Southern Alberta town hopes to rid storm ponds of invasive goldfish

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — There’s something fishy about the storm water ponds in a town in southern Alberta.

The town of High River says anywhere between 35 and 100 domestic goldfish have been spotted in the forebays of the storm pond system of Highwood Lake.

The town is asking people who can no longer care for their fish to contact pet shops or veterinarians.

Senior fish biologist Craig Mushens, who’s working with the town to fix the problem, says the fish are an invasive species.

The goldfish are also known as Prussian carp, and Mushens says they out-compete native species for food and habitat and spread diseases, as well as spread from one body of water to another.

Releasing live fish into Alberta water bodies is illegal and the fines can be as high as $100,000.

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Updated: Canada-wide warrant issued for Winnipeg mother who allegedly abducted son

WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg family is pleading for their 12-year-old son to be brought home after an alleged parental abduction by his biological mother.

Late Saturday, police issued a Canada-wide warrant for Charlotte McMahon after she failed to bring her son, Tristan McMahon home from an overnight supervised visit.

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“We phoned in the morning to pick him up and grandma said that they were gone,” said stepmom Wendy Tronrud. “She had taken her car, keys, purse, all her money, packed the cats up and some belongings and all his photos and they were gone.”

The 35-year-old and her son were last seen in the area of St. James near Ness Avenue and Sturgeon Road.

“There have been tips that have come in, however nothing has been confirmed,” said Cst. Eric Hofley.

There have been no sightings reported of the duo or the car they are suspected of being in.

The young boy had recently moved in with his father and stepmom after concern’s about his mother’s mental state were brought up.

They also said legally his last name is McMahon-Tronrud although police said they couldn’t verify for that.

The family is concerned for his well being and said his mom suffers from a mental illness and has not been taking her medication.

“That’s our biggest worry is that she’s not thinking clearly so we just really want to hear from her,” said Tronrud. “She needs help. We are worried about him being alone with her right now.”

The young boy’s father was distraught and said the family has not been able to sleep since his son was taken.

McMahon is descried as 5’4” with a medium build, tattoos and red hair.  She may be wearing a brown jacket, black tights and dark shoes.

Tristan is described as 5’4 with a medium to heavy build and short brown hair. He could be wearing a grey t-shirt with yellow printing on the front, jeans and white runners.

Photo provided by family.

Photo provided.

Courtesy police.

The Tronrud’s said McMahon’s brother lives in British Columbia and police there have been in contact with him. They were able to speak with him earlier as well and he said he has not heard from his sister.

It’s unclear which direction McMahon could be driving.

Police said the she will be travelling in a black, four door Kia  with a Manitoba plate reading GVW 620.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Comic and Entertainment Expo teleports into Saskatoon – Saskatoon

SASKATOON – Fan fiction took over Saskatoon this weekend for the second annual Comic and Entertainment Expo. Prairieland Park was packed for a “nerd-tastic” celebration of film, television, comics and more.

“A lot of people have this inner nerd in them and they’re excited about whatever medium or franchise it is,” said expo spokesperson Emily “Expo.”

Participants dressed up as their favourite characters, calling themselves “cosplayers,” a combination of the words costume and play.

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“Cosplay is this amazing community. A lot of the stuff is homemade. People put hours and hours, days, months, years making these amazing costumes,” Expo said.

READ MORE: ‘Star Wars’ star Mark Hamill seen pouring beers at pub in Ireland

Fans were eager to show off their original works of art, some designed by hand.

“This one I made myself so each of the leaves was stitched and glued on. There are over 3,000 leaves,” said cosplayer Melody Wood.

The event offers an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate a common love of fiction in all its forms.

“It’s growing, we are finding our community. Everyone is beginning to embrace their inner nerd,” said cosplayer Kris Brehaut.

Watch below: You may remember him from “Lord of the Rings,” but there’s more to Billy Boyd than acting. The actor and musician plays at Louis Pub with his band Beecake along with appearing at the Saskatoon Expo.

Fans of all ages flooded through the doors hoping to meet their favourite stars and shop at over 200 vendors. There was something for everyone, including live robot battles.

Canadian actress and model Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Prairies and share the excitement.

“Getting into costume is fun and I think that’s why a lot of people here enjoy it. You’re playing a part. Not any different than if you went to a sports game and people are in the jerseys with the colours of the team. It’s just it’s fun,” said Helfer.

Crowd favourite Star Trek actor William Shatner will also be representing Canada at the expo Sunday.

Global’s Kevin Stanfield was an emcee at the event.

