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OPP taser suspect following confrontation on Highway 401

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 3rd, 2016

One suspect is in custody following an incident on Highway 401 in the city’s east end Wednesday night.

According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, police were investigating a male in a car in the collector lanes of the westbound 401 near Leslie Street.

At one point, police deployed a taser to subdue the suspect. He was subsequently taken to hospital to be examined.

No word on the circumstances which led up to the interaction between police and the suspect or what, if any charges are pending.

‘Chicago, it happened’: Cubs win first World Series title since 1908

Ronald Blum, The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Nov 3rd, 2016

Kris Bryant started to smile even before he fielded the ball. And with his throw to first for the final out, the agonizing wait ’til next year was over at last.

No more Billy Goat, no more Bartman, no more black-cat curses.

For a legion of fans who waited a lifetime, fly that W: Your Chicago Cubs are World Series champions.

Ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration, the Cubs won their first title since 1908, outlasting Cleveland 8-7 in 10 innings of a Game 7 thriller early Thursday.

They even had to endure an extra-inning rain delay to end the drought.

“It happened. It happened. Chicago, it happened,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said after gloving the ball for the final out. “We did it. We’re world champions. I tell ya, we’re world champions. I can’t believe it.”

Rizzo put that final ball in his pocket as the Cubs piled up in the middle of the diamond, David Ross got carried off the field by his teammates and Bill Murray partied in the clubhouse.

And the whole time, blue-clad fans who travelled from Wrigley Field filled nearly the entire lower deck behind the Chicago dugout at Progressive Field, singing “Go, Cubs, Go!” in rain. They held up those white flags with the large blue “W” on a night many of their forebears had waited for in vain.

Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too. All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a 6-3 lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying, two-run homer.

But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th.

Series MVP Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled home a run to make it 8-6. Davis delivered an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery closed it out at 12:47 a.m., and the celebration was on.

“I think about so many millions of people giving so much love and support to this team for so many years,” said owner Tom Ricketts, who family bought the team in 2009.

Manager Joe Maddon’s team halted the longest stretch without a title in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

“This is an epic game. It’s epic. I can’t believe we were able to do it – 108 years in the making,” Zobrist said. “We did it.”

“They never quit, either,” Zobrist said. “They kept coming at us.”

Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but manager Terry Francona’s club lost the last two games at home.

World Series favourites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season.

The Cubs then ended more than a century of misery for their loyal fans – barely. Bryant, one of Chicago’s young stars, began to celebrate even before fielding a grounder by Michael Martinez to third base and throwing it across to Rizzo for the last out.

“It’s the best rain delay of all-time,” Rizzo said.

Zobrist got a Series-high 10 hits, a year after he helped the Royals win the championship. Zobrist was among the players brought to the Cubs by Theo Epstein, the baseball guru who added another crown to his collection. He also assembled the Red Sox team that broke Boston’s 86-year drought by winning in 2004.

From Curse of the Bambino to the Billy Goat Curse, he ended another jinx.

“We don’t need a plane to fly home,” Epstein said. “It’s fitting it’s got to be done with one of the best games of all time.”

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward had called a meeting during the rain delay, talking to his teammates in the weight room.

“I just had to remind everybody who we are, what we’ve overcome to get here,” he said.

While Cubs fans hugged with delight, there was only despair for Cleveland, who now have gone longer than anyone without a crown. In Cleveland’s previous World Series appearance, they were a double-play grounder from winning the 1997 title before losing Game 7 in 11 innings to the Marlins.

“It’s going to hurt. It hurts because we care, but they need to walk with their head held high because they left nothing on the field,” Francona said.

Earlier this year, LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to beat Golden State for the NBA title. James and teammates were in a suite, rooting hard, as the Indians absorbed the same blow as the Warriors.

After defeating San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs, Chicago became the first team to earn a title by winning Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dexter Fowler homered on Corey Kluber’s fourth pitch of the game, 23-year-old Javier Baez and the 39-year-old Ross — set to now retire — also went deep for the Cubs, who led 5-1 in the fifth inning and 6-3 in the eighth.

Chapman wound up with the win, and Montgomery got one out for his first save in the majors.

