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Retired Ohio sheriff and K-9 partner die hours apart
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Apr 20, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, centre, is pictured with K-9 Midge in this photo posted on the Twitter account of Geauga County Sheriff's Office.
Retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, centre, is pictured with K-9 Midge in this photo posted on the Twitter account of Geauga County Sheriff's Office. PHOTO BY GEAUGA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE /Twitter
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A retired Ohio sheriff and his police dog were partners on the job and partners until the very end.

Retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, and his 16-year-old drug-sniffing companion, Midge, died on the same day, the Associated Press reported.


McClelland died in hospital after a battle with cancer last Wednesday, while his dog died hours later at home.

A 44-year veteran on the job, McClelland had Midge as his partner for 10 years before both retired in 2016.

Midge, a Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, was certified by Guinness World Records in 2006 as the world’s smallest police dog.

According to AP, the two were inseparable and well-liked, but it was Midge who attracted a local fan following.

“He used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname,'” recalled McClelland’s successor, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand. “I think she was more popular than him.”

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Though small in size, Midge was more nimble than the typical large police dog and was able to search cars without ruining property or creating a mess.

McClelland’s family told AP that the two will be buried together.
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Argentine transport minister dies in traffic accident
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 24, 2021 • 8 hours ago • < 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Rescue personnel work at the scene of a traffic accident where Argentina's Transport Minister Mario Meoni died, in San Andres de Giles, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, April 23, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media.
Rescue personnel work at the scene of a traffic accident where Argentina's Transport Minister Mario Meoni died, in San Andres de Giles, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, April 23, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. PHOTO BY FM VALL VIA REUTERS /FM VALL via REUTERS
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Argentine Transport Minister Mario Meoni died late on Friday in a traffic accident about 110 kilometers (70 miles) west of Buenos Aires, the government said in a statement.

The accident occurred when Meoni was driving alone during a storm to Junin, his home city. Local radio station FM VALL posted footage of firefighters attending to the overturned vehicle.


“With his death, Argentina loses a thorough, tireless and honest politician and an exemplary official,” President Alberto Fernández said in a statement.

Meoni, 56, was married with two children. He had been transport minister since December 2019, when Fernandez assumed the presidency.

In this photo taken on Dec. 10, 2019, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez (left) gestures next to Argentine Transport Minister Mario Meoni during a swearing in ceremony at Casa Rosada.
In this photo taken on Dec. 10, 2019, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez (left) gestures next to Argentine Transport Minister Mario Meoni during a swearing in ceremony at Casa Rosada. PHOTO BY JUAN MABROMATA /AFP via Getty Images
 

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American astronaut Michael Collins of Apollo 11 fame dies at 90
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Rosalba O'Brien
Publishing date:Apr 28, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins speaks at a panel discussion on the 50th anniversary of the launch, in Cocoa Beach, Florida, U.S., July 16, 2019.
Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins speaks at a panel discussion on the 50th anniversary of the launch, in Cocoa Beach, Florida, U.S., July 16, 2019. PHOTO BY JOE SKIPPER /REUTERS
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American astronaut Michael Collins, who stayed behind in the command module of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled to the lunar surface to become the first humans to walk on the moon, died on Wednesday at age 90, his family said.

A statement released by his family said Collins died of cancer.


Often described as the “forgotten” third astronaut on the historic mission, Collins remained alone for more than 21 hours until his two colleagues returned in the lunar module. He lost contact with mission control in Houston each time the spacecraft circled the dark side of the moon.

“Not since Adam has any human known such solitude as Mike Collins,” the mission log said, referring to the biblical figure.

Collins wrote an account of his experiences in his 1974 autobiography, “Carrying the Fire,” but largely shunned publicity.

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins’ official portrait is seen in this July 1969 handout photo courtesy of NASA.
Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins’ official portrait is seen in this July 1969 handout photo courtesy of NASA. PHOTO BY NASA /REUTERS
“I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have,” Collins said in comments released by NASA in 2009.

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Collins was born in Rome on Oct. 31, 1930 – the same year as both Armstrong and Aldrin. He was the son of a U.S. Army major general and, like his father, attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in 1952.

Like many of the first generation of American astronauts, Collins started out as an Air Force test pilot.

In 1963, he was chosen by NASA for its astronaut program, still in its early days but ramping up quickly at the height of the Cold War as the United States sought to push ahead of the Soviet Union and fulfill President John F. Kennedy’s pledge of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Collins’ first voyage into space came in July 1966 as pilot on Gemini X, part of the missions that prepared NASA’s Apollo program. The Gemini X mission carried out a successful docking with a separate target vehicle.


His second, and final, spaceflight was the historic Apollo 11.

He avoided much of the media fanfare that greeted the astronauts on their return to Earth, and was later often critical of the cult of celebrity.

After a short stint in government, Collins became director of the National Air and Space Museum, stepping down in 1978. He was also the author of a number of space-related books.

His strongest memory from Apollo 11, he said, was looking back at the Earth, which he said seemed “fragile.”

“I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles, their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced,” he said.

His family’s statement said they know “how lucky Mike felt to live the life he did.”

“Please join us in fondly and joyfully remembering his sharp wit, his quiet sense of purpose, and his wise perspective, gained both from looking back at Earth from the vantage of space and gazing across calm waters from the deck of his fishing boat.”
 

