Monthly Archives: January 2019

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Edmonton Oilers beat Calgary Flames 2-1 in shootout, 3rd Battle of Alberta win of the season

EDMONTON – The Edmonton Oilers feel they are starting to get a taste of what it will be like if they should maintain their spot in the standings.

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Leon Draisaitl and Mark Letestu scored in the shootout as the Oilers won their second tight game in a row, defeating the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday. It is Edmonton’s third Battle of Alberta win this season.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers aiming for third Battle of Alberta win of the season

Patrick Maroon scored in regulation time for the Oilers (23-15-7), who have won four of their last six games and sit second in the Pacific Division.

“We have to keep climbing the standings,” Maroon said.

“That was a playoff game tonight. It was playoff atmosphere. That’s how games are going to be for the next two months and we have to find ways to play through it and battle.”

Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who made 24 saves and was perfect in the shootout session, said this game was a far cry from the first two meetings the two teams had to start the season — won 7-4 and 5-3 by the Oilers.

“That was more pond hockey and this was more of a playoff atmosphere,” he said.

“You can tell this group is growing as a team and these tough games, we believe we are going to come out on top, whereas maybe last year where we may have found a way to lose.”

Sean Monahan replied for the Flames (23-20-3), who have lost two straight.

“I thought they had their chances, we had our chances,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano. “And, at the end, because of the way we are in the standings, it’s frustrating to give them the extra point.

“I liked our intensity. I think if we play at that intensity and that mindset, we’ll be fine going forward.”

Calgary had a 7-5 edge on the shot clock during the scoreless first period, and had the best chance as well with Talbot having to make a huge glove save to stone Monahan on an odd-man rush eight minutes into the game.

The Oilers finally broke the deadlock with a power-play goal with 3:36 left to play in the second period. Maroon was able to fish the puck out of a scrum and chip it over Calgary goalie Brian Elliott for his team-leading 18th goal of the season and seventh in his last six games.

Elliott stopped 26-of-27 shots in defeat.

The Flames got that goal right back just 26 seconds later, however, as Monahan picked up his own rebound and batted it past Talbot to make it 1-1.

The third period was also scoreless, with the best opportunity belonging to Calgary’s Deryk Engelland, who rang a shot off the post with 12 minutes remaining.

Oiler Jordan Eberle and Flame Johnny Gaudreau both had glorious opportunities in overtime, but the game remained tied to head to the shootout.

The Oilers play the fourth game of a six-game homestand on Monday against Arizona. The Flames return home to face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Calgary Flames’ Sean Monahan (23) is stopped by Edmonton Oilers’ goalie Cam Talbot (33) in the shootout during NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott (1) is scored on by Edmonton Oilers’ Mark Letestu (55) in a shootout during NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Oilers’ Matt Hendricks (23) and teammates celebrate the shootout win over the Calgary Flames during NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ goalie Brian Elliott (1) makes the save as Edmonton Oilers’ Milan Lucic (27) and Flames’ Mark Giordano (5) battle in front during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ goalie Brian Elliott (1) makes a save against the Edmonton Oilers during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Oilers’ Patrick Maroon (19) celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Deryk Engelland (29) is checked by Edmonton Oilers’ Matt Hendricks (23) during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Oilers’ Patrick Maroon (19) celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Deryk Engelland (29) is checked by Edmonton Oilers’ Matt Hendricks (23) during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Lance Bouma (17) and Edmonton Oilers’ Oscar Klefbom (77) battle for the puck during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Alex Chiasson (39) tries to screen as Edmonton Oilers’ goalie Cam Talbot (33) makes the save during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Alex Chiasson (39) gets tangled up with Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot (33) during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund (11) and Edmonton Oilers’ Matt Hendricks (23) battle in the corner during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund (11) is checked by Edmonton Oilers’ Oscar Klefbom (77) during first period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Notes: It was the third of four meetings between the two Alberta-based teams, with the final game going next Saturday in Calgary… A pre-game ceremony was held to honour Hayley Wickenheiser, who led Team Canada’s women’s hockey team to four goal medals and a silver during Winter Olympics competition. Wickenheiser, a lifelong Oilers fan, retired on Friday… The Oilers were without defenceman Adam Larsson, who took a puck off the foot on Thursday against New Jersey… Calgary centre Matt Stajan played in his 900th NHL game.

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Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

ELLENTON, Fla. – After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.

The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

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“There isn’t any one thing,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment.

