Author Archives: Admin

Gonzalez homers as Rockies rally past Blue Jays 9-5

DENVER – Troy Tulowitzki received a warm reception from the Coors Field fans. The Colorado Rockies weren’t as welcoming to their former teammate.

Carlos Gonzalez homered, Jon Gray tossed seven solid innings and the Rockies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 on Monday night to spoil Tulowitzki’s return to Colorado.

ChangSha Night Net

Tulowitzki went 0 for 4 in his first game in Denver since Toronto acquired him from the Rockies last July 27. He received a standing ovation when he batted in the second inning. He stepped out of the batter’s box and doffed his helmet to the 34,619 fans.

“It was a cool moment for me. Brought back a lot of memories,” Tulowitzki said. “It was great to see the fans react in that way. Definitely exciting.”

Gonzalez was happy the fans cheered for Tulowitzki, but it also served as motivation for the outfielder.

“That was pretty special for him and the fans. For me, I kind of took it personal,” Gonzalez said. “When Tulo stepped to the plate they were cheering and doing the Tulo chant. I said, ‘OK, let me make sure they know I’m the one wearing purple. You better cheer for me when I hit it in the seats.’”

He got the reaction he wanted when he sent Marco Estrada’s changeup into the second deck in right field in the sixth inning.

“To be able to hit a changeup off him you have to look for it,” Gonzalez said. “If he threw me another fastball it would have been a different story.”

Tulowitzki was hoping for a different outcome but he did have his moments. He made a barehanded grab to throw out Nick Hundley to end the sixth inning and end a threat.

Edwin Encarnacion homered twice and Devon Travis also went deep for the Blue Jays.

Gray retired 12 straight and 16 of 17 batters after Travis’ homer in the first inning made it 1-0. The Blue Jays made it 4-0 in the third on Josh Donaldson’s RBI single and Encarnacion’s first homer.

Grey (5-3) settled down to pitch the seventh. He allowed four runs and five hits and struck out eight.

Estrada had allowed three hits before Gonzalez’s three-run homer — his 17th — made it a one-run game. It was his 189th home run with Colorado, moving him past Tulowitzki for fifth on the franchise list.

“Look at Estrada’s numbers. He’s having a heck of a year,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “We had a hard time figuring him out but that swing right there put us right back into it.”

The Rockies scored six runs in the seventh off three relievers. Drew Storen (1-3) hit two straight batters ahead of Nolan Arenado’s two-run single, Jesse Chavez walked Mark Reynolds with the bases loaded and Daniel Descalso followed with a single to drive in two more.

“It wasn’t a good inning there,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

Brandon Barnes’ RBI double, his second hit of the inning, made it 9-4. Encarnacion hit his 21st homer to lead off the ninth.

AWARD WINNER

Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday. Blackmon hit .424 with five home runs and nine RBIs. He hit safely in all seven games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak pinch-hit in the seventh after sitting out all three games against the White Sox over the weekend with a bruised and swollen left knee.

Rockies: SS Trevor Story was feeling better after taking a pitch off his right middle finger in Sunday’s game. He took batting practice and did some throwing. He said the finger is a little swollen but improving. … An MRI on DJ LeMahieu’s left knee showed no damage and confirmed he suffered a contusion during Sunday’s game against Arizona. Weiss said he doesn’t think LeMahieu will need to go on the 15-day DL.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (9-3, 3.42) is 3-0 in his last three starts and has averaged 6 1-3 innings in the outings.

Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler (2-4, 6.71) struggled in his last start, allowing six runs and 11 hits in five innings against Arizona.

City of North Vancouver mayor wants 5-cent deposit on cigarette butts

City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto is on a mission to rid B.C. of discarded cigarette butts.

His plan? A provincewide five-cent deposit on butts similar to the system used to recycle pop cans.

Smokers would pay an extra nickel per cigarette, which would be returned when they bring the butts back to a depot.

ChangSha Night Net

“In the City of North Vancouver, 87,000 cigarettes are smoked a day,” Mussatto said. “In British Columbia, over 6 million cigarettes are smoked a day and people don’t smoke in homes anymore. They don’t use ashtrays. They smoke outdoors and they use the ground as their ashtray.”

