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Overall cost of Edmonton’s downtown arena goes up $7M; Katz to foot bill

When the deal for Rogers Place was signed several years ago, the city posted the all-in cost as $606.5 million. A recent update on the city’s website pegged the price tag at $613.7 million.

The city stresses the cost difference – $7.2 million – will not be paid for by taxpayers.

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    READ MORE: Edmonton city council approves final arena funding model

    It explained there were changes to the project’s scope: improvements to the Community Rink (being paid for by MacEwan University, which will be using the rink) and improved connections between the casino building and the hotel (being paid for by the Katz Group.)

    Since the work is happening at the same time as the arena construction, the costs are being included in the overall price tag.

    “Everyday citizens, they won’t see a difference,” Rick Daviss, executive director of the Downtown Arena Project, said. “The cost increases, yes. We are getting a better facility with a higher value, but that’s all being funded by MacEwan or by the Katz Group. And so the city contribution remains as it was.”

    READ MORE: Edmonton city council to debate borrowing $32M for downtown arena 

    The downtown arena project still faces a $31.5-million funding gap, unrelated to these two improvements.

    The city was hoping provincial grants would help pay for part of the arena and Community Rink costs, but the funds did not come through.

    Council will vote to tap into the Community Revitalization Levy to make up the difference.

    ROGERS PLACE TOUR: Take a step inside the downtown Edmonton arena  

    Rogers Place is scheduled to open Sept. 10 ahead of the 2016 NHL season.

    The Edmonton Oilers will play their first game there on Monday, Sept. 26 against the Calgary Flames.

Winnipeg Jets know their man ahead of NHL Draft

WINNIPEG —; In just 10 days the Winnipeg Jets will get to use the second overall draft pick they won in the NHL Draft Lottery.

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff discussed the club’s plans for the draft and without saying who they’ll pick, Cheveldayoff indicated they know who they’ll take with the number two overall selection.

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“The list I think is getting pretty much in ink,” said Cheveldayoff. “I think you’re still doing some due diligence. You can’t watch anymore hockey with it, so the evaluation on the hockey side is essentially left to video or whatever which you’ve done a lot of already. Unless something really dramatically makes a shift that you just don’t see and obviously you saw some crazy things in the NFL draft this year. Yeah our minds are very set.”

Of course the Toronto Maple Leafs could throw a wrench in the Jets plans by taking somebody other than Auston Matthews with the first overall pick. And the Jets had a good sit down with the possible number two selection Patrik Laine.

“We had a good interview with him. He’s got a good sense of humour. He’s someone that’s obviously is confident. We talked a lot about just him as a person, his family, obviously the year, a variety of different topics.”

Regardless of who the Jets pick, they believe they’ll be getting a player who can play in the NHL right away.

“The players at the top end of the draft look like they’re ready to step in.” said Cheveldayoff.

RELATED: Heritage Classic pre-sale tickets start next week

Cheveldayoff also addressed the rumours that Jacob Trouba, who will soon be a restricted free agent, is on the trading block.

“I’m not trying to trade anybody.” Cheveldayoff said. “I think in this game there’s a distinct possibility that anybody can get traded. We’ve got some good young players here. We’ve got two of them that are up for contracts in Trouba and (Mark) Scheifele and we’re going to do our best to get those contracts done in the books. So trying to trade him ? No.”

The first round of the 54th NHL Draft is on June 24 in Buffalo, N.Y.

WATCH: Jets G.M. Kevin Cheveldayoff discusses the NHL Draft, Patrik Laine and Jacob Trouba

Young cancer survivor preparing for Manitoba Marathon ‘Super Run’

WINNIPEG —; With each stride, Courtney Mitchler moves a step closer to her goal.

“I want to run further and reach the mile I want to reach,” said the Hedges Middle School Grade 8 student.

RELATED: Winnipeg students get a leg up on Manitoba Marathon training

But not long ago, she faced a much bigger challenge.

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Courtney was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 when she was just 11. Doctors discovered a tumor after her appendix burst.

