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Pet pot-bellied pig only slightly scorched after Wetaskiwin mayor saves his bacon

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When Angela Pauls screamed for someone to rescue « her baby » from her burning home in December, firefighters had no idea she was referring to a pet pot-bellied pig.

« They asked if there was anyone still inside. I presume they were asking about people but I was like, ‘Oh, my baby is in there,’ so the firefighter went to the back and helped pull him out. »

The saviour of the swine, named Mr. Pua, was none other than Tyler Gandam, Wetaskiwin’s mayor who also volunteers as a firefighter.

Turns out, it was a tricky procedure to save the bacon of the stubborn, arthritic, 75-pound-porker.

Angela Pauls and her beloved house pig, Mr. Pua. (Angela Pauls/Facebook)

« You try to pick up any pig, the first thing they do is scream and then squirm. Everything is thrashing about and freaking out so you risk dropping them and breaking their legs, » Pauls said from her new home in Pigeon Lake.  

It was about 7 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2018, when Paul, who lived on an acreage in the Millet area, was startled awake by the sound of her neighbour screaming outside.

Her mobile home was on fire, the front porch of the rental was engulfed in flames.

Dressed only in pajamas, Pauls and her husband managed to get their cats, dogs and another pet pig — this one named Matilda — out of the house safely.

But Mr. Pua, their older and much larger house pig, was trapped inside a back bedroom where he sleeps during the cold winter months.

Because of a miscommunication, Paul said, more than an hour passed before firefighters arrived. Panic had begun to set in.

Mr. Pua was a cherished pet. They had nursed him back to health as a piglet and his company — along with a brood of recently acquired farm animals including goats and miniature horses — had helped the couple deal with their new status as empty-nesters.

Pauls’ husband tried again to go back inside their burning home to save Mr. Pua, but it was too dangerous.

« When the fire came in off the deck, it came through our living room, through our kitchen, up into the roof over to our bedrooms, » Pauls said.

« The deck doors were completely on fire … You couldn’t see in front of you. »

Mr Pua has always liked to lounge inside during the winter months. The cold is hard on his arthritic bones. (Angela Pauls/Facebook)

Gandam said it was a strange night on the job.He’d saved cats from trees, a duck out of a sewer, but never a pig.

Gandam had followed one of the other firefighters inside the trailer but couldn’t see him anywhere. Then he heard a loud crash in the back hallway.

Gandam found his fellow first responder in the washroom, wrestling with a pig.

After a moment of disbelief, Gandam got to work saving Mr. Pua.

I wasn’t sure if Mr. Pua was a biter or not.– Tyler Gandam

« Between the two of us, we got it moving in the right direction outside the bathroom and then I used a big water bottle from a water cooler to corral it out of the trailer, » Gandam recalled. « It was pretty reluctant to go so. 

« A person, you can pull out and not have to worry about them biting you. I wasn’t sure if Mr. Pua was a biter or not. » 

Eventually, Gandam found Pauls outside and let her know Mr. Pua was safe. Gandam said her reaction reminded him of why he loves the job. 

« The tears started and she was so thankful, » he said. « I don’t know how heroic I would call it but I was just glad we were able to reunite Mr. Pua and Angela.

« I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we had saved a pig from a structure fire. »

The ordeal left Mr. Pua a little singed.

After the fire, Mr. Pua spent a few weeks recuperating in the « cat room » of a luxury pet resort. (Awesome Pawsome/Facebook)

« Of course, the roof is caving in, there is fire and flames and water and chemical going everywhere. He got two burns on his back, his ears and his feet. » 

Hamming it up

After a short stint at the veterinarian, Mr. Pua was offered free accommodations at Awesome Pawsome, a Spruce Grove pet hotel where he quickly became cause célèbre.

« They offered him free room and board while he was healing, so we could find a new home, » Pauls said.

« [They] put him up in the cat room. He had his own private bathroom, his own private sleeping quarters and he apparently became quite the sensation on their Facebook. »

Since then, Mr. Pua has moved into his new pen inside the heated garage of his new family home.

His current status, according to Pauls?

« Oh, he’s lounging. »

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Anglais

Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

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Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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Anglais

MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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