As the on-site investigation into a house explosion in Mississauga comes to a close, residents are being allowed to return to the site and investigators are shifting their focus to mysterious letters found at the scene in an attempt to determine the cause of the blast.
About 700 homes were evacuated after a house located at 4201 Hickory Dr. was levelled by an explosion around 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, leaving as many as 25 neighbouring residences damaged and nine people injured.
Two bodies were recovered from the rubble, 55-year-old Dianne Page on Tuesday and 55-year-old Robert Nadler on Thursday. Police said Thursday that although the explosion is considered a criminal investigation, the homicide bureau is not yet involved.
READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion: Investigators identify second body pulled from rubble
Paul Camilleri, Page’s nephew, told Global News Saturday that Nadler had served 10 years in prison in connection with the killing of a friend after a dispute over money in 1982.
“We had a happy family until this all happened,” Camilleri said.
“We can’t get back our aunt, none of us personally said our goodbyes … I’m basically going to live my entire life in regret that this happened.”
WATCH: Nephew of house explosion victim says aunt was ‘wonderful person,’ deeply religious
Peel Regional Police Sgt. Josh Colley said Monday that police and the Ontario Fire Marshal had concluded their on-site portion of the investigation, which now shifts towards the letters found at the scene.
“They’ll be working extremely hard to analyze letters that were found, some of the documentation that was found … and it will continue behind the scenes,” he said.
“They’re still working on the cause of the explosion and that will take some time and we want to make sure that we analyze all the evidence and are certain with the cause.”
READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion: Investigators identify body of woman found in rubble
Colley said expert analysis of the evidence is required, which could take weeks, so he could not provide a time frame on the investigation.
“I spoke earlier about handwriting analysis, the biggest portion is making sure the letters are associated to the right addresses,” he said.
“Because there have been numerous houses that were destroyed, we just have to make sure that what we have recovered thus far we can put back to the specific addresses.”
WATCH: Police still working to determine cause of Mississauga house explosion
Colley said the cause of the explosion is the main focus of the investigation and that autopsies on both bodies had been completed, but the cause of death was not released.
“Unfortunately that’s part of the investigation and that’s why they’re analyzing every piece of evidence,” he said.
“They want to be certain when a determination is made whether deliberate, accidental so that’s what’s taking so much time with this investigation.”
READ MORE: Mysterious notes found at Mississauga house explosion scene may lead to cause: police
Colley said he could not confirm Nadler’s criminal background because it is something police will be focusing on as part of their investigation.
“When we’re able to provide more information and we’ve figured out a cause and moved forward from there, we’ll be able to provide a lot more information to the media and to the public just to give them a sense of why and how this happened,” he said.
Colley said Wednesday that notes found at the scene of the explosion could provide insight into the cause of the blast.
WATCH: Investigators looking at mysterious notes found in rubble of Mississauga home explosion
Global News obtained one of the notes found at the scene and turned it over to police Wednesday.
The notes appear to be written by a woman who complains of an inability to maintain her house due to persistent health issues.
“I am sorry the house is a mess. I stopped vacumming [sic] when the power went off in the upstairs bathrooms. I stopped ironing a few month ago; When I could not stand up for long periods of time. I stopped dusting when I had to deal with my vertigo (the last year it began and now I have it often),” the note stated.
“I just stopped caring as much because of my pain … I trust God to look after me and my husband to take us home. I sleep away my days cause I am in pain. Vertigo is the worst.”
The notes also make several references to the Bible and the woman’s husband, who was also categorized as having health issues.
“Dear God, You know that my health and my husband’s health are in poor condition. We ask that you help us, we have trusted you with all of our lives and possessions because everything belongs to you; including us,” it reads.
“We have put all of our faith and trust in you. Only you can save us from man and his laws … Why are we still here God?”
WATCH: 700 addresses initially impacted by evacuation in Mississauga: fire chief
Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett said Monday families in 69 residences remain under an evacuation order, but residents will continue to be allowed back to their homes this week.
“Over the period of the next couple of days we will start releasing that site, whether it be all at once or within sections, back to the residents, back to the insurance companies and in a very co-ordinated effort to ensure that the residents’ safety and the safety of any public coming into the area is addressed,” he said.
“On Tuesday, the night of the explosion, we had some 700 addresses that were impacted by the evacuation zone. Over time we have now been able to bring people back into the area and we’re now currently at 69 addresses that are unable to return to their homes.”
