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Archive for: 10月, 2020

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The Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating, after a fire in an empty home on Yonge St. in Bradford West Gwillimbury – the second time firefighters have been called to the property in the last month. BWG Fire & Emergency Services were called to 3832 County Rd. 4 (Yonge) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, receiving mutual aid from both Innisfil and New Tecumseth fire departments. The vacant 2-storey brick farmhouse was gutted in the blaze. The fire is considered suspicious, and is currently under investigation by South Simcoe Police and the Ontario Fire Marshal. Anyone with information can call South Simcoe Police Detective Constable Kai Johnson at 905-775-3311 ext. 1040, or Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-TIPS.

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The Orillia Minor Hockey Association will host its 2016 year-end awards banquet on Sunday, April 10 at Rotary Place. The event will be divided into two sessions, at noon and at 3:30 p.m. At the noon session, players and teams in the tyke, novice and atom house leagues will be honoured, along with the novice representative division. At the 3:30 p.m. session, teams in the atom rep, peewee house league, peewee rep, bantam house league, bantam representative, midget representative and midget/juvenile house leagues will be honoured. There is no cost to attend and pizza, pop, prizes and awards will be handed out during both sessions.

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They had nicknames like “Weiner,” “Boxer,” “Taz,” “Little Mikey,” “Bam Bam,” “Chopper” and “Crash.” They were all connected — whether as members, associates or just hangers-on — to the Toronto chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. And on the night of Friday, April 7, 2006, some became murderers and others their victims in what remains Ontario’s worst mass killing in modern times. The circumstances in which seven men lured eight biker brothers to a southwestern Ontario farm to be summarily executed sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie. But the events of 10 years ago this week were all too real, and both police and bikers say the Bandidos massacre changed the balance of power in the Canadian underworld. THE KILLINGS WERE orchestrated by Wayne “Weiner” Kellestine, a former president of the Bandidos Toronto chapter. Kellestine had become convinced that he could seize control of the U.S.-based biker gang’s Canadian operation — and a lucrative trade in methamphetamine — only by wiping out most of his fellow Toronto members and then pinning the killings on their rivals, the Hells Angels. Kellestine was arrested within days of the executions — which the Ontario Court of Appeal later called “an execution assembly line” — at his farm outside the sleepy hamlet of Shedden. He and five other men were charged with the killings of: • George “Pony” Jessome, 52, a tow-truck driver who was dying of cancer, and only craved companionship during his final days. • George “Crash” Kriarakis, 28, a newlywed and former rugby player with no criminal record, who was trying to make the Bandidos more respectable. • , 48, and Frank “Bam Bam” Salerno, 43, both of whom talked about devoting more time to their infant children. • Paul “Big Paulie” Sinopoli, 30, who lived at home and had just been granted permission to leave the club to deal with his extreme obesity. • Jamie “Goldberg” Flanz, 37, who wasn’t a full member of the club and had no criminal record. He ran a computer business and had a wife and two daughters. • Michael “Little Mikey” Trotta, 31, who had just landed a full-time job leasing vehicles, and proudly showed off his new business cards. • Luis Manny “Chopper” Raposo, 41, who had quit the club and been talked back into returning. Raposo lived at home with his parents. THE TORONTO BANDIDOS had plenty of bravado, but very little money or underworld influence. The self-styled “No Surrender Crew,” didn’t have a clubhouse of their own, either, so they held what they liked to call “church meetings” in the basement of a now-defunct Greek restaurant near the corner of Queen St. E. and Broadview Ave. But on the night of April 7, 2006, they were summoned out of the city to a meeting on Kellestine’s farm, just west of London. The men joked and made small talk as they were ushered into the barn around 10:30 p.m. Perched in the rafters above them with a military-style rifle was their fellow club member, Michael “Taz” Sandham. Back in the farmhouse, Brett “Bull” Gardiner monitored police radio scanners. And outside in the darkness, circling the barn and armed with rifles and shotguns, were Dwight “D” Mushey, a Winnipeg nightclub owner; Marcelo Aravena, a failed mixed martial arts fighter; Frank Mather, 42, a homeless man with no violence in his extensive criminal record. and a Winnipeg biker who was only ever identified “M.H.” “M.H.” would later dodge prosecution by becoming the star Crown witness at his fellow bikers’ trial. He gave a chilling account of what happened next. When Sandham stirred at his sniper’s perch, Raposo turned upwards towards him. Raposo was the only member of the intended victims who was armed and, sensing an ambush, he fired his sawed-off shotgun, hitting Sandham in the chest. The pellets bounced off Sandham, who was wearing the same sort of bulletproof vest he’d been issued when he’d worked as a police officer in rural Manitoba. Sandham fired back at Raposo, killing him. Kriarakis and Sinopoli bolted for the barn door and were immediately cut down by pistol blasts from Kellestine. Kriarakis was caught in the stomach and Sinopoli in the thigh. Over the next few hours, the men were held at gunpoint by Mushey, M.H. and Mather, while Aravena brandished a baseball bat. Kellestine, who was also armed, swigged beer as he ranted at the captives. Kriarakis prayed and talked about his love for his family until another captive told him to shut up. The court would hear that Kellestine tried to convince Muscedere to join the murderers, but that Muscedere laughed in his face and refused to betray his biker brothers. Glen Atkinson, a former secretary-treasurer of the Toronto Bandidos, knew the men and says he wasn’t surprised that Muscedere was brave in his final moments. “He certainly would be the guy who would stand by you in a fight,” Atkinson said. “He was very, very loyal.” Instead, Muscedere pleaded with his fellow bikers to get medical help for Kriarakis and