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Quebec town’s moose statue won’t seek to supplant Moose Jaw, Sask.’s famed Mac

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 11:13
MONTREAL - Mac the Moose can rest easy - a Quebec town that expects to build its own massive moose statue says it doesn’t want to beat the record for the world’s tallest held by Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan’s favourite son. Nicolas Martel, the mayor of Desbiens, Que., tells The Canadian Press he wants Mac to be friends with his yet-to-be built Quebec counterpart, which will provide some insurance against anyone who might try to challenge Canada for the record. Moose Jaw is fresh from knocking off Stor-Elvdal, a Norwegian town that tried to challenge it for world’s tallest moose, by installing a new set of antlers on Mac to retake top spot earlier this month. The Saskatchewan city had discovered in January that Mac was about 30 centimetres short against its shiny, silver Norwegian counterpart. Martel, the colourful mayor of the town of 1,000 in Quebec’s Lac-St-Jean region, initially wanted to get into the friendly feud and build a moose to surpass both towns.  But he says that out of respect to Moose Jaw, they’ll keep theirs on level with Mac, leaving him with the record. Martel says the Quebec moose - the centrepiece to a children’s amusement park expected to begin construction next year - will also be able to expand its size, ensuring it can take on anyone trying to steal the mantle from Canada.   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2019. The Canadian Press

Battlefords RCMP investigating the murder of a 27-year-old man

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 10:17
Battlefords RCMP are investigating the death of a 27-year-old man in Battleford early Friday morning as a murder. The forensic identification unit and the major crimes unit remain on scene and continue to investigate the circumstances leading to the man’s death, but RCMP can confirm he was a victim of a homicide, a media release said. Ryan John Gatzke was identified as the victim. Officers are asking for anyone in the area of the 100 block of 26th Street West between midnight and 2 a.m. on Friday for information concerning Gatzke’s death or anything suspicious and out of the ordinary. Observations could include anything from unfamiliar vehicles, loud noises or suspicious people or activity. Police do not believe there is a threat to public safety, but they are reminding residents in Battleford and North Battleford to continue to report suspicious activity to police. An autopsy has been completed by the Saskatchewan Coroners Service. Anyone with information is asked to call Battlefords RCMP at 306-446-1720 or to contact Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Scheer won’t say if Conservatives hired consultant to ‘destroy’ People’s party

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 10:13
TORONTO - Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is refusing to say whether his party hired a consulting firm to attack the People’s Party of Canada. The Globe and Mail reports that strategist Warren Kinsella and his firm Daisy Group were hired to “seek and destroy” Maxime Bernier’s party and portray its supporters as racist. The newspaper cites a source with direct knowledge of the project as saying the client is the Conservative Party of Canada. But Scheer answered repeated questions on the report today with the same refrain - that he doesn’t comment on vendors that his party “may or may not have engaged with.” Bernier formed the People’s Party, which competes with the Tories for right-wing votes, after he narrowly lost the Conservative leadership race to Scheer. Bernier has scheduled a news conference later today to condemn what he calls a Conservative party plot. When asked Saturday about the reports, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau repeated his line about the Conservatives using the politics of fear and division, as well as outright falsehoods, to get their message across. Contrary to the facts, Scheer has been insisting that the Liberals and the NDP are poised to form a coalition after Monday’s vote, one that would raise the GST and cancel social transfer payments to the provinces in order to finance their big-ticket promises. The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo, with leaders giving it their all to try to excite their volunteers and get every last potential voter to the polls. Trudeau has a marathon day of campaigning ahead - he started early near Niagara Falls, Ont., and is ending with a late-night rally in Calgary after a stop in Winnipeg along the way. Scheer is in and around Toronto all day, and the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh starts in Vancouver, talking about the hot issue of housing at a downtown news conference. Singh will end his day with a rally in Penticton, B.C., where MP Richard Cannings is running for re-election. The Greens’ Elizabeth May is spending her day in and around Vancouver, boosting local candidates with sign-waves and door-to-door canvasses, but she finishes with a big regional rally at Canada Place featuring environmentalist David Suzuki. This report by the Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2019. The Canadian Press

Quebec man found guilty of first-degree murder in slaying of ex-wife, stranger

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 09:49
ST-JEROME, Que. - A Quebec man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2017 stabbing death of his ex-wife and the fatal beating of an elderly stranger in order to steal his car. The jury returned the two verdicts today during its third day of deliberations in the case of Ugo Fredette. Fredette, 44, was arrested on Sept. 15, 2017 in Ontario after a lengthy run from police following the slayings of Veronique Barbe, his ex-wife, and Yvon Lacasse, a man he came across at a rest stop, a day earlier. The Crown’s case was that Fredette killed Barbe by stabbing her 17 times because he didn’t accept the end of his relationship with the 41-year-old woman. As for the murder of Lacasse, 71, the prosecution had argued he was killed so Fredette could switch from his employer’s vehicle to one that allowed him to continue to flee authorities more discreetly. Fredette had admitted to causing the deaths of both victims, but had said he’d reached his breaking point on the day both were killed and didn’t intend to kill anyone, arguing in favour of a manslaughter verdict in both cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2019. The Canadian Press

