What’s killing fish in Okanagan Lake? Province says viral outbreak, weather changes may be cause

Thermal shock or disease could be factors into a recent kokanee die-off in Okanagan lake that has some residents concerned.

“We headed out on the lake and noticed the kill off of these fish which [and] we were quite alarmed. It’s the first time we’ve seen in it in our 10 years of boating,” West Kelowna resident Scott Thresher said.

“There are about six-inch kokanee and they’re right across the lake, both sides and in masses and we’ve never seen it before.”

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    Thresher said he was boating on the lake near the West Kelowna Yacht Club when he saw hundreds of dead fish.

    “Of course you immediately think that the lake has been poisoned or something but then we realized that it was just this particular species of fish and nothing else was floating at the top,” Thresher said.

    The province said sudden changes in water temperature or a viral outbreak could be why more than 1,000 kokanee have washed up on the shores of the lake since Thursday.

    “While biologists have yet to pinpoint what is causing the kokanee deaths, previous die offs in Okanagan Lake and elsewhere have been associated with strong winds that can send warm surface water deeper into the lake,” public affairs officer for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Greig Bethel said in a news release.

    One of the dead fish that washed up on the shore of Okanagan Lake.

    Dan Couch/Global News

    Bethel said tissue samples are being analyzed by staff at a fish health lab in Duncan  to find out if disease was a factor in the recent kokanee deaths.

    “Die-offs in other lakes have been linked to the infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus – IHNV,” he said.

    While the numbers of dead fish that are washing up on valley shores is alarming to some, Bethel said the die-off won’t have a large impact on the lake’s overall kokanee population.

    “Last year, biologists counted more than 336,500 spawning kokanee on the lake, the most since annual counts began in 1992,” he said.

    ~ With files from Blaine Gaffney

Canadian arts and culture sites welcome Pokemon Go players

TORONTO – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a place of reverence and inspiration, a sombre examination of past atrocities, and a touching tribute to humanity’s capacity to persevere.

It’s also a place to catch those cute, candy-coloured pocket monsters from Pokemon Go, boasts Maureen Fitzhenry, a spokeswoman for the Winnipeg museum that’s welcoming eager Pokemon hunters to visit and explore — as long as they remain respectful of sometimes sensitive surroundings.

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    The museum’s “Garden of Contemplation,” an interior space of basalt rock and pools located below a massive glass cloud, has been designated as a “gym” in the Pokemon Go universe, a place where players are encouraged to visit repeatedly to battle and earn in-game currency.

    Given that it’s located within a tickets-only section, Fitzhenry is happy to see gamers come by, even if they end up loitering in obvious disregard to the exhibits.

    “Maybe if people are coming in to play Pokemon they may also then be able to check out our own mobile app and maybe connect with some of our educational moments and inspiring moments as well,” says Fitzhenry.

    “But we really do hope and think that everyone will be respectful in the areas of the museum that house sensitive subject matter and where a respectful demeanour is appropriate.”

    READ MORE: Vancouver man’s anti-Pokemon Go rant goes viral

    It’s a similar story over at the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, also known as the National Cemetery of Canada, where those laid to rest include former prime ministers, Canadian Forces members and everyday citizens.

    Cemetery president Roger Boult says players have been respectful so far, and as long as that continues he welcomes Pokemon fans to wander the park-like grounds.

    “We have a mausoleum, we have a chapel, but it’s open to the public,” Boult notes. “If there are Pokemon in there, that’s OK. Come in and have a look.”

    The augmented-reality mobile game is all about capturing cartoon monsters that seem to appear in the real world thanks to the game’s GPS and mapping capabilities. Players are encouraged to roam their city to visit so-called Pokestops to collect supplies and visit gyms to battle other players.

    READ MORE: How to play Pokemon Go

    Its popularity appears to be giving some arts and culture sites an added boost during the tourist season, and Boult hoped interest in his museum will extend beyond the summer months.

    “We don’t want to restrict people from coming in. We want people to come in and walk around and if they’re watching their screen more than they’re looking at the flowers and the trees and the birds and the wildlife, well, all right, that’s OK too.”

    Even the sacred BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, a Hindu temple that demands silence among visitors and bans sleeveless tops and shorts, wouldn’t stop players from hunting Pokemon in public areas, says a spokesman.

    But he also said staff haven’t noticed an influx of Pokemon players yet, and simply attributed any general uptick in visitors to the tourist season.