Council members backed the idea unanimously and Mussatto will lobby the Union of BC Municipalities for support at a meeting in September.

“I think it would encourage people who don’t even smoke to actually pick them up,” Mussatto said. “They could go and collect them and take them back for the deposit as well. So you’d find very quickly that there wouldn’t be any cigarette butts on the streets.”

River conservationist Mark Angelo said cigarettes are more than an eyesore.

“Within an hour of hitting the water they can leak toxins —  things like arsenic, cadmium and lead,” he said. “They’re a major source of unsightly litter. They get consumed by birds. It is a very problematic and significant issue.”

Ultimately the cash-for-butts program would need to be legislated by the province.

Mussatto said cigarette butts make up 46 per cent of the litter on the streets and it’s time to make North Vancouver — and all of B.C. — both greener and cleaner.

– With files from Catherine Urquhart

Fort McMurray fire chief weighs in on rebuild

The man who led the fight against the wildfire that devastated parts of Fort McMurray in May is urging changes to the way homes are rebuilt to avoid similar destruction in the future.

Fort McMurray fire chief Darby Allen says houses in the northern Alberta city should be built much further away from the dense boreal forest that surrounds them and be made out of materials that prevent fire from spreading as easily — from the kind of shingles used to a home’s siding.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • ‘I want us to recognize the true heroes’: Fire chief shares stories of heroism from Fort McMurray

  • Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo to pay tribute to Fort McMurray wildfire

  • Fort McMurray residents invited to share their concerns in telephone town hall

    “Maybe they’re not allowed to have a wooden fence anymore, maybe it’s a wire fence. Maybe the front row that backs onto that wildland, they must have a stucco interior or a metal exterior — not siding, not cedar shingles.

    “The roofing material could be slate, could be tile, could be non-combustible shingles — certainly not cedar shakes,” Allen said in a recent interview at Fire Hall No. 1 in downtown Fort McMurray.

    “With council’s backing and approval, we may be able to do something like that.”

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire Fire Aid concert days away

    Normally, Allen said it can be virtually impossible to change municipal building rules and there would be a lot of resistance to these types of proposals.

    But life has been far from normal in Fort McMurray since a fast-moving and unpredictable wildfire wiped out thousands of homes and forced a month-long, city-wide evacuation.

    Pretty much anything that can burn around Fort McMurray already has, but Allen said he wants to make sure the city is resilient decades from now.

    “It’s going to cost a lot of money to put in and you’ve got to chop down a lot of trees,” he said. “You’re offending a lot of people. You’re affecting a lot of people and the chances of getting something like that through is pretty well zero.

    “But when we’ve seen the type of thing we’ve seen here, I think there’s more of a realistic chance of getting that type of thing through.”

    Wood Buffalo Mayor Melissa Blake said change may come about through residents’ personal choices, rather than through any new city bylaw or building code.

    “I’ve got a cedar roof on my house and it’s the first thing I want to change,” she said in an interview.

    “If you lived through something like this, you want to make sure you’re more resistant to it in future. If people know there’s a better way of doing it, they may opt just to do it.”

    READ MORE: ‘We don’t have insurance’: Cautionary tale from Fort McMurray homeowner

    One expert said cities looking to become more resistant to wildfire might want to look at what was done in the past.

    Alec Hay, a former military engineer and risk management consultant, said in the frontier days, open fields and agricultural land circled town centres providing a buffer.

    “If you look at how we used to do it, we kept the forest away. We kept the wilderness away from where we lived,” he said.

    Provincial land use rules will be a big factor in what a post-fire Fort McMurray looks like — as will what the insurance industry is willing to cover, he added.

    Estimating the future population of the city is another challenge. It was an issue long before the fire, when the low price of crude was causing mass layoffs in the oilsands-centred town.

    “There’s a particular challenge in how do you rebuild a town that is shrinking (with) the expectation that it will again expand,” said Hay.

    READ MORE: Countess of Wessex tours neighbourhood devastated by Fort McMurray wildfire

    How many people will return to the city after the fire also weighs on Blake’s mind.

    “The events were traumatic — there’s no question about that. If you’re one of the people last to leave places like Abasand or Beacon Hill, I can’t imagine what you witnessed, what you experienced and how you feel coming back into that area day after day. If you’re going to relive it repeatedly, that could be a good reason to consider not returning,” she said.

