Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Dog shot dead following dispute in downtown park
Author of the article:Chris Doucette
Published Sep 27, 2023 • Last updated 3 hours ago • 1 minute read

An altercation in a downtown park late Tuesday ended horrifically when a man shot his opponent’s dog.

Toronto Police say officers responded to reports of a shooting call in Barbara Hall Park – just north of Church and Wellesley Sts. – around 11:10 p.m.

“The information was conflicting at first but we later determined that it was a dog shot and not a person,” Const. Victor Kwong said Wednesday.

He said there was an altercation between two men who “appear to be unknown to each other” about 30 minutes prior to the shooting.

One of the men left the park, returned soon after armed with a gun, shot the other man’s dog before taking off, Kwong said.

“Police helped the man take the body of his deceased companion to an emergency vet hospital,” he said, adding the canine was three years old but he did not know the breed.

No arrests have been made.

On Thursday night, police released a suspect description. Police are looking for a white man in his early 20s with curly blonde hair.

Kwong said police continue to canvass the area for security video and witnesses.

Earlier in the day, around 7:30 a.m., another unrelated argument in the same park led to a stabbing.

Police said three men were involved in that incident and the victim was taken to hospital with knife wounds that were not considered life-threatening.

A man in his 30s was subsequently arrested nearby and a knife seized, but police did not immediately release the accused man’s name.

Anyone with information regarding the dog’s shooting is urged to call police at 416-808-5100 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).



Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Teen arrested in England over the ’deliberate’ felling of a famous tree at Hadrian’s Wall
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Sep 28, 2023 • 1 minute read
Police stand beside the cordoned-off area, where the 'Sycamore Gap' tree on Hadrian's Wall now lies on the ground, leaving behind only a stump in the spot it once proudly stood on Sept. 28, 2023 northeast of Haltwhistle, England.
Police stand beside the cordoned-off area, where the 'Sycamore Gap' tree on Hadrian's Wall now lies on the ground, leaving behind only a stump in the spot it once proudly stood on Sept. 28, 2023 northeast of Haltwhistle, England. PHOTO BY JEFF J MITCHELL /Getty Images
LONDON — A 16-year-old boy was arrested Thursday in northern England in connection with what authorities described as the “deliberate” felling of a famous tree that had stood for nearly 200 years next to the Roman landmark Hadrian’s Wall.

Thousands of visitors each year walk along Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that guarded the Roman Empire’s northwestern frontier. Many have paused to admire and photograph the tree at Sycamore Gap, a beloved icon of the landscape that was made famous when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.”

Photographs from the scene on early Thursday showed that the tree was cut down near the base of its trunk, with the rest of it lying on its side.

Police stand beside the cordoned-off area, where the ‘Sycamore Gap’ tree on Hadrian’s Wall now lies on the ground, leaving behind only a stump in the spot it once proudly stood on Sept. 28, 2023 northeast of Haltwhistle, England.
Police stand beside the cordoned-off area, where the ‘Sycamore Gap’ tree on Hadrian’s Wall now lies on the ground, leaving behind only a stump in the spot it once proudly stood on Sept. 28, 2023 northeast of Haltwhistle, England. PHOTO BY JEFF J MITCHELL /Getty Images
Northumbria Police said the teen was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. He was in police custody and assisting officers with their inquiries, the force said.

“The tree is a world-renowned landmark and the vandalism has caused understandable shock and anger throughout the local community and beyond,” police said in a statement.

“This is an incredibly sad day,” police superintendent Kevin Waring said. “The tree was iconic to the North East and enjoyed by so many who live in or who have visited this region.”

The Northumberland National Park authority asked the public not to visit the felled tree, which was voted English Tree of the Year in 2016.

Alison Hawkins, who was walking on the Hadrian’s Wall path, was one of the first people who saw the damage early Thursday.

“It was a proper shock. It’s basically the iconic picture that everyone wants to see,” she said. “You can forgive nature doing it but you can’t forgive that.”


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Cops kill man who shot police dog dead and wounded two people in South Carolina
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Sep 28, 2023 • 2 minute read

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. — A man who shot two people, including a sheriff’s deputy, along the South Carolina coast was killed by officers after he fatally wounded a police dog, authorities said.

The dog, named Rico, was sent into a home on Johns Island, west of Charleston, Thursday afternoon to search for Ernest Robert Burbage III in places a robot couldn’t reach, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said. After killing the dog, he came out of the home and pointed the same high-powered rifle at officers, who shot and killed him, authorities said, ending the daylong ordeal.

Law enforcement had been looking for Burbage since he randomly fired at a car on the island on Wednesday, authorities said. After shooting at the vehicle, Burbage fired on members of a SWAT team as they got out of an armored vehicle late Wednesday, and one of the shots struck the deputy driving the vehicle in the head, Sheriff Kristin Graziano said.

Charleston County Master Deputy James Gilbreath was alert and recovering in a hospital, and he’s soon to be discharged, said Graziano, who released photos of the deputy’s bloodstained ballcap.

Thursday afternoon, a different SWAT team was sent to the Johns Island home where Burbage had been earlier in the search. A robot was sent inside first, but it couldn’t get to every place in the home, Keel said.

The police dog was sent in to finish the search but was killed. Rico was 3 years old and tracked suspects nearly every day, said Keel, who asked for prayers for Rico’s team and handlers.

“If it wasn’t for Rico, this could have been much, much worse. We’re very appreciative,” Graziano said.

Deputies had asked people on Johns Island to stay in their homes and report if they see something out of place in storage sheds, boats or other places someone could hide.

