Nov 16

Nearly $20,000 in drugs, cash seized after suspected drug dealer arrested

LETHBRIDGE – A short-term investigation by the Alberta Lethbridge Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) has led to charges against a suspected Lethbridge drug dealer.

ALERT’s organized crime and gang team arrested Curtis Larko, 41, on May 19 following an appearance at a south side restaurant.

A search warrant was executed at the home of Larko, in the 1500 block of St. Francis Road North, following the arrest. Fentanyl, cocaine and a double-barrel shotgun were among the items seized.

As result of the search, nearly $20,000 dollars worth of drugs and cash were seized, including:

Double-barrel shotgun;14 shotgun shells;98 fentanyl pills;5 grams of cocaine;37 grams of methamphetamine;20 morphine pills;74 grams of marijuana;7 tabs of suspected LSD;Packaging, scales, and other drug trafficking paraphernalia.

ALERT opened the investigation after receiving information suggesting Larko was involved in drug trafficking in the Lethbridge area. Larko currently faces 12 charges in relation to the arrest:

one charge each for possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine, fentanyl and morphine;one charge each for possession of marijuana and cocaine;possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.00;careless storage of a firearm;possession of a weapon dangerous to the public;two charges of possession of a firearm without a license;possession of a firearm obtained through the commission of an offence andpossession of a firearm while prohibited.

Larko’s court appearance is scheduled for June 2.

Members of the public who suspect any drug or gang activity in the community can report it to the local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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Nov 16

#OurYYC Apprentice: Jordan Witzel takes on tarmac duties at Calgary International Airport

Global Calgary Meteorologist Jordan Witzel is heading out in the community to experience some of the many careers that make up our dynamic city.

Through the #OurYYC Apprentice series, Witzel will try his hand at different jobs for one day to see just how challenging they can be.

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    There isn’t much that will match the intimidation factor of staring face to face with a 747 commercial airliner as it moves toward you. That’s just one task in the average day of WestJet‘s tarmac crews. I joined up with these teams to see what it takes to guide planes and their passengers into the terminal at Calgary International Airport.

    The crew chief typically preps the team with a quick rundown of what is coming in on each plane prior to its arrival. Once the plane is guided into place, the crew is quick to move into action.

    The space under each plane is tight. My large frame was crammed into place to help unload luggage and get it to the appropriate terminal or connecting flight.

    Crew members say they’ve seen everything from lions to human remains come through on flights.

    Every flight is different and the demands of efficiency are high. If you love the outdoors, this job is for you… until the harsh winter wind begins to blow across the tarmac.

Nov 16

Missing dog that helps care for 4-year-old with brain condition found

A missing dog that helps care for a 4-year-old with a brain condition was found Wednesday morning, after going missing from her Bedford home.

“To have the police take their time and go in the woods with their little flashlights and look for a dog, it’s just incredible,” said Samantha Monaghan, mother of Luc LeBlanc and owner of Marley the Labrador retriever.

Marley, 3, took off while Monaghan was cooking Tuesday evening in her backyard, which is not fenced.

“All of a sudden, I took my eyes off her and she just went,” she said.

Halifax Regional Police searched for the dog, and also posted messages on social media websites about the disappearance; a Facebook post was shared more than 2,000 times.

A nearby neighbour found Marley, took her in and posted about her on Kijiji. Police connected with the individual Wednesday morning.

Monaghan said that while the dog isn’t specifically trained, she acts like a therapy dog for Luc.

The boy cannot talk and needs constant assistance.

“His survival rate was one [year old], but he’ll be five June 12,” said Monaghan, who moved to the neighbourhood 10 days ago.

Marley wasn’t wearing a collar at the time she took off. Monaghan said she will be more careful from now on and is happy about the reunion.

“[Luc] just loves the dog,” she added.

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Nov 16

Nashwaaksis students team up with NB entrepreneur for unique IWK donation

New Brunswick award winning entrepreneur Dawn Pottier has teamed up with Grade 8 students at Nashwaaksis Middle School for a creative donation for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

The group has been making “wish blankets” to be handed out at the hospital.

“I thought to myself one day, ‘one day when [the business is] big enough, and if this works, I am going to give back’” said Pottier who owns Lulujo Baby in Fredericton.

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In 2010, while on maternity leave, the mother of two started selling infant carriers and in just a few short years her company has expanded into a $2 million international company.

Now, she says the time has come to give back to her community.

“We have about 30 different students —; 30 girls —; and we asked them ‘what would you create, what would your best wishes be for the next generation?’” Pottier said.

Their creative artwork is spread across the baby blankets with messages that are meant to inspire.