READ MORE: Explosion destroys home in Mississauga; at least 1 person dead, up to 25 houses damaged
Beckett added that of the 69 addresses, 32 units were in an apartment building located at 1360 Rathburn Road East in addition to 37 other homes.
He also said that some residents will be allowed into their homes on a 15-minute supervised visit to get their “personal needs,” before the homes are turned over to insurance companies and engineers are brought in to assess structural damage and whether they are safe to be occupied.
“Walking down the street was a little surreal just seeing where houses were and where it no longer is,” said neighbour Anna Wolanin.
“We eventually walked up the steps and they deemed that we could not go in to retrieve things. There’s a lot of glass everywhere, the ceiling is hanging.”
WATCH: Residents returning to site of Mississauga house explosion
Marco Mastrorilli said his grandparents live a few houses down from the blast, while his uncle lives across the street.
“It’s just devastating to see what happened. Never expected anything like this in my life,” he said. “I’ve been visiting them … for 17 years and never, never in my life expected this.”
Sandra Marasovic said emergency crews allowed her back into her house to retrieve some of her belongings and she’s grateful for the help they have provided.
WATCH: Displaced residents speak out after Mississauga house explosion
“That was the best phone call I’ve ever had in my life when they said, ‘You can go to your house for 10 minutes,’” she said.
“I was so ecstatic just to be in there for 10 minutes and see everything’s fine —; yeah there’s broken stuff but you know, it’s your life, your life is in there.”
Excitement was building Monday as NASA — as well as both professional and amateur astronomers — anxiously awaited the arrival of Juno, the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo came to an end in 2003.
Overall, Juno’s mission is to better understand the evolution of Jupiter, a planet so large that more than 1,300 Earths could fit inside it. Jupiter, and its collection of more than 60 moons, has presented planetary scientists and astronomers with many mysteries yet to be uncovered.
WATCH LIVE: Juno mission to Jupiter
READ MORE: WATCH: Hubble captures brilliant aurora on Jupiter as Juno spacecraft nears
Scientists hope to explore Jupiter’s atmosphere in an effort to ascertain how much water it contains. This, in turn, will help planetary scientists to determine if theories on planet formation are correct.
Juno’s journey to Jupiter
Juno’s journey to Jupiter
Jupiter: Into the Unknown (NASA Juno Mission Trailer)
Hubble captures bright aurora in Jupiter’s north pole
NASA’s Juno spacecraft makes its way to Jupiter
Our solar system was created from a swirling cloud of dust and gases. When Jupiter — a giant gas planet — formed, it held on to much of that primordial material, acting like a giant history book. Juno will measure not only the water but other elements such as ammonia contained in the atmosphere, which will lead to a better understanding of our early solar system formation.
Then there is Jupiter’s rich and interesting cloud system, something that it is well known for, most notably, the largest and longest-lasting storm known in our solar system, the Great Red Spot.
Like the sun, different parts of Jupiter rotate at different speeds, depending on the latitude. This churns up gases and produces the colourful bands of clouds we see today. Juno will study their composition, temperature and motions and will also measure the clouds to unprecedented depths.
An illustration depicting Jupiter’s interior.
One of the most interesting things about Jupiter is its powerful magnetic field. It is the strongest of any other planet in our solar system.
WATCH: Astrophysicist Jesse Rogerson joined Global News to discuss the significance of Juno reaching Jupiter.
Here on Earth, our magnetic field is created by a combination of a liquid layer of iron, nickel and other metals around our inner solid core where the flow of liquid iron becomes electrically charged.
READ MORE: Juno’s mission to Jupiter: 7 weird and wonderful facts about this giant planet
When it comes to Jupiter, scientists believe that the powerful magnetic field is created as hydrogen is squeezed into metallic hydrogen where it acts like an electrically conducting metal.
Jupiter’s intense magnetic field allows for bright, strong aurorae at its poles, just like our northern and southern lights here.
Juno will sample some the charged particles and magnetic fields near Jupiter’s poles while also observing the aurorae.
Scientists hope that studying this relationship will help better understand magnetic fields as well as aurorae.
Measuring the magnetic field will also help scientists determine if Jupiter has a solid core, something that remains unknown.
While it was a dry start to the growing season in Edmonton and across much of Alberta, recent rain mixed with a lot of sun has many gardeners celebrating.
