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Morning Brew: Committee to rule on Ford audit, Ruby responds to costs proposal, TTC rethinks Gateway lease, Unicycle Man, better traffic signals, and coyote returns

Toronto's audit committee will decide today whether or not to refer a report that found Rob Ford overspent by $40,000 on his election campaign to a prosecutor. The investigation into the mayor's election finances, released on Feb. 1, found several improper loans and donations. The audit committee decided to hand coun. Giorgio Mammoliti's audit report to a prosector on Feb. 4. Do you think the group will recommend a prosecutor take the case?

Lawyer Clayton Ruby says he'll counter Rob Ford's proposal to charge the defeated Paul Magder $116,000 in legal fees related to the pair's recent conflict-of-interest court battle. Rules usually requires the loser of court cases to pay the costs of the victor. Ruby called the bill "a lot of money for a guy who got off on a technicality." Should Magder pay?

The TTC could be about to abandon its 10-year, $48-million lease deal with Gateway newsstands in response to a consultant's report that says the deal should have been opened up to all bidders. The Commission controversially agreed to extend Gateway's lease agreement without taking offers from rival companies earlier this year.

The Star has unmasked Toronto's Unicycle Man, the mystery one-wheeled commuter often spotted on Queen Street, revealing a 21-year-old who's spreading smiles one ride at a time. Paul Abraham took up riding when his bike, handed down from his grandfather, was stolen. He's planning a charity ride home from Montreal for the Sick Kids Foundation.

Traffic signals on busy routes like Avenue Road, Yonge Street, and Leslie Street could get a tweak so road users are less likely to get caught in a string of reds, according to transportation services. New wireless transmitters being gradually fitted to major intersections allow a central office to control lights based on demand. This move could also presumably help ease streetcar congestion too. Good idea?

The Neville Park coyote has struck again, killing a small Maltese dog in a backyard near the Beach. Dogs and cats have been going missing in the neighbourhood for several years and the owner says he's seen the canines approaching children. Should animal services take a more aggressive approach to trouble coyotes?

A winter storm could be arriving in the GTA Tuesday evening. There's a lot of uncertainty over weather the storm, which is moving northeast from Texas, could bring rain, snow or a mix of both.

Local Oscar success last night. Toronto composer Mychael Danna scooped the award for best original score at last night's academy awards for his work on Life of Pi. Danna won a Golden Globe for the same score last month. Argo won best picture while Daniel Day-Lewis took home best actor for the lead role in Lincoln. Jennifer Lawrence won best actress for Silver Linings Playbook.



Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: "Rush Hour Gridlock" by John Tavares Jr./blogTO Flickr pool.

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