Edmonton’s leading fight personality, and clearly the city’s outstanding boxer in history, faces a chance to do “something therapeutic for myself” and shake off the effects of this everlasting coronavirus.
Of course, Jelena Mrdjenovich means returning to the ring where she has won at least 10 professional championships since she started her boxing career in 2003.
“We’re negotiating right now on a fight in Los Angeles,” she said Wednesday. “There are a lot of complications but I think everything can be done in time for a fight in November.”
Preparing for a bout in a foreign country, including the setup of a training camp, is more difficult than might be imagined. Sparring partners are always available but workout schedules often need to be adjusted. These are minor adjustments, Jelena said, “It’s important to remember there would have to be 14 days of isolation at some point.”
She reigns as women’s world featherweight title-holder in at least one of the three major international boxing regulators. Obviously, there has been little competition in her bracket — or any other boxing bracket — for the last six months or so, but she says the challenge of getting into top shape is no different for her these days.
“I always do my best to stay active,” she said. “There are always complications, but with my (downtown) boxing club, I’ve been doing quite a few virtual classes. I’m probably closer to my (126-pound) fighting weight right now than when I usually start working out for a fight.”
In every conversation about her sport for the last three or four years, the 38-year-old champion has been asked when she will give up boxing. Before the COVID-inspired interruption, she had reached the 50-bout milestone which she once openly considered her gateway to retirement, “but now I’ve got some other major issues to handle.”
One of them, obviously, is the future of her sport and the organization, KO Boxing Edmonton, that has kept the pro game alive in this city for several years.
Within the last few weeks, there has been encouragement and then discouragement. Promoter Mel Lubovac said Alberta Health Services has granted permission for boxing competitions under firm control and obviously without public involvement.
“Now, the city has refused permission,” said the daughter of Milan Lubovac, a boxing mainstay in Alberta for decades and Mrdjenovich’s trainer-manager throughout her impressive career.
“I’ve said for a long time that this city’s administration is absolutely opposed to combat sports. Some people say the council has no real interest in any sports. There is no reason for this attitude. It’s embarrassing.”
Volunteers help offset food insecurity being experienced by Edmontonians
September 30, 2020
A new study confirms more families are experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19. The disturbing trend was offset by volunteers, who mobilized to fill the gap to help families during the health crisis.
Edmonton-AB- A new survey reveals a concerning trend of more Edmontonians facing food security issues because of the pandemic. Volunteers can’t keep up and a city strategy is desperately needed.
Over the past two months, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC) in partnership with the Canadian Volunteers United in Action (CANAVUA) administered an online survey. Volunteers helped connect with the hard to reach population with street interviews. The survey of 127 people revealed a quarter of respondents were unable to access sufficient food for their families and more than half did not seek help with social advocacy agencies. Nearly forty percent of families also found it difficult to find culturally appropriate food.
Renee Vaugeois, Executive Director, of the John Humphrey Centre, added “The YEG Community Response to COVID19 Facebook group grew exponentially overnight, with more than 20,000 members and has served over 30,000 in the community in 6 months. Volunteers filled the need and continue to help the marginalized access much needed support. While this effort continues to fulfill basic needs it’s only a band-aid. It’s critical to develop a city-wide intentional strategy, which should include the voices of those facing food insecurity.”
The study also found barriers to food access were reported in West, Central, and North Edmonton. Many respondents reported loss of employment, reduction in support income, and rising grocery prices as reasons contributing to going without.
The findings were presented to the food distribution table, a city-led initiative including agencies dedicated to helping with food security. The Centre will conduct more research next quarter to monitor the situation and continue to inform food security efforts in the City.
Read more on Todayville.
Assault prime suspect in Edmonton’s spike in violent crime
Edmonton seeing spike in violent assaults
Police are seeing a 27% increase in violence compared to Edmonton’s three-year average, driven largely by an increase in serious, violent assaults, including an 88% increase in assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm.
The Edmonton Police Service uses several indicators to measure crime across the city, such as violence, disorder and property crimes. Violence indicators include assault, robbery, sexual assault and homicide.
In July 2020, the Edmonton Police Service saw a 25% increase in violence indicators over July 2019. The July 2020 violence indicators saw an increase of 27% compared to the three-year average (July 2017-2019).
Of these indicators, assault was the main driver of the increase. More specifically, the category of assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm increased by 56% and aggravated assault increased by 43% in July 2020 over July 2019. Compared to the July three-year average (2017-2019), assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm increased 88% in July 2020, while aggravated assault increased 34% in July 2020.
Percent change: 2020 compared to 2019
|Assault – Aggravated||+36%||+16%||-19%||+3%||+43%|
|Assault – Bodily harm/weapon||+12%||+0.6%||+17%||+30%||+56%|
Percent change: 2020 compared to 3-year average (2017-2019)
|Assault – Aggravated||+55%||+34%||+21%||+48%||+34%|
|Assault – Bodily harm/weapon||+15%||+9%||+35%||+35%||+88%|
Since July 11, 2020, there have been eight suspicious deaths in Edmonton, five of which have been confirmed as homicides. August 6, 2020 was a particularly violent day for Edmonton, with two new death investigations opened by the Homicide Section. A violent, random assault also occurred at 98 Avenue and 104 Street at about 7:45 pm last night, when a male reportedly approached a female who was waiting in the passenger side of a parked vehicle, asked for money, and then stabbed her multiple times. She was taken to hospital with serious non-life-threatening injuries. A 20-year-old male was taken into custody and is facing charges including aggravated assault, robbery, and possession of offensive weapon.
“While it’s difficult to speculate on why this is occurring, the increase in violent assaults is certainly concerning,” says Supt. Brad Doucette, with the EPS Criminal Investigations Division. “Especially when we see assaults with a weapon or causing bodily harm and aggravated assault on the rise – these are serious charges under the Criminal Code that are used when the victim’s life is put at risk.”
Serious assaults and calls for service involving weapons often require greater resources, including a larger officer response and more investigators. The EPS has pulled in resources from other investigative areas that remain stable or have seen decreases in workload in order to assist areas that are overtasked, such as Homicide Section.
Read more on Todayville.
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