A busy night kicks off the weekend for Saskatoon police

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 08:37
Saskatoon police officers had a busy Friday night and Saturday morning responding to weapons-related calls. It started around 9:40 p.m. when a 13-year-old girl and her friends said someone on a balcony pointed a gun at them as they walked on the 200 block of Avenue V South. The investigation led officers to a 17-year-old boy and a loaded bb gun. Police charged the teenager with pointing a firearm. Around 11:25 p.m. police received a call from a driver following a vehicle they believed had an impaired person behind the wheel. The driver followed them from Highway 11 and 71st Street to the 2500 block of Avenue C North. At that point, the driver told police two suspects approached and claimed to have a gun. Responding officers confronted the two suspects. One of them, a 17-year-old boy, didn’t comply and was tasered, police said in a media release. The incident will be reviewed, in accordance with police policy. Finally at 12:36 a.m. police were called to a parking lot on the 3300 block of Fairlight Drive for reports of a man waving a gun. The man drove away as police arrived sparking a short chase before officers lost sight of the vehicle. Police located the suspect on the 200 block of Whitecap Crescent and recovered a rifle. A 27-year-old man faces several charges including impaired driving, evading police, dangerous driving, possession of a controlled drug, careless use of a firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm. He also had warrants from North Battleford RCMP.

Crews respond to 2 suspicious fires in Nutana Park

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 07:43
Saskatoon firefighters responding to a shed fire at 41 Bell Crescent at 1:55 a.m. Saturday quickly realized they had more work ahead than expected. Just a few houses down, at 45 Bell Crescent, another shed was on fire. Crews quickly extinguished the flames at the first shed and a nearby fence. They then extended a second fire hose to work on the blaze two houses away. Both fires are considered suspicious. A fire investigator is working to determine the exact cause and assess the damage.

38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 07:08
WASHINGTON - The State Department has completed its internal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private email and found violations by 38 people, some of whom may face disciplinary action. The investigation, launched more than three years ago, determined that those 38 people were “culpable” in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton’s personal email, according to a letter sent to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley this week and released Friday. The 38 are current and former State Department officials but were not identified. Although the report identified violations, it said investigators had found “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.” However, it also made clear that Clinton’s use of the private email had increased the vulnerability of classified information. The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment to a Clinton representative. The investigation covered 33,000 emails that Clinton turned over for review after her use of the private email account became public. The department said it found a total of 588 violations involving information then or now deemed to be classified but could not assign fault in 497 cases. For current and former officials, culpability means the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when they apply for or go to renew security clearances. For current officials, there could also be some kind of disciplinary action. But it was not immediately clear what that would be. The report concluded “that the use of a private email system to conduct official business added an increased degree of risk of compromise as a private system lacks the network monitoring and intrusion detection capabilities of State Department networks.” The department began the review in 2016 after declaring 22 emails from Clinton’s private server to be “top secret.” Clinton was then running for president against Donald Trump, and Trump made the server a major focus of his campaign. Then-FBI Director James Comey held a news conference that year in which he criticized Clinton as “extremely careless” in her use of the private email server as secretary of state but said the FBI would not recommend charges. The Justice Department’s inspector general said FBI specialists did not find evidence that the server had been hacked, with one forensics agent saying he felt “fairly confident that there wasn’t an intrusion.” Grassley started investigating Clinton’s email server in 2017, when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Iowa Republican has been critical of Clinton’s handling of classified information and urged administrative sanctions. Matthew Lee And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press

Prison needle use should be supervised to ensure safety, guards say

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 04:10
OTTAWA - Setting up supervised injection sites at federal institutions is the way to go if the Correctional Service plans to continue making needles available to drug-using inmates, prison guards say. The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers says one such injection site at Drumheller Institution in Alberta is proving a safer alternative to the service’s needle-exchange program, operating at seven federal prisons. The Correctional Service considers both initiatives important elements of the effort to limit transmission of hepatitis C and HIV in institutions. It has long tried to keep drugs from entering prisons, but recognizes that contraband finds its way to inmates. The union opposes making needles available to inmates at all, citing the risk of being pricked accidentally or on purpose. But it says if the prison service wants to continue distributing needles, then the injection site, known as an overdose prevention service, should be the model. It involves giving inmates access to needles so they can use them in a supervised setting with nursing staff. The needle-exchange program, introduced last year, provides injection kits that eligible inmates can use in their cells. The prison service does a risk assessment to evaluate security concerns before approving an inmate for the program. To date, there have been 63 applications, of which 10 were rejected, said Veronique Rioux, a Correctional Service spokeswoman. Correctional officers have seen inmates in the program share needles with others, said Jeff Wilkins, national president of the union. “When you put the needle in an inmate’s cell and they’re sharing it with Johnny across the range, then obviously that spreads infectious disease,” he said. In one case, the union says, a needle was discovered in another inmate’s cell. In another case, a needle was missing from a cell. Safety and security are priorities for the Correctional Service, said Rioux. Appropriate safeguards ensure injection kits are safely stored and accounted for at all times, she said.  Each kit and its contents are visually inspected daily and will be seized if they appear to be altered or any of the contents cannot be unaccounted for, or are seen outside of the kit, Rioux said. Infractions could result in reassessment of an inmate’s eligibility for the program and institutional disciplinary measures. “Since program implementation, no needles have gone missing,” Rioux said. “When needles have not been stored in the approved location, staff recovered the needle and the participant was removed from the program.” There have been no reported assaults involving needles since the program began, she added. The Drumheller prevention site, established in June, has been used more than 300 times by 23 users without incident, according to statistics collected by the union.    “The only really safe option is the overdose prevention site,” Wilkins said. The union has been told the prison service will introduce more needle-exchange programs before the end of the year at two more institutions - one in British Columbia, the other in New Brunswick - as well as an overdose prevention service at Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia. Wilkins suspects the cost of providing the prevention services means the prison service sees needle-exchange programs as the preferred model.    “I know that they don’t have the extra money to keep rolling out overdose prevention sites, but that’s something that whatever government is elected is going to have to think about.” - Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2019. Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Quebec ticket claims Friday night’s $32 million Lotto Max jackpot

