From the breaking news desk: July 29 – 31

The remains of a Dodge Caliber involved in a two-car collision in a quiet North York residential neighbourhood Saturday, July 31, 2010. The crash claimed the life of one man and left several others injured. CREDIT TORONTO STAR/STEVE RUSSELL

One dead, one arrested after ‘spectacular’ residential crash

Man not wearing seatbelt was ejected and killed; car looks like “it went through a war,” investigator says.

Toronto man charged with online luring

A Toronto man has been arrested in connection with internet luring charges involving a child in New Mexico.

Zero alcohol level for young drivers kicks in Sunday

Sunday at 12:01 a.m., it will become an offence for any driver 21 or under, regardless of licence class, to have a blood alcohol level above zero.

What’s open and closed this weekend

Here’s what to expect on the roads and shopping over the civic holiday.

Court officer charged with armed robbery

A civilian member of the Toronto Police Service has been charged with armed robbery following a home invasion in south Etobicoke.

Man shot dead in northwest Toronto

A man in his 20s is dead after being shot in the head on Friday at around 3 p.m.

Raw milk activist marks trial with operetta

Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt is milking his court victory by creating a comic operetta about access to raw milk.

Fifth arrest in Mississauga teen’s murder

Police have arrested a fifth suspect in connection with the shooting death of a Mississauga teen earlier this month.

Daylight shooting victim identified

Police are still looking for the person responsible for shooting a 26-year-old man on Friday afternoon near Sheppard and Jane.

Bystander acts quickly to aid a police officer

A passerby came to the aid of the police officer after a man became aggressive on Saturday at around 2:05 p.m.

Second weekend stabbing is the city’s 34th homicide

One man dead and two others arrested after separate stabbings this weekend.


Remember that time I was on CBC radio?

Every news junkie needs an oversized coffee mug

Not that I like how I sound on the radio or anything (real talk: I don’t) but I do need to highlight my first interview on the Ceeb anyway…especially because  I have an overt appreciation for our national broadcaster and because CBC journalist Valérie Morand found me right here in the blogosphere.

Inspired by a recent Washington Post article, I’d previously weighed in and reached out on Ottawa’s evolution here at the Fab Files as well as in the Toronto Star’s intern blog.

Earlier this month, Morand interviewed me about the feedback I’d gathered and allowed me to drop in my own two cents. If you’re interested in the end result, here’s The Link (pun unapologetically intended, as this is the name of the show in which this interview was broadcast.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

“On The Link today..
…A recent article in the Washington Post raving about Canada’s capital, Ottawa, being the unselfconscious cool capital with an easy cosmopolitan nature, has stirred quite a bit of reaction in Canada. The Link’s Valérie Morand brings us the reactions from people living in Ottawa.”

A big THANK YOU to everyone who originally weighed in on both blogs, Facebook and Twitter!

G20 reports of media repression keep pouring in

Photo by Anderson Mancini

The Canadian Journalism Foundation
From the J-Source newsletter:

G20 reports of media repression keep pouring in

After the G20 folded its tent, first-hand accounts of media repression have continued being posted on J-Source.  In ‘Access Denied,’ reporter Jesse Freeston describes being beaten by police. In the Student’s Lounge, there’s an account of a student journalist having to hand over his notes and camera, and in J-News, a story of cameras being returned with images gone. As calls for public scrutiny mount, this backgrounder on covering public inquiries is a helpful read. If you were there, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression is conducting a survey of journalists’ experiences. And if you got roughed-up, take heart that although the rest of the worldwasn’t very interested, at least Canadians tuned in. As calls for public scrutiny mount, this backgrounder on covering public
inquiries is a helpful read. So is the Riot Survival Guide.

From the breaking news desk: July 17 – 19

Photo by έŁέ¢τяøиί¢ έγέ on Flickr

Keeping cool in the world’s hottest spots

Think it’s sweaty in Toronto? Try taking a vacation to El Azizia, Libya. The small desert town has the distinction of dealing with the highest temperature ever on record.

A portion of Lawrence Ave. E. is closed as police from traffic services investigate.

Firefighter injured after lightning sparks fire on roof in Markham

A firefighter fell from a ladder and was injured while responding to the blaze

Two injured in separate overnight stabbings

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a downtown stabbing; a second stabbing occurred in Scarborough.

1 dies in Hwy. 410 crash in Brampton

Two killed in highway collisions so far this weekend.

Pedestrians hospitalized after being hit by taxi

The victims, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 20s, are suffering serious injuries after being hit by a cab.

Dear world, how do you beat the heat?

Image by moyerphotos on Flickr

Dear international friends,

Are you somewhere in the world that experiences extreme heat?

Care to talk to a reporter  about how you manage? The Toronto Star is working on a story about how people in different global hot spots keep cool.

We’re especially interested in speaking with people from:

  • Libya
  • Death Valley, U.S.A
  • Kuwait
  • Oodnatta, South Australia
  • Villa de Maria, Argentina
  • Athens, Greece

Please email our team:, and or leave your location and tips in the comments below.  Please be specific about how your region does things.

Stay cool,

Toronto Star Reporter

From the breaking news desk: July 9 – 12

Photo by dfinnecy on Flickr

It was a very grim series of shifts this time around. Many tragedies and close calls.
Here’s the latest list of breaking news stories that I authored.

Child choked by window blind cord
A 5-year-old Pickering boy is in critical but stable condition after getting tangled up in a cord attached to window blinds.

Dangerous sex offender may be hiding in Toronto
The 71-year-old fugitive is considered violent and at high risk to reoffend, according to police.

Toddler in hospital after being pulled from pond
The baby was pulled from a pond north of Ajax at around 10 a.m. Sunday.

School bus set ablaze in North York
The school bus was gutted by the flames, but nearby Zion Heights Junior High spared.

Human remains identified as Bracebridge woman
The remains of a 32-year-old woman were discovered at a cottage in Bracebridge on July 5.

2 Toronto men die in separate drownings
Police say a 31-year-old drowned in the Wasaga Beach area and an 84-year-old died in Gravenhurst.

Severe thunderstorm warning lifted for Toronto
Severe weather warning lifted for numerous regions in Southern Ontario, but warnings imposed again for London, Middlesex, Oxford and Brant.

Man drowns at Wasaga Beach
Natural bodies of water pose a greater risk to swimmers at all levels, according to the Lifesaving Society.

Police bust marijuana operation southeast of Peterborough
Officers from a tactics and rescue team found two men asleep and holding weapons as they entered the home.

Spot blackouts dim three Toronto neighbourhoods
A spokesperson for Toronto Hydro said more people than usual complained over the spot blackouts Friday.

Police believe that the woman is responsible for previous incidents of sewing needles being inserted into various brands of sausages.
Police release video of suspect wanted in car wash slaying
Images of a baseball-cap wearing suspect were captured by several cameras around the crime scene.
Marchers to protest G20 police actions; traffic delays expected
Activists plan to march along main streets from their meeting place at Queen’s Park to Simcoe Park at 2 p.m.
Markham man pleads guilty in collision that killed teen
The convicted 23-year-old faces two years in jail after rear-ending the 16-year-old driver of a minibike in 2009.