Saskatoon Food Bank could see major cuts, leaving thousands hungry

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Food Bank is considering cutting back service, due to a record number of people coming through its doors.

“We’re seeing more than 20,000 people each month,” said the bank’s executive director, Laurie O’Connor.

Last year, the bank was seeing around 16,000 people a month. O’Connor says an additional 4,000 people a month is putting a major strain on resources.

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    As of now, the service provides hampers to people twice a month. Soon, those in need may only be allowed to come in once a month.

    “The problem is not that people aren’t donating. People are actually supporting us the same way they were last year if not more. The problem is we’re seeing so many more people through the door,” she said.

    She adds more people being out of work, high rent and a surge in food prices could all be factors.

    “What we’re hearing is people aren’t being able to buy nutritious food. They’re having a hard time with the price of meat and fruits and vegetables going up,” she said.

    The food bank is doing everything it can to prevent cut backs. O’Connor says for now, it will wait until June to get a better look at the numbers. It will also consider other options like buying groceries in bulk.

    Vivek Patawari, co-owner of The Karma – Conscious Cafe and Eatery, says he relied on the bank for more than a week when he first moved to Saskatoon.

    “It always stayed in my heart that I owe back to the food bank,” he said.

    Patawari says it’s upsetting to see more people without nutritious food and will be donating three per cent of his cafe’s revenue to the food bank.

    “We can make this happen together. Let’s be a little more conscious. And just share a piece from your pie,” he said.

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Suspect arrested in Calgary after truck stolen with teen inside

A stepfather was picking up pizza at Forest Lawn’s Little Caesars late Friday afternoon when he found both his truck, with his 14-year-old boy inside, suddenly gone.

Police said a man stole the truck shortly before 5 p.m., unaware that the teen was sleeping in the back seat.

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“The child woke up after the offender began driving the vehicle and the offender directed him to get out,” Sgt. Geoff Hoover said. “The child, for whatever reason, didn’t want to get out immediately – said ‘no’ – at which time the offender stopped the car, yarded the child out and carried on his way.”

The teen walked to a nearby home, asking for help.

“He was in shock,” said the homeowner, who didn’t want to be identified. “He was shaking and very flush in the face, very apprehensive about everything. He said he didn’t know where he was at one point so he was very scared.”

The boy asked to use a cellphone to call his mom and told the homeowners his truck had been stolen, but little else.

Meanwhile, around Pensdale Road and 8 Avenue S.E., police surrounded the stolen vehicle.

Pensdale Road near 8 Ave S.E. Friday

Sarah Offin / Global News

Investigators said the thief then jumped from the stolen truck, while it was moving, and attempted to run from officers. One police vehicle was hit by the truck which continued into an alleyway.

After about a half hour, the boy was reunited with his parents, unharmed.

“I think they’re all pretty relieved. It had a good turnout with nobody getting hurt so it had a pretty good resolution to the whole thing,” Hoover said.

With files from Janet Lore

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High school students get donated bicycles thanks to classmate

SASKATOON – Getting to school is about to get a lot easier for seven students from Bedford Road Collegiate thanks to Grade 12 student Caitlyn Kirkpatrick whose donation initiative is putting bicycles into the hands of her deserving classmates.

“I’m an avid bike rider, I try to bike to school everyday,” said Kirkpatrick.

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    “When I saw a lot of the students weren’t able to make it to school because transportation and other methods can be expensive.”

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    Caitlyn reached out to the community and within a month bicycles, helmets, locks and repairs were donated from Care and Share, Help One and Sport Chek.

    In order to get the bikes, students had to apply to the program and describe why they felt they need one and how they would ‘pay it forward’ to the community in return.

    For many of the students who applied, needing quicker transportation to school and work were top priorities. But for Grade 12 student Kineesha Johnson, the bike is more than just a mode of transportation, it’s a key to her independence.

    “My parents they are moving to a different city. Right now I just need a job as soon as I can get one and then hopefully make some money because I don’t want to leave,” said Johnson.

