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What to do if your yard was destroyed by the summer snowstorm – Calgary

CALGARY- A sudden summer snowstorm that downed trees and power lines has left some Calgary homeowners with major property damage.

Falling trees and branches damaged some cars and homes, and obliterated plants and shrubs. The city says there have been nearly five thousand calls made to 311 since midnight Tuesday, and about 900 of those were in regards to damaged tree limbs.

“Clean up what you can, what’s damaged,” suggests Cheryl Trotter from Palliser Insurance. “Remove all the broken stuff now, because it’s just going to be an open wound for next year.”

While there is limited insurance coverage available for outdoor trees and plants, it can be hard to prove snow damage.

“It all depends on your type of shrub, how healthy it is, how much snow can accumulate,” explains John Duncan from Greengate Garden Centre. “There can be a lot of variables in there.”

He suggests shaking snow off of trees and shrubs to reduce the weight, and cutting away broken tree limbs.

City landfills are accepting broken tree limbs, and do not charge a disposal fee.

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City still putting finishing touches on some school zones – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Some of the city’s new reduced-speed school zones don’t yet meet all the requirements laid down by provincial legislation. But police say they’ve only been issuing tickets to speeders in zones where all the t’s have been crossed and i’s dotted.

Officials said Tuesday they are still in the process of documenting the details of the new 30 km/hr school zones around 171 Winnipeg schools.

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“Provincial regulation requires that municipalities include dimensional information in their by-laws to document the installed location of each sign,” says city manager of transportation Luis Escobar in a statement.

Police say they will continue conducting enforcement in all school zones including those still waiting to be documented but it is “unlikely officers will issue a ticket in those zones at this time unless the speed is excessive,” police Det. Sgt. Natalie Aitken told Global News.

Police say the tickets handed out to school zone speeders so far this month were in zones that meet all the regulations.

“Since the start of September the WPS has issued tickets to drivers speeding in the school zone speed reduction areas,” Winnipeg Police say in a statement issued by their Public Information Office Tuesday. “however those tickets that were issued were not in areas where the City of Winnipeg is still in the process of finalizing the documentation of locations for inclusion in the City by-law.”

Officials say all the school zone and speed limit signs are placed correctly, contradicting a report earlier Tuesday.

Halifax councillors vote to save historic Khyber building for now – Halifax

HALIFAX – The historic Khyber building on Barrington Street in Halifax has been saved for now.

City council voted Tuesday to remove the 126-year-old building from a list of surplus properties the municipality would consider selling.

Downtown councillor Waye Mason put forward the motion, which also directed staff to give a detailed report on the building’s condition and look into why a 2010 plan to make the Khyber an arts incubator never materialized.

“Even if everything goes our way and if everybody agrees that the arts centre is worth investing the money in and council votes to spend a couple million bucks, we’re still looking at a long time frame to get it done,” Mason said.

“But I think it’s worth doing and doing properly.”

Dozens of supporters wearing white T-shirts with the slogan ‘Khyber Forever’ gathered ahead of the council meeting and marched towards City Hall bearing a petition with more than 2,300 signatures.

Supporters wearing ‘Khyber Forever’ T-shirts marched towards City Hall ahead of Tuesday’s council meeting.

Rebecca Lau/ Global News

The event was organized by Friends of the Khyber, a group that includes artists and musicians who have a connection to the building.

“It’s a place I’ve been an art exhibitor, I’ve seen my favourite bands, I’ve played in my own band,” said Emily Davidson. “It’s a place I feel has a lot to give this city and I’m hoping to see Halifax give back to the artists’ community.”

Rebecca Lau/ Global News

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The Khyber used to be a bustling arts and music venue, but its condition has deteriorated over the years and asbestos was found in the plaster. The city estimated renovating the building would cost more than $4.1 million and its operating cost was a further $33,000 per year.

But advocates say preserving the building would have both cultural and historical significance.

“I think the city can show by the way it treats that building, how heritage buildings should be treated,” said Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia president, Linda Forbes.

Musician Joel Plaskett, who famously sang about the Khyber, was also at the council meeting.

“I think what the Khyber represents is sort of bigger than the building itself but the building itself is also incredible and it’s done a lot for the community so we want to keep that happening,” he said.

While he was encouraged by the councillors’ decision, he stopped short of calling it a victory.

“I think it’s promising but it isn’t a victory until the doors are open on that place again and we can get back in there.”

