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Man Stabbed … IN THE HEAD WITH A KEY!

With a headline that wild but true, it’s no surprise this happened at the Avalon Mall parking lot. Police are still looking for the person who took “keying” a thing to new heights. The 20-year old victim was treated at hospital and is not seriously hurt, despite having a key raked across his face and into his eye.

Salmon Fest Bans Booking Any Modern Acts 

Well, not really. But they’ve released the remainder of their lineup, and it includes hit makers from the 80s and 90s many of us weren’t aware still toured: Tom Cochrane, Collective Soul, and America have been added to the bill headlined by John Fogerty. The concert will take place July 11th. Sarcasm aside, it’s fair they just wanna ensure they fill the park by booking familiar names, but, there’s a sentiment that many festival organizers blame a band for poor ticket sales in a previous year, when they could just as easily blame the people curating a lineup. May the finger find the pulse, etc. Here’s a quote from Festival Committee Chairman Darren Finn. “We are offering something to a population that works very hard all year long and when they’re looking for something to do in their down time, we’re offering something for them.”

Province Making Pensioners Pay for Government Screw Up 

427 people have just found out that because they were unknowingly overpaid benefits over a period of time, they now owe the government between $300 and $5,000. The money, accrued over 20 years, punched a $930,000 hole in our province’s bank account. Of course they want to recover it, but, asking retired folk to pay for the sins of a government clerk doesn’t seem fair? Finance Minister Ross Wiseman has been saying government will offer repayment plans based on an individual’s own financial circumstances, while NDP Leader Earle McCurdy has said government ought to cut these people some slack by not making them pay for a clerical error. And a clerical error it was. One that had been going on for many years, but because of a statute of limitations, they can only reclaim what they lost in over-payments in the last 10 years. Naturally, the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Sector Pensioners’ Association have a ton of questions about these pension claw backs. The Association had originally been told 21 people from the Teachers Pension Plan, and nine from the Public Service Pension Plan, had been overpaid. As of last week, the number is now approximately 430 people; 401 of which are former teachers. That jump in numbers has raised some eyebrows, and has many wondering if the number is done climbing yet.

Claire Wilkshire wins 2014 Lawrence Jackson Writers’ award

Claire Wilkshire, author of Maxine, won the Lawrence Jackson Award this week. It’s a unique award which anyone who applies for a writing grant from the NLAC is eligible to win. Claire has won for an as yet untitled young adult fantasy novel. “It is a pleasure to congratulate Claire on receiving the 2014 Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award,” said executive director Reg Winsor. “She has demonstrated great emerging talent with her first work of fiction Maxine as well as the new work that is currently being developed. We look forward to her second completed novel, and her professional creative projects that will surely follow.”

MUN Bags $150,000 Grant to Foster Better Care for COPD Patients

MUN has been awarded a Health Research Foundation Interdisciplinary Team Grant, worth $150,000, to assess the effectiveness of implementing a service that could enhance the quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “COPD affects over one million people and is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada,” said Dr. Carlo Marra, team researcher and dean, School of Pharmacy. “It accounts for the highest rates of hospital admission and re-admission among major chronic illnesses. The disease is also expensive to manage. Nationally, the annual cost is over $4 billion.” Rates of COPD in NL are higher than the national average. Dr. Marra added that “When used properly, medications can address COPD symptoms, reduce the frequency and severity of pulmonary exacerbations and improve quality of life and exercise tolerance.”

Corner Brook Constable Given 10 Month Sentence

RNC Constable Sean Kelly was sentenced to 10 months in jail on Monday – 4 for a charge of making indecent phone calls, and 6 for misleading police in their investigation. Judge Wayne Gorman had clear disdain for Kelly’s “egregious” actions.

CBC’s Amy Joy Creates a Web Series on Kooky Collections

You can watch a few episodes here.