Winnipeg Scouts selling safety whistles, raising money for Thelma Krull’s family – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Family members and friends of Thelma Krull are selling hundreds of safety whistles and bracelets to help being her home.

The grandmother has been missing for 10 weeks since leaving on a morning walk and never returning.

“We just need that one tip,” Krull’s friend and co-worker Connie Muscat said. “Just hoping that we’re going to come across that person who might not know this is happening and have recognized her.”

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Krull volunteered with Winnipeg Scouts for more than 20 years and with the season starting again, her colleagues say they’re lost without her.

“We have so many scouters that weren’t able to search or weren’t able to help in other ways so they really wanted to help,” East Winnipeg scouts organizer Dawn Cumming said. “These handmade whistles help with safety… you can just blow it if you’re kind of feeling a little vulnerable.”

So far the scouts have sold 600 bracelets to raise money for flyers and other materials that will help with the search. The goal is to sell 1,000 bracelets and raise $4,000 for the family.

Police say they are continuing to investigate Krull’s disappearance.

“Investigators are always seeking perhaps that one tid bit of information from the public that perhaps might help break this open,” Const. Eric Hofley of the Winnipeg Police Service said.

The reward for finding Krull has now increased to $20,000.

More than $10,000 is from from the Amalgamated Transit Union, $5,000 is from the transit employees’ safety whistle campaign and the other $5,000 is from family and friends.

The Krull family is hoping that adding more incentive might help bring their loved one home.

Thelma Krull has been missing since Saturday morning.

Handout / Winnipeg Police Service

Eskimos come back to beat Tiger-Cats 25-18

HAMILTON – Aaron Grymes and Otha Foster returned interceptions for touchdowns as the Edmonton Eskimos defence took advantage of backup rookie quarterback Jeff Mathews in a 25-18 come-from-behind win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday afternoon.

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Tied 18-18 with less than two minutes left, Jacory Harris, Hamilton’s third-string quarterback, fumbled on the Ticat 53 and it was recovered by Edmonton’s Don Oramasionwu. Seven plays later, Kendial Lawrence ran in a four-yard TD — Edmonton’s first offensive touchdown — and the Eskimos (8-4) took their first lead of the game with 43 seconds left.

Hamilton’s Zach Collaros, the league’s leading passer, was knocked out of the game early in the second quarter with a suspected knee injury after being hit from behind during a scramble by Edmonton lineman Mathieu Boulay. Collaros was replaced by Mathews, who is usually used on third downs.

Mathews had a fumble and three costly interceptions — one returned 68 yards for a touchdown by Grymes to tie the game at 18-18 midway through the fourth. Foster returned another 45 yards for a TD while Marcell Young made an interception in the endzone after the Ticats had a first-and-goal at the nine-yard line.

Mathews was replaced by Harris after his second pick-six and less than nine minutes left in the game.

Terrence Toliver scored a touchdown for Hamilton (8-4). Lawrence, Foster and Grymes scored for the Esks.

Hamilton kicker Justin Medlock was good on all three field-goal attempts, from 10, 42 and 39 yards. Edmonton kicker Sean Whyte hit from 29 yards out. Both kickers conceded safeties.

The Eskimos were enjoying their second-straight full game with starting quarterback Mike Reilly after he spent the summer recovering from a knee injury. He was intercepted once and didn’t throw a touchdown.

Collaros was good on 7-of-10 pass attempts for 90 yards and one touchdown before he left the game.

Hamilton was up 13-5 heading into halftime on a 10-yard TD strike from Collaros to Toliver in the first quarter and two field goals, from 10 and 42 yards out, by Medlock. Edmonton’s scoring in the first came on a conceded safety and a 29-yard field goal by Whyte, as Edmonton couldn’t get past midfield until the second quarter.

In the third, Whyte conceded a safety midway through the quarter to give Hamilton a 15-5 lead.

But Edmonton started a comeback with Foster’s interception. Edmonton failed on its two-point conversion attempt and the score was 15-11.

Mathews engineered a 39-yard drive on his return to the field, resulting in Medlock’s 32-yard field goal and a 18-11 Hamilton lead.

The Ticats were moving the ball and had first-and-goal at the nine to begin the fourth when Mathews attempted a TD pass to Luke Tasker that was instead nabbed by Young. But on Edmonton’s following possession, Emanuel Davis intercepted Reilly to get the ball back for Hamilton on the Edmonton 39.

Mathews threw his next pick-six midway through the fourth when Grymes had nothing but daylight straight to the endzone and the game was tied at 18.

