Archives for January2019

Police locate stolen engagement ring for heartbroken Saskatoon woman

A stolen engagement ring has been recovered by the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS). A heartbroken woman is relieved to hear her “irreplaceable” jewelry will be returned shortly.

Saskatoon police spokesperson Kelsie Fraser said the 30-year-old woman initially reported the break-in on June 10.

The theft of the ring and other jewelry took place at a vacant residence in the 2000-block of Broadway Avenue sometime between 8 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. CT on June 9.

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    Tiffany Pennycook took to social media last week sharing her story with the public in hopes that somehow the ring would find its way back to her.

    “I realized they had found my engagement ring. For those of you who don’t know, I was engaged to an amazing man about 3.5 years ago. He passed away when we had [carbon monoxide] CO poisoning in our home,” said a post on Pennycook’s Facebook page.

    “This ring is irreplaceable to me. I’m heartbroken.”

    On Monday, she was enthused to hear the good news from SPS. The ring was located at a local business in the 2300-block of 22nd Street.

    “They found the ring!” said a post on Pennycook’s Facebook page.

    “This city (and beyond) is incredible! And thanks to the Saskatoon Police Service for having such a great system in place to catch these things! I truly can’t thank you all enough!”

    Fraser said the item, of sentimental value, has been seized and will be returned to its rightful owner in the near future.

    No arrests have been made but the police break and enter unit is still investigating.

London, Ont. mayor taking leave following affair with deputy mayor

London, Ont. Mayor Matt Brown is temporarily stepping down from his post after admitting to engaging in an “inappropriate” months long affair with Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy, who resigned Tuesday evening.

The mayor, who is married with two young children, confirmed the infidelity to AM980 during an exclusive interview. AM980 has been investigating claims of the affair from several sources at city hall.

WATCH: Global’s Sean O’Shea had the chance to speak to AM980’s Craig Needles who spoke with the mayor about the scandal.

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“Over the past many months, during a period of intense workload, I developed a close working relationship and ultimately an inappropriate personal relationship with Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy, for a brief period of time. This was a grave error in judgement on my part. The relationship ended some time ago,” Brown said.

“I am deeply sorry for the pain that this has caused —; for my wife, my family and everyone involved. I make no excuses for my behaviour and my poor judgement in my personal life.”

READ MORE: Brown replaces disgraced Fontana as mayor of London

Brown says he’ll “return to my (city hall) duties when we’re ready” but will be taking some time away from the office to help his family through this difficult time.

He gave no timeline as to when he would return.

“I am very focused on my family at this time. Very focused on my marriage. I love my wife and we’re working together through our private issues,” said Brown.

“We have a marriage counselor we are seeing. We also have a minister at our church that has been a real friend to both of us and a huge support.”

The mayor’s stunning admission comes less than a week after Cassidy announced she was temporarily leaving her job as a city councillor and deputy mayor for “personal reasons.”

WATCH: London, Ont. Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy apologized for the alleged affair she had with the city’s mayor, Matt Brown. 

READ MORE: Former London mayor spared jail time, sentenced to 4 months house arrest

Andrea Brown, the mayor’s wife, has issued the following statement to AM980:

“This is obviously a very difficult time for our family. When Matt first admitted to me that he had been unfaithful, I was furious. I was angry and very hurt. All that said, I am committed to this marriage, our kids, our family, and to Matt. This is where we are starting from. This is not something that is going to get fixed overnight. Together we have work to do —; with the help of counseling, family and friends —; to rebuild trust and focus on our marriage. Obviously, as mayor, Matt is a public figure. But, for me and the boys, this is a private family matter and I hope you will respect our privacy as we deal with this as a family.”

Like Brown, Cassidy too is married —; and has three children. Reading from a prepared statement at City Hall, Cassidy admitted to the affair and apologized.

