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Morning Brew: TTC token fraud trial, sex assaults at seniors' home, employee abuse at City of Mississauga facility, Councilor Sandra Bussin controversies, ROM launches new programs for the deaf and blind

In TTC news:

- Last night, service on both the Bloor and University subway lines shut down while police investigated a security threat in the form of a suspicious package. A little over half an hour later full service was resumed, which implies that the suspicious package was nothing more than a package.

- Torontoist reports that the gaudy TTC Transit Stuff store at Union Station has shut its doors and that in 2009 the TTC made just $6000 from the merchandise licensing arrangement they have with Legacy Sportswear. No surprises here, right?

- Details about the crime and the punishment for "the largest counterfeit TTC token scheme in history" are reported by the Toronto Sun. The fraudsters sent a real token to a private mint in Massachusetts, who then churned out an estimated 5 million tokens, many of which are believed to have made their way into the publics' hands in Toronto and cost the TTC $10-million in lost fares. For his role in the scheme, the ringleader was ordered to repay an amount of $641,250 and doled out a conditional 20-month sentence.

An unlikely and extremely disturbing scenario unfolded at an Etobicoke seniors' home this past weekend. A young man is being sought by police after two women (one 99-years old), were sexually assaulted. Police have released a blurry image of the suspect obtained via the facility's security cameras.

Being spanked to bruising, forced to have your head shaved, and being tied up with duct tape sound like cruel hazing rituals at a lame university frat. But it's come to light that these inappropriate forms of embarrassment and punishment were occurring at a workplace under the City of Mississauga's transportation and works department. Remarkably, the abuse has gone on sanctioned and encouraged by a supervisor for years, and somehow the guy still holds his job.

If a City-owned tree falls on a house not long after being erroneously deemed healthy by the City, are they in any way culpable for the damage, or should the homeowner take the full deductible and insurance premium increase as a result?

According to Jonathan Goldsbie, there's "some fucked up shit going on with Councillor Sandra Bussin." In addition to being on the receiving end of much criticism for her handling of the 204 Beech Avenue controversy, she's also being accused of getting election contribution kickbacks related to the controversial Boardwalk Bistro exclusive vending contract at Ashbridges Bay.

And thanks to anonymous donors, the Royal Ontario Museum has launched two new accessibility programs for visitors who are blind and deaf. Guided "tactile tours" incorporate special exhibits for blind visitors to touch (while wearing nitrile gloves to protect the artifacts), and American Sign Language tours are now being offered to those who are hard of hearing or deaf.

Photo: "On the up and up" by Danielle Scott, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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