Monthly Archives: September 2019

Sherwood Park school locked down after alleged ‘indecent act’ – Edmonton

EDMONTON – An elementary school in Sherwood Park was put on lock down for roughly an hour after a man was allegedly seen performing “indecent act on himself” nearby.

It happened at approximately 10:25 a.m. near Brentwood Elementary School. Students, who were outside for morning recess, were called inside and the school was locked down after what RCMP call “a reliable witness” reported a man in the bushes.

Officers don’t believe the man exposed himself to any children, and no one was harmed.

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The initial call the RCMP received was of possible shots fired. Cst. Elissa Purvis with Strathcona County RCMP said that, coupled with the complaint being linked to a school, led to a large response.

General duty RCMP officers, traffic enforcement, resource officers and police dogs were called in to search for the suspect, who was not found.

Officers also quickly determined no firearms or weapons were involved. The lockdown was lifted at about 11:30 a.m.

Cst. Purvis said, in this case, social media worked against them, as misinformation was spread across the internet.

The suspect is described as between 18 and 25 years old, 5’6″ to 5’9″, 175 lbs, tanned skin with short spiky black hair and wearing a greyish blue t-shirt and jean shorts.

Anyone with any information on this incident is encouraged to contact Strathcona County RCMP at (780) 467-7741.

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Elliot Lake: Why lawyers want report on the collapsed mall released

TORONTO – A request by a discredited former engineer for a judicial inquiry to black out parts of a report into the deadly collapse of a northern Ontario mall to ensure he has a fair trial is speculative and runs counter to the public interest and open nature of such proceedings, a trio of media organizations argue.

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In written submissions Friday, the media also maintain Commissioner Paul Belanger does not have the authority to grant the request.

In his application, Robert (Bob) Wood argued that potentially adverse findings in Belanger’s report, due by the end of October, could jeopardize his right to a fair trial on charges of criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm.

Wood maintains publicity from the release of the fact-finding report could potentially taint a jury pool.

However, the media – The Canadian Press, Globe and Mail and CBC – argue he has failed to make out a solid case for “such extraordinary and unprecedented” relief.

For one thing, the media note, he has yet to decide whether to have a jury trial or be tried by judge alone. Nor has any date for a trial been set.

“Though based on speculation and contingencies, Mr. Wood’s application is founded on the purported risk that the release of the commission’s final report would taint the pool of potential jurors in his criminal trial,” the submission states.

“This purported risk is overstated in addition to being speculative.”

Belanger’s commission of inquiry wrapped up public hearings into the June 2012 tragedy last October.

READ MORE: McGuinty testifies that ‘we had to try something’ at deadly mall collapse inquiry

Among those testifying was Wood, who had attested to the structural soundness of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake in an inspection report he altered to downplay the building’s state of disrepair. Weeks after that report, part of the rooftop parking deck caved in. Two women were killed and several other people were hurt.

Evidence was that decades of salt-water penetration due to poor waterproofing had led to severe corrosion of the steel substructure.

“One of the primary functions of public inquiries is fact-finding,” the media submission notes.

“They are often convened, in the wake of public shock, horror, disillusionment, or skepticism, in order to uncover ‘the truth’.”

Although a commission does not lay blame as such, Belanger has already informed Wood he may make adverse findings against him in his final report.

The media argue that blacking out sections that refer to him, as Wood asks, could seriously undermine the work the commission has done as well public confidence in future public inquiries, which have a mandate to help a community “grapple with a tragedy and find solutions to the problems that led to that tragedy.”

The commissioner himself has also questioned whether he even has the authority to accede to Wood’s redaction request given that he is required to turn his report over to the attorney general, who then makes it publicly available.

In addition to his criminal charges laid in January, Wood also faces mall-related charges from last year that he violated provincial health and safety laws.

In their submissions, commission counsel take no position on Wood’s request, but note the legal presumption that the proceedings be public and all the inquiry testimony is readily available on the Internet.

The province also takes no position on whether Belanger should grant the request. It does argue Belanger has the authority to make redactions if he sees fit – but would have to turn over the full report to the AG as well.

Belanger is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the redaction request on June 20 in Ottawa.

©2014The Canadian Press

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How World Cup referees are using goal-line technology to help make calls – National

TORONTO – When English midfielder Frank Lampard’s goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup was disallowed by referees, it was a huge upset.

Lampard kicked a shot that hit the German goal’s crossbar and bounced down into the goal. Despite many arguing the aerial cameras clearly showed the ball crossing the goal line, referees ruled it did not.

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But a missed call on a goal likely won’t happen at the 2014 World Cup – thanks to high-tech goal-line technology installed thanks, in part, to the Lampard non-goal.

The technology – made by German company GoalControl – uses 14 high-speed cameras located around the pitch (seven of which are concentrated on each end’s goal mount) to track the ball’s position in 3D.

“There are cameras behind the goal and in front of the goal, so that we cover 360 degrees of the goal,” said Jurgen Philipps, managing director of GoalControl in a FIFA video.

If a goal is scored, referees are immediately notified by a vibration on a specialized smartwatch.

The technology has been installed in all 12 Brazilian World Cup stadiums.

READ MORE: Explore Brazil’s World Cup stadiums through Google Street View

This is the first time FIFA has allowed this kind of technology to be used in official game play. The GoalControl technology was given the go-ahead last year after it detected all 68 goals scored during the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013.