“Over time, we developed a very close and highly productive working relationship. Unfortunately, the relationship between the Mayor and me, for a brief period of time, crossed a professional boundary,” Cassidy said. “This is something which I regret immensely.”

“I have caused my family horrible pain and embarrassment and for this I could never apologize enough. I know this has also hurt the Brown family deeply and for this I am very sorry. ”

She also expressed her regrets toward colleagues.

“I apologize as well to my council colleagues for the disruption and distraction this announcement is bound to cause for them. It was never my intention to disrespect either them as individuals or the office we hold.”

WATCH: London, Ont. Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy resigned during a city council meeting Tuesday night amid a scandal involving the city’s mayor

The London mayor said he will be speaking to his council colleagues in the coming days as they may have questions about the relationship.

“I know that each of us have a personal life but when you’re a public figure sometimes that line is grayed,” he said.

The former Ward 7 city councillor was elected mayor in October 2014 following a campaign based largely on increasing transparency and restoring integrity at London City Hall following Joe Fontana’s troubled term, which ended prematurely after he was convicted of fraud in June 2014.

Fontana would step down as mayor days later and was replaced shortly thereafter by Joni Baechler who was appointed his successor following a vote by council colleagues.

Baechler opted not to run in the 2014 election but publicly endorsed Cassidy, who went on to win Baechler’s former council seat in Ward 5.

With files from Craig Needles

Craig Needles is host of The Craig Needles Show on AM980 in London, Ont. You can listen to him weekdays from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Edmonton residents angry over sidewalk placement in Glenora

Edmonton’s Glenora neighbourhood is in the middle of a major makeover as part of the Neighbourhood Revitalization process through the city. But one sidewalk is causing neighbours to scratch their heads.

The sidewalk is going to be put in the front yard of homes along Ravine Drive, when right across the street there’s a popular green space that leads into the river valley.

“We feel like the sidewalk location is a real safety issue,” said long-time resident Gordon Arnett. “Right now there’s no sidewalk on either side.”

The view from Ravine Drive in Glenora.

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Arnett wants the planned sidewalk, that would go through the front of his property, to be moved to the south side of the street where most pedestrians currently walk.

“We think their decision is going to cause a hazardous intersection.”

Dozens of people currently use the green space every day, and Arnett told Global News when people approach the intersection of Ravine Drive and 142 Street, most turn left towards a nearby school and shopping area. If the sidewalk is moved onto the north side of the street, people will have to cross the busy intersection.

“It’s going to interrupt the traffic flow,” Arnett said and added that in his 40 years in the neighbourhood, he’s never seen a traffic fatality the way it is.

“Drivers move quite quickly down 142 Street. They have to brake if the pedestrian crosswalk is occupied and sometimes stop.”

The City of Edmonton doesn’t see it as a safety issue. Instead, the city said the change in the sidewalk location was, in part, to make it more convenient for pedestrians.

“There’s connections to other sidewalks that exist in the area so it was a natural fit to ensure flow throughout the community,” Director of Neighbourhood Renewal Jeff Ward said. “It continues that connection without forcing people to cross a number of roads.”

During consultations, the City of Edmonton did look at moving the sidewalk to the side of the street where there are no homes, but Ward said that idea also came with push back from a different community group.

“We were having conversations with a different group of residents in the community that wanted to protect the green space,” Ward said.

Construction in the neighbourhood will take three years and is budgeted to cost $47 million.

Pulse nightclub victims remembered on 1st anniversary of Orlando massacre

Scores of people gathered outside the perimeter of the Pulse nightclub Monday to pay their respects while inside the site’s fences, the names of the 49 victims of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history were read out loud in a private service.

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The early morning service was closed to the public and was held for survivors, victims’ families, club employees and local officials. It overlapped the time a year ago that gunman Omar Mateen started shooting inside the nightclub on “Latin Night” a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016.

READ MORE: Body cam footage captures chaotic scenes after Orlando Nightclub shootings

“I realize that gathering here in this place, at this hour, is beyond difficult,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said during the service. “But I also know that the strength you’ve shown over the past year will carry you through today and in the future.”

