebrates the achievements of children in areas like dance, art, music, photography, fashion and film.

Youth Day in Toronto. Photo via Facebook.com/YDToronto.
Youth Day in Toronto. Photo via Facebook.com/YDToronto.

Around 35,000 people are expected to attend the party, which features non-stop performances on two stages from some of the most talented children in the city.

Road and TTC closures

Line 2 closure and late-opening Sunday
The scheduled subway closures for TTC works continues this weekend. Subway service will be shut down on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) from Broadview to Main Street stations due to track work.

Also, on Sunday, subways won’t start running until 10 a.m. between St. George and Broadview stations because of bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct. Shuttle buses will be running during both closures.

Road closures for events

Beaches International Jazz festival: Starting Thursday and until Saturday, Queen Street East, from Woodbine to Beech avenues, will be closed in both directions from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. on each day. TTC buses and streetcars will be diverted in the area.

Somali Festival: Dixon Road, from Chetta Place to Kipling Avenue, will be reduced to one lane in both directions from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Big on Bloor: Bloor Street, from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne Avenue, will be closed from 9 a.m. on Saturday to 9 p.m. on Sunday. TTC buses will be on diversion in the area.

Oss Fest: Ossington Avenue, from Dundas to Queen streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. on Saturday to 3 a.m. on Sunday. There will also be partial road closures on Halton, Givins and Rebecca streets. TTC buses will be diverting in the area.

Youth Day: Yonge Street from Dundas to Queen streets will be closed on Sunday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Road work


Gerrard Street, from University Avenue to Elizabeth Street, is reduced to one lane until Oct. 15 for watermain and other road work.

Ongoing work

One lane of Bay Street in both directions, between Queen and Adelaide streets, is closed for watermain work. The lanes on Bay are scheduled to reopen around 6 p.m. on July 23.

Richmond Street West is reduced to one lane of traffic between Church and York streets until Nov. 30 for TTC track work, watermain replacement, and road and sidewalk repairs.

One lane of Queen Street West between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street is closed in both directions for watermain replacement and reconstruction work until around Oct. 8.

Gerrard Street, from Yonge to Church streets, is closed until the end of July for watermain replacement, road resurfacing and bike lane and sidewalk upgrades.

Westbound Lake Shore Boulevard, from York Street to Rees Street, will be reduced to one lane except from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays when two lanes will be open. The closure, which is for Toronto Hydro work, is expected to be completed on July 27.

How many temperature records will Toronto break today?

CityNews | posted Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016

Toronto and the GTA could be in for a record-setting scorcher of a day on Friday with temperatures expected to soar to the mid-30s.

A heat warning, which was issued by Environment Canada on Wednesday, remains in effect for much of southern Ontario. Toronto’s acting medical officer of health also issued a heat warning for the city on Thursday.

Humidex values across the region will be in the 40s, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said.

Taylor said Friday’s high will be 35 C but it will feel like 41 C with the humidity.

Toronto could potentially break two temperature records on Friday: the hottest July 22 on record and the warmest day of the year.

The record temperature for a July 22 was 35.6 C, which was set in 1955, Taylor said. The hottest day so far was 36 C on July 13.

So far this season, Toronto has had eight days of temperatures at 30 C or more in July, as recorded at Pearson Airport. That number does not include Friday.

Somewhat cooler temperatures are in store for the weekend, but it will still be hot.

“Temperature and humidex values tonight into the weekend are forecast below warning criteria but it will still be quite warm through the weekend into next week,” Environment Canada said.

It will be mainly sunny on Saturday and Sunday with temperatures hovering around the 30s. The humidex will still be intense on both days, in the high 30s.

Environment Canada issues a heat warning when “very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.”

The health risks associated with the heat are the greatest for seniors, children, people with breathing difficulties and heart conditions, the homeless, those who work and exercise in the heat, and people without access to an air conditioned space.

People are being advised to keep out of the heat and to drink plenty of liquids.

If you are looking for a place to cool off, the city’s outdoor pools are open, including more than 90 splash pads and more than 100 supervised wading pools. There are also several air conditioned spaces in the city.

With the intense heat comes an increase in power demand. Toronto Hydro is reminding customers one way you can conserve power is by turning off the air conditioner when you aren’t home.

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