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WARMINGTON: Little Italy's legendary diplomat leaves behind more than a restaurant
Cafe Diplomatico founder Rocco Mastrangelo Sr. dies at 87

Author of the article:Joe Warmington
Publishing date:Apr 29, 2021 • 19 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Rocco Mastrangelo Sr.
Rocco Mastrangelo Sr. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Jerrett Funeral Homes
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It’s ironic his legendary restaurant is called Cafe Diplomatico because Rocco Mastrangelo Sr. was one of Little Italy’s most famous diplomats.

“It takes a very special family to create a Toronto institution like the Dip,” said Mayor John Tory. “I have enjoyed many a day with fabulous custom-cooked pizza, pasta and wine at the Dip, but what you noticed the most was the family feel. The welcome. The good cheer.”

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Rocco, who died April 26 in his 88th year, truly was a diplomat.


“Rocco Mastrangelo Sr. worked hard to create that feel and create a special experience for generations of Torontonians including me. He was one of the pioneers in creating today’s incredible College Street experience,” said Tory.

“People who create these special places in Toronto are real city builders and Rocco’s tender loving care and hard work will live on for generations to come as thousands have a good time and good food. My condolences to his family on the sad end to a life very well lived.”

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It’s a life that needs to be celebrated. The mayor is right. This man was the epitome of what Toronto and Canada are all about.

Kind, generous and loyal. He loved Little Italy and would never leave.

“He was a first class gentleman and always was,” said fellow restaurant icon George Bigliardi, who knew Rocco for more than 60 years. “He started and ran a great restaurant that is loved but he was a lot more than that. He cared about people.”

Bigliardi, who came to Canada in 1957, said Rocco was a role model people looked up to.

“When you first came here from Italy or from anywhere, Rocco would help you adjust,” said Bigliardi.

In those days, the corner of College and Clinton Sts. was not just a place to get a taste of back home, said George, but a place to start planning your future in Canada.

“He was like Johnny Lombardi in that way, outstanding individuals,” said Bigliardi. “Rocco would help people get clothes and a place to live and make sure they were fed.”


Born in Anzano Di Puglia, Italy, on Aug. 19, 1933, Rocco will be “lovingly remembered by his wife, Virginia, of 62 years, and his three children Licia (Dennis), Marco (Candice) and Rocco Jr. (Connie). He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren Virginia, Michael, Alexandra, Julia, Cristian and Gianluca,” reads his obituary.

Many Torontonians who frequent the popular restaurant know all of them as well since this is not only a restaurant for families to come to but one where a family runs it and always have.

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“When you told friends you’d be meeting them at ‘The Dip,’ you knew you were in for a great time,” says Sun national food editor Rita DeMontis. “Even the name of the cafe was iconic, a landmark institution beloved by the locals and strangers from around the world equally.

“Sitting on the patio on late summer nights, the warm air rich with the aroma of espresso, pizza and passion, are memories many carry to this day.”

The cause of death has not been discussed but his family says “due to the current COVID -19 restrictions, the visitation and services will remain private. A livestream of the funeral mass and cemetery committal service (with Jerrett Funeral Homes – St. Clair Chapel) will take place on Friday at 10:30a.m.” All donations in lieu of flowers can go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“Rocco was dedicated to promoting Italian cinema and music. Throughout his life, Rocco shared his love and passion of Italian culture and thereby enriched multiculturalism in Canada,” says his obit. “His family will always remember his immensely generous heart — always willing to help anyone in need — and his stern but steadfast love for them.”

Cafe Diplomatico Restaurant and Pizzeria is still going strong and Little Italy has grown into being one Toronto’s greatest neighbourhoods.

As the mayor, Bigliardi and Rita said so well, Rocco may be gone but what he built will be here forever.

Thanks, Rocco. Rest in peace!

jwarmington@postmedia.com
 

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Obama family dog Bo, a 'constant, gentle presence', dies
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 09, 2021 • 17 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
U.S. President Barack Obama runs with his new pet dog Bo, a six-month old male Portuguese water dog, on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, April 14, 2009.
U.S. President Barack Obama runs with his new pet dog Bo, a six-month old male Portuguese water dog, on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, April 14, 2009. PHOTO BY JIM YOUNG /REUTERS
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Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s family dog Bo, a male Portuguese Water Dog with a mop of black and white fur who became a familiar playful sight around the White House, has died.

Obama announced the death late on Saturday, saying the dog had been “a constant, gentle presence in our lives – happy to see us on our good days, our bad days and everyday in between.”


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“We will miss him dearly,” he said on Twitter.

His wife Michelle Obama said in a separate tweet that Bo, 12, had been suffering from cancer.

Bo came to the White House in 2009 soon after the start of Obama’s first term and was joined a few years later by a female of the same breed called Sunny.


Obama, who left office in 2017, praised Bo’s calm demeanor in the White House, saying the dog “had a big bark but no bite, loved to jump in the pool in summer, was unflappable with children, lived for scraps around the dinner table, and had great hair.”
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BRAUN: Toronto mourns Const. Jason Drews
Author of the article:Liz Braun
Publishing date:May 12, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Toronto Police Const. Jason Drews
Toronto Police Const. Jason Drews PHOTO BY SUPPLIED PHOTO /Toronto Sun
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Toronto Police are mourning the loss of Const. Jason Drews.

Drews, 49, died of cancer on Monday.


The loss of the 52 division “brother in blue” has prompted an outpouring of condolences on social media.

Just days ago, before his death, Drews got a special tribute from members of the Toronto Police Service — a drive-by parade outside the Margaret Bahen Hospice on Queen St. in Newmarket.

