Regina News

FSIN calls on Country Thunder to cancel Williams and Ree

CTV Regina - 1 hour 1 min ago
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is calling on Country Thunder to cut ties with the comedy act “Williams and Ree,” following a report of a comment made during a performance at the festival last weekend.

Manitoba university cuts ties with Ebola researcher pending RCMP investigation

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 10 min ago
WINNIPEG - The University of Manitoba says it has cut ties with an Ebola vaccine researcher pending the results of an RCMP investigation. A spokesperson says the school is ending the non-salaried adjunct appointments of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng. Qiu, a renowned virologist who received her original medical training in China, helped develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. Cheng also worked at the lab as a researcher. The Public Health Agency of Canada said on Monday that it was taking steps to address an “administrative matter” at the lab after it advised the Mounties of possible policy breaches. The laboratory is Canada’s highest-security infectious disease research facility dealing with deadly contagious germs. Public Health said there is no risk to the public and the work of the lab continues. The Canadian Press has been unable to reach Qiu or Cheng for comment. The RCMP in Manitoba has confirmed it received a referral from the health agency, but has not confirmed whether Qui or Cheng is being investigated. The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

Emails show Iowa official’s Tupac fixation before his ouster

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 20 min ago
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The director of Iowa’s social services agency was a huge fan of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, and he frequently let his subordinates know it. Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven kept sending messages to employees lauding Tupac’s music and lyrics even after at least one complained to lawmakers. Then last month, he sent another such email to all 4,300 agency employees. He was abruptly ousted from his job the next work day. Jerry Foxhoven, 66, told employees that he had been a huge fan of the hip-hop artist for years. He hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” to play his music in the office. He traded Tupac lyrics with employees and he marked his own 65th birthday with Tupac-themed cookies, including ones decorated with the words “Thug life.” The agency released 350 pages of emails with the words “Tupac” or “2Pac” sent to and from Foxhoven during his two-year tenure in response to an AP request. They show that Foxhoven marked the anniversary of Tupac’s death, shared one of his lyrics about love on Valentine’s Day and used the rapper’s image to try to improve the agency’s culture. He told colleagues he was inspired by Tupac lyrics that included: “It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.” While some employees praised Foxhoven for using Tupac to inject levity and inspiration into a stressful workplace, at least one employee complained to lawmakers about it last year, according to the emails provided under the open records law. And when Gov. Kim Reynolds told Foxhoven to resign on June 17, it was his first work day after he sent an email to all agency employees telling them to mark Tupac’s birthday over the weekend by listening to one of his songs. The timing of Foxhoven’s mass email, which featured a large image of the hip hop artist smiling, and his resignation has fueled speculation among employees that the two events are linked. But like the question of who fatally shot Tupac in Las Vegas in 1996, the reason for Foxhoven’s forced departure remains a mystery. A spokesman for the governor wouldn’t confirm or deny that Foxhoven’s Tupac email figured into her surprise request for his resignation. “As the governor has said, a lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven and now Gov. Reynolds is looking forward to taking DHS in a new direction,” said spokesman Pat Garrett. The governor’s office has refused to elaborate on those factors, despite an Iowa law that requires state agencies to release the “documented reasons and rationale” when employees resign instead of being terminated. Foxhoven’s resignation came amid multiple controversies involving the agency, which has a nearly $7 billion annual budget. They included difficult contract negotiations with managed care companies that run the Medicaid program, a trial detailing alleged mistreatment of boys at a state juvenile home, and an uptick in deaths at a centre for the disabled. Still, Foxhoven’s job had not appeared to be in danger. Reynolds had appointed Foxhoven, a longtime Drake University law professor, to run the agency in 2017 amid concerns about its handling of cases of children who died from abuse and neglect. Foxhoven said in a text message that he believed Reynolds had made the decision to “go in a different direction” before he sent the June 14 email. He said he wasn’t given a reason for the resignation request but that he doubted Tupac was a factor. The email included what Foxhoven called an inspirational quote from Tupac: “Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are 2 steps ahead.” Foxhoven noted that, in addition to Tupac’s birthday, he was celebrating his two-year anniversary as director and he thanked the staff for their work. Foxhoven said he sent the message, which was similar to an email he sent the prior year to mark Tupac’s birthday, to break down racist stereotypes about rap music. He told curious employees that yes, he really has long been a big Tupac fan. Several employees reacted positively with notes to Foxhoven - but one noted that the view wasn’t universally shared. “I love your 2pac messages … and the fact that you still send them (despite the haters) makes me appreciate them even more,” employee Lisa Bender wrote. “I agree totally. I am going to hang in there on him — despite all of the naysayers,” Foxhoven responded. Ryan J. Foley, The Associated Press
Categories: Regina News

