Saskatoon News

Appeal court upholds adult sentence for teen who killed Simon Grant

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 17:41
A 21-year-old man will continue serving an adult sentence for killing a La Ronge restaurant owner when he was 17 after the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal to replace the adult sentence with a rehabilitative youth sentence. Read More

Sask. has no plans to follow Alberta, B.C. on vaccinating kids born in 2009

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 17:04
Saskatchewan doesn't plan to give COVID-19 vaccines to children until their 12th birthdays, despite calls from the provincial opposition to inoculate more tweens before the school year begins. Read More

Appeal court reduces sentence for man who killed La Ronge restaurant owner

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:57
A man who plead guilty to beating a La Ronge business owner to death has had his sentence reduced by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. The man, who was 17 at the time and can not be named because he was charged as a youth, plead guilty to the murder of Simon Grant, a La Ronge restaurateur in 2017. Grant was killed in April of that year during an armed robbery at his restaurant, Louisiana’s Bar-B-Que. After their investigation, local RCMP arrested and charged three suspects, including the then 17-year-old. He was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The Crown sought to have him sentenced as an adult. The Judge allowed the Crowns’ application and the man was was sentenced to nine years behind bars. The man argues that the judge erred in finding that he should be sentenced as an adult, and also erred by imposing a nine year sentence. The appeal judge stated the sentencing judge didn’t consider factors relevant to the sentencing, such as the entering of a guilty plea, the man’s repeated and heartfelt expressions of remorse and his lack of a criminal record. The appeal judge ruled that his sentence should be reduced to just seven years instead of nine. All other aspects of the sentence will remain in place. He has been in jail for 38 months, which will be given as credit towards the new sentence.

‘It feels like we’re back in Toronto’: Fans flock to stadium for Jays’ return

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:56
TORONTO — A sea of blue jerseys and T-shirts welcomed the Toronto Blue Jays back to the Rogers Centre on Friday as fans flocked to see the team play at home for the first time in nearly two years. The crowd that lined up outside the stadium was abuzz with excitement, with many saying the Jays' return -- and the ability to watch them in person -- felt like a step towards normalcy in the midst the COVID-19 pandemic, even though many wore masks. "I think it's important that these kind of games are back, it really builds morale," said Sam Guyatt, 40, who attended Friday's game with his wife and two children. Jessica Smith said she and her friends were "super excited" to see the Jays play on home turf, where they were hosting the Kansas City Royals on Friday. "It really feels like we're back in Toronto again," she said. Joanne Aprile said her family has been going to Jays games for about a decade, noting her 10-year-old son, John, went to his first game when he was two and has become an ardent fan. It was important for him to be there for the team's return, she added. "Getting tickets was a bit hard this time due to high demand but we're just excited to be here," she said. The Jays were allowed to come back to Toronto after the federal government granted them a national interest travel exemption. The team hasn't played at Rogers Centre since September 2019 because of pandemic measures, including the ban on travel between the U.S. and Canada. The team kicked off this season hosting home games at its spring training site in Dunedin, Fla., before returning to the home of their triple-A affiliate earlier this summer. The stadium remains under capacity restrictions, however, and team officials have said it can only accommodate about one-third of its usual maximum at this time. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2021. Rhythm Sachdeva, The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan gets its 1st ball hockey league

Global Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:50
For many growing up, it was their favourite activity during gym class. Now, there is a push from a group to take it to an elite level, possibly even to a professional level down the road.
Categories: Saskatoon News