    The bikes are also empowering: sisters Christine and Joelle Romeah recently came to Saskatoon from Syria where they weren’t allowed to ride bikes in public.

    “In Syria, woman don’t ride the bike, just men,” said Christine Romeah.

    The two have been in Canada for a month and say they’ll use the bikes to help their parents get groceries and travel to school.

    Although Kirkpatrick is graduating this year she hopes the program will continue and expand across the city. Already three more bicycles have been donated and are expected to be handed out any day now.

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Everyday Hero: How musician Matte Black went from homeless to ‘Heroes’

Matte Black was only 15 years old when he was kicked out of his house.  He had nowhere to go. Life on the street – finding food and a safe place to sleep — was a daily challenge.

“Stairwells or parks,” Black told Global News, “[I’ve] even slept in people’s cars in the driveway, waking up in the morning before they got up for work … in the winter.  You name it.”

Then, there’s the emotional upheaval of being young and homeless.

“Thirty per cent of  the week is spent, as a youth, kind of breaking down,” said Black. “Whether you acknowledge what it is that you’re hurt about, you’re hurt.”

The one thing that kept him going was his music.  Black said his guitar and song writing helped him get through the hard times.

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WATCH ABOVE: Matte Black describes what it was like to be homeless and living on the streets at 15 years old.

He admitted coping and trying to survive also meant being involved with drugs and time spent in jail.

After nine years of being homeless, Black lost 10 friends to life on the street and he had lost his hope.

He decided he would play one final gig and later that night, he would end his pain and his life.

“In my mind, I had already planned out that when I was done, I was gonna go to a hotel and do whatever it took to basically end my life,” Black said. “But, as I stepped off the stage, JB was there.”

Black had no idea that in the audience was Adrian “JB” Homer.

JB is a Canadian hip hop mogul and owner of GCP Recording Corp. In an instant, Black’s life changed thanks to JB, who gave Black a place to live and make music.

“Literally, within that weekend,” he said, “I had gotten an apartment and a key to a recording studio that I had 24/7 access [to].”

JB told Global News the decision to give Black a chance was an easy one.

“Sometimes when you see someone that you believe in, you don’t have to really wait or ask,” JB said.

“You just know that you see something in somebody and just gotta take that chance with people sometimes,” he added.

Matte Black (left) credits JB with changing the course of his life.

According to Black, the most important thing JB did for him was to believe in him.

“At the time, I wouldn’t have trusted myself with  – any of that equipment. I wouldn’t have trusted myself with a lot of stuff at that time,” said Black.

Within two years, Black owned his own recording studio and home. But it wasn’t enough for Black.

He wanted to do more, so he started Heroes in Black — a non-profit organization that helps homeless youth.

“Our main goal is to rebuild, inspire and employ homeless youth,” he explained.  “And we have many different programs aimed at, you know, customizing a plan for them. You know, what do they want to do? What’s their dream? What industry do they want to get into?”

WATCH ABOVE: Matte Black, who was once homeless, explains how the non-profit organization, Heroes  in Black changes the lives of homeless youth.

In just three years, Heroes in Black has helped 50 homeless youth find a job, through a program called Hero Training, and by connecting entrepreneurs and business professionals with homeless youth.

The organization and its volunteers have also fed close to 3,000 people through its Hunger Heroes initiative, a partnership with Hero Certified Burgers. What started as a one-time event has turned into a monthly event; handing out food, clothing and blankets to the homeless.

“Not only does he do things that are great, he inspires other to do great things as well, and I think that is the most heroic thing you can do,” said Dante Dante Di Iulio, marketing specialist for Hero Certified Burgers.

READ MORE: Everyday Hero: Canadian-run Yangon Bakehouse changing women’s lives in Myanmar

The organization also offer homeless youth an escape from the devastation of life on the street, offering camping trips, emotional support and so much more.

Black and his co-founders hope to open a youth centre and keep expanding and doing everything they can to help young people fulfill their dreams and get off the streets.

