Monthly Archives: February 2019

Police crack down on dangerous car seats during safety blitz – Calgary

CALGARY- Just because you have your child fastened into a car seat, that doesn’t mean they’re safe.

That was the message from police on Wednesday, as they conducted a safety blitz in northeast Calgary to inspect car seats and seat belts.

Officers pulled over vehicles to ensure the seats were attached properly, had tether straps, and children were harnessed in correctly.

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“A lot of times the seatbelts or actual lap systems are a little bit loose so when you get in there and you reef on that car seat you can move it around,” explains Cst. Jim Lebedeff of the Calgary Police Traffic Unit. “You have to consider in a crash, the dynamics that are happening are pretty…and even if that little person is belted properly inside, the injuries they can sustain with the car seat moving around can be pretty substantial.”

Common mistakes include straps that are too loose, or chest clips that are too low.

“People just need to get right in that car seat, kneel in it and snug it right up,” Lebedeff suggests. “Some people can’t find where it should actually be tethered, so they don’t tether it.”

Anyone with an improperly installed car seat is subject to a $115 fine, but if they attend a safety class it will be cancelled.

“[Participants] get a whole lot of education, it’s hands on, we have all the cars seats there. They show a video as to installations for each car seat and they can ask questions and that type of thing.”

One mother who was pulled over is happy with the safety blitz.

“It’s safe. It’s a benefit for me as a mom, and a benefit for my son,” says Rose Anthony.

Parents are also warned to watch out for unsafe recalled and second hand car seats.

78 tickets were issued for car seat violations during Wednesday’s checkstop.

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NWT man finds knife in back after 3 years – National

YELLOWKNIFE – A Northwest Territories man was just scratching what he thought was an annoying old itch earlier this week when it turned out to be a knife blade that had been buried in his flesh for almost three years.

“I jumped in a cab and went straight to emergency,” said Billy McNeely, 32.

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It all goes back to an April, 2010, birthday party in McNeely’s home town of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. McNeely said a fight broke out between himself and another man over an arm-wrestling contest that ended up with McNeely being stabbed five times.

“They stitched me up and bandaged me up,” said McNeely. “They never took X-rays.”

Ever since, McNeely has had a lump in his back where the knife went in. Doctors and nurses told him nerves had been damaged in the stabbing.

But the old wound never stopped nagging.

I sat up, I tried to … scratch it the way I always did, and then the tip of my nail caught a piece of something solid, something sharp.

“I always had back pains. There was always a burning feeling with it.”

The injury was constantly itchy and irritated. It set off metal detectors. That was explained away as a metal fragment that had lodged in his bone.

On Monday, while McNeely and his girlfriend were asleep in bed, the pain came back.

“I sat up, I tried to rub it and scratch it the way I always did, and then the tip of my nail caught a piece of something solid, something sharp.

“My girlfriend got up and she started playing around with it and she manoeuvred my back in a certain way and the tip of a blade poked out of my skin.”

Doctors dug out a blade measuring about seven centimetres long.

“I’ve got it in my pocket right now,” he said.

McNeely said he’s recovering well and doesn’t seem to have suffered any permanent damage, despite the physical work he does as a carpenter.

But he’s not happy with the way he was treated by the N.W.T.’s health system. He said he explained his problems numerous times to doctors and nurses, but nobody ever thought to get to the bottom of his complaint.

“I walked around for close to three years with this thing in my back,” he said. “They brushed me off.”

McNeely said he’s considering a lawsuit against the health centre in Fort Good Hope, where he originally went after he was stabbed.

— By Bob Weber in Edmonton

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Return of baseball to be studied in Montreal – Montreal

MONTREAL – Warren Cromartie is convinced that Major League Baseball can be reborn in Montreal.

The former Expos outfielder and head of the Montreal Baseball Project, a group whose aim is to bring the major leagues back to the city, says he’ll know soon whether fans and the business community really want it.

His group and the Montreal Board of Trade launched a feasibility study on Wednesday to see if conditions are right and the interest is there.

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“The group that I assembled will make it clear to everyone, including Major League Baseball, that we’re serious about bringing it back,” Cromartie said at a news conference.

A team from the accounting firm Ernst and Young will analyse the financial factors and stadium options and law firm BCP LLP will look at the legal and financing structures of the project.

The polling firm Leger Marketing will take the pulse of the business community and the public to see if there are enough people ready to buy tickets and corporate boxes to make the team work.

The $400,000 study, with costs split evenly between the Board of Trade and some private business people, is to be completed by the end of the year.

The Montreal Expos, who joined the National League as an expansion team in 1969, were a huge success in the 1980s. But the team was playing in a nearly empty stadium by the time it was sold and moved to Washington to become the Nationals after the 2004 season.

