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Niche high school programs taking off – Regina

REGINA – Measure twice, cut once. The old adage is still carefully followed as high school students get a taste of the trades.

Traditional classroom lessons are being used at Campus Regina Public to build things like heating ducts.

“It doesn’t really feel like math because you’re building something while you do it,” said Macy Wilson, a grade 11 student. “It’s kind of like we’re doing math, but we’re not doing math.”

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Wilson is one of 900 students in the program, which offers 22 different courses ranging from plumbing to culinary arts.

From a new military training program for high school students announced Tuesday to Regina’s first sports academy launching this week, there’s more specialty education programming than ever in the city – changing the ways our kids are learning every school year.

“Students were telling us, ‘We’re dying at our desks, we need different approaches, we need our high school education relevant for us,’ ” said Greg Enion, Regina Public Schools’ deputy director of student achievement. “That led us over the last five years of developing this program.”

Enrolment has doubled over the last year alone, with a student achievement rate as high as 92 per cent.

Long term, the program is considered an intermediate step to post-secondary education in a province where skilled trades are in high demand.

“At the end of the day, what we’re all about is promoting employability,” said Jason Marchtaler, a plumbing and heating instructor. “I want to give them a taste of as many different trades as I can.”

The program aims to keep students focused today, while mapping out a career for the future.

“It feels more exciting and encouraging if you know what you want to do at a young age,” Wilson said.

New Samsung Note 4 is better but lacks the wow factor of the Note Edge

*Steve Makris is a technology expert who does a weekly Tech Talk segment during Edmonton’s Sunday Morning News.

Sandwiched between a maturing smartphone market and next week’s much anticipated iPhone 6 launch, Samsung revealed its new incrementally better Galaxy Note 4, available in October. But for a wow phone, the Korean giant showed the Galaxy Note Edge, with no delivery date.

The Note 4, a combined large phone and small tablet, better known as phablets, has been one of Samsung’s success stories, worldwide.

How does the Note 4 stack up?

Its best incremental features over the current Note 3 are a much sharper 5.7 inch QuadHD 3.7 million pixel screen and a functionally improved stylus S PEN coupled with smarter multi-windows features. An impressive front f1.9  3.7 megapixel camera can be easily fired by touching the rear heart monitor. It has a wide angle lens which also shoots panorama selfies covering 120 degrees. The rest will disappoint some folks looking for a reason to upgrade from a Note 3. But new users will delight on the things they can do with the S Pen stylus.

Appeasing techie types, the upcoming Galaxy Note Edge does have cutting edge features like a curved right side screen that even shows sideways from the new cases designed for it. This means you can see ticker tape-like notifications, from the side and when looking head on. Disappointedly, there is no delivery date announced and Samsung Canada is talking with the cellcos. Surely, the price of the special edition Edge will keep budget minded users at bay.

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The simultaneous three city Samsung launch in Beijing, New York and Berlin is clearly aiming the Note 4 to global shoppers, especially developing countries. Research firm IDC said emerging markets have accounted for more than 50 per cent of all annual smartphone shipments since 2011, while mature markets will continue to slow, currently at five per cent growth. Samsung sees a stylus-armed smart phone attracted to Asian language users as an alternative to keyboards.

In an impatient market that can quickly disfavour any company that misses a beat, including Apple and Samsung, phone makers are churning more models and features at a record pace. Motorola Mobility, recently purchased by computer maker Lenovo, is planning to release eight new phones before the holidays.

Coupled with several new mid-price smartphones designed and made in China, poised to hit the North American market later this year, the choices for repeat and first-time customers are many.

Samsung also showed the next stage of wearable smart devices. The Gear S smartwatch differentiates itself from competitors by being 3G data ready. This means an additional SIM card and no reliance on the smartphone other than upgrades and new apps. It is a rather large but thankfully curved smartwatch with sharp screen whose watch face view with moving arms looks like the real thing. Typing on its screen was a challenge so don’t expect long article typing on this phone…just short social messages.

