Staff Blogs
A ghost story just in time for Halloween PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 16:19

By Cassie Weiss
It all started in an apartment in Calgary. We were living there while I was going to school, and it was a very quaint apartment. We had little neighbours, as only five apartments took up the entire building.
The pipes were old, the floors creaked, and the walls were thin. You could hear everything, but that was all right.
Our neighbours were quiet; we had only met one or two the entire time we had lived there. We never thought anything of it, continuing on with our busy lives as they continued on with theirs.
One day, as we exited our apartment, we came face to face with our neighbour across the hall. She was quiet, small, with long hair that hung over her face.
She barely looked at us as she scurried down the stairs to the street.
We only saw her a couple times, glimpses of her going down the stairs, outside on the street.
Never really having a chance to get to know her, we never thought twice about her, she was just another church mouse in that building, much like the rest of us.
Now, I always wanted a cat, having grown up with them on the farm. Not allowed pets in the apartment, I gave up on that thought pretty fast.
Kat and I were walking up the sidewalk one day when I looked up to the windows on the top floor, two being ours and two being the neighbours.
Low and behold, in our neighbour’s window, sat a cat. This sparked an instant rise out of me; if she could have a cat why couldn’t I?
Kali came into our house on Friday the 13th, and we should have known something was up.
She didn’t like our house. She would always stare at the door, for no reason what so ever.
Dead asleep on the couch, that cat would jolt awake, staring at the stairs that led to our bedroom.
Soon banging could be heard, and although Kat assured me it was just the hot water pipes, something about that noise always sent Kali to her safe spot in our closet.
Soon the scratches started, coming from across the hall. It unnerved me each time I walked past our neighbour’s door.
Maybe it was just her cat, but then again, maybe it wasn’t.
Our days continued and things never really got worse. As the fall faded into winter, and finally into summer, the banging subsided, Kali continued to be a cat, and the scratching seemed to fade away. We also stopped seeing our neighbour. There were no more sounds of feet in her apartment, no more cats in the window.
Out of curiosity, when we moved out, I asked the landlord about the church mouse who lived across the hall.
All I received was a confused look and the words that still echo in my ears to this day.
There had never been a tenant in that apartment. Not for years at least. The last tenant to live there had been a tiny girl, with long brown hair.
She had gone missing in late October. She had no family. Her cat had been found a week later, scratching at the door, looking for her long-gone master.

Red Sox off to the World Series PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
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Tuesday, 22 October 2013 16:16

By Jamie Rieger
A lot of sports announcers, and fans for that matter, never believed that the Red Sox would make it to the 2013 World Series. In fact, after listening to some of the announcers during Saturday evening's elimination game against the Detroit Tigers, some of those announcers were still in a state disbelief right up until the final out and even the game was over as they continued to praise the efforts of Verlander and company.
Anybody who has watched the ALCS know exactly who I am talking about here and I don't care for those two knuckleheads during the regular season, never mind during the post-season. They favour the Yankees and it seems, whoever plays the Red Sox.
It doesn't matter now because the Red Sox and the fans are having the last laugh. We are going to the World Series and the Tigers have packed it in for the year.
I was kind of hoping the Red Sox would be playing the Dodgers for the MLB championship. They had a phenomenal year and haven't hadn't played in the World Series since 1988. (I think, but I'm sure any serious baseball fan will be able to correct me if I'm wrong!)
At any rate, it was not in the (Cards) and that is exactly who we will be playing...the St. Louis Cardinals...again. History is repeating itself once again as the two have vied for top honours in 1946, 1967, and 2004. Of course, the Red Sox won only the latter of the three.
Now, I don't mind the Cardinals and I think they have had a pretty decent team, and the Red Sox will be ready for them when the first pitched is thrown on Wednesday night. I am expecting another nailbiter of a series and games with low scores and superb pitching.
The only downside will be having to listen to the two knuckleheads in the announcers booth and if I had the option, I would be muting the TV and listening to the game on the radio.
Now, for those unaware, the regular season announcers get moved around in the playoffs to announce other games in order to reduce bias. These two are not announcers for any given team (although sometimes it is hard to tell), but for a major TV network. If one detected bias from them in the past play-off games, just wait for the upcoming ones. One of the announcers is an admitted huge Cardinals fan and the other used to play for them. In fact, he played for them in 1964 and 1967 when they indeed won the World Series.
So, I am expecting another lovefest from them with the opposing team and to be honest, I hope they can actually get the Red Sox names right.
All of that aside, the Red Sox thrive on adversity, have a tendency to come through when the pressure is on and  have to this rodeo before. Anybody who has watched a few ninth innings from these guys know that nothing is impossible until last out of the game.
Time to cowboy up, Red Sox! I, for one, know you guys can get this done!