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 02:53
TORONTO - This has been a lucrative weekend for someone in Quebec. A single ticket sold in the province claimed the $32 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw. The jackpot for the next draw on Oct. 22 will be approximately $10 million.   The Canadian Press

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 02:00
OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has a marathon day of campaigning ahead, starting early this morning near Niagara Falls, Ont., and ending with a late-night rally in Calgary after a stop in Winnipeg along the way. The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo, with leaders giving it their all to try to excite their volunteers and get every last potential voter to the polls on Monday. Trudeau’s schedule includes three rallies, including the one in Calgary that starts at 11 p.m. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is to be in and around Toronto all day, with stops alongside multiple candidates before a rally in suburban Richmond Hill. The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh starts in Vancouver, talking about the hot issue of housing at a downtown news conference, and ends his day with a rally in Penticton, B.C., where MP Richard Cannings is running for re-election. The Greens’ Elizabeth May is spending her day in and around Vancouver, boosting local candidates with sign-waves and door-to-door canvasses, but she finishes with a big regional rally at Canada Place featuring environmentalist David Suzuki. This report by the Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2019. The Canadian Press

QB Cody Fajardo helps Saskatchewan Roughriders top B.C. Lions 27-19

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 00:48
VANCOUVER - The Saskatchewan Roughriders got back in the win column Friday night, but quarterback Cody Fajardo still wasn’t happy after the game. “I’m a little frustrated right now because I don’t think that game should have been as close as it was,” he said after the Riders beat the B.C. Lions 27-19 in Vancouver. “And I’m tired of those heart-beating games.” Saskatchewan (11-5) is locked in a heated battle with the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for top spot in the West and home-field advantage for the playoffs. Another performance like Friday night’s won’t help the group achieve its goals, Fajardo said. “If we want to win a Grey Cup like we talk about, we’ve got to be able to finish in the redzone, we can’t kick field goals, because better teams are going to beat us,” he said. Strong defence limited both sides to going for field goals over major strikes in Friday night’s contest. Each team tallied four, including a 52-yarder from Saskatchewan’s Brett Lauther and a 50-yard bomb by B.C.’s Sergio Castillo. The Riders held a 12-9 lead at the end of the second quarter after running back William Powell smuggled the ball across the goal line for the first touchdown of the night. During halftime, Saskatchewan coach Craig Dickenson told his squad they needed to play to their standard. “That means finishing with the ball in the endzone. I thought our offence came out in the third quarter and responded and did a better job,” he said. “I do feel like we worked hard. We just didn’t play as sharp as we want to. And I think the message to the guys was ‘Be happy with the win. But work hard to improve.’ “ Despite the frustration, Fajardo liked the way his offence moved the ball against the Lions (5-12). He threw for 224 yards, including a touchdown, completing 21-of-27 attempts. Powell added to the victory, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown. “He’s a good football player. I’d love to just give him the ball as much as we can,” said Riders coach Craig Dickenson. “He seems to get better as the game goes on and get better with more touches.” But Powell, too, believes the Riders have work to do before embarking on a post-season run. “We just want to keep getting better every day,” Powell said. “We want to be a balanced offence going into this last two games and into the playoffs. We just want to make sure that we’re able to mix it up and attack through the air and on the ground.” B.C. was dealing with some lineup changes Friday night after key players like starting quarterback Mike Reilly and defensive back Aaron Grymes suffered season-ending injuries last week. Danny O’Brien slotted into the quarterback position, making the first start of his CFL career. He threw for 171 yards and a touchdown in the effort, completing 16-of-24 passes. “For the most part, I think he managed the offence and did some things well. But there’s also some rust of actually playing a full game,” Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks said of the performance. “He also has to clean up some things as well and we expect him to.” O’Brien was temporarily replaced by Grant Kaemer in the third quarter. The rookie made good on 1-of-3 attempts and put up 18 passing yards before his league debut was cut short by an injury in the fourth frame. B.C.’s first chance for a touchdown came 9:37 into the second quarter when Bryan Burnham made an eye-popping one-armed catch at the goal line. Officials on the field called the play out of bounds but Claybrooks used his challenge. Replays on the big screen appeared to show the receiver getting one foot inside the playing field, but a review upheld the call on the field. The Lions settled for a 30-yard field goal. O’Brien and Burnham connected once again with just a minute and a half left on the game clock. The quarterback fired a 30-yard pass to the edge of the endzone, where Burnham made yet another tough catch. Smothered by a pair of Lions defenders, the receiver wrestled his way over the goal line for B.C.’s lone touchdown of the game. Burnham now has a career high 1,401 receiving yards this season. The performance didn’t come as a surprise for Claybrooks. “I’m blessed and fortunate to have (Burnham) on my team,” he said. “And I’m glad I don’t have to cover him.” The Roughriders will be back in action on Oct. 26 when they visit the Edmonton Eskimos. The Lions have a bye next week before wrapping their season with a home battle against the Calgary Stampeders on Nov. 2. NOTES: Saskatchewan’s Dan Clark was injured midway through the second quarter. The veteran offensive lineman lay on the field for several minutes being looked at by trainers before walking off on his own. Clark did not return to the game. … Friday marked the first game Reilly has missed this season. The league’s passing leader fractured his wrist early in last week’s loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. … A crowd of 18,043 took in the game, including many boisterous Riders supporters. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Scores and Schedule