“We’re eating a lot of stuff already. I still can’t get over my corn with three cobs on them. I’ve never seen it, never heard of it. Corn is always two cobs per stalk. Same seed I’ve always used – peaches and cream,” avid gardener Shawn Martin said from his backyard Monday afternoon.
“Never ever seen it and I come from corn country.”
Standing in the sun, surrounded by luscious green plants, Martin said the growing conditions have been perfect this year, particularly for his corn, tomatoes and potatoes.
“There’s so many tomatoes on here you can’t even see them unless you bend down and look up,” he said. “We’re eating potatoes already. Peas were up very early, we’ve been eating them… the beans, everything’s growing.”
Edmonton gardener Shawn Martin stands in his backyard with his corn Monday, July 4, 2016.
The manager of the Classic Landscapes Centre in south Edmonton said any time you get a daily cycle of sunshine, warm temperatures and moisture, everything in the garden is going to benefit.
“The sunshine and moisture is great for everything, but especially vegetables in our gardens will see that,” Perry Stothart said. “Sometimes we have to do the work by watering our gardens, but in this case we’re getting lots of natural moisture. Rain is even better in terms of feeding our plants because there is some nitrogen in rainwater as well, so it adds a little extra nutrition to the plants.”
Watch below: Gardening season is here: tips for planting in Edmonton
It’s not just vegetables that will benefit. Stothart said flowers – perennials and annuals – will also flourish in the current weather conditions.
“You’re seeing healthier trees, you’re seeing it in the turf,” he added.
“Even a month and a half ago, our turf wasn’t looking like it is now. When you add some rain with the sunshine, it really changes things around a lot.”
Stothart said it’s not too late to plant a garden. There’s still time to grow established vegetables and harvest them before the end of the season.
Watch below: Gardening in Edmonton: Hanging baskets 101
As the mercury rises this summer, you may find yourself feeling the effects of too much sun. And we’re not just talking about a sunburn.
In the most severe cases, overexposure to the season’s scorching temperatures can be fatal.
Here are the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and sun poisoning.
This is the big one. It can cause brain damage, organ failure, and death. So immediate medical attention is required.
There are two types, as described by Health Canada:
classic heat stroke, which typically affects sedentary and vulnerable populations (babies, pregnant women, the elderly and people who are on certain medications); andexertional heat stroke, normally associated with high physical activity.
What to watch out for:
High body temperature (usually over 40°C)Lack of sweating; though those with exertional heat stroke may experience profuse sweating, according to Health CanadaRed, hot, and dry skinNausea and vomitingRapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weakRapid, shallow breathingBehavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggeringSeizuresDizziness and light-headednessThrobbing headacheMuscle weakness or crampsHallucinationsUnconsciousness
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Know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke
READ MORE: Heat Stroke: What you need to know
Health Canada recommends cooling those with classic heat stroke gradually. People with exertional heat stroke should be cooled quickly.
Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures. Those most prone to it are elderly people, those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment.
The skin might feel cool and moist. The pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.
What else to watch out for:
Heavy sweatingPalenessMuscle crampsTirednessWeaknessDizzinessHeadacheNausea or vomitingFainting
A cool bath or shower may help stop heat exhaustion from progressing to heat stroke.
WATCH: Knowing the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke could save your life
A severe sunburn may lead to “sun poisoning.” It’s not a medical term but fever, chills, nausea and dehydration are how people often describe it.
“Anybody can get sun poisoning,” says Jennifer Beecker, the national chair of the Canadian Dermatology Association‘s Sun Awareness Program.
Some people link it to a sun rash that Beecker prefers to call a sun allergy (known as a photoallergy or polymorphous light eruption).
She says it affects 10 to 20 per cent of the population and that it’s more common among those in their 20s or 30s.
“They often get itchybumps or blisters minutes to hours later after sun exposure on uncovered skin. It tends to be worse in the spring or early summer and diminishes over the season.”
“The rash typically last several days to weeks, but typically they do not feel unwell [like] in ‘sun poisoning.’”
Know the difference between heat exhaustion and stroke
Know the difference between heat exhaustion and stroke
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion in pets
What you need to know about heat stroke this summer
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Prevention is key
Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do in hot temperatures.
Dehydration can be caused by caffeine, alcohol, certain medications (like antidepressants and antihistamines), and of course — not drinking enough water.
