Morning Brew: Lego Gun Prompts SWAT Team Response, Arrest in Laser Strikes on Police Chopper, New License Plate Reading Camera Tech for OPP, HST Protest by First Nations, Christmas Tree Rental Concept
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
A Toronto police SWAT team swooped in on a Spadina & Richmond office building yesterday after someone in a neighbouring building spotted a man with a gun. No arrests were made after it was quickly learned that the gun was made out of Lego blocks and was no more harmful than a baby or horsey made out of Lego blocks.
OPP arrested a 25-year old
boy man in Durham region after a pilot in one of their police helicopters was, for a third time in recent weeks, targeted by a high-powered laser from on the ground.
Four people are in hospital following a shooting spree in a Jane & 401 area apartment building stairwell last night. One person was shot in the head and is in critical condition, while the other three are likely to be ok. Two of the injured are believed to be teens. Three arrests have been made but details are still sketchy.
Ontario Provincial Police are using new technology on the beat. A high-tech rooftop-mounted IR camera that works in all weather and lighting conditions, connected to a database, will allow police to scan and do license plate checks almost instantly. Previously, officers had to read them, call them in, and wait for a response from headquarters.
About 200 First Nations marched the streets of Toronto yesterday, in protest of the proposed HST. The government hasn't yet declared whether or not a point-of-sale exemption with be extended to status Indians, which has prompted concerns that goods an services purchased off-reserve may not be HST exempt.
Oakvillian (is that what they're called?) Jeff Ferguson, who's now living in B.C., has been working with a successful green business model. Rather than selling Christmas trees and seeing them all end up in the wood chipper in January, he and his business partner Sean Macalister are delivering potted trees and picking them up after the holidays so they can then be replanted. Renting a live Christmas tree from Evergrow Christmas Trees Company makes a lot of sense, and would be great to see here in the Toronto area.
There's some (good?) news out for cell phone users. Only 60,000 people in a long-term, 16-million person scientific study developed brain tumors - a proportion not out of the ordinary for the condition.
And the Bills were defeated by the Jets at Skydome last night, in what was not all that thrilling a game. Once again, the game was "sold out" but the stadium saw plenty of pockets of empty seats and the few people I know who attended were there on comped tickets.
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