Cromartie, who launched the project last year, said conditions are better for baseball to succeed now. He said the revival of the Canadian dollar, more television revenue, the advent of social media and increased revenue sharing in baseball would all help.

And he feels the introduction of wild card playoff spots would boost interest by giving the team a better chance to reach the post-season.

“When I was playing here, how many times would we have made the playoffs?” said Cromartie, an Expo from 1974 to 1983. “So a lot has changed in a positive way.”

Now he has to change the minds of many former fans who had given up on baseball by the time the team left town.

“My whole agenda is to try to change the attitude,” he said. “I know a lot of people were angry eight years ago. You have to get past that because this is a new era, new times. There’s no ill-will toward anyone.”

Bringing back baseball would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, not only to buy a franchise but to build a stadium. Disenchantment with the domed Olympic Stadium was a reason often cited for the Expos’ demise.

They would also have to convince the powers that be to return to a city where, for many reasons, public interest petered out. Major League Baseball bought out the club from then-owner Jeffrey Loria in 2002 and ran it at a loss before moving to Washington.

Cromartie pointed to the U.S. capital, which lost major-league franchises twice, as an example of baseball returning to a city where it had failed.

Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade, is confident the city has the wealth, population and interest to support a team.

“The signal we’re getting is there’s an appetite for a baseball team,” said Leblanc. “We’re going to test that over the coming months.

“We’re going to know. We need a strong fan base, but we also need the corporate sector to be there. We want to have these business leaders and head offices buy tickets and attend games.”

What they don’t have yet is a deep-pocketed individual or company to step up as owner.

After founder Charles Bronfman sold the team in 1991, it was co-owned by a group that was unwilling to take risks or invest in star players. The inability to keep top players like Canadian slugger Larry Walker was another reason fans chose to stay away.

Leblanc said that if the study shows a team is a viable investment, he is confident an owner or owners will emerge.

“Our belief is that Montreal is strong, our economy is strong, and we might have a viable product that will be good for Montreal and good for our brand abroad,” he said.

Cromartie, who played nine years in Japan after leaving the Expos, lives in Miami but has relatives in Quebec City and keeps up with news from Montreal.

He was a member of the only Expos team to reach the playoffs in 1981, when they lost the National League final series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

©2013The Canadian Press

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Creating IVF babies from 3 parents garners public support: UK fertility regulator

LONDON – Britain’s fertility regulator says it has found broad public support for in vitro fertilization techniques that allow babies to be created with DNA from three people for couples at risk of passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases.

It also found there was no evidence to suggest the techniques were unsafe, but said further research was still necessary.

Critics, however, slammed the decision as a breach of ethics, saying there were already safe methods like egg donation to allow people to have children without mitochondria defects.

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Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority began a public discussion of the topic at the government’s request last year.

“Although some people have concerns about the safety of these techniques, we found that they trust the scientific experts and the regulator to know when it is appropriate to make them available to patients,” Lisa Jardine, chair of the group, said in a statement Wednesday.

British law forbids altering a human egg or an embryo before transferring it into a woman, so such treatments are currently only allowed for research. The regulator will now pass its findings to the government, which would need Parliamentary permission to change the law.

Similar research is going on in the U.S., where the embryos are not being used to produce children.

About one in 200 children every year in Britain is born with a mitochondrial disorder, faults in a cell’s energy source that are contained outside the nucleus in a normal female egg. Mistakes in the mitochondria’s genetic code can result in serious diseases such as muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, heart problems and mental retardation.

When a method to avoid these faults was first successfully used in 2008, headlines announced that scientists had created a child with three parents — two biological mothers and a father. But scientists said that was inaccurate, since there are only trace bits of genetic material from one woman.

There are two procedures to avoid passing on faulty mitochondria. The first involves using an egg from one woman with mitochondrial defects and the sperm of the father. Scientists then put that embryo into an emptied egg from a second woman with healthy mitochondria. The DNA from the second woman amounts to less than 1 per cent of the embryo’s genes.

In the second technique, scientists transfer nuclear DNA out of a day-old embryo with defective mitochondria. The DNA is implanted into another single-cell embryo with normal mitochondria. The nuclear DNA from the donor embryo is discarded, leaving the healthy mitochondria.

Experts say the new techniques would likely only be used in about a dozen U.K. women every year.

David King, director of Human Genetics Alert, called the HFEA recommendations “a travesty of basic medical ethics.” His group is a secular organization that opposes many genetics and fertilization experiments.

Others, however, called it progress for those with mitochondrial diseases.

“This technique does involve a step into new scientific territory,” said Marita Polschmidt, director of research at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. “But it is a calculated, specific step with the sole aim of preventing a potentially fatal condition from being passed down to the next generation.”




©2013The Associated Press

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