Many were surprised by Samsung’s last offering, the Samsung Gear VR, a virtual reality headset that lets viewers take in a 360 degree games or scenic tours by simply turning their head at any angle. An appearance by Oculus Rift VR headset creator John Carmack announced a new partnership with Samsung on supplying its five-times faster AMOLED screen technology for Oculus.

Like Apple whose older 4s, 5 iPhones remain popular, Samsung is challenged by consumer calls for something new and different. Past Samsung S3 and S4 models have sold better than the new S5, but the new incrementally better Note 4 stands out amidst smart phones with its useful hand writing and drawing ability.

Steven Sotloff’s family speaks out on death of their son – National

PINECREST, Fla. – The family of a journalist slain by Islamic State militants says Steven Sotloff dedicated his life to portraying the suffering of people in war zones, but was “no hero.”

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Family spokesman Barak Barfi told reporters gathered outside the family’s suburban Miami home Wednesday that Sotloff “tried to find good concealed in a world of darkness,” and to give voice to the weak and suffering in the Arab world.

A militant video released Tuesday purported to show the beheading of Sotloff, who was kidnapped in Syria last year.

Barfi said Sotloff was “no war junkie,” but was drawn to the stories of the turbulent Middle East.

Barfi said Sotloff’s family was grieving, but have pledged to “not allow our enemies to hold us hostage with the sole weapon they possess – fear.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Phone scam dampens ALS ice bucket challenge donations

Watch above: the ALS ice bucket challenge has blown competing fundraisers out of the water and attracted scam artists

SASKATOON – It’s taken social media and the world by storm.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has soaked millions, raised awareness and generated $12.26 million in donations, shattering ALS Canada’s original $10,000 goal, for the fatal neuromuscular disease.

But a recent scam has put a damper on the cause.

A couple days ago, ALS Canada was forced to tweet that they don’t make phone calls to solicit donations after hearing someone was falsely soliciting over the phone.

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“It’s very disappointing that people would try and take advantage of this incredible generosity the public expressed,” said Tammy Moore, the interim CEO of ALS Canada.

“Depending on what’s out there, they’re opportunistic and so whatever is hot that’s the trend they’re going to jump on,” said retired Saskatoon police Sgt. Brian Trainor.

Trainor, who now privately investigates fraud, calls it another instance of the flavour of the month and recommends people use their sixth sense and be wary.

“They’re not telephone soliciting, they’re not knocking on doors, you want more information contact them. That’s what everybody should do. You get a phone call ask for more information, where do I contact for information, I’m interested in making a donation, if you are how do I find out more,” said Trainor.

This is the first time ALS Canada says anything like this has ever happened. So far, they’ve heard about one case in the country, unlike the challenge.

“With the interest that the ice bucket challenge has received, we’re looking at any of the risks and constantly monitoring because we know that’s become the target for potential fraud,” said Moore.

About 3,000 Canadians currently live with ALS. The average patient lives between two and five years after diagnosis. For every person who is diagnosed, a person living with ALS dies.

ALS Canada plans to work with all provincial society’s around the country to decide where all the donated dollars will be allocated, with most going towards research and client services for a disease that has no cure or effective treatment.

What is proposal “E80” and why is it so contentious?

Vancouver — We’ve heard a lot of rhetoric about clause E80 in the teachers’s dispute. Today, B.C. Teachers’ Union president Jim Iker said it’s one of the biggest impediments to the two sides reaching a deal.

Here’s some more information about what it is and what it means to both parties.

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According to the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association Framework for Settlement, proposal E80 deals with the “learning and working conditions” in the classroom. It’s about issues we hear so often about: class size, class composition and specialist teachers.

These matters were before the courts previously. In 2011, the B.C. Supreme Court said the provincial government had infringed on the teachers’ rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedom. The court said the government interfered with the teachers’ collective bargaining with legislation that voided terms of a negotiated collective agreement, according to the judgment. The legislation was declared invalid, but the courts gave the government 12 months to figure out a solution.