“I didn’t know what it was at first,” said Courtney.

“I was very terrified. I didn’t know if I was going to live.”

It was a dark moment that Courtney, now 13,  says she maneuvered with a bright outlook.

“I think staying positive and being happy is a better thing than being upset all the time,” Courtney said.

RELATED: Meet the volunteers keeping young Winnipeg marathoners on track

Within weeks, Courtney had surgery to remove the growth. She joined the Hedges Middle School Running Club once she got back on her feet. The group is one of 100 participating in this year’s Manitoba Marathon Champions in Training program. The goal is to introduce kids to an active lifestyle.

The Hedges Middle School runners will race in Sunday’s Super Run, a 2.6-mile fun run.

“She just wants to stay healthy,” said Kim Mitchler, Courtney’s mom. “She wants to get her six-pack back. She’s a very determined girl.”

RELATED: Winnipeg students surprised with new running shoes

Not just to help herself but also others. Courtney runs an annual fundraiser for cancer research. In two years, she’s raised more than $3,000.

“You can go through some trials in life and that can drag you down or you can go through some trials and come out a stronger person,” said Hedges Middle School Running Club leader Rowland Hayward. “I think she’s come out a stronger person.”

A role model for those running the same race — on or off the course.

North Shore Mountains hit with light snow in the middle of June

Most people on the Lower Mainland may be craving sunshine and flip flop weather, but Mother Nature has different plans.

A light dusting of snow was reported on the North Shore Mountains this afternoon.

Grouse Mountain told Global News a total of four centimetres of snow fell on top of the mountain today.

They posted a picture of snow covering parts of their guest welcome area with a caption saying, “Mother Nature seems a little confused this morning.”

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Meanwhile, Cypress Mountain posted a picture of the Olympic rings against the backdrop of a ski slope covered with a light dusting of snow.

Meanwhile, staff at Mount Seymour joked about opening their season in mid-July since they are currently experiencing a good accumulation, which is steadily building their snowpack.

Global BC meteorologist Mark Madryga says seeing light snow on the North Shore Mountains in the middle of June is rare, but not unheard of.

“Last few Junes we have not really seen this, but typically in June, we get these cool spells where big troughs of low pressure sit over us and the freezing level comes down,” says Madryga.

“We have also had some lightning, heavy showers and hail in parts of Metro Vancouver.”

Temperatures at YVR reached nine degrees today, but no new record low temperatures were recorded.

Meanwhile, a special weather statement has been issued for the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt and for Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass, where an unstable air mass is expected to cause showers to turn into wet snow this evening.

Amounts are expected to be generally light, but near the Coquihalla Summit and over the Allison Pass amounts of 10 to 15 cm are possible through Wednesday morning.

Drivers are being warned that roads could be slippery and they should exercise due caution.

A Global BC viewer in Anahim Lake has also sent in a picture of their house covered in close to 40 cm of snow this morning, while temperatures dipped below zero.

But there is good news on the way. Madryga says while we are in for another cool night in Metro Vancouver tonight and only a slightly warmer night tomorrow, it will warm up again by the weekend.

Lethbridge firefighters’ stellar water recovery record highlighted during rescue training

The Lethbridge Fire Department is making a splash at William Pearce Park in Riverstone as 23 firefighters take part in a three-day dive training certification course.

The specialty training, which started Monday, is only offered every three years to local water rescue teams who take part in recovery operations.

Crews learn a number of skills to help with search and rescue operations, as well as evidence retrieval for law enforcement agencies.

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The instructors teach the course around the world, and the Lethbridge department specifically has a stellar record when it comes to successful dives.

“What I love about Lethbridge, and we have Medicine Hat here as well, is they are always striving to be the best they can be; they don’t shortcut,” instructor Andrea Zaferes said. “More divers die trying to find bodies than long-term drowning victims have been saved. That’s a really bad number, so they [Lethbridge Fire Department] have never not found the body they were looking for, ever. There are very few teams who can say that.”

