本地新闻

Edmonton police have identified a man whose body was found Monday in the same building where a 76-year-old man was killed a few days earlier as Blayne Joseph Burnstick.

Burnstick, who police say was 25 years old, did not live at the multi-unit residence near Commonwealth Stadium.

According to family members, Burnstick was last seen with two friends on Sept. 12 near 84th Street and 110th Avenue.

In a statement sent while Burnstick was missing, his mother Loretta Burnstick said her son would often leave “for a couple of days but never this long without him calling someone or to come home.”

‘We will miss him deeply’

His family was informed by police of his death on Tuesday, Loretta said, one week after the family believed he went missing.

In a separate statement to CBC News Wednesday, the Burnstick family said they are “devastated due to his [Blayne’s] sudden passing.”

“We will miss him deeply and he will be in our hearts forever,” the family wrote. “Blayne was a kind and generous soul and his short life here on Mother Earth touched the lives of so many.

“We now wish to ask for privacy during this very difficult time as we mourn his passing. We would like to thank everyone for their care and concern, their supportive words and actions, and for their kindness that they showed Blayne during his short time with us.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Nexhmi “Nick” Nuhi, 76, was found shot to death inside the same residence, at 111th Avenue and 94th Street on Wednesday.

Nuhi’s death was the city’s 35th homicide of 2017.

'He will be in our hearts forever': Family mourns second man found dead in same building in less than a week

Blayne Burnstick’s family issued this poster Monday. (CBC)

Cannons, radar scanners and scarecrows will never completely prevent bird deaths in Alberta’s oilsands region, says a conservation expert charged with protecting waterfowl from open-pit mines.

“As a social and political problem, I think it’s pretty substantial,” said Colleen Cassady St. Clair, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta and lead researcher behind the Research on Avian Protection Project.

“This industry has presented itself, and been presented by our government and our citizens, as one that can prevent this problem,” St. Clair said in an interview Thursday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

“This problem cannot be prevented with the current approach to it. And maybe that’s not even a realistic goal.”

The Alberta Energy Regulator is investigating after 123 birds were found dead at a tailings pond on the Suncor Fort Hills mine north of Fort McMurray.

The few horned larks found alive in the flock had to be euthanized on Sunday.

The oilsands giant said it was mystified by the discovery of dead and dying birds at the nearly completed mine, which has yet to produce its first official barrel of oil.

Fort Hills is jointly owned by Suncor, Total E&P Canada and Teck Resources. Suncor has launched an investigation to figure out why the birds were in the area, despite the presence of working deterrent systems, including cannons, radar and scarecrows.

Cassady St. Clair said she suspects the birds, exhausted by an impending storm, were attracted to lights in the area and touched down on the tailings pond, thinking it was solid ground.

Preventing oilsands bird deaths not a 'realistic goal,' says U of A biologist

The death of 30 blue herons at the Syncrude Canada Mildred Lake oilsands mine site north of Fort McMurray resulted in charges. (Canadian Press/The Interior/Wiki Creative Commons)

 The incident recalls previous bird deaths at oilsands tailings ponds.

Syncrude Canada was fined $3 million after more than 1,600 ducks were killed in a pond in 2008. No charges were laid in 2010, when 550 birds had to be destroyed due to an early winter storm that forced them to land on ponds at Syncrude and Suncor facilities.

In August, Syncrude Canada was charged with failing to properly store a hazardous substance in connection with the 2015 deaths of 31 great blue herons at its oilsands mine, an incident not related to its tailings ponds.

‘A little bit over-reactionary’

Cassady St. Clair said there will always be bird deaths connected to the oil industry.

The incidents are embarrassment for the companies, but when it comes to conservation the oilsands is not the biggest villain, she said.

“If you were to just compare all the things that humans to do birds, the oilsands don’t rate in the top causes of bird deaths in the country, not even the top 20, ” she said.

“I think we are being a little bit over-reactionary to the deaths of birds in instances like this one.”

The number of birds killed in tailings ponds each year is “ecologically insignificant” compared to the other factors that imperil populations, she said.

After cats, both domestic and feral, the biggest bird killers are collisions with tall structures and road deaths. Those three causes combined are responsible for 95 per cent of bird deaths, according to a study by Environment Canada.