Caregiver benefit for parents of ill children misunderstood, federal review says

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 22 min ago
OTTAWA - An evaluation of a federal benefit to help parents take time off work to care for critically ill children says fewer people have used it than expected because they didn’t know about it or didn’t understand how it worked. Annual applications for the benefit, delivered through the employment-insurance system, have been well below the 6,000 anticipated when the previous Conservative government introduced it in 2013. The evaluation posted online details months-late applications, call-centre agents who didn’t always understand all facets of the benefit themselves, and rejected applicants who tended to have lower levels of education and earnings that applicants who were successful. The Liberals morphed the benefit into a new program, also delivered through the EI system, designed to be easier to apply for and receive. Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees the program, says there were 4,900 claims for the new benefit between its introduction in December 2017 and December 2018. The department has also worked since November 2017 to improve understanding of the new benefit through social-media posts, online videos and rewriting a federal website. The old benefit provided up to 35 weeks of EI payments, usually for parents of newborns who were born prematurely or with serious medical conditions. The second-most common reason for applying for EI help was to care for a child with cancer. Between June 2013 and December 2017, just more than 15,300 people received the benefit out of about 19,500 applicants - an approval rate of about 78 per cent. Evaluators couldn’t figure out typical reasons for rejections because an explanation was missing in most cases. In December 2017, the Liberals introduced the EI family caregiver benefit for children, which works much the same way as the previous benefit. However, eligibility was expanded beyond parents to any family member providing care, such as a grandparent; allowed nurse-practitioners to sign the required medical certificate; and multiplied the benefits if more than one child needed care, such as after a car crash or fire. ESDC said the government paid out $30.3 million in benefits between April 2017 and March 2018 between the new program and the old one as existing claims wound down. That made the 2017-18 fiscal year the one with the highest total payments. “Our government has made it easier for Canadians to take care of family members during difficult times,” said Valerie Glazer, a spokeswoman for Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. She blamed the previous Conservative government for creating a confusing program. But the evaluation noted one problem with the previous version that has carried over into the new one. Payments have only recently been automated after years of manual work that made information difficult to access or compare with other EI data, or come up with spending estimates. The manual pay system has also limited parents’ ability to get updates about their claims through the government’s online portal. ESDC said it began automating the new benefit on June 29 and expects that up to three-fifths of claims will be handled automatically. The department is also looking at ways to allow for the automated system to handle more complicated cases that combine caregiver payments with other EI benefits, such as parental leave. The department said it is looking to raise awareness of the new benefit. Aside from five news releases since November 2017, officials posted 14 tweets that garnered 39,218 impressions, three explainer videos that combined had more than 2,000 views, and launched new, plain-language websites one year ago. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