Drews was wheeled outside to watch the parade with his wife, Jaimie Lao, and their seven-year-old son, Max. It was a surprise for Drews, and Lao told a local paper how pleased and touched her husband was by the gesture.

She also expressed her gratitude that her ailing husband got to see how much love his fellow officers had for him.

Drews had prostate cancer that quickly spread to his spine and brain.

His death, said a colleague, is a tragedy for all.

Victor Ramesar, a retired primary response sergeant with Toronto Police Service, was Drews’ supervisor in the past. He described the late officer as a tremendous credit to the force.

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“This is not just a tragic loss to his son and wife, but the City of Toronto, too. He was an outstanding officer. Jason was a kind and compassionate man,” Ramesar said.

“If I had a platoon like him, I could fix this city.”

Ramesar said Drews was always smiling, and always treated others — fellow officers and citizens alike — like gold.


“His seven-year-old son needs to know that his dad was a hero. Jason dedicated his life to serving the public. I hope his son will be proud of what his father accomplished in his lifetime,” Ramesar said.

Drews was a priority response officer, which means he saw the heavy-duty incidents.

“Homicides, shootings, sudden deaths, suicide — we see and touch and smell all the things people spend a lifetime trying to avoid,” Ramesar said.

Cops get used to that chaos, said Ramesar.

“Police work is a bit like the priesthood. It’s not a job — it’s a calling,” he said.

Toronto could use some more cops like Drews, said Ramesar.

“Guys like Jason, people don’t really appreciate how much they do. We need more like him. He was professional, courageous, compassionate. He always gave them his best.

“He was an outstanding officer, and he was a hero in life.”

Several colleagues spoke of their admiration for Drews, including retired detective Peter Harmsen, who said he feels fortunate he saw Drews a few days ago.

“It was important for his family. It was important for us, too,” said Harmsen.

“He was always so calm and so respectful. He always had a smile on his face.

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“I’m glad you’re writing about him, because he wanted good people to be recognized — and he was good people.”

Detective Constable Patrick Stewart, a co-worker at 52 division, described Drews as down-to-earth and approachable.

“He was very genuine,” said Stewart. “He was well-liked and respected. Even the hospice workers commented on what a classy guest he was — even in his final days, he was thinking of others first.”

Stewart said the two men worked together on a lot of cases. “And he just connected with people naturally. What you’d hope for when dealing with a police officer — that was him. He treated other members and the public with respect.”

Drews loved his co-workers, said Stewart. “And his co-workers really loved him. His last words to me and another colleague were, ‘I love you guys.'”
 

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Two red fox babies found dead in Beaches
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:May 15, 2021 • 20 hours ago • 1 minute read • 6 Comments
Two baby red foxes were found dead early Saturday morning, Toronto Wildlife Centre said in a tweet.
Two baby red foxes were found dead early Saturday morning, Toronto Wildlife Centre said in a tweet. PHOTO BY TORONTO WILDLIFE CENTRE /Twitter
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Two baby red foxes were found dead early Saturday morning, Toronto Wildlife Centre said in a tweet.

The foxes, known as kits, were “sadly found dead early this morning in an area close to the Beaches fox den,” said the tweet.

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“There’s currently no evidence to suggest this past week’s acts of vandalism were directly linked to the death of the kits. Once we have more information, we will tweet an update.”

Toronto Wildlife Centre had said Friday that the camera they had installed to monitor the family of foxes in the Beaches had been vandalized. They also said the home of a volunteer who lives in the area had also been vandalized.

“There are elements of both acts which strongly suggest it was the same person/people who carried out these offenses,” they said.

The family had first been seen a year ago April and returned this spring.

TWC had asked people to not disturb the foxes.

 

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Queen Elizabeth 'absolutely devastated' after death of new puppy
Author of the article:WENN - World Entertainment News Network
Publishing date:May 19, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
In this file photo taken on July 17, 2020 Queen Elizabeth II poses at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London.
In this file photo taken on July 17, 2020 Queen Elizabeth II poses at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London. PHOTO BY CHRIS JACKSON /AFP via Getty Images
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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s new Dorgi puppy has died.

The 95-year-old monarch was gifted the pooch, named Fergus, when her husband Prince Philip – who died in April at the age of 99 – fell ill and was taken to hospital earlier this year.

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And now, just over a month after the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen is also mourning the death of Fergus, after he passed away over the weekend at just five months old.

“The Queen is absolutely devastated,” a Windsor Castle source told Britain’s The Sun newspaper. “The puppies were brought in to cheer her up during a very difficult period. Everyone concerned is upset as this comes so soon after she lost her husband.”


The monarch was gifted Fergus alongside another Dorgi – which is a cross between a Dachshund and a Corgi – named Muick by her son, Prince Andrew, in February.

At the time, the Queen was said to be delighted with the new arrivals, as she had been left with just one Dorgi, Candy, since fellow pooch Vulcan passed away last November.

Fergus and Muick were the first dogs owned by the queen that are not direct descendants of Susan, the dog she received for her 18th birthday in 1944.


The monarch hasn’t had a Corgi since 2018, after 14th-generation descendant Willow was put to sleep in April of that year after contracting a cancer-like illness and another dog, Whisper, died six months later.

In 2015, the Queen stopped breeding Dorgis prompting speculation she’d never get another pet, reportedly because she was concerned about them being a trip hazard as she got older, or that they’d be left behind when she died.
 

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Famed skydiver plummets to death after freak mid-air collision
Author of the article:Liz Braun
Publishing date:May 19, 2021 • 17 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Carl Daugherty
Carl Daugherty Facebook
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The skydiving community is in mourning.