‘Out-of-sight, out-of-mind’

Tens of thousands of birds land on toxic tailings ponds every year. Of those, an average of 200 are reported dead, she said.

The issue deserves public attention, and more research, she said, but efforts to curtail the losses should be based on facts, not outrage.

“We know that up to a couple of hundred birds die after landing in the tailings ponds every year, but it only makes the news when a bunch of birds do it at once,” Cassady St. Clair said. “It’s a little bit of naive, out-of-sight-out-of-mind thinking.”

Current federal environmental regulations classify any bird landing on a tailings pond as illegal, since all tailings are classified as toxic. But the blanket approach to enforcement is not working, said Cassady St. Clair.

If the laws were softened, it would allow operators to focus on problem areas and boost deterrents when bad weather increases the risk of masse bird landings, she said.

“The law is being broken every time a bird lands, so clearly one of those two things has to give,” she said.

“Either we need better deterrent systems that can actually prevent that, and I don’t think that’s possible on this scale, under a major migratory corridor. Or we need to change the interpretation of these laws, and that might actually allow operators to increase deterrent efficacy for times like this one.”

Listen to Edmonton AM with host Mark Connolly, weekday mornings at CBC Radio One, 93.9 FM in Edmonton. Follow the morning crew on Twitter @EdmAMCBC

The wife and daughter of an Edmonton man are still stranded in the British Virgin Islands as Hurricane Maria approaches.

Normand Boudreau’s wife Angela Thomas, sometimes known as Judith, and daughter Karlene Lucian already weathered Hurricane Irma. 

The Category 5 hurricane hit Tortola, the largest of the islands on September 6, leaving wrecked cars, uprooted trees and destroyed homes in its wake.

Their house was among those severely damaged. Thomas and Lucian stayed together in one room with a barricaded door, stuffed with towels to keep the water at bay. 

“Thank god we still have our lives,” Thomas posted to her Facebook page on September 6 after the worst of the storm had passed.

Hurricane Maria, another Category 5 storm, is expected to pass through Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands this morning. Despite bad cellular service on the island, Boudreau was able to reach his family one last time Tuesday before the second hurricane strikes. 

Edmonton mother and daughter still stranded in Virgin Islands as Hurricane Maria bears down

The house Angela Thomas and Karlene Lucian was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma when it passed on September 6. (Facebook )

The two were eating fish and rice Tuesday night, laughing with Boudreau even though the storm was approaching. 

“I know they don’t want to scare me because they’re laughing and they say they’re strong,” he told CBC News. “You pass through a Category 5 maybe one time in your life, but two in a row … I’m just worried about them.” 

Canadian rescue efforts ‘non-organized’

Thomas and Lucian visit the airport every day, hoping to catch a plane anywhere out of the hurricane’s path, Boudreau said. Tortola’s airport is still closed for commercial flights and will only allow military aircraft to land. 

The mother and daughter initially planned to take a ferry to the American island Saint Thomas, the only one with a working airport. The island is a 20-minute boat ride away.

Edmonton mother and daughter still stranded in Virgin Islands as Hurricane Maria bears down

Thomas and Lucian took some photos of downtown Tortola after the devastation of Hurricane Irma. (Facebook )

But a notice sent from the U.S Virgin Islands on September 13 says “only U.S passport holders … and permanent residents of the United States are being allowed to enter the USVI port at present.” 

Two days after the hurricane struck, Boudreau said the Canadian government told him they were sending a flight down to Tortola, but only gave him two hours notice. Boudreau said he could not reach his family in time to get them on the flight off the island. 

“It was a good intention from the government but maybe a little bit non-organized,” he said.

Figures from the Global Affairs Canada say the Canadian government airlifted 1,652 citizens from the Caribbean between Sept. 9 and 13.

Boudreau said the Canadian government called him on Tuesday asking for updates on his wife and daughter, but made no mention of sending more planes to Tortola. 

For now, Boudreau and his family will just have to wait and hope this storm too will leave them unscathed.

anna.desmarais@cbc.ca

@anna_desmarais

Edmonton police were investigating a suspicious death Monday after a man’s body was found inside the same multi-unit residence where a 76-year-old man was killed last week.