In 2012 they enacted similar legislation and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation took the case to court again. In January of 2014, Madam Justice Griffin released this decision.  In it, she says “there is no basis for distinguishing the new legislation from the previous findings of this Court,” and went on to explain the new legislation still interferes with the Charter rights of teachers. The government has appealed the case and both parties are awaiting a decision.

WATCH: Former crown prosecutor Sandy Garossino speaks to Global News about E80 and binding arbitration

“The two sides are playing the court case very differently,” Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer told Global News. He says the court put language back into the contract that gives the union more say over classroom staffing levels and size.

E80 sets out the BCPSEA’s proposal on these issues. At the very end, it reads: “these provisions supersede and replace all previous Articles that addressed class size, composition and staffing levels.”

Former crown prosecutor Sandy Garossino says she understands the government’s viewpoint.

“The teachers are of the view that this would eliminate on their ability to rely on [the court] decision. It’s the government’s view, and I think there’s some weight to this, that the impact of court decision was class size and composition was always a matter for good faith negotiation and they can’t escape that.”

“The impact of the ruling doesn’t cover future contracts.”

However, she said the strength of the Supreme Court’s ruling should be considered when analyzing current negotiations.

“They’re going to say all kind of things about why [the ruling] is in error…I can’t emphasize enough is anyone has to do is pick up that ruling…and go through it,” said Garossino.

“Over and over and over again, she goes through a litany of examples of where the government really never intended to negotiate in good faith with the union at all. It’s very hard to get past that ruling, and it really does in my view cast a completely different view on the nature of the negotiations that are going on now. The credibility of the government is certainly in question.”

A BCTF spokesperson told Global News it’s this clause that’s the source of all the controversy.  He says that it’s the government’s attempt to negotiate out of their court loss.

“Their proposal, E80, would ‘supersede and replace’ all previous class size, class composition, and specialist teacher provisions,” said Iker, in his press conference today.

Palmer says the government’s position is since the court said their decision is not clad in stone, they feel the issue can be negotiated.

In a press conference today, Premier Christy Clark called class composition, “the one issue that is most vital to the future of education in British Columbia.” But she said it can’t be the focus of all the attention at the bargaining table until the two sides are closer in wages and benefits.

“I’ve looked at that one from every angle,” said Palmer. “I don’t see a compromised position on that one. Even if they could settle everything else, I don’t know how the hell you settle that.”

Saskatchewan labour climate stable according to arbitrator

Watch above: labour relations calm in Saskatchewan compared to other regions

SASKATOON – Saskatchewan’s labour relations climate is relatively calm compared to other parts of the country, according to a local arbitrator.

Alan Ponak, a labour arbitrator and mediator, referenced British Columbia’s current teacher’s strike when assessing the current labour situation in Saskatchewan.

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“There have been major province wide walkouts in almost every sector of their economy; we haven’t seen that nearly to the same extent in Saskatchewan,” said Ponak, who has been a practising arbitrator since 1982.

“Right now in Saskatchewan we have relative labour stability; the worst on-going dispute is Cameco in the uranium sector,” he added.

Saskatchewan does have a number of groups that are looking for new contacts.

Cameco’s labour dispute has led to a work stoppage at two of its production facilities. Saskatoon’s transit union has been at odds with the city over a new contract and Saskatchewan’s teachers are also looking for a new deal with the province.

In 2011, Saskatchewan’s teachers took limited strike action, however the current dispute hasn’t gotten to that point yet.

“There’s certainly not a love-in between the labour movement and the current government, but I think by and large they’ve managed to work together,” said Ponak, who added that all governments, regardless of party affiliation, end up in labour disagreements.

Despite the current disputes, data from the Canadian Labour Congress suggests that being in a union is financially beneficial. The group, which says it represents the interests of affiliated workers, claims that unionised workers in Saskatchewan make $4.99 an hour more than the non-unionised labour force.

