UK to repatriate 150,000 as Thomas Cook finally collapses

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel agent, has finally collapsed after failing to secure rescue funding. It means travel bookings for its more than 600,000 global vacationers were cancelled early Monday. The UK government said the return of the firm’s 150,000 British customers now abroad would be the largest repatriation in its peacetime history. The process is set to begin later Monday.

Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said Thomas Cook, a firm that is 178 years old, has ceased trading, its four airlines will be grounded and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will lose their jobs. The company has wobbled on the edge of insolvency for years but was always able to carry on with its happy advice: “Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it.”

Five set for Don Valley W. debate Monday at Leaside arena

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association‘s federal election candidates debate for those running in Don Valley West is set for Monday evening (September 23). Doors open at the Leaside Memorial Gardens at 7 p.m.  Five candidates are confirmed.

  • Amanda Kistindey, Green
  • Laurel MacDowell, NDP
  • Rob Oliphant, Liberal
  • Ian Prittie, People’s Party
  • Yvonne Robertson, Conservative

Redway Road Starbucks is set to open Monday at Loblaws

The new Starbuck’s coffee bar will open Monday at Loblaws on Redway Rd. It’s located at the east end of the store beside the produce department and opposite the pharmacy. This location appears to be another of Starbuck’s franchise locations similar to that at Longo’s just up Laird Dr. in the Leaside Village centre. Unlike Starbuck’s street locations, the employees are hired not by Starbuck’s but rather the store in question. The cash goes to the franchisee, in this case, Loblaws. But the coffee, espresso and creamy concoctions are indistinguishable from those at any other Starbuck’s.

Broadview Bakery victim of Queen East resurrection rents

There’s much grief among residents and a good deal of anger over the closure of Broadview Bakery and Deli, a long-time favorite at 728 Queen St. East. The Leslieville Facebook page has a long thread of comment. The reason for the closure is a reported doubling of the rent. No amounts are stated but all of historic lower Broadview Ave. and Queen is undergoing what some might call gentrification. The resurrection of the Broadview Hotel at the corner in 2017 will have pushed up both values and rents.

East York couple fight time, enormous cost to save son’s life

This CBC report chronicles the moving story of Terry and Georgia Pirovolakis as they battle against time and a rare genetic disorder called SPG50 to save their son Michael, 18 months. The hereditary spastic paraplegia will eventually rob Michael of all functions in his arms, legs and brain. Since Michael was diagnosed in April, lawns across East York and Leaside have seen a mushrooming of signs asking for help. The family is trying to raise $3 million, the staggering price of specialized gene therapy to cure Michael. A Go Fund Me campaign has already raised $684,000.

Lotto Max winner Michael Gebru is slain in native Ethiopia

A Toronto man who won more than $10 million in a Lotto Max draw in 2017 has died mysteriously in his native Ethiopia where he went to try to make life better for other people. Michael Gebru, 41, was apparently murdered in circumstances that are not clear, his cousin Sosuna Asefaw told CBC News. In 2017 Gebru, who had recently been laid off at an assembly plant, checked a lottery ticket, thinking he’d won about $14. But he’d actually won $10.7 million. “I’ve always said that if I won the lottery, I’d help people in need,” the Scarborough said man at the time. Ever since winning, Gebru had travelled between Toronto and Ethiopia, hoping to make a difference with his newfound wealth.

No winning ticket for Saturday’s $9 million Lotto 649 prize

There was no winning ticket for the $9 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw. However, the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Ontario. The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Sept 25 will be approximately $11 million.

Music, food, sun and fun at Mt. Pleasant Harvest Fair 2019

Arresting photo, arson lady and sly cops get damning DNA

Faces, faces and the one at the left is an unknown wanted man in what can only be called an arresting image. Police call it a surveillance shot but it might easily be an in-your-face grab-shot taken by the complainant. She’s a woman who says she was sexually assaulted on the street at Bay St. and Queen’s Quay. The suspect is described as approximately 5’7″, 160 lbs., with a full brown and grey beard. He was wearing a pair of gold, round sunglasses, a black hat, black clothing and carrying a black backpack. At the centre is Jennifer Gross, 54, now charged with the November, 2018, arson fire that covered up (for a while) the murder of her boyfriend James Coppola, 75  At her remand on Saturday, Jennifer told the court there are two sides to every story. At right is an early 1990s picture of Timothy Bass convicted in July of the 1989 rape and murder of Mandy Stavik, 18, in Acme, Washington. Central to his capture was a courageous door-to-door DNA manhunt in 2013. When Bass refused to permit cops to take his DNA, crafty police lay in wait until 2017 when a co-worker slipped them a Coca Cola cup Bass had used.

Mt. Pleasant Village Harvest Fair from 10 until 4 Saturday

See later post here

Man grabs child and leaps into Niagara in horrifying attack

Niagara Regional Police say both Joshawa Raymond Douglas Brooks, 28, of Fort Erie, and his wife, 29, have died in the Niagara River after Brooks abruptly grabbed his young son and leaped into the river Friday. His wife also plunged into the turbulent waters in an effort to save her son. In the end, the lad is the only one to survive. The attack happened around 6:30 p.m. in the area of Jarvis Street and Niagara Boulevard in Fort Erie. An eyewitness account was carried by NewsTalk610 Radio.

Bob Steckley was in his driveway when he noticed the commotion going on by the water, so he ran to the shoreline with a few life jackets. Steckley entered the water and said the boy was terrified. “His eyes were huge as I came towards him. He was starting to go under, splashing around.” Once the child was brought to shore, Steckley and another good Samaritan performed CPR on the unresponsive mother until they were relieved by emergency responders The child’s mother was transported to hospital in critical condition, while the young boy was taken to a local hospital for further assessment. Steckley, a former Ward Three Councillor, is still waiting to hear whether or not the mother pulled through. He says he didn’t get much sleep last night.

No winning ticket sold in Friday’s $40M Lotto Max draw

Once again no winning ticket was sold for the $40 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw. That means the jackpot for the next draw on Sept. 24 will be approximately $50 million, and there will also be two Maxmillions prizes of $1 million dollars each up for grabs.