Officers were called to the building near 94th Street and 111th Avenue around 2 p.m., police said in a news release Monday evening.

Homicide investigators have since been called to the scene. An autopsy has not been scheduled.

Police said the investigation is in its preliminary stages and no further information will be released at this time.

Nexhmi “Nick” Nuhi, 76, was found dead inside the same residence on Wednesday.

An autopsy conducted Friday determined that Nuhi died from a gunshot wound.

His death was the city’s 35th homicide of 2017.

Edmonton police investigate suspicious death at same residence where man killed last week

Officers were called to this building near 94th Street and 111th Avenue Monday. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

At 6 p.m Monday, families were walking, riding bikes and calling out to neighbours down 94th Street.

Neighbours said they are used to seeing crime in the area.

Megan Wood lives three doors away from 94th Street and 111th Avenue with her husband and three-year-old son. She said she has to leave the neighbourhood to do normal things like play with her son. 

“It’s better to go drive somewhere on the other side of the city than be here,” she said Monday. 

Wood said she sees incidents at the residence where the bodies were found about once a week, including loud verbal threats and break-ins. When she tries to report it to police, she said police “shrug it off” if no one is in serious danger. 

Across the street, Stephen Ellis said he believes the police want to investigate the property but cannot because “they have their hands tied.” But he said something should be done with the multi-unit home anyway.

“That house should be shut down,” he said. 

Ellis said the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood has changed to attract a lot of young families, academics and professionals in the 21 years he’s been there. But crime still persists. 

If the death is found to be a homicide, it will be Edmonton’s 36th of the year. 

The ritual of springing ahead and falling back has sparked a debate in Alberta over whether changing time twice a year is necessary, healthy or good for business.

A private member’s bill introduced by a government MLA that would rid Alberta of shifting standard and daylight time has created a division in the province. Three-quarters of people answering an online questionnaire support the move, while businesses, particularly aviation and professional sports, vehemently object.

On one side, Alberta’s major airports and WestJet, as well as the hockey Flames and Oilers are urging a committee of the legislature that is studying the bill to reject it.

On social media the shift has been described by some as an NDP government plot against business. “Socialists want to destroy Alberta business and way of life. Leave DST alone,” wrote one man on Twitter.  

But surveys show strong support for eliminating the two-time system.

The government survey conducted over the spring and summer received 13,000 responses, with about 10,000 of them urging Alberta to eliminate the tradition of turning the clocks ahead one hour in March and back in November.

The debate began in the darkest days of winter when Alberta’s youngest MLA, 21-year-old Thomas Dang, began his political assault to end “this really dated practice.”

Alberta debates ending twice-yearly time changes

Alberta MLA Thomas Dang wants to eliminate the ‘dated practice’ of changing from standard to daylight time, and back again. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

“I know most Albertans want us to get off of the change,” he told CBC News in a mid-December interview. “I know they want us to keep one time all year round.”

Among other problems, switching time disrupts family life, especially for schoolchildren, and farm activities such as caring for cattle, Dang argues.

Dang, it seems, didn’t waste an hour after that. In February he tested the waters with his own online survey and found resounding support. Then, just days after Albertans dutifully moved their clocks forward in March, Dang introduced the Alberta Standard Time Act.

The changes would leave Alberta on Mountain daylight time year round, though the time zone would be renamed Alberta Standard Time.

In the winter, that would put the province two hours ahead of British Columbia and one hour behind Ontario. In summer, it would be one hour ahead of B.C. and two hours behind Ontario.

A brief history of daylight time

Daylight time was introduced during the First World War to conserve energy. The reasoning went that rousting people from their beds an hour earlier in the summer months would put them more in sync with the solar cycle, and thus they wouldn’t need to turn the lights on as often.

Canadian cities were first to sign on in 1918, when Winnipeg, Montreal, Halifax and a few other centres adopted the time change.

But the provinces are responsible for all matters of time, and since the 1960s most have moved in lockstep with U.S. states to avoid disruptions in business. While the vast majority of North American jurisdictions observe daylight time in spring and summer, Dang’s bill has given voice to a rising chorus calling for an end to the twice-yearly disruption of schedules.