Sinopoli, who were bleeding from their gunshot wounds. He also repeatedly denied that Flanz had been disloyal to the club, even though he knew this would enrage the Nazi-loving Kellestine, since Flanz was Jewish. At 12.37 a.m., Muscedere’s cellphone rang. It was his girlfriend, calling to tell him that she had made a collage of photos of their infant daughter. Despite being held at gunpoint, he didn’t let on there was any problem. Muscedere stuck to the biker code, which forbade turning to the police for help, even in the most dire of circumstances. “How’s the baby?” he asked. “I’ll see you in a couple hours. I love you.” Shortly after that, Kellestine began to march his captives out of the barn, one-by-one, and order them into their vehicles. Each was then shot dead at close range. In one case, children’s toys had to be moved in a car to make room for a victim. As he was led to his death, Salerno asked his captors to help take care of his newborn son. Between shootings, Kellestine danced a jig and sang the German national anthem, “Das Deutschlandlied.” A police wiretap later picked up Mushey marveling at Muscedere’s courage when his time came to be shot by Kellestine, a man he had considered a friend. “This guy, he went out like a man,” Mushey told Aravena. “. . . He laughed. Went like a man.” Flanz was last to be ushered out of the barn. Kellestine told him that because he was Jewish, he would have to wait until all of the others were executed so that he would suffer the most. Flanz couldn’t stop talking about his love for his young children as he awaited his turn. The sun was starting to come up when Flanz was finally called outside to die. Once the executions were done, Kellestine’s plan was to drive the bodies down Highway 401 and dump them near Kitchener, where the Hells Angels had a strong presence. He figured that the larger club would naturally be blamed for the murders. Almost immediately, tragedy met farce. Sinopoli’s massive body nearly rolled out onto the highway because the hatchback wouldn’t close on the SUV carrying it. The killers then realized that the SUV, which held two other bodies, was almost out of gas. They pulled off the highway and ditched the cars in a cornfield in Shedden, previously best known as the home of Canada’s rhubarb festival. The abandoned vehicles were spotted by a retired farmer before 8 a.m. Not long after that, paramedics arrived, their lights flashing and sirens wailing. Kellestine, Mather and Gardiner were arrested at gunpoint at Kellestine’s farm later the next day. Kellestine was cocky and defiant when he was taken in for questioning by police. “I’m not leaving without my friends,” he told them. He needn’t have worried. The three men have all been in custody ever since. Two month later, Sandham, Mushey and Aravena were arrested in Winnipeg. SO WHY WERE they killed? A former associate believes the seeds of the massacre lay in Kellestine’s drug use. “It’s meth logic,” , a former secretary-treasurer of the Bandidos internationally, said in an interview last week. “That’s all that was. It was logical in (Kellestine’s) mind because he was whacked out on methamphetamine.” At his trial, the court heard Kellestine was upset that he had been shunted aside by the Toronto group, many of whom considered him unstable and annoying. Atkinson, whose job it was to smooth over things when a Bandidos member crossed one of the Hells Angels, added that Kellestine “wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.” “What a waste,” Atkinson said. “An absolute waste . . . A whole bunch of kids without dads. Even a few without granddads. Such a waste.” Atkinson has no doubts about his own fate had he stayed in the club, which had once offered a refuge and the promise of rough brotherhood. “I’d be dead. Absolutely.” Kellestine, Mather, Gardiner, Sandham, Mushey and Aravena were all convicted of first-degree murder in 2009 and given mandatory sentences of life in prison. They will be eligible for parole in 2034, when Kellestine will be 85. They were convicted in part on the testimony of “M.H.,” the seventh man to leave the Kellestine farm alive that night. The former drug dealer and Hells Angels bodyguard became a paid police agent after the slayings. He cried occasionally while testifying at the killers’ joint trial, then disappeared into a witness-protection program. Atkinson knew the victims and Kellestine well. Ten years later, he says it still makes no sense. “It was for nothing,” Atkinson said. “Absolutely nothing . . . To take over an empire and what was the empire? There was nothing.” THE NUMBER OF outlaw bikers across Canada has risen slightly since the massacre, says Det. Sgt. Len Isnor of the Ontario Provincial Police biker squad. There are currently about 450 full members of the Hells Angels in Canada, followed by 100 each from the Bacchus and Outlaws, 40 each from the Vagabonds and Para-Dice Riders, 25 from the Devils Army, 20 each from the Loners and Vagos, and 10 Rebels. That’s just slightly higher than the number of outlaw bikers in Canada 10 years ago. The big difference is the disappearance of the Bandidos, who once had members in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. While the number of outlaw bikers is roughly the same, the power balance has shifted, Atkinson said. “I don’t think there’s any chance anyone would ever seriously challenge the (Hells Angels) in Ontario,” Atkinson said. “I think that’s one of the reasons things have been pretty peaceful in Ontario.” Isnor said the younger recruits to outlaw biker clubs in Ontario often don’t know much about riding motorcycles, unlike Muscedere and the other old-school bikers. “They’re not bike enthusiasts like they were back in the old days,” Isnor said. “Now, they have to learn how to ride a motorcycle.” “There are a lot of patches on the street but not a lot of motorcycles anymore,” Atkinson said. Winterhalder predicted that outlaw bike clubs won’t be able to sustain their efforts to recruit younger members, and that old age — not police, rival clubs or internal violence — will see their numbers begin to dwindle. But in his view, the Bandidos’ fate was sealed when methamphetamine use and trafficking became widespread within the club, giving power and influence to erratic users like Kellestine. “They tried to turn a blind eye to the use of meth and it became acceptable,” Winterhalder said. “It was a horrible way for the era to go out.” – Peter Edwards covered the murders for the Toronto Star. He is the author of The Bandido Massacre: A True Story of Bikers, Brotherhood and Betrayal. Toronto Star