Trump calls on GOP to oppose House condemnation of tweets

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 29 min ago
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump called on fellow Republicans Tuesday to stick with him, “not show weakness” and oppose a House resolution condemning his tweets urging four Democratic congresswomen of colour to return to their countries. His comments, he insisted, “were NOT Racist.” Trump renewed his rain of insults against the four lawmakers - American citizens all - as his GOP allies in Congress mostly leapt to his defence. Following his cue, they tried refocusing the battle by accusing the four progressive freshmen and their party of pushing the country toward socialism. “I will vote against this resolution,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters, calling the measure “all politics.” No. 3 House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming said the four Democrats “are wrong when they attempt to impose the fraud of socialism on the American people.” The House resolution would condemn “President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour.” The four-page measure traces the country’s history of welcoming immigrants from colonial times and includes an entire page of quotes from Republican President Ronald Reagan. Reagan said in 1989, during his final days in office, that if the U.S. shut its door to new arrivals, “our leadership in the world would soon be lost.” Democrats were hoping the resolution would put Republican lawmakers on the spot and would win some GOP votes. Top Republicans were urging their GOP colleagues to stand against the language, and it was unclear if any would defect. “The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,” Trump tweeted. “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” he wrote. He also reprised a taunt he initially made on Monday, tweeting, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” The lawmakers strongly oppose Trump’s policies and have voiced support for his impeachment. His barrage came amid a continued backlash to his weekend tweets that the progressive women “go back” to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. The tweets, widely denounced as racist, were directed at Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Ocasio-Cortez returned the fire Tuesday, tweeting, “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head and a racist heart in your chest.” McCarthy said Monday that Trump was not a racist. But he said he disagreed that the four lawmakers should leave the U.S., telling reporters, “They’re Americans. Nobody believes somebody should leave the country. They have a right to give their opinion.” The episode served notice that Trump is willing to again rely on incendiary rhetoric on issues of race and immigration to preserve his political base in the leadup to the 2020 election. At the Capitol, there was near unanimous condemnation from Democrats and a rumble of discontent from a subset of Republicans, but notably not from the party’s congressional leaders. In response, Trump tweeted anew Tuesday about the four congresswomen: “Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!” His words, which evoked the trope of telling black people to go back to Africa, may have helped narrow the divides among House Democratic, who have been riven by internal debate over how best to oppose his policies. At a closed-door meeting Tuesday of House Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, “We are offended by what he said about our sisters,” according to a congressional aide who attended the meeting and described the remarks on condition of anonymity. Trump allies said he was also having some success in making the progressive lawmakers the face of their party. The Republican president questioned whether Democrats should “want to wrap” themselves around this group of four people as he recited a list of the quartet’s most controversial statements. “Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party,” he wrote Tuesday, adding: “See you in 2020!” Trump, who won the presidency in 2016 in part by energizing disaffected voters with inflammatory racial rhetoric, made clear he has no intention of backing away from that strategy in 2020. “The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four ‘progressives,’ but now they are forced to embrace them,” he tweeted Monday afternoon. “That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!” Trump has faced few consequences for such attacks in the past. They typically earn him cycles of wall-to-wall media attention and little blowback from his party. He is wagering that his most steadfast supporters will be energized by the controversy as much, or if not more so, than the opposition. The president has told aides that he was giving voice to what many of his supporters believe - that they are tired of people, including immigrants, disrespecting their country, according to three Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. In an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from February 2017, half of Americans said the mixing of culture and values from around the world is an important part of America’s identity as a nation. About a third said the same of a culture established by early European immigrants. But partisans in that poll were divided over these aspects of America’s identity. About two-thirds of Democrats but only about a third of Republicans thought the mixing of world cultures was important to the country’s identity. By comparison, nearly half of Republicans but just about a quarter of Democrats saw the culture of early European immigrants as important to the nation. ___ Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report. ___ Lemire reported from New York. Follow Miller on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@ZekeJMiller , Colvin at http://twitter.com/@ColvinJ and Lemire at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire . Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin, And Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press
Categories: Regina News

Ticats Simoni Lawrence loses appeal, arbitrator upholds 2-game suspension

Global Regina - 1 hour 30 min ago
Lawrence was flagged for a late hit to the head of Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros in the Ticats season-opening win over Saskatchewan on June 13.