©2015The Canadian Press

Okanagan correctional officer hopefuls put to the test

KELOWNA – The Okanagan Correctional Centre is looking to fill 300 new positions. However, they won’t be for the faint of heart. About two-thirds of the hires will be correctional officers; a job that needs you to be in good physical shape. That’s why hopefuls were put to the test on Saturday.

“This measures their physical abilities to be able to take the training that we offer if they are successful,” says Steve DiCastri, Warden of Okanagan Correctional Centre.

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Twenty people took part in the Corrections Officers’ Physical Abilities Test (COPAT) at the Capital News Centre in Kelowna on Saturday.

Each exercise in the test represents the type of strength needed for the job at the Okanagan’s first prison located north of Oliver.

“Restraining inmates at times, handcuffing techniques, responding to emergencies if they have to so we need to them to be physically fit for that,” says DiCastri.

In order to pass the test, participants have to make it through everything from stair climbs, agility tests, bar jumps, cardio, and strength pushing and pulling exercises.

“The push-pull exercise is for opening or closing moving doors; we have large doors in the facility so you have to open them and sometimes they’re jarred closed,” says DiCastri. “You have to be fit.”

The goal is to complete the COPAT in two minutes and 50 seconds. Many participants say it’s the final cardio exercise that is the hardest.

“It’s a lot more exhausting than I thought it was going to be,” says applicant Derek Theissen.

However, with a 90 per cent pass rate and an opportunity to take the COPAT a second time, it may be the competition for the jobs that’s the most intimidating for the hopefuls.

“There’s a lot of interest from all over the province,” says DiCastri. “We’ve seen about 1,200 people in our readiness/orientation sessions so we are hoping to get about 120 people, brand new.”

According to the Ministry of Justice, new correctional officer hires start with an hourly training wage of $19.99 and can work their way up to a maximum hourly salary of $30.18 after five-and-a-half years of full-time work.

READ MORE: The Okanagan Correctional Centre is hiring

Out of the 300 jobs that will open up at the facility, 240 of them will be corrections officer positions. Job postings will go up in November and DiCastri says the application process will run until March.

WATCH: Rare glimpse of new Okanagan prison

In New York, chance to see pope in Central Park like hitting the lottery – National

WATCH ABOVE: Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States next week. Tens of thousands of tickets were given out for free, but scalpers are now trying to sell them for a huge price. Aarti Pole reports.

NEW YORK – Getting tickets to see Pope Francis was the easy part.

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Being among the 80,000 New Yorkers who won a lottery for a spot on the pope’s’ motorcade route through Central Park means they will have to endure long lines, tight security and hours of waiting before the pontiff even gets there. And they’ll do it without being allowed the comfort of chairs, blankets, coolers or umbrellas.

For Suleyma Cuellar, who snagged tickets for her and her mother, it will all be worth it if she can catch even a fleeting glimpse of Francis.

“It’s like seeing Jesus walk by,” said the20-year-old after-school robotics program instructor from East Harlem.

The pope’s 12-block processional along Central Park’s West Drive on Friday was a late addition to his schedule after morning appearances at the United Nations and the Sept. 11 museum and before an evening Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Diana Torres of Queens said finding out that she was among those selected to get the tickets was a blessing. “I want to go so badly, I asked for this, I put my name on it, I prayed on it,” she said.

READ MORE: Pope to arrive in US Tuesday, to address immigration

The 53-year-old volunteer religious instructor said she chose to bring her son’s fiance with her, a decision that wasn’t met with universal approval from others around her.

“There was a family member who was very upset … but I feel OK,” Torres said.

The controversy over the tickets hasn’t been limited to irate relatives. Only New York state residents were allowed to apply for the ticket lottery, and almost as soon as winners were notified ads began appearing on eBay and Craigslist offering to sell pairs of tickets for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

“To attempt to resell the tickets and profit from his time in New York goes against everything Pope Francis stands for,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a statement.

Those who do go have a list of rules to follow, starting with having to enter the area via assigned security gates. The pope isn’t scheduled to make his processional until 5 p.m., but the gates will be open at 11 a.m. and people have to be there by 3:30 p.m.

Attendees can bring water and snacks, personal cameras and strollers for small children, but that’s it. The list of prohibited items includes alcohol, large bags, signs, and of course, no selfie sticks or drones.

