Local News Briefs

Knives “weapon of choice” in 2012 Winnipeg homicides

Now that 2012 has drawn to a close, Winnipeg’s disturbing homicide statistics have been released. According to a Winnipeg Sun report, among those statistics is the fact that 14 out of last year’s 30 city homicides happened at the end of a knife. University of Manitoba criminology professor Rick Linden said that the stabbing homicide rate should come as no surprise, given that most of these crimes happen as the result of alcohol or drug fuelled arguments in Winnipeg homes. That description fits at least two of the 14 stabbing homicides recorded, including the Jan. 25, 2012, death of Ian Folster at a Bannerman house party, and the eventual death of Anthony Sorokowski three days after he was stabbed at a Regent Avenue house party on Oct. 22, 2012.

Staff departures continue to plague Canadian Museum of Human Rights

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR) and its fundraising arm, Friends of CMHR, have faced another round of staff departures as 2013 gets underway, leading many to speculate about systemic mismanagement. Last week saw the Friends of CMHR lose both its interim CEO and interim director of development while the museum lost its marketing coordinator. These most recent departures bring the number of people who have quit, been fired or who had their contracts expire to 36 in the 28 months the museum has been operational, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. However, Friends of CMHR insist that CEO turnover has not affected their success, with the fundraising arm bringing in $8 million in 2012 - more than their set annual target.

Thunderbird restaurant not going anywhere

Ever since the owner of Kelekis restaurant - an ancient Main Street staple - announced its closure, John Ginakes, owner of the Thunderbird restaurant at 1970 McPhillips St., has faced speculation that his diner would be the next casualty in a long line of recent Winnipeg restaurant closures. That’s simply not true, 76-year-old Ginakes told the Winnipeg Free Press recently. The famous greasy spoon, opened in 1961, will remain open indefinitely, much to the relief of area residents and regulars as diverse as actress Nia Vardalos, former Jets captain Dale Hawerchuk and Winnipeg Blue Bomber great Chris Walby. “I’m not going anywhere because even after all this time, I don’t feel like I’ve worked an hour in my life, I enjoy it so much,” Ginakes told the Free Press.

City administration obligated to disclose Emterra garbage fines, says lawyer

Access-to-information lawyer Brian Bowman told the Winnipeg Free Press he is shocked that City of Winnipeg administration have not disclosed the fines faced by Winnipeg garbage contractor Emterra for recent missed service and other contract violations. City officials maintain that Emterra’s contract stipulates fines of between $100 and $500 for everything from missed pickups, carts lost during collection and other violations, but that it does not allow the city to disclose penalties levied against the company. Bowman argues there is virtually no legal justification for the city’s non-disclosure and that blocking public access to information is challengeable at the level of the provincial ombudsman and the courts. City councillors have been calling on city administration to release the fines, including Couns. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface), Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre), Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo), Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Ross Eadie (Mynarski).

Published in Volume 67, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 10, 2013)

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