Emails show Iowa official’s Tupac fixation before his ouster

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 36 min ago
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The director of Iowa’s social services agency was a huge fan of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, and he frequently let his subordinates know it. Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven kept sending messages to employees lauding Tupac’s music and lyrics even after at least one complained to lawmakers. Then last month, he sent another such email to all 4,300 agency employees. He was abruptly ousted from his job the next work day. Jerry Foxhoven, 66, told employees that he had been a huge fan of the hip-hop artist for years. He hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” to play his music in the office. He traded Tupac lyrics with employees and he marked his own 65th birthday with Tupac-themed cookies, including ones decorated with the words “Thug life.” The agency released 350 pages of emails with the words “Tupac” or “2Pac” sent to and from Foxhoven during his two-year tenure in response to an AP request. They show that Foxhoven marked the anniversary of Tupac’s death, shared one of his lyrics about love on Valentine’s Day and used the rapper’s image to try to improve the agency’s culture. He told colleagues he was inspired by Tupac lyrics that included: “It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.” While some employees praised Foxhoven for using Tupac to inject levity and inspiration into a stressful workplace, at least one employee complained to lawmakers about it last year, according to the emails provided under the open records law. And when Gov. Kim Reynolds told Foxhoven to resign on June 17, it was his first work day after he sent an email to all agency employees telling them to mark Tupac’s birthday over the weekend by listening to one of his songs. The timing of Foxhoven’s mass email, which featured a large image of the hip hop artist smiling, and his resignation has fueled speculation among employees that the two events are linked. But like the question of who fatally shot Tupac in Las Vegas in 1996, the reason for Foxhoven’s forced departure remains a mystery. A spokesman for the governor wouldn’t confirm or deny that Foxhoven’s Tupac email figured into her surprise request for his resignation. “As the governor has said, a lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven and now Gov. Reynolds is looking forward to taking DHS in a new direction,” said spokesman Pat Garrett. The governor’s office has refused to elaborate on those factors, despite an Iowa law that requires state agencies to release the “documented reasons and rationale” when employees resign instead of being terminated. Foxhoven’s resignation came amid multiple controversies involving the agency, which has a nearly $7 billion annual budget. They included difficult contract negotiations with managed care companies that run the Medicaid program, a trial detailing alleged mistreatment of boys at a state juvenile home, and an uptick in deaths at a centre for the disabled. Still, Foxhoven’s job had not appeared to be in danger. Reynolds had appointed Foxhoven, a longtime Drake University law professor, to run the agency in 2017 amid concerns about its handling of cases of children who died from abuse and neglect. Foxhoven said in a text message that he believed Reynolds had made the decision to “go in a different direction” before he sent the June 14 email. He said he wasn’t given a reason for the resignation request but that he doubted Tupac was a factor. The email included what Foxhoven called an inspirational quote from Tupac: “Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are 2 steps ahead.” Foxhoven noted that, in addition to Tupac’s birthday, he was celebrating his two-year anniversary as director and he thanked the staff for their work. Foxhoven said he sent the message, which was similar to an email he sent the prior year to mark Tupac’s birthday, to break down racist stereotypes about rap music. He told curious employees that yes, he really has long been a big Tupac fan. Several employees reacted positively with notes to Foxhoven - but one noted that the view wasn’t universally shared. “I love your 2pac messages … and the fact that you still send them (despite the haters) makes me appreciate them even more,” employee Lisa Bender wrote. “I agree totally. I am going to hang in there on him — despite all of the naysayers,” Foxhoven responded. Ryan J. Foley, The Associated Press
Categories: Regina News

Regina’s 1st case of Dutch elm disease in 2019 discovered

Global Regina - 1 hour 53 min ago
The City of Regina says the first case of Dutch elm disease in 2019 was discovered in a tree in a yard at 222 Lincoln Dr.

Police: Tossing drugs in toilet could lead to ‘meth-gators’

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 58 min ago
LORETTO, Tenn. - Police in Tennessee are asking residents not to toss drugs down the toilet, saying it could lead to “meth-gators” and stoned waterfowl. The warning from the Loretto Police Department on Facebook came after a man was arrested after he allegedly tried to flush methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. According to the police statement, flushed items end up in retention ponds frequented by ducks and geese. It says “we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do.” Further, it says if the drugs made it far enough downstream, “we could create meth-gators” in the Tennessee River in north Alabama. In a nod to a so-called “attack squirrel” in Alabama, Loretto police said, “They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help.” Health officials have warned flushed pharmaceuticals could eventually reach the drinking water supply. The Associated Press
Categories: Regina News

Sask. government looking to expedite appointment of next Lt.-Gov.