Their finished products were revealed at the school on Wednesday.

“It was a great experience because we get to work with our friends to do artwork for children, and also we learned about making our own business,” said student Marlee Rae Brewer.

“I know at 14 years old I was thinking ‘what do I want to do, what do I want to do when I grow up and how can I contribute?’ and so we wanted to pass that message on to [the students] that you can to whatever you want to do,” Pottier said.

This fall 350 blankets will be donated directly to the IWK and the proceeds from any blankets sold will be donated to the hospital’s foundation.

“The proceeds from these blankets will go to our urgent priority fund which funds advanced research and up-to-date equipment,” said Gillian Gresh with the IWK Foundation.

“Families receiving these blankets are also going to get that extra special wish sent to them from these Grade 8 students.”

Pottier says she hopes the blankets bring comfort to families and the project inspires young women at the school to follow their dreams.

Nov 16

Illegal dumper caught by scouts camp surveillance video partly cleans up mess

A suspect involved in illegal dumping at Camp Harris, a Scouts Canada camp in Mineville, has been identified and will now have to clean up the waste he left behind.

Earlier this year illegal dumping littered the grounds of the popular camp with mounds of garbage and scattered debris.

On Monday, Camp Harris became a little cleaner thanks to recent efforts made by the camp to deter people from disposing of waste on the property.

In April, Camp Harris resorted to installing a trail cam to prevent further dumping. The images taken from the camera showed someone allegedly driving onto the property and leaving behind a large pile of wood with rusted metal rods.

Camp Harris responded by posting the images to social media in hopes of finding the suspect, and now through an individual believed to be involved in the illegal dumping has been caught.

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Robert Chipman, the chair of Camp Harris, confirmed in a phone interview with Global News on Wednesday that the accused had been identified.

Chipman says Bylaw Officers gave the suspect two options —; either pay a fine to have the grounds cleaned up, or clear out all of the litter on the property.

Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson Tiffany Chase says the city has not charged or issued a fine to anyone as a result of the illegal dumping incident.

On Monday morning, when Chipman arrived at the camp, he noticed that although the grounds have been cleaned, not all of the garbage had been removed.

Chipman isn’t sure whether the man will return to finish cleaning up the mess or if he will have to pay a fine.

A final inspection will take place later this week, and it will be up to the scout camp to decide if the accused has sufficiently cleaned up the property.

Nov 16

Dog found high on heroin, meth in motel room completes 2-month detox

A dog found high on heroin and methamphetamine in a motel in March has successfully finished two months in a detox program.

Bubba was with his owner Joshua West, 40, in an Orange County, Calif., motel filled with drugs and needles when police discovered the pair.

READ MORE: Owner of dog found high on meth, heroin charged with animal cruelty

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    The terrier mix was taken to an animal care facility where he was placed in a detox program.

    “I would say looking the video today, his prognosis is excellent,” Dr. Matthew Wheaton of the Alicia Pet Care Center told CBS2. “If he can avoid being exposed to additional drugs in the future with his new ‘forever home’ things will be perfectly fine.”

    Police described Bubba as “lethargic” when they found the dog, which Wheaton suggests understated the actual well-being of the pooch.

    “If the dog was truly ingesting these things in relatively large quantities, I think it would probably be more than just lethargic,” said Wheaton. “There might have been a lot of neurological stimulation with the dog, that at the end of the day it was actually short circuiting things.”

    Now officially done his detox, five rescue organizations have offered to take care of Bubba, while 15 people have signed up to adopt the dog.

Nov 16

Amy Schumer slams body-shaming trolls in new Instagram post

Amy Schumer is “blocking out the haters” in a recent Instagram post about body shaming.

RELATED: Amy Schumer Calls Out Glamour Magazine For Including Her In ‘Plus-Size’ Issue

The 34-year-old comedian took to the social platform to share a photo from her Hawaiin trip with boyfriend Ben Hanisch. The photo shows Schumer rocking a black one-piece bathing suit while she exits the ocean.

While singling out “trolls” on the Internet, Schumer captioned the photo with a body-positive message.

RELATED: Amy Schumer On Her Relationship With Ben Hanisch: ‘We’re In Love’

View this post on Instagram

I meant to write "good morning trolls!" I hope you find some joy in your lives today in a human interaction and not just in writing unkind things to a stranger you’ve never met who triggers something in you that makes you feel powerless and alone. This is how I look. I feel happy. I think I look strong and healthy and also like miss trunchbull from Matilda. Kisses!

A post shared by @ amyschumer on May 24, 2016 at 10:44am PDT

This isn’t the first time Schumer has taken to Instagram to share her thoughts on this issue. In April, the actress pointed to Glamour magazine, calling them out for including her in its “plus-size” issue.