What the research shows

We often hear about groggy students and crashing cars in the days after the spring time change. And there is legitimate research to back that up. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of it, and some dates back decades.

Alberta debates ending twice-yearly time changes

Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid (97) takes a shot on goal on May 10 against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim. The Oilers say a proposed change in Alberta’s time system would hurt their business. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, showed a clear link between daylight time and motor vehicle collisions in a 1996 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. He looked at two years of Canadian accident statistics and concluded there is a slight increase in crashes in the week after daylight time begins in spring, and a more moderate reduction when clocks are turned back in the fall.

A more recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine supports the notion that the spring time change affects teenagers’ learning abilities.

Researchers equipped 35 teenagers with devices to measure their sleep, and tested their cognitive skills and their sleepiness during the day. They found that on weeknights following the time change students lost a cumulative total of two hours 42 minutes. As a result their test scores dropped, they were groggy during the day and had trouble concentrating.

But as for overall health consequences, there’s no proof that daylight time is making us sick.

Researchers at Cornell University reviewed data from 3.4 million surveys collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and 160 million hospital admission records from Germany. They found we are no more sick in the days after losing that hour of sleep than we were before. However, after gaining an hour in the fall people have a little more vigour than usual.

WestJet opposes change

Calgary-based WestJet says failing to stick with the rest of the continent on time changes will jeopardize its growth and Calgary’s role as a significant aviation hub.

Alberta debates ending twice-yearly time changes

A WestJet plane passes over snow-covered mountains on its way from Vancouver to Calgary. The airline says ending seasonal time changes would make some travellers bypass Alberta. (Reuters)

WestJet vice-president Brian Znotins told the legislature committee Calgary-bound flights would have to leave Vancouver at 5 a.m. during the winter to compensate for the time difference.

“Five a.m. flights aren’t particularly appealing to most travellers,” he said, adding “most will choose alternative routes that bypass Alberta.”

“Aviation and airline schedules and logistics are very complex and very sensitive,” explains Edmonton International Airport’s Traci Bednard.

She points out that 15,000 Edmonton flights a year connect with airports on the West Coast. “So all of those 15,000 flights and the many more thousands of passengers on those flights would be impacted by this time change.”

Late games irk Oilers, Flames

The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames say the proposal would cause even later starts for some of their home games, in some cases having the puck drop at 9:30 p.m. and games ending near midnight.

“This would hurt both our television broadcast numbers and home attendance,” Oilers Entertainment Group warned in a brief to the committee.

“The legislation will have a negative impact and simply make it more difficult for fans of hockey to access the game,” the Oilers presentation concludes.

Government will decide

It’s unusual for a private member’s bill to gain traction with the public, but Dang seems to have struck a chord. The committee studying it will report back to the Alberta Legislature on Oct. 4, and the government will decide where to take it from there.

Meantime, Dang would like to extend the discussion to other provinces. “If this was a conversation that went further, I think it would be something very exciting to see more people possibly see these benefits.”

The passions around eliminating the time change were cultivated in the winter and spring, a time when people are a little more cranky about losing an hour of sleep

Whether it will still be top of mind this fall, when people are basking in the warm thoughts of an extra hour in November, only time will tell.

A national Indigenous organization is calling for an apology from the Edmonton Police Service after a woman and her family were accused of not paying for transit while riding the LRT to an event on Thursday.

Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail’s pass to the National Gathering of Elders at the Edmonton Expo Centre included free use of buses and the LRT. But event organizers say Wabano-Iahtail and her family experienced “disrespectful treatment” in an encounter with Edmonton police on her way to the event.

“Organizers have reached out to ETS Officials to request an explanation of why this happened and ask that the Police Service publicly apologize to Jocelyn and her son,” the National Gathering of Elders said in a statement.

Wabano-Iahtail posted a video to Facebook that shows two Edmonton police officers asking for proof of purchase of a transit ticket. One officer says he will call Edmonton Transit System to check on whether transit is included in the event pass. Once off the phone, the officer then asks to check Wabano-Iahtail and her family’s identification.

The officers begin speaking to Wabano-Iahtail’s son, who has a disability, and she repeatedly asks them to stop. She asks the police officers to come with her to the event, and they all exit the train at Coliseum Station and continue the conversation for around five minutes before the family walks away and the video ends.