The accidental death on Sunday of legendary skydiver Carl Daugherty, 76, has left devotees of the sport shocked and saddened.

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Daugherty was jumping with seven friends at around 10 in the morning when he and another skydiver collided at Skydive Deland in Florida, a place often described as Daugherty’s second home.

The men were between 200 and 500 feet above the ground when the freak accident occurred. Both had their parachutes open, and the chutes got tangled up in the mid-air encounter; one jumper was able to regain control, but Daugherty was not.

Eyewitnesses said there was no time to engage his backup parachute.

He fell hard in a nearby parking lot.


Skydive DeLand owner Bob Hallett told WESH that the incident appears to have been a tragic accident, with no one at fault.

“This has been a real, a real kick in the stomach for all of us,” said Hallett.

Daugherty had retiredbut returned to sky jumping about a decade ago and was the director of Safety and Training for Skydive DeLand.

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Hejust recently made his 20,000th jump.

Daugherty was introduced to skydiving by a high school buddy he ran into when both were doing their armed forces service. The friend, a paratrooper, urged Daugherty to try the sport, and Daugherty completed his first jump in 1971.


What followed were innumerable awards for skydiving — solo and in group efforts — and recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records. The jump master became an icon of the sport, instantly recognizable for his thousand-watt smile and thick mane of silver hair.

The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame posted some of the tributes to Daugherty on their Facebook page.

The tragic death drew condolences from around the world.

He was praised as a teacher and mentor to many in the sport.

Dundas, Ontario-based jump centre Skydive SWOOP sent a Facebook message on behalf of all its skydivers, with Former SWOOP President Harvey Thomson posting, “You jumped with so many and they ALL Loved You and always will.”

As Scott Lazarus, Regional Safety Officer for the United States Parachute Association, told Complex.com, “I hope to become like him as I age because he represents a lot of the beauty that we have in this sport.”
 

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Barn fire kills more than 80 cattle on rural south Ottawa property
Ottawa Fire Services started fielding 911 calls shortly after 7:20 p.m. about black smoke from a barn on First Line Road.

Author of the article:Taylor Blewett
Publishing date:May 20, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021. PHOTO BY ABE FINKELSTEIN /Photo supplied
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More than 80 cattle perished in a barn fire in rural south Ottawa on Thursday evening, according to the city’s fire service, while neighbours stepped up to transport and shelter some of the surviving animals.

Ottawa Fire Services started fielding 911 calls shortly after 7:20 p.m. about black smoke from a barn on First Line Road near Century Road East, according to an OFS news release.

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Firefighters didn’t have to arrive on scene to declare a working fire — the smoke was visible from a distance. At the property, they found a barn, “fully engulfed in flames.”

Eyewitness Beverley Leeks told this newspaper in an email that she was driving by just as fire trucks arrived.

“We saw fire shooting through the large barn,” she said. “You could smell the manure burning in the air.”

A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Abe Finkelstein photo
A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Abe Finkelstein photo PHOTO BY ABE FINKELSTEIN /Photo supplied
At the time the OFS news release was penned (it was emailed at 9:30 p.m.), the fire had been prevented from spreading from the barn to neighbouring silos and other barn structures.

OFS said firefighters would remain onsite for several hours to bring the fire under control.

Tanker vehicles were being used on First Line Road and Century Road East to deliver water, and motorists were asked to avoid the area.

An OFS investigator was on the scene to probe the origins and cause of the fire.

A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021. PHOTO BY BEVERLEY LEEKS /Photo supplied
A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
A fire rages at an agricultural building on First Line Road near Century Road on Thursday, May 20, 2021. PHOTO BY BEVERLEY LEEKS /Photo supplied
 
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London, Ont. police officer who lost PTSD battle remembered for big personality
A 51-year-old London police officer who took his own life after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder is being remembered as a “gregarious, larger-than-life” person.

Author of the article:Randy Richmond
Publishing date:May 20, 2021 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read
Const. Omar Hassan (Police supplied photo)
Const. Omar Hassan (Police supplied photo)
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A 51-year-old London police officer who took his own life after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder is being remembered as a “gregarious, larger-than-life” person.

“It is with heavy hearts that we inform the public of the death of Const. Omar Hassan,” police Chief Steven Williams said in a statement released Thursday, made public after receiving permission to do so from Hassan’s family.

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“Omar struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and unfortunately lost his life to the disorder. We are working to support Omar’s family and loved ones, and will do our best to ensure that they have the support they need now and in the days ahead,” Williams said.

Hassan joined London police in 2000 after serving in the Chatham-Kent police service, and leaves behind his wife and two sons, 15 and 14 years old, the statement said.

“We are also focusing efforts on our membership, and have plans in place to ensure there is access to support for anyone who needs it,” Williams said. “Raising awareness of, and having conversations about, the mental health of our members is crucial. We will continue our work towards de-stigmatization of mental illness and eliminating barriers to accessing mental health services and supports.”

The family asks for privacy and no further information will be provided, Williams said.

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“Omar was a very gregarious, larger-than-life personality,” said lawyer Jim Dean, a former London police officer who trained with Hassan when he joined the force. “He just had a way with people.”

Early on in their partnership, the pair were patrolling Richmond Row in a cruiser and passed a group of young people.

“Some people recognized him as we went by and I heard, ‘We love you, Omar.’ It was hilarious. It was my first introduction to the kind of person he was. He was loved by everybody.”