A high school, middle school and three elementary schools in the area were closed before students arrived Thursday morning, Charleston County School District officials said. The park surrounding Johns Island’s Angel Oak, a tree up to 400 years old that is the largest oak east of the Mississippi River, was also closed as the search for Burbage continued.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Driver suffers life-threatening injuries after vehicles hit horses on Hwy. 417
Author of the article:Staff Reporter
Published Oct 02, 2023 • Last updated 16 hours ago • 1 minute read

One driver suffered life-threatening injuries when multiple vehicles hit horses early Monday morning on Highway 417 westbound between Anderson Road and Hunt Club Road.

In a news release that combined information on two separate incidents, the OPP said they believed a vehicle had left the road and caused damage to a fence Saturday morning, also on 417 westbound between Anderson and Hunt Club Road. The vehicle left the scene, police said.

Monday’s collision happened just after 1 a.m., and the OPP, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Fire Services and the Ottawa Paramedic Service responded, the release stated. An OPP spokesperson said in an email Monday that at least two horses had died in the collision, but said police could not confirm the ownership of the animals.

The Ottawa detachment of the OPP asked anyone with information on the incidents, particularly the Saturday collision, to contact police at 1-888-310-1122. Those wishing to remain anonymous can also call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477, police said.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
’Wonderful mom’ mourned after being hit by plane while riding mower
Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Published Oct 02, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 1 minute read
Samantha Hayes is pictured in an undated Facebook photo.
Samantha Hayes is pictured in an undated Facebook photo.
A single mom in Oklahoma was hit and killed by an airplane while riding a lawnmower at a small airport.

Samantha Hayes, 27, was killed by the wing of the 1972 Bonanza A36 at Broken Bow Airport on Friday, the Daily Mail reported.

The 70-year-old pilot, James Baxter, was preparing to land on the runway at when he noticed Hayes on her mower in the field.

Baxter tried to pull up to get the wing over Hayes, but failed to do so and struck Hayes in the head with his wing.

Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s unclear whether Hayes worked at the airport, which is a small municipal airport with no air traffic control.

“Samantha Hayes was a wonderful, great mom to her three babies. She was a single mom who worked hard to give them a safe and loving home! These babies knew they were loved everyday, all day,” wrote Darlene Tadleigh, a friend.

“Them babies will know how much their momma loved them.”

Carley Hayes wrote: “You was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, I’ve never heard you say a cuss word or talk down on anyone. You was so full of life and had a whole life ahead of you with your precious babies. You’ve got a whole family that’s gonna make sure them babies are good, I promise.”

No other information has been given about Baxter. The incident remains under investigation.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
More than 100 dolphins found dead in Brazilian Amazon as water temperatures soar
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Mauricio Savarese
Published Oct 02, 2023 • 2 minute read

SAO PAULO — More than 100 dolphins have died in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in the past week as the region grapples with a severe drought, and many more could die soon if water temperatures remain high, experts say.

The Mamiraua Institute, a research group of Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, said two more dead dolphins were found Monday in the region around Tefe Lake, which is key for mammals and fish in the area. Video provided by the institute showed vultures picking at the dolphin carcasses beached on the lakeside. Thousands of fish have also died, local media reported.

Experts believe high water temperatures are the most likely cause of the deaths in the lakes in the region. Temperatures since last week have exceeded 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Tefe Lake region.

The Brazilian government’s Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, which manages conservation areas, said last week it had sent teams of veterinarians and aquatic mammal experts to investigate the deaths.

There had been some 1,400 river dolphins in Tefe Lake, said Miriam Marmontel, a researcher from the Mamiraua Institute.

“In one week we have already lost around 120 animals between the two of them, which could represent 5% to 10% of the population,” said Marmontel.

Workers have recovered carcasses of dolphins since last week in a region where dry rivers have impacted impoverished riverside communities and stuck their boats in the sand. Amazonas Gov. Wilson Lima on Friday declared a state of emergency due to the drought.

Nicson Marreira, mayor of Tefe, a city of 60,000 residents. said his government was unable to deliver food directly to some isolated communities because the rivers are dry.

Ayan Fleischmann, the Geospatial coordinator at the Mamiraua Institute, said the drought has had a major impact on the riverside communities in the Amazon region.

“Many communities are becoming isolated, without access to good quality water, without access to the river, which is their main means of transportation,” he said.

Fleischmann said water temperatures rose from 32 C (89 F) on Friday to almost 38 C (100 F) on Sunday.

He said they are still determining the cause of the dolphin deaths but that the high temperature remains the main candidate.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Nearly 1,000 migrating songbirds perish after crashing into windows at Chicago exhibition hall
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Todd Richmond
Published Oct 06, 2023 • 4 minute read
In this image provided by the Chicago Field Museum, workers at the Chicago Field Museum inspect the bodies of migrating birds, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Chicago, that were killed when they flew into the windows of the McCormick Place Lakeside Center, a Chicago exhibition hall,
In this image provided by the Chicago Field Museum, workers at the Chicago Field Museum inspect the bodies of migrating birds, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Chicago, that were killed when they flew into the windows of the McCormick Place Lakeside Center, a Chicago exhibition hall, the night of Oct. 4-5, 2023. PHOTO BY LAUREN NASSEF /Chicago Field Museum via AP
David Willard has been checking the grounds of Chicago’s lakefront exhibition centre for dead birds for 40 years. On Thursday morning he found something horrible: Hundreds of dead songbirds, so thick they looked like a carpet.

Nearly 1,000 songbirds perished during the night after crashing into the McCormick Place Lakeside Center ‘s windows, the result, according to avian experts, of a deadly confluence of prime migration conditions, rain and the low-slung exhibition hall’s lights and window-lined walls.