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(SUBMITTED) – Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is celebrating its 850-strong volunteer force during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 10 to 18.  RVH volunteers, also known as the ‘Blue Brigade’, provide an extra set of hands in 75 different areas of the health centre and contribute 100,000 hours of volunteer time each year. In addition to giving their time, RVH volunteers who are members of the Auxiliary, raise funds in support of equipment purchases and patient care. The RVH Auxiliary is currently working to fulfill a $2 million pledge in support of advanced cardiac care and child and youth mental health services at RVH.  Recently, the RVH Auxiliary presented its most prestigious award – the Award of Distinction – to Jean McGinley. This is the highest honour an RVH Auxiliary member can be given. It is not presented every year, but only as the Awards Committee deems it appropriate and deserving.  Over her 21 years as an RVH volunteer, McGinley has donated her time in the cancer centre, mental health, post anesthetic care unit and Volunteer Resources. During this time, she also held many roles with the Auxiliary including past president, Auxiliary archivist and organizing the annual bazaar.  “For as long as she’s been a member, Jean McGinley has worked tirelessly for our Auxiliary on all fronts – as a president, social chair, newsletter editor and operations committee member – to name a few,” says Janice Williams, president, RVH Auxiliary. “This is the highest award our Auxiliary has established to acknowledge and recognize the significant contributions of an Auxiliary member who is already a Life Member and I can’t think of a more deserving candidate for this award.” Congrats to #RVH volunteer Mary on winning a gift basket from Victoria’s Gift Shop during #VolunteerAppreciationWeek pic.twitter.com/YJD1Ox0MUY — RVH News (@TeamRVH) April 12, 2016 Did you know: #RVH’s Blue Brigade donates 100,000 hours of their time each year to RVH. #VolunteerAppreciationWeek pic.twitter.com/39YNHxcIPA — RVH News (@TeamRVH) April 12, 2016