It has been years since they were close, but Dean said he had heard of Hassan’s struggles with PTSD.

“It’s kind of that mask you wear. I remember him going through things he seemed to take it in stride, but that stuff wears on you after a while.”

At times, Hassan experienced a troubled relationship with his own police department, but was also a strong supporter of his colleagues when asked about those troubles.

“He’d let his feelings be known. But he just seemed to take it all in stride. One word I’d used to describe him is gentlemen,” Dean said.

In 2009, Hassan launched a $1-million lawsuit against the London police board and six officers, claiming he was the victim of racial profiling that led to an internal probe and fuelled rumours he associated with a man linked to organized crime.

According to Hassan’s statement of claim filed at the time, he was leaving a hotel on Dec. 31, 2008, when he ran into three fellow officers responding to a noise complaint.

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A hotel clerk told one of the responding officers about a suspicious guest who was often visited by another man, both of Middle Eastern descent.

One officer linked Hassan, who was born in Pakistan, to the hotel guest, a man with ties to organized crime, leading police to launch an internal probe, the claim said.

The probe eventually found Hassan didn’t match the description of the hotel guest, but his lawsuit sought changes in police training, policy and procedures.

“I love my colleagues and the job,” Hassan told The Free Press at the time. “I have nothing but respect for the profession, but even the most altruistic profession has issues. We’re part of society.”

London police settled the case out of court, said London lawyer Faisal Joseph, who represented Hassan.

In August 2017, Hassan was charged by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit with assault causing bodily harm after a 60-year-old man was injured while in custody May 12.

The charges were withdrawn in December 2017. Joseph, Hassan’s lawyer in that case as well, said at the time that Hassan never should have been charged.

“In both of our views, the charge should have never been laid, but I understand in today’s day and age, with police officers, that transparency is important, and the system has worked the way it was supposed to,” Joseph said.

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Canadian Mental Health Association 24/7 Reach Out service for people experiencing mental health concerns, addictions or crisis. 519-433-2023, toll-free 1-866-933-2023 or online at reachout247.ca
 

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Retired Ohio sheriff and K-9 partner die hours apart
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Apr 20, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, centre, is pictured with K-9 Midge in this photo posted on the Twitter account of Geauga County Sheriff's Office.
Retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, centre, is pictured with K-9 Midge in this photo posted on the Twitter account of Geauga County Sheriff's Office. PHOTO BY GEAUGA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE /Twitter
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A retired Ohio sheriff and his police dog were partners on the job and partners until the very end.

Retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, and his 16-year-old drug-sniffing companion, Midge, died on the same day, the Associated Press reported.


McClelland died in hospital after a battle with cancer last Wednesday, while his dog died hours later at home.

A 44-year veteran on the job, McClelland had Midge as his partner for 10 years before both retired in 2016.

Midge, a Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, was certified by Guinness World Records in 2006 as the world’s smallest police dog.

According to AP, the two were inseparable and well-liked, but it was Midge who attracted a local fan following.

“He used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname,'” recalled McClelland’s successor, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand. “I think she was more popular than him.”

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Though small in size, Midge was more nimble than the typical large police dog and was able to search cars without ruining property or creating a mess.

McClelland’s family told AP that the two will be buried together.
View attachment 7994
awwww - we have a "rat terrier and he's such a good dog. He's mixed with something else (we think) but the ears on this one are exactly like his. We got him as a 5 month old and he had this tiny little body with these big ears! He did "grow into them" tho' but they are his finest attribute. Midget was a cutie that's for sure!!
 

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'Tarzan' star Joe Lara dies in plane crash

Author of the article:Reuters

Reuters

Ellise Shafer

Publishing date:May 30, 2021 • 11 hours ago • 1 minute read • 5 Comments

Joe Lara with his wife Gwen are pictured in a photo posted on Remnant Fellowship Church's website.

Joe Lara with his wife Gwen are pictured in a photo posted on Remnant Fellowship Church's website. PHOTO BY SCREENGRAB /Remnant Fellowship Church

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LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Joe Lara, the star of 1996’s “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures,” died Saturday when a small plane crashed into a Tennessee lake, according to local authorities and the Associated Press. He was 58.



His wife, author and faith-based diet program founder Gwen Lara, was also involved in the crash, along with five others. The Associated Press reported that authorities at the scene indicated there were no survivors in the crash.





“Our efforts have transitioned from a rescue effort to that of a recovery effort,” Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders said during a news conference. “We are no longer… looking for live victims at this point.”



The small plane, a Cessna C501, crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna, Tenn. after taking off at approximately 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to the Associated Press. The plane was headed to Palm Beach International Airport in Florida.



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Born in San Diego, Calif. on Oct. 2, 1962, Lara is best known for playing the character of Tarzan in the CBS television movie “Tarzan in Manhattan” in 1989 and its consecutive spinoff series, “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures” from 1996 to 1997. Lara’s other credits include the action films “American Cyborg: Steel Warrior” (1993), “Steel Frontier” (1995), “Warhead” (1996), “Armstrong” (1998) and “Doomsdayer” (2000). He transitioned from acting to country music in the early 2000s, releasing the album “Joe Lara: The Cry of Freedom” in 2009.





He and Gwen Lara, who founded the faith-based diet program Weigh Down Workshop and the Remnant Fellowship Church, married in 2018. They lived in Brentwood, Tenn. Survivors include Lara’s daughter, Liana.