CTV Regina - 1 hour 59 min ago
The Government of Saskatchewan is asking the federal government to expedite the appointment of a new provincial lieutenant governor, after the passing of the 22nd Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy, on July 2, 2019.

Singh sees Quebec as ‘fertile ground’ for NDP as he hits province for tour

News Talk 980 CJME - 1 hour 59 min ago
OTTAWA - NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the province of Quebec offers the New Democrats “fertile ground” despite private hand-wringing about its current state ahead of the election. Singh says in an interview he is “not concerned” about the party’s prospects in the province, noting that former leader Jack Layton had similar poll numbers prior to the 2011 election when the NDP broke through in Quebec. Singh, who was in Montreal on Monday, has moved on to Sherbrooke today, where the party is pledging to build a train between those two cities as part of a transit investment meant to combat climate change. The summer tour comes as MPs and party members quietly wonder whether the party can be competitive in the election, given its protracted challenges with fundraising and morale. Singh says the only public opinion poll that will count is the final poll on Oct. 21 when Canadians cast their votes, adding he is confident people will be paying more attention during the formal campaign. All federal parties are setting their sights on the upcoming election and their outreach efforts in key electoral battlegrounds, including Quebec. The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

News Talk 980 CJME - 2 hours 2 min ago
VICTORIA - The British Columbia government’s firm position on tougher driver’s licence requirements for ride-hailing is a move in the right direction, given the experiences from other jurisdictions, a transportation expert says. “I would applaud the B.C. government for standing up, because most other governments have basically stood down,” said Garland Chow, an emeritus associate professor at the University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business. The B.C. Transportation Ministry updated safety, insurance and penalty rules and regulations this month and set Sept. 3 as the date ride-hail companies can apply to enter the market. Rules covering fares drivers can charge, vehicle boundary zones and the numbers of ride-hail vehicles allowed on the roads are due to come this summer, the ministry said. Chow said other jurisdictions have had push back from the large ride-hailing companies over licence restrictions and safety concerns, but B.C. has the opportunity to get it right before the service takes to the streets. The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence, like those held by taxi, limousine, ambulance and other commercial vehicle drivers, as opposed to the Class 5 licence, held by most B.C. drivers. Chow, who testified last January before the all-party legislative standing committee that produced proposed ride-hailing regulations, said he agrees with the licence requirement, for now. He noted the regulations allow for a review of the requirement after two years. But both Uber and Lyft have said the requirement could be a deal-breaker for them in the province. Lyft Canada spokesman Aaron Zifkin said in a statement the company remains concerned. “Requiring commercial Class 4 licences for drivers will not improve safety, but will increase wait times and benefit the taxi industry,” said Zifkin. “Lyft does not currently operate ride sharing in any jurisdiction that requires drivers to change their driver’s licence to a commercial driver’s licence.” Uber Canada said in a statement last week that Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec do not require ride-hail drivers to hold a Class 4 licence or equivalent. It said there is no evidence that such a licence provides more safety than a standard licence. Chow, who’s an economist with a statistics background, disagrees. He has reviewed recent accident comparison data from the Insurance Corporation of B.C. that shows from 2012 to 2016 the accident rate for those driving commercial vehicles with the Class 4 licence is 13 per cent lower than Class 5 drivers. The insurance corporation said in a statement that when the mileage difference between Class 4 and Class 5 drivers is factored in, one would reasonably expect that the Class 4 crash rate would be even lower. Chow agreed that the accident difference could be dramatic for Class 5 drivers if road time is added to the equation. “It would not be 13 per cent, it would be more like 40 to 45 per cent more accidents,” said Chow. “That’s super significant.” Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a statement the requirement adds an extra level of safety for passengers, which is an issue the government continues to feel strongly about. Class 4 drivers must be at least 19 years old, have at least two years of non-learner driver experience, have fewer than four penalty point incidents in the last two years and could be excluded over certain medical issues. “We are not the only jurisdiction that requires taxi drivers or drivers of commercial ride-hailing vehicles to hold a commercial class of driver’s licence: Alberta has this same requirement, New York City has an equivalent, and ride-hailing companies are complying,” said Trevena. Chow said the other factor in the market is B.C.’s public auto insurer, which is floundering financially and has to set the insurance rates for these vehicles.   “If Class 5 licensees, indeed, have more accidents and all of the sudden a whole bunch of Class 5 people now go into the commercial world of driving other people, you’re increasing the probability of a more costly accident because for sure that other vehicle is going to have people in it.” The government has said the insurance corporation will have its product ready for the launch of ride-hailing in September. It will be a blanket, per kilometre insurance that applies when a driver is providing ride-hailing, with the driver’s own basic insurance applying in all other instances. Chow expects Uber and Lyft to continue to push to have the Class 4 licence requirement dropped in what he said would be an extended staring contest between the government and the companies. “This is no different that me going to buy a house and I’m saying, ‘there’s no way I’m going to buy this house for more than this amount of money, period,’ ” he said. “Yet I know I’m ready to negotiate a bit because I really want this house. It may be that this is part of negotiating gamesmanship.” Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