BMW Championship: Stakes familiar in FedEx Cup playoff, even if course is not – National

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy were eager to get to Cherry Hills for the BMW Championship, for reasons more than just advancing to the third FedEx Cup playoff event.

Mickelson is part of the history at the fabled club in the Denver suburbs.

Ogilvy had only read about it. He took a day off from golf and spent more time with his nose in a book than with a club in his hand.

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“I did a little more research on Cherry Hills. It’s supposed to be pretty good,” he said Tuesday night. “Hogan hit 34 greens in a row on Saturday playing with Nicklaus, and then he spins it off 17 with what was nearly a perfect shot. I just want to see how impressive that was, to be honest with you.”

He was talking about the 1960 U.S. Open, the great convergence of three generations – Ben Hogan and his last good shot at a fifth U.S. Open title, Arnold Palmer’s most celebrated charge that began with a driver onto the first green, and the debut of Jack Nicklaus, a 20-year-old amateur who easily could have won that day.

“Not many courses have the history of Arnold Palmer driving a par 4,” Ogilvy said. “I just want to see it.”

Mickelson has experienced it.

Of the 69 players who advanced to the BMW Championship, no one knows Cherry Hills better than Mickelson. He played six matches in 1990 on his way to winning the U.S. Amateur when he was a college kid with his collar turned up and even more bravado than he has now.

On the first hole in one of his matches, it was taking so long because of rulings that Mickelson conceded his opponent a 35-foot par putt, and then rolled in a short birdie. He could only recall four of the six players he beat that week, though he remembers trying to drive the first green every day because that’s what Arnie did.

“I’m pretty excited to get back to Cherry Hills,” Mickelson said. “There’s an emotional tie there for me.”

And for all of them, there is work to be done.

The BMW Championship, which starts Thursday after a Labor Day finish outside Boston, is the final chance for 30 players to advance to the Tour Championship with all its perks, from a mathematical shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus to a spot in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open next year.

Chris Kirk went to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup with his victory in the Deutsche Bank Championship, which assured him a clear shot at the $10 million even if it wasn’t good enough for U.S. captain Tom Watson to select him for the Ryder Cup.

The more compelling stories are those on the bubble, and no one feels more at home there than Ogilvy.

He missed the cut in The Barclays and was certain he would not be among the top 100 who reached the second playoff event. But he made it to Boston – by two points – when Troy Merritt missed a 10-foot par putt on the final hole at Ridgewood, and hours later, Brendon Todd made a 15-foot par putt on the same hole.

“I thought I was going to be a week-and-a-half into my drinking season at this point,” Ogilvy said.

He thought the same thing at the TPC Boston until he started making just about every putt he looked at over the last 27 holes. Ogilvy briefly was tied for the lead, and his 65-65 finish gave him a tie for second. But even that contained some drama.

Ogilvy was alone in third until Russell Henley made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to tie him. Then, Billy Horschel missed a par putt after hitting into the hazard, and Ogilvy wound up in a three-way tie for second.

Because of the points distribution, Ogilvy went from No. 30 after Henley made his putt to No. 24 after Horschel missed his putt.

“I found myself quite interested in Billy and Russell,” he said. “Normally, I wouldn’t. At a normal tournament, you would finish and say, ‘OK, this was a good week and move on.’ But the FedEx Cup makes you think about that stuff. In a 20-second period, I go from third on my own to tied for third and then tied for second.”

And with that good fortune comes more pressure.

Given the breaks he required to get to Boston, much less Denver, Ogilvy felt he was playing with house money. Now, he is close enough to East Lake – and a return to the Masters for the first time in three years – that it has his full attention.

“Not only is it a realistic proposition, I kind of have to mess up not to get there,” he said. “Before I said it was house money. Anything I did last week was a bonus. Now I’m back in the mix for the whole thing.”

