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Reyes, Dickey lead Blue Jays over Rays 8-2 – Toronto

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Toronto Blue Jays hit three home runs and R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball was darting all over the place Tuesday night.

“When we’re playing good, that’s the kind of game that we play,” said Jose Reyes, whose three-run homer broke a fourth-inning tie and sent Toronto past the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2.

“Hopefully, we can play more games like we did tonight,” he said.

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Dickey (11-12) gave up two hits in seven innings and the Blue Jays won their third straight as they try to stay in the AL wild-card race.

“We hope we heat up,” manager John Gibbons said. “August was a lean stretch for us, but that’s over with now. We don’t want to think about that.”

Danny Valencia also homered off Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (1-3). Pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro added a two-run shot off Cesar Ramos in the eighth.

Jose Bautista’s streak of homering in five straight games ended, but he had two singles and an RBI for Toronto.

Dickey gave up two runs, struck out six and walked three.

“From a movement standpoint, I had a really good knuckleball tonight, and it was tough to control it,” said Dickey, who pitched at least six innings for the 13th time in 14 starts.

“I hit a couple batters, balls were really tailing off late in the zone, which speaks to how many balls they put into play hard — not many, which is good. Outside of that one inning, I felt like I was right on point,” he said.

The Rays got both of their hits and runs in the second.

Yunel Escobar scored the second run on Kevin Kiermaier’s sacrifice fly caught by Reyes, the shortstop, in short left field.

Aaron Sanchez and Todd Redmond each pitched an inning of hitless relief.

Reyes, who singled and scored in the third, had his 13th multiple-hit game in his last 29 games.

Hellickson gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, the shortest of his nine starts since coming back from January elbow surgery.

“I think it was a matter of locating the ball to some spots that were better suited for the Blue Jays than us,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

A win on Wednesday or Thursday night would give the Blue Jays their first series victory at Tropicana Field since April 6-8, 2007.

“I don’t think anybody’s throwing in the towel,” Dickey said. “Who knows what a good September might do for us? If we can finish strong and worry about us, not other people, you never know what can happen.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: INF Brett Lawrie (oblique) was transferred from the 15- to 60-day disabled list, which ends his regular season. … RHP Brandon Morrow (finger) and 1B Dan Johnson (hamstring) were activated from the disabled list. … LHP Brett Cecil was unavailable due to some minor stiffness.

Rays: CF Desmond Jennings (sore left knee) was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game.

UP NEXT

Rays RHP Chris Archer (8-7) and Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (8-5) are Wednesday night’s scheduled starters. Archer is coming off a loss to Boston Friday where he gave up a season-high eight runs in four innings.

FIRST PITCH

Former Blue Jays pitcher and one-time Rays bat boy Jesse Litsch threw the ceremonial first pitch. The St. Petersburg native, who announced his retirement last month, went 27-27 over parts of five seasons with Toronto.

Homeschooling in Saskatoon: ‘they never stop learning’ – Saskatoon

Watch above: some parents turn to homeschooling to teach their children

SASKATOON – It was a flurry of activity for many households Tuesday morning as students went back to class in Saskatoon. For other families it was just another day of learning because their school never stops.

“Anybody can homeschool if you feel like you’re up for the challenge of having your kids at home every day,” said Jessica Benson, who homeschools three of her four school-aged children.

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Organizing this year’s ‘Not Back To School Picnic’ so local homeschoolers could connect with each other, Benson and her husband agree it’s the flexibility of homeschooling that works better for their lifestyle.

“There’s not a bell that rings at the beginning of the day or at the end, there’s not an end of the school in June and or start of school early in September, learning just happens year-round,” said Greg Benson.

“We take opportunities, yes we have curriculum, yes we have books that we open but how that happens and plays out really is up to us and how we want to see that happen in our kids lives.”

According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2,095 students registered as home-based students last year in the province, approximately one per cent of the total provincial enrollment.

Among those enrolled for homeschooling in Saskatchewan are the Peaks. This busy family of five where all three boys ages 4, 10 and 14 are learning from home.

“It just works for our lifestyle and the way that we want our kids to learn,” said Jennifer Peak, mother and homeschool teacher.

According to the Peak family, the biggest benefit of homeschooling is their classroom is anywhere and everywhere.

“I guess just the flexibility of being able to travel with my parents and learn at my own pace and not be forced to learn this thing at that time,” said Carrick Peak, who is in Grade 6 this year.

Not wanting to be tied to a school schedule, the family decided to homeschool when their oldest child was about to attend kindergarten.