 

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O.J. Simpson's lawyer F. Lee Bailey dies at 87
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 03, 2021 • 7 hours ago • 5 minute read • Join the conversation
Murder defendant O.J. Simpson, right, listens to the not guilty verdict with his attorney F. Lee Bailey.
Murder defendant O.J. Simpson, right, listens to the not guilty verdict with his attorney F. Lee Bailey. PHOTO BY MYUNG J. CHUN /AFP/Getty Images
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F. Lee Bailey, who brought drama, swagger and cunning to the courtroom in representing football star O.J. Simpson, heiress Patty Hearst and the “Boston Strangler” suspect before his career ended in disbarment, died on Thursday. He was 87.

Bailey died in Georgia, said Peter Horstmann, an attorney and former associate. Bailey was in a hospice there, TMZ quoted his son as saying.

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Simpson, who was acquitted of murder charges in 1995 following the “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, posted a videotaped tribute to Bailey on Twitter, calling him “one of the great lawyers of our time.”

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Bailey became one of the most famous attorneys in the country with courtroom victories that included an acquittal for a figure in the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War and a successful appeal for Sam Sheppard, a Cleveland doctor convicted of murdering his wife.

In his later years, however, he was living above a hair salon in Yarmouth, Maine, banned from practicing law and his fortune gone.

A former Marine Corps pilot, Bailey built a reputation for being an incisive, fast-thinking cross-examiner with a sharp memory, a flair for showmanship, deep knowledge of polygraph examinations and a hate-to-lose mentality.

“I can’t say no to a case if it has one of three qualities – professional challenge, notoriety or a big fee,” Bailey told the New York Times during his heyday.

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His imperious nature, cutthroat style and love of publicity made Bailey enemies among judges and fellow lawyers. He had a major public blowup with co-counsel Robert Shapiro, a longtime friend, just before they opened what proved to be a successful defence in Simpson’s sensational double-murder trial in 1994.


“Guys like Bailey – and there aren’t many of them – are great characters and don’t generate great love,” Roy Black, a high-profile Miami defence attorney and friend of Bailey’s, told the Jacksonville Times-Union in 2000. “He’s a guy who goes for the jugular. That’s all he knows to do and he’s not going to win any popularity contests for doing that.”

Bailey once summed up his approach by telling the Times: “Prosecuting or defending a case is nothing more than getting to those people who will talk for your side, who will say what you want said. … I use the law to frustrate the law. But I didn’t set up the ground rules. I’m only a player in the game.”

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Bailey could not acquit himself of contempt of court in 1996 and spent 44 days for failing to turn over stock and $700,000 that a Florida marijuana dealer had given him. Prosecutors said the stock and money should have been forfeited. Bailey said they were his payment from the drug dealer.

An agreement was reached in the case but Florida disbarred Bailey in 2001, saying he had engaged in “multiple counts of egregious misconduct, including offering false testimony.” Massachusetts also disbarred him.

Bailey suffered another notable loss in the defence of Hearst, daughter of media scion Randolph Hearst, who during her college days was kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army extremist group.

Bailey started Hearst’s defence saying it was “not a difficult case” and tried to convince jurors that she had been brainwashed by her captors and coerced into wielding a gun during a San Francisco bank robbery two months later.

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Hearst was convicted of bank robbery in 1976, spent two years in prison and accused Bailey of bungling the trial. She appealed on the grounds that Bailey put together a poor defence, was tired and shaking during the trial and had a conflict of interest because of his intention to write a book about her case.

Bailey was part of the legal “Dream Team” that cleared Simpson in the fatal stabbings of his former wife and her friend in a tumultuous trial. Shapiro accused Bailey of undermining him, including planting unflattering stories in the media, and announced that he would only speak with Bailey on trial matters.

Bailey’s most dramatic moment in the Simpson trial came when he questioned Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman, suggesting he was a racist and had planted a bloody glove to frame Simpson. Neither accusation was fully substantiated in court but served to weaken Fuhrman’s credibility.

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Francis Lee Bailey Jr. was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, on June 10, 1933. He left Harvard after two years and went on to discover the two driving passions of his life – the law and aviation.

Bailey joined the Navy before switching to the Marines and becoming a fighter pilot. After his military service, he went to law school at Boston University while simultaneously running an investigative company for attorneys.

Bailey’s first big success came in Ohio in 1966 with Sheppard’s appeal. He took it to the U.S. Supreme Court and had the conviction overturned on the grounds that Sheppard’s jury was not properly sequestered. Bailey won the doctor an acquittal at the retrial. The case has been cited as an inspiration for the popular TV show and movie “The Fugitive.”

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Bailey then became a key figure in the Boston Strangler case – 13 single women, most of them sexually assaulted, killed between 1962 and 1964. Albert DiSalvo was being held on a separate rape charge but knew details about the slayings that had not been made public.

Bailey wanted to use his confession as part of his insanity defence on DiSalvo’s rape charge. But the judge would not allow the confession and DiSalvo was convicted of the rape.

He was stabbed to death in prison before he could be tried in the Boston Strangler slayings, but was a strong suspect.

Bailey successfully defended anesthesiologist Carl Coppolino in the slaying of his mistress’ husband in New Jersey in 1963, but failed to get Coppolino off a few years later when the doctor killed his wife in Florida.

Bailey also won acquittals for Army Captain Ernest Medina, who had been charged with ordering the My Lai massacre of villagers in Vietnam, and for two suspects in the $1.5 million Great Plymouth Mail Robbery in Massachusetts in 1962.