Simoni Lawrence to serve two-game suspension for hit on Zach Collaros

Regina Leader-Post - 2 hours 5 min ago
Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence will miss the next two CFL games for his hit on Zach Collaros more than a month ago. Read More

Emails show Iowa official’s Tupac fixation before his ouster

News Talk 980 CJME - 2 hours 10 min ago
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Emails show that the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services had an obsession with the late rapper Tupac Shakur during a 2-year tenure before the governor requested his resignation last month. Jerry Foxhoven hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” to listen to music in his office. He sent Tupac lyrics about love and change to inspire employees and he marked his own 65th birthday with Tupac-themed cookies. While some employees praised his Tupac fixation, one complained to lawmakers last year. Reynolds surprised Foxhoven by telling him to resign one day after Foxhoven had emailed his employees asking them to celebrate Tupac’s birthday. A Reynolds spokesman says “a lot of factors” went into the decision to seek Foxhoven’s resignation. Ryan J. Foley, The Associated Press
Categories: Regina News

Edmonton Eskimos to add former quarterback Ricky Ray to their Wall of Honour

News Talk 980 CJME - 2 hours 11 min ago
EDMONTON - Ricky Ray is going on the Edmonton Eskimos’ Wall of Honour. The Eskimos announced Tuesday that Ray will be honoured at halftime of their home game Sept. 20 versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The recently retired Ray will become the 31st player to be added to the club’s Wall of Honour. “The history of the Edmonton Eskimos organization is filled with so many great players, teams, and achievements,” Ray said in a statement. “To be a small part of that history has been one of the greatest honours in my life. “I tried to prepare and play my best to live up to the expectations and demands of playing for such a great franchise, city and Eskimo fans. To be asked to go on the Wall of Honour is one of the proudest moments of my career. I will always be grateful for what Edmonton has given to my family and me.” Ray, 39, retired in May after a 17-year pro career, 16 of which were spent in the CFL with Edmonton (2002-12) and the Toronto Argonauts (2012-18). He won a record four Grey Cups as a starting quarterback - two with each Canadian franchise. Ray spent the ’04 season with the NFL’s New York Jets before returning to Edmonton the following year. He was the Eskimos’ top player four times and the East Division’s outstanding player on three occasions. Ray also left the CFL as one of its most prolific passers. He’s the most accurate passer in CFL history (68.2 per cent). Ray also stands fourth in all-time passing yards (60,736), joining Anthony Calvillo, Damon Allen and Henry Burris as the only players to surpass the 60,000-yard plateau. He remains the all-time passing leader with Edmonton (40,531 yards) and Toronto (20,205). “Being asked to make the call on behalf of the Edmonton Eskimos organization was a great honour and privilege,” said Edmonton head coach Jason Maas, a former teammate of Ray with the Eskimos. “It meant the world to me to be to be the one to make the call. “He was a great teammate of mine and is one of my dearest friends. I got choked up about making the call. He is so well-deserving of the Wall of Honour.” The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

The Wood File – July 16

Global Regina - 2 hours 17 min ago
Catch 980 CJME’s “The Wood File” with Murray Wood every Tuesday on Global Regina.

