Month: November 2019

New head of Quebec anti-corruption police admits to ‘failure,’ vows to do better

QUEBEC – The new head of Quebec’s anti-corruption police is seeking to assure the public that problems involving his force are in the past and trust can be rebuilt in his embattled institution.

Frederick Gaudreau, recently appointed by the legislature to a seven-year term, said today there is still enough fraud and corruption in Quebec to justify the continued existence of his squad, known as UPAC.

UPAC has been criticized for not building cases leading to successful prosecutions, and a government report this year found it lacked officers with the necessary skills to conduct complex investigations into financial crimes.

Gaudreau acknowledged today that his recent decision to close a lengthy investigation into ex-Liberal party fundraisers alleged to have pocketed millions in kickbacks over real estate deals can be seen as a failure.

Gaudreau says the investigation techniques used by the force under his predecessor were of questionable quality and would not have led to convictions in the case.

But the UPAC head says he will make sure future investigations are properly conducted and that details of sensitive cases will no longer be leaked to reporters.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Houston ranked among top 10 cities with decreasing rent— prices reportedly down by about 8% 

People from all over the world move to the Bayou City every year, so it’s no surprise to see apartments going up just about everywhere.

ApartmentGuide.com recently published  a list of the cities with the most extreme increases and decreases in two-bedroom apartment rental prices. Houston made the top 10 list of cities where rent is actually going down.

The article claims that from the year 2000 to 2016, the Houston metro area gained a million new residents, mainly because of Hurricane Katrina evacuees. But the growth slowed down due to the oil recession and Hurricane Harvey. Just this past year alone, ApartmentGuide.com says rent has gone down 8.4 percent.

According to one realtor we spoke to, it’s not a bad sign for Houston’s economy, but it’s also not that big of a change.

“Your average house or apartment to rent is about $1,400 to $1,600 per month, but with a decrease in about 5 percent to 8 percent. I don’t think it’s that big of a difference. That might be like a $90 to $100 difference,” Houston realtor Joe Chapa said. “So it’s not that much of a make or break the market kind of change.”

While some might think Houston rent is too high, others are just thankful it isn’t as high as other places across the nation.

How one Katy man turned other business’ trash into a multimillion-dollar operation 

We recycle everything from cardboard to plastic. Put it in the bin and you feel good about yourself and your small contribution to the environment, but what happens when big companies need more than one of these? It’s a growing industry here in Houston!

“We collect film from mattress retailers, furniture and grocery stores in particular,” Avangard Innovative  COO Jon Stephen said. “Our key market that we sell it into— which not many others do— is going back into new film, new bag applications. We also sell some sheathing and some extrusion applications.”

Avangard Innovative is more than a waste and recycling company, it’s a “business plan” turning trash into cash and it’s getting attention from thousands of large corporations ranging from grocery store chains to worldwide manufacturers.

“If you look at multi-, large, big international companies have 2,000 – 3,000 locations, so how do you manage that? How do you look at optimizing that and making sure things are not going into landfills and the ocean,” CEO Rick Perez said. “What we do, we are looking at every single piece every time it goes into a waste stream or captured for recycling. And then we track that all the way through to make sure it’s going to the right locations and getting recycling correctly very few things should go into landfills if you know what to do with it.”

You could say Perez is like the Steve jobs or Elon Musk of recycling. He started the company 30 years ago with just $1,000 and a few contracted trucks. He was a University of Houston student working out of his parent’s house in Katy. Now, he brings in over $100 million a year in revenue.

Perez has been described by the media as an immigrant that is set to change the world.

He says “changing the world to me is very important to me to leave a little bit of a better legacy for my children, my grandchildren. I’m so passionate about the environment and anything we can do to leave this word a better place, that’s what I want to do.”

Shannon shares story of being sixth great-grandson of President Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings

Many of you may know me as a television anchor, but you may not know that I’m also the sixth great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings.

I’ve known about my heritage as early as I can remember, but when I was in second grade I proudly told the class that Thomas Jefferson is my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather. The teacher didn’t believe me.

I was devastated.

The next day my mom went to that school and corrected the teacher. She, and so many others, can learn all about my ancestry at Monticello, the home of the third president of the United States in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Today, I’m comforted that when my three children tell the story of their lineage they will be believed.