In 2013, Bailey sought to resume his legal practice in Maine but the state’s Supreme Court refused him, so he ran a legal consulting service there.

He filed for bankruptcy in June 2016, due to a $5 million federal tax bill.
 

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Boston swan mom tragically dies after giving birth to six
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Jun 09, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
A father swan of six newborns is now on his own after the tragic death of the mother swan in Boston.
A father swan of six newborns is now on his own after the tragic death of the mother swan in Boston. PHOTO BY SCREENGRAB /WCVB
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A father swan of six newborns is now on his own after the tragic death of the mother swan in Boston.

A week after the birth, the swan family in the Charles River Esplanade in Boston was left motherless when the mom died on May 31, the Boston Globe reported.


The father swan has been caught by photographers, including Matthew Raifman, caring for the newborns, according to PEOPLE.

In a June 3 Facebook post, Raifman wrote, “Thought I’d share one of the most heartbreaking and heartwarming stories in a while. Last week, six baby swans were born on the Charles. The mother died a few days later of unknown causes. One of the cygnets drowned, another had to be rescued by animal control.


“But this papa swan, left to his own, is rising to the challenge,” he continued on a more positive note. “Today, I finally got a chance to photograph them and found three of the four remaining cygnets hitching a ride on dad while the fourth trailed close behind. I ran to a bridge to the lagoon just in time to take these. Hopefully, our newest swan family is in the clear, but at least all of the Greater Boston Area is pulling for them!”
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Bidens announce death of 'first dog' Champ
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 19, 2021 • 2 days ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
U.S. First Lady Jill Biden pets one of the family dogs, Champ, after his arrival from Delaware at the White House in Washington, D.C. Jan. 24, 2021.
U.S. First Lady Jill Biden pets one of the family dogs, Champ, after his arrival from Delaware at the White House in Washington, D.C. Jan. 24, 2021. PHOTO BY ADAM SCHULTZ/WHITE HOUSE /Handout via REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Saturday announced the passing of their German shepherd Champ, who they called a “constant, cherished companion” for 13 years.

“In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always,” the Bidens said in a statement.


Champ was one of two German shepherds living at the White House with the president and first lady. Biden got Champ in 2008, the year he was elected vice president under President Barack Obama.

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Champ lived alongside Major, who the Bidens adopted in November 2018 and became the first rescue dog to live in the White House. Major had to be briefly removed from the premises after two incidents of nipping staff on White House grounds.

Major returned to the White House in April after being sent to an off-site training so he could adjust to life in the White House.


The arrival of Champ and Major marked the return of pets to the White House after a four-year hiatus under former President Donald Trump, who was the first president since Andrew Johnson in the 1860s not to share the presidential digs with a dog or a cat.

Champ lived with the Bidens when the current president served as vice president and spent his days, “chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory.”

“Even as Champ’s strength waned in his last months, when we came into a room, he would immediately pull himself up, his tail always wagging, and nuzzle us for an ear scratch or a belly rub,” the statement said.

The Bidens have also addressed the idea of getting a cat. “She is waiting in the wings,” Jill Biden said in April.
CHAMP-scaled-e1624120074316[1].jpg1624340994226.png1624340949952.png
 

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Ex-soldier found dead near downtown battled PTSD, homelessness after Afghan tours
Author of the article:Dale Carruthers
Publishing date:Jun 22, 2021 • 1 day ago • 4 minute read • 12 Comments
Dan Campbell, right, and Benjamin Van Eck are shown in this photo from May 2007 in Afghanistan. Van Eck was released from the military in 2015 for medical reasons and struggled with homelessness and addiction, a family member said. Van Eck's body was found June 10 near Nelson and Colborne streets in London's SoHo neighbourhood. London police are investigating his death. (Photo courtesy of Dan Cambell)
Dan Campbell, right, and Benjamin Van Eck are shown in this photo from May 2007 in Afghanistan. Van Eck was released from the military in 2015 for medical reasons and struggled with homelessness and addiction, a family member said. Van Eck's body was found June 10 near Nelson and Colborne streets in London's SoHo neighbourhood. London police are investigating his death. (Photo courtesy of Dan Cambell)
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Dan Campbell and Benjamin Van Eck had a tradition of always texting each other on their shared birthday, June 27.

The pair became fast friends when they met during basic training in Petawawa in 2005. While serving with the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Afghanistan, fighting and sleeping next to each other day and night, they forged a lasting connection.

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“You’re so close to one another. You really get all the opportunity to bond on another level,” Campbell said Monday from his home in Oromocto, N.B. “I considered him family. He was considered Uncle Benny to my kids.”

Campbell, 38, hadn’t seen Van Eck, 40, in years, but said he knew his friend was struggling with homelessness and addiction since leaving the Canadian Armed Forces in 2015.

“We drifted apart, but . . . I always thought that somewhere down the road I would be reunited with a healthy Ben – the way I knew him,” he said.

Instead, Campbell was golfing last Thursday when he received a flurry of texts from army friends saying Van Eck had died.

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Afghan war veteran Benjamin Moishe Van Eck, 40, was found dead near Nelson and Colborne streets in London’s SoHO neighbourhood on June 9. (Submitted photo)
Afghan war veteran Benjamin Moishe Van Eck, 40, was found dead near Nelson and Colborne streets in London’s SoHO neighbourhood on June 9. (Submitted photo)
“My heart sank. I instantly stopped dead in my tracks,” Campbell said. “Benny really meant a hell of a lot to me.”