Florida coronavirus cases jump 50% as surge continues

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:20
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s coronavirus cases jumped 50% this week, the state Health Department reported Friday, continuing a six-week surge that has seen it responsible for 1 in 5 new infections nationally, becoming the outbreak's epicenter. The release came shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month, saying there is no evidence they prevent outbreaks among students or staff. More than 110,000 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide over the past week, up from 73,000 last week and 11 times the 10,000 reported the week of June 11, six weeks ago. Case numbers are now back to where they in January, just before vaccinations became widely available. The Florida Hospital Association also said Friday that statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing last year’s peak. More than 9,300 patients are hospitalized, up from 1,845 a month ago and nearing the record 10,179 set on July 23, 2020. On a per capita basis, Florida now has more people hospitalized than any other state. The state reported 409 deaths this week, bringing the total to more than 39,000 since its first in March 2020. The state’s peak happened in mid-August 2020, when 1,266 people died over a seven-day period. Deaths usually follow increases in hospitalizations by a few weeks. DeSantis has blamed the surge on a seasonal increase — more Floridians are indoors because of the hot weather with air conditioning circulating the virus. About 60% of Floridians 12 and older are vaccinated, ranking it about midway among the states. DeSantis said barring mask mandates at schools will improve students' experience and make it easier for them to focus on learning. “I have (three) young kids. My wife and I are not going to do the mask with the kids. We never have, we won’t. I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun,” DeSantis said at a news conference in southwest Florida a few hours before he signed the executive order. DeSantis is seeking reelection next year and has been positioning himself nationally for a possible 2024 presidential bid. But his critics are blaming his unwillingness to mandate mask wearing, such as his executive order barring mask requirements at public schools. “We know that masks are a simple and effective way to help prevent virus spread, and from a medical perspective it makes absolutely zero sense to discourage their use,” said Dr. Bernard Ashby, head of Florida's progressive Committee to Protect Health Care. "DeSantis’ power grab will put the health of kids and teachers alike at risk.” DeSantis' decision came after the Broward County school board voted to require masks and other districts and colleges around the state were considering it. “We will have to change our policy,” Broward board member Debbi Hixon told the South Florida SunSentinel. “I am not looking to defy the governor. I believe it is an irresponsible decision but if it is the law, I will agree to follow it.” The Florida Education Association, the state's teachers union, said DeSantis should leave the decision to local officials rather than impose a statewide edict — a position he once held. When the pandemic began in March 2020, DeSantis said local officials should control the response, that the business closures and mask mandates imposed in Miami, Tampa and other big cities wouldn't work in small, rural counties. “Gov. DeSantis continues to think that Tallahassee knows best what all Floridians need,” union President Andrew Spar said in a statement. “We reject that kind of thinking. Instead, we ask Gov. DeSantis to allow all Florida’s citizens to have a voice by empowering the elected leaders of cities, counties and school districts to make health and safety decisions locally.” Meanwhile, Publix, the state's largest supermarket chain, announced Friday that employees will again be required to wear masks and several hospitals said they are postponing elective surgeries and limiting visitors. At Tampa General Hospital, the 90-plus patients hospitalized with COVID already exceeds the previous high of 86, said Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, medical director of its Global Emerging Diseases Institute. She said the hospital, like many, can't hire enough staff and it is leaving those working exhausted. “It feels like we are getting hit by a train, the pace is so fast and uncontrolled,” Laskshmi said. “I just don’t have any words anymore. This is awful, just awful and it is going to be awful." She said last year, her patients' median age was in the 70s. Now, it is just over 50, with the younger patients getting sicker than in the past. She pointed to a patient in his early 30s whose lungs “sound like Velcro” being pulled apart. A father of young children, he will likely have permanent damage and might need a transplant eventually, she said. She said 83% of Tampa General's COVID patients are unvaccinated while the others have immune-deficiency issues that prevented the vaccine from working. __ Gomez Licon reported from Miami. ___ Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at and Terry Spencer And Adriana Gomez Licon, The Associated Press

Saskatchewan gets its 1st ball hockey league

Global Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:18
For many growing up, it was their favourite activity during gym class. Now, there is a push from a group to take it to an elite level.
Categories: Saskatoon News

Vaccine hesitant woman changes mind, goes to Regina pop-up clinic

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:11
Many people across Saskatchewan got their first COVID shot weeks, if not months ago. But some people took a while to make up their minds. Larissa, a Regina woman who wasn’t comfortable sharing her last name, rolled up her sleeve at the pop-up vaccine clinic at Buffalo Meadows Pool Friday. It was her first dose. She had been feeling skeptical and nervous about the vaccine for some time. “I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand COVID … I just didn’t want to, because, truth is, I’m Aboriginal, and … The government doesn’t have a lot of great ideas for us. So, at first, I was scared with all the historical facts of stuff that was done to us,” she said. “Plus, a lot of the internet stuff. ‘Oh, the government’s putting a chip in you …’ So, a lot of that went in my mind because you see it on social media.” As for what changed, she gradually started to take the virus more seriously. “I just feel like it’s our job as a community to help each other stay safe, because some people can’t get vaccinated,” she said. Also, the pop-up clinic at the pool offered free tickets to the Queen City Ex for anyone getting their vaccine. That also helped nudge Larissa in the direction of getting the shot. “It was a free Ex pass, and I’m low-income … I thought I could help the community, and help myself,” she said. Pop-up clinics like the one at Buffalo Meadows Pool will soon become the norm for anyone looking to get their COVID vaccine. The province is discontinuing mass immunization clinics and won’t be booking any more appointments through the government as of Aug. 8.