“I didn’t want my five-year-old to be away from me for eight hours a day and then once we started it was really easy to continue,” said Jennifer Peak.

Home-based educators must provide their local school division an education plan for the year and it must be approved.

Each home-based education plan is evaluated at the end of the school year to ensure that the student has met all of the intended outcomes. According to the province’s Ministry of Education this is handled through the registering school division and in consultation with the parent.

“I never really wished I was going to a classroom for eight hours a day, it’s just not very much fun to sit around in a classroom and when I’m at home I still learn,” explained 10-year-old Carrick.

Raised by two teachers in United States, Peak says homeschooling is just a different way of thinking about education that isn’t confined to a classroom and says she doesn’t worry that her children are missing out on school-related experiences like dances or graduation.

“My kids have friends, they’ve always valued being able to keep their own schedule over organized social events,” said Peak.

“They don’t ask me if they can go to school.”

WATCH: Okanagan independent schools back in session as public sector labour dispute continues

OKANAGAN – Some Okanagan students headed back to class despite the labour dispute. Many independent schools were back in session today.

“It’s definitely opened up the doors for people looking for alternative options for their children,” says Marilyn Ilchuk the principal at North Okanagan Junior Academy, a small independent Christian school near Armstrong.

Ilchuck says the school has been fielding some additional inquiries from parents due to the teachers dispute.

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“They are frustrated, they’re looking for other options and they’re out there seeing what else is available,” says Ilchuk. “They just want to get their kids back into school.”

The school is handling inquiries from parents on a case-by-case basis.

“If it’s just babysitting that’s not something we really are interested in doing. We would want them to be here long-term to help them to grow in their academic life as well as socially,” says Ilchuk.

The Kelowna Waldorf School was also back in session for many students today.

“We’ve been having some calls about the school, perhaps more increased than normal, but that’s difficult to say,” says teacher and development administrator Michelle Townley.

The school has waiting lists for some younger grades and isn’t offering short-term spots.

“To place a child within a classroom for six weeks and then to withdraw them from that classroom is very disruptive,” says Townley.

Sending your kids to independent schools comes with a cost.

At the Kelowna Waldorf School regular tuition for a grade school student is $5,260. North Okanagan Junior Academy charges $210 per month.

Lethbridge County asks City to share ownership of airport – Lethbridge

Quiet and empty – it’s just another day at the Lethbridge Airport.

Attracting business to the airport has been an ongoing issue, especially when it comes to passenger traffic.

“It relies a lot upon the citizens of Lethbridge and southern Albertan’s to use the airport,” said Lorne Hickey, the Reeve of Lethbridge County.

“To attract more air service is a win win for everybody and it is vital for the maintenance of the airport.”

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Lethbridge County currently owns and operates the airport and are looking to the City of Lethbridge to help take on some of the responsibility.

“As a rural municipality, we only have a tenth of the population of the city, so it would be fair from all parties concerned to have some sort of governance and fee structure set in place for the running of the airport,” Hickey said.

The airport is financially stable for the time being. However, with low passenger movement and few airline services, the County is concerned they may run a deficit in the future.

The process of transferring ownership is still in its early stages. Both the County and the City have formed a joint Airport Governance Committee to determine an alternate operational model for the airport.

I think it’s important to recognize the importance an airport plays in a growing city. Regardless of what the outcome is, what’s important is that we are working together to protect this regional asset and making sure that it’s viable and sustainable in the future,” said Councillor Bridget Mearns, who was appointed to the new airport committee.

In 1997, the County acquired the airport. Then in 2007 they joined forces with the City to explore other funding options. This resulted in a recommendation to implement a new ownership and governance model.

“It looked at different airport authorities and commissions. If they are run by the municipalities or cities. So they looked at these different operating models,” said Mearns.

“We will have the opportunity to look through that report and then come up with those decisions.”

County officials say because the majority of people using the airport are Lethbridge residents, it makes sense to have the City share in the ownership.

Afghanistan Memorial Vigil on cross-country tour stops in Regina

REGINA – The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil is making a stop in the city this week at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.

“We say, ‘Lest we forget,’ all the time. Truly, these guys were not forgotten,” said Lt. Col. Victor Sattler, Royal Regina Rifles Commander.

The memorial is mainly made up of 158 photos of the 158 fallen Canadian soldiers.

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“The price we paid was the price we paid,” said Col. Ross Ermel, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Commander. “Saskatchewan has provided a lot, a tremendous number of exceptional young men and women to serve in the Canadian forces in Afghanistan.”

