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5 children killed in fire at Pennsylvania day care centre

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ERIE, Pa. — A day care centre where children could stay overnight as their parents worked was ravaged Sunday by a fire that killed five and sent the owner to the hospital, authorities said.

The victims in the lakeside city of Erie ranged in ages from 8 months to 7 years, Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said.

At least four of the victims were staying overnight at the residential house that had been turned into a day care centre, Erie Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told the Erie Times-News.

The fire, reported at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, was funneling out of every first-floor window when firefighters arrived, Widomski said.

Valerie Lockett-Slupski, standing across the street from the fire-damaged house, told the newspaper she was the grandmother of four of the children, and that they were staying at the day care centre because their parents were working overnight. She said the family had two boys and two girls and had used the centre for almost a year.

“So we are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened,” Lockett-Slupski said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Sunday afternoon, Widomski told the newspaper.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership lists the Harris Family Daycare as “a 24 hour, 7 days a week childcare service including holidays.”

The state Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning listed the day care as in compliance with requirements following a Dec. 28, 2018, inspection. But a Jan. 3, 2019, inspection note on that listing highlighted “ashes and cigarette or cigar butts” in “a child care space, play space or food preparation area.”

The day care centre’s response to the note reads, “I will make sure it will be cleaned up and remain that way,” and the department listed the issue as corrected.

Another department note from the same date reads “protective receptacle covers shall be placed in electrical outlets accessible to children 5 years of age or younger,” to which the day care’s response was, “I turned the outlets so they were closed. I will make sure that they are turned closed when not in use.”

That issue was also listed as being corrected.

Widomski told the newspaper that the fire appeared to have started in the living room area on the first floor. The department’s two fire inspectors and three Erie police detectives trained in fire investigations are working to determine the cause of the blaze.

The owner of the centre was flown to UPMC Mercy for treatment, Santone said.

Erie police detectives said the owner was in stable condition, the newspaper reported.

Santone said a neighbour was also injured.

The Associated Press




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One year later most oil-and-gas bailout money has moved, federal government says

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OTTAWA — Canada’s $1.6-billion bailout package for Alberta’s battered oil industry is well underway but with little transparency about who is getting the money and for what.

Almost $1 billion of the package of loans, guarantees and government grants announced last December is in the hands of companies but details are available for just a small fraction of the spending.

Two Alberta petrochemical projects each received $49 million for new facilities to turn propane into a type of plastic, while about $37 million flowed to various oil and gas companies to develop or buy technology to reduce their environmental impact.

The funds are flowing as pressure is mounting on Canadian banks and investment firms to reconsider their backing of fossil-fuel projects as major national banks in Europe have begun to flee the sector, citing climate change risks and a transitioning global economy.

Export Development Canada, which set aside $1 billion in the national bailout for loans and loan guarantees, said earlier this year it was getting out of the coal business but would continue to aid oil and gas companies.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Alberta government insist investors need to see how much more sustainable Canada’s industry is compared to some competitors and continue to invest in it as oil and gas remain big elements in the global energy supply.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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Red tape, lack of experience slowing $60B warship project: Former DND official

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OTTAWA — A former Defence Department official is pulling back the curtains on what he says are some serious problems with Canada’s $60-billion effort to buy new warships for the navy.

They include onerous red tape and inexperience among key government officials.

The revelations are in a report by retired rear-admiral Ian Mack for the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, in which Mack says Canada has a lot to learn from Australia when it comes to naval shipbuilding.

Mack spent a decade helping manage Ottawa’s efforts to build a new fleet of warships before he retired in 2017, at which point Australia asked him to help advise it on the purchase of a new fleet of frigates.

The Australian project went from initial government approval to the selection of a design in three years, compared to six years here in Canada.

Mack says unlike in Australia, many people working on the Canadian warship project had little to no applicable experience while other officials floating in and out would often have outsized influence despite not being dedicated to the project.

This article by The Canadian Press was first published on Nov. 15, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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november, 2019

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tue19nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov1:30 am2:30 pmPlanning A Calmer Christmas1:30 am - 2:30 pm

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

tue26nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu28nov7:30 pm11:00 pmA special Christmas Musical Event at The KrossingBig Hank's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas7:30 pm - 11:00 pm MST The Krossing, 5114 48 Avenue

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