    “For others, I think it will take longer to realize whether they’ve got that resilience in themselves or not. I think some of the strongest proponents for rebuilding are the ones who lived through the worst of it. And so you’ve got a real mix and it’s very difficult for me to project how many may or may not come back.”

Edmonton councillors approve controversial high-rise tower despite chief planner’s concerns

A developer’s plan to build a 45-storey residential tower in Oliver, a building more than three times as tall as the current height limit in the area, was approved by Edmonton City Council Monday night.

Mayor Don Iveson voted against the proposal along with councillors Ben Henderson, Scott McKeen and Andrew Knack.

Regency Developments will now be able to build its massive residential tower on a gravel lot at Jasper Avenue and 114 Street.

ChangSha Night Net

“I think we heard clearly from the community that they weren’t opposed to 45 storeys – neither am I,” Iveson said after the vote. “I don’t think anyone on council said 45 storeys is the issue.”

Instead, Iveson suggested he thought the city could have negotiated for more of a net benefit to the west downtown community given that the development potential the city is giving Regency.

“If you want 45 storeys and $50-million worth of extra-development potential, there have to be some great public amenities and great urban design and we did OK here, but not as well as I would like to see our city get in return for this much new entitlement and development opportunity,” the mayor said. “That said, I think it’s going to be a good project overall, it just wasn’t quite where I think a project of this magnitude needs to be for it to have my unqualified support.”

Earlier this month, the City of Edmonton’s chief city planner appeared to recommend councillors reject the project unless the developer offered more value to the community of Oliver.

READ MORE: Tall tower proposal for central Edmonton runs into opposition

“Our general position on this is we have not obtained the rationale – the planning rationale – for a building of that height,” Peter Ohm said on June 10.

Regency did agree to sell five per cent of the roughly 270 units offered at 85 per cent market value but did not accept the cash in lieu option the councillors typically ask of developers.

READ MORE: Discussion on Jasper Ave high-rise put on hold for two weeks

Another concern for some was the fact most of the parking spots planned for the development will be above ground, although Regency plans to hide the above-ground parking with coloured glass.

Iveson acknowledged the glass design will work in this case but said he is concerned the above-ground parking and other elements of the developer’s proposal could set a new precedent for the area.

“Now allowing so much of the parking to go above grade in place of residential or commercial activity in the podium – I think that that could create a precedent,” the mayor said. “Each one of these applications is one of a kind and a moment in time, so I really hope that’s not the new trend because I think that would really cheapen the look of Jasper Avenue if we saw many buildings like that.”

Mo Banga, a first-time city councillor who voted to approve the project, suggested the state of the economy played a role in his decision.

“In these tough economic times, anybody willing to spend $50 million and in this economy when everybody’s trying to hold on to their money, it’s good for our city,” he said. “We’re not getting everything that we could have asked for but we’re getting most of the things.”

“This is the one time where city council can create new value and usually, smart cities deal that in exchange for affordable housing, offsite contributions to parks, great urban design on the podium or the tower – and we didn’t get all of those things,” Iveson said.

The mayor added that despite his concerns, the city did “OK here” but hopes to see a higher standard expected of developers going forward.

Coun. Scott McKeen also expressed his disappointment following the vote.

“We didn’t negotiate a good deal here,” he said. “As a city, we could have negotiated a better deal for this community and yet that idea fell on a lot of deaf ears tonight. For some reason, when it comes to developers like this, we are supposed to roll over.”

Regency Developments has said it wants to make its development “attainable” by offering two-bedroom, two-bath units that are expected to start in the $350,000 range.

Saskatchewan addictions doctor says more help needed to reduce opioid use

An addictions doctor in Saskatchewan says physicians need more help to treat people with chronic pain without prescribing them opioids.

Dr. Peter Butt, addictions consultant for the Saskatoon Health Region, said new national guidelines released in May are clear that doctors should only use opioids as a last resort for people with chronic, non-cancer pain.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Alberta declares opioid public health crisis, announces $30M increase and new panel to address deaths

  • New Brunswick prepares to deal with ‘opioid crisis’, increase accessibility to naloxone

  • Abbotsford Police Chief pens proposal to fight opioid crisis

    READ MORE: Are new Canadian guidelines for opioid prescribing sensible — or cruel?