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:59
Friday’s Games MLB Post-season American League Championship Series N.Y. Yankees 4 Houston 1 (Houston leads series 3-2) — CFL Montreal 27 Toronto 24 Saskatchewan 27 British Columbia 19 — NHL Pittsburgh 4 Dallas 2 Washington 5 N.Y. Rangers 2 Colorado 5 Florida 4 (OT) Chicago 3 Columbus 2 (OT) Edmonton 2 Detroit 1 Anaheim 4 Carolina 2 — AHL Hershey 5 Belleville 1 Utica 8 Charlotte 2 Cleveland 4 Rochester 3 (SO) Lehigh Valley 4 Binghamton 1 Hartford 1 Springfield 0 Laval 3 Providence 2 Colorado 3 Milwaukee 2 (SO) Iowa 6 Manitoba 4 Rockford 3 Chicago 2 Texas 4 Grand Rapids 3 (SO) Tucson 4 San Antonio 3 (OT) Stockton 5 San Diego 1 — NBA Pre-season Washington 112 Philadelphia 93 Toronto 123 Brooklyn 107 Houston 144 Miami 133 New Orleans 117 New York 116 San Antonio 104 Memphis 91 Golden State 124 L.A. Lakers 103 — Saturday’s Games (All times Eastern) MLB Post-season American League Championship Series N.Y. Yankees (TBA) at Houston (TBA), 8:08 p.m. (Houston leads series 3-2) — CFL Ottawa at Hamilton, 4 p.m. Winnipeg at Calgary, 7 p.m. — NHL Vancouver at New Jersey, 1 p.m. Montreal at St. Louis, 3 p.m. Vegas at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. N.Y. Islanders at Columbus, 7 p.m. Colorado at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m. Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m. Ottawa at Arizona, 7 p.m. Dallas at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. Florida at Nashville, 8 p.m. Calgary at Los Angeles, 10 p.m. Buffalo at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. — AHL Cleveland at Toronto, 4 p.m. Ontario at San Jose, 4:15 p.m. Charlotte at Syracuse, 7 p.m. Colorado at Milwaukee, 7 p.m. Hershey at Laval, 7 p.m. Iowa at Manitoba, 7 p.m. Providence at Belleville, 7 p.m. Rochester at Utica, 7 p.m. WB/Scranton at Bridgeport, 7 p.m. Hartford at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. Springfield at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. Grand Rapids at Texas, 8 p.m. Rockford at Chicago, 8 p.m. San Antonio at Tucson, 9:05 p.m. Stockton at Bakersfield, 10 p.m. — Major League Soccer playoffs Eastern Confernce New England at Atlanta, 1 p.m. D.C. at Toronto, 6 p.m. Western Conference Dallas at Seattle, 3:30 p.m. Portland at Salt Lake, 10 p.m. The Canadian Press

38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:53
WASHINGTON - The State Department has completed its internal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private email and found violations by 38 people, some of whom may face disciplinary action. The investigation, launched more than three years ago, determined that those 38 people were “culpable” in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton’s personal email, according to a letter sent to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley this week and released on Friday. The 38 are current and former State Department officials but were not identified. Although the report identified violations, it said investigators had found “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.” However, it also made clear that Clinton’s use of the private email had increased the vulnerability of classified information. The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment to a Clinton representative. The investigation covered 33,000 emails that Clinton turned over for review after her use of the private email account became public. The department said it found a total of 588 violations involving information then or now deemed to be classified but could not assign fault in 497 cases. For current and former officials, culpability means the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when they apply for or go to renew security clearances. For current officials, there could also be some kind of disciplinary action. But it was not immediately clear what that would be. The report concluded “that the use of a private email system to conduct official business added an increased degree of risk of compromise as a private system lacks the network monitoring and intrusion detection capabilities of State Department networks.” The department began the review in 2016 after declaring 22 emails from Clinton’s private server to be “top secret.” Clinton was then running for president against Donald Trump, and Trump made the server a major focus of his campaign. Then-FBI Director James Comey held a news conference that year in which he criticized Clinton as “extremely careless” in her use of the private email server as secretary of state but said the FBI would not recommend charges. The Justice Department’s inspector general said FBI specialists did not find evidence that the server had been hacked, with one forensics agent saying he felt “fairly confident that there wasn’t an intrusion.” Grassley started investigating Clinton’s email server in 2017, when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Iowa Republican has been critical of Clinton’s handling of classified information and urged administrative sanctions. Matthew Lee And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press