Riley Mclaren is new to the dive team and said the specialty training was a great experience.

“One of the things I was looking forward to the most is just adding another dynamic to the job,” Mclaren said.

“We are lucky enough here to be firefighters and paramedics, and I’m happy now to be on the water rescue team and add that different facet to things we already do.”

READ MORE: Search and water rescue team recover body from Henderson lake

The training will continue Wednesday with more diving in Henderson Lake.

Zaferes also had tips for the general public when it comes to water rescue, including that it is not a good idea to go in the water after someone if you are not a trained lifeguard as it could lead to another rescue mission.

Other tips included marking the bank with two items to identify where a person went in the water, and designating a “water person” when at the river or lake and identifying them by a card worn around the neck. She suggested switching that person out every 15 minutes.

For more information on water rescue and a printable version of the watch card, you can click here.

Rainbow flag at US Embassy ‘disrespectful’, Jamaica AG says

Jamaica’s attorney general says a decision to fly the rainbow flag at the U.S. Embassy following the Orlando gay nightclub massacre is an affront to the island’s anti-sodomy laws.

READ MORE: ‘Blood was everywhere’: Orlando shooting survivors recall scenes of terror

On her social media accounts, Marlene Malahoo Forte condemned the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history but says she found the Kingston embassy’s decision to fly the rainbow flag “disrespectful of Jamaican laws.”

The attorney general described this as her personal view.

WATCH: Orlando shooting survivor Patience Carter speaks with media

Orlando shooting survivor describes being held hostage by gunman: Part 3

02:04

Orlando shooting survivor describes being held hostage by gunman: Part 3

02:52

Orlando shooting survivor describes being held hostage by gunman: Part 2

02:04

Orlando shooting survivor describes being held hostage by gunman: Part 1

01:32

‘The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy’: Orlando shooting victim reads emotional poem



On Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy said it is flying the rainbow flag “in solidarity with the victims who were targeted for being members of the LGBT community.” U.S. embassies across the globe have also been flying the pride flag following the Sunday violence.

Jamaica has longstanding laws criminalizing sex between men. Stigma against LGBT citizens is common.

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Brossard banning pit bulls in response to attack on 8-year-old girl

Story highlights

Banned breeds

Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

All pit-bull mixes

BROSSARD – The city of Brossard has announced a ban on pit bull-type dogs.

No new pit bulls are allowed in Brossard but people who already own one will get to keep their dogs, under strict guidelines.

The ban is one of 20 measures aimed at protecting the public from dangerous dogs.

READ MORE: Dog attack victim calls for pit bull ban in wake of Quebec woman’s death

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    There are seven registered pit bulls in Brossard, but the city believes there may be others.

    The owners of pit bull-type dogs will have to register their pets with the city. They will also have to prove they’ve gotten obedience training and get insurance of up to $250,000.

    The dogs will also need a micro chip, have to be neutered and they won’t be allowed in dog parks and when in public, they must wear a muzzle.

    “These dogs being aggressive, if they’re mixed with other dogs, there could be incidents we don’t want to happen,” said Eric Boutin, Brossard’s planning director.

    The city has been working on these new rules since an eight-year-old girl, Vanessa Biron, was mauled by a pit bull-type dog last fall at a Brossard park.

    The girl was left with severe scars on her face.

    READ MORE: Pit bull attack reignites debate on banning specific dog breeds

    Her father, Bernard Biron, said he was happy with the results although he would now like to see something done at the provincial level.

    “As soon as a province-wide ban can be enabled, I think we’re gonna save lives and that’s going to save tragic accidents,” Biron said.

    “I think children have the right to play without fear a savage beast will jump on their throats, not only in Brossard but all over Quebec.”

    “According to studies consulted by the GTRAC (the Groupe de Travail sur le Réglement des Animaux de Compagnie), pit bulls are responsible for the vast majority of documented serious attacks,” Brossard Mayor Paul Leduc said.

    The mayor said the city will hire an inspector to enforce the bylaw and increase vigilance.

