Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Canada report: Ice storm power outages drag on

A massive ice storm has left about 56,500 homes and businesses in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick still without power after a week.

Hardest hit was Toronto, where hydro crews had reduced the number of properties without electricity in below-freezing temperatures to 32,000 on Friday, down from a peak of more than 300,000 a week ago.

At the start of the weekend, there were still about 40,000 customers in Ontario without power, 14,000 in New Brunswick and 2,500 in Quebec.

The storm coated trees and power lines with a thick layer of heavy ice, bringing them down and cutting off power.

The massive around-the-clock effort to clear trees and limbs to replace power lines and restore electricity has had utility companies in the three provinces receiving help from outside, including New York state and Michigan.

Toronto Hydro focused on restoring power to the most people in the shortest amount of time, including two hospitals, and is just now getting to clearing debris and reconnecting individual homes, said chief executive officer Anthony Haines.

Mayor Rob Ford, who has held daily news conferences since Dec. 22 and has visited "warming shelters," said the city is "doing the best we can" at getting all the power restored.

Authorities warned against the use of generators and barbecues inside to keep warm as there have been reports of five people killed in Ontario and Quebec from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sorry about that trip to sunny Florida

Deputy Toronto Mayor Norm Kelly has apologized over complaints he left the city in the midst of the ice-storm crisis to spend Christmas in Florida with his relatives.

"I apologize sincerely … it's a lesson learned, I won't forget," he said after it was reported that he went to Florida for 28 hours starting on Christmas Eve.

During the time away, Kelly said he stayed in touch with emergency department heads in Toronto to monitor the situation.

Kelly was given many of the mayor's powers and staff after Ford admitted smoking crack cocaine and refused to resign.

News in brief

• Tom Crist of Calgary is donating all of his $40 million cash, tax-free lottery jackpot to charities, notably the Canadian Cancer Society, in memory of his wife who died from the disease. Crist was playing golf in Palm Springs, Calif., last May when he learned he had won. "I've kept it a secret, even my kids didn't know until today." The retired chief executive of EECOL Electric said he "did very well for myself" and that he and his family "don't really need that money."

• Canada's red-hot real estate market is expected to cool slightly by mid 2014 but demand is expected to remain relatively strong nationally. The market will level out but not bottom out, said Scotiabank chief economist Warren Jestin. The Canadian Real Estate Association said the national average price for a house should be near $391,000 next year, up from $382,000 in 2013.

Facts and figures

The Canadian dollar continues lower at 93.33 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar is valued at $1.0713 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's trendsetting interest rate is steady at 1 percent, while the prime-lending rate remains at 3 percent.

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 13,592 points and the TSX Venture index 916 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Dec. 25) 4, 18, 23, 32, 34 and 47; bonus 44. (Dec. 21) 1, 2, 10, 19, 22 and 44; bonus 41. Lotto Max: (Dec. 20) 2, 13, 18, 24, 27, 37 and 43; bonus 14.

Regional briefs

• About 4,500 Ontario health care workers who have been on strike since Dec. 11 returned to work on Friday. The salary dispute involves unionized nurses, therapists and personal support workers with the Red Cross who visit the sick and elderly in their homes. They agreed to have the issues settled by an arbitrator.

• An opal-like gem valued at $500,000 was stolen in Vancouver's Gastown district. The 11-inch piece of ammolite was taken by someone who smashed a front window at Rocks and Gems Canada. The gem, which is Alberta's official stone, is formed from fossilized shells of extinct mollusks, or ammonites, and contains the same minerals that make pearls.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 7 hours ago

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Updated: 7 hours ago

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Updated: 8 hours ago
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Published: 02/24/18