Frost advisory back in Sask., killing frost possible into Thursday – Saskatoon

SASKATOON – Frost advisories have been issued for the second day in a row for parts of central Saskatchewan including Prince Albert, Lloydminster and North Battleford.

A ridge of high pressure building on the backside of a cold front that slid through Monday night will clear skies and bring in a cold airmass, resulting in temperatures falling below the freezing mark Tuesday night.

The cold front also stirred up snow across parts of southwestern Saskatchewan into Tuesday morning, causing some to wake up to a winter wonderland with two weeks left before the first day of summer.

Temperatures on Tuesday morning fell well below the freezing mark in some areas.

Weather advisories for frost are issued by Environment Canada when temperatures are expected to reach the freezing mark during the growing season, leading to damaged crops.

Frost may damage crops in frost-prone areas, so be sure to cover up plants in vulnerable areas.

Temperatures in Saskatoon are expected to drop to the freezing mark Tuesday night. Although there is no frost advisory for the city, it would be advisable for residents to cover up any outdoor plants that may be susceptible to frost damage.

Wednesday night though Thursday morning should see another round of frost advisories.

These advisories will likely include Saskatoon and areas further south as temperatures across much of central Saskatchewan are expected, in some cases, to drop well below the freezing mark, which could raise the risk for a killing frost as an arctic high pressure centres itself over the Prairies by Thursday morning.

Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Frost advisory ISSUED for:

City of LloydminsterPrince Albert – Shellbrook – Spiritwood – Duck LakeThe Battlefords – Unity – Maidstone – St. WalburgMelfort – Tisdale – Nipawin – Carrot RiverHumboldt – Wynyard – Wadena – Lanigan – Foam LakeMeadow Lake – Big River – Green Lake – PiercelandYorkton – Melville – EsterhazyHudson Bay – Porcupine PlainKamsack – Canora – Preeceville
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Oliver Jones mural unveiled in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood – Montreal

MONTREAL — Jazzman Oliver Jones was honoured with some unique street art near his childhood home in Little Burgundy on Tuesday.

Jazzman Oliver Jones was honoured with some unique street art near his childhood home in Little Burgundy on September 9, 2014.

Sylvain Trudeau/Global News

He was celebrating his 80th birthday two days early with the unveiling of a mural, a tribute to his long music career.

Jazzman Oliver Jones was honoured with some unique street art near his childhood home in Little Burgundy on September 9, 2014.

Sylvain Trudeau/Global News

The piece is produced by the charitable organization MU, whose mission is to beautify Montreal by creating murals anchored in local communities.

Jazzman Oliver Jones was honoured with some unique street art near his childhood home in Little Burgundy on September 9, 2014.

Sylvain Trudeau/Global News

The mural is at the intersection of Lionel-Groulx and Georges-Vanier in the heart of Montreal’s historical jazz sector.

Jazzman Oliver Jones was honoured with some unique street art near his childhood home in Little Burgundy on September 9, 2014.

Sylvain Trudeau/Global News

The new piece of street art is the eighth in an ambitious series of murals by MU celebrating Montreal’s cultural icons.

Jazzman Oliver Jones was honoured with some unique street art near his childhood home in Little Burgundy on September 9, 2014.

Sylvain Trudeau/Global News

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Teen says bus driver questioned her student fare due to teacher strike

VANCOUVER – A 16-year-old student from Cloverdale says she is angry at Translink after a bus driver tried to tell her she couldn’t get the student price due to the current education dispute between the BCTF and the provincial government.

Sydney Walsh boarded the #341 bus in Cloverdale on Monday on her way to her part-time job in Langley. She paid her $1.75, which is the concession fare, and then she said the bus driver asked to see her Go card.

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She tweeted to Translink after the incident saying the bus driver was not going to let her on for the student fare because of the strike.

A Go card is a pass that is issued to every high school student in Metro Vancouver, free of charge, and it allows them to ride the SkyTrain, buses, Sea Bus or West Coast Express for a reduced price. However, students must have their cards on them at all times.

Students are eligible if they are aged 14 to 19 years old (inclusive), in Grade 8 to 12 (inclusive) or enrolled in Grade 8 at the start of the school year. However, due to the strike this year, students entering Grade 8 will not get their Go card until school resumes.

Sydney did have her card on her and did not pay any more to ride the bus.

“Monday was just kind of the final thing,” she said. “We just had so much stuff happening lately with the buses sucking.” She added that last week her friend had a similar experience with a bus driver, who told her she couldn’t get a student fare during the strike.

Sydney said the bus driver was not rude to her but wanted to check if her Go card was still valid during the strike, although this year’s cards do not expire until Oct. 31.