Friday’s Games

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:28
Friday’s Games MLB Post-season American League Championship Series N.Y. Yankees 4 Houston 1 (Houston leads series 3-2) — CFL Montreal 27 Toronto 24 Saskatchewan 27 British Columbia 19 — NHL Pittsburgh 4 Dallas 2 Washington 5 N.Y. Rangers 2 Colorado 5 Florida 4 (OT) Chicago 3 Columbus 2 (OT) Edmonton 2 Detroit 1 Anaheim 4 Carolina 2 — AHL Hershey 5 Belleville 1 Utica 8 Charlotte 2 Cleveland 4 Rochester 3 (SO) Lehigh Valley 4 Binghamton 1 Hartford 1 Springfield 0 Laval 3 Providence 2 Colorado 3 Milwaukee 2 (SO) Iowa 6 Manitoba 4 Rockford 3 Chicago 2 Texas 4 Grand Rapids 3 (SO) Tucson 4 San Antonio 3 (OT) Stockton 5 San Diego 1 — NBA Pre-season Washington 112 Philadelphia 93 Toronto 123 Brooklyn 107 Houston 144 Miami 133 New Orleans 117 New York 116 San Antonio 104 Memphis 91 Golden State 124 L.A. Lakers 103 — The Canadian Press

Stampeders, Blue Bombers clash in race for first place in CFL’s West Division

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:05
CALGARY - The Calgary Stampeders expect the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to put the ball in the hands of running back Andrew Harris a lot Saturday. The Bombers’ ground game is the bread and butter of their offence. Harris is the main man in it with a league-leading 1,261 yards. Calgary excels at defending the run limiting yards to 4.6 per carry, so the force that asserts itself is the key to a game with major playoff implications in the CFL’s West Division. “Swarm tackle,” declared Stampeder linebacker Jamar Wall on Friday. “Harris is a huge part of their offence in many different ways and he’s elusive. He can not only run, he can receive in the backfield as well.  “He’s good at breaking tackles. We’ve always emphasized ‘run to the ball, run to the ball’ and this week it’s going to be even bigger. “It might not be the first or the second. It might be the third guy in who makes the play we need.” Winnipeg (10-6), Calgary (10-5) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-5) jockeying for first place in the West injects a playoff vibe into Saturday’s meeting at McMahon Stadium because of its post-season ramifications. In the event of a tie in the standings with Saskatchewan, the Stampeders would rank higher by virtue of taking the season series 2-0. But a two-point loss to the Blue Bombers back on Aug. 8 - when Winnipeg’s Matt Nichols and Calgary’s Nick Arbuckle were starting quarterbacks - puts pressure on Calgary’s quest for the division’s top rung. The Blue Bombers host the defending Grey Cup champions next Friday in the second game of the home-and-home before ending the regular season with a bye week. “You want to be able to beat the best teams and do it the right way,” Harris said. “I’m thinking about playing our best football at the end of the season and peaking at the right time and this is an opportunity for us to get there.” The Stampeders remain on the road to conclude the regular season against the Lions. “To me, this is a team that’s got two games left and they’ve got a bye week no matter what,” Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell said. “They know they can come out here and physically hit you and they’ll have a chance to rest before playoffs whether or not they get first. We’ve got to be ready to come out and answer that.” Calgary’s front four and linebackers want to contain both Harris and quarterback Chris Streveler, who leads all CFL quarterbacks and ranks second in Blue Bomber rushing yards with 641. Harris is coming off a season-high 166 rushing yards and also scored a touchdown in last week’s win over the Montreal Alouettes. “It’s good to kind of get in a rhythm at this point in the season,” Harris said. Mitchell says he has a role in assisting Calgary’s defence. “Knowing that last game they had an awesome run game, we’ve got to do a great job on offence of holding onto the ball and making it tough on them to have those long drives,” the quarterback explained. Mitchell is 5-1 since returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two months. Streveler is 3-4 since Nichols hurt his shoulder and underwent season-ending surgery. The Bombers acquired quarterback Zach Collaros from the Toronto Argonauts at last week’s CFL trade deadline, but head coach Mike O’Shea isn’t planning on putting Collaros on the field Saturday. “The plan is for Strev to go out there and win us a football game,” O’Shea said. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (10-6) at CALGARY STAMPEDERS (10-5) Saturday, McMahon Stadium THE JEFFERSON FACTOR - Mitchell means it as a compliment when he calls the six-foot-seven Bombers defensive end “a freak”. Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson wondered why the CFL’s leader in forced fumbles and owner of 12 sacks was overlooked by the NFL. FAST STARTING BOMBERS - Winnipeg leads the CFL in first-quarter points (127), which allows the Blue Bombers to settle into running the ball. An early Calgary lead forces Streveler into throwing downfield. His completion rate is 26.9 per cent completion rate and he’s been intercepted five times attempting passes of 20-plus yards. MINUS ROBERSON - Streveler might look downfield more in the absence of Stampeder star cornerback Tre Roberson (concussion) and his seven interceptions on the season. AML GETS THE NOD - With American running backs Don Jackson, Ka’Deem Carey and Romar Morris all on the Stampeders’ injured list, the next man up at starting tailback is Vancouver’s Ante Milanovic-Litre. The 25-year-old Simon Fraser alum will split ball-carrying duties with return specialist Terry Williams. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019. Follow @DLSpencer10 on Twitter Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