“It was just like a carpet of dead birds at the windows there,” said Willard, a retired bird division collections manager at the Chicago Field Museum, where his duties included administering, preserving and cataloging the museum’s collection of 500,000 bird specimens as well as searching for bird strikes as part of migration research.

“A normal night would be zero to 15 (dead) birds. It was just kind of a shocking outlier to what we’ve experienced,” Willard said. “In 40 years of keeping track of what’s happening at McCormick, we’ve never seen anything remotely on that scale.”

Researchers estimate hundreds of millions of birds die in window strikes in the United States each year. Scientists with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a study in 2014 that put the number between 365 million and 988 million birds annually.

Window strikes are an issue in almost every major U.S. city. Birds don’t see clear or reflective glass and don’t understand it’s a lethal barrier. When they see plants or bushes through windows or reflected in them, they head for them, killing themselves in the process.

Birds that migrate at night, like sparrows and warblers, rely on the stars to navigate. Bright lights from buildings both attract and confuse them, leading to window strikes or birds flying around the lights until they die from exhaustion — a phenomenon known as fatal light attraction. In 2017, for example, almost 400 passerines became disoriented in a Galveston, Texas, skyscraper’s floodlights and died in collisions with windows.

“Unfortunately, it is really common,” said Matt Igleski, executive director of the Chicago Audubon Society. “We see this in pretty much every major city during spring and fall migration. This (the window strikes at McCormick Place) was a very catastrophic single event, but when you add it all up (across the country), it’s always like that.”

Conditions were ripe for a massive wave of songbird southern migration over Chicago on Wednesday evening, said Stan Temple, a retired University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife ecology professor and avian expert.

Small songbirds feed during the day and migrate at night to avoid air turbulence and predators. They’ve been waiting for northerly winds to give them a boost south, Temple said, but September saw unusually warm southern winds that kept birds in a holding pattern here. On Wednesday evening a front swept south, providing a tailwind, and thousands of birds took to the skies.

“You had all these birds that were just raring to go but they’ve been held up with this weird September and October with temperatures way above normal,” Temple said. “You had this huge pack of birds take off.”

The birds swept south over Chicago, following the Lake Michigan shoreline – and right into a maze of illuminated structures, Temple said.

Pre-dawn rain forced the birds to drop to lower altitudes, where they found McCormick Place’s lights on, Willard said. According to the field museum’s count, 964 birds died at the centre. That’s about 700 more than have been found at the centre at any point in the last 40 years, Willard said. Members of 33 species died, according to the field museum; most of them were palm and yellow-rumped warblers.

Window strikes and fatal light attraction are easily preventable, said Anna Pidgeon, an avian ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Building managers can simply dim their lights, she said, and architects can design windows with markings in the glass that birds can easily recognize. People can add screens, paint their windows or apply decals to the glass as well.

New York City has taken to shutting off the twin beams of light symbolizing the World Trade Center for periods of time during its annual Sept. 11 memorial ceremony to prevent birds from becoming trapped in the light shafts. The National Audubon Society launched a program in 1999 called Lights Out, an effort to encourage urban centres to turn off or dim lights during migration months. Nearly 50 U.S. and Canadian cities have joined the movement, including Toronto, New York, Boston, San Diego, Dallas and Miami.

Chicago also participates in the Lights Out program. The city council in 2020 passed an ordinance requiring bird safety measures in new buildings but has yet to implement the requirements. The first buildings at McCormick Place were constructed in 1959.

Cynthia McCafferty, a spokesperson for McCormick Place, said the exhibition hall participates in Lights Out and interior lighting is turned off unless staff, clients or visitors need it. She said an event has been going on all week at the centre so the lights have been on when the building was occupied but turned off when it wasn’t. She added that the centre maintains a six-acre (2.4-hectare) bird sanctuary.

“It’s an odd building,” Willard said of the exhibition centre. “When it was built, people weren’t thinking about bird safety. They still aren’t in most architecture. It’s right on the lakefront. There are many nights when it’s lit up. People are describing the whole night of migration as part of a once in a lifetime thing … (but) this still is an unacceptable intrusion by humans and their architecture. Just terribly sad and dramatic.”
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Reactions: 55Mercury


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Elephant dies at St. Louis Zoo after herd became agitated by running dog
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jim Salter
Published Oct 18, 2023 • 2 minute read
Elephants Rani, left, and Ellie roam in their outdoor area
Elephants Rani, left, and Ellie roam in their outdoor area in 2019 at the Saint Louis Zoo, in St. Louis, Mo. PHOTO BY RAY MEIBAUM /THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. LOUIS — A female Asian elephant at the St. Louis Zoo died shortly after her herd became agitated from a small dog running loose, zoo officials said.

Rani (pronounced Rahn-ee) died Friday at age 27. The zoo announced her death on Tuesday.

“We are absolutely devastated. We ask for the community’s thoughts and support during this difficult time,” zoo Director Michael Macek said in a news release. “Our team of professional animal care experts did everything possible, but we couldn’t save Rani.”

A small, unleashed and lost dog was seen running in a non-public area near the Elephant Barn Friday afternoon. Elephant care workers were trying to contain the dog, but an elephant outside the barn became agitated and was moved inside, the zoo said.

Rani was already inside the barn, eating, and didn’t see the dog. But members of the elephant care team “observed Rani become agitated in reaction to the vocalizations from the herd. They saw Rani circle and vocalize, all within a very brief period, before collapsing,” the zoo release said.