    One exception to the generally warm welcome for Pokemon fans has come from Corrections Canada, which tweeted a warning that players refrain from hunting at Stony Mountain Institution, a federal prison in Manitoba where players were apparently seen on the grounds.

    Pokemon characters have also been spotted in Canadian police stations and hospitals, prompting polite requests that players stay safe, alert and respectful of their surroundings.

    WATCH: Are you playing Pokemon GO? Everyone else is

    It’s been a different story elsewhere, with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia both explicitly asking visitors not to play the game there.

    Spokespeople at both locations said they were trying to have their sites removed from the game, deeming it “extremely inappropriate” for such hallowed grounds.

    There have also been concerns about Pokemon fans playing at the former German death camp Auschwitz and the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

    But there’s undeniably shrewd marketing opportunities to be had for businesses looking to attract the smartphone-toting players.

    READ MORE: Pokemon Go players can now hire a chauffeur in Vancouver

    In the U.S., several small businesses have purchased in-app lures that effectively draw potential customers in search of Pokemon.

    Meanwhile, Toronto businesses are all over 桑拿会所 with posts about their Pokemon connections, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto Zoo, and countless stores and restaurants touting cute creatures waiting for capture.

    A Facebook group for Pokemon Go fans was advertising a “harbourfront lure party” where players can capture the pocket monsters en masse, while the CN Tower was promoting a Pokemon Go party on Monday night.

    WATCH: Pokemon frenzy hits Toronto as game officially launches in Canada

Owner fights to get horse back from Ontario sanctuary accused of neglect

Out of all the horses at an auction, a large Clydesdale caught Jess Fobert’s eye.

She was intent on rescuing a horse, and the seriously underweight but sweet-natured giant named Encore seemed perfect.

Fobert purchased Encore and gave the critically ill horse a second chance at life.

“I promised him I would look out for him for the rest of his days,” she told Global News.

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READ MORE: Ontario horse sanctuary accused of animal neglect

In the months that followed, Fobert even documented Encore’s journey back to health for a TV series called “Free Rein.”

Then, after sifting through dozens of adoption applications, she chose to adopt him out to Whisper Ridge Ranch, which was billed as a horse sanctuary near Peterborough.

In March 2015, she said she dropped the robust horse off —; but returned four months later to a horse that had changed completely.

“That’s when I first saw how terrible Encore looked,” said Fobert. “At that point he had lost a lot of weight.”

WATCH: Ontario horse sanctuary accused of neglect

Fobert said she tried to take him home but claimed the farm owner, Sandra Reed, repeatedly refused to let her and even padlocked Encore in.

In October, Fobert said she told the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that horses on the property were starving, adding she made another report in December.

She wasn’t the only one with concerns.

A woman who rented a room at the farm said she feared for all the horses, especially Encore.

“He pretty much looked like a skeleton with some skin and horse hair draped over him,” said Tori Black.

READ MORE: Dog may have been beaten to death in Toronto-area park: OSPCA

Black is one of two women who said they approached the OSPCA in March with pictures of emaciated horses and also provided a video of a horse thrashing about as it lay dying.

But she said she still received nothing from the OSPCA.

Meanwhile, Fobert had launched a legal battle to get Encore back, assisted by a paralegal who felt compelled to help after seeing photos of the horse.

“Ms. Reed should not have animals. There are serious, serious cases of abuse,” Mark Greco told Global News.

Finally, after her day in a Peterborough court, a judge declared Fobert is Encore’s rightful owner under the terms of the adoption agreement and provided a court order for immediate possession.

READ MORE: Bowmanville Zoo to close after former director charged with animal cruelty offences

“Tears of joy and relief absolutely, the horse has fought so hard to survive,” she said on her way out of the courthouse. “He’s been so patient waiting for us.”

Within hours, two OPP vehicles escorted Fobert onto the property.

“I’m terrified to know what he looks like,” said Fobert, who had not seen the horse firsthand since December.

But after several minutes they left, without Encore.

The horse had been moved to another property.

READ MORE: OSPCA investigation after discovery of animal remains is 2nd for same individuals

With the support of police, Fobert headed down the road to a nearby farm.

Then, from around the side of a large barn the horse emerged, with a whinny.

Emaciated, but alive, Encore was timid and moved slowly, then nibbled at treats used to lure him onto the trailer.

The woman whose farm he had been moved to thought she was rescuing the horse, unaware of his ownership.

