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Archive for February, 2019

February 15th, 2019 by admin

Caught on camera: Wisconsin man shows off to officer on being fraudulent panhandler

The Grand Chute police department in Wisconsin released footage of an officer speaking with a man who admits to being a fraudulent panhandler.

The body cam video shows the unidentified man being approached by an officer and asking if he needs any assistance, which the man declines.

“Yesterday I made $250 with the ‘hopeless dad’ sign. Honestly, I don’t have a kid, but people do like to help out,” the panhandler admits in the video.

He then reaches into his car for another sign to show the official. This one reads: “Broken & Hungry.”

“This one … I made $197,” the man claims.

“Oh, wow. All in one day, huh?” the officers asks.

“All in two-and-a-half hours,” the panhandler replies.

It’s  scamming panhandlers such as the man in the video that make the town’s chairman, David Schowalter, warn residents of who they are giving their money to.

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“I just want to make [people] aware that there are panhandlers that are fraudulent and that’s exactly what my sign says,” Schowalter told WFRV News as he stood on a street corner with a sign reading: “Beware some panhandlers are fraudulent.”

In the town of Grand Chute, panhandling is legal and people who engage in the act are allowed to advertise themselves in any way they choose. Therefore, all Schowalter can do for now is warn residents with good hearts that some people may be taking advantage, which can be hard for some who are truly on the streets everyday trying to earn a little extra cash for their family.

“I would say I’m doing this to benefit my family,” an anonymous panhandler told WFRV. “The only reason I’m doing this is because I do have kids at home.”

The anonymous man said he makes about $40 dollars a day, while trying to look for work.

“It’s definitely a stab in your pride when you have to stand on the side of the road as a grown man and ask people for money,” he admitted.

As for the fraudulent panhandler, he sees his actions as a benefit to society.

“Yes, it’s morally questionable that I am preying upon people’s good hearts and good intentions. But I’m also selling people self-importance for being a good person.”

©2015

February 15th, 2019 by admin

Fleet improvements highlight Saskatoon’s snow plans

SASKATOON – The City of Saskatoon laid out its plans for the upcoming snow removal season, including technological advances planned for its fleet of sanding trucks. The city has equipped three more sanding trucks with a “pre-wetting” solution that debuted on Saskatoon streets last year.

The pilot project involved setting up a sanding truck with a magnesium-chloride brine. The mixture makes sand stick to the ground, while helping salt melt ice at lower temperatures.

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“We found through the results of last year’s experiment that the pre-wetting is a very good solution. It works optimally well,” said Pat Hyde, director of public works with the City of Saskatoon.

The city is also in the process of equipping its sanders with GPS. The goal is to track the vehicles and the amount of product and fuel used, in order to create more efficient routes and processes in the future.

READ MORE: 2015-16 winter weather forecast

While the weather has been unseasonably warm so far, the public works department is proceeding as usual.

“We’re prepared for it, but we’re always hoping for the best,” Hyde said. “We’re also prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.”

Crews will be out during and immediately after the first snowfall of the season. The snow clearing budget has $3.2 million remaining in 2015, while $1.1 million is left in the sanding budget.

©2015

February 15th, 2019 by admin

Election’s over, but most poll workers still haven’t been paid

It was a long day for everyone.

Sixteen hours and 30 minutes of checking IDs, crossing out names, hand-counting ballots. No breaks.

Chantara Blair says she got more —; and less —; than she bargained for.

Blair, who worked at a Red Deer-Lacombe polling station on election day, claims she’s been given the runaround, forced to fight for overtime and wait weeks longer than she expected to get paid.

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On the heels of Canada’s longest federal campaign in 140 years, Elections Canada is scrambling to meet its swollen payroll amid a flood of employee complaints.

But despite the increased financial and logistical Elections Canada says it’s meeting its obligations and that any complaints around payment or delays are the result of confusion.

Total employee costs this year are an estimated $153 million —; 66 per cent higher than the $92 million in 2011.

As of Nov. 5, about 47 per cent of the 215,877 poll workers had been paid.

“Elections Canada is taking every measure to issue payments as quickly as possible.  Every worker will be paid,” spokesperson Diane Benson said in an email.

“Elections Canada is meeting its service standards with regard to paying election workers. We surpassed these standards at previous elections; however, given the larger workforce and longer election period in 2015, we are meeting but not surpassing these service standards.”

Blair isn’t so sure.

“There was minimal training,” she says.

Overstretched supervisors bounced between ballot boxes, trying to answer questions and put out fires.

Blair said she didn’t know how to deal with people who came in ready to vote, only to be turned away because their names had been crossed off the list —; they’d voted already in advanced polls.

We dealt with a lot of angry people,” she said.

“There should’ve been some sort of process in place.”

Most of the day went smoothly, albeit hectically. There were no organized breaks so they ate at their tables and spelled each other off for bathroom breaks.

When it came time to count the ballots … we were missing a ballot,” she said. Her station had given out 230 ballots that day, but there were only 229 in her box after polls closed.

And they didn’t know what to do.

“We didn’t know if you can just write down that there’s one missing,” she said.

We ended up putting the one that was missing under the ‘spoiled’” column on the tallying sheet.

MORE: Employment surges by 44,000, aided by federal election hiring

Blair would be fine with that, for the most part, if she didn’t feel she was being shortchanged. She doesn’t know why she isn’t getting paid for the extra two and a half hours she put in during what was supposed to be $210 for a 14-hour workday.