City officials confirmed to CBC News Friday that the LRT service to and from the Edmonton Expo Centre was free for all attendees.

Judy Kim-Meneen, co-event coordinator of the National Gathering of Elders, confirmed the details of the video.

“[The police officer] was asking for proof of payment. Jocelyn showed him the badge, saying ‘No, this badge gives us complimentary access to this LRT because we are attending the National Gathering of Elders,'” Kim-Meneern said.

“The police officer was not aware of it. He kept asking them, saying ‘No, the badge is not a proof of payment.'”

‘What happened on that deck is representative of what happens to us on a daily basis.’ – Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail

Wabano-Iahtail said she believes the incident was an instance of racial profiling.

“My son’s partner, his girlfriend, is Caucasian, and you can tell very much that Hope is Caucasian. And they were willing to let her go. But they kept us detained, my son and I, and the other young men that were with us,” she said.

“It’s obvious that we are Indigenous.”

Wabano-Iahtail said she has not received an apology from EPS. 

“What happened on that deck is representative of what happens to us on a daily basis, and I am calling the settlers out and saying, ‘No more,'” she said.

“After much discussion and sharing, our family expects a Cree-principled apology from the Edmonton Police Service and the city and nothing less.”

EPS did not respond to CBC’s request for comment Saturday.

‘There should have been better communication’

Kim-Meneen said she feels the police showed a lack of empathy and understanding, and believes the incident highlights a breakdown in communication between Edmonton transit and city police. 

She said she spoke with EPS a week before the National Gathering of Elders. An agreement was made that anyone with a badge to the event would have free access to the Edmonton Transit System for the duration of the gathering.

She said she sent a copy of the badge so city police and transit employees would know what it looked like.

“I was frustrated on behalf of Jocelyn. I felt sorry that she had to go through that,” she said. “Attacked, basically, penalized for who she was because she did not have proof because she knew that the badge got her access. It was just a sheer frustration, that lack of communication in all directions that led up to this point.”

​Kim-Meneen said ETS contacted her after the incident to confirm the badges counted towards bus and LRT fare, and that their employees were aware of this.

She said she’s wondering why it was city police and not ETS transit officers that were questioning Wabano-Iahtail about fare payment. She said she has not heard from EPS.

“I would like to know their side of the story, because no one has approached us about it … on what exactly happened,” she said.

“There should have been better communication.”

A blind baby goat named Daisy, abducted from an animal sanctuary south of Edmonton, has been returned to her rescuers.

The Farm Animal Rescue and Rehoming Movement near Wetaskiwin had offered a $10,000, no-questions-asked reward for the return of the animal.

On Wednesday night, after eight days of searching, she reappeared less than a kilometre from home, “completely unharmed and no worse for wear.”

‘She’s home’ 

The group’s founder, Melissa Foley, said Daisy had been quickly reunited with her best buddy, a blind sheep named Merlin, that had been distressed since the seven-month-old goat vanished.

“I can’t even explain the relief. I just wanted to spend time with her,” Foley told CBC News Thursday.

“I didn’t even know what to do first. We are so happy to know she’s safe and that she’s home.”

Daisy ended up at the sanctuary after her eyes and tongue were eaten by crows shortly after she was born.

She disappeared Sunday night from the rescue group’s property about 10 minutes outside of town. Since then, members of the group had been searching the rural area, knocking on doors, and pleading online for help finding her.

The scale of the search was immense. Thousands of volunteers assisted in the search, with one man even offering to use his small airplane to scan the surrounding farmland. 

A telepath also offered her services. 

Daisy, the blind goat missing from Alberta animal sanctuary, found safe

Daisy the goat went missing from the animal sanctuary on Sunday night. (Living through Lens Photography)

“We were in touch with an animal communicator — somebody who was saying she could talk with Daisy, or whatever — so we were following up on that,” Foley said in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

“She said [Daisy] was a few kilometres down the road from us in a field. So while we were doing that, our neighbour called us and said she found Daisy just 500 metres from where we actually were looking.”

‘Pay it forward’

Foley has no idea how Daisy ended up near the rescue, but suspects “it was probably just a couple of punks thinking that it was just going to be a really funny thing to do, maybe not realizing at the time that they were taking an animal like Daisy with very special needs.”