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SOUTHERN GEORGIAN BAY TOWNSHIP – A 23-year-old Tay Township man is facing drug charges after being stopped at a RIDE check. Southern Georgian Bay OPP officers conducting a RIDE check April 2 stopped an SUV shortly after 9 p.m. at the on/off ramp from Highway 400 to Highway 12. While speaking the two male occupants in the Chevrolet Orlando, OPP say an officer detected the smell of marijuana. As a result, the passenger in the vehicle was charged with drug possession and now goes to court in Midland on May 12.

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The Cellar Singers embark on a cross-country musical journey during their upcoming ‘From Sea To Sea Canadian Folk Songs’ concert. The May 15 performance at St. Paul’s United Church will feature a broad range of Canadiana, from Derek Healey’s ‘Salish Song’ – a celebration of the Aboriginal people of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast – to the ‘Inuit Hunting Song of the Arctic’ and Harry Somers’ ‘Banks of Newfoundland’. “The songs for this concert have been complicated, challenging and exhilarating – and a tantalizing change from the other Cellar Singers treats this season,” says chorister Anne Wilkes, who is singing soprano for the first time with the group. “The songs are filled with jokes and nonsense, good humour and fables, all of which helped the early settlers of Canada survive the harsh life in this grand land. They are delightful songs, derived from the kitchen parties in the outports of Newfoundland to dreamy tales of lost love and horrible tragedies at sea.” Tickets are available online at or at the door, right up to concert time at 3 p.m.