Police officer in ‘I can’t breathe’ death won’t be charged

News Talk 980 CJME - 2 hours 27 min ago
NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that they won’t bring criminal charges against a white New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man whose dying words - “I can’t breathe” - became a rallying cry as the nation confronted a long history of police brutality. The decision to end a yearslong civil rights investigation was made by Attorney General William Barr and was announced the day before the five-year anniversary of the deadly encounter, just as the statute of limitations was set to expire. Barr disregarded a recommendation by civil rights prosecutors in Washington who favoured filing criminal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, siding instead with prosecutors in Brooklyn who said the evidence wasn’t sufficient to make a case, a Justice Department official told The Associated Press. U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, of the Eastern District of New York, said in a news conference that while the death was tragic, there was insufficient evidence to prove that Pantaleo or any other officers willfully violated Garner’s civil rights. “Even if we could prove that Officer Pantaleo’s hold of Mr. Garner constituted unreasonable force, we would still have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Pantaleo acted willfully in violation of the law,” Donoghue said. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and the Rev. Al Sharpton said they were outraged and heartbroken. Sharpton called for the NYPD to fire Pantaleo, who’s been on desk duty since Garner’s death and is awaiting the results of a disciplinary hearing that could lead to termination. “We are here with heavy hearts, because the DOJ has failed us,” said Carr, who has become a vocal advocate of police reform in the years since her son’s death. “Five years ago, my son said “I can’t breathe” 11 times. Today, we can’t breathe.” A senior Justice Department official told the AP that prosecutors watched video of the confrontation “countless” times but weren’t convinced Pantaleo acted wilfully in the seconds after the chokehold was applied. Two sets of recommendations were made. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which includes Staten Island, recommended no charges. Justice Department civil rights prosecutors in Washington recommended charging the officer. Barr made the ultimate decision, the official said. The official said Barr watched the video himself and got several briefings. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations and investigative matters. Donoghue announced the decision not to charge Pantaleo after meeting with Garner’s family. At a news conference, he said he expressed his and Barr’s condolences. He said Garner’s death is a tragedy and that “for anyone to die under circumstances like these is a tremendous loss.” The head of Pantaleo’s union said Garner’s death was an “undeniable tragedy,” but that the officer did not cause it. “Scapegoating a good and honourable officer, who was doing his job in the manner he was taught, will not heal the wounds this case has caused for our entire city,” said Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association. Officers were attempting to arrest Garner on charges he sold loose, untaxed cigarettes outside a Staten Island convenience store. He refused to be handcuffed, and officers took him down. Garner is heard on bystander video crying out “I can’t breathe” at least 11 times before he falls unconscious. He later died. A state grand jury had also refused to indict the officer on criminal charges. In the years since Garner’s death, the New York Police Department made a series of sweeping changes on how it relates to the communities it serves, ditching a policy of putting rookie cops in higher-crime precincts in favour of a neighbourhood policing model that revolves around community officers tasked with getting to know New Yorkers. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for president in part on the notion he helped improve police-community relations, said in a statement that the city is not the same as it was five years ago. “Reforms over the last five years have improved relations between our police and our communities,” he said, adding crime was at record lows and 150,000 fewer people were arrested last year than the year before we came into office. But some activists, including Garner’s family and the relatives of others killed by police, have argued the changes weren’t enough. De Blasio also said it was a mistake to wait for federal prosecutors to finish investigating the death of Garner before beginning disciplinary proceedings. But there is no rule requiring the NYPD to do so. Police reform advocates said the decision was upsetting but to be expected. Joo Hyun-Kang, the director of Communities for Police Reform, said it was “outrageous but not shocking.” Hawk Newsome, the head of New York area Black Lives Matter chapter said, “It’s America, man.” “As a black man in America I have no expectation that we will receive justice in court without radical change in this country,” said Newsome, who is planning a Tuesday night rally in Harlem and a nationwide civil disobedience campaign. Chokeholds are banned under police policy. Pantaleo maintained he used a legal takedown manoeuvr called the “seatbelt.” But the medical examiner’s office said a chokehold contributed to Garner’s death. The NYPD brought Pantaleo up on departmental charges earlier this year. Federal prosecutors were observing the proceedings. An administrative judge has not ruled whether he violated policy. He could face dismissal, but Police Commissioner James O’Neill has the final say. In the years since the Garner death, Pantaleo has remained on the job but not in the field, and activists have decried his paycheque that included union-negotiated raises. A de Blasio spokeswoman said the police commissioner is expected to decide by Aug. 31 whether Pantaleo will be fired. The police department says the decision won’t affect its internal disciplinary process. ___ Balsamo and Long reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Karen Matthews in New York contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, Michael R. Sisak, Colleen Long And Tom Hays, The Associated Press
Categories: Regina News