COVID-19 activity rising in Lloydminster area, Sask. Health Authority warns

CTV Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:03
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is warning that COVID-19 activity is on the rise in Lloydminster.
Categories: Saskatoon News

Canada in Tokyo – Donovan Bailey – Olympic Flashback

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 16:00
The men’s 100-metre competition gets underway at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo later today, a competition with a lasting legacy for all Canadians. Atlanta 1996. Donovan Bailey. 9.84. While that dramatic event celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month, for Bailey, the outcome was never in doubt. “For me it was never wide open,” Bailey said while chatting to the Green Zone earlier this year. “The only thing that was going to prevent me from winning was myself. My confidence was at its highest.” A stacked lineup in the final saw Bailey joined by Namibian Frankie Fredericks, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ato Boldon, and Linford Christie from Great Britain. It had not been the easiest passage for Bailey in the earlier rounds, trailing Christie in the quarterfinals, and false starting in the semifinal before finishing second to Fredericks. False starts would play a huge part in the final too, but Bailey remained unfazed. “I knew exactly what was going to happen. As the false starts happened I actually got more relaxed,” Bailey recalled. “Nothing was going to bother me. In fact, before the race where we all went off, I said to the guys, ‘Relax, it’s going to be over in a minute.’” Defending-champion Christie false-started out of the competition in controversial manner, and Boldon jumped the gun too, but the runners got off the fourth time. “I made an incredible mistake out of the blocks, the worst 30 metres I had ran all season,” Bailey said, something that still frustrates him when he watches back to this day. “They’re the very best of the best, (but) I knew I could beat them at any time. Me at my best versus them at their best, there is absolutely no competition. It’s no different to later on all of us watching Usain Bolt.” Bailey’s late-race surge saw him come through the field to take gold in that world-record time now etched into Canadian sporting folklore. “The 100 metres is the culmination of months and years of monotonous training, nutrition, therapy, weight training. It’s the sum total of an incredible amount of time that’s been put in to work to perfection,” Bailey said. Bailey was born in Jamaica before moving to Canada, and the Olympic champion explains how after the win he saw his father cry for the first time, something he describes as one of the greatest compliments you can receive. “Most immigrant fathers want their kid to be a lawyer, doctor or professional. I was a banker so he was happy with that,” Bailey said. “When I went to track and field he wasn’t very happy. He didn’t really understand that this is sports and an incredible legacy that I can create. When I won I think he finally realized that this was the very top.” That legacy, both of the gold and world record, is something that Bailey still feels every day, even 25 years later. “I get to be serenaded by amazing Canadian fans every day. The definition really was reaching that goal,” Bailey said. “No matter where you come from or what you do, you can get to the very top. I was very blessed.” Andre De Grasse will lead the challenge for Team Canada at Tokyo 2020, with Bismark Boateng and Gavin Smellie also hoping to make their mark on the iconic event. Listen to the Green Zone’s chat with Bailey earlier this year –

Your Saskatchewan photo of the day: July 2021

Global Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:48
A viewer-submitted photo is featured daily in Your Saskatchewan on Global Saskatoon and Global Regina.
Categories: Saskatoon News

2-1-1 Saskatchewan, SaskWell partnership launched to quell COVID-19 stress

Global Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:46
Both 2-1-1 Saskatchewan and SaskWell are proud to announce their new partnership, allowing both parties to use each others resources to help the people of Saskatchewan.
Categories: Saskatoon News

Vehicle smashes into McNally Robinson Booksellers

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:39
Saskatoon police have issued a ticket for driving without due care and attention after a vehicle hit one of the walls of McNally Robinson Booksellers on Eighth Street Friday morning. Read More

Deadline day for inquiry’s final report on eco groups and Alberta energy industry

