Archive for July 2019

UPDATED: 1 dead, 4 injured in Simcoe County crash

ESSA TOWNSHIP, ONT. —; One woman is dead and four people are injured after two vehicles collided in what police are calling a “serious” crash in Essa Township.

Const. Sara Birrell from OPP Nottawasaga said it’s believed one car ran a stop sign while travelling south on 9th Line. A second car with six passengers was travelling east on 8th Sideroad.

The cars collided on 9th Line, just south of 10th Sideroad shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday. When paramedics arrived, two people were trapped in a vehicle.

Ornge air ambulance had been called in to take one of the drivers —; who was in critical condition —; to hospital, but was called off before it arrived.

Essa Fire Department confirmed shortly after 5:30 p.m. that the female driver from the first car was pronounced dead on scene.

Const. Birrell said one person from the second car suffered serious injuries while three others suffered minor injuries.

Ontario Provincial Police are advising drivers to avoid the area as parts of 5th Sideroad and 9th Line are closed for the investigation.

Essa Township is part of Simcoe County, located northwest of Barrie.

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Pez Candy forced to cancel Easter egg hunt due to unruly parents

What’s supposed to be a cherished Easter tradition turned into a mess after pushy parents caused a scene at egg hunts over the weekend.

Saturday’s event at the visitor centre of candy company Pez in Orange, Connecticut, drew hundreds of people, some of whom ignored the rules.

“Everyone just rushed the field and took everything,” Pez General Manager Shawn Peterson told WFSB-TV.

Event organizers placed more than 9,000 eggs on three fields with the intention of having staggered start times for each age group. But Pez officials say parents didn’t wait.

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Peterson said the crowd was “kind of like locusts.”

Pez in a statement apologized for “an unfortunate situation,” adding that the actions of a few turned the event into “a mess.”

“We sincerely tried our best to create a fun, free activity for everyone to enjoy,” the statement said.

People who attended the hunt took to Facebook to comment, calling it “a joke” and blaming “greedy parents” for ruining the hunt. The event ended early. No injuries were reported.

READ MORE: How people are celebrating Easter around the world

In Proctor, Vermont, police were called to an overbooked Easter egg hunt Saturday at Wilson Castle after someone reported “multiple irate parents.” Organizers say more than 1,200 people turned out for the event.

Michael Cuthbertson, 34, of Newbury, Vermont, turned his anger toward police, allegedly threatening them before fleeing. A foot chase ensued, and police used pepper spray to subdue him. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Cuthbertson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Organizers get ready to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility

CALGARY – Preparations are underway for an event celebrating Calgary’s transgender community and its supporters.

International Transgender Day of Visibility takes place on March 31 and is the first large-scale celebration of trans people in the city, other than the pride parade.

The annual holiday is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

The holiday was founded in 2009 because of a lack of LGBTQ holidays.

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Calgary Pride and the Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA) are hosting a free event at the Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby of Arts Common.

Organizers said it was important to have a day of celebration for the trans community and its achievements.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress over the past year, which has been wonderful, certainly with Bill 7 passing – which was an amendment to the Alberta Human Rights Act – which included gender identity and expression,” said Amelia Marie Newbert, director of Community Development for Calgary Pride. “However the stigma and discrimination that exists in society towards trans people is still very prevalent.”

“There certainly is substantially more diversity in the community and that’s what we’re trying to highlight in the event,” Newbert said.

Statistics show that 83 per cent of trans individuals have or continue to avoid spaces due to the fear and threat of discrimination, violence and harassment.

The ‘Trans Pulse‘ project statistics also show that 77 per cent of trans people have seriously considered suicide, with over 40 per cent having attempted it.

Saint John restaurant owner opens market aimed at Syrian refugees

Many Syrian refugees living in the Maritimes are finding it difficult to access food deemed acceptable under Islamic law. A Saint John restaurateur is trying to tackle that problem with an initiative that helps his community and may, in turn, boost his business.

It’s a pop-up market at the Taste of Egypt restaurant designed to serve the newly landed Syrian refugees who now call Saint John home.

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    This market, which opens Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., specializes in Halal items. The word Halal means permissible in Arabic. Halal food has been found fit to serve, sell and eat by Islamic law.

    “No alcohol, no liquor in any products,” Taste of Egypt owner Ehab Radwan explained. “For the meat it’s the way you slaughter the animal to be Halal…It’s the same idea of Kosher for Jewish.”

    This is only the second Sunday Radwan has opened the market and on March 27 there was a steady stream of people through the door.

    Radwan came to Saint John from Alexandria Egypt six years ago. He can relate to the situation many Syrians are facing in Saint John, trying to adapt to a new culture.

    “I felt I have to do something for them so I’m trying to help them settle down here as much as I can.”

    The service he is now providing certainly seems to be appreciated by his customers.

    Michelle Mullett is a welcome team member to Rosem Abzid and says it’s important to give the Syrian refugees a sense of home.

    “This allows them to eat the food that they’re familiar with,” Mullett said.

    “They’ve had so much change and it’s difficult when the meal doesn’t feel like home.”

    Saint John is now home to about 400 Syrian refugees – that’s several dozen families.

    Some locals were also checking things out, which impressed Rosem.

    “I said to her, ‘In Canada we’re open to trying different cultures’ menus and this enables us to do it,’ but it also gives her the feeling of home,” Mullet added.

    Right now Radwan is bringing in products not readily available here with plans to up his inventory if necessary.

    “We keep adding more and yeah we’re able to bring in as much as I can.”

Lethbridge fitness community comes together to support Food Bank

LETHBRIDGE – The Lethbridge fitness community took part in a Burpee Challenge this weekend, all in the name of charity.

FitBody Bootcamp, Kinetic Indoor Cycle & Fitness, and CrossFit FrameWork hit the turf at the Civic Centre to make good on their promise to perform as many burpees as donations made by their clients to the Lethbridge Food Bank.

All food and cash donations made at all three locations were calculated, and totaled over $4000, and 1500 nonperishable food items.

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For every $20 donated to the cause, instructors were required to do 40 burpees. For every nonperishable food item donated from March 1 to March 26, they were required to do one burpee. The three groups completed over 8000 burpees.

Over the past year, all three fitness studios have donated to the Food Bank but this is the first time they have joined forces to help the community.

During these difficult economic times, donations are becoming more and more demanding in the area.

“We have increased about 100 families each month,” said Debbie Woelders, Executive Director of the Lethbridge Food Bank. “Unfortunately with the economy we have seen a lot more families who are in dire need for help.”

Many of the fitness studio clientele saw this event not only as a way to give back to the community, but a way to get back at their trainers for their hard workouts.

“We obviously make our members do a lot of burpees,” said Jarred Koktas, Director of Health and Fitness at FitBody Bootcamp. “They wanted to get back at us, and I can say they successfully did that.”

The group hopes that this will become an annual event and wants to encourage all fitness facilities in Lethbridge to take on the challenge for a worthy cause.