WATCH: A Harvard study found over half of kids between ages six and 19 don’t drink enough water.
Try to avoid strenuous activities when it’s really hot outside.
Stick to the shade, where it can be five to 10 degrees cooler. And if you’re going somewhere you know won’t have shade, Beecker suggests bringing your own.
Wearing a hat and covering up with lightweight breathable clothing is also a good idea, she adds.
READ MORE: Tips on how to sleep in hot weather and 3 things to avoid
Last but not least, make sure to wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen.
Mark McMorris is finding joy on a different sort of board as he works towards a return to snow.
The Saskatchewan snowboarding star says the recent tricks he’s been able to do skateboarding make him feel closer to getting back on his preferred plank.
Wheeling outdoors in Vancouver’s Ambleside Skatepark is also a relief from the drudgery of rehabilitating from a broken femur suffered Feb. 21.
Mark McMorris breaks femur in snowboarding fall
“I’ve been skating a lot and it’s going better and better each time,” McMorris told in a phone interview from Toronto on Monday.
“It’s been so lame for the most part, not doing what I like. Ever since I started skateboarding and actually being able to skateboard as of June 23, everything has been so happy and positive.”
McMorris was having a dominant 2015-16 until he caught an edge upon landing at an Air + Style event in Los Angeles.
He fractured his right femur, or thighbone. He had a metal rod surgically implanted in his leg the day after the crash.
McMorris had won X Games gold and silver in slopestyle and big air respectively in Aspen, Colo., as well as a US$75,000 winner’s check at the Laax Open in Switzerland, in the weeks before the wreck.
A snowboarding magazine had also just named him the 2016 rider of the year.
He spent most of his post-op rehab in Vancouver working with therapist and strength coach Damien Moroney.
McMorris started out walking on a water treadmill, but says he’s now pushing his leg to exhaustion in training.
The 22-year-old from Regina includes the figure “100′” in his tweets because that’s his goal percentage.
“I am feeling about 85 to 90 per cent,” McMorris said. “I feel like I can go snowboarding right now, but I don’t have fun snowboarding unless I can do it properly 100 per cent.”
McMorris won Olympic slopestyle bronze in 2014 despite a broken rib.
He’ll have a gentle re-introduction to snow Aug. 10 during a sponsor’s catalogue shoot in New Zealand. McMorris then has a three-week training block planned in Australia.
“I’m excited to get some powder because my season was cut short,” McMorris said.
“By the fall, I want to not know I broke my femur and I want to be doing new tricks and getting them consistent. I want to dominate next year.”
Despite his abbreviated season, McMorris is a nominee for an ESPN Espy award in the category of male action sport athlete for a third time in his career.
Online voting ends July 13 when the winners are announced in Los Angeles. McMorris is up against skateboarders Pedro Barras and Nyjah Huston, freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy and motocross racer Ryan Dungey.
McMorris set a high bar for his comeback, given his performance prior to his injury.
“I feel like the first month or two months I was ‘OK, how am I ever going to snowboard how I did before?’” he said.
“Now I know I will snowboard that way again and I will make a full recovery.”
According to realtors in Fredericton, the provincial increase in HST lead many New Brunsickers to quickly close deals on their homes before the July 1, 2016 increase, but for people who haven’t sold their homes yet — there’s no need to panic. At least for people buying re-sale.
Exit Realty real estate sales person Samantha Bell said the HST is more than it was, but it’s not a huge increase in the grand scheme of what people are paying. She says it’s mainly new construction that will be affected, not people buying re-sale.
“For our developers it’s a worry because their prices are going to have to reflect this change, in what they’re paying in HST and for the buyer because they’re going to have to pay that increased amount if they do want to purchase a brand new home,” Bell said.
New Brunswick couple looking to put their home on the market despite recent HST hike.
Adrienne South/Global News
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Bryan Mahoney and his partner are in the process of getting their house on the market, but the HST increase is causing them rethink what they want to buy.
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“Really right now we were really looking into the building side of things, but with the HST going up it kind of really affects the budgeting side, so it’s kind of something that we have to think about now,” Mahoney said.
Keller Williams Capital Realty owner and broker Austin Drisdelle said the increase will also make it more challenging for first-time buyers to get into their first home.
Drisdelle said the market is up year over year, particularly in the month of June, and said it’s been even more so the case this year as people tried to close deals before HST rose.