Van Eck’s body was found in the grass south of Nelson and Colborne streets, near the former South Street Hospital site, on June 9. Police initially called it a suspicious death and assigned the major crimes unit to lead the probe. An autopsy was performed, but cause of death wasn’t determined.

London police identified the body as Van Eck’s on June 17.

A police spokesperson said there was no new information to release Monday.

Benjamine Clements, 41, whose father adopted Van Eck at age 11, described him as charismatic, charming and able to light up any room he entered.

Whether selling chocolate almonds door-to-door as a teen or raising money for veterans nearly two decades later, Van Eck knew how to turn on the charm, said Clements. “He had this personality – a real people person.”

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Van Eck grew up in southeast London and attended Sir Wilfrid Laurier and H.B. Beal secondary schools. After high school, he worked in the restaurant industry before following Clements into the military in 2005, serving two tours in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2008.

“He was a hell of a soldier and he served his country well,” Clements said. “He leaves behind a legacy of service.”

Van Eck stayed with the army after his deployments and was stationed at Petawawa until 2015, when he was released for medical reasons, Clements said.

Campbell said he noticed Van Eck started struggling mentally after their first tour in Afghanistan, where they came under enemy fire and endured many other stressful situations.

“He never got the help that he should have got while still serving,” said Campbell, who retired as a sergeant last year after a 16-year military career. “The way I see it is he should not have went on another tour.”

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Clements said his adopted brother’s battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) intensified after his second tour. After leaving the army, Van Eck returned to London and briefly lived with his biological mother.

Despite having a network of friends and family in the city, Van Eck continued to struggle with homelessness and addiction, said Clements, who had tried to get him into a treatment program and last saw him in December.

“We’re all filled with a lot of regrets and guilt,” he said.

Chrisanne Clements, who grew up in the same Millbank Drive complex as Van Eck and attended Sunday school with him, remembered her adopted cousin for his sense of humour.

“He was a very funny guy, always liked to make people laugh,” she said, recalling how she ran into Van Eck just two weeks before his body was found.

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“I saw him and held him and hugged him and cried because I hadn’t seen him in a while,” she said. “You could tell he was not the old Ben.”

London lawyer Phillip Millar, who served in the military for 12 years and now represents veterans, said ex-soldiers dealing with PTSD need to be comfortable reaching out for help. “Sometimes they get beaten down by a system that’s very bureaucratic,” he said.

“It’s tragic to lose a veteran who served our country. I’m keenly interested to know the circumstances,” of Van Eck’s death, Millar said.

As Campbell prepares for his 39th birthday without his friend, he’s questioning how the system failed Van Eck. “There’s no way that a man who did two combat tours for his country should be living on the streets.”

A memorial for Van Eck will be held Saturday from 1-5 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Victory Branch at 311 Oakland Ave.

dcarruthers@postmedia.com

Benjamin Van Eck, front right, is shown here with his battalion in Afghanistan in June 2007. (Photo courtesy of Dan Campbell)
Benjamin Van Eck, front right, is shown here with his battalion in Afghanistan in June 2007. (Photo courtesy of Dan Campbell)
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date for the memorial. We regret the error.
 

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U.S. software mogul John McAfee dies by hanging in Spanish prison: Lawyer
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 23, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 2 minute read • 5 Comments
John McAfee, co-founder of McAfee Crypto Team and CEO of Luxcore and founder of McAfee Antivirus, speaks at the Malta Blockchain Summit in St Julian's, Malta November 1, 2018.
John McAfee, co-founder of McAfee Crypto Team and CEO of Luxcore and founder of McAfee Antivirus, speaks at the Malta Blockchain Summit in St Julian's, Malta November 1, 2018. PHOTO BY DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI /REUTERS
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BARCELONA — U.S. technology entrepreneur John McAfee hanged himself in his prison cell on Wednesday after the Spanish high court authorized his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges, his lawyer told Reuters.

Known for his eccentric behaviour, McAfee, 75, was a pioneer of anti-virus software, introducing his eponymous program in the 1980s. He had been indicted in Tennessee on tax evasion charges. He also was charged in a cryptocurrency fraud case in New York.

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McAfee was arrested in the Barcelona airport then jailed there in October. Prison authorities were investigating the cause of death.

Spain’s high court agreed to extradite McAfee to the United States, a court document released on Wednesday said. The provincial justice department confirmed that a U.S. man aged 75 was found dead in his cell on Wednesday.

McAfee still had opportunities to appeal his conviction but could not stand more time in jail, the lawyer Javier Villalba said. “This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long,” Villalba said.

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During a court hearing last month, McAfee said that given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in jail if he were to be convicted in the United States. “I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this,” he said, adding “the United States wants to use me as an example.”

McAfee, who sold his software company to Intel in 2011 and no longer had any involvement in the business, lived a colourful life.

He said in 2019 that he had not paid U.S. income taxes for eight years for ideological reasons. That year, he left the United States to avoid trial, largely living on a megayacht with his wife, four large dogs, two security guards and seven staff.

He offered to help Cuba avoid a U.S. trade embargo using cryptocurrency and sought to run for U.S. president for the Libertarian Party.

McAfee, who said in 2018 that he had fathered at least 47 children, lived in Belize for several years. He fled after police sought him for questioning in the 2012 murder of a neighbour. He had a million followers on Twitter.

He met his wife, Janice McAfee, when she solicited him as a prostitute while he was on the run, he said.

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Janice McAfee said in a post on Twitter on Sunday, Father’s Day, “Now the U.S. authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies… There is no hope of him ever having a fair trial in America.”