Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - December 23, 2005, Brandon, Manitoba
THE BRANDON SUN
Friday, December 23, 2005
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TORONTO — The Toronto stock market finished flat Thursday, depressed by lower energy stocks while investors took in a major deal that creates the world’s biggest gold company and good earnings news from the tech sector.
Barrick Gold Corp. and Placer Dome Inc. have announced a $12.1-billion friendly merger. Placer’s board says the new offer is fair and is recommending the deal to shareholders of the Vancouver-based miner.
Barrick had originally offered $10.8 billion for Placer.
Shares resumed trading following a halt shortly before the opening of the TSX. Barrick shares were nine cents lower to $31.66 while Placer Dome dropped 33 cents to $26.07.
As part of the deal, Goldcorp Inc. is picking up a number of Placer assets in Ontario, Chile and the Dominican Republic for $1.7 billion. Goldcorp shares were $1.10 higher to $24.25.
New York markets were higher as oil prices fell and traders assessed data showing an increase in U.S. consumer spending in fine with income growth.
Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index closed 8.14 points higher to 11,255.39 as trading started to wind down ahead of the long Christmas weekend, where the TSX will be shuttered for four days.
But analysts say it’s not a great idea for investors to turn their backs on the exchanges since lower volume and taxless selling can create opportunities.
“You get movements in stocks that you don’t normally see,” said Julie Brough, assistant vice -president at Morgan Meighen and Associates.
“So you might find something that hasn’t had a great year get a little extra pressure put on them and through this whole week as people are selling their losers for the tax positions but at the same time, that creates situations where some of these things start to look a bit better.”
The TSX Venture Exchange
jumped 21.58 points to 2,164.1.
The Canadian dollar finished up 0.06 of a cent to 85.69 cents US.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 55.71 points at 10,889.44.
The Nasdaq composite index advanced 14.83 to 2,246.49, while the S&P 500 added 5.33 points to 1,268.12.
The U.S. Commerce Department said personal spending rose 0.3 per cent last month, slightly below the 0.4 per cent gain analysts had expected.
“It appears that consumer spending is going to take a significant breather in the fourth quarter of the year after growing at an annualized rate of 4.1 per cent in the third quarter,” said RBC Financial Group economist Jack Homareau.
The department also said incomes rose 0.3 per cent last month, in line with expectations.
The price of oil reversed direction to move lower amid milder weather in the eastern half of the Umted States, the world’s biggest heating-oil market.
The February contract for light sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 28 cents to $58.28 US a barrel. West Texas Intermediate closed at $58.24 US, down $0.13. ICP
Dinner organizers urge people to volunteer, partake
BY MATT GOERZEN
COLLIER, Marjorie Vivian, (nee Sproule)
CORRIGAN, Kathleen, passed away Nov. 8.
KOROLYK, Daisy, of Brandon. PAGE, Alwyn George,
July 18, 1915-Dec. 9, 2005. SCHROEDER, Mary E. age 84.
Looking for a place to share some good food and good company for Christmas? How about something traditional?
This year, the Westman Traditional Christmas Dinner celebrates its 20th anniversary of spreading good cheer during the Christmas holidays at Brandon’s Keystone Centre.
And it’s not just for those who may not have enough ready cash to pay for a turkey or Christmas gifts. Organizers say anyone can join in.
“No one should be alone on Christmas Day,” said Gladden Smith, the dinner’s co-ordinator. “A lot of people come who just want some fellowship.”
An army of volunteers show up every year to cook turkeys, wrap gifts, peel potatoes, set tables and serve Christmas dinner.
“We get about 500 volunteers overall,” Smith said.
Nearly 150 of those will start working today at 9 a.m. preparing for dinners on Dec. 25 and 26.
Stan Farquhar, a trainer at the Westbran Employment Development Centre, says it’s wonderful to see so many people take the time during the holidays to create some happiness for others.
“There’s a lot of kind-hearted people in Brandon,” Farquhar said.
Several clients from Westbran have been working to set up the kitchen in the Keystone Centre Convention Hall.
“It’s good to get crews down. Pretty much all our crews or clients will be participating. It’s an excellent cause.”
Smith says they have most everything they need this year, but more unwrapped toys and food donations are always welcome right up until Christmas morning.
Out of 4,000 Christmas meals served last year, 2,300 were served at the convention hall and another 1,700 delivered to homes across the city to people who weren’t able to attend.
The popularity of the dinner has been growing every year, Smith says.
CHRISTOPHER PIKE/BRANDON SUN
Robert Oertel, 20, volunteers by washing containers on Thursday in preparation for the Westman Traditional Christmas Dinner’s 20th annual event at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.
“For planning we go from last year’s numbers and add IO per cent.”
For those that need a ride, Smith says about 50 cars with volunteer drivers will be on call throughout the city, as well as a Brandon Transit bus and a Handi-Transit bus.
“We hit as much of the city as we can.
