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Stay off the river and away from the banks this weekend


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Stay off the river and away from the banks this weekend
May 29, 2020
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is reminding people to NOT be stupid (our words, not theirs) and stay off of the North Saskatchewan River.  And, stay away from the river banks.
Last weekend, the City of Edmonton said the same kind of thing, and some of you didn’t listen because Edmonton Fire Rescue Services received five calls regarding river rescues last Sunday.
“Don’t let your guard down. It is very easy for you, or your pet, to lose your footing and slide into the water which will take you downstream,“ says Chief of Special Operations, Bruce McWhinnie. “Typically, this time of year, the river flow rate is 350 cubic metres per second. At the peak last week, we were experiencing five times that amount. The flow rate remains high.”
Swift moving water is relentless, making it unsafe for anyone—or their pets—to be near it and especially on it. This includes emergency personnel.
The weather may improve this weekend but the river levels will not. The North Saskatchewan River is almost one metre higher and almost twice the normal flow rate than usual. It remains above the High Streamflow Advisory threshold.

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NEW Edmonton Baseball Mystery

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NEW Edmonton Baseball Mystery

Unless there’s a sudden burst in the amount of information being released by those who speak for the Edmonton Prospects and the still-unnamed baseball team recently established as the new operators of Re/Max Field,  a lot of guessing will be going on for at least a little longer.

The mystery: will there really be two university-level baseball teams in the Edmonton area next year?

Up to this point, Pat Cassidy’s Prospects have received most of the public attention after being ousted from their previous home in an apparent ‘hostile takeover” engineered by Randy Gregg and his followers. Cassidy’s biggest announcement came with details and probable pictures of what a new stadium will look like when it opens as the Prospects’ home in nearby Spruce Grove. The Gregg group, as usual, stayed silent.

On Thursday, however, entrepreneur Dale Wishewan, founder of the powerful Booster Juice franchise, went public. He is part of the group – also including Gregg’s brother Gary – that outlasted the Prospects in a fierce confrontation over which organization would receive city council blessing to operate at Re/Max.

Wishewan promised quick and positive news about where the new team would find a home. One unconfirmed guess: the 12-team Western Baseball Association, which has two teams — Kelowna and Victoria – opposing foes from Washington and Oregon.

A call to one number on the WBA website was not answered.

The Prospects are part of the Western Canada Baseball League, based entirely in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Operators have determined, so far at least, that there is no room for any newcomer intruding on the space of current members.

Wishewan, one of several minority owners tied to the NHL’s Vegas Knights, has been a lifetime baseball fan. At a young age, he played in and around tiny Waskatenau and Smoky Lake County, about 90 miles from Edmonton, then progressed to college ball in Oregon.

His interest in baseball became obvious at least a year ago when an Edmonton lawyer organized a meeting for discussion of some small hope that Edmonton might rejoin the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and let participants know that Wishewan was among those likely to attend. He did not appear, but his recent comments reaffirm his love of baseball.

“There’s a pretty big announcement that we want to make in the next few weeks,” he said. “It’ll be the best calibre of baseball that’s come to Edmonton in years.”

If in fact the Western Baseball Association heads this way, plenty of positive noise can be expected. One WBA player, a Washington product, was taken in the first round of the recent Major League draft. The website says it is common for WBA players to go in high rounds of the MLB selection process.

Cassidy, careful once again to avoid more heat on the Re/Max issue that forced the Prospects to find a new home, refused to comment on Wishewan’s statement.

 “There is nothing I can say that will affect what will or will not happen,” he said. “It would be interesting to see the difference in the fans’ approach – Canadian teams playing here with a lot of Canadian content, or American cities that may have no Canadian kids at all.”

As always in conflicts such as this, hard feelings can be expected to linger on all sides. One welcome possibility comes to mind: over time, how attractive would a western college playoff – WCBL vs. WBA – become in the public’s view?

Neither Cassidy nor Wishewan was asked for an answer to this hypothetical question.

Fast Action, And Fair So Far

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Three patients dead: Edmonton hospital declares full COVID-19 outbreak

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EDMONTON — A hospital in Edmonton is no longer admitting patients due to a full outbreak of COVID-19.

An outbreak at the Misericordia Community Hospital was first declared by Alberta’s chief medical health officer two weeks ago, and restrictions were tightened as case numbers increased.

Alberta Health Services says that 20 patients and 15 staff have tested positive.

Three patients have died from the infection.

The hospital, which is run by Catholic health provider Covenant Health, is not allowing visitors except in end-of-life situations and is postponing day procedures.

The health agency says people who were to come in for health services are being contacted and will be cared for at another city hospital.

Patients who have tested positive are being treated on two units in the Misericordia.

“Activating the full facility outbreak is necessary at this time to protect patients, staff and physicians. We acknowledge the challenges these additional restrictions create for patients, families, staff and physicians,” Dr. David Zygun, medical direction with AHS Edmonton Zone, said in a news release Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2020

The Canadian Press

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