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The random burst of winter in the early spring might have many people dreaming of warmer days, on the lake and at the cottage. While it won’t be warm enough to visit the cottage this weekend, the weather will be great for staying inside and attending the 23rd annual Simcoe Spring Home and Cottage Show at Barnfield Point Recreation Centre in Orillia. The show take will take place Friday through Sunday. "If they’re thinking about it, that means they’re interested in some spring projects," said Glenn Wagner, one of the organizers of the show. "If the weather’s really good, they’re out on their lawns, they’re at their cottages. With this kind of weather, where it’s a little cooler, maybe a little damper than normal, our attendance seems to rise." There are 80 booths being set up for the event, with nearly as many exhibitors. There will be plenty of familiar faces at the show, and visitors can expect to meet with a variety of exhibitors, including contractors, roofers, window and door specialists and more. They’ll be alongside new additions, such as DC Simple, which specializes in Android boxes for televisions. As well, Costco will have a booth set up, showcasing what it has to offer when it opens in Orillia in the near future. Home shows have been traditions in communities for years, but the way people shop for and investigate services has changed dramatically in recent times. People looking to renovate their homes are perhaps more likely to look up a contractor online or solicit recommendations from friends on social media. As great as shopping from home can be, it eliminates key features still found at the home and cottage show: the abilities to see, feel and talk. "You certainly don’t get a chance (online) to talk to the owners of companies or the professionals that work at these companies," Wagner said. "At the show, you can kind of touch and feel the product you’re buying, see the quality and talk to them about that." As well, many of the exhibitors will offer special deals available only at the show. "There’s deals to be made and money to be saved," Wagner said. "That’s why shows like this are still successful." He anticipates 4,000 people will come through the doors this weekend. Admission is $3 for those 12 and older, with every entry good for a chance to win one of the dozens of door prices available, including a 50-inch HD television. The show runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. pbales@postmedia.com twitter.com/patrickbales 

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Beverley Murray said the idea of volunteering makes her feel good about herself. Murray and her sister, Linda Sallans, decided to volunteer at the Frank Nelson Community Give & Get – clothing donation charity – at the Community Wholeness Centre last week. “It’s my first day,” Murray said with a big grin. “This makes me feel like I’m doing something productive. By doing this and helping others, it makes me feel good, too.” Sallans said although she suffers from several health-related conditions, she hopes volunteering will get her out of the house and take her mind off her own problems. “And, I feel like I’m giving back to the people who helped us,” Sallans said. “There were 13 of us children growing up and we needed help in the past. So now we can give back.” The Barrie sisters joined more than 12.7 million Canadians who are willing to offer their time to help out at various organizations and businesses in their communities. During National Volunteer Week from April 10 to 16, those organizations are making an effort to show how much they appreciate the good works their volunteers do. Lainie Towell of Volunteer Canada said respondents to a recent survey asking how volunteers want to be shown appreciation was touching. “The most interesting finding from the survey was that volunteers simply want to be thanked for their efforts, and to hear how their efforts helped people,” Towell said. According to Statistics Canada’s 2013 General Social Survey, young people – aged 15 to 19 – are more engaged in their communities with 66% volunteering 110 hours each year. While some of that is due to Ontario’s mandated school curriculum community service hours, Statistics Canada says that only accounts for 20% of the teenagers volunteering time. Volunteer hours drop for Canadians between the ages of 35 and 44 – mostly because they are busy with families, including young children and aging parents. But volunteer hours traditionally pick up over the age of 55. The Statistics Canada’s survey says the 55 and over age group is responsible for 39% of all volunteering. “For us as an agency, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our volunteers,” said Bill Silk, CEO of Simcoe Community Services (SCS) which oversees the Early Years Centre on Ferris Lane, as well as at the community support services centre on Fraser Court. Silk said SCS’s 80 volunteers – excluding the office staff who volunteer at both its golf tournament and fashion show next week – ensure it can offer one-on-one support to help families with young toddlers, and assist special needs people, too. “Volunteers augment everything we do. They really do enhance the quality of life for people,” Silk said. The Barrie Association of Volunteer Administrators (BAVA) helps co-ordinate the non-for-profit industry and its massive army of volunteers. BAVA president Katherine Stewart said it’s difficult to determine how many volunteers Barrie actually has because although 34 organizations belong to BAVA, volunteer co-ordinators often wear many hats and can’t keep track of the volunteers at their various events. “Look at the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival, there’s a huge amount of volunteers with many different organizations and charities. Nobody is keeping track of that,” Stewart said. Additionally, she points out school boards are not members of the local volunteer association, but many parents volunteer at their children’s schools. “We don’t count school (volunteers) and then there are churches. So, I think it’s fair to say, I don’t think there’s anybody who can get through the day who isn’t touched in some way by a volunteer,” she said. The Community Wholeness Centre on Maple Street is offering its programs free to volunteers, including karate, meditation and Tai Chi classes during National Volunteer Week. More than 200 names have been registered in its Volunteer Barrie centralized database and executive director Yolanda Gallo said the centre has been volunteer-run since it opened in January 2014. “We’re here to support volunteerism and encourage more volunteers to become volunteers,” Gallo said. Cbrowne@postmedia.com Twitter.com/cherylbrowne1