Attempts to revive the elephant were unsuccessful. The rest of the herd calmed down quickly, the zoo said.

Initial necropsy results showed some preexisting changes in Rani’s heart, but further tests are being conducted and zoo pathologists don’t yet know if those changes played a role in her death.

It wasn’t clear how the dog got into the zoo, which sits in the middle of sprawling Forest Park. The zoo allows service animals with certain restrictions, but not pets, a spokeswoman said.

The dog was handed over to a shelter, the zoo said.

Rani and her mother, Ellie, came to the St. Louis Zoo from another zoo in July 2001. The St. Louis Zoo said the move was recommended by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan. The program seeks to manage the Asian elephant population in North America and maximize their health and genetic diversity.

Ellie is still alive at age 52 and living at the zoo.

Rani was the mother of another elephant at the zoo, 16-year-old Jade. Rani enjoyed playing with her two sisters and was known for her unique squeaking noise when socializing with family — a noise that Jade mimics, said Katie Pilgram-Kloppe, manager of the River’s Edge area of the zoo, where the elephants live.

The World Wildlife Fund says Asian elephants are endangered, with fewer than 50,000 in the wild. Habitat loss and poaching are blamed for their plight. It is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Ontario's Esther the Wonder Pig dies six years after cancer battle
Her passing has led to a large outpouring of grief

Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Published Oct 19, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read
Esther The Wonder Pig
Esther the Wonder Pig had died according to a post on Wednesday on her Instagram page which has a half-million followers. PHOTO BY ESTHER THE WONDER PIG /Instagram
Esther the Wonder Pig is no more.

The large lovable animal who weighed 300 kilograms, lived on a farm in Campbellville, Ont., and had more than a half-million Instagram followers, died six years after battling cancer.

“There’s no easy way to say this, but the day we all wished would never come has arrived,” said the post on her Instagram page on Wednesday.

“Esther has passed away. She was calm and peaceful, and fell asleep with her dad Steve by her side.”

Owners Steve Jenkins and his partner Derek Walter said back in 2017 that Esther had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery to remove several lumps.

But shortly after, a stomach ulcer that caused severe pain and reduced movement was discovered but after medication Esther was able to resume daily walks around her farm home.

There was also a fundraising effort to get a US$500,000 equine CT scanner big enough for the hefty animal which was later donated to an Ontario vet college.

“While we understand many of you will have questions, and we will have the answers for you , but we are going to take a little break to process the situation,” continued the Instagram post.

“Even though Esther is no longer physically with us, her memory and legacy will live forever. Esther is immortal, and we will continue to show the world that all animals deserve to be loved just like she was.”

There was a large outpouring of love and sympathy in reaction to the news of Esther’s passing.

“I can’t believe she is gone,” wrote @auntiestasia on Esther’s Instagram page.

“Esther touched and changed so many lives. She inspired me to become vegan and is the whole reason that @happilyeveresther (Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary) exists. My heart breaks for her two dads and all of us that loved her.”

“We’re so sorry about Esther’s passing,” wrote New York-based animal advocacy group, Farm Sanctuary. “She touched so many lives and brought happiness and hope to so many. Thank you for sharing her story which undoubtedly inspired people all over the world to reconsider their relationship with animals. You gave her an amazing life. “

Another fan wrote: “She’s racing around eating cupcakes in piggy heaven. You did so good, dads.”

The U.S. branch of the nonprofit group, World Animal Protection, wrote: “Esther changed the way so many people looked at farmed animals and was a global inspiration to work for a kinder world for all. We are so incredibly sorry for your immense loss.”

– with files from CP


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
World's oldest dog ever dies in Portugal, aged 31
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Oct 23, 2023 • 1 minute read
Portugal Oldest Dog Dies
Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog, poses for a photo with his Guinness World Record certificates for the oldest dog, at his home in Conqueiros, central Portugal, Saturday, May 20, 2023. Bobi's owner said Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, that he passed away Saturday at 31 years and 165 days of age. PHOTO BY JORGE GERONIMO /AP Photo
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A 31-year-old dog in Portugal that had been ranked as the world’s oldest dog ever has died, his owner said Monday.

The guard dog, called Bobi, died over the weekend in a veterinary hospital, Leonel Costa told The Associated Press.

Bobi lived on a farm in the village of Conqueiros in Portugal with Costa and four cats. He was born on May 11, 1992, when his owner was just 8 years old.

In an interview earlier this year, Costa told the Associated Press that Bobi’s secret to a long life was good food, fresh air and lots of love.

“Bobi eats what we eat,” said Costa. What’s more, Bobi had never been put on a leash.

Bobi claimed the Guinness World Record from Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, who died in 1939 aged 29 and had held the record for almost a century.

Officials at the Guinness World Records on Monday said they were “saddened to learn of the death of Bobi, the world’s oldest dog ever.” In a statement on their website, they said Bobi lived to be 31 years and 165 days old and died on Saturday.

Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of Portuguese dog that has an average life expectancy of some 10 to 14 years.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Skate death can't be ruled accidental until British cops finish probe

Author of the article:Joe Warmington
Published Oct 30, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

While many are calling the death by skate blade to the throat of former NHLer Adam Johnson a “freak accident,” British police have not made any official ruling.

“Our officers remain at the scene carrying out enquiries and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remains ongoing,” South Yorkshire Police communications officer Molly Wright said on Monday.

Having said that, she cautions, “We would encourage the public to avoid speculation regarding the incident while we continue our enquiries.”

One thing people can do is judge whether the strange play during Saturday’s game between the Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers of Great Britain’s Elite Hockey League was a routine check or one that might result in a penalty. Discussions must begin now on whether all players should be required to wear neck protectors.