“For first time home buyers, the extra two percent means that they’ve gotta find an extra two percent for closing costs, the extra two percent in maybe in the down payment, so there is a lot of variable involved. Not only is it two percent onto sale of the house, but it’s two percent on everything else,” Drisdelle said.
READ MORE: First-time home buyers turning to ‘bank of mom and dad’: BMO
Drisdelle told Global News the hike will also impact the cost of home inspections, water tests, legal fees, as well as any moving expenses.
“It just doesn’t impact the home ownership, it impacts all the affiliates that tie into buying and purchasing a home,” Drisdelle said.
For people looking at a $100,000 house, Drisdelle said with legal fees it could cost anywhere between an extra $200 to $600 dollars in additional expenses.
Drisdelle said despite the increase, people will always need housing.
“It’ll slow it down possibly for a bit [HST hike] but when it comes to owning a real estate property, people need a place to live and it just may slow it down, but it won’t stop it,” Drisdelle said.
Watch below: Smart Money series: First-time home buying dos and dont’s, plus other financial home buying tips
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A suicide bombing outside one of Islam’s holiest sites killed four Saudi security forces on Monday, and similar attacks outside a Shiite mosque and a U.S. Consulate in two other Saudi cities raised fears of a co-ordinated assault aimed at destabilizing the Western-allied kingdom.
The Interior Ministry said five others were wounded in the attack outside the sprawling mosque grounds where the Prophet Muhammad is buried in Medina. Millions of Muslims from around the world visit the mosque every year as part of their pilgrimage to Mecca.
The ministry said the attacker set off the bomb in a parking lot after security officers raised suspicions about him. Several cars caught fire and thick plumes of black smoke were seen rising from the site of the explosion as thousands of worshippers crowded the streets around the mosque.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.
WATCH: Security heightened after blast near U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia
The Interior Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. No group claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.
The sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried is visited by millions of Muslims from around the world each year during pilgrimages to Mecca. The area was packed with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in the kingdom on Tuesday.
Altayeb Osama, a 25-year old Sudanese visitor to Medina and resident of Abu Dhabi, said he heard two large booms about a minute apart as he was heading toward the mosque for sunset prayers. He said police and fire trucks were on the scene within seconds.
“It was very shocking that such a thing happens in such a holy place for Muslims, the second holiest place in the world. That’s not an act that represents Islam,” Osama said. “People never imagined that this could happen here.”
Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was at the mosque when he heard a blast just as people were breaking their fast with dates. Many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, but then he felt the ground shake
READ MORE: Death toll from Islamic State-claimed bombing in Baghdad climbs to 157
“The vibrations were very strong,” he said. “It sounded like a building imploded.”
Saudi Arabia’s state-run news channel al-Ekhbariya aired live video of thousands of worshippers praying inside the mosque hours after the explosion. It also showed footage of Saudi King Salman’s son and the Governor of Medina, Prince Faisal bin Salman, visiting security officers wounded in the blast and the site of the explosion.
Also Monday evening, at least one suicide bomber and a car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, according to a resident there, several hours after another suicide bomber carried out an attack near the U.S. Consulate in the western city of Jiddah.
Saudi Arabia has been a target of Islamic State attacks that have killed dozens of people. In June, the Interior Ministry reported 26 terror attacks in the kingdom in the last two years.
The possibility of co-ordinated attacks across different cities in Saudi Arabia on the same day underscores the threat the kingdom faces from extremists who view the Western-allied Saudi monarchy as heretics and enemies of Islam. Saudi Arabia is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The attack in the eastern region of Qatif did not appear to cause any injuries, said resident Mohammed al-Nimr. His brother, prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, was executed in January after a court found him guilty of sedition and inciting violence for his role in anti-government protests.
Qatif is heavily populated by Shiites, who are a minority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Al-Nimr said that near the body of a suicide bomber was a car bomb that also went off around the same time. He told The Associated Press the bomber detonated his suicide vest when most residents of the neighbourhood were at home breaking the daily Ramadan fast.
Several state-linked media reported that two suicide bombers died in the attack, which was aimed at a Shiite mosque.
IS and other Sunni extremists consider Shiites to be apostates deserving of death. IS affiliates in the kingdom have previously attacked Shiite places of worship, including a suicide bombing on a Shiite mosque in Qatif in May 2015 that killed 21 people.
