Local News Briefs

Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber wants meth charges lifted

Eddie Blake, a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and nightclub owner, wants his drug conspiracy charges lifted because the case has taken too long to get to trial. Blake was one of 17 people arrested in 2004 for allegedly buying large amounts of ephedrine – the key ingredient in methamphetamine – for sale on the black market. He was charged with two counts of conspiracy to produce methamphetamine. On March 19, 2010, he argued that the unreasonable trial delay should result in the charges being lifted and his name cleared. Blake formerly had stakes in local hip-hop radio station, Flava 107.9 FM, and once ran Phat Daddy’s, a McDermot Avenue nightclub. Before that he was an offensive lineman with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Greyhound gets millions from provincial government

After threatening to withdraw bus service from several routes in Manitoba and issuing nearly 200 layoff notices to provincial employees last fall, Greyhound and the provincial government have decided to let bygones be bygones – for now. On Friday, March 19, the NDP government handed over $3.12 million to Greyhound to keep Manitoba routes going over the next year. However, the province will begin consultations this spring with rural and Northern communities to assess more long term options for intercity bus travel that may or may not include a deal with Greyhound.

“We understand there are challenges related to the sustainability of the current bus system. We encourage Manitobans to become a part of the solution, we want to hear from them,” said minister of transportation Steve Ashton in a press release.

Manitoba gets tougher on lottery ticket retailers

Effective Thursday, April 1, Manitoba business owners dealing in lottery ticket gaming will be accountable to the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission (MGCC), an independent agency that ensures gambling complaints are heard and irregularities are investigated. On Thursday, March 18, Dave Chomiak, the minister responsible for the Gaming Control Act, announced that amendments to the act would make dealers in lottery tickets on par with casinos and VLT owners. The amendments will require lottery tickets retailers to register with the MGCC. The amendments will also give the MGCC the power to set the conditions by which retailers must operate and will make them subject to regular inspections.

St. B expands recreation centre with big government stimulus cash

The Conservative government has made yet another investment to infrastructure as part of their Economic Action Plan, this time setting its sights on the Conservative riding of St. Boniface. On Friday, March 19, it was announced that the Southdale Community Centre has received $4 million in funding through a joint investment by the federal Conservatives and Manitoba’s NDP government. The investment was geared toward an expansion of the current facility, including a new hockey rink, pleasure skating rink, more locker rooms and overall renovations to the facility. The expansion was justified by several years of neighbourhood population growth that has heightened the demand for recreation services.

Portage Place welcomes the ancient art of chess

The Manitoba Chess Association, the Downtown BIZ and Portage Place Shopping Centre are hosting weekly chess blitz tournaments on the second floor of Portage Place every Thursday until April 29. Games are five minutes per player, with four to five rounds depending on the turnout. There is no entry fee but participants must sign up shortly before noon to get involved. Prizes are donated by Downtown BIZ affiliated businesses. The winners of the March 18 tournament received prizes donated by Globe Cinema and the IMAX Theatre in Portage Place.

Published in Volume 64, Number 24 of The Uniter (March 25, 2010)

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