She believes her efforts of reaching out to students at the local schools, telling them about Daisy, had an impact.

Foley said Daisy seems just fine.

“Whoever had her was taking care of her,” she said.

Less than an hour after Daisy’s return, the group had received more than 500 messages of congratulations on their Facebook page. Foley said she’s not surprised at the huge outpouring of support her group has received online and in person.

“Any time we’ve ever needed our community for anything, they’ve been there,” she said.

The neighbour who rescued Daisy has refused the $10,000 reward, but Foley said will find another way to contribute to the community.

“It’s going to be something good and we’re going to be paying it forward but we’re not exactly sure where we are with that, because we’ve been spending so much time with Daisy.”

Daisy, the blind goat missing from Alberta animal sanctuary, found safe

Daisy and her best pal Merlin, a blind sheep, enjoyed their first meal together in days, after she was stolen from the property on Sunday night. (FARRM/Facebook)

 

City council voted unanimously Tuesday to lower speed limits to 30 km/h on roads near playgrounds, sports fields and ball diamonds by the end of this year.

These areas will now have speed limits in line with those for elementary and junior high schools.

City officials say the latest speed-limit change will add no more than six seconds to a driver’s commute. 

“This is about prevention. If one kid gets hit out there, we’ll wear that,” said Coun. Dave Loken.

Once implemented, drivers will have to follow the new speed limit around playgrounds between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.

City council approves 30 km/h speed limits near Edmonton playgrounds

The City of Edmonton first implemented school speed zones in 2014. (Lydia Neufeld/CBC)

Edmonton has 425 playgrounds, according to the city. Signs announcing the new maximum speed change will be in place before the end of this year.   

Driver feedback signs and reflective tape will be added to the new signage to flag the speed limit change for drivers in those areas.

Coun. Bev Esslinger pushed to have lowered speed limits near junior highs. Those limits went into effect with the start of the school year.

Esslinger said she recently saw a young child running onto the street but because the driver was driving slowly, he was able to stop in time.

“I think it’s really important that we can come together as a community to keep all children safe,” she said.

Protecting ‘the most vulnerable among us’

Edmonton will join other cities like Calgary and Medicine Hat which already have a playground speed limit in place.

City administration said Tuesday there is a need for drivers to slow down near where children play.

Numbers in a report to council show that in the last five years, half of all collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists 15 years old or younger happened in the periods from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

“I think it’s well worth it for the most vulnerable among us,” said Loken. “No one should be killed for crossing the road.”

The speed-limit change will first happen at “stand-alone” playgrounds. Signs will later be put up at playgrounds that are attached to schools.

Early next year, council will see a report on changes to the maximum speed limits in neighbourhoods. Most are currently at 50 km/h but some neighbourhoods have limited speeds to 40 km/h.

In 2013, the city of Edmonton adopted a policy allowing community leagues to request speed limit reviews. 

The Ottewell, Woodcroft and King Edward Park neighbourhoods have already set their speed limits to 40 km/h after being reviewed by city personnel. 

Slowing down makes ‘more livable communities’

Vehicles travelling at 30 km/h need only 11 to 13 metres to stop in ideal conditions, compared to 24 to 28 metres for a car travelling at 50 km/h, according to the city’s website.

“Slowing people down for this short amount of time, these short distances, is a great step to safer and more liveable communities,” said Conrad Nobert, co-founder of Paths for People, a safe streets advocacy group.

One of the areas affected by the new policy is the park outside Westglen School and the nearby playgrounds that line 127th Street. 

Resident Shawn Morash lives two blocks away from the parks and he said he often sees motorists speeding close to the playgrounds.

“Hopefully, most of the kids are with parents playing on the playground … and are watching so they aren’t running across the street, but still motorists have to be careful,” he said. “Ten kilometres can make a big difference between life or death.” 

Morash said he would also like to see more surveillance being done in the neighbourhood to enforce the existing speed limits on the road. 

The Edmonton Police Service and the City of Edmonton’s traffic safety section use officers and photo radar to patrol school zones.

Nobert said Paths to People will be asking city council to consider lowering the speed limits to 30 km/h on all residential roads. 