Earlier Monday, the Interior Ministry said a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives when security guards approached him near the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah. The attacker died and the two security men were lightly wounded.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki was quoted in a statement as saying the guards noticed the man was acting suspiciously at an intersection on the corner of the heavily fortified consulate, near a hospital and a mosque.
The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed there were no casualties among consular staff. The Interior Ministry did not say whether the bomber intended to target the U.S. diplomatic compound.
The ministry said the bomber was not a Saudi citizen, but a resident of the kingdom. It gave no further details on his nationality. There are around 9 million foreigners living in Saudi Arabia, which has a total population of 30 million.
State-run al-Ekhbariya said security forces detonated six explosive devices found at the scene.
A 2004 al-Qaida-linked militant attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah killed five locally hired consular employees and four gunmen. The three-hour battle at the compound came amid a wave of al-Qaida attacks targeting Westerners and Saudi security posts.
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is blaming the press for the fuss over an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet that appeared to depict the Star of David atop a pile of cash.
It was his first response to the matter since his official account tweeted— then deleted — the image Saturday in the face of an uproar over its potentially anti-Semitic connotations. Trump’s account later posted a new version with a circle in place of the six-point star.
READ MORE: Donald Trump forced to delete tweet after allegations of anti-Semitism
“Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David rather than a Sheriff’s Star, or plain star!” Trump tweeted Monday.
Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David rather than a Sheriff’s Star, or plain star!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016
It remains unclear where the campaign found the image, but it previously appeared on a white supremacist message board filled with anti-Semitic messages as well as the 桑拿会所 feed of a self-identified comedian who tweeted out provocative and offensive images.
Trump’s campaign has not responded to questions since Saturday about who posted the message and where it was found.
READ MORE: Donald Trump appears as supervillain in new Marvel comic
Sarah Bard, Clinton’s director of Jewish outreach, said in a statement Monday that “Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites to promote his campaign” was part of a pattern. “Now, not only won’t he apologize for it, he’s peddling lies and blaming others,” she added. “Trump should be condemning hate, not offering more campaign behavior and rhetoric that engages extremists.”
Trump has long professed his support for Israel and his daughter converted to Judaism before her marriage. But he has come under scrutiny for repeatedly re-tweeting posts from white supremacists’ accounts and for not immediately renouncing the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.
Albertans call it the Big Hitch and when you see it, it’s easy to understand why.
Crews hooked up 30 Percheron horses to eight wagons Monday, all under the control of just one man: Neil Dimmock.
“This is the semi truck of today,” Dimmock told Global News in Strathmore, Alta.
“Back then (in the 1920s) if you wanted to move large and bulk items, you used many horses and many wagons.”
Slim Moorehouse’s Big Hitch in 1925 Calgary Stampede Parade with 36 horses and ten wagons.
Dimmock and his volunteer crew are now trying to re-create history with the animals.
In 1925, Slim Moorehouse made history driving a hitch of 36 horses and 10 wagons in the Calgary Stampede Parade.
READ MORE: City looks to Calgary Stampede for boost in tough economic times
The horseman broke a world record for the ride.
Moorehouse passed away in 1981, at the age of 71, but his daughter, Joan Riise, says he’d love that his work was being honoured.
“I think he’d think it was great.I really think he would,” Riise said. “Mind you he’d want to get up there himself and show them how it’s done,” she laughed.
Slim Moorehouse, in a photo provided by his daughter, Joan Riise.
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The hitch is attracting a lot of attention, not just in Alberta.
Billy Wilson travelled from his home in Texas to volunteer with the crew.
“To put this many animals in a hitch and be able to control them by one man is amazing to me.”
Even farm-raised Albertans like Sharon Lashmar agree.
“We used teams as kids, but you only had two or four (horses) hooked up…but to have more than two or four hooked up is pretty unique.”
The roughly 100-kilometre journey from Gleichen, Alta. began July 2. By Thursday the group will be in Calgary to help recreate what Moorehouse accomplished in the ‘20s, and ride in the Stampede Parade.
READ MORE: Stampede bars say corporate spending down at least 35%
Originally Dimmock wanted a hitch of the same size as Moorehouse, but due to a shortage of horses and restrictions on Calgary’s downtown streets, his hitch will be shortened to 20 horses and five wagons.
The Calgary Stampede says it’s thrilled to welcome the Big Hitch, but also wants to ensure the safety of the horses, its other entries and the spectators lining the parade route.