©2014The Canadian Press

City of Regina believes civic pension plan “solution” could be imposed – Regina

REGINA – In the latest move in the civic pension dispute, the city of Regina is submitting a proposed plan to the provincial regulator without input from the employee groups.

“It is the responsible thing to do,” said City Manager Glen Davies to reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The proposal comes following increased pressure from the Deputy Superintendent of Pensions of the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA), who in July announced a potential cancellation of the plan if a deal isn’t reached.

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Despite the current veto power on both sides of the dispute, the city believes it’s found a way to impose its proposal.

“This was a plan that was created by city council bylaw and so ultimately it may boil down to council determining what amendments need to be made to the bylaw alterations,” said Davies. “A solution to the current circumstances may be imposed.”

The city’s proposal also includes a way to pay down the estimated $240 million deficit. The employers would take on 70 per cent while the employees would cough up the rest.

“Paying it off over 40 years is all well and good, but the money has to come from something else,” said Jason Childs, associate professor of economics at the University of Regina. “The city is taking on two fairly large infrastructure projects right now, with the stadium and the sewer treatment plant. They’re carrying a fair bit of debt.”

The city is also proposing new contribution rates of 10.5 per cent for the employee and 11.6 per cent for the employer, which is slightly different from the current even split.

Additionally, if the plan dips back into the red, the city is out with a list of steps to follow, including a one-time 0.5 per cent contribution rate increase for both sides and an elimination of the bridge benefit for retirees younger than 65.

“We are disappointed that the City is walking away from a deal we signed in good faith just over a year ago,” said Kirby Benning, chair of the pension and benefits committee, in a statement. “We are concerned that they are trying to keep the concessions we agreed to while stripping away the defined benefit nature of the plan – the core aspect that both sides agreed to protect in our original deal.”

The civic pension plan impacts 4,000 employees and 3,000 retirees.

The employers represented include the City of Regina, the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, Regina Board of Education, Regina Public Library, and the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.

Looking for a place to stay during TIFF?Hotels aren’t your only option – Toronto

Some Torontonians are opening their homes during TIFF and renting out rooms or the whole apartment, condo or house.

They’re getting connected online through Airbnb.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Aaron Zifkin, Country Manager of Airbnb, “Individuals just go online and create a listing profile for their space.”

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  • Will a sharing economy change us from buyers to bartering borrowers?

Prospective renters can look at descriptions and reviews of the location and sign up online. A letter sent out to prospective Airbnb hosts claims a person could “Earn up to $1000 a night by simply opening your doors to festival goers from around the world during the Toronto International Film Festival.”

“It really depends on the type of home you have and the location of the place,” said Zifkin.

Esther Goldlust is renting out rooms in her home during TIFF and feels safe doing so. “I feel very comfortable. I’ve been doing this for two years and I’ve had virtually no problems.”

Zifkin says transactions are done on their secure platform. Both hosts and guests are reviewed on the website. This allows each party to learn more information about the accommodation and visitor.

“All of our hosts have a guarantee. It’s called the Airbnb Host Guarantee which covers all of our hosts for up to $900,000 for any damages that occur during the time that somebody’s renting their place,” said Zifkin. “So we have full coverage.”

It is legal in Toronto to rent an apartment or home. However, if renters are interested in subletting – Airbnb suggests looking through the lease agreement carefully to see if it is allowed.

This is the first year that Airbnb is a sponsor of TIFF. Although they have been operating since 2009, this will be the first year they officially track participation numbers during TIFF.

Airbnb operates in 35,000 cities in 190 countries around the world.

Tips for travellers:

Aygelina Brogan, Travel Expert

Read all of the reviews, if you see an issue more than once it’s a red flag.Lukewarm reviews are also a sign of people just wanting to be polite. Look for shining praise of the space and the host.Ask lots of questions. Wifi may be available but is it free? Is there a cleaning fee?Make sure you have the cell phone number of the host and that they are available at your arrival time (unfortunately, I once arrived in London, had issues with the key and my host was at a wedding without cell reception).Ask for the address. Many spaces will say they are a 5 minute walk to transit but in reality it is 10 or 15 minutes. With the address you can use Google maps to investigate.

