The World Series is over and now free agency speculation begins in MLB. This week on the Prospects Baseball Show Jordan Blundell and Dean Millard debated who the biggest name is behind the biggest fish in the pond, Gerrit Cole. The WCBL will welcome in Sylvan Lake for the 2021 season as an expansion team and the GM and President of Baseball Operations Aqil Samuel joined the show to discuss the work that needs to be done for the team to take their soon to be built field in the west end of Sylvan Lake. It’s said to be ‘state of the art’ and Aqil gave a sneak peak at what that means.
Jordan and Dean also unveiled their Top 5 favourite MLB expansion teams dating back to 1960 and debated whether or not the Jays should chase the next power hitting lefty from Japan. Plus is Shohei Ohtani better off being strictly a hitter instead of trying to pull off the Babe Ruth?
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.
Future of junior football murky as Covid-19 forces cancellation of season
This simple equation is perhaps the easiest way to enter a description of the Wednesday decision, and Thursday public announcement, that the Canadian Junior Football League has dropped all plans for games this year.
CJFL president Jim Pankovich made it clear that the decision by the Prairie Junior Football Conference and allied leagues in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia supported the decision unanimously.
“Canadian junior football has 18 teams with 18 different ideas — no, make it 18 teams with about 50 ideas — but this was a combined decision and every organization had a chance to provide input,” Pankovich continued. “It has been a long process.”
The Edmonton Huskies, Edmonton Wildcats and Calgary Colts are affected by the decision. All teams were part of the national negotiation.
Coupled with a previous USports decision to wipe out university football across the country in 2020, the junior move leaves only the Canadian Football League as an option for players and fans, with a decision due from the struggling CFL soon, after a bid for $30 million in federal support money is evaluated.
Pankovich, Prairie Football Conference leader Curtis Craig and Edmonton Huskies owner Bob Bula mentioned in separate telephone conversations Thursday afternoon that the COVID-19 regulations made it impossible to consider a 2020 season. All three mentioned the importance of keeping players involved .
“:Small-group sessions and skill-specific training” were mentioned by Pankovich as a necessity for all teams. He and others mentioned that the game is as important for the lessons it provides to young males as it is for the actual on-field competition.
As soon as the announcement became public, there was serious suggestion that high school players hoping to move into junior ranks and current juniors designing their athletic future around possible participation in university programs.may run into traffic jams because eligibility issues are more complicated than before.
Huskies head coach Iain MacLean agreed fully with the decision: “it’s about the safety of our players and all the others who would have to work with us during the virus.”
He lamented that “this will be the first year of my life without a football season since I was 10 years old” and suggested there will be less pressure than anticipated on young players competing against more potential teammates than usual.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of the young guys just stop playing,” he added, “and I think a lot of coaches will be considering the same thing.”
Bula insisted that there was no opposition to government regulations that limit the number of persons — 50 in any on-field cohort at one time — able to participate in games. “We might need as many as 100 or more, including other staff.”
Craig, who also is vice-president of the national governing body, said no Prairie team has the potential to develop a “hub” similar to those now employed by the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association.
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