Former Edmontonians living in Tampa waited in their home for Hurricane Irma on Sunday. 

“It’s been a terrifying day,” Chelsea Dingman said in a phone interview with CBC News in the early evening.

Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record, ripped through the Caribbean last week as a Category 5 storm. It weakened as it began tearing over Florida on the weekend and is now a Category 2 storm. 

With high-speed winds and 10 to 15 feet of water projected to hit the city over the next 24 hours, Dingman is still concerned. 

“The craziest thing is that the wind has sucked all of the water out of the bay that’s downtown,” she said. 

“It’s expected that when the eye gets closer, it’s going to bring all that water back in with force.” 

Not easy to leave

Dingman and her husband, Chris, who have two young children, moved to the Florida city in 2002. She said they’ve never been directly impacted by a hurricane before. 

“It has actually been a really, really long and horrible week because it has changed track so many times that we never knew where it was going,” Dingman said. 

People began fleeing the state days ago, but Dingman said leaving is not easy.

“There were so many people on the road that since Wednesday, the interstates have not even been moving past us,” she said. 

With gas rapidly running out, Dingman said her family decided to stay put. 

'It's been a terrifying day': Former Edmontonians living in Tampa wait for Irma

Chelsea and Chris Dingman and their two children decided not to leave Florida because they didn’t want to get stuck on the highway without any gas. (Facebook)

“It’s a little scary to get caught on a highway that’s not moving,” she said. 

Airports to the south are closed and flights out of airports to the north were expensive. 

‘I don’t think it feels real to them’

The Dingmans planned to spend Sunday night in their laundry room, the only room in their house with no windows or doors to outside. They have mattresses with them in case they need the protection.

As the sun beat down earlier in the week, Dingman said they cleaned their yard, putting all of their patio furniture in the pool and securing anything that could potentially blow into their house. 

She said her young children are keeping busy, playing games. 

“They’re doing pretty well right now,” she said. “I don’t think it feels real to them yet.

“It will tonight.”

roberta.bell@cbc.ca

@roberta__bell

The wife and son of a Tofield-area farmer not seen since 2011 have been charged with first-degree murder in connection to his death, RCMP said Friday.

Miles Naslund, 49, was reported missing from his rural home near Tofield on Sept. 6, 2011, after he didn’t return home from his work as a farmer.

On Friday, one week after human remains were found during a search of the family farm, RCMP announced they have charged Naslund’s wife and two sons in connection with his death.

Investigators executed a search warrant on Sept. 1 after receiving information “that evidence of the homicide may be found on the property,” police said in a news release.

An RCMP underwater recovery team from British Columbia located human remains during the search. After an autopsy in Edmonton, the remains were confirmed to be those of Miles Naslund.

Helen Naslund, 52, and Neil Naslund, 25, have each been charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains. Both have been remanded into custody until Oct. 26, when they are scheduled to appear in Fort Saskatchewan provincial court.

Another son, 32-year-old Wes Naslund, has been charged with one count of accessory after the fact to murder. He is in custody until a court appearance Sept. 13 in Edmonton.

‘Not in your wildest dreams’

Residents of Beaver County, which encompasses the Tofield area, were told last week that RCMP officers would be conducting an investigation in the area, according to Beaver County Reeve Kevin Smook.

Now that charges have been laid, Smook said the community is shaken. 

“We’re by and large a very peaceful community and when something like this happens it comes as a shock,” Smook told CBC News. 

Neighbours told Smook that the Naslund family had a hard time earning a living from their farm in 2011, he said.

“When a person’s in that position, you don’t know what to think when they go missing,” Smook said. “Did they leave, or who knows what? … But not in your wildest dreams would you think murder charges would be coming down.” 

A federal government website that lists Canada’s missing persons said Miles Naslund was last seen at his home in Holden, Alta., on Sept. 5, 2011. Holden is 34 kilometres southeast of Tofield.

Naslund was driving his 1998 gold Chevrolet Cavalier, Alberta licence FEG 590.

'It comes as a shock': Wife, son of Alberta farmer last seen in 2011 charged with murder

Miles Naslund’s Chevrolet Cavalier. (RCMP)

He was wearing a black cotton hat, a grey cotton work shirt and blue jeans.