    “Which means that there needs to be better access to physical therapy, massage therapy and transcontinuous nerve stimulation,” Butt said.

    “A lot of non-pharmacological interventions, which aren’t readily available in the health-care system, need to be made more accessible to people that are struggling with chronic pain.”

    Butt said it’s about improving function.

    “If you constantly chase … chronic pain, it’ll just keep on coming back, and the dose of opioids will escalate and escalate to a point that there’s a problem,” he says.

    Butt said the new guidelines are better than what existed before in terms of dosage.

    They say opioids such as oxycodone, hydromorphone and the fentanyl patch should be restricted to less than the equivalent of 90 milligrams of morphine a day, and ideally to less than 50 mg.

    A previous guideline suggested doctors could use a “watchful dose” the equivalent of 200 mg of morphine daily.

    READ MORE: Drugs to help treat opioid addiction cleared by Health Canada

    The problem, Butt said, is that some physicians will think that “all of a sudden they have to dial everyone back” as opposed to doing it on a case-by-case basis.

    Butt, who is also on a provincial committee addressing fentanyl and opioid deaths, said that could put some patients into withdrawal.

    “Without a good transitional strategy, you may have people who revert to street fentanyl or street heroin because they’re not getting adequate medical care for their pain,” he said.

    It’s not known how many Canadians are hooked on opioids, but the highly addictive drugs were responsible for an estimated 2,500 overdose deaths across the country in 2016. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, told last month that if the current trend continues, there could be more than 3,000 deaths in Canada this year.

    READ MORE: At least 2,458 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016: PHAC

    The principal investigator for the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain said the guidelines include a weak recommendation to taper opioids, meaning gradually reducing the dose.

    Jason Busse, a researcher for the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre and an assistant professor of anesthesia at McMaster University, said a weak recommendation means doctors should recognize that different choices will be needed for each patient.

    Busse said the threshold of the equivalent of 90 milligrams of morphine a day “should not be viewed as an absolute” and some patients may not get there.

    There are risks to over-aggressively weaning patients off the drugs, he said.

    “And as Dr. Butt states, there’s at least a chance that in some cases the symptoms of withdrawal may be so unmanageable for patients that they might look to supplement their opioid through going to illicit sources and this obviously can have catastrophic consequences.”

    READ MORE: Fentanyl overdoses killed hundreds of Canadians this year, experts say 2017 could be deadlier

    Busse said if the tapering recommendations are followed, there need to be a lot of safeguards in place against rapid, inappropriate reduction as well as better access to other therapies.

    But doctors can’t deliver services that aren’t available, he said.

    “If the resources aren’t available, that can be a very difficult recommendation to implement and particularly in rural areas … where perhaps resources are quite limited.”

    Chronic pain is complicated, Busse added.

    “It often requires taking a fair bit of time with patients … so I do think that physicians in many cases would benefit from greater access to resources, from greater support.”

Getting overdose antidote with painkillers may cut ER visits

WASHINGTON – Overdoses don’t happen just to heroin addicts — patients who legally use strong painkillers called opioids are at risk in the nation’s epidemic, too. A new study says when patients were prescribed an overdose antidote along with those medications, they made fewer painkiller-related visits to the emergency room.

ChangSha Night Net

Hospitals and first responders have long used the antidote naloxone to revive people who’ve stopped breathing because of an opioid overdose. Increasingly, take-home doses also are given to friends or family of people struggling with substance abuse to keep on hand in case of emergency.

Monday’s study went a step further — to see if the take-home antidote idea also could work for patients with chronic pain who may not realize they could accidentally get into trouble with prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and others.

READ MORE: Opioid overdose antidote may be available prescription-free by spring

“Patients don’t see themselves at risk for overdose,” said lead researcher Dr. Phillip Coffin of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “We’re prescribing naloxone for risky drugs, not risky patients.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says between 1999 and 2014, more than 165,000 people in the U.S. died of overdoses related to opioid pain medications. Taking too much, either deliberately or accidentally, isn’t the only worry. Other illnesses and medications sometimes can make a usually tolerated opioid dose risky.

