Winnipeg Jets playoff party will close off Donald Street during home games

Winnipeg Jets playoff party will close off Donald Street during home games Organizers of the first-ever Winnipeg Whiteout Street Party are hoping the event to more than sizzle. They’d like it to Fo’ Shizzle Dizzle. The plan is to hold the parties before every Jets home playoff game on Donald Street, between Portage and Graham Avenues, that will feature entertainment, two giant screens to watch the game, alcohol sales and food trucks. The festivities will begin two hours before puck drop and continue until 30 minutes after the game ends,…

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Meerkat mixer at zoo seeks to find new mate or company for eligible bachelorette

Meerkat mixer at zoo seeks to find new mate or company for eligible bachelorette A new gang of four eligible meerkat suitors has arrived at Assiniboine Park Zoo, setting the scene for what can only be described as “meerkat bachelorette.” The lone female of the zoo’s pack, Francine,13 , lost her mate earlier this year. Zoo officials wanted her to have some company and possibly find another mate. So four males, 4-year-old brothers named Eduardo, Bentley, Aranos and Andulo, were brought in from Calgary. “These guys are really, really active,”…

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Just beet it: Winnipeg to expand use of alternative anti-ice product

Just beet it: Winnipeg to expand use of alternative anti-ice product Winnipeg is moving ahead with initiatives that incorporate natural, local material to deal with winter conditions on its streets and sidewalks. The public works department is expanding its use of “beet juice” and introducing granite stone chips for use on both streets and sidewalks. Cheryl Anderson, acting manager of street maintenance, said the City of Winnipeg has been using the beet juice mixture – desugared beet molasses mixed with road salt – exclusively in the east, and plans to…

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Province seeks face-to-face meeting with Hydro, Métis federation

Province seeks face-to-face meeting with Hydro, Métis federation Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen has summoned the leaders of the Manitoba Metis Federation and Manitoba Hydro to his office for an April 20 meeting — their first since friction between the government and the two organizations ignited last month in mass resignations and threats of legal action. However, Cullen wouldn’t say anything Friday about what the meeting will discuss. MMF president Dave Chartrand said in an interview Friday he’s agreed to attend the gathering, but doesn’t know what’s on the agenda.…

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The convictions of her courage

The convictions of her courage News flies by so quickly in the digital era. It flashes past in an instant, alighting on an issue with the same impermanent jitter of a bird paused on a wire; then it is off again, speeding on to the next sociopolitical fire. This week, it paused — not long enough — on the remarkable courage of Rochelle Squires. On Tuesday, Squires, the MLA for Riel, rose to speak in the legislative assembly. As the provincial minister for the status of women, she stood to…

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Verdict in mail bomber case expected in May

Verdict in mail bomber case expected in May A long-awaited verdict in the case of an accused mail bomber is expected to be announced next month. Provincial court Judge Tracey Lord is set to deliver her decision May 17 on whether a Winnipeg autobody mechanic is guilty of building and mailing bombs targeting his ex-wife and local lawyers. Guido Amsel, 51, pleaded not guilty to 19 criminal charges including five counts of attempted murder stemming from four bombs he’s accused of building during a lengthy civil court dispute with his…

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Landscaper acquitted of planning arson that destroyed his home business

Landscaper acquitted of planning arson that destroyed his home business A local business owner has been found not guilty of plotting a fire that destroyed his home nearly three years ago. Todd Vandal, 43, was acquitted Friday of conspiring to commit arson at his Old St. Vital home in August 2015. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Saull said there was not enough evidence before the court to criminally convict Vandal. Much of the Crown’s case relied on testimony from a convicted arsonist who admitted setting fire to and causing…

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Manitoba Bear Rehabilitation Centre takes in first orphaned cubs

Manitoba Bear Rehabilitation Centre takes in first orphaned cubs The Manitoba Bear Rehabilitation Centre near Stonewall has welcomed its first orphaned cubs. Julie Woodyear, a spokesperson for the centre and campaigns director with Zoocheck Canada, said they got a call last weekend that a mother bear had been found dead in southwest Manitoba and that two black bear cubs, one male and one female, each two-months-old, had been rescued. “We quickly got a hold of the folks at conservation (Manitoba Sustainable Development), had a discussion with them and they were…

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Al's well that ends well

Al's well that ends well In June 2016, I was researching children’s entertainer Al Simmons for an article about Winnipeg’s rich, musical heritage. In that story, I cited Simmons’ rendition of I.M.4.U., a novelty song originally recorded in 1955, as one of my 10 favourite local tunes, all-time. One-of-a-kind local entertainer Simmons is celebrating his upcoming 70th birthday by going back to the starting line after fire destroys his musical mad-scientist lab of lunacy. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press) Noticing Simmons had a milestone birthday on the horizon, I made…

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Here's where Manitoba's 780 new child care spaces will go

Here's where Manitoba's 780 new child care spaces will go The Manitoba government has revealed where 780 new licensed early learning and child care spaces will be located. Families Minister Scott Fielding announced Friday the spaces will be created at schools and in communities across the province. Funding for additional child care spaces was first announced in February and re-announced in the March budget. Ten projects — which will create 424 new spaces — are being developed in schools or on school property. Another 10 — creating another 356 spaces — will be developed at existing community sites.…

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