“The allegations are false,” wrote Reed an in an emailed response to multiple interview requests.

READ MORE: Grisly discovery on Grey County farm prompts OSPCA investigation

She suggested any problems were the fault of a former employee.

“Our standard of care has since been inspected and approved by the OSPCA,” wrote Reed.

The OSPCA could not confirm those details and would only say that an investigation is underway.

Reed requested further inquiries be sent to her lawyer.

But Fobert has her horse back.

“I knew he was going to wait for me, its good,” she said, adding that although this battle was for Encore, now the fight is for the other horses left behind.

Pilot in Alberta airshow crash remembered as humble and happy

COLD LAKE, Alta. – A pilot killed during an airshow in Alberta on Sunday is being remembered as someone who had a passion for planes.

Pilot and geologist Bruce Evans died when his vintage Trojan T-28 aircraft crashed in front of thousands of spectators at the Cold Lake Airshow.

His friend Dave O’Malley says Evans was incredibly humble and loved to share his passion for aviation with young people.

O’Malley says he met Evans many years ago when they were flying with young cadets as part of a training program to teach youth about Canada’s aviation history.

Watch below: The Wetaskiwin Air Show was dedicated to Calgary pilot Bruce Evans on Wednesday. Evans died during a performance at the Cold Lake Air Show over the weekend. Nancy Carlson has more.

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    O’Malley says Evans was an experienced pilot with over 4,100 hours of flying time and the crash was a shock to many who knew him.

    The Transportation Safety Board says the cause of the crash is still unknown and an investigation at the Canadian Forces base is underway.

    READ MORE: ‘He just nosedived straight down’: witness to deadly plane crash at Alberta air show 

    According to the air show’s website, Evans, who is also known by the name “Frac,” was a geologist who works around the world in the field of resources exploration. His bio says he grew up in an Air Force family and his father spent time as an aircraft maintenance engineer as well as a radar specialist.

    WATCH: The Cold Lake Air Show was cancelled Sunday after a fatal plane crash during a pilot’s performance. Quinn Ohler has the details.

    Evans attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. and according to his bio, the family’s Cessna 172 – a small aircraft – was used to travel to and from university.

    The air show’s website says Evans bought a T-28B Trojan in 2007 and that the plane he bought was built in 1955.

    Pilot Bruce Evans is shown in the cockpit of his T-28 Trojan aircraft.

    CREDIT: Peter Handley/长沙夜生活vintagewings长沙夜网

    A photo of pilot Bruce Evans. CFB Cold Lake says he did not survive a plane crash at the Cold Lake Air Show on July 17, 2016.

    CREDIT: Peter Handley/长沙夜生活vintagewings长沙夜网

    CFB Cold Lake says pilot Bruce Evans, from Calgary, did not survive a crash at the Cold Lake Air Show on July 17, 2016.

    CREDIT: 长沙桑拿按摩论坛长沙夜生活coldlakeairshow长沙桑拿

    With files from Global News

Pokemon Go players find naked woman vandalising Connecticut church

Two young men playing Pokemon Go were led to the prayer garden of a Roman Catholic church last week in Westport, Conn., according to police. But instead of finding the mystical creatures, they came across a naked woman who was vandalizing the property.

READ MORE: Can’t stop playing Pokemon Go? How not to burn through your data plan

Westport Police told the Connecticut Post that the naked woman in the garden had pulled lights from the ground, overturned a statue and benches and was throwing garbage from her car into a baptismal pond.

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“She was a 40-something-year-old female, completely naked, going through a psychotic episode,” Lt. David Farrell told News 12.

The woman was not arrested but sent to a local hospital for evaluation instead.

The church’s pastor, Msgr. Andy Varga, said he felt “sadness” for the woman.

“Clearly, this is not a well individual,” he said. “We hope she gets well. Whatever it is that caused this in her, clearly it needs attention.”

Sister Maureen Fleming, the church’s outreach coordinator, told the Post that the damage done to the church is “all very fixable.”

READ MORE: ‘Gotta catch’em all’: Two Pokemon Go users arrested for breaking into Toledo Zoo

On Facebook, the church wrote: “This poor tormented woman came to church. How beautiful. All are welcome. Although the world will see destruction and sickness, we can see the Lord working to bring a soul home.”

On Sunday afternoon, the hugely popular mobile game was released in Canada. Excited players overloaded the servers in just an hour.

– With files from the Associated Press

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