“In my opinion you’re more in danger from being struck by a band going by playing music than one of my horses,” Dimmock said.
READ MORE: Paul Brandt and Jann Arden announced as 2016 Calgary Stampede Parade marshals
He’s simply happy that new generations of Canadians can see one way this country was built.
“It’s draft horse history, it’s Alberta history, it’s farming history.”
Dellen Millard will appeal his first-degree murder conviction in the death of Tim Bosma, meaning both men convicted in the slaying are now seeking to overturn their verdicts in the high-profile case.
Millard’s lawyer during the trial, Ravin Pillay, confirmed to Global News that Millard is seeking an appeal.
A lawyer for co-accused Mark Smich, who was also found guilty of first-degree murder, said after the verdict was handed down last month that Smich would be appealing.
Pillay offered few details Monday, and could not say if he would be representing Millard for the appeal process.
READ MORE: ‘This does not bring Tim back’: Bosma’s widow speaks out after guilty verdicts
The jury deliberated for five days before coming to a decision June 17.
The conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, which means Millard and Smich won’t be eligible for parole before 2038 after being credited for time already spent in custody.
Both are barred from owning weapons or communicating with the Bosma family and have been ordered to submit a DNA sample for the national databank.
Tim Bosma: Jury finds Millard, Smich guilty of first-degree murder
Tim Bosma: Jury finds Millard, Smich guilty of first-degree murder
‘We have waited for justice’: Tim Bosma’s widow speaks Millard, Smich guilty verdict
‘Justice has been done’: crown attorney discusses Millard, Smich guilty verdict
Dellen Millard and Mark Smich guilty of first-degree murder in Tim Bosma murder
The two men are also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old Toronto woman who vanished in the summer of 2012. Police say Babcock, whose body was never found, was romantically involved with Millard. The trial into her slaying is expected to begin early next year.
Bosma’s disappearance on May 6, 2013 after taking two men for a test drive of his truck made headlines across Canada and sparked a massive week-long search that saw more than 100 police officers scouring Millard’s properties in Waterloo Region.
READ MORE: Tim Bosma trial: Dellen Millard and Mark Smich guilty of 1st-degree murder
Millard, the heir to an aviation empire, was arrested before Bosma’s charred remains were found. Smich was arrested more than a week later, just hours before a memorial service that saw hundreds pay tribute to the Hamilton man.
More than 1,700 insurance claims have been filed by Alberta farmers bearing the brunt of severe weather.
Hail and tornado-level winds have damaged crops across central and southern Alberta.
“We do our hail claims by month, so at the end of June we had just over 1,200 claims,” said Nikki Booth, Agricultural Financial Services Corp. “So we are starting off July with almost 500.”
Alberta has battled several weeks of severe weather.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued just after noon Monday, for central regions including the Red Deer, Ponoka, Innisfail and Stettler area and then extended south to include Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds and Sundre at around 12:40 p.m..
Throughout the afternoon watches and warnings continued to extend south and east, with some areas flipping between the two as cells continued to track across the province.
As of 7:54 p.m. all warnings in the province had been reduced to watches, with the only affected areas being east central regions. By 10 p.m., all watches had been dropped.
Earlier in the day Environment Canada warned that conditions were favourable for the development of funnel clouds in the central regions, as seen in photos shared on social media.
11:55am Funnel cloud over Burnt Lake Industrial Park in Red Deer. #abstorm pic.twitter长沙桑拿/zX9VjlsMQC
— John Barnes (@Johnny_B500) July 4, 2016
For a full list of current alerts click here.
To get your weather on the go, download the Global News’ Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Watch below: Global’s coverage of the tornado activity near Ponoka Thursday.
Severe weather across Alberta poses danger for storm chasers
Severe weather across Alberta poses danger for storm chasers
Ponoka residents clean up after storm packs serious punch
Frightening funnel cloud forms in central Alberta
Funnel cloud spotted in central Alberta
Global’s Brienne Glass from Ponoka
Videos and photos of funnel cloud in Ponoka
Central Alberta residents clean up after vicious storm rips through
Watch below: A massive storm cell blew through the Killam/ Hardisty region Sunday afternoon.
Watch below: A timelapse between about 11 p.m. and just before midnight Sunday shows the stormy skies over Calgary looking south toward Okotoks.