Saskatchewan Rush beat San Diego Seals in home opener for season’s first win


Ben McIntosh had five goals and four assists to lead the Saskatchewan Rush (1-1) to a 16-12 win over the San Diego Seals (1-2) on Saturday in National Lacrosse League (NLL) action.

Jeff Shattler had four goals, while Mark Matthews chipped in a pair. Matthew Dinsdale, Ryan Keenan, Jordi Jones-Smith, Curtis Knight and Connor Robinson added singles for the Rush.

“It was good to see Jordi and Connor get their first goals tonight, that’s always fun,” said Ben McIntosh, Saskatchewan Rush forward.

Saskatchewan Rush season starts on the road

“They’re good players and they are going to help us this year, for sure.”

WATCH: Saskatchewan Rush ready for 2019 home opener

Austin Staats paced the Seals with four goals, while Kyle Buchanan, Turner Evans and Garrett Billings had two goals apiece. Dan Dawson and Adrian Sorichetti also got on the scoreboard.

“There was a bit of a distraction at the start of the game with the ceremony and that, but we were pretty focused,” said Derek Keenan, head coach of the Saskatchewan Rush.

“First half [we took] too many penalties, but we cleaned that up and our offence was great for 60 minutes.”

Saskatchewan Rush re-sign defenceman Mike Messenger

Saskatchewan’s Evan Kirk made 37 saves for the victory. Frank Scigliano stopped 47 shots for San Diego.

The Rush were 2-for-2 on the power play. The Seals were 5-for-6 with the man advantage.

The Rush are back at Jan. 12 when they travel to Vancouver for a game against the Warriors.

— With files from Global News.


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Tories rush to raise official party status bar amid fears of Simard defecting to Liberals


The jittery Progressive Conservative government is rushing a change to official party status in the legislature amid fears former Tory MPP Amanda Simard will join the Liberals.

Even though legislation is expected to pass later this week increasing the threshold to 12 MPPs from eight, the Conservatives have added a motion to the order paper so the change could come before midnight Monday.

Government house leader Todd Smith has proposed the “recognized party means a party that has a recognized membership of at least 10 per cent of the total number of seats in the assembly.”

Smith’s unusual move, which includes a night sitting of the house, speaks to the urgency of the issue for the government.

Legislation that should pass as early as Thursday would have implemented the same change as his motion.

With 124 members of the legislature that raises the bar for additional funding and status during the daily question period to 12.

The Liberals have seven MPPs and have been courting Simard, who quit the Tories last week to protest Premier Doug Ford’s elimination of an independent French-language watchdog and the cancellation of a proposed francophone university.

Over the weekend, there were protests in support of the 622,000-strong Franco-Ontarian community outside Tory MPPs’ constituency offices across the province.

Simard, who spoke at one of the rallies, is to take her seat Monday as an Independent MPP.

In Quebec City, the green-and-white Franco-Ontario flag has been flying at the National Assembly.


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Saskatchewan Rush pre-season game cancelled due to labour dispute with NLL players


The Saskatchewan Rush’s only pre-season game has been cancelled as a new collective bargaining agreement has not yet been reached between the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and its players.

Rush officials said Monday the NLL is continuing to work toward a resolution with the Professional Lacrosse Players Association.

Saskatchewan Rush select Connor Robinson 5th overall at NLL Entry Draft

The pre-season game between Saskatchewan and the Colorado Mammoth will no longer happen on Nov. 16 at SaskTel Centre.

Due to the cancellation, all ticket holders will receive a full refund for the game.

According to the Rush, all future home games remain scheduled to be played at this time.

The first Rush game of the regular season is scheduled for Dec. 1 against the Georgia Swarm in Atlanta, Ga.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Female pedestrian dead, man in hospital after rush hour collision with vehicle in Scarborough


A pedestrian is dead and another injured after they were struck by a vehicle in Scarborough during the Friday morning rush hour.

At 6:49 a.m., police responded to a collision in the area of Birchmount and Ellesmere Rds. They found a woman unresponsive. She was later pronounced dead.