“He said ‘I’m going to need more money,’” Sydney told Global News. “I said ‘I have my student card’ and he said ‘we’ll talk about it after.’” She added that is when he told her the Go cards may no longer be valid for all students.

Sydney did not issue a formal complaint to Translink about the matter but she did tweet to them, complaining about her experience.

Translink issued a statement saying:

Although the passenger has not yet lodged any formal complaint, we can confirm that all Go Cards are valid in summer months up to their expiry at the end of Oct.  This is business as usual. Any student presenting a valid Go Card should be permitted on the bus at a concession fare.  Without all the supporting details such as date, time, route direction etc. this is difficult for us to launch any type of investigation. We encourage all customers to report complaints or commendations to our Customer Relations team p. 604-953-3333.

Study renews calls for better home support wages – New Brunswick

MONCTON, N.B.  – A new Statistics Canada study illustrates the importance of improving working conditions for home care workers, says the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights.

The study looked at Canadians with unmet long-term home care needs in 2012 and showed that nearly 800,000 people weren’t satisfied with their home care service.

They said their needs were only partly met or not met at all.

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Cecile Cassista, the executive director for the Coalition, says part of the problem has to do with poor working conditions for home care workers.

She says New Brunswick needs a public funding program through the regional health authority.

“That’s what needs to happen in this province so that workers are paid better working conditions,” she said. “Better wages and benefits so that they can care for our seniors for those who need the care.”

Sandra Biseau is a personal care aid at Integrity Home Health Services and earns about $11. 50/hour. She says the wage isn’t high enough to keep people in the industry.

“To make sure we can provide the services they need, we need to have enough staff and it comes down to not enough staff available,” she said. “Why isn’t there enough staff? Not enough money in this industry.”

She says better wages would bring more satisfied clients.

“If you have services five days a week and everyday you have somebody new coming in you’re going to get very discouraged at the end of week,” she said.

Plea deal still on the table for Brad Cooper – Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: A plea deal may be in the works for Brad Cooper, according to North Carolina media. Laurel Gregory has the details.

EDMONTON – The man convicted of killing his Edmonton-born wife in 2008 is reportedly considering a plea deal as he awaits a retrial, according to North Carolina media.

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Brad Cooper was originally convicted in 2011 of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Nancy in Raleigh, North Carolina.

READ MORE: Brad Cooper found guilty of first-degree murder 

During the trial, prosecutors said Brad killed Nancy because he was upset that she was planning to divorce him and take their two daughters to Canada.

Cooper claimed his wife went for a jog on July 12, 2008 and never came back.

The 40-year-old is serving a life sentence in prison.

However, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in January 2014 to allow a retrial.

READ MORE: Court clears way for Brad Cooper retrial 

In September 2013, the appeals court ruled the trial judge who oversaw Cooper’s 2011 conviction erred by not allowing two defense witnesses to testify about computer evidence that may have affected the jury’s verdict.

The Assistant District Attorney for Wake County, Howard Cummings, told Global News on Tuesday that an offer was made to Cooper to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the last trial.

Six weeks ago, as Wake County reviewed its homicide cases, Cummings explained the offer to Cooper still stands.

A guilty plea to second-degree murder could result in about 13 to 15 years in prison instead of life without parole.

Cummings could not say if the defense is considering the deal and added the two sides “haven’t agreed on anything” in terms of a plea deal.

Cooper is scheduled to appear in court next on September 22.

Alberta’s premier-designate meets with big city mayors

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta’s premier-designate met with both Edmonton and Calgary mayors today, hoping to start dialogue on big city issues. Kendra Slugoski reports.

EDMONTON – Premier-Designate Jim Prentice is meeting with the mayors of both Edmonton and Calgary on Tuesday.

Prentice met with Don Iveson early Tuesday afternoon at City Hall for what Edmonton’s mayor called a productive meeting.

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Iveson and Prentice discussed a number of issues, including better financial support for crime prevention and affordable housing. Both say the lunch hour meeting hosted a very good discussion.

“We had a really exceptional meeting,” said Prentice.

“I think the theme was partnership, overall,” said Iveson.

“We talked about everything from how do we enable kids in this city – whether they’re children of refugees or whether they’re First Nations kids, or whether they’re children experiencing intergenerational poverty – how do we give those kids a chance to be successful, to be productive in this labour market that we need in the future, to draw less on health care costs, to require less of our policing service, how a real partnership between the cities and the province can help advance those kinds of objectives.”