QB Cody Fajardo helps Saskatchewan Roughriders top B.C. Lions 27-19

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:03
VANCOUVER - Quarterback Cody Fajardo threw for 224 yards and the Saskatchewan Roughriders downed the B.C. Lions 27-19 on Friday night in Vancouver. Fajardo completed 21-of-27 attempts for the Riders (11-5), including one touchdown. One of his frequent targets was wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt, who hauled in seven catches for 106 yards. Saskatchewan running back William Powell rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Quarterback Danny O’Brien got his first CFL start and threw for 171 yards and a touchdown for the Lions (5-12), completing 16-of-24 passes. He was temporarily replaced by Grant Kaemer in the third quarter. The rookie made good on 1-of-3 attempts and put up 18 passing yards in his league debut. The night started as a defensive battle between the two sides, with neither team registering points until Sergio Castillo made a 50-yard field goal for the Lions 13:44 into the first quarter. It was one of four successful attempts for the B.C. kicker on Friday. Saskatchewan’s Brett Lauther replied with a 52-yard boot through the uprights early in the second frame. He had three other field goals before the end of the game. B.C.’s first chance for a touchdown came 9:37 into the second quarter when Bryan Burnham made an eye-popping one-armed catch at the goal line. Officials on the field called the play out of bounds but Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks used his challenge. Replays on the big screen appeared to show the receiver getting one foot inside the playing field, but a review upheld the call on the field. The Lions settled for a 30-yard field goal. Saskatchewan finally muscled its way into the red zone near the end of the second quarter, setting up on the 10-yard line. Fajardo found Marcus Thigpen in deep for a second-and-goal, and Powell smuggled the ball across the goal line on the next play. The Riders got another opportunity minutes later after O’Brien was sacked mid-field and, after a scramble, Saskatchewan’s Makana Henry wound up with the ball. Efforts for a touchdown were stymied by B.C.’s defence, however, and the Riders made do with a 16-yard field goal that gave the visitors a 12-9 lead heading into the half. Saskatchewan returned from the locker room with energy as Loucheiz Purifoy ran a kickoff return 100 yards into the end zone. A holding call on his teammate Seun Idowu negated the touchdown. The Riders continued grinding their way down the field and ended a nine-play, 85-yard drive with Fajardo sending a bullet to Kyran Moore in the end zone. Midway through the third, the Lions opted to swap O’Brien for Kraemer at quarterback. He was sacked by Riders linebacker Solomon Elimmian on his first play of the game. Midway through the fourth quarter, Kraemer had to be helped off the field, but the 23-year-old alumnus of Drake University returned to play minutes later. O’Brien took over as the Lions quarterback once again late in the fourth quarter. With just over a minute and a half left on the game clock, he found Burnham just outside of the end zone and connected for a 30-yard pass. Smothered by a pair of Lions defenders, the receiver tossed and twisted his way over the goal line for B.C.’s lone touchdown of the game. Burnham has now passed for 1,401 yards this season, marking a new career high. The Roughriders will be back in action on Oct. 26 when they visit the Edmonton Eskimos. The Lions have a bye next week before wrapping their season with a home battle against the Calgary Stampeders on Nov. 2. NOTES: Saskatchewan’s Dan Clark was injured midway through the second quarter. The veteran offensive lineman lay on the field for several minutes being looked at by trainers before walking off on his own. Clark did not return to the game. … Friday marked the first game Lions quarterback Mike Reilly has missed this season. The league’s passing leader fractured his wrist early in last week’s loss to the Edmonton Eskimos and will be out for the rest of the season. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