The private service was the start of what would be almost 24 hours of observations to remember the victims who died as well as the dozens of Pulse patrons who were wounded during the shooting. It would be followed by another midday service at the nightclub, an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando and a final, music-filled late-night service at the nightclub.

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Outside the perimeter at Pulse, where the fence has been decorated with vibrantly-colored banners, people laid flowers and lit candles early Monday. Supporters dressed as angels stood guard outside the club before the service.

Later in the day, church bells throughout the Orlando area were set to ring 49 times at noon.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered U.S. flags around Florida to be flown at half-staff and a giant rainbow flag would be unveiled at the Orange County government building.

This combination of photos shows some of the dozens of those killed in a mass shooting early Sunday, June 12, 2016 at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

AP Photo

Monday’s services culminated several days of events aimed at turning the grim anniversary into something positive. A foot race was held over the weekend, and eight gay and lesbian students were awarded $4,900 toward their college studies by a local businessman. Local officials have declared the one-year mark as a day of “love and kindness,” and they are encouraging residents to volunteer or perform acts of compassion.

READ MORE: Orlando shooting: In 911 transcripts, gunman said US must stop Syria bombing

An exhibit of artwork collected from memorial sites set up around Orlando after the massacre will be shown at the Orange County History Center. The club’s owner, Barbara Poma, is developing plans to build a memorial at the Pulse site.

Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack and was eventually killed by police during a shootout after a three-hour standoff. His wife, Noor Salman, is facing charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction in federal court, and she has pleaded not guilty to helping her husband.

‘Behind the News’ with Su-Ling Goh and Laurel Gregory

In the July issue of Avenue Edmonton magazine, you’ll learn more about Global Edmonton’s feature reporters Su-Ling Goh and Laurel Gregory. 

Here is the extended interview:

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    Su-Ling Goh and Laurel Gregory are award-winning special feature reporters with Global News. They are also both moms, raising young boys, and incredibly dedicated to their community.

    With a BSc in Zoology from the U of A, Su-Ling combines her love of science and writing in her special segment “Health Matters” weeknights on Global News Hour at 6.

    As a new mom and seasoned journalist, Laurel launched “Family Matters” (on Global News at 5 and Sundays on Global News Morning) to help parents navigate through the tough questions of parenting.

    What inspired you to get in to News?

    Su-Ling: I actually got a BSc in Zoology from the U of A, then realized I didn’t want to work in a lab. But I always dreamed of combining my love of science with my love of writing. When I heard about NAIT’s Radio and Television program, it sounded like a great fit for me. And now I have my dream job!

    Laurel: I loved writing from the time I was a little girl and decided that I wanted to go into journalism by age 14. I fell in love with writing to pictures and telling stories with sound in university. I’ve now been in the business for more than a decade and writing is still my favourite part of the job.

    Is there a story that you have worked on or a news event that has impacted you, or tested your skills the most?

    Su-Ling: In 2013, I did a series on doctor-assisted suicide, featuring a woman with ALS who chose to take her own life. I’ll never forget her brave parents describing their daughter’s wish to die. I am still so honoured that they trusted me to tell their story.

    Watch below: Su-Ling Goh’s stories on Calgary woman Amy Doolittle, who suffered from ALS

    Laurel: The southern Alberta flood of 2013 will always stay with me. I remember reporting live and covering which residential areas were hit hardest, specifically in High River. We used our helicopter to give our viewers a look at the destruction. Viewers were coming up to me or reaching me via social media to ask if we could show more so they could see if their houses were still standing. As a reporter you often have to trust/hope that what you’re doing is making some kind of a difference but during that disaster, I felt what we were doing had a direct, tangible impact on our viewers.

    What does an average working day look like for you as a Global News reporter?