    There’s no word yet on the dollar amount of fines but Leduc said they will be “severe.”

    “If pit bulls are found on the territory, they are not licensed and they’re not protected with the grandfathered clause, they could be seized. But that’s an ultimate measure,” Boutin added.

    READ MORE: Pit bulls model flower crowns in hopes of erasing bad reputation

    The Montreal SPCA says this approach is too expensive for both the owner and the city and that it’s ultimately not effective.

    “We need to focus on preventative measures ensuring dogs don’t become aggressive in the first place,” said Alana Devine, a Montreal SPCA spokesperson.

    “That means addressing sterilization, addressing breeding, addressing sale of animals.”

    The bylaw will be implemented in the next couple of weeks but owners of pit bull-type dogs will have until Sept. 1 to comply with the rules.

Okanagan-Skaha School District won’t ask for special advisor

Those hoping the Okanagan-Skaha School District would call in a special advisor won’t get their wish.

After a lengthy discussion at their board meeting Monday night, the school board voted 6-1 against asking for a special advisor.

Some had hoped an advisor could provide an outside opinion on the way the decisions were made to close three schools.

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Last week, MLA Dan Ashton wrote to the board asking them to look at bringing in a special advisor and specifically mentioned the controversy over the decision to close Trout Creek Elementary.

“Parents in School District 67 and even Summerland Municipal Council are expressing their wishes for an oversight into this closure. Surely their concerns should be worthy of a second look by an individual who can possibly provide additional advice to the issue,” wrote Ashton.

However, the board chair Linda Van Alphen defended the decision not to ask for a special advisor. She argues the board feels the investigation by an ombudsperson, that is already going ahead, will provide a third party, objective investigation and there is no need to duplicate that process.

Read More: Summerland parents seeking injunction on school Closure

“We know that the one big question that the parents have is one process. We already have an ombudsman who is going through two claims that we have not done due process. We are waiting for the results of what the ombudsman says,” said Van Alphen.

“I hate to say this, but it is not a very large group of people anymore that are saying that they don’t trust us. The larger group are the people who say go ahead you’ve done the right job and keep going with what you are doing.”

Van Alphen stands behind the procedure used to close Trout Creek Elementary and says the process to close the school was “solid.”

– with files from Angela Jung

MH35 group reveals new plans for library in public information sessions

In the first of several public information sessions held today in Moncton, MH35 presented its updated plans for the former Moncton High School.

MH Renaissance Inc., or MH35, is the group hoping to turn the old Moncton High School into an arts and cultural centre.

READ MORE: Future of former Moncton High School still undecided

The group’s idea of moving the city library from its current location in Moncton’s downtown core to a refurbished 81-year-old school has been the source of some controversy.

“We just met with the library this morning so we have not heard their reaction yet,” MH35 President Dennis Cochrane said Tuesday.

Cochrane says after the meeting with library officials, who were against the move, MH35 had an architect alter the layout of the proposed space to better accommodate the library’s needs.

Proposed layout for library in former Moncton High School

Shelley Steeves/Global News

Former Moncton High librarian, Catherine Cox attended the information sessions to see the latest plans. She thinks the proposal is a good option for expanding the library.

“With the renovations that they are planning it’s lovely. They fill in the quad and make a big new square space you can see —; there is lots of room for a library, the children’s library at the present library isn’t big enough.”

MH 35’s proposed layout for library at former Moncton High School

Shelley Steevesw

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Cox says having the library in the old, historic building would add charm to the library space, comparing it to Harry Potter’s School of Hogwarts.

“It’s a stone building with nooks and crannies and little windows to sit in,” she said.

MH35 claims it will cost the library the same amount of money to operate out of the former school, however the library board claims it will cost more.

READ MORE: Plans brewing for future use of old Moncton High School

Moncton’s new mayor, Dawn Arnold, who sat on the library board, has said publicly that she is not convinced the library should move. Dawn wasn’t available for comment Tuesday.