RELATED: No More Fan Photos For Amy Schumer, Thanks To Persistent Jerk

View this post on Instagram

I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Apr 5, 2016 at 8:18am PDT

While recently chatting with Maria Shriver on The Today Show, Schumer got emotional about finding inspiration to dress with confidence.

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Nov 16

Former ‘Biggest Loser’ contestants allege they were given diet pills to lose weight

A handful of former Biggest Loser contestants are alleging they were starved, fed diet pills and forced to lie about how much they were eating, according to an exclusive U.S. report. But the reality show’s producers say the contestants are spewing lies.

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    The latest accusations follow on the heels of a study that found former contestants regained the weight they lost after the strict diets they were on wreaked havoc on their metabolisms, making weight maintenance nearly impossible to keep up.

    Former contestants turned to the New York Post to shed light on the show’s “secret and brutal tactics,” according to the newspaper’s exclusive story.

    READ MORE: A new study explains why ‘Biggest Loser’ winners regain their dramatic weight loss

    They allege that the show had contestants taking Adderrall and “yellow jackets,” or pills with ephedra extract. Ephedra was once used as a weight loss aid, until it was banned by U.S. officials over a decade ago.

    “Bob Harper was my trainer…he goes away and his assistant comes in. He’s got this brown paper bag that’s bundled up. He says, ‘Take this drug, it’ll really help you.’ It was yellow and black. I was like ‘What the…is this?’” 2008 contestant Joelle Gwynn told the NY Post.

    She said she took the pill once and felt “jittery and hyper.”

    Dr. Rob Huizenga, the show’s resident doctor, denied the allegations.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth. Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight-loss drugs. Urine drug screens and the evaluation of serial weights are repeatedly used to flush out possible illicit use,” he wrote in an email to the newspaper.

    READ MORE: ‘I feel like a failure’: ‘Biggest Loser’ winner shares her story of gaining back the weight loss

    Other allegations include being forced to lie about how many calories the contestants were actually eating – they say that they were told to say they’d eaten 1,500 calories but they’d really take in about 800 or “as little as you can.”

    One contestant said her peers would pass out during medical examinations. Another said they’d take water pills, diuretics and they’d even throw up in the bathroom.

    “They would take their spin bikes into the steam room to work up a sweat. I vomited every single day,” a Season 2 contestant told the outlet.

    The show’s producers provided a statement to the Post:

    “The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and always has been, paramount…we prohibit the use of any illegal substances, in addition to the many other rules and procedures of the show that are designed to ensure safety,” the statement read.

    READ MORE: Fasting for weight loss? Here’s why scientists say it works long-term

    Earlier this month, a National Institutes of Health study offered the first glimpse at what happens over a years-long period to Biggest Loser contestants once the production wraps up and the trainers and nutritionists leave their side.

    It included 14 people from Season 8. Results suggested that their “resting metabolism” – how many calories you’re burning when at rest – was, in simplest forms, destroyed post-show.

    “These folks lost all this weight but despite all this exercise their metabolism slowed dramatically … many of them had regained a substantial amount of weight but their metabolism stayed so low,” the lead researcher, Dr. Kevin Hall, told Global News.

    Read the full New York Post piece.

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Nov 16

Fort McMurray wildfire: Nickelback, Corb Lund, Randy Bachman among Fire Aid concert acts

Another big name has been announced to this month’s Fire Aid concert in support of the people affected by last month’s devastating Fort McMurray wildfire.

City and Colour will be playing alongside 13 other Canadian artists at the concert on Wednesday, June 29 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

A little ol’ band from southern Alberta – you might have heard of them – is coming home to help. Nickelback is among the performers at the Fire Aid concert. Between 40,000 and 45,000 seats will be available.

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    “The wildfires have affected the entire country.  The devastation, images and stories of the lives shattered by this resonate with everyone; but, perhaps none more so than Albertans,” Nickelback’s Ryan Peake said.  “Alberta is home for us and we’ve never shied from that.

    “When tragedy strikes at home, you help.

    “It’s the least we could do and we are humbled to be a part of this event with so many talented artists.  So many people have answered the call for help already.  This is the least we can do and we hope that our efforts can assist those that need it most,” Peake said.

    Watch below: Nickelback is among the dozen or so performers at the Fire Aid Concert, to be held June 29 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. 

    The concert will also feature Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Dean Brody, The Rankin Family, Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Randy Bachman with The Sadies, Ian Tyson, Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies, Dear Rouge, and High Valley.