San Francisco already had seen a drop in heroin deaths from targeted naloxone distribution. On the prescription painkiller side, Coffin’s team told six primary care clinics run by the health department to add a naloxone prescription for all patients with chronic pain who were taking long-term opioids for relief. The clinics serve publicly insured or uninsured patients. To help ensure they listened, providers were urged to say the antidote was for “bad reactions” to painkillers rather than using the word “overdose.”

READ MORE: Opioids killing more Ontarians than ever, coroner’s numbers show

About 38 per cent of the 1,985 eligible patients received a prescription for the antidote and were taught to use it, researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. Patients were more likely to receive naloxone if they used a particularly high dose of opioids or had a prior painkiller-related ER visit — such as for overdoses or sedation-caused falls.

Over the next year, patients prescribed just-in-case naloxone had 47 per cent fewer painkiller-related ER visits as their counterparts who didn’t get that prescription, Coffin found.

The study doesn’t prove naloxone helped, and there were too few deaths to know if the approach could save lives. Two of the five opioid-related deaths were among patients prescribed naloxone. A survey found 5 per cent of the naloxone recipients had an overdose reversed when they took the antidote that had been prescribed, Coffin said.

READ MORE: Opioid deaths up despite Ontario’s one-drug crackdown

But he said it’s possible the shock effect of being given an antidote to your medication makes people heed side effects and take better steps to avoid them: “Instead of safety messaging going in one ear and out the other, it really stuck.”

New CDC guidelines say doctors can consider co-prescribing naloxone with painkillers for patients deemed at high risk.

Monday’s study suggests the antidote approach is feasible for primary care providers, and “the results are encouraging,” Boston University addiction specialists Alexander Walley and Traci Green wrote in an accompanying editorial. They weren’t involved in the research.

“It provides a practical starting point for future, broader implementation efforts,” they concluded.

The drug can cost $80 or more, but Coffin said it often is covered by public insurance programs and is far cheaper than an ER visit.

Thousands in Saskatoon under drinking water advisory

Thousands of people in six Saskatoon neighbourhoods are under a boil water advisory after a primary water main was damaged Monday morning.

Officials say the damage was caused by a contractor, working on a private land development project, puncturing a 42-inch primary water main.

This resulted in significant depressurization in neighbourhoods on the east side of the river, north of College Drive and east of Central Ave.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Transit increasing bus frequency on 8th Street corridor

The six neighbourhoods affected are: Arbour Creek, Erindale, Evergreen, Forest Grove, University Heights S.C. and Willowgrove.

As a precaution, a drinking water advisory (DWA) has been issued. Until further notice, all affected neighbourhoods should boil water before consumption.

WATCH BELOW: Dealing with Saskatoon’s boil water advisory

The city says a plan has been developed to provide water for the neighbourhoods affected by the advisory.

Starting Tuesday morning, large water jugs can be filled at Fire Hall No. 9 located on Attridge Drive. Additional water filling stations are expected to be finalized on Tuesday.

WATCH BELOW: City of Saskatoon press conference on the boil water advisory

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Should the South Circle Drive Bridge be renamed after Gordie Howe?

  • Free Shaw WiFi available at City of Saskatoon facilities

    Those under the advisory can also use shower facilities at the nearest leisure centre provided proof of address is provided in the form of a driver’s license or utility bill.

    READ MORE: Longer waits expected for drivers at Saskatoon railway crossings

    The break was isolated at 1:15 p.m. CT and water service and pressure is currently returning to normal.

    Currently, city staff are conducting water quality tests while Saskatoon Water performs computer modelling to determine the extent of the area affected.

    The DWA is expected to remain in place until at least Thursday.

    NotifyNow will be used to advise customers when the DWA has been lifted.

Call for monthly smoke detector checks fires up Regina city council meeting

Home fire safety was at the top of Monday’s council meeting as councillors debated whether it was time to revise the city’s fire bylaw and adopt new guidelines from the provincial Fire Safety Act and the National Fire Code of Canada.

One of the most notable changes being proposed would see landlords be required to test tenant smoke alarms every month instead of every six months as is now required.

“There’s been an update on the building code and the National Fire Code, there’s been an update,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “So, these are just housekeeping issues to bring them up to speed.”

It’s a change landlords in attendance were strongly against, calling the revision too costly.