RCMP said the case had originally been treated as a missing person file but the investigation “evolved into a homicide case” involving resources from the Tofield and Camrose RCMP detachments, the RCMP’s major crimes unit and its forensic identification section.

The main event at UFC 215 in Edmonton has been scratched because of a viral illness to third-ranked flyweight contender Ray Borg on the eve of Saturday’s card.

The UFC medical team was unable to clear Borg ahead of his fight against 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson. Johnson was looking to break the UFC record of most consecutive title defences with his 11th against Borg on Sept. 9. 

The Rogers Place card will now be headlined by women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and No. 1 contender Valentina Shevchenko.

Anyone who purchased tickets to the fight can now request a full refund due, the UFC said in a statement on Friday. 

MMA writer Mike Bohn said despite the Johnson-Borg cancellation, Edmonton still has a solid fight card with 11 fights still set to go on Saturday.

“[There’s] obviously extreme disappointment that we lost a main event,” Bohn told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM Friday. “Regardless of this unfortunate breaking news over the past few hours, it should still be a really fun event.”

‘A lot of people say fight cards in Alberta are cursed’

Saturday’s event will be the first UFC event in Alberta since 2012, when Calgary held UFC 149. Many in the mixed-martial-arts community deemed UFC 149 as one of the worst events in its company’s history due to nine high-profile fighters dropping out of the event due to injury.

Bohn said the fight cancellation in Edmonton is reminiscent of issues encountered at Calgary’s event.

“A lot of people say fight cards in Alberta are cursed,” he said. “I don’t know if it truly is a curse or if it’s dumb luck or what it is, but it’s not ideal for Canadian fight fans.”

But Bohn said fighters dropping out is a reality of the sport, and that regardless of any cancellations, Canadian fight fans are just looking to watch a great card.

“I think Canadian fight fans, they really show up every time,” he said.

The flyweight bout between Henry Cejudo and Wilson Reis has been moved to the main card with the fight between Canadian lightweight Mitch Clarke and Alex White kicking off the televised preliminaries.

UFC 215 kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m. at Rogers Place.

Terry Fox’s second cousin hopes to breath new life into his legacy in Spruce Grove.

Rebecca Marsh, 33, never met Fox, who died a year before she was born.

But she grew up on his stories, and since childhood has taken part in the annual Terry Fox Run, her grandmother often waiting with a certificate at the finish line.

This year Marsh takes the reigns as organizer of the community Terry Fox Run on Sept. 17 in Spruce Grove, one of 81 runs across Alberta.

“It’s just who we are,” said the mother, day-home operator, and dragon-boat racer in a telephone interview Thursday as her dog Pickles barked in the background. “I grew up on it, because it’s a family thing.”

Marsh knows it won’t be easy. Last year’s Spruce Grove run had just 20 participants and raised $3,500. She aims to grow that amount within five years to $37,000, or $1 for every resident. The was Fox’s goal back in 1980, to raise $1 each from Canada’s 24 million people.

“It’s hard because (Terry) was the first run,” Marsh said. “He was the very first who came up with the idea and went with it. And now there are runs almost every weekend for something.”

But Marsh is inspired by her cousin’s heroic efforts; at  just 21, he ran the equivalent of a marathon a day for more than four months to raise money for cancer research. Nearly four decades later, his determination continues to pay off, inspiring people worldwide to donate $750 million in his name.

“He just had a vision and didn’t think that everybody needed to continue suffering, so he wanted to try and help,” said Marsh.

She noted that when Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer he had less than a 20-per-cent chance of survival. Decades later, that same cancer’s survival rate is 80 per cent.

Such enormous gains are what she hopes will inspire more participants to turn up at Spruce Grove’s Terry Fox Run on Sept. 17, whether they chose to run, walk, roller blade, bike or just cheer others on.

Recruiting new leaders such as Marsh to take the reigns is key to keeping the legacy alive and raising funds for research, said Wendy Kennelly, Alberta director at the Terry Fox Foundation.

Kennelly was delighted when a recent call for a new volunteer organizer in St. Albert prompted a dozen enquiries. Bringing in about $10,000 a year, it’s an important location, she said.

 “Terry’s spirit is still alive and well and engaged across the country,” she said.