“This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses this season and will perform 30 shows between now and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

READ MORE: Elephants perform for final time at Ringling Bros. circus (May 2016)

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a travelling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born. The sprawling troupes travelled around America by train, wowing audiences with the sheer scale of entertainment and exotic animals.

By midcentury, the circus was routine, wholesome family entertainment. But as the 20th century went on, kids became less and less enthralled. Movies, television, video games and the internet captured young minds. The circus didn’t have savvy product merchandising tie-ins or Saturday morning cartoons to shore up its image.

A Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clown does a somersault during a performance Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Orlando, Fla.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

“The competitor in many ways is time,” said Feld, adding that transporting the show by rail and other circus quirks — such as providing a travelling school for performers’ children— are throwbacks to another era. “It’s a different model that we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price. So you’ve got all these things working against it.”

The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967. The show was just under 3 hours then. Today, the show is 2 hours and 7 minutes, with the longest segment — a tiger act — clocking in at 12 minutes.

“Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” he said.

WATCH: Circus troupe performs for Pope Francis at the Vatican 

Feld and his daughter Juliette Feld, who is the company’s chief operating officer, acknowledged another reality that led to the closing, and it was the one thing that initially drew millions to the show: the animals. Ringling has been targeted by activists who say forcing animals to perform is cruel and unnecessary.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime opponent of the circus, wasted no time in claiming victory.

“After 36 years of PETA protests, which have awoken the world to the plight of animals in captivity, PETA heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times,” Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a statement.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, acknowledged the move was “bittersweet” for the Felds but said: “I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts.”

WATCH: Calgarian goes to Thailand to join a ‘circus with a purpose’ 

In May of 2016, after a long and costly legal battle, the company removed the elephants from the shows and sent the animals to live on a conservation farm in Central Florida. The animals had been the symbol of the circus since Barnum brought an Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882. In 2014, Feld Entertainment won $25.2 million in settlements from groups including the Humane Society of the United States, ending a 14-year fight over allegations that circus employees mistreated elephants.

By the time the elephants were removed, public opinion had shifted somewhat. Los Angeles prohibited the use of bull-hooks by elephant trainers and handlers, as did Oakland, California. The city of Asheville, North Carolina nixed wild or exotic animals from performing in the municipally owned, 7,600-seat U.S. Cellular Center.

Attendance has been dropping for 10 years, said Juliette Feld, but when the elephants left, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. Paradoxically, while many said they didn’t want big animals to perform in circuses, many others refused to attend a circus without them.

“We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Bros. was getting to see elephants,” she said. “We stand by that decision. We know it was the right decision. This was what audiences wanted to see and it definitely played a major role.”

The Felds say their existing animals — lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas — will go to suitable homes. Juliette Feld says the company will continue operating the Center for Elephant Conservation.

Some 500 people perform and work on both touring shows. A handful will be placed in positions with the company’s other, profitable shows — it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live, among other things — but most will be out of a job. Juliette Feld said the company will help employees with job placement and resumes. In some cases where a circus employee lives on the tour rail car (the circus travels by train), the company will also help with housing relocation.

Kenneth Feld became visibly emotional while discussing the decision with a reporter. He said over the next four months, fans will be able to say goodbye at the remaining shows.

In recent years, Ringling Bros. tried to remain relevant, hiring its first African American ringmaster, then its first female ringmaster, and also launching an interactive app. It added elements from its other, popular shows, such as motorbike daredevils and ice skaters. But it seemingly was no match for Pokemon Go and a generation of kids who desire familiar brands and YouTube celebrities.

“We tried all these different things to see what would work, and supported it with a lot of funding as well, and we weren’t successful in finding the solution,” said Kenneth Feld.

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Video captures profane exchange on York Regional Transit bus

A widely shared Facebook video shows a pair of women having a heated verbal exchange on a York Region Transit (YRT) bus.

The video picks up as the bus approaches a stop, with a younger woman seen berating an elderly lady, using profane language and repeatedly calling her a “dust fart.”

The older lady then asks the woman to “get off,” to which she responds, “I bet you haven’t gotten off in f***ing eight years.”

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It’s not clear what set off the altercation, but at one point the younger woman is seen telling the bus driver that the older lady yelled at her for taking a phone call.

READ MORE: Disturbing example of racism on Calgary Transit captured on video

The woman then lingers by the bus’ open door for several moments, seemingly taking photos of the elderly woman while the pair continue to trade barbs.