Walmart takedown sparks questions about security training

(Watch Above: Video of the takedown posted on Live Leak by user OPD21. Warning: the content may be disturbing to some.)

EDMONTON – A video depicting a violent takedown and arrest of a man allegedly stealing from Walmart by two loss prevention workers is raising questions about training for security staff.

The August 28 altercation, caught on video and posted on the website Live Leak by user OPD21 on Monday, led to an Edmonton police investigation, an internal Walmart review and a review under a provincial act.

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  • Watch: Violent takedown of alleged Walmart shoplifter; police investigate

READ MORE: Violent takedown of alleged Walmart shoplifter; police investigate 

Jeremy Garnhum, 26, faces six charges including assault with a weapon, assault to overcome arrest, theft under $5,000, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public. The accused was treated for injuries but not admitted to hospital.

As of Wednesday, charges had not been laid against the loss prevention workers.

In Alberta, the security industry operates under the Security Services and Investigators Act. 

The provincial government must license businesses and individuals in this industry. Working without a licence can result in fines or court appearances.

Under the Act, a person seeking a loss prevention officer licence must successfully complete Alberta Basic Security Training.

However, David Hyde, who has 25 years of experience in the private security sector in Canada and a Masters degree in security and risk management, says in some cases the training is not adequate.

“The training in Alberta is about equivalent to a 40-hour classroom training course where paper and pen and theory items are walked through,” said Hyde, who managed security at Calgary’s Chinook Centre for seven years. “They learn about the powers of arrest, when they can and can’t arrest.

“What they don’t learn is how to actually perform an arrest, the mechanics and function.”

Hyde believes more specific, standardized training is required for security personnel who are not police or peace officers.

“We need to have those techniques taught by a professional training organization who understand the private security approach to making an arrest and the legalities and to equip the front-line security people with the requisite tools to make arrests safely.”

He says, in many cases, this training is done by former police officers “who may not understand the type of situations security staff face, who have a little bit less power, less weaponry and less backup of course than the police have.”

Larry Wheaton, an instructor in the Alberta Basic Security Training program at Calgary’s Columbia College, says training is essential, but the onus is also on the companies that hire security staff.

“Security guards – LPOs specifically – can make an arrest, so what they were doing was absolutely correct. How they were doing it is a matter of debate.

“That’s where a lot of companies fall short; teaching their staff how to do that job.”

Wheaton stresses he doesn’t have the details of the Walmart employees in the video or the company itself.

“The company – the onus is on them to give [employees] the tools that they need to do that particular job. And if employees are left to their own devices, they’ll fill in the gaps on their own, and make up their own plan on the fly, and what you get is often, what you see in the video.”

On Tuesday, Walmart issued a statement to Global News saying it was “deeply concerned about the incident” and was “conducting a review of our processes to ensure all safety considerations are addressed.”

Hyde agrees that companies also play a big role, and that their policies should address security staff, protocol and safety.

“All too often, I don’t think the employer really understands how their front-line security staff are trained, and what type of policy guidelines are in place – or are often not in place.”

“It may be legally permissible to make the arrest, but is it operationally viable to make the arrest in a safe way? This is the focus of training that’s very often missed out in my experience.”

A spokesperson for the province explains that duties and functions of roles covered under the Security Services and Investigators program vary greatly and include security guards, loss prevention workers, executive security guards, private investigators, and even locksmiths.

Regardless of the sector, the Security Services and Investigators Act is designed to ensure minimum standards of training, accountability and professionalism.

Complaints about actions taken by individuals and businesses licensed under the Act can be directed to:

Complaints Coordinator, Security Programs

Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General

9th Floor, 10365-97 Street

Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7

Phone: 780-638-3704

Fax: 780-427-4670

Email: [email protected]桑拿按摩

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