Fatality on Signal Hill Still Under Investigation

Early Thursday morning, police responded to a set of tire tracks in snow that indicated someone’s car had gone into Deadman’s Pond on Signal Hill Road. A Cold Water Rescue Unit confirmed there was a vehicle in the water, and the body of a forty-something woman nearby. The investigation is ongoing.

Dead Dolphin on a Bay Roberts Road

We’ve all see a dead dog or moose or crow on the side of the road, but a dolphin? The man who found it says there were no tire tracks or footprints around it. DFO’s Jack Lawson identified the species as a young Atlantic white-sided dolphin.

Province Finally Talking about Net Metering Policy

Net metering allows residential and commercial buildings that generate their own electricity (from solar panels for example) to receive credits for the electricity they generate themselves. Customers are only billed for their net energy use: whatever they consumed that month from the provincial grid, subtract what they generated and used themselves. Given all the issues we’re having with power in the province, this is as pragmatic as it is green-minded. Other provinces have long had a policy in practice. The province’s policy on net metering has gone unaddressed since 2007, when it was declared a commitment of our energy plan. Current Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley has declared a policy will come into effect “absolutely this year.” As soon as early summer, apparently. It was Nalcor’s Annual General Meeting in late March that revived talks of the province’s net metering policy.

Paddy Daly Lost His Locks for 21 Grand

Host of VOCM’s Open Line raised 21 grand for cancer via Shave for the Brave this week. The event was broadcasted live during the second period of an IceCaps game at Mile One. He says shaving your head is nothing compared to battling cancer; a plight he’s seen his father go through.

Perceived Twitter Threat Against Premier Leads to Fatal Shooting

It started with a Tweet from MHA Sandy Collins about how Premier Paul Davis enjoys Sherman Downey’s music … and ended with a fatal shooting.

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Above is the first of several increasingly angry Tweets from Dunphy that eventually ended with, “won’t mention names this time,2 prick dead MHAs might have good family members I may hurt #nlpoli.” This was perceived as a threat, and on Easter Sunday, a plain-clothed member of the premier’s security detail went to investigate. During the visit to Dunphy’s home, Dunphy is rumoured to have drawn a gun on the officer, and was fatally shot by the RNC officer. Neighbours report hearing several shots, but it’s still unknown if any of those were from Dunphy. Holyrood RCMP are investigating the scene. The officer involved was RNC, so RNC Chief Bill Janes says he can’t say much about the shooting since the RCMP, who normally police that area, will be investigating the shooting. Dunphy was known to regularly rail against politicians over how he felt he had been treated as an injured worker. After a fairly recent car accident, Dunphy was unable to work, and prescribed medical marijuana for the chronic pain. He self-described as “a crucified injured worker” being treated “like a criminal” by government authorities — so there is a history of agitated Tweets, which can be interpreted two ways (were his comments last week harmless and nothing new, or, escalating?). Premier Paul Davis says he had no idea all this had happened until hearing about the fatal shooting, and he called the ordeal “terrible for so many reasons.” Town manager Susan Parrott says she thinks there’d have been a different outcome if this RNC officer from the premier’s detail had of taken some RCMP officers with him, since local RCMP and Dunphy were well acquainted. The controversy does lie in the fact a single and plain-clothed RNC officer conducted this investigation alone, on Easter Sunday, and without RCMP back-up or assistance, in a jurisdiction normally policed by RCMP.

Federal Rule Threatens Foreign Workforce

With demand for labour in the services industry exceeding available workers, many local businesses rely heavily on foreign workers. But on April 1st, a new Federal rule of apply to become a permanent resident or leave the country after your permits expires came into place, resulting in thousands of permits across Canada being expired as of this month. Many of these workers may be forced out of the country, leaving plenty of businesses without ample staff to operate.

VANL-CARFAC Launches People’s Choice Eva Award …

… and because it is a people’s choice award, they want you voting for people. Here’s the form to nominate someone: http://www.evapeopleschoiceaward.com

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