Bryan Shaw, who gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Schwarber in the 10th, took the loss in just the fourth Game 7 that went to extra innings.

Albert Almora Jr., pinch-running for Schwarber, alertly took second on Bryant’s long fly to centre. Rizzo was intentionally walked, and Zobrist slapped an opposite-field double past a diving third baseman Jose Ramirez. Montero singled to make it a two-run lead.

Then in the bottom half, Carl Edwards Jr. struck out Mike Napoli, Ramirez grounded out, Brandon Guyer walked and Davis hit an RBI single. Montgomery took over, and helped set off a wild celebration on Chicago’s North Side.

Even a dedicated White Sox fan could appreciate the victory.

“It happened: @Cubs win World Series. That’s change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?” President Barack Obama tweeted.

Twenty-one other teams had won the World Series since Cubs last were champions. They reached the top again on the 39,466th day after Orval Overall’s three-hit shutout won the 1908 finale at Detroit in a game that took 1 hour, 24 minutes — this latest Game 7 lasted 4:24, not including the rain delay.

Back then, Theodore Roosevelt was president, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states, and the first Ford Model T car was two weeks old.

The Cubs were last champions when Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance won consecutive titles in 1907-08, until now the only ones in team history. The Cubbies had not even reached the Series since 1945.

This one was for Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo and Billy Williams, who never reached the post-season.

For Gabby Hartnett, Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux, whose October runs fell short.

For Lee Elia and the “nickle-dime people” who spent so many wind-swept afternoons in the Friendly Confines watching loss after loss.

For Bill Veeck, who planted ivy vines against Wrigley Field’s outfield walls.

For William Sianis, the Billy Goat Tavern owner said to have proclaimed when he was asked to leave Wrigley with his pet during the ’45 Series: “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.”

For Steve Bartman, whose life was upended when he tried to catch a foul ball as the Cubs came apart in the 2003 playoffs.

And for Harry Caray, who promised viewers after the 1991 finale that “sure as God made green apples, someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series.”

Maddon, hired before the 2015 season, won his first Series title after establishing a loose clubhouse that featured at times Warren the pink flamingo, Simon the magician and the motto: “Try not to suck.”

“It was just an epic battle,” Zobrist said. “Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out. Cleveland never gave up, either, and I can’t believe we’re finally standing, after 108 years, finally able to hoist the trophy.”

School bus strike could happen Thursday morning

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 2016

A school bus strike could happen as early as Thursday morning and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is already warning parents to make other arrangements.

If a strike does happen, it would impact 2,500 public school students and almost 6,000 Catholic school students in Markham.

If the union, Unifor Local 4268, does not reach an agreement with bus operator First Student, drivers could walk off the job. The deadline for an agreement, or to agree to extend negotiations, is 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Children at TDSB and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) schools in Markham will be affected.

“In the event of a strike, we regret that there will be no school buses on routes being serviced by this division and your child would be without a school bus for the duration of the strike,” John Malloy, the director of education at the TDSB, said in a statement.

“If there is a strike, the operator will not be able to replace the bus drivers and the TDSB and TCDSB will not be able to contract another bus company to service the routes. With that in mind, we encourage parents to begin to plan alternate arrangements for transportation should there be a strike (e.g. researching public transit, carpooling, working with others in school community).”

Malloy said that he shared parents’ frustration, but remained “hopeful.”

Unifor Local 4268 president Deb Montgomery said she was also “optimistic.” At issue, she said, is job security and wages for drivers.

“We are looking for recognition of the important work and responsibilities taken on by drivers, day in and day out,” Montgomery said in a statement.

“We cannot continue to have hours a week go unpaid and unrecognized. All hours worked need to be compensated, with these hours EI eligible.”

List of affected schools:


B.C. school stabbing leaves one student dead, one injured

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 2016

Police say a female student is dead and another is in hospital following a stabbing at a high school in Abbotsford, B.C.

Abbotsford police Chief Bob Rich says a young man is in custody and it appears he is not a student at the school.

Officers were called at 2:05 p.m. Tuesday and arrived at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School to find two female students with stab wounds.