ChangSha Night Net

“This proposed change will cost $15 to $25 per unit,” David Todd said, while telling council it would do little to prevent future tragedies.

“Monthly testing of smoke alarms will not save any more lives than testing the alarms every six months,” he said. “The only way to ensure at-risk individuals are safe is to check them daily.”

But many councillors disagreed, saying monthly checks could save lives.

“The unfortunate reality is that there will be a fire in a rental property in the next six months,” Coun. Sean Fraser said.

“No question, they do save lives and it’s been proven and every day, lives are saved because of smoke detectors. I think the responsibility is for all of us to ensure those work,” Coun. Wade Murray added.

The updated bylaw would also see fees worth upwards of $600 imposed on false fire alarm calls.

However, the issue of smoke alarm safety was just too contentious for council to come up with a decision as some councillors like Jerry Flegel said they believed the landlord association wasn’t sufficiently consulted ahead of the vote.

It left council split on whether to adopt the bylaw changes. The matter will now reappear at the next council meeting.

Follow @BrandonGonez

More Hillary Clinton emails released, including some previously deleted

WASHINGTON – An additional 165 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton‘s time at the State Department surfaced Monday, including nearly three dozen that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee failed to hand over last year that were sent through her private server.

READ MORE: State Department audit says Hillary Clinton violated email rules

The latest emails were released under court order by the State Department to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. The batch includes 34 new emails Clinton exchanged through her private account with her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. The aide, who also had a private email account on Clinton’s home server, later gave her copies to the government.

WATCH: Benghazi report faults security; no new Clinton allegations

ChangSha Night Net

The emails were not among the 55,000 pages of work-related messages that Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. They include a March 2009 message where the then-secretary of state discusses how her official records would be kept.

“I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State,” Clinton wrote to Abedin and a second aide.

“Who manages both my personal and official files? … I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want.”

In a blistering audit released last month, the State Department’s inspector general concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal records-keeping standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.

READ MORE: US State department releases 1000 new emails of Hillary Clinton; 81 classified

The audit also cited a then-unreleased copy of a November 2010 email Clinton sent Abedin in which the secretary discussed using a government email account, expressing concern that she didn’t want “any risk of the personal being accessible.”

Clinton never used a government account that was set up for her, instead continuing to rely on her private server until leaving office in 2013. Though Clinton’s work-related emails were government records, she didn’t turn over copies until more than 30 lawsuits were filed, including one by The Associated Press.\

Before providing her correspondence, Clinton and her lawyers withheld and subsequently deleted tens of thousands of messages that she claimed were personal, such as emails about her daughter’s wedding plans, family vacations, yoga routines and condolence notes.

With the new release Monday, more than 50 work-related emails sent or received by Clinton have since surfaced that were not among those she provided.

WATCH: Hillary Clinton is trying to put her presidential campaign back on track this morning on the heels of a damning report into her email controversy

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon on Monday repeated past statements that Clinton had provided “all potentially work-related emails” that were still in her possession when she received the 2014 request from the State Department.

Fallon has declined to say whether Clinton deleted any work-related emails before they were reviewed by her legal team.

Dozens of the emails sent or received by Clinton through her private server were later determined to contain classified material. The FBI has been investigating for months whether Clinton’s use of the private email server imperiled government secrets. Agents recently interviewed several of Clinton’s top aides, including Abedin.

As part of the probe, Clinton turned over the hard drive from her email server to the FBI. It had been wiped clean, and Clinton has said she did not keep copies of the emails she choose to withhold.

In a report released Monday by Democrats on the House select panel probing the 2012 attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, Republican congressional investigators asked questions about Clinton’s use of the private email server in interviews with her close aides.

Abedin told interviewers that she was aware of Clinton’s heavy use of private emails from the start and that Clinton continued a practice that she had developed as a U.S. senator for New York and as a 2008 presidential candidate.

“It was a natural progression from what she was doing previously, and she continued to do so.”

Asked repeatedly who serviced Clinton’s private server in the basement of her New York home, Abedin identified Justin Cooper, a technology staffer at that time for former President Bill Clinton, and Bryan Pagliano, a State Department technology official who is co-operating with an FBI investigation of Clinton’s private server under an immunity deal with prosecutors. Abedin was hazy about Pagliano’s role