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Most people fly south to relax, take in some sun and enjoy the view. But when Dr. Patricia Lechten, of the Allandale Veterinary Hospital in Barrie, flies to Guatemala in April, she and her team will be busy helping the people, and animals, of Todos Santos. The residents and pets of the poverty-stricken village will be happy to see them, again. This is the fourth trip for Lechten and her team of veterinarian assistants and volunteers in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Animals and People (GAAP). She first heard about the program a few years ago after learning Vets Without Borders was looking for volunteers. A member of the Peace Corps had become concerned about the incidence of rabies in the human population as well as the injuries that were occurring to humans from packs of free roaming dogs. After Vets Without Borders moved away from the program, it became a function of GAAP. And that’s when Lechten stepped in and up to the plate to help. "The people love their animals, but have very little themselves. Some often have difficulty caring for their pets," she said. There are several aspects to the program. "Rabies vaccines are extremely important and the number given was close to 600 last year," she said. "The past two years, we have also given distemper vaccine to the dogs," she added. "Distemper is a very sad, debilitating and often fatal disease, so it is a bonus to be able to protect the dogs against this disease as well." The first year Lechten was in Todos Santos, she and her team did about 40 spays/neuters, with the primary focus being on vaccines. "We have not reduced the importance of the vaccines, but we have increased the number of surgeries performed. Last year we did 180 spays/neuters and for the first time did surgery on cats as well as dogs," she said. "Teaching people how to better care for their pets and teaching the next generation about proper pet care is another part of our mission. To this end, there is a school day and a community day." Lechten said the majority of the people in the village of Todos Santos are quite poor. "Many of them live in homes without running water. Many families can barely provide food for themselves and yet they share what they have with their pets," she said. "Some of the pets may look thin and hungry, but the children are often just as hungry." But GAAP isn’t just about helping animals and educating pet owners. It’s also about education for the local youngsters. "A new part of the program is helping to get some less fortunate boys and girls into school," Lechten said. "Once students reach secondary school, they must pay for their education. For poor families, it is not possible to raise the money and they need the money that can be earned by these children going to work. "We currently have two boys and one girl that are being supported by individuals donating money which is overseen by the GAAP," she added. "Last year we were able to visit with the families of these children. The poverty in which they live is astounding. However, the families are hopeful because there is the chance that their lives will improve through education." GAAP is also bringing its message of hope and education back to this country and is starting a Canadian connection. "We will continue to work with the Latin American branch, but will also provide services to native communities that have limited access to veterinary care," Lechten said. "We have made our first trip to Marten Falls (in northern Ontario) where in one weekend, we spayed, neutered and vaccinated 33 animals." Barrie and area residents can contribute to the cause. A recent fundraiser at St. Louis Bar and Grill on Veteran’s Drive raised more than $2,500. If you’d like to help out, call the Allandale Veterinary Hospital at 705-733-1422. imcinroy@postmedia.com

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New Tecumseth residents are invited to roll up their sleeves and take part in the town’s annual Pitch-In Week. This year’s event will be held locally from April 10 to 23. The town will supply residents, groups and schools garbage bags and gloves to clean up schoolyards, neighbourhoods, parks and playgrounds. To make arrangements for a cleanup day, call the town at 705-435-4030, 905-936-4203 ext. 1421 or email . Supplies will be delivered about one week before your event. This year Pitch-In Canada is celebrating its 49th annual Pitch-In Week campaign. The national event, which takes place April 17 to 23, coincides with Earth Day and is expected to include more than 600,000 volunteers across the country.

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