But the most important aspect is what the police determine. Unusual and disturbing, most people who follow hockey say they have never seen a play like it before.

“I grew up on the rink with my brother Davey, Adam’s dad, and I have never seen anything like that,” said the player’s aunt, Kari Johnson.

Johnson, 29, who played 13 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins between 2018 and 2020, was skating with the puck when defenceman Matt Petgrave, 31, came from his side. During a body check, Petgrave’s leg flew up high in the air, from one angle almost looking like a kung-fu kick, and struck Johnson, who immediately fell to the ice before trying to get up and skate to the bench while bleeding profusely.

Johnson received emergency treatment on the ice before being taken to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. Nearly 8,000 fans at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena were asked to leave the building because of what the Panthers announced as a “major medical emergency.”

It was like something out of a horror movie in front of the thousands of fans and including Adam’s family on TV back in Hibbing, Minn. At the game Johnson’s girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe, went onto the ice to assist. In an Instagram post on Monday, she posted a photograph of Johnson with the caption “My sweet angel. I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”

Kari Johnson said Adam had hidden an engagement ring and was waiting for the right moment to propose. “She found the ring but said ‘I don’t want the ring, I want Adam.”

Unlike similar situations involving Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk’s jugular vein being severed in a crease in 1989, or Florida Panthers’ Richard Zednik in 2008, there would be no miracles on this night.

“We were called at 8.25 p.m. on (Saturday, Oct. 28) to reports that a player had been seriously injured during a Sheffield Steelers versus Nottingham Panthers game at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield,” explained police spokesperson Wright. “Officers attended the scene alongside other emergency services and one man, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Sadly, he was later pronounced deceased at hospital.”

Fans, players and team officials are in shock.

Along with questions about protective gear, the question now is how and why did this skate go so high that it would sever another player’s artery and kill another player? Unlike other incidents where a skate sliced someone down on the ice, Petgrave’s skate went airborne and looked like something out of mixed martial arts. The league has not yet said whether or not there was a penalty later issued or a suspension.

Petgrave has been suspended previously by this league and in the Ontario Hockey League, American Hockey League and ECHL.

A talented scorer, Toronto’s Petgrave was reportedly distraught after the incident and has been receiving hateful messages.

Kari Johnson, who posted to social media a picture of them with the caption “Lost half my heart today,” told the Toronto Sun the family is “hurt and angry” and not doing well. “We are devastated. This kid had his whole life in front of him,” she said, adding “there is a video” where opposing player Petgrave “lifted his leg and kicked him in the neck. He kicked him. We watched it (in) real time. It was horrific.

She added, “I am sure his intent was not to kill him but it did kill him.”

There are “consequences” for one’s actions, she said.

“I have watched that video about 100 times and that kid kicked my nephew in the neck,” she said. “I don’t understand, how is that a hockey move?”

The Nottingham Panthers and the league have yet to comment on the specifics of the on-ice play. At more than $14,500 British pounds already, a GoFundMe campaign organized by Laura Oates has been set up to raise money to help Johnson’s family bring him home for burial. His body is expected home Thursday.

What happened to Johnson can’t be glossed over as a one-off rarity but needs to be a clarion call to protect others.

Until completion of full inquest, and until authorities officially rule it was an accident, it should not be referred to as one.


rigid member
May 31, 2007

blessed are the vaxers for they shall inherit the graveyard... ok, maybe a stretch but it's what most people who die untimely deaths nowadays have in common. imo


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Cops to take time probing Adam Johnson's skate-blade death

Author of the article:Joe Warmington
Published Oct 31, 2023 • 3 minute read
While hockey player Adam Johnson’s life was taken in a flash, the probe into his strange skate-blade death is going to take a lot longer.
While hockey player Adam Johnson’s life was taken in a flash, the probe into his strange skate-blade death is going to take a lot longer.
Hockey player Adam Johnson’s life may have been taken from him in a flash, but the probe into his strange skate-blade death is going to take a lot longer.

“Our officers have now left the scene, however, due to the complex nature of this tragic and unprecedented incident, it is likely the wider investigation will take some time,” the South Yorkshire Police said in a statement Tuesday.

Police were called to the arena in Sheffield Saturday during an Elite Hockey League game between the home team, the Sheffield Steelers, and visiting Nottingham Panthers — the team to which Johnson belonged.

During the second period, Johnson, 29, a former Pittsburgh Penguin, had his throat slashed from the skate blade of defenceman Matt Petgrave, 31. Video shows Petgrave skating across the ice when his leg somehow ended up in the air, cutting his opponent. Johnson bled profusely and was pronounced dead in hospital.

Was this bizarre incident a freak accident? Or, is there criminality involved?

This is the job police are tasked with determining. They have not made any determination so far.

“Since Saturday, detectives have been carrying out a range of inquiries, including reviewing footage, talking to witnesses and seeking the advice and support of highly specialized experts to seek to understand the circumstances surrounding what happened,” said a statement from police.

It’s a wise decision.

It is not a straightforward case, and opinions vary on what transpired.

Hockey experts will be consulted and “we have also been working closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our investigation,” said police.

Players and coaches will be interviewed, as well. But it sounds like police are going to be thorough, which is the only fair way to go about this.

“We continue to encourage the public to avoid speculation, including on social media, while we continue our inquiries and will provide updates when appropriate,” said police. “Our thoughts remain with the loved ones of all those affected.”

It’s not easy for any of them. Johnson’s aunt Kari told The Toronto Sun that their family is shaken, adding residents in the player’s home town of Hibbing, in northern Minnesota, held a vigil for him Monday night.