“We have said to the city all along, ‘if you don’t want to put the library there, what other space do you have that you could possibly move in?’” Cochrane said.

Tim Bosma’s accused killers also face charges in death of Toronto woman Laura Babcock

HAMILTON —; The accused killers of a Hamilton man whose remains were found burned beyond recognition face another murder trial next year in the death of a young woman.

But a judge in Hamilton did not allow any mention of the upcoming proceedings during the lengthy trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, who are accused of killing Tim Bosma and torching his body in an animal incinerator three years ago.

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Both Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to the murder charges in the death of Bosma, who disappeared on May 6, 2013 after taking two men for a test drive in a truck he was trying to sell online.

READ MORE: Jury deliberations continue in murder trial of Tim Bosma’s accused killers

The two men – who court heard first met via drug dealing and later committed “missions” together, code name for thefts – are also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old woman from Toronto who disappeared in the summer of 2012.

Police says Babcock, whose body was never found, was romantically involved with Millard. The trial into her slaying is expected to begin early next year.

Smich’s lawyer, Thomas Dungey, said his client intends to plead not guilty to those charges. Millard did not respond to a request for comment, but at a court appearance for that case early this year, he said he intends to represent himself at trial.

Millard also faces first-degree murder charges in the death of his father, Wayne Millard, in November 2012, which was initially deemed a suicide. A date for that trial hasn’t been set yet.

READ MORE: Judge tells jury to disregard some comments from key players in Tim Bosma murder trial

The circumstances of Bosma’s disappearance and the massive search for the married father of a two-year-old girl made headlines across the country. The graphic testimony during the trial, which often prompted Bosma’s widow and other family members to burst into tears or rush out of the courtroom, hogged headlines in Ontario for months.

Millard chose not to testify, so the jury didn’t hear him talk about his friend and co-accused. Smich, who did take the stand, described the relationship in detail.

The two first met after Millard called Smich looking to buy drugs, Smich testified, describing himself as a small-time drug dealer.

“As time went on, our bond was stronger and I felt like he was a brother to me,” Smich said of Millard.

On the surface, the two had vastly different backgrounds.

READ MORE: Tim Bosma’s accused murderers killed ‘for the thrill of it’: Crown

Millard was the heir to an aviation empire – Millardair – that his grandfather started more than 50 years ago. He owned numerous real estate properties in and around Toronto, several cars, trucks, planes and a helicopter. Court heard Millard travelled the world – and once competed in the famous Baja off-road race in Mexico.

Smich testified he was broke, sold drugs as his only means of income and held odd jobs throughout his life. He said he also worked for Millard in odd jobs that ranged from painting his friend’s house in western Toronto to doing manual labour at the hangar in Waterloo, Ont.

Millard would sometimes pay him in weed, shoes or would cover his cellphone bills, Smich said. The two bonded over video games, he added, and would play Halo for hours on end with other friends at Millard’s house. They often partied together.

“We both liked to smoke weed and hang out,” Smich testified.

READ MORE: Tim Bosma’s accused killer too smart to commit such a dumb crime, says lawyer

Smich also told court they stole together, from trees to trailers to a “skid steer” – a small loading vehicle used in construction. One time, he said, after the two enjoyed chicken wings and beer in a restaurant, they stole a floor polisher that was in the bed of a pickup truck in the parking lot. Smich said neither knew what it was, but they stole it anyway.

The tight friendship changed at some point after Bosma’s death, court heard.

Smich testified it was Millard who shot and killed Bosma in his truck and then burned his body. He said he helped cover the crime because he was terrified of his “lunatic” friend. Millard’s lawyer, meantime, says Smich accidentally killed Bosma while he was trying to steal his truck.

Millard didn’t mince words in secret jailhouse letters that he sent to his girlfriend, Christina Noudga. In one letter from the summer of 2013, read out in court, Millard said Smich screwed up the truck robbery and he only helped clean up his mess.

In another letter, Millard wrote: “And treacherous Mark; got himself charged by trying to put it on me.”