    Su-Ling: Busy! I usually go out with a camera guy all morning to shoot interviews and footage for our topic of the day. Then I come back to the station, watch everything we shot and write up a script for the video editor. I also try to tweet and write a version for our website. Then I present the story live in the studio at 6 pm, and start researching for the next day.

    Laurel: The day always begins by listening to the radio as I get ready in the morning. I read news articles and check social media to see what people are talking about. When I get in, I go through emails, make calls and read articles more specific to my Family Matters beat. I check in with my producer, Christine Meadows, and then we decide which stories we will pursue for our segment. I have a little more breathing room with this new segment so that means I have a more time to develop original stories.

    What is the best thing about your job?

    Su-Ling: Meeting incredible people who have overcome unimaginable circumstances. They are a constant reminder that I have nothing to complain about.

    Laurel: When I look at the clock, I wish it would stop so I have more time to work on my story before deadline. I never look at the clock and think: only two more hours until I can go home. As reporters, we aren’t wired that way. Each day is new, different and exciting.

    You have each received many accolades and awards for the work that you do, is there one that has stood out and why?

    Su-Ling: Winning a national award from the Canadian Medical Association was surreal. My dad was a surgeon, and though he passed away in 2007, I felt like he might have been smiling down on me that day.

    Laurel: I was honoured to be chosen to be part of the first Global News team to report and mentor journalists in West Africa. Photographer Barry Acton and I spent nearly a month in Liberia in May 2012. I still keep in touch with the two Power TV journalists we mentored. It was a life-changing experience to see their passion for the job with so little in the way of resources and support.

    What is one piece of advice you have for working moms?

    Su-Ling: I wish I had advice to give. I need the advice, please!

    Laurel: Drop the guilt. Some days you will roll into work with snot on your blazer and your hair in a messy bun. Some nights your family will have peanut butter on toast for dinner because there’s nothing in the fridge. You are not a machine so don’t expect perfection (there is no such thing!)

    Is there something you have learned from work that helps you be a better parent or vice versa?

    Su-Ling: Every time I do a story about a sick child (and unfortunately I do many of them), I hug my boy hard when I get home. Good health isn’t a given. It’s a gift.

    Laurel: Since my segment deals with parenting and child development, I’m learning new things all the time! In general, I would say I have learned how to manage my time better which definitely makes me a better parent because I am more focused on making sure I have quality time with our son.

    Watch below: Would more dads stay home if parental leave was extended?

    What are you reading right now?

    Su-Ling: The Munschworks Grand Treasury. Robert Munsch is my son’s favourite author. We yell when the characters yell! Which is a lot.

    Laurel: By reading, do you mean looking at words on a page before falling asleep? When I can keep my eyes open, I’m reading Born to Run and Child Honouring.

    What are the best things/best places for parents with small kids in Edmonton?

    Su-Ling: My son, Danick (age 6), is obsessed with trains, so we love the Alberta Railway Museum. When they have the old steam engine running, he’s in heaven!

    Laurel: Our son loves spending time outside so my top choices would be Hawrelak Park or any playground with a spray park.

    You both give back to the community in so many ways, what are some of your favourite events?

    Su-Ling: I’ve been emceeing and producing stories for the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation’s Courage Awards for 9 years now. The amazing recipients and staff never cease to inspire me.

    Laurel: Bust A Move (a fitness fundraiser for breast cancer research) is a huge highlight every year. I love all of the fundraising events we do as a team leading up to the event, especially our annual Global News Wardrobe Sale!

    What does our city mean to you?

    Su-Ling: I grew up here. The people I love live here. This will always be my home.

    Laurel: Edmonton was meant to be a stopover for me, but it has become home. I love living here! I love the river valley, the supports for young families, the trail running scene, the farmers markets, the fantastic restaurants and – of course – my family at Global!

    In July, Avenue Edmonton will go “Behind the News” with Su-Ling Goh and Laurel Gregory.

    Global News