They’re claiming they’re not paying overtime,” she said.

“I’m still fighting with them for that.”

She also claims she and her colleagues got a pamphlet saying they’d be paid within two weeks of the election —; not four to six weeks as they’re now being told.

But Elections Canada says she’s reading the pamphlet wrong.

The two-week window is for returning office workers, Benson said: Polling station workers should expect to get paid within six weeks of the election.

A “small percentage” of workers (less than five per cent, Benson said) may have to wait eight weeks before they’re paid.

“These standards are the same as for the 2011 general election,” she wrote.

And, Benson said, people who work election day are paid a daily, not hourly rate.

“Some positions are hourly rates but others are set rates for election day or advance polling days.  Elections Canada must follow these set rates.”

Blair isn’t appeased.

The Wal-Mart employee took on the election day gig as a way to get extra cash for herself and her 18-month-old, Adalyn.

“People are just so frustrated with them,” she said.

“I think there’s a lot of people who really did this for the extra money. … Who wants to work a 16-and-a-half hour day to be paid two months later?”

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February 15th, 2019 by admin

Marlborough Park shooting a dispute over drugs: Calgary police

CALGARY – Police said Thursday a shooting in Calgary’s Marlborough Park community was a targeted attack because of a dispute over drugs. The guns and gangs unit is investigating.

Police said just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to a home in the 100 block of Madeira Road N.E. for reports of gunshots. One man was found injured and was transported to hospital with minor injuries.

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Investigators said Thursday they believe the victim was sitting in a parked vehicle on a driveway when he was shot at by a man who got out of an SUV. The victim is not cooperating with police.

Police said the vehicle carrying the suspect was a blue BMW X5, which fled the scene after multiple shots were fired.

Two vehicles were struck by bullets and police are asking neighbours to check their cars and homes for any other traces from the gunshots.

Anyone who may have information related to the incident is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

READ MORE: Calgary police chief warns of ‘fluid’ gangs, more weapons on city streets

Watch below: Staff Sgt. Quinn Jacques of the Guns and Gangs Unit talks to the media Thursday regarding recent violence in Calgary.

©2015

February 15th, 2019 by admin

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema charged over sex tape blackmail case

PARIS – Five years after missing the World Cup amid his involvement in a prostitution probe, Karim Benzema was charged Thursday with conspiracy to blackmail as part of an investigation over a sex tape involving France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema, widely considered one of the most talented strikers in the world, also faced preliminary charges of participating in a criminal group in a scandal that has monopolized the national media’s attention.

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Few details of the case have been released, but investigators said they are trying to find out if Benzema played a role in an extortion attempt targeting Valbuena, and if he actually tried to blackmail the Lyon midfielder.

READ MORE: Syrian tripped by Hungarian journalist arrives in Madrid

Benzema was handed the preliminary charges Thursday after being brought before a judge at a Versailles court following a night spent in custody. The Real Madrid forward, who has been freed pending further investigation, faces a maximum prison sentence of five years, the prosecutor’s office said.

Benzema and another teammate on France’s national team, Franck Ribery, were handed preliminary charges in 2010 for soliciting an underage prostitute. Both were questioned and, three years later, acquitted.

Benzema’s involvement in the sex tape case has yet to be determined, but investigators believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary between the blackmailers and Valbuena.

“Karim Benzema will show his good faith in this matter as soon as possible,” said Benzema’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, adding that the charges arose from a question of interpretation. “He was charged by the judge who notified him that he was a suspect … It is not a declaration of guilt.”

Preliminary charges under French law mean magistrates have strong reason to believe a crime was committed, and allow time for further investigation. The charges may later be dropped.

Benzema was also placed under judicial supervision, meaning he cannot meet with the victim – Valbuena – or other people charged in the case. He can, however, continue to live abroad and travel freely, so Real Madrid should not be affected by the charges.

Benzema resumed light training with Real Madrid later Thursday, with the Spanish giants publishing a picture of the striker doing some ball work on its 桑拿会所 feed.

Madrid said in a statement that club president Florentino Perez met with Benzema and showed his “full support” for the player and expressed his belief in the Frenchman’s “innocence.”

At least four other people have been handed preliminary charges in the case since October. The fourth was added Thursday evening, with the Versailles state prosecutor saying in a statement that the individual had also been placed in custody.

The investigation, which includes wiretap evidence, started this year when Valbuena decided to take legal action after being contacted by a man claiming to be in possession of an incriminating sex tape.

READ MORE: At 40, David Beckham’s influence continues to grow off the field

In the same case, former France international Djibril Cisse was briefly detained last month but released without seeing a judge.

Both Benzema and Valbuena play for France’s national team. But because of the case, France coach Didier Deschamps won’t be able to use both players at the same time while the investigation goes on.

With both men being key members of the national team, Benzema’s judicial issues could also have an impact on France’s performance at next year’s European Championship, which France will host.

Deschamps left both players out of his squad for upcoming friendly games against Germany and England. Benzema is currently sidelined with an injury but Valbuena’s omission was unexpected. Deschamps said the Lyon midfielder isn’t in an emotional state to play in either game.

Deschamps was bombarded with questions related to the case at the start of his news conference but refused to take most of them.

“The best thing is to let the justice system do its job,” Deschamps said.

Ahead of the 2010 World Cup, Benzema was left out of France’s squad with then-coach Raymond Domenech saying it was because of the striker’s unimpressive season rather than any involvement in the prostitution scandal.

©2015