Sattler put 17 poppies beside select photos on the memorial, which stretches the length of one side of the Saskatchewan Gallery circle, to represent the number of dead solider with roots in the province.

He said losing a comrade spurs disbelief, but he chooses to “reflect on the good times.”

A ceremony was held Tuesday morning to mark the opening of the memorial, which is open to the public between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily until Saturday.

“It’s surprisingly emotional. You know, you hear some buzz words and you’re trying to fight back the tears,” said Sattler.

Cpl. David Braun, who was born and raised in Raymore, was killed three weeks into duty by a suicide bomber. His mom, Patty, found out about his death at a chiropractor’s appointment.

“This is pretty blunt, but it really doesn’t matter where you are or how you hear, dead is dead,” she said.

Patty previously saw the memorial at Kandahar Airfield cenotaph in 2010. Seeing the memorial again on Saskatchewan soil is a different experience but one that provides an opportunity to share David’s story, even if it’s still a challenging journey for her.

“The things that I think are going to be are easy aren’t, and the things that I think are going to be hard aren’t, but I’m so glad that the people of Saskatchewan are going to be able to see this memorial,” said Braun.

The memorial, which has been on the road since May 4, is travelling across the country and U.S.

The final destination is Ottawa in time for Remembrance week in November.

A permanent home for the memorial has yet to be determined.

University of Saskatchewan leaders focus on new year – Saskatoon

Watch above: new chapter begins at U of S despite some unfinished business

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is set to begin a new academic year, but still faces challenges stemming from past events, according to one of the institution’s student leaders.

“It’s a fresh start; it’s a new school year,” said Max FineDay, the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union president.

“That being said, we still face some significant challenges here at the University of Saskatchewan.”

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Related

  • Leadership crisis at University of Saskatchewan: faculty association

  • University of Saskatchewan board of governors chair stepping down

  • Interim University of Saskatchewan president to slow TransformUS down

The university was consistently in the headlines during the past year: last fall, its medical school was put on probation by a governing committee.

In the spring, the U of S dealt with the firing and re-hiring of outspoken tenured professor Robert Buckingham. This triggered changes in the university’s executive, including the firing of former president Ilene Bush-Vishniac.

The university also dealt with layoffs and protests over their cost-cutting TransformUS process.

The new academic year is marked by the university’s annual orientation and welcome week. FineDay said he had many chances to interact with new students at the event.

“There’s a lot of questions and that’s natural, we did go through a lot of challenging times,” said FineDay, who is entering his second year as student president.

However, he added that students are “mostly committed to making sure that they have a great year and that we move forward.”

One of FineDay’s tasks will be aiding in the election of a new university president. Gordon Barnhart currently sits in the role on an interim basis.

“I wasn’t here a year ago and so it’s all the more exciting, but it’s also challenging,” said Barnhart.

“It’s quite a responsibility as a president to run a good show.”

Barnhart said that there will be a major announcement this month from his office that will set the institution’s direction for the year.

“That will lay to rest, I think, all of those concerns and questions that have arisen in the past,” he said.

Despite the public nature of the university’s issues, some students at orientation day were not worried or aware of the political issues that plagued the institution.

“I wasn’t aware of it,” said a first-year arts and science student from Key Lake, Sask.

Obama orders 350 more troops to protect U.S. Embassy in Baghdad – National

WASHINGTON – The U.S. is adding 350 more troops to help protect the American Embassy in Baghdad and its support facilities in the capital, raising the number of U.S. forces in the country to over 1,000, officials said Tuesday.

President Barack Obama approved the additional troops for protection of American personnel following a request by the State Department and a review and recommendation by the Defence Department, the White House said in a statement.

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The buildup of U.S. troops in Baghdad follows the growing threat from Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. Since early August the U.S. has carried out 124 airstrikes against the militants, the latest taking place near the Mosul Dam on Monday.

The additional troops will not serve in a combat role, the White House said. Most are from the Army and some are Marines, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Approximately 820 troops have now been assigned to augment diplomatic security in Iraq, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman.

The additional troops will come from within the U.S. Central Command area of operations and will include a headquarters element, medical personnel, associated helicopters and an air liaison team, Kirby said. Fifty-five troops in Baghdad since June will be redeployed outside of Iraq and replaced by 405 newly deployed troops, he said.

The airstrike Monday near Mosul Dam involved fighters and attack aircraft that damaged or destroyed 16 armed vehicles, Central Command said in a statement late Tuesday.