“You should have seen the people who came out in the crappy weather to honour our boy,” said Kari. “He touched so many.”

His body is expected to be returned home Thursday, while discussions are underway about a funeral service. The problem, said Kari, is most of Minnesota’s enormous hockey community wants to attend, making for logistical problems.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe, who was at his side on the ice, returned to Minnesota in a “stake of shock.”

The Sheffield team and the league have not responded to requests to clarify whether Petgrave faced discipline such as a suspension or if he’ll be permitted back on the ice?

Petgrave’s name was not listed on the Sheffield team’s on-line roster Tuesday.

The team and league have been asked to forward requests for comment from Petgrave or his representatives, but so far he has not replied.

However, Kari Johnson said a teammate told her Petgrave is distraught over the nightmare and was crying in the corner after it happened.

At this stage, Petgrave has not faced any allegation of wrongdoing or even received an on-ice infraction.

But the police are investigating — and officers plan to take all the time they need.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Maryland man who received second pig heart transplant dies, hospital says
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Lauran Neergaard
Published Oct 31, 2023 • 2 minute read
Lawrence Faucette, the second person to receive a transplanted heart from a pig has died, nearly six weeks after the highly experimental surgery, his doctors announced Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023.
Lawrence Faucette, the second person to receive a transplanted heart from a pig has died, nearly six weeks after the highly experimental surgery, his doctors announced Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The second person to receive a transplanted heart from a pig has died, nearly six weeks after the highly experimental surgery, his Maryland doctors announced Tuesday.

Lawrence Faucette, 58, was dying from heart failure and ineligible for a traditional heart transplant when he received the genetically modified pig heart on Sept. 20.

According to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the heart had seemed healthy for the first month but began showing signs of rejection in recent days. Faucette died Monday.

In a statement released by the hospital, Faucette’s wife, Ann, said her husband “knew his time with us was short and this was his last chance to do for others. He never imagined he would survive as long as he did.”

The Maryland team last year performed the world’s first transplant of a heart from a genetically altered pig into another dying man. David Bennett survived two months before that heart failed, for reasons that aren’t completely clear although signs of a pig virus later were found inside the organ. Lessons from that first experiment led to changes, including better virus testing, before the second attempt.

“Mr. Faucette’s last wish was for us to make the most of what we have learned from our experience,” Dr. Bartley Griffith, the surgeon who led the transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center, said in a statement.

Attempts at animal-to-human organ transplants — called xenotransplants — have failed for decades, as people’s immune systems immediately destroyed the foreign tissue. Now scientists are trying again using pigs genetically modified to make their organs more humanlike.

Faucette, a Navy veteran and father of two from Frederick, Maryland, had been turned down for a traditional heart transplant because of other health problems when he came to the Maryland hospital, out of options and expressing a wish to spend a little more time with his family.

In mid-October, the hospital said Faucette had been able to stand and released video showing him working hard in physical therapy to regain the strength needed to attempt walking.

Cardiac xenotransplant chief Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin said the team will analyze what happened with the heart as they continue studying pig organs.

Many scientists hope xenotransplants one day could compensate for the huge shortage of human organ donations. More than 100,000 people are on the nation’s list for a transplant, most awaiting kidneys, and thousands will die waiting.

A handful of scientific teams have tested pig kidneys and hearts in monkeys and in donated human bodies, hoping to learn enough for the Food and Drug Administration to allow formal xenotransplant studies.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Astronaut Frank Borman, commander of the first Apollo mission to the moon, has died at age 95
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Nov 09, 2023 • 4 minute read

BILLINGS, Mont. — Astronaut Frank Borman, who commanded Apollo 8’s historic Christmas 1968 flight that circled the moon 10 times and paved the way for the lunar landing the next year, has died. He was 95.

Borman died Tuesday in Billings, Montana, according to NASA.

Borman also led troubled Eastern Airlines in the 1970s and early ’80s after leaving the astronaut corps.

But he was best known for his NASA duties. He and his crew, James Lovell and William Anders, were the first Apollo mission to fly to the moon — and to see Earth as a distant sphere in space.

“Today we remember one of NASA’s best. Astronaut Frank Borman was a true American hero,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement Thursday. “His lifelong love for aviation and exploration was only surpassed by his love for his wife Susan.”

Launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Dec. 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 trio spent three days traveling to the moon, and slipped into lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. After they circled 10 times on Dec. 24-25, they headed home on Dec. 27.

On Christmas Eve, the astronauts read from the Book of Genesis in a live telecast from the orbiter: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

Borman ended the broadcast with, “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.”

Lovell and Borman had previously flown together during the two-week Gemini 7 mission, which launched on Dec. 4, 1965 — and, at only 120 feet apart, completed the first space orbital rendezvous with Gemini 6.

“Gemini was a tough go,” Borman told The Associated Press in 1998. “It was smaller than the front seat of a Volkswagen bug. It made Apollo seem like a super-duper, plush touring bus.”

In his book, “Countdown: An Autobiography,” Borman said Apollo 8 was originally supposed to orbit Earth. The success of Apollo 7’s mission in October 1968 to show system reliability on long duration flights made NASA decide it was time to take a shot at flying to the moon.

But Borman said there was another reason NASA changed the plan: the agency wanted to beat the Russians. Borman said he thought one orbit would suffice.

“My main concern in this whole flight was to get there ahead of the Russians and get home. That was a significant achievement in my eyes,” Borman explained at a Chicago appearance in 2017.