I helped co-author a book, “Jefferson’s Children: The Story Of One American Family” published by Random House. It was the brain child of my co-author and photojournalist Jane Feldman who took me on a journey around the world to document in-depth and conduct intimate interviews with four generations of presidential descendants through both Jefferson’s wife, Martha, and Sally Hemings.

Both sides of the Jefferson family came together at Monticello in 1999 for the first time since slavery.  And since then, the majority of us have gone on to accept and appreciate each other as one family.

I’m now an unofficial Jefferson-Hemings spokesperson and have become an advocate for functional families and fathers. I’ve even appeared in an Ancestory.com commercial!

My hope isif my Jefferson-Hemings family can reconcile after years of slavery, separation and several difference maybe our country can to.

Former Miss USA Crystle Stewart grooming the nation’s future pageant champions right here in Houston!

During Black History Month, we’ve been celebrating the lives and contributions of people all over our community and our country. Today, we introduce to you a woman who’s not only a role model, but a wife, mother, entreprenuar, owner of two business and an actress— who with a crown on her head is taking the world by storm.

Young women from around the country are flocking to Miss Academy in Houston. The reason: they want to learn from the best. And, Crystle Stewart, is considered one of them.

WATCH MORE: Stewart talks about upcoming pageant joins us live on Morning Dose!

Porn actress fights Trump request for settlement dollars

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Attorneys for porn star Stormy Daniels are challenging a request by President Donald Trump’s lawyers to stake claim to a settlement between Daniels and Ohio’s capital city.

A federal judge last year said Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, must pay Trump nearly $293,000 for his attorneys’ fees and another $1,000 in sanctions after her defamation suit against him was dismissed.

Earlier this year, the city of Columbus reached a $450,000 settlement with Daniels over the porn actress’ arrest at a strip club in 2018. Trump’s lawyers noted in filing to the court involved in the Columbus judgment last week that Clifford owes him $293,052.

Daniels’ attorneys said in a Wednesday filing that Clifford has an active appeal in her defamation suit and Trump’s request should be deemed “null and void.”

The Associated Press

Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Brash, outspoken, opinionated – longtime hockey broadcaster Don Cherry was never afraid to ruffle feathers during his “Coach’s Corner” segment on “Hockey Night in Canada.”

His latest outburst about new immigrants not wearing poppies cost him his job, and in an interview late Monday night he wasn’t apologizing.

“I know what I said and I meant it. Still do. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers,” Cherry told The Canadian Press, saying Sportsnet fired him.

Sportsnet cut ties with Cherry earlier Monday, saying in a statement that following discussions with Cherry, it was decided it was the “right time for him to immediately step down.”

The network had already apologized Sunday for Cherry’s comments about his belief that new immigrants don’t wear poppies, and in turn, don’t support veterans. Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said the comments were “divisive.”

“Sports brings people together – it unites us, not divides us,” Yabsley said in a two-paragraph statement that also thanked Cherry for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.

Cherry, 85, had singled out new immigrants in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont., where he lives, for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers.

“You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Outrage over Cherry’s words mounted until his dismissal was announced.

Cherry, however, denies he was singling out visible minorities.

“I did not say minorities, I did not say immigrants. If you watch ‘Coach’s Corner,’ I did not say that. I said ‘everybody.’ And I said ‘you people,’” Cherry said.

“Irish, Scotch, anybody that’s newcomers to Canada, and they should wear a poppy to honour our dead from the past, whether they’re Scotch or Irish or English, or where they come from.

Cherry added that he could have stayed on “if I had turned into a tame robot who nobody would recognize.”

“I can’t do that after 38 years,” he said.

A hard-nosed career minor-leaguer who won coach of the year honours with the NHL’s Boston Bruins in 1976, Cherry moved in front of the camera in 1980.

Known for his outlandish suits and thumbs-up gesture, Cherry was liable to say anything during the popular first-intermission segment. Over the years, he occasionally weighed in with thoughts on off-ice topics that sometimes landed him in hot water.

“Hockey Night in Canada” was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a $5.2-billion, 12-year national broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014.

“Coach’s Corner” and HNIC are broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.