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:37
EDMONTON — Friday was the deadline for a public inquiry into what the Alberta government says is foreign funding of environmental groups who want to curtail energy development — an investigation lauded by Premier Jason Kenney as principled but derided by critics as a buffoonishly sinister political witch hunt. “We have not yet received the (final) report but expect to have it delivered to the minister’s office sometime today,” Jerry Bellikka, chief of staff to Energy Minister Sonya Savage, said in an email. The inquiry was given five deadline extension stretching back a year to July 30, 2020. Its budget was set at $2.5 million, but later increased to $3.5 million. Savage has up to three months to release the report once she receives it from forensic accountant Steve Allan. Kenney launched the inquiry in 2019, fulfilling a United Conservative election campaign promise. He accused Canadian environmental charities of accepting foreign funding in a co-ordinated attempt to hinder energy infrastructure and landlock Alberta's oil to benefit U.S. competitors. Kenney recently said he was not surprised eco-groups are criticizing the inquiry as unfair and tilted toward a prejudged outcome “They don’t want the public to realize they have been receiving massive amounts of money from foreign sources to shut down the largest job-creating industry in Canada,” Kenney said on July 22. “They don’t want the disinfectant of transparency to come down on them. That’s why they went to court … Thankfully, the Court of Queen’s Bench threw their case out.” In May, a judge dismissed a challenge by the environmental law firm Ecojustice to quash the inquiry. The judge ruled Ecojustice failed to prove the inquiry was called to intimidate charities concerned about the environmental impact of the energy industry. In recent days, leaked sections of Allan’s draft report show he has concluded that eco-groups have not in any way broken the law. But critics say Allan exceeded his mandate by linking any opposition to resource development as being “anti-Albertan.” Allan, in a letter this week to Greenpeace Canada, made it clear that “anti-Alberta” is meant simply as a “a non-pejorative geographic modifier.” University of Calgary law professor Martin Olszynski said “anti-Alberta” is not an innocent term but a broad-based slur, easily weaponized by political opponents. He said it turns those concerned with the pace of resource development and its effect on the environment into scapegoats and depicts them as traitors to the community. “The precedent (is) anything can become anti-Alberta, essentially anything that the premier disagrees with,” said Olszynski. “To some extent a government has a democratic mandate, but it only goes so far. It can’t go to the point where opposition to that mandate --dissent — is branded as treason and sedition. “That’s very authoritarian.” The inquiry has been criticized for operating in secret: no witnesses called publicly, little to no evidence on its website and those investigated being given little time late in the game to respond. Its terms of reference have also been altered twice. “This has been something out of 'Alice in Wonderland,'” said Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada. “We got funding from international foundations. It was about two per cent of our revenue over a decade. “We got a lot more money from Albertans.” He said Greenpeace Canada has been one of the inquiry's targets and that letters to Allan asking for information and details have been ignored. “We don’t even get to publicly defend ourselves or even see the evidence against us. (Allan) says, ‘I interviewed 100 people.’ He won’t tell us who they were. How are we supposed to respond to evidence that we’re not allowed to see?” Allan, on his website, noted that his inquiry sent out 40 invitations in mid-June for participants to respond by mid-July.  “Some participants did not accept the commissioner’s invitation until some weeks after June 18, and they were then granted access to the (inquiry) dataroom to review content,” Allan said in a statement July 21. “The material provided to each party for review included material necessary to understand the context surrounding potential findings and contained potential findings related to them.” Olszynski said there’s a “good chance” Allan’s final report will be challenged in court on the grounds it was procedurally flawed and reached unqualified conclusions. “Inquiries are not courts of law … but it’s not the Wild West,” he said. Kathleen Ganley, energy critic for the Opposition NDP, said Savage should release the report immediately upon receiving it. “Leaked drafts of the report show the inquiry relied on misinformation found in Google searches and ‘research’ conducted by the UCP’s own ridiculous war room,” said Ganley. “But despite putting their thumb on the scale with this shoddy research, the inquiry was still forced to conclude there was no wrongdoing or illegal activity.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2021. Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Sask. minister won't commit to releasing overdose dashboard

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:35
Saskatchewan's minister of Mental Health and Addictions says he can't make any promises about whether the government will publicly release a dashboard it has developed to track deaths, hospitalizations and other impacts of a toxic drug crisis. Read More

COVID-19 case rate in northern half of Saskatchewan highest in Canada

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:34
The northern half of Saskatchewan is adding new COVID-19 cases at a pace nearly 33 times the rate in Canada as a whole. Read More

B.C. readies response ahead of second heat wave expected this weekend

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:32
VANCOUVER — British Columbia is gearing up to respond to another heat wave by taking several steps including opening civic centres that would otherwise be closed so people can escape to a cool place if they lack air conditioning. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says social media updates will be posted so people can access resources, Information on illnesses related to heat waves will also be available online. Farnworth says local governments are being encouraged to provide information on cooling centres for residents who have been forced to leave their homes due to wildfires in parts of the province. Health Minister Adrian Dix says jobs for more paramedics and dispatchers were being posted on Friday as part of an effort to provide better service to 911 callers after the last heat wave at the end of June led to multiple complaints about hours-long waits. Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the weekend but cooler temperatures are expected on Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2021. The Canadian Press

This research team found the number of Indigenous people in Sask. with IBD doubled over a 17 year period

CTV Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 15:03
A research study out of the University of Saskatchewan reveals the number of Indigenous people in the province living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has more than doubled from 1999 to 2016.
Categories: Saskatoon News

Partnership between 211 Saskatchewan and SaskWell launched to help quell COVID-19 stress

Global Saskatoon - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 14:50
Both 2-1-1 Saskatchewan and SaskWell are proud to announce their new partnership, allowing both parties to use each others resources to help the people of Saskatchewan.
Categories: Saskatoon News

Vehicle crashes into Saskatoon bookstore

News Talk 650 CKOM - Fri, 07/30/2021 - 14:40
It wasn’t just bookmarks hitting the pages in Saskatoon Friday. Around 10:30 a.m., police were called to the McNally Robinson Booksellers and Prairie Ink Restaurant on the 3100 block of Eighth Street East after a vehicle struck the wall of the building. While some people were shaken up, nobody in the building was hurt. The driver was uninjured as well. Police did issue a ticket for driving without due care and attention due to the incident.