Douglas Garland to be sentenced for all three murders

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By Megan Brennan

Douglas Garland will be sentenced today after being found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes.

For five long weeks, the jury was exposed to disturbing evidence and details of the case.

They deliberated for eight-and-a-half hours before coming to a unanimous decision  Thursday afternoon.

The guilty verdicts mean the jury believed the Crown’s theory that Garland meticulously plotted the deaths of Alvin and Kathy, attacked them and their grandson, then took them to his farm where he tortured, dismembered and destroyed their bodies.

The trio was last seen alive on June 29, 2014.

Nathan had been sleeping over at his grandparents’ home, when his mother went to pick him up both Nathan and her parents were missing and the Liknes home was covered in blood.

Garland, 57, faces an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, but the judge also ruled consecutive periods of parole ineligibility should be imposed in the case.

This means Garland could be jailed for up to 75 years before he would be eligible for parole.

Ten jurors recommended Garland serve consecutive sentences.

It is believed the murderers were planned as revenge and that Garland had a grudge against the Likneses over a patent for a pump.

 

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SAITSA Instructor Excellence Awards

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If you want to let your instructor know that you appreciate them, today is the last day to nominate them for a SAITSA Instructor Excellence Award!

The awards aim to recognize instructors that go above and beyond for their students.

SAITSA Marketing and Communications manager, Shona Sutherland, says the awards usually go to the teachers who are always accessible to students in and out of class, who are understanding when life happens, and who students can depend on.

Nominating your instructor is not only a nice gesture, but it also helps make the classroom more enjoyable for everyone.

RTBN instructor, Shane McQueen, says being nominated keeps him on his toes and he’s always changing his lesson plans to keep things fun and exciting for his students.

To nominate your favourite instructor visit the SAITSA website by clicking here.

-Kendall Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Para-Nordic team makes history

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The Canadian Para-Nordic team skied their way to history in Finsterau, Germany for the World Championships.

This is the first time ever the Para-Nordic team has won bronze.

The four person team led by Brian McKeever from Canmore, his guide Graham Nishikawa, Emily Young, and Mark Arendz.

Each athlete skis at least a 2.5 kilometer leg in the relay, and a percentage is given to each athlete based on their disability.

The team’s combined time of 24:53.4 was just 34.4 seconds behind the second placed Norway.

Young was the lone woman on the field out of the top four teams.

She says, “Being one of the only girls out there, it was tough to ski against the men’s field, but I gave my best effort and that was all I could do. I just had to remember to ski my race, and know that I would likely fall behind a bit. I skied the fastest so far on this course.”

Canada’s previous best performance came at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi where the team won fourth place.

-Kendall Robertson.

Proposed U.S border-adjustment tax stirs up fear in Corporate Canada

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By Megan Brennan

A new report says a proposed U.S. border-adjustment tax that has stirred up fears in Corporate Canada would inflict considerable damage on both economies.

The C.D Howe Institute think tank analysis estimates the U.S. policy change would shave nearly one full percentage point from Canada’s economic growth.

The study’s authors say the plan would reduce bilateral trade in both directions, and predict it would cut nearly 1.3 percentage points from U.S. economic growth.

The report’s release came a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, met President Donald Trump and top House lawmaker Paul Ryan. Ryan has promoted the border-tax measure.

When asked whether Trudeau learned more about the border-tax proposal, a spokeswomen in his office pointed to a statement that only said, the Prime Minister discussed trade during his meeting with Ryan.

 

 

 

Diane Colley-Urquhart quits police commision after she was reprimanded for speaking out on accusations of harassment

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By Megan Brennan

Ward 13 Councillor Diane Colley-Urquahart has been rereprimanded by the Calgary Police Commission (CPC) over public comments she made amidst accusations of bullying and harassment in the police force and has now quit the CPC.

CPC gave a statement Monday indicating it had received a number of letters, emails and phone calls raising concerns about Colley-Urquhart.

After reviewing the complaints, the CPC determined Colley-Urquhart  may have violated the commission’s code of conduct including speaking on behalf of the commission without authority, using her position as a commissioner to advance personal interests, executing duties loyally faithfully and impartially, and performing duties in accordance with the rules.

CPC chair Brian Thiessen said he addressed the allegations with Colley-Urquhart directly.

This afternoon Colley-Urquhart emailed her letter of resignation to commission chair Brian Thiessen, saying only that she values her ten years as a council appointee on the commission.

This is the latest upheaval that has seen women officers meet secretly with Colley-Urquart to voice their complaints about harassment and sexual advances by other officers.

Colley-Urquhart said she disagreed with the commission’s conclusions and the evidence used to reach their conclusion.

“I don’t want anything I say to further jeopardize these women police officers,” she told Postmedia. “Some have already resigned, others continue to be impacted. I want to say unequivocally that this is not about me.”

 

 

Two MRU flight instructors killed in plane crash west of Calgary

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By Megan Brennan

Two Mount Royal University flight instructors were killed when the schools aviation program plane crashed in a remote area northwest of Calgary.

The crash happened near the junction of Highways 40 and 579.

RCMP confirmed two people were on board the small passenger plane that went down around five p.m.

RCMP said earlier Monday, that the crash had been witnessed by another aircraft and reported authorities.

Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board are expected to visit the crash site on Tuesday.

“At a difficult time, our sincerest condolences, first and foremost, go to the families of those instructors,” said MRU president, David Docherty.

Classes in the aviation program have been temporarily cancelled.

“We are grounding the fleet temporarily,” Docherty said. “We want to make sure that students are ready to get back and fly- when they’re ready to get back and fly.”

It is not yet know what type of aircraft crashed or where it was going.

MRU has not yet released the names of the instructors.

 

Calgary Woman Charged in Connection with 17 Locker Thefts

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The Calgary Police Service has charged Calgarian Jessi Dawn Byron, 22, in connection with 17 different cases of thefts from gym lockers.

The crimes took place between November 2016 and January 2017. It is believed Byron used stolen pass cards to get into various gyms in Calgary and used a specialized tool to open locked lockers, before stealing vehicle keys, credit cards and the victims’ gym membership card. Byron would use the stolen items to steal cars, commit financial frauds, and enter other gyms to restart and continue.

Byron is charged with 28 counts of possession of stolen property, 14 counts of theft under $5,000, six counts of theft of a motor vehicle, three counts of personation, two counts of fraud, and six traffic offences.

 

Matt Fetinko