“Don Cherry’s remarks on Saturday night were divisive, discriminatory and offensive and we respect Sportsnet’s decision that this is the right time for Don to step down,” CBC said via Twitter from its Hockey Night in Canada account. 

“Coach’s Corner” co-host Ron MacLean apologized Sunday evening.

“Don Cherry made remarks which were hurtful, discriminatory, which were flat out wrong … I owe you an apology, too. I sat there, did not catch it, did not respond,” MacLean said. 

“Last night was a really great lesson to Don and me. We were wrong, and I sincerely apologize. I wanted to thank you for calling me and Don on that last night.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it was so overloaded with complaints about the segment that it exceeded the organization’s technical processing capacity. The CBSC said it was dealing with the broadcast under its normal process, but was not able to accept further complaints.

Cherry said he is receiving many phone calls and texts of support. He said he doesn’t have any immediate plans.

“I’m figuring out what I’m going to do with all my jackets,” he joked.

Shakir Mousa, who came to Canada from Iraq roughly 30 years ago, said earlier Monday he was hurt and disgusted by Cherry’s words and worried they could ignite hatred and discrimination.

Though he wears a poppy to mark Remembrance Day, Mousa said there are many ways to honour those who serve their country – like his son, who served in Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq and just returned to Ottawa from his most recent deployment.

“I come from a dictatorship country,” the Montreal resident said. “There is a real appreciation for Canada and what Canada represents … I appreciate what democracy is and what liberty is and the freedom that we enjoy.

“I don’t need somebody like Don Cherry to tell me about it because he doesn’t represent the good side of Canada with comments like these.”

There was no immediate word on who might replace Cherry on “Coach’s Corner” or if it would continue in its current form. A spokesman said Sportsnet was “still considering options for our first intermission segment.”

The list of controversial Cherry moments is a long one.

In 1989, when asked about then-Winnipeg Jets assistant coach Alpo Suhonen, Cherry quipped that his name sounded like “dog food.” 

Seven years later, Cherry lambasted Ottawa fans after they cheered for Russia against the U.S. in a World Cup of Hockey semifinal.

“Don’t do it again, it was a disgrace. If Saddam Hussein put up 1,000 missiles at our country, who would you go to for help? The Russians or the U.S.? Don’t do it again.”

Cherry was voted the seventh-greatest Canadian on CBC’s television project, “The Greatest Canadian,” in 2004. He finished ahead of Wayne Gretzky, inventor Alexander Graham Bell and Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. MacDonald.

That same year, Cherry was publicly reprimanded by the CBC and subjected to a seven-second tape delay when he said only “Europeans and French guys” wore visors.

– With files from Paola Loriggio in Toronto and Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP and @ploriggio on Twitter.

 

Gregory Strong , The Canadian Press


Small group of Cherry supporters protest his firing outside Rogers headquarters

TORONTO – About 20 people gathered peacefully outside Rogers headquarters on Wednesday afternoon to protest the firing of hockey commentator Don Cherry.

Some Cherry supporters stood silently on the sidewalk with Canadian flags while others raised placards in the air. One sign said ‘Cancel culture is wrong,’ while another said, ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers.’

There were just as many media members as protesters on the downtown sidewalk outside the building.

The event was organized in the aftermath of Sportsnet’s decision to fire Cherry for his comments on “Coach’s Corner” during last Saturday’s “Hockey Night in Canada.” Many felt Cherry was critical of immigrants for not wearing poppies. Cherry has insisted he was not criticizing immigrants.

During the protest, some motorists honked in support of the effort. A couple Toronto Police cruisers sat across the road.

Some curious Rogers employees took pictures from the second-floor food court overlooking the building entrance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Brash, outspoken, opinionated – longtime hockey broadcaster Don Cherry was never afraid to ruffle feathers during his “Coach’s Corner” segment on “Hockey Night in Canada.”

His latest outburst about new immigrants not wearing poppies cost him his job, and in an interview late Monday night he wasn’t apologizing.

“I know what I said and I meant it. Still do. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers,” Cherry told The Canadian Press, saying Sportsnet fired him.

Sportsnet cut ties with Cherry earlier Monday, saying in a statement that following discussions with Cherry, it was decided it was the “right time for him to immediately step down.”