School staff had subdued the suspect while teachers and other students were administering first aid to the victims, Rich said.

The two girls, whose names and ages have not been released, were taken to hospital.

“I am so sorry to tell you now that one of the students has succumbed to her injuries,” Rich told media Tuesday night.

The other female student remains in hospital in stable condition, he said.

Both Abbotsford Senior Secondary and Abbotsford Middle Secondary School were locked down while police searched for additional suspects, but none were found.

Police have not yet confirmed the suspect’s identity and it’s not yet clear whether the suspect knew the victims, Rich says.

“Who he is, what was driving him, is very much a matter for investigators at this time,” he says.

The Integrated Homicide Investigations Team is taking over the case.

Police say video of the stabbing was widely shared online.

“Out of respect for the family, we are asking that the video not be shared further and not be broadcasted,” Rich says.

The police chief says although he doesn’t yet know exactly what happened, he was thrilled by how staff at the school reacted to the attack.

“I believe the staff were so proactive and so quick that further tragedies probably were prevented by their actions,” Rich says.

The Abbotsford School District released a statement Tuesday night saying teams have been deployed to provide support for staff and students.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary will be closed until further notice to allow for the police investigation.

“We are a very caring community and when one of use hurts, we all do,” the statement said.

Provincial Education Minister Mike Bernier and B.C. Premier Christy Clark also shared their condolences online.

“This is so heartbreaking. Thinking of the families and friends of those involved tonight,” Clark tweeted.

Lost dog, adopted by another family, reunited with 80-year-old owner

Roger Petersen | posted Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 2016

After two months without his constant companion, 80-year-old Karl Daniels was reunited on Tuesday with Kimbo, his 10-year-old Boxer-mix.

Kimbo escaped out a slow-closing door in August.

“He’s like one of my sons. Just like a son. I had him from a baby. He’s just like one of my sons and I love him,” Daniels said.

Daniels’ daughter Michelle said her dad, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, took Kimbo’s disappearance hard and said there were days he wouldn’t get out of bed.

The missing dog was eventually picked up by the Toronto Humane Society (THS) but Michelle said when they called they were told to check with Toronto Animal Services. When she called Animal Services they told her Kimbo wasn’t there and without a collar or microchip, the THS would have no way of contacting Daniels.

Several members of the community rallied around the family to help reunite the two, including a woman named Kim Annis.

Using a website called Helping Lost Pets, Annis discovered Kimbo actually was at the THS.

Annis said the THS should have told Animal Services they had the found a dog matching Kimobo’s description within two days of his arrival at the shelter.

“Had that been done, Kimbo would have been home the same day he got lost. It wouldn’t have been two months,” she said.

But by this time it was too late.

Kimbo had been adopted just days before and the family didn’t want to give him back. They said they had grown too attached to the dog.

The Humane Society said there was nothing it could do.

But once again the community stepped forward to help out Daniels and his family.

Laurend Dalle Vedove, who did not know Daniels but had heard about his plight on social media, offered the unidentified family $5,000 to let Kimbo come back to his home.

To the disbelief of many, they took it.

Dalle Vedove was there when Kimbo came home and said it was money well spent to see “man’s best friend” reunited with his family.

Michelle Daniels said she is still stunned that the unidentified family would refuse to return Kimbo and then take the money, but said today is about her family and that “to hear his bark makes it complete.”

CityNews called the THS and it’s CEO, Dr. Jacques Messier several times looking for an explanation of how this could happen, but our calls and messages were never returned.

‘Be Alert, Be Seen’ campaign aims to curb pedestrian fatalities

Fil Martino, 680 NEWS | posted Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 2016

Thirty-five pedestrians have been killed in Toronto so far this year, prompting the launch of a new provincial safety campaign.

Toronto police have teamed up with Sunnybrook Health Sciences, the Ministry of Transportation and CAA for the “Be Alert, Be Seen” campaign.

Const. Clint Stibbe with Toronto Traffic Services said the number of pedestrians killed this year is staggering.

“We have a city of three-and-a-half million people, every one of these collisions was avoidable. All that was required was that that pedestrian be seen and the driver maybe not make a mistake,” he said.