The system was put through rigorous testing to make sure it was advanced enough to be used.

“The ‘Slider Test’ is one of the most important tests – it tests to the millimetre the exact amount the ball is across the line. When the system activates we stop the ball roll and at that point we measure the reference point and how far the ball is past that reference point,” said Josh Richards, an engineer with FIFA accredited testing company Labosport.

“That gives an indication of how accurate the system is as a whole.”

GoalControl was also put through a test that measures the amount a ball deforms when it strikes a target wall – meant to represent a goal keeper – at different velocities.

PHOTOS: 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in pictures

Researchers then measure how much the ball crosses the line depending on the deformity.

But referees still have the final say on a goal.

According to a FIFA training manual, “The technology must provide a clear indication as to whether the ball has fully crossed the line, and this information will serve to assist the referee in taking his final decision.”

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Flood reflections: Gord Gillies returns to the site of the Elbow Drive berm – Calgary

On June 20th, 2013, Global News anchor Gord Gillies reported live from Elbow Drive, where crews were building a berm to protect homes from the rising Elbow River. Entire communities along the river had been ordered to evacuate.

One year later, he reflects on his experience.

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We arrived at the Safeway parking lot on Elbow Drive about 3 p.m., ready to set up for our ‘live’ broadcast.  It was already a beehive of activity. Dump truck after truck after truck rolled in along Elbow as city workers were scrambling to build a berm. It was amazing to see how fast they zipped in and out.

The berm would run from south of 5th Street to the intersection of 4th Street  and Elbow Drive, designed to be a buffer along the river.

Literally minutes after arriving, the city shut down all access to the area so we were effectively cut off.

Residents from Elbow Park, Rideau and Roxboro were milling about, watching the trucks come and go. At this point some communities were already under evacuation alerts, but there didn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from any of the homeowners we talked to.

At about 4 p.m., police officers began gathering in the parking lot. The Calgary Police Service bike team was on hand and even the Tactical Unit showed up for a while.  It was their job to ride into the communities, knock on doors and let people know they should get out.

This is where it started to get worrisome on a personal level. While photographer Jerry Favero and I were focused on how we would show what was going on while not creating panic – it was clear to both of us that this was getting big. It seemed like every few minutes another community was added to the ‘evac’ list, and that list was starting to include the downtown.

We did several live ‘hits’ into the Early News at 5 to set the scene. By the time the News Hour began at 6, the entire area was under evacuation orders.

It was really a weird feeling. Sure, the Elbow River was running high and fast, but the nasty flooding hadn’t begun yet.

One resident we talked to said the last time they were asked to evacuate, I think in 2005, they didn’t even get a drop of water in their basement. That would not be the case this time.

After several updates into the newscast – the blockbuster:  city officials warned that up to 100 thousand people could be impacted by flooding.  When the sun came up early Friday morning on the 21st,  I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s still hard to believe.

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FIFA bans former senior exec for corruption probe snub – National

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Former Germany great Franz Beckenbauer was banned from football for 90 days by FIFA on Friday for not co-operating with an investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

FIFA said the suspension was requested by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia, making Beckenbauer the first person to be punished as a result of the case.

READ MORE: FIFA head Blatter lashes out at corruption claims 

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Beckenbauer refused “repeated requests for his assistance, including requests that he provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions provided in both English and German,” FIFA said in a statement.

It was unclear whether the FIFA suspension would prevent Beckenbauer – who won the World Cup as both a player and coach – from attending the tournament in Brazil.

FIFA suspensions relating to “any football-related activity, at any level” typically include attending matches and meeting other football officials.

Beckenbauer was a voting member of FIFA’s executive committee in December 2010 when it chose Qatar, and Russia as 2018 World Cup host. He said last week that he rejected two attempts by Garcia to speak with him, claiming he was no longer active in football.

Beckenbauer still holds top-level positions in world football, after serving on FIFA’s board from 2007-11. He joined after leading Germany’s organization of the 2006 World Cup.

He is an adviser to FIFA’s football committee and a global ambassador for German champion Bayern Munich.

READ MORE: Complete World Cup coverage  

Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney has said that next month he will deliver a dossier on the World Cup case, which FIFA critics hope will order a redo of the votes.

Beckenbauer was named in reports this past weekend by The Sunday Times, which has alleged widespread corruption linked to Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam and the 2022 bidding campaign.

The newspaper said Beckenbauer took paid consultancies in 2011 with German firms seeking contracts for World Cup related projects in the gas-rich emirate.

Like most FIFA board members, Beckenbauer has not publicly revealed who he voted for. Qatar defeated the United States 14-8 in the fourth round of voting,

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has previously said German and French business and political interests influenced the FIFA vote.

FIFA said its independent ethics judge, Munich-based Joachim Eckert, was not involved in the decision to suspend Beckenbauer, who faces further sanctions.

“The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings being conducted by investigatory chamber member Vanessa Allard as chief of the investigation,” FIFA said.

Garcia could still seek to interview Beckenbauer, though he closed the investigation phase of his probe on Monday.

On Wednesday, Garcia addressed FIFA’s 209 member countries in Sao Paulo and stressed that football officials are obligated to co-operate with his work.

“And it makes real penalties available to all those who fail,” the American lawyer said then.

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