A little turkey to bring the thanks-giving back PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 17:45

By Cassie Weiss
Thanksgiving, the one holiday of the year where it is acceptable to stuff your face, eating more than any human should.
You gather with family around the kitchen table, munching on turkey, ham, mashed and sweet potatoes, and a little bit of stuffing.
The stuffing has just a hint of garlic in it; some people make it sweet, others make it salty.
Some gather a little bit of everything on their fork, mixing the cranberry sauce with the potatoes, the corn with the turkey.
Thanksgiving is a funny time as people slowly forget the traditions of old, giving and saying thanks for all the great things in their lives.
People see it as another long weekend where there is an excuse to buy a turkey.
It’s cool enough to turn on the oven, but still warm enough to not freeze opening the window.
For those of you who do still give thanks, who spend a moment thanking the ether for those things you still have that keep you smiling, keep up the good work.
It is people like you who keep the memories alive, remembering the real reasons behind the large turkey dinner.
I forget some days, the things I’m thankful for. I complain a bit too much about things that really don’t matter.
You shouldn’t cry over spilt milk, and this is something I try to remember.
Some days life hits you pretty hard, and you continue on, because in the end, you still have your health, you still have a roof over your head, and
food on your table.
And for most, there are people out there who would help you in a heartbeat should those three things fail.
On top of my health, my house, and the food in our cupboards, I’m thankful for my pets, my children.
I’m thankful for Lady, who makes me laugh even when I feel the world is against me. I’m thankful for Molly, and Whitey, Cali, Georgia, and Essie.
Those five girls make a boring average day seem very exciting.
I’m thankful that I get to chase Whitey up and down the street when she decides she has had it with the indoor.
I’m thankful that Georgia sleeps with me at night and Cali will do anything for a pet or two.
I also cherish that both my parents are alive, and that I get to see them at least once a week, and I am happy that I have Katlyn to share all I’m
thankful for with.
On Thanksgiving I will be thankful for that turkey, but I’ll also remember to be thankful for everything else in my life. I’m doing pretty decent I
think, and it wouldn’t hurt me to remember that.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope it was a good one.

Always pay attention to who and what are around you PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 18:09

By Jamie Rieger
Schools in Saskatchewan did the right thing in recent days by locking down when news that a high-risk sex offender may be in their area.
The news came about after 48-year old Michael Sean Stanley, who had been living in Edmonton for the past two years after being released following a 32-month sentence for assault and forcible confinement.  Stanley had been abiding by the terms of his parole up until last Tuesday when he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet in Lloydminster.
Since that time, there have been unconfirmed reports of sightings of him in Rosetown, Kindersley, and Saskatchewan and at the time of this article going to print, Stanley had not yet been apprehended.
Because Stanley has a history of taking children from playgrounds and of sexual offenses, numerous schools locked down and communities placed on high alert.
Parents were required to pick up their children from school directly and were following police instructions, with schools and parents discussing with their youth about how to keep safe.
And no doubt, until he is apprehended, people will be keeping their doors locked and will be sleeping with one eye open.
Schools, parents, and law enforcement are taking the situation with all the seriousness it requires in order to keep their young people safe and I believe it comes as a reminder to us all to be vigilant about our surroundings and who is in our environment.
Alberta Police Report immediately sent out alerts with Stanley's picture through social media and it quickly went viral with people sharing the warnings to their friends and families.
It is all well and good to share the information, but one must take it one step further by taking a good, long look at his image, study the description of him that was provided and that of the vehicle Stanley may be using. (It is a purple 1996 Trailblazer with license plate number BHD1954.)
Stanley's 46th and 47th convictions involved the unlawful confinement and assault on two mentally impaired Edmonton boys and he also served nine years in prison for raping an elderly woman in a wheelchair, so it is not just our children we need to ensure the safety of, but also our elderly and the most vulnerable in our society.
At this point, all indications are that he is still in Saskatchewan, but if he has access to a vehicle, he can be mobile day and night and could be anywhere.
Therefore, even people in southeast Alberta should have their senses heightened and pay attention to their surroundings until this man is caught and put back behind bars.

There is just something about orange and black PDF Print
Local Content - Staff Blogs
Written by production   
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 15:43

By Cassie Weiss
The green leaves slowly take their leave, turning from that summer shade to one quieter, darker, softer. Shades of yellow, red, brown, they light the crisp morning air.
I knew it was fall about a month and a half ago. My friend texted me with two words; “They’re back!”
Of course I immediately knew what she meant, preplanning my next outing to take a quick stop by Starbucks.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes, God’s greatest gift to man, are a classic sign of fall. You know the cold is coming once people start ordering the lattes, wrapping their mitten-ed hands around the warm white grande-sized cup.
Although it was still too warm to order one, it was the simple fact that the word pumpkin was starting to pop up on menus across the city.
Pumpkin spice beer, pumpkin spice M&M’s, pumpkin scones, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.
About two weeks after the latte showed up the first cool night occurred. It hit our house with a bang. The windows were wide open and I felt a shiver. The night grew cold, and multiple blankets were piled on the couch for us to cuddle under, watching a movie as we drank Chi tea.
The next day was hot, but the night dropped and the promise of fall was a reachable vision.
Then the days got cool, and out came my favourite sweater, the one I wear that features one large, black, cat, fitting if you know my animal situation.
Oxblood became my colour, as I delved into the fall clothing line, and the spare bedroom closet was looted for all other things fall.
I pulled out my red jacket, pleased to see the beautiful Cameo in place, the one Katlyn bought me for my birthday.
I received my boots, I looked at my Ravenclaw scarf, and the world was at peace.
It was fall time in Medicine Hat once more, and gosh darn was I going to make the most of it.
Today I could have predicted snow, feeling the chill as the wind blew the failing leaves to the ground.
Lady and I walk in the dark now, simply not able to get out before the sun starts to set.
We grab a flashlight, and we crunch our way through what is the beginning of the fall leaves.
People curse the weather, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “It looks miserable out there.”
I could not disagree more. It is beautiful out there, and I know it will only be here for a short while before the snow falls and the world becomes white.
I look forward to that event too.
Most enjoy the hot days of the summer months, but give me orange and black any day of the week. Finally, as the days end and my friend and I settle into the nights with horror movies and our Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the wind blows and the cold creeps in, winding its shivering fingers deeper into the dark.

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