Arbitrator upholds CFL's suspension against linebacker Lawrence for hit on Collaros

CTV Regina - 2 hours 35 min ago
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be without linebacker Simoni Lawrence for two games.

$1.5 billion in frigate repair contracts split between yards in three provinces

News Talk 980 CJME - 2 hours 41 min ago
OTTAWA - The federal government is awarding $1 billion in warship maintenance work to two Canadian shipyards, with a third deal on the way. The five-year contracts announced Tuesday award $500 million in work to Chantier Davie shipyard in Quebec and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards in British Columbia. A similar deal with Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia is on the way, the government says. The contracts are part of a $7.5-billion plan to maintain Canada’s 12 Halifax-class frigates for the rest of their operational lives, which are expected to last about another 20 years. The ships are 27 years old and will eventually be replaced by new warships built under the national shipbuilding strategy. Cabinet ministers Jean-Yves Duclos and Carla Qualtrough in Victoria revealed the details of the contracts in two simultaneous announcements Tuesday. The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

Airline confirms three dead after float plane crashes in Labrador lake

News Talk 980 CJME - 2 hours 44 min ago
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. - A search is underway for four people missing after a float plane crashed into a Labrador lake on Monday, killing three of the occupants. Jean Tremblay, president of the small Quebec airline that owns the plane, said he was informed by search and rescue officials that three of those aboard were killed, while the condition of the other four people remains unknown. Tremblay, president of Air Saguenay, said the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver was carrying four fishermen, two guides and the pilot. It left Three Rivers Lodge on Crossroads Lake, east of Schefferville, Que., Monday morning headed to a remote fishing camp on Mistastin Lake. The plane didn’t return as planned that evening. “After one hour, the plane was still missing, and there was no news, so we engaged the emergency plan,” Tremblay said. The pilot is an employee of Air Saguenay. “Our pilot has been employed with us since 2011, he’s 61 years old with more than 20,000 hours (flying experience),” Tremblay said. “He has been assigned to this specific contract with the outfitter for many years.” A Hercules aircraft spotted the wreckage at about 5 a.m. local time Tuesday on Mistastin Lake, about 120 kilometres southwest of Nain, N.L. “The plane was submerged and about a mile from the shore,” Tremblay said. He said the plane had been in good working order. “There was an inspection this spring, and there were many hours (of flight) left before it was due for another inspection,” he said. Tremblay noted the weather conditions were good on Monday. “The Labrador coast has a bit of micro-climate, I would say, but as far as we know, the conditions were excellent everywhere.” Maj. Mark Gough of Maritime Forces Atlantic said military rescuers are searching for survivors at the crash site. Rescue officials said a helicopter was expected to arrive at the site Tuesday morning, and a second float plane had been dispatched to assist in search efforts. The Canadian Transport Safety Board will investigate the crash. The Canadian Press
Categories: Regina News

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