It was on the crew’s fourth orbit that Anders snapped the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing a blue and white Earth rising above the gray lunar landscape.

Borman wrote about how the Earth looked from afar: “We were the first humans to see the world in its majestic totality, an intensely emotional experience for each of us. We said nothing to each other, but I was sure our thoughts were identical — of our families on that spinning globe. And maybe we shared another thought I had, This must be what God sees.”

After NASA, Borman’s aviation career ventured into business in 1970 when he joined Eastern Airlines — at that time the nation’s fourth-largest airline. He eventually became Eastern’s president and CEO and in 1976 also became its chairman of the board.

Borman’s tenure at Eastern saw fuel prices increase sharply and the government deregulate the airline industry. The airline became increasingly unprofitable, debt-ridden and torn by labor tensions. He resigned in 1986 and moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

In his autobiography, Borman wrote that his fascination with flying began in his teens when he and his father would assemble model airplanes. At age 15, Borman took flying lessons, using money he had saved working as a bag boy and pumping gas after school. He took his first solo flight after eight hours of dual instruction. He continued flying into his 90s.

Borman was born in Gary, Indiana, but was raised in Tucson, Arizona. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in 1950. That same year, Borman married his high school sweetheart, Susan Bugbee. She died in 2021.

Borman worked as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, operational pilot and instructor at West Point after graduation. In 1956, Borman moved his family to Pasadena, California, where he earned a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology. In 1962, he was one of nine test pilots chosen by NASA for the astronaut program.

He received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor from President Jimmy Carter.

In 1998, Borman started a cattle ranch in Bighorn, Montana, with his son, Fred. In addition to Fred, he survived by another son, Edwin, and their families.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Hundreds of small animals meant for adoption may have been frozen, fed to reptiles
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Kim Bellware, The Washington Post
Published Nov 17, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 6 minute read

The San Diego Humane Society was buzzing on a hazy summer morning as staffers eased more than 300 small animals into carriers lined with straw and blankets. The bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice were about to embark on a hopeful journey to Tucson, where they might be adopted into “forever homes.”

In the caption of a video showing the Aug. 7 send-off, the California rescue organization called the transfer the largest in its history, thanking its counterpart, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, for helping ease overcrowding by taking in the adoptable animals. “Looking good,” one worker was heard saying in the clip as another crouched to scoop up a white rabbit.

Then came the disappearing act.

More than three months later, about 250 of the 318 animals from the August transfer remain unaccounted for. In a scandal that has forced high-level departures at the Arizona shelter, prompted multiple investigations and raised the specter of legal action, humane society officials this week made a stunning disclosure: The animals were probably fed to reptiles – either alive or frozen.

“A Hollywood horror writer couldn’t write something like this,” Gary Weitzman, CEO of SDHS told The Washington Post.

Weitzman has deep regrets about the transfer – “I desperately wish we hadn’t done this,” he said – but he also never imagined SDHS, one of the oldest and largest shelter organizations in the United States, would be betrayed by peers in the animal rescue world.

SDHS is typically the safety-net shelter other smaller shelters transfer animals into, making the large August shuffle a first for the California organization. The San Diego shelter was at 160 percent capacity, its staff was overtaxed, and many of the small animals had been there or in foster homes for nearly a year, according to Weitzman. SDHS does not euthanize animals, including for capacity reasons.

When officials at the Tucson shelter offered to take in hundreds of small animals, saying its inventory was low, staff at the San Diego shelter breathed a sigh of relief, Weitzman said.

Although the Tucson organization was much smaller, leaders there – primarily then-chief operating officer Christian Gonzalez – made “elaborate” and “comforting” assurances to their San Diego counterparts, Weitzman said. Gonzalez promised the animals would be transferred to a network of trusted rescue partners, which would then put them up for adoption.

Gonzalez, who resigned from the shelter in October after being suspended amid the saga, could not be reached for comment.

“When I look at back, we certainly should have said, ‘How can you do this? We can’t even do this, and this is an enormous organization,'” Weitzman said, estimating HSSA’s intake is roughly one-tenth of SDHS’s.

Questions about the fate of the animals first arose within two weeks of the animals’ arrival in Arizona. In the close-knit world of animal welfare and adoption volunteers, the large shipment was well-publicized. But there was no fanfare at the Tucson shelter when the Guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and rats arrived.

No adoption listings appeared online, and no major adoption events were publicized. None of it was adding up to Kelly Paolisso, a psychologist and physical therapist in San Diego who is active in the animal rescue community. Paolisso said she was not reassured after speaking separately with Steve Farley, an ex-Arizona lawmaker who was then CEO of HSSA, and Gonzalez, as well as with Weitzman and SDHS leaders.

“I got two very different stories on what occurred, and it raised a lot of red flags,” said Paolisso, who criticized both organizations as insufficiently transparent on the matter.

As local television stations dug into the mystery, Farley insisted the animals were in good hands. He told San Diego-based ABC 10 News in August that they were “in their forever homes right now and having a wonderful life.”

But when pressed, HSSA was unable to provide adoption records or proof the animals had even been processed for intake at the shelter before being sent to local rescues. By early September, leaders at the San Diego shelter had grown concerned, Weitzman said, as they were stonewalled their by Arizona counterparts.

Throughout the month of September, the more SDHS and animal rescuers like Paolisso pressed for answers, the stranger the story grew. In an effort to soothe HSSA volunteers, Farley told them the animals had been transferred the same day as their arrival to a “family-run, family-funded rescue” that wished to remain anonymous to avoid being flooded with more animal drop-offs, according to an early September email reviewed by The Post.