LeMahieu, Hicks lift Yanks over Astros, close to 3-2 in ALCS

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:40
NEW YORK - James Paxton was filled with nerves, and so were New York Yankees fans, worried the season was slipping away. Tension only surged when the top of the first featured a little grounder that got away, a passed ball and a run-scoring wild pitch. No worries. Boom! DJ LeMahieu drove Justin Verlander’s second pitch over the wall to tie the score. Clang! Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer off the foul pole later in the inning. Just like that, the Bronx Bombers were back - in the game, and in this matchup of powerhouses. A day after a brutal loss, and with little margin for more errors, the Yankees played like a 103-win team. Paxton chilled Houston’s bats and the bullpen followed with shutdown relief to beat the Astros 4-1 Friday night, cutting New York’s AL Championship Series deficit to 3-2. “I wasn’t ready to go home yet,” Paxton said, “so I wanted to go out and give my team everything I had and just battle away.” Now the teams rush to Texas, where the series resumes Saturday night without a day off. With pitching plans disrupted by a rainout earlier this week, both teams plan all-bullpen efforts in Game 6. But Gerrit Cole, 19-0 since May, looms as the Astros’ starter on Sunday if New York manages to extend the matchup to the seven-game limit. “We’ve just got to go back home and finish the job,” Houston’s Carlos Correa said. Paxton, a fishing aficionado born outside Vancouver in Ladner, British Columbia, wore three-quarter-length sleeves on a night with a game-time temperature of 52 degrees. That was the coldest for a Verlander start since last year’s ALCS opener at Boston, according to STATS - he had on long sleeves and half of Houston’s fielders had hoodies or balaclavas. After lasting just 2 1/3 innings in Game 2, Paxton struck out nine in six innings, allowing four hits and four walks. Punching his pitching hand into his glove after big strikeouts, he saved his biggest emotion for his 112th and final pitch. Manager Aaron Boone had just made a trip to the mound, unsure whether he would make a change. “He just said, ‘Are you ready? Do you have anything more left in the tank?'” Paxton said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, let’s go. I want this.'” Robinson Chirinos hit a first-pitch fastball that Brett Gardner caught in front of the left-field scoreboard with a runner on. “When it first left the bat: ‘Oh, no!'” Boone remembered thinking to himself. After Tommy Kahnle allowed George Springer’s one-out single in seventh and walked Jos Altuve, Zack Britton retired Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman. Britton struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Aroldis Chapman finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. Paxton outpitched Verlander, an eight-time All-Star and former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, on a night when each team had five hits. Verlander opened with a JV first inning - not Justin vintage, but junior varsity. He allowed a pair of first-inning homers for the first time in 28 post-season starts and gave up four runs in an inning for the first time since Houston acquired him from Detroit in August 2017. “Fastball command wasn’t very good, and the slider was just hanging,” Verlander said. Verlander retired 10 in a row after Hicks’ homer and wound up allowing five hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. “We took advantage of his missed locations when he was a little vulnerable,” LeMahieu said. “And that’s the difference in the game.” A night after the Yankees made four errors in one of their messier games this season during an 8-3 loss, Paxton fell behind after 14 pitches. Springer reached on an infield hit, took second on Gary Snchez’s passed ball, advanced on a groundout and scored when Paxton bounced a breaking ball off Snchez’s glove for a wild pitch. “A lot of nerves,” Paxton said. “I was just overthrowing a little bit early.” New York came out swinging against Verlander, who had been 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA against the Yankees in seven post-season starts. LeMahieu fouled off a pitch, then drove a fastball 355 feet to right-centre for New York’s first post-season leadoff homer since Derek Jeter in the 2009 ALCS against the Angels. “Woke up the building,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. Aaron Judge singled and Gleyber Torres doubled. Verlander struck out Giancarlo Stanton, who went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts after missing three games with a strained right quadriceps. Hicks was sidelined for more than two months by a right elbow injury that made him wonder whether he would need Tommy John surgery, then made a surprise return for the ALCS and re-entered the starting lineup for Game 3. He fell behind 0-2, took three straight balls and sent a chest-high slider down the right field line. He dropped his bat, turned and watched the ball, took a half-dozen slow steps toward first and started jogging after it clanked off the pole for his first home run since July 24. “It curved a lot more than I thought it would,” Hicks said. New York had never hit a pair of first-inning homers in 404 previous post-season games. Verlander could only crouch on the infield grass as Hicks circled the bases. Hicks ended a stretch of 15 straight hitless at-bats for the Yankees with runners in scoring position. New York has relied on the long ball, scoring 12 of its 17 runs against the Astros on seven homers. “We just always fight back,” Judge said. “That’s what we talked about in our meeting today. Let’s go back to being ourselves.” FIRSTS This was the 1,609th post-season game in major league history, and the first in which both teams scored in the first inning and neither scored the rest of the game. SABATHIA CC Sabathia dislocated his left shoulder while pitching in Game 4 and was replaced on the Yankees active roster by RHP Ben Heller. That ended the 19-season career of the 39-year-old left-hander, who is retiring. He was given a big ovation when shown on the video board in the sixth and waved to fans from the dugout. UP NEXT Neither team announced a Game 6 starter. Rookie RHP Jos Urquidy is Houston’s most likely option, and New York could go with RHP Chad Green as an opener or start LHP J.A. Happ. New York would start RHP Luis Severino in a Game 7. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