WATCH: U.S. officials reviewing, finalizing security for Pope’s arrival

©2015The Associated Press

Raising awareness for missing children emphasized by murder of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

CALGARY – So many questions have yet to be answered as to why and how a two-year-old girl and her 27-year-old father were murdered in Blairmore, Alberta earlier this week.

But this weekend, Albertans who are rattled by the news, are finding ways to mourn and support the families most affected.

Calgarians touched by the tragedy gathered at Municipal Plaza Saturday night to hold a special vigil for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father Terry Blanchette.

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Earlier in the day, the Street Hockey for Hope’ game was put on by former Calgary Flame, current Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy to raise awareness about the plight of missing children in Canada.

Its importance is highlighted following the abduction of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.

Organizers say to have Craig Conroy out playing hockey was a treat for both the kids and the parents but it’s also a great way to raise awareness for the cause.

“It’s been a tough week for everybody on our team and we know how tough it’s been for the community and certainly how everyone has been feeling this profound sense of loss for this beautiful little girl,” said Amanda Pick, CEO of Missing Children Society of Canada.

The Missing Children Society of Canada began working with investigators on day one of Hailey’s disappearance, using social media to get the word out.

“We’ve created a one of a kind search program, the first of its kind in Canada. People call it ‘milk carton 2.0’ and essentially it allows everybody to be part of the search,” Pick says.

But despite the firestorm of activity online, the outcome of Hailey’s disappearance was tragic.

For those tasked with finding children that are still missing, it has only strengthened their resolve.

“Come together as a community, use what has happened in terms of this loss of this beautiful child and to work together to make sure other children are returned home safely,” Pick said.

SPCA awareness campaign condemns long-term tethering of dogs – Montreal

MONTREAL – If you walked  by  Mont-Royal metro station Saturday, you may have seen what looked like an over-sized  doghouse.

The interactive display was set up by the Montreal SPCA, to draw attention to the plight of dogs in the province that are permanently chained or tethered, which according to the group amounts to a life in prison.

Passersby were invited to interact with dogs that have survived a life of permanent chaining and to learn about their life stories.

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While the dogs on site have new families and thus can hope for a happy life, most permanently chained dogs are not so lucky.  They are at increased risk of injuring themselves and are frequently neglected, suffering both physically and psychologically.

The SPCA also points out that chaining dogs leads to public safety concerns as permanently restrained animals risk becoming more territorial which can lead to aggressive behaviour. Particularly worrisome is the fact that chained dogs are according to the group, nearly three times more likely to bite than dogs not living on chains and over five times more likely to bite children.

The event was part of the Cut The Chain campaign  launched by the SPCA earlier this month.

READ MORE: Montreal SPCA pushes for anti-tethering laws

In June, the Quebec government introduced Bill 54 which the SPCA says includes a number of significant improvements to the province’s animal welfare legislation.

The bill is currently under review, and the SPCA hopes that any amendments to the bill will include strong anti-tethering legislation.

An online letter asking Pierre Paradis, Quebec’s agriculture minister, to ban the permanent chaining of dogs has already garnered more than 11,000 supporters.

WATCH BELOW: The SPCA is pushing the Quebec government to pass an anti-tethering law that would impose fines on owners who tie up their dogs around the clock.

Montreal’s 20th homicide of 2015 in RDP – Montreal

RIVIERE-DES-PRAIRIES – A 24-year-old man was shot down in front of a residence in Riviere-des-Prairies on Friday night.

The event occurred around 8:45 p.m. on Maurice-Duplessis Boulevard near the intersection of Alexis-Carrel Avenue. When police arrived on the scene, the victim was lying on the driveway near the street bleeding heavily.

A car with bullet holes is seen in the driveway where the victim was found in Rivieres-des-Prairies. Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.

Sebastien-Gagnon Dorval

He was unconscious with multiple bullet wounds. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

This marks the 20th homicide of 2015 on the island of Montreal, one more than the same time last year.

The victim has been identified in the media as Marco Claudio Campellone, who was already known to Montreal police (SPVM). They believe the shooting was related to organized crime.

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The residence, which belongs to a member of the victim’s personal circle, had video cameras installed outside. The question now is whether or not they were recording at the time of the crime.

This wasn’t the first time Campellone was the target of an attempted murder. In August 2013 he was shot in the arm; the injury was non-life-threatening. That incident happened on Pierre-Baillargeon Avenue and Maurice-Duplessis Boulevard, less than a block away from where he would eventually be killed.   No arrests were made in that case.

On Saturday morning, agents from the SPVM’s Major Crimes Unit were on the scene investigating the incident and meeting with witnesses. So far, there are no suspects in the case.