Later, he announced that 62 animals from the California shelter had been returned to HSSA, prompting Paolisso and others to drive to Tucson to adopt two dozen of the animals.

But as summer turned to fall, SDHS still had no clarity on where the other roughly 250 animals had landed and sent formal legal requests to extract information from HSSA. Paolisso and other animal welfare activists did their own sleuthing, eventually tracking down the mystery recipient of the animals – brothers Trevor and Colten Jones, with whom HSSA later confirmed it had an existing relationship, via Gonzalez.

Colten Jones was ultimately identified not as the operator of a “family-run, family-funded rescue,” but of the Fertile Turtle – an informal reptile breeding business that has reportedly advertised selling animals for reptile food. The Fertile Turtle does not appear in Arizona Corporation Commission records and does not appear in nonprofit business records as an animal rescue. The Post‘s attempts to reach Jones for comment were unsuccessful.

Gonzalez tried to quell concerns by saying the brothers told him they had placed the 250 or so animals in adoptive homes by simply calling friends and family, Arizona Public Media reported.

That response did little to satisfy either humane society. By early October HSSA’s board, under pressure from a coalition of animal rescue groups, had ousted Farley and Gonzalez. Both shelters launched internal probes and hired private investigators in hopes of finding the missing animals. The Tucson Police Department also opened an investigation.

Then, last week, came a devastating new discovery. Investigative reporter Chorus Nylander with Tucson’s NBC affiliate KVOA, who had been chasing the story, obtained a text message Colten Jones sent to a Phoenix reptile breeder Aug. 8 – the day after the animals made it to Tucson.

“Do you have the ability to freeze off a bunch of guinea pigs and or rabbits? I don’t have the manpower or labour to be able to do it in time for the show and it’s too much time for me,” the message read, according to KVOA, which reported that the “show” referenced an upcoming reptile show in California.

While the text was not absolute proof, it was the strongest indication yet that missing animals were probably dead – frozen, or already fed to reptiles.

Weitzman received news of the text in the midst of a meeting.

“It dropped me to my knees,” Weitzman said. “I don’t know why I had such a visceral reaction to that, because it’s not like I thought this was going to be a fairy-tale ending.”

With little hope remaining that the missing animals are still alive, the two humane societies say they are now working together to find answers and seek accountability.

“Based on all the information we have, everyone who is responsible is gone,” said Robert Garcia, HSSA’s board chairman, in reference to Farley and Gonzalez.

Both organizations said they are also reviewing transfer and vetting protocols. They have left open the possibility of civil action, which, in HSSA’s case, could include former employees, as well as Jones, Garcia told The Post. Whether to open a criminal case will be up to local prosecutors. Finding sufficient proof could be difficult, though Weitzman said all of the rabbits in the transfer were microchipped.

For Weitzman and others, the lingering question is how animals could meet such a tragic end while in the care of those who purport to care about animal welfare.

“But nothing makes sense,” Weitzman said. “There is no gain here.”


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
George Cohon, entrepreneur who brought McDonald's to Canada, dies at 86
Author of the article:Spiro Papuckoski
Published Nov 25, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

The man who introduced McDonald’s burgers and fries to Canada has died.

George Cohon, the American-born lawyer who moved to Toronto in the 1960s to operate the company’s expansion into Canada, passed away at 86 on Friday, according to a statement by his son.

“Last night we said farewell to my dad,” Mark Cohon wrote on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter. “Our family, Canada and the world lost a remarkable man.”

Condolences came pouring into social media following news of the Canadian entrepreneur’s death.

“A remarkable Canadian with a legacy the family can be proud of,” former federal Conservative leader Erin O’Toole wrote.

Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan said Cohon was devoted to his family, business and country.

“His eyes always gleamed, his smile always broad. Time with him was time well-spent, and a time you’d remember for the rest of your life. He was that kind of guy. Our thoughts are with his family,” O’Regan said.

Former journalist and politician Peter Kent also offered his condolences to Cohon’s family.

“George was a great (Canadian), compassionate entrepreneur … and great fun on the road, ie: bringing free enterprise and quality food to Pushkin Square and beyond.”

After moving with his young family during Canada’s centennial in 1967, Cohon opened the first restaurant in London, Ont., in November 1968.

In three years, he grew the franchise to become one of the most popular fast food eateries in the country.

The restaurant chain became so successful that Cohon sold the licensee rights back to McDonald’s in return for company stock, and became the second largest shareholder behind co-founder Ray Kroc and stayed on as senior chairman.

In 1977, Cohon created McHappy Day, which has become the restaurant’s largest charity program. Four years later, in 1981, he established the Ronald McDonald House charity, a place where families could stay while their seriously ill children receive treatment.

He was also the man who brought McDonald’s to Russia.

n 1976, he began negotiating with the Soviet Union and 14 years later, in January 1990, the first Moscow McDonald’s eatery opened in Pushkin Square.

Cohon received many accolades over his lifetime for his charitable work. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1988 and was also awarded the Order of Ontario in 2000. He also received the key to Toronto in 2012.

He was also inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1998 and honoured with the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews Human Relations Award and Israel’s Prime Minister’s Medal.

In 2019, he was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honour in the country, and received the accolade on Aug. 25.

“So proud of my father for receiving the Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest level of the order,” Mark Cohon, a former CFL Commissioner, said at the time. “His charitable work around the world has impacted the lives of so many people. You are an inspiration to us all. We love you.”

Cohon’s autobiography, To Russia With Fries, was published in 1997. All royalties from the sale of his book were donated to Toronto-based Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities of Canada.

He leaves behind wife Susan and sons Mark and Craig.