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Demonstrators support Irving vs vaccine mandate at Nets game

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NEW YORK (AP) — Demonstrators supporting Nets guard Kyrie Irving and protesting New York’s vaccine mandate gathered outside Barclays Center on Sunday before Brooklyn’s home opener.

A few dozen people were in the plaza outside the arena, some chanting “Let Kyrie play! Let Kyrie play!” and holding signs that said “Stand with Kyrie.”

A small group even broke through barriers and got all the way to the front entrance of the building, forcing arena officials to briefly close the doors while fans were trying to get in.

Irving is not with the Nets because of his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A New York mandate requires professional athletes playing for a team in the city be vaccinated in order to play or practice in public venues.

The Nets could have allowed Irving to play in road games, but they decided he wouldn’t be with the team until he could be a full participant. Irving explained during an Instagram Live post that he was doing “what’s best for me.”

Protester Curtis Orwell said he and others were fighting for “bodily autonomy and sovereignty,” and the right to choose what goes in their bodies.

“We also know so much more than we knew 18 months ago about the virus,” he said. “We have therapeutics that have been tried and proven to great success. Unfortunately, those kinds of voices are being totally suppressed and censored.”

Orwell said he was not vaccinated and knew some people who had lost jobs because they weren’t.

“It doesn’t feel right to them and that’s OK,” he said. “We need to respect that.”

There were many empty seats in the arena as the game against the Charlotte Hornets was set to begin, though it was unclear if the commotion on the plaza caused it. The plaza was set up with some basketball hoops so fans arriving early could shoot and listen to musical performances.

“Barclays Center briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protestors from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the arena,” an arena spokeswoman said. “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press

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Boy killed in Brampton fire called 911 to report that he was trapped

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BRAMPTON, Ont. — The mayor of Brampton, Ont., says one of the three boys killed in a house fire Thursday called 911 to report the blaze, but firefighters couldn’t get there in time to save the children.

Patrick Brown says the boy told the emergency dispatcher that he was stuck in the house.

Brown says it only took six minutes for fire trucks to reach the burning house, but by then, the home was fully engulfed in flames.

The boys, who have not been publicly named, but who were aged nine, 12, and 15, died after being taken to hospital.

The local fire department and Office of the Fire Marshal are investigating.

Peel Police Const. Akhil Mooken said Thursday that a mother left her home that morning to drop a younger child off at school, and returned to find the house engulfed in flames.

It’s one of five fatal fires across Ontario that have together claimed 15 lives so far this month.

The Office of the Fire Marshal, which is tasked with investigating such fires in the province, said the numbers of both fatal fires and deaths have dipped compared to January of last year, but there are significantly more deaths than in January 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta RCMP investigating after child found wandering on highway near St. Paul

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ST. PAUL, ALBERTA — Alberta RCMP say they are investigating after a child was found wandering on a highway near a town northeast of Edmonton earlier this week.

Police in St. Paul say in a news release that they received a report about the child at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

They say a concerned motorist found the child on Highway 881 near Township Road 582 and brought the child to the RCMP detachment.

Police say they have started an investigation and are looking for dashcam footage from the area on Tuesday morning.

Earlier this week, St. Paul Education issued a statement on its website saying it was investigating after kindergarten student remained on a bus after it was returned to the driver’s yard following morning drop off.

They say the child left the bus and found their way to a road in a rural area, where a concerned citizen intervened and took the child to the RCMP.

“Drivers are trained to do a mandatory walk through of their bus to ensure it is empty before leaving it,” said the statement from board chairwoman Heather Starosielski and Glen Brodziak, superintendent of schools. “Our initial review indicates this was not done.”

They said the driver has been removed from his duties pending an investigation.

The statement said schools also typically call home to confirm any student absences.

“Our normal procedure is for schools to start to make in-person phone calls at 8:45 a.m. each day beginning with the youngest children first,” it said. “The delay in noting the absence was in part due to the large number of absences that day in the school as a result of several buses not running due to varying road conditions.”

The statement said the school division is reviewing its transportation practices as well as its student absence reporting process.

“We will also fully co-operate should there be an RCMP investigation,” it added.

They said they are thankful for the safe return of the child and the quick response from the concerned citizen.

Environment Canada shows the temperatures in the area hovered around -24 C on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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