A man was found conscious and breathing and was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say the driver of the vehicle remained on the scene.

Ellesmere is closed between Birchmount and Rolark Dr. while police investigate. TTC vehicles are diverting at the intersection.

Ilya Bañares is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @ilyaoverseas


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‘There’s a baby in here’: Couple first to fatal crash site describes rush to save child


The night was still and dark in the aftermath of the fatal head-on collision. 

Then a baby cried out.

It happened last Monday evening on Highway 1 near Tompkins, Sask. A 66-year-old man, identified later as Rick Rosell from Gull Lake, was driving the wrong way down the highway just before the crash. Police say alcohol is believed to have been a factor. Rosell died at the scene. 

Lorretta Hughes and her daughter-in-law Melanie were in the other vehicle. They had been returning home to Shaunavon. Melanie’s infant son Winston was in the back seat. 

Everybody who was on scene is a hero.–  Peter Cain

Peter Cain and his wife Marlene were not far behind the Hughes’ vehicle and ended up being the first to the scene. Marlene immediately phoned 911 as Peter ran out to assess what had happened. 

Peter couldn’t open any of the doors and wondered how to proceed. Then the uncomfortable silence was interrupted by a child’s wail.

Marlene said she was gobsmacked to see her husband dangling out of the wrecked vehicle’s window.

« Once I heard the baby cry, I knew somebody had to do something and I was the only one there so in through the back window I went, » said 68-year-old Peter, who is living with Stage 4 cancer.

A photo from the GoFundMe campaign started in memory of Melanie. This description reads: ‘Hoping to help Justin navigate a new world of single fatherhood after the loss of his wife, an unborn baby, and his mom.’ (GoFundMe ) 

« I’m not actually a hero. I’m not. » 

By that time, truck drivers had stopped at the site and came out to help. 

« I just yelled out, ‘There’s a baby in here,’ » Peter said.

Once he got into the vehicle, he saw a woman’s body laying across the seat. 

« The woman’s arm, her left arm, was across the baby’s chest, » he said.

Cain said he had to lift her arm to access the carseat straps and when he did, the woman took her last breath.

The baby’s seatbelt was stuck on tight. Cain yelled for a flashlight.

A truck driver climbed on top of the vehicle and assisted him through the sunroof with a knife and a flashlight. Cain said he passed the baby up to the driver. 

« There was a lot of people involved and everyone did their part, » said Cain of the rescue efforts.

« He handed the baby to my wife and my wife never let go of him for almost a solid four hours — just kept him in her arms until the father showed up at the hospital «

The baby was howling when Marlene first held him. Looking back days later, her voice wavered as she described his bright, loopy red curls and big blue eyes with long eyelashes.

She drew on her experience as a grandmother, playing children’s music from her IPad, calming him. 

Paramedics soon arrived on site and Marlene accompanied the baby to the hospital, staying until his dad arrived around midnight.

Marlene said she feels grateful that he is surrounded by supportive family and community members in the aftermath of such loss. 

Marlene and Peter Cain were first on scene. The Swift Current couple is adamant they were simply doing what anyone would in that situation. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

Peter had been a longhaul trucker before he retired and this wasn’t the first accident he had come upon, but he said this one was likely the worst.

He said he saw the other car before it burst into flames and noted it « looked like it had already gone through the crusher at a scrap yard. »

« My wife is the hero for taking care of that baby for so long, and the young truck driver he’s a hero. Matter of fact everybody who was on scene is a hero, » he said. 


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The politicians who want to extend the Yonge subway should try riding it during rush hour


The Yonge subway line is full.

There are statistics that demonstrate this, of course: the capacity of the Yonge subway line is 28,000 riders in one direction per hour, and according to the TTC during the peak hour there are more riders than that.

But often when some stats geek in the sports world starts talking about analytics, someone shouts “just watch the games.” In this case, you can skip the math if you just ride the trains.