Neither the bus driver nor passengers intervene at any point, and the woman eventually leaves the bus.

WATCH: Video of an elderly woman being verbally assaulted on a York Region Transit bus have gone viral. And while there is growing outrage online, police have yet to be called. Erica Vella reports. 

Staff from York Region are aware of the incident, according to Patrick Casey, director of corporate communications of York municipality.

“We are currently investigating,” Casey wrote in an email to Global News.

“This includes reviewing all available video, interviewing the driver and working with our Enforcement and Security team. We do not condone this type of conduct, and the safety of our passengers and drivers is our top priority.”

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No injuries after fire breaks out in Mexican resort popular among Canadians

Gordon Faria, 48, of Montreal was taking in a theatre show in the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum resort in Mexico‘s Mayan Riviera when a large fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. Friday night.

“We were watching a Michael Jackson show when I heard people at the bar screaming ‘fire!’” Faria told Global News. “I peeked out and saw the straw [structure] on fire, and everybody started running out.”

He said that there were many Canadians in the crowd.

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READ MORE: Arrest made in Canadian’s death in Mexico

“During every theatre show they ask the audience who’s from the USA, who’s from Italy, who’s from here or there… and so many people yelled out for Canada. There were lots of Canadians down there,” he said.

A resort employee confirmed to Global News that the area was evacuated due to a fire, and that the resort resumed normal operations Saturday.

READ MORE: Groom, child among 5 Canadians killed in Mexican resort explosion

In a release, officials from the resort said “the situation was kept under control at all times.”

“Bahia Principe Hotel’s and Resorts can report that nobody was injured and the damage was limited to material losses,” the statement reads.

The statement went on to say the fire started as a “result of an unfortunate short-circuit.” Faria said staff suggested it originated from an electrical issue with a projector.

The resort has 960 rooms, five restaurants and numerous bars, according to its official website.

The Bahia Principe complex is made up of four connected resorts: Tulum, Coba, Akumal and Sian Ka’an. It is located about 100 kilometres south of Cancun.

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‘Band-Aid solution’ advocates react to proposed mobile drug consumption unit in Kelowna

Long-time Kelowna resident Rob Fforsyth says he has lost so many friends to drug overdoses there are too many to count.

“A lot of my friends have gone down, and I’ve lost some friends recently,” he said outside the Union Gospel Mission on Saturday afternoon.

That’s why he said he is in favour of a proposed mobile drug consumption service, possibly the first of its kind in Canada, to help save lives during a crisis that has reached epic proportions.

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“It can’t hurt to try it. I really appreciate that those looking over us have a heart to consider such a thing,” he said.

The health authority wants to open mobile consumption services in both Kelowna and Kamloops.

Medical Health Officer Dr. Silvina Mema said the small bus, RV or van would be staffed by a nurse and a counsellor.

“It is a service that allows people who use drugs to come in and use drugs under supervision, and that’s because of the crisis that we are facing with overdose deaths,” she said during a Friday news conference.

However, Mema said the application to Health Canada hasn’t yet been made and a timeframe on possible implementation isn’t known.

“This is only an application for an exemption. It doesn’t mean that the service is going to be up and running next week or tomorrow,” she said.

However, president of H.O.P.E outreach Angie Lohr said it’s a “Band-Aid solution.”

“I’m glad that it is happening. I would have maybe liked a permanent site where people could actually come in and come off the street,” she said.

In November the Interior Health Authority proposed a supervised injection facility to operate on Leon Avenue in downtown Kelowna.

After significant opposition from some nearby business owners, the plan has been scrapped.

“We have talked extensively with Interior Health about a mobile unit which would travel to parts of the community where overdoses are happening right now. In our discussions, we believe a mobile unit will reach more people and have a greater impact,” said the Downtown Kelowna Association in a statement.

Last month an overdose prevention site was supposed to open in Rutland, but after it proved unpopular with business owners, the landlord said no.

Shortly after, a grassroots group of volunteers opened a pop-up safe injection site one block away before it was quickly shut down after concerns from a nearby daycare.

For now, the only overdose prevention site operating in the city is at the former Kelowna Health Centre on Ellis Street.

Mema said that location is gaining traction.

“It started slow, but now we are seeing that people are going and people are using the service there,” she said.

For Fforsyth, more help can’t come soon enough.

“It’s breaking my heart, anything we can do to help save lives.”