WATCH ABOVE: Matte Black has dedicated his life to helping homeless youth, he discusses if he feel like a hero.

As for Black, he’s reconciled with his family and he and JB continue to be in touch.

Black comes a family of successful musicians and artists — and he and JB discovered they actually had a family connection.

As for the role JB played in Black’s remarkable journey, JB is proud of Black, “well, you know, Matte’s a hero. He has a big heart…What I’m seeing, I’m very impressed.”

Black still credits JB for changing the course of his life and he keeps working to change the lives of others.

“It’s kind of like a winning-the-lottery story,” he said. “And there comes great responsibility with that, I believe. [It] doesn’t happen to everyone and because it happened to me, I know that it’s…important to make sure that I leave a path for others that were in that situation to – to find the way out.”

WHAT MAKES AN EVERYDAY HERO?

There are many people trying to make a difference who rarely receive the media attention they deserve. Everyday Hero is our attempt to provide better balance in our newscast. We profile Canadians who don’t go looking for attention, but deserve it. People who through their ideas, efforts and dedication are making a difference in the lives of others.

If you know of an Everyday Hero whose story we should tell, share the information with us by emailing [email protected]长沙桑拿

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Your Saskatchewan – Regina: April 2016

Every day on Global Regina at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., we feature a viewer submitted photo for Your Saskatchewan.

Submit your photo with a description and location via Facebook, 桑拿会所 or by email to [email protected]长沙夜网.

Photos should be added to the email as an attachment, in jpeg format and at least 920 pixels wide.

April 1: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Notanee Bourassa of the Stony Beach grain elevator.

April 4: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Lori McNaughton near Caron, SK.

April 5: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Loral Antonenko near Biggar, SK. This friendly cow moose wanted to join in on breakfast!

April 6: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Kayla Brennan of mini horses near Balgonie, Sk.

April 7: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Bill Allen.

April 8: This Your Saskatchewan photo of a flock of geese was taken by Lisa Rachul.

April 11: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Jerry Stevens.

April 12: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken near Cypress Hills by Andy Goodson.

April 13: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Don Hoffman in Regina, SK.

April 14: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Marissa Alarcon near Marengo, SK.

April 15: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Brittany Hislop near Arcola, SK.

April 18: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Ryan Wunsch.

April 19: This Your Saskatchewan photo is of Wascana Park taken by Cheryl Dunning.

April 20: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Colleen Clavelle.

April 21: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Tina Lindsay.

April 22: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Stu Cram.

April 25: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken at Regina Beach by Shannon Waugh.

April 26: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken near Glentworth, SK by Michele Talia.

April 27: This Your Saskatchewan was taken by Lori Bote.

April 28: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken near Moose Jaw by Jenny Andrew.

April 29: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Chris Attrell.

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BC’s police watchdog investigating crash that killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Independent Investigation Office (IIO) has announced it will look into this month’s crash that killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett, after learning police had tried to stop the truck that ended up striking her cruiser.

The 32-year-old Mountie died Apr. 5 when a pickup truck collided with her RCMP cruiser at Peatt Rd. and Goldstream Ave. in Langford, about 14 kilometres west of Victoria.

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    The truck driver, who was injured in the crash, was taken into custody, but later released without any charges.

    The IIO’s investigation will be conducted concurrently with the RCMP’s own criminal probe into the crash, while the Saanich Police Department is looking after the collision scene investigation. This means three probes have been launched into the incident.

    In a statement Friday afternoon, the IIO said it is “investigating the circumstances leading up to the collision to determine if the actions or inaction of an officer may have contributed to the collision.”

    Both the police watchdog and RCMP say they won’t release any further details on the case at this time.

    The IIO is asking witnesses to the crash to call its information line at 1-855-446-8477.

    The IIO conducts probes into police-related incidents involving death or serious injuries.

    On Tuesday, thousands of people attended the regimental funeral for Beckett, in nearby Colwood.