Dinner is from noon to 6 p.m. on Christmas Day and from noon to 2 p.m. on Boxing Day — or until the food runs out.
Locals just hope nothing happens
CONTINUED FROM Al
The towns’ ambulance services will still nm and patients can still dial 911. They’ll be transported to the nearest open ER in other communities.
For Deloraine residents, that could be Melita, Kearney, Souris or Boissevain.
When the Boissevain ER is closed, residents there will likely be sent to Killarney, Souris or Brandon.
Ambulance transportation isn’t an insured service in Manitoba. Patients are responsible and pay out of pocket or through a third-party insurer. Patients in Deloraine and Boissevain currently pay $200 for a pickup, then $2.50 per additional kilometre.
Sale said he can’t make any promises about ambulance bill relief. As for doctors, he said the province has addressed the shortage by increasing the number of first-year medical school placements and expanding the number of international medical graduate spots.
Meanwhile, Marjorie Coupland, who lives on a farm between Deloraine and Boissevain, prays every day that nothing bad happens to her children and husband.
Lately, she said, she prays a little harder because her local ERs are closed.
“It is a concern, I hope and pray nothing happens every day, but hey, stuff happens,” Coupland said.
She’d already have to wait for an ambulance to reach her farm.
With the extra travel time due to the closed ERs, she said she might as well drive any injured loved ones to hospital herself.
RCMP investigate domestic dispute that leaves man, woman dead
ANOLA — A mother and father of two young boys were killed early Thursday in what police describe as a domestic dispute at the family’s rural home that turned deadly.
The sudden deaths of Rob and Angela Proulx four days before Christmas
shocked the small community.
Many say the couple, who married almost 20 years ago, showed no indication of problems with their relationship.
RCMP Sgt. Steve Colwell said Angela Proulx’s body was found inside the family’s small farmhouse by police at about 8 a.m. The body of her husband, Robert, was found outside about the same time.
Colwell said the couple’s children, ages eight and IO, let officers into the home.
RCMP are investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide. It’s believed a firearm was involved, but RCMP are not commenting if one was seized.
Surrounding homes in the area had been evacuated by RCMP at 6 a.m. and all roads were blocked before police approached the Proulx house.
Friends said the Proulx children are now with their grandparents, who five nearby. Angela worked as a secretary at a wastewater management and pipe-cleaning company, while Robert worked at a meat-packing plant.
Colwell said RCMP got a call from an area resident at about midnight concerned about a domestic dispute at the Proulx home. That person had just received a call from someone in the Proulx residence.
“There was an indication firearms were involved,” Colwell said.
RCMP surrounded the house and tried to make contact with someone inside. During that time, no shots were heard being fired.
WESTMAN WEATHER & MORE
9, 4, 4
Western Manitoba Forecast
Winnipeg youth gets 71/2 years for sex slaying of 67-year-old man
WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg youth has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for the sex slaying of a 67-year-old man.
The youth was sentenced as an adult but can’t be identified.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Brian Alexander Wellard, a retired school bus driver who was found bludgeoned to death in his apartment.
Court was told on the night of the killing, the youth had been drinking with friends and was turned away from a youth centre where he wanted to spend the night.
Wellard, who police say was known to solicit male prostitutes, was walking down the street and started talking with the youth, offering him a place to sleep.
Court was told the two had consensual sex, but when Wellard awoke the boy for more, the teen beat him with a hammer, striking him at least five times.
Police identified the youth as a suspect after finding a condom containing his DNA and his fingerprint on a bathroom faucet.
Police arrested him five weeks later in Nunavut.
“If it were not for the DNA evidence it is unlikely he would ever have been brought to justice,” Crown prosecutor Brent Davidson said.
Davidson and defence lawyer Cameron Pauls jointly agreed to the sentence in a plea bargain that saw him plead guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter. The youth was originally charged with second-degree murder.
“The deceased was essentially acting in a predatory fashion, out looking for young boys,” Pauls said.
“Obviously, the facts do involve provocation, the issue of intoxication and excessive self-defence.”
Mainly cloudy in the morning, becoming variably cloudy in the afternoon. High 2.
Cloudy with clear breaks. Low -6.
Variably cloudy. High -5. Low -13.
Variably cloudy. High -4. Low -13.
Variably cloudy. High -1. Low -5.
Cloudy with light rain (pop 90%). High 0. Low -1.
Today's Normals Yesterday
-9 9° -21.1°
-0.9° -13 8°
0.5mm 0 mm
This morning: -7 This afternoon: -2 This evening: -9
p.cloudy 32/24 p.cloudy p.cloudy 6/1 p.cloudy p.cloudy 26/20 p.cloudy showers 5/0 rain/snow sunny 20/10 sunny p.cloudy 13/1 sunny p.cloudy 23/14 p.cloudy pdoudy 21/14 cloudy p.sunny 30/23 p sunny p.cloudy 7/2 p.cloudy sunny 25/10 sunny sunny 10/2 p.cloudy
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