©2014The Canadian Press

Vancouver Police raid marijuana shop on Kingsway – BC

Vancouver Police say they raided an illegal marijuana shop Tuesday.

Officers searched the Budzilla shop in the 2200-block of Kingsway after receiving several complaints from the public.

Police say Budzilla products are not just available in the store on Kingsway, but also at other marijuana shops around town.

The products consist of dry marijuana and THC-infused treats including candy and cookies. Police say the items’ packaging may be appealing to children.

Items seized from the Budzilla shop. Credit: Vancouver Police.

Items seized from the Budzilla shop. Credit: Vancouver Police.

Items seized from the Budzilla shop. Credit: Vancouver Police.

“Drugs were allegedly being sold to virtually anyone that walked in the door, regardless of whether they had a license from Health Canada to possess marijuana or not,” reads a statement from the Vancouver Police.

Police say they identified customers inside the store at the time of the raid, but they were released without charges pending “further investigation.”

“The VPD will continue to respond to any complaints about illegal marijuana use and sales, and take incremental steps to decide if further investigation or enforcement action is required. Our priority remains focusing on violent drug traffickers and those who prey on youth and the marginalized in our community,” reads the VPD statement.

In July, Jim’s Weeds Lounge was raided by police who alleged marijuana was being bought at the store and allegedly sold to youth in the area.

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Hudson passes animal protection bylaw – Montreal

HUDSON, Que. — A small Quebec town west of Montreal is taking action against puppy mills and animal abuse.

On Tuesday night, Hudson passed a bylaw that introduces stiff fines for anyone caught abusing an animal and gives new powers to shut down controversial breeding mills.

SPCA spokesperson Alana Devine talks about Hudson’s strict pet rules

Animal abusers could face $7,500 fines per charge of animal abuse and businesses trying to sell animals through puppy mills or breeding mills will be shut down.

The new bylaw also allows for alley cats and dogs to be captured and then spayed or neutered.

The Quebec town of Hudson adopted strict rules against animal abuse on September 2, 2014.

David Sedell/Global News

It comes as the Quebec government announced it plans to clean up the province’s reputation as a place where animal abuse is rampant.

READ MORE: Quebec to amend Civil Code to better protect animals from abuse

New legislation would redefine the status of an animal in the province’s Civil Code, ensuring that  cats, dogs and other animals will no longer be considered as “personal property” but as living, “sentient” creatures.

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Michael Sam, 1st openly gay player drafted in the NFL, off to join Dallas Cowboys: reports

The Montreal Alouettes will have to continue waiting for Michael Sam.

Both The NFL Network and ESPN reported Tuesday the defensive end is heading to Dallas for a physical with the Cowboys. If Sam passes, he’d join the NFL team’s practice roster.

Sam is trying to become the NFL’s first openly gay player. The 24-year-old was released Saturday by the St. Louis Rams and bypassed by the team for selection to its practice roster Monday.

Sam, a ’14 seventh-round pick by St. Louis, is on the Alouettes’ negotiation list, giving them exclusive rights to the former Missouri star if he chose to play professionally in Canada.

WATCH: Dallas sportscaster weighs in on Michael Sam being drafted late

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Montreal GM Jim Popp said he has reached out numerous times to Sam’s representatives but as of Tuesday hadn’t heard back from them. Popp said he put the six-foot-two, 262-pound Sam on the Alouettes negotiation list because he believes Sam can be an effective player in the CFL.

“He’s an outstanding pass rusher,” Popp said during a telephone interview. “With his body type, he’s a real true CFL rush end.

“If you look at guys like John Bowman (current Alouettes defensive end), Anwar Stewart and Elfrid Payton, that’s Michael Sam.”

Comparing Sam to Bowman, Stewart and Payton is heady praise, indeed. Payton is a recent inductee into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame while Bowman remains one of the CFL’s top pass rushers and has posted a club-high seven sacks this season.

Stewart is currently an assistant coach with Montreal but played in eight Grey Cup games – winning four – during an illustrious 13-year CFL playing career and in ’04 was named the league’s top defensive player.

But Popp said Sam is worthy of such accolades.

“He’s a very good football player and someone who’d fit our system perfectly and fit into our league very well,” Popp said. “He’s a relentless guy off the edge who wouldn’t have to be in coverage very often.”

Popp said he wasn’t surprised by the reports that Sam had garnered another opportunity in the NFL.

“He’s had some success there, he had a very good pre-season with St. Louis (registering three sacks),” Popp said. “Like I said, he’s a very talented football player.”

©2014The Canadian Press