The campaign will focus on encouraging pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to pay attention, be visible and follow traffic safety rules.

One way pedestrians are encouraged to be more visible is to wear reflective toques and scarves.

“Every road user – driver, cyclist, pedestrian – has a responsibility to themselves (and) to each other to make sure that we are getting from point A to point B safely,” Transportation Minister Stephen Del Duca said.

But not everyone is on board with the campaign.

Dylan Reid and Maureen Coyle with the group Walk Toronto feel the campaign is just a bandage solution that doesn’t address the real issues facing pedestrians.

“It diverts attention away (from) the real issues on the road which are much more complex than wearing a bright scarf for a pedestrian,” Coil explained.

“We know for a fact that in two-thirds of cases where pedestrians are hit, they’re obeying the rules of the road, they have the right of way, and it’s driver inattention behaviour that has caused the accident,” said Reid.

The campaign will run throughout the month of November.

TTC honours Honest Ed’s with iconic sign installation at Bathurst Station

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 2016

The TTC is celebrating the end of an era in Toronto.

Honest Ed’s at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor is set to close permanently at the end of this year.

Mayor John Tory, TTC chair Josh Colle and son of the late Ed Mirvish, David Mirvish, officially unveiled a temporary art installation at Bathurst Subway station on Tuesday.

It includes art work and signage inspired by the massive discount store’s famous bright red, yellow and blue hand-painted signs. You can enjoy it until the end of this year.

If you can’t make it to Bathurst station in person to see it, the TTC has put together a YouTube video (below).

TTC spokesman Brad Ross says a permanent installation is being developed.

Mom of teen banned from all schools files human rights complaint

AVERY HAINES | posted Tuesday, Nov 1st, 2016

Racism in the education system is again under the spotlight; this time in Durham Region. A mother of a 16-year-old boy who has been banned from attending any school in the region has filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights tribunal alleging racial discrimination.

The mother is identified in the application as A.S. Her son is identified as K.S. They are seeking $80,000 in damages against the school board for the teen’s “pain, suffering, humiliation, mistreatment and racial discrimination he endured for each suspension.”


In the application, the mother details a litany of suspensions. “Suspended for 20 days,” “suspended for three days,” “suspended for four days,” … all for incidents the mother claims involved white students who did not suffer the same punishments as her black son.

“A grade 12 white student verbally bullied K.S. on numerous occasions, calling him a n****r. They fought physically, K.S. was suspended for 4 days,” the application reads.

“A white male spit and attacked K.S. K.S. was sent home for three days.”

“K.S was expelled from all Durham District School Board schools.”

In the complaint, the mother says her son can no longer attend any school in Durham and told CityNews that a school in Markham wouldn’t accept him. Instead he has been placed in a “Return Ticket program,” a special school for students who have been expelled. A.S writes that her son “is no longer the outgoing, fun loving, happy son I knew” and “he views his new school as a “jail school.”

“He feels belittled to have to buzz to gain access into the building and has to walk through a metal detector. K.S. has lost all motivation and hope.”


The issue of racism in the Durham District School board was the topic of a meeting at Ajax High school this past weekend among parents, school board trustees and other educators. The school board does not keep race-based statistics so there is no scientific data to support the claims that black children are being expelled and suspended at higher rates and being punished more severely than white students.

Akilah Haneef-Jabari is a clinical social worker who compiled a report last year on suspensions gleaned from yearbook photos and available data from the Durham school board. Back in March, she told Citynews that at one Whitby school, Donald A. Wilson Secondary, black males comprised only 5.5 per cent of male enrollment but almost 40 per cent of suspensions.

“The problem rests with the white educators, and the non-black educators. The problem is not the children. They have the capacity to do well, to excel. The challenge is that people need to confront the bias with which they view these children. We are having children in junior kindergarten being expelled . Police being called on children who are six-years-old,” Haneef-Jabari told CityNews at the weekend public meeting.

Durham District School Board has not responded to a request for an interview, but CityNews has obtained a copy of their response to the Human Rights Commission complaint. They say the complaint has “raised a plethora of issues, many of which are factually and legally complex.” They have requested an extension until November 18 to “prepare a fulsome response.”

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