LRT and transportation issues were also discussed.

“I was struck by the number of things that we strongly agree upon,” said Prentice.

“You’ll certainly see a new spirit of partnership from the get-go,” he added. “You’ll see a pathway forward in terms of a road map that we’re going to work on.”

The premier-designate emphasized that he has lived in Edmonton during two periods of his life, and will have a residence in the capital city as he’s serving as premier.

Prentice will head to Calgary to meet with Mayor Naheed Nenshi later Tuesday afternoon.

Just days before the Alberta PC leadership vote, both mayors came out with strong words for the candidates, calling on the province’s next leaders to set a clear policy when it comes to dealing with big city issues.

READ MORE: PC leadership hopefuls react to criticism from Edmonton, Calgary mayors 

“It’s kind of like when a parent realizes that their son or daughter has grown up and is also an adult and that they can have a grown up conversation with them. It still sort of feels like the provincial government looks at us like we’re their children,” Iveson said September 3.

“It’s time the provincial government come to the table and have a grown up conversation about some of these challenges that stand in the way of Edmonton’s long-term success.”

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Iveson was asked how he would describe the conversation.

“I think we had a very good conversation,” said Edmonton’s mayor.

“I would say the level of debate has gone up.”

“We had the first round of a very grown up conversation and I’m optimistic about where we’re going to take it from here.”

Prior to Saturday’s vote, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi was also critical, blasting all three leadership candidates for what he called their lack of vision.

“While they commit to working with municipalities to move forward, they are incredibly light on actual policy recommendations. And I must say I’m surprised by this,” Nenshi said Wednesday.

Until Tuesday, Iveson had yet to sit down with Prentice to discuss issues such as funding for infrastructure, big city policing and poverty elimination.

Nenshi said he had met with all three candidates in July.

“I’m delighted to sit down with Mayor Iveson and Mayor Nenshi,” said Prentice on September 4. “They need a new partnership with the provincial government. I’ve been very clear in essentially every speech I’ve given that they need exactly that. These are two vibrant, confident, great cities — the envy of North America — and they need a partnership with the provincial government.”

Following Prentice’s win Saturday evening, both Iveson and Nenshi sent out congratulatory messages on 桑拿会所.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Iveson said he and Prentice would be meeting again shortly.

Premier-designate Prentice will be on the Global Edmonton Morning News on Wednesday at 7 a.m.

Toronto’s 10 most dangerous schools for pedestrians – Toronto

Class is back in session. But not all walks to school are created equal.

The city’s most dangerous schools when it comes to pedestrian-motorist collisions are all near busy intersections with multiple lanes of commuter traffic, according to Global News analysis of collision statistics obtained through freedom of information. The statistics show all vehicle collisions from January, 2000 through November, 2013. We calculated exactly how many people have been hit by a vehicle within 100 metres of every Toronto elementary school.

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Valley Park Middle School, near Don Mills Road and Overlea Boulevard, ranks worst, with 28 pedestrian-vehicle collisions. That’s an average of more than two accidents per year.

(Although a middle school, Valley Park showed up in our data because it has Grade 6 pupils.)

Tied for second place in terms of pedestrian safety are Downtown Alternative Public School, on Lower Jarvis Street south of Front Street West and St. Aidan Separate School, on Finch Avenue East east of Warden Avenue. The areas around these schools had 26 pedestrian collisions each between 2000 and 2013.

All three schools are near, or face, busy traffic arteries.

“At the end of the day what we are really talking about here is a volume problem,” said Jennifer Keesmaat, chief planner for the city of Toronto. “We need to ensure that we are designing our schools not for cars, but for pedestrians and making it safe for pedestrians.”

And while the onus is on drivers to look out for pedestrians, police say, it’s important pedestrians to stay alert, too.

“I would say crossing becomes a shared responsibility,” said Toronto Police Const. Hugh Smith.

Schools with pedestrian collisions nearby »

Schools with pedestrian collisions nearby

Top ten elementary schools for nearby pedestrian injuries, 2000-13:
1. Valley Park Middle School: 28 collisions
2. Downtown Alternative Public School: 26 collisions
3. St. Aidan Separate School: 26 collisions
4. Eglinton Junior Public School: 24 collisions
5. St. Monica Separate School: 20 collisions
6. Ryerson Community School: 20 collisions
7. Pope Paul Separate School: 19 collisions
8. St. Helen Separate School: 18 collisions
9. Morse Street Public School: 18 collisions
10. Galloway Road Public School: 18 collisions

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