The network had already apologized Sunday for Cherry’s comments about his belief that new immigrants don’t wear poppies, and in turn, don’t support veterans. Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said the comments were “divisive.”

“Sports brings people together – it unites us, not divides us,” Yabsley said in a two-paragraph statement that also thanked Cherry for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.

Cherry, 85, had singled out new immigrants in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont., where he lives, for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers.

“You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Outrage over Cherry’s words mounted until his dismissal was announced.

Cherry, however, denies he was singling out visible minorities.

“I did not say minorities, I did not say immigrants. If you watch ‘Coach’s Corner,’ I did not say that. I said ‘everybody.’ And I said ‘you people,’” Cherry said.

“Irish, Scotch, anybody that’s newcomers to Canada, and they should wear a poppy to honour our dead from the past, whether they’re Scotch or Irish or English, or where they come from.

Cherry added that he could have stayed on “if I had turned into a tame robot who nobody would recognize.”

“I can’t do that after 38 years,” he said.

A hard-nosed career minor-leaguer who won coach of the year honours with the NHL’s Boston Bruins in 1976, Cherry moved in front of the camera in 1980.

Known for his outlandish suits and thumbs-up gesture, Cherry was liable to say anything during the popular first-intermission segment. Over the years, he occasionally weighed in with thoughts on off-ice topics that sometimes landed him in hot water.

“Hockey Night in Canada” was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a $5.2-billion, 12-year national broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014.

“Coach’s Corner” and HNIC are broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.

“Don Cherry’s remarks on Saturday night were divisive, discriminatory and offensive and we respect Sportsnet’s decision that this is the right time for Don to step down,” CBC said via Twitter from its Hockey Night in Canada account. 

“Coach’s Corner” co-host Ron MacLean apologized Sunday evening.

“Don Cherry made remarks which were hurtful, discriminatory, which were flat out wrong … I owe you an apology, too. I sat there, did not catch it, did not respond,” MacLean said. 

“Last night was a really great lesson to Don and me. We were wrong, and I sincerely apologize. I wanted to thank you for calling me and Don on that last night.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it was so overloaded with complaints about the segment that it exceeded the organization’s technical processing capacity. The CBSC said it was dealing with the broadcast under its normal process, but was not able to accept further complaints.

Cherry said he is receiving many phone calls and texts of support. He said he doesn’t have any immediate plans.

“I’m figuring out what I’m going to do with all my jackets,” he joked.

Shakir Mousa, who came to Canada from Iraq roughly 30 years ago, said earlier Monday he was hurt and disgusted by Cherry’s words and worried they could ignite hatred and discrimination.

Though he wears a poppy to mark Remembrance Day, Mousa said there are many ways to honour those who serve their country – like his son, who served in Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq and just returned to Ottawa from his most recent deployment.

“I come from a dictatorship country,” the Montreal resident said. “There is a real appreciation for Canada and what Canada represents … I appreciate what democracy is and what liberty is and the freedom that we enjoy.

“I don’t need somebody like Don Cherry to tell me about it because he doesn’t represent the good side of Canada with comments like these.”

There was no immediate word on who might replace Cherry on “Coach’s Corner” or if it would continue in its current form. A spokesman said Sportsnet was “still considering options for our first intermission segment.”

The list of controversial Cherry moments is a long one.

In 1989, when asked about then-Winnipeg Jets assistant coach Alpo Suhonen, Cherry quipped that his name sounded like “dog food.” 

Seven years later, Cherry lambasted Ottawa fans after they cheered for Russia against the U.S. in a World Cup of Hockey semifinal.

“Don’t do it again, it was a disgrace. If Saddam Hussein put up 1,000 missiles at our country, who would you go to for help? The Russians or the U.S.? Don’t do it again.”

Cherry was voted the seventh-greatest Canadian on CBC’s television project, “The Greatest Canadian,” in 2004. He finished ahead of Wayne Gretzky, inventor Alexander Graham Bell and Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. MacDonald.

That same year, Cherry was publicly reprimanded by the CBC and subjected to a seven-second tape delay when he said only “Europeans and French guys” wore visors.

– With files from Paola Loriggio in Toronto and Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP and @ploriggio on Twitter.

 

Gregory Strong , The Canadian Press