Say you go out to Bloor subway at 8:30 a.m. You may find, on the platform, that you are in danger of being alternately trampled or shoved off the edge of the platform. When trains arrive, they will be too full to allow anyone to board. Two trains, three trains, four trains, more trains may pass before you are able to get on. And when you do manage to squeeze on, you may soon wish you hadn’t, positioned as you are in aggressively intimate contact with your fellow citizens — cheek-to-cheek, elbow-to-stomach, nose-to-armpit for the rattling, lurching ride to work.

You can repeat the experiment further north — at Eglinton or often even at Sheppard, and still find the trains overcrowded on arrival.

The Yonge subway line is full.

If and when the signal improvements that could add up to 28 per cent more capacity are implemented (they’re on hold and may not work out as planned), all of that new space will likely be absorbed pretty much right away by latent demand now kept away by overcrowding and by the riders being funnelled into the system by new lines soon. The Eglinton Crosstown, for instance, will open in the early 2020s, and funnel riders from across the city onto Line 1. The Bloor extension in Scarborough, which council and the province seem determined to build, is justified on the premise that it will attract thousands of new riders, very many of whom will be looking to transfer to the Yonge line.

Still, a certain kind of politician has seemingly no transit ideas except to try to feed still more riders onto the line.

The city councillors of north Scarborough, forever trying to revive a Sheppard subway extension further east that would feed more riders onto Yonge.

Premier Doug Ford, who loves that Sheppard idea and also suggests to crowds in Pickering that one day the Bloor line might come out to serve them.

And then there are the politicians in Vaughan and Richmond Hill and Markham, clamouring to have the Yonge line itself extended up north into the 905.

Most recently it was Frank Scarpitti of Markham, urging the province forward last week.

Now, this extension may make sense in the future. But that future has to include a completed relief line — so called because it would relieve the congestion on the Yonge line. The most recent versions of a plan for it run from the downtown core along Queen St. to east of the Don River, where it would head north around Pape and continue up to at least the Danforth. The smart versions of the plan continue up to Eglinton, through Don Mills, until it meets the Sheppard subway line.

You build that, and it will be a route into downtown for many of those currently coming from the east who could transfer at Pape instead of Yonge — not just from the Danforth line, but at Eglinton and points north, too.

Then we can talk about extending the existing lines further.

Scarpitti said he didn’t necessarily think the relief line would be necessary. “If they have some issues with the relief line, we don’t want that to stall the Yonge subway,” he told the Star.

See, the thing is, the issue most likely to stall the relief line is that the premier decides a new line into downtown Toronto sounds too elite for his liking and decides to build “905 subways” for the people first.

In the morning, of course, any riders up in the 905 boarding the new extension would be the first ones on, so perhaps they and their political representatives don’t care that once they were seated and the trains rolled south, the cars would be too full to fit Toronto commuters onto them. The TTC has in fact modelled a scenario where the Yonge line is extended before SmartTrack and the relief line are built and it shows almost 9,000 fewer riders transferring onto the Yonge line at Bloor than do today because “these passengers have been driven away by overcrowding.”

You can imagine that would be part of the appeal to certain supporters of Doug Ford — all those elites downtown can’t get on the subway! Let them ride their bikes that they love so much, suckers!

But of course an overwhelming percentage of those trying to transfer at Bloor are coming in across the city from Scarborough and other alleged points of Ford Nation.

The relief line is necessary, as soon as it can be built. It won’t somehow serve downtowners — or won’t primarily do so. Instead it will provide a faster, more comfortable ride into the city for thousands of daily riders from the north and east of the city, and at the same time allow us to consider ways to better serve further-flung riders by making it possible to contemplate extending the lines we have now.

I think this is clear enough if you look at the reports and research and analysis. But if you just ride the trains, it’s obvious. Unfortunately, too few of the politicians holding sway ride our trains. Which is fine, because the trains are full without them.

But that’s why it’s all the more important for Toronto’s politicians to be loud and clear about what our priorities are.

Edward Keenan is a columnist based in Toronto covering urban affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @thekeenanwire


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