    Beckett worked at the West Shore Detachment in the RCMP’s ‘E’ Division. She joined the force in 2005 and spent 11 years in B.C., and had also been posted to the Port McNeill, Langford Municipal, and Colwood detachments.

    She is survived by her husband and two sons, ages two and five. She had recently returned from maternity leave.

    With files from Jordan Armstrong, Amy Judd and Yuliya Talmazan

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New dementia assessment unit opens in Regina but employees express concern

REGINA – The Wascana Rehab Centre unveiled their new dementia assessment unit that will serve health regions across southern Saskatchewan Friday.

This short term assessment unit is designed to develop treatment options for dementia patients that can be applied in their own home.

These evaluations will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team made up of people like psychiatrists, pharmacologists, and social workers.

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“Based on that comprehensive assessment, and really expert care planning, those needs can be addressed,” Dr. David McCutcheon explained.

Five bedrooms are in the unit, and stays are expected to last between 30 and 90 days.

Permanent staff in the wing will be made up of teams of two people, a special care aide and licensed nurse practitioner, who will be there between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

This set up has some employees worried. One emailed Global News a list of concerns, outlining worries that some patients may become violent, and easily be able to find the “secret” staff door.

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s long term care executive director Debbie Sinnett is aware of concerns and working to ease worries.

“With two staff and five residents it will be quickly visible to us that somebody’s feeling the need to try to get through that door, and we have a little bit of a barrier so it gives us a little bit of time to approach that person and redirect them,” she explained.

The staff door is obscured by a sharp corner in the wall behind a counter in the kitchen area. There’s also a half-door connecting the counter and wall that will also block patients.

The anonymous employee also expressed concerns about not having round rooms to redirect errant patients. This is commonly seen in other dementia wings.

Sinnett explained that they want the unit to have a more home-like feel to ease patients transition between the rehab and their home.

There are also many bright paintings to draw the attention of patients if they become erratic.

“There’s a level of anxiety with some staff because it’s still an unknown,” Sinnett said.

“It’s a new program for them, and we will support them through that. We’ll be watching it closely and working with the team as concerns may arise and work through them as they happen.”

The unit will receive its first patient on Monday from the Yorkton area.

Follow @davidbaxter_

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US bars government employees from travelling to violence-plagued Acapulco

MEXICO CITY – The U.S. government on Friday barred its employees from travelling to the Mexican resort city of Acapulco, where a rise in homicides attributed to drug gangs has made it one of the world’s deadliest cities in recent years.

The new travel guidelines posted online by the State Department extended a ban that already covered nearly the entire state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located and which has been a flashpoint of drug violence.

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READ MORE: Mexico has ‘tragic’ human rights problems: report

American government employees previously could go to Acapulco as long as they travelled by air instead of land. They are still allowed to visit the Guerrero state resorts of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo if they fly.

Famous in decades past as a playground for Hollywood stars and other American tourists, Acapulco, a Pacific Coast city of about 700,000 residents, registered 902 homicides last year, according to government statistics. For all of Guerrero, there were 2,106 killings, a 33 per cent increase over the previous year.

The violence peaked around summer in Acapulco, but murder rates continue to be high and have even become common in tourist zones near the beach.

WATCH: Mexican hitman reveals gruesome details of drug cartel violence

Last month, on Good Friday, the dismembered bodies of two men were discovered in plastic bags and an ice chest in neighbourhoods along the city’s seaside boulevard.

In late February, a roving saleswoman was shot dead in broad daylight at Condesa beach. Earlier in the month another victim, a man, was killed in the same area.

And in January, another roving salesman was fatally shot on the sands of Hornos beach by a man who then escaped on a Jet Ski.

READ MORE: Experts in search of missing Mexican students find at least 17 bodies burned at dump

There were 139 killings in Acapulco in January-February 2016, the most recent months for which figures are available. That’s up from 95 killings during the same two months in 2015, but lower than the murder rate seen last summer when 107 people were killed in August alone.