    Tickets will cost $35, $60 and $99 and will go on sale May 30 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

    Watch below: Organizers for the Fire Aid concert in support of Fort McMurray wildfire victims say Nickelback were the first ones to call and offer their services for a benefit concert.

    A program is being set up through Ticketmaster that will allow buyers to purchase extra tickets that will then be distributed to Fort McMurray residents.

    Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium seats just over 60,000 people.

    City of Edmonton

    The football stadium concert venue could accommodate between 40,000 and 45,000 people, an organizer said. None of the performers are being paid and the organizing group is working with donors and sponsors to handle travel and other expenses.

    All funds raised will go directly to the Fort McMurray United Way. The United Way will work with the various agencies on the ground in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to help the thousands of affected residents.

    “On behalf of my entire community, we’re truly overwhelmed by the support shown to us over the past three weeks,” Diane Shannon, executive director of the Fort McMurray United Way, said, her voice breaking.

    “Today particularly I’m so grateful and so moved to be here and to know that the proceeds of Fire Aid will have a profound impact on our ability to allocate the resources necessary to rebuild lives and provide hope to many.”

    The concert is being planned by members of Alberta’s Fire Aid Organizing Committee, a group of citizens who got together in a Calgary pub a few weeks ago to begin planning the event.

    Jeff Parry, a Calgary-based concert promoter and producer, was involved in the 2013 southern Alberta flood benefit concert and said Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium seemed like an obvious choice for Fire Aid.

    “The money is one thing, but bringing communities together… it’s like your barn’s burned down and everyone is going to go and help fix the barn. You just go do it and get ‘er done,” Parry said.

    WATCH: FireAid tickets go on sale May 30, tickets ‘reasonably priced’ to be ‘available to all.’

    LiveNation and several other agencies came on board, and the concert was quickly organized.

    “Obviously this province has had the hell kicked out of it, and Fort McMurray has really taken it in the teeth,” Parry added. “Oil was $50 yesterday, so things are looking up. I really think there’s an opportunity here for us to come together and really that’s the essence.”

    Co-chairing Fire Aid for Fort McMurray are three Edmonton-based community leaders: Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) CEO and Vice Chair Bob Nicholson, Edmonton Eskimos Football Club President and CEO Len Rhodes, and Northlands President and CEO Tim Reid. The mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Melissa Blake, is also a special Honorary Chair.

    TD Bank Group also joined the Fire Aid effort with a $500,000 donation.

    Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate northeastern Alberta earlier this month when a nearby wildfire took off, sweeping through the community and destroying over 2,400 structures.  A four-day phased voluntary re-entry will begin next week.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘We expect weeks, if not months, fighting this fire’

    WATCH: The biggest Fort McMurray benefit to date is set to take the stage at Commonwealth in June. All funds raised from ticket sales will support the Fort McMurray United Way. Executive Director Diane Shannon explains how much the support means.

Nov 16

Chris Kyle, ‘American Sniper,’ lied about his military records

Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American military history (famously played by Bradley Cooper in movie American Sniper), made a lot of claims about his time in the military.

While his most impressive feat goes undisputed — he’s credited with a monstrous 160 confirmed kills — many of Kyle’s other claims have been proven dubious, if not outright false.

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READ MORE: Ex-Marine guilty of murder in American Sniper trial faces life sentence

Kyle, who was killed by a former Marine suffering from PTSD in 2013, said that during his tenure in the military, he punched former governor Jesse Ventura in the face, killed dozens of looters during Hurricane Katrina from atop the Superdome and found chemical weapons in Iraq, among other tales. He recounts his experiences in the book American Sniper, which inspired the film.

Each of the stories is, at very least, impossible to prove, and are widely considered to be embellishments. (Ventura was awarded $1.8 million by an appeals court after he filed a defamation suit against Kyle, which is pretty damning.)

Now new information has come out suggesting that Kyle lied about his military records, specifically medals he was awarded. He claimed to have been awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for valour during his time as a Navy SEAL, but that, it turns out, is also false.

Internal Navy documents reveal that Kyle actually received one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars for valour.

READ MORE: Chris Kyle, slain Navy SEAL who wrote American Sniper, had another book in the works

According to The Intercept, Kyle was warned at least once before American Sniper was published that its description of his medal count was inaccurate, said one Navy officer to the publication (who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak about the case).

In addition, as his American Sniper manuscript was being distributed among SEALs, one of his former commanders advised Kyle that his multiple Silver Stars claim wasn’t correct, and he should fix it before his book was published. He did not.

The United States considers falsifying claims of military decorations a crime, and is outlined in the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.

To read the full exposé, head over to The Intercept.

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