LeMahieu, Hicks lift Yanks over Astros, close to 3-2 in ALCS

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:35
NEW YORK - James Paxton was filled with nerves, and so were New York Yankees fans, worried the season was slipping away. Tension only surged when the top of the first featured a little grounder that got away, a passed ball and a run-scoring wild pitch. No worries. Boom! DJ LeMahieu drove Justin Verlander’s second pitch over the wall to tie the score. Clang! Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer off the foul pole later in the inning. Just like that, the Bronx Bombers were back - in the game, and in this matchup of powerhouses. A day after a brutal loss, and with little margin for more errors, the Yankees played like a 103-win team. Paxton chilled Houston’s bats and the bullpen followed with shutdown relief to beat the Astros 4-1 Friday night, cutting New York’s AL Championship Series deficit to 3-2. “I wasn’t ready to go home yet,” Paxton said, “so I wanted to go out and give my team everything I had and just battle away.” Now the teams rush to Texas, where the series resumes Saturday night without a day off. With pitching plans disrupted by a rainout earlier this week, both teams plan all-bullpen efforts in Game 6. But Gerrit Cole, 19-0 since May, looms as the Astros’ starter on Sunday if New York manages to extend the matchup to the seven-game limit. “We’ve just got to go back home and finish the job,” Houston’s Carlos Correa said. Paxton, a fishing aficionado born outside Vancouver in Ladner, British Columbia, wore three-quarter-length sleeves on a night with a game-time temperature of 52 degrees. That was the coldest for a Verlander start since last year’s ALCS opener at Boston, according to STATS - he had on long sleeves and half of Houston’s fielders had hoodies or balaclavas. After lasting just 2 1/3 innings in Game 2, Paxton struck out nine in six innings, allowing four hits and four walks. Punching his pitching hand into his glove after big strikeouts, he saved his biggest emotion for his 112th and final pitch. Manager Aaron Boone had just made a trip to the mound, unsure whether he would make a change. “He just said, ‘Are you ready? Do you have anything more left in the tank?'” Paxton said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, let’s go. I want this.'” Robinson Chirinos hit a first-pitch fastball that Brett Gardner caught in front of the left-field scoreboard with a runner on. “When it first left the bat: ‘Oh, no!'” Boone remembered thinking to himself. After Tommy Kahnle allowed George Springer’s one-out single in seventh and walked Jos Altuve, Zack Britton retired Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman. Britton struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Aroldis Chapman finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. Paxton outpitched Verlander, an eight-time All-Star and former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, on a night when each team had five hits. Verlander opened with a JV first inning - not Justin vintage, but junior varsity. He allowed a pair of first-inning homers for the first time in 28 post-season starts and gave up four runs in an inning for the first time since Houston acquired him from Detroit in August 2017. “Fastball command wasn’t very good, and the slider was just hanging,” Verlander said. Verlander retired 10 in a row after Hicks’ homer and wound up allowing five hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. “We took advantage of his missed locations when he was a little vulnerable,” LeMahieu said. “And that’s the difference in the game.” A night after the Yankees made four errors in one of their messier games this season during an 8-3 loss, Paxton fell behind after 14 pitches. Springer reached on an infield hit, took second on Gary Snchez’s passed ball, advanced on a groundout and scored when Paxton bounced a breaking ball off Snchez’s glove for a wild pitch. “A lot of nerves,” Paxton said. “I was just overthrowing a little bit early.” New York came out swinging against Verlander, who had been 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA against the Yankees in seven post-season starts. LeMahieu fouled off a pitch, then drove a fastball 355 feet to right-centre for New York’s first post-season leadoff homer since Derek Jeter in the 2009 ALCS against the Angels. “Woke up the building,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. Aaron Judge singled and Gleyber Torres doubled. Verlander struck out Giancarlo Stanton, who went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts after missing three games with a strained right quadriceps. Hicks was sidelined for more than two months by a right elbow injury that made him wonder whether he would need Tommy John surgery, then made a surprise return for the ALCS and re-entered the starting lineup for Game 3. He fell behind 0-2, took three straight balls and sent a chest-high slider down the right field line. He dropped his bat, turned and watched the ball, took a half-dozen slow steps toward first and started jogging after it clanked off the pole for his first home run since July 24. “It curved a lot more than I thought it would,” Hicks said. New York had never hit a pair of first-inning homers in 404 previous post-season games. Verlander could only crouch on the infield grass as Hicks circled the bases. Hicks ended a stretch of 15 straight hitless at-bats for the Yankees with runners in scoring position. New York has relied on the long ball, scoring 12 of its 17 runs against the Astros on seven homers. “We just always fight back,” Judge said. “That’s what we talked about in our meeting today. Let’s go back to being ourselves.” FIRSTS This was the 1,609th post-season game in major league history, and the first in which both teams scored in the first inning and neither scored the rest of the game. SABATHIA CC Sabathia dislocated his left shoulder while pitching in Game 4 and was replaced on the Yankees active roster by RHP Ben Heller. That ended the 19-season career of the 39-year-old left-hander, who is retiring. He was given a big ovation when shown on the video board in the sixth and waved to fans from the dugout. UP NEXT Neither team announced a Game 6 starter. Rookie RHP Jos Urquidy is Houston’s most likely option, and New York could go with RHP Chad Green as an opener or start LHP J.A. Happ. New York would start RHP Luis Severino in a Game 7. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

Neal keeps scoring as Oilers top Red Wings 2-1; Edmonton back in first in NHL

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:24
EDMONTON - James Neal may be leading the NHL in scoring, but it’s Ethan Bear that impressed Edmonton Oilers coach Dave Tippett on Friday night. Neal and Bear both scored as the Oilers moved back into sole possession of first place overall in the NHL with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Darnell Nurse had a pair of assists for the Oilers, who improved to 7-1-0. Bear scored for the second time in as many games, playing in just his 26th career NHL game. “The goals are nice, but he is playing a lot of really hard minutes,” said Tippett. “He is giving us real quality minutes on both sides of the puck. We need him right now with (Adam) Larsson out. He has come in and really filled the void for us. He was a surprise in camp and now he is a good NHL player right now.” Edmonton has also had some solid goaltending in its hot start to the season, including a 25-save performance from Mikko Koskinen on Friday. He improved his record to 4-0. “The main thing for myself is I put everything out there this summer and that builds confidence,” said Koskinen, who added that already having last season under his belt has better prepared him for this year. “It really helps a lot. I started from zero. It really helped a lot. I practised all summer in a small rink and I was more ready this year.” Mike Green replied for the Red Wings (3-5-0), who have lost four games in a row. Jonathan Bernier stopped 35 shots in net for Detroit. “I thought we played pretty good today, just some chances didn’t go in, we hit the crossbar at the end,” said Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi. “We had a good third and we tried our hardest. We dug in, got it deep and played simple in the third, we just didn’t get rewarded.” Neal scored eight minutes into the second period when a long rebound came out to him and he put it into the net for his league-leading ninth goal of the season. With the goal in just Edmonton’s eighth game, Neal has already surpassed the seven he had in all of last season with the Calgary Flames. Bear scored on a long point shot four minutes later for a 2-0 Oilers lead. Leon Draisaitl picked up an assist, giving him at least a point in every game thus far this season for Edmonton. Detroit clawed back with a goal with just over three minutes left in the second as Green scored his first of the season on a shot through traffic. The Red Wings had some heavy pressure late in the game but couldn’t get the equalizer in the scoreless third period, one which saw Connor McDavid hit a post on an empty-net attempt in the final minute to go scoreless on the night. The Oilers hit the road to play the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, while the Red Wings are off until Tuesday when they return home to face the Vancouver Canucks. Notes: The Red Wings came into the contest having allowed five goals in each of their three previous games, having been outscored 15-4 in those three defeats after a 3-1-0 start to the season... Oilers general manager Ken Holland faced his long-time former team for the first time since being hired by Edmonton on May 7... The Oilers wore their new third jerseys for the first time in the game. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019. Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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