Guerrero is the only Mexican state for which the State Department has a near-total travel ban for U.S. government employees, although it warns people to “exercise caution in” or “defer nonessential travel to” other parts of the country that are afflicted by drug violence.

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Multimillion dollar home hits the market in Saskatoon, how long will it take to sell?

SASKATOON – It’s believed to be most expensive home on the market in Saskatoon. An estate northeast of the city comes with a couple of acres of land and a massive home overlooking the river. The big question now is how hard will it be to sell?

The home is luxury at its finest with 10,000 square feet of fully developed space at a price tag of nearly $3.3-million.

“Anybody could technically build a $3 million house in the city but to get five minutes from the city with this amount of land overlooking the river is what you’re really buying here,” said Jordan Boyes, owner of Boyes Group Realty, as we stood in the pricey Rivers Edge Estates home.

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    The house also features a private gym, theatre and 1,100 square foot “mother-in-law” suite for when you just need a little space from visitors.

    “Well I think it’s excellent to have the extra space especially if someone’s staying with you for a long time, they can still kind of get away and keep out of your hair a bit,” laughed Boyes.

    It’s prime time real estate with no expense spared.

    “With the windows and the built-in blinds for this house it was almost $400,000.”

    As for how long experts expect the home to be on the market, they say that’s the $3.3 million question.

    “Typically, the higher you go in price the smaller your market is but the important thing to keep in mind is that any home will sell at any price in any market, as long as it’s priced to the market,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR).

    According to the latest data from SRAR, this is how long it typically takes for a house to sell within a specific price point:

    0-$250,000: 54 days;$250,000-$500,000: 46 days;$500,000-$750,000: 53 days;$750,000- $1,000,000: 76 days;$1,000,000 plus: 82 days.

    Yochim admits that when it comes to averages for homes costing a million dollars or more, those purchases are so few and far between so the 82-day mark may be slightly skewed.

    “Homes like this certainly don’t fly off the shelf but all it takes is that one buyer who wants one show piece of a home and with that said we do have an appointment scheduled for next week,” said Boyes.

    So who is the current owner? All that can be disclosed is that they’ll be the buyer’s neighbour. They own the private listing next door as well and whichever home sells first, they’ll live in the other.

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Nenshi ‘needs answers’ after Southwest Transitway cost estimate jumps $25M

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and two city councillors say they “need answers” after an updated report from the city suggested between a $17 to $25 million increase in the estimated cost for the Southwest Transitway project.

A 2010 functional study for the project originally pegged the cost at $40 million; Friday’s report estimated it would be between $57 to $65.6 million.

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    “Although this cost escalation can be accommodated in the overall council-approved budget for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) program, we need answers to fully understand how such a significant change could occur,” a joint statement from Nenshi, Ward 11 councillor Brian Pincott, and Ward 13 councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart said.

    The statement called for a detailed explanation for the increase in cost and “a detailed understanding of the phasing and timing for this project.” They also want an update on city meetings with ATCO and the “interaction of this project with commercial and residential applications that are coming forward within the 14 Street S.W. and 90 Avenue S.W. corridors.”

    The Southwest Transitway project has been a controversial topic in the city. Nenshi decided to cancel all open houses in February due to what he described as a death threat against a city worker and bullying of various staff members. Calgary police subsequently investigated and determined no cause for charges.

    READ MORE: Nenshi cancels Southwest Transitway open houses amid alleged death threat, bullying

    The transitway project on 14 Street S.W. had already been approved and funded; construction could start this year. The meetings were meant to fine tune its design.

    Nenshi and the councillors suggested the difference in cost estimates signals a larger potential problem with the city’s capital budgeting process and committed to working with administration to make sure questions are answered at an April 20 Transit and Transportation Committee meeting.

    “We need to clearly define, now more than ever, how to better align council’s approval process so that approvals occur with greater understanding and greater cost certainty,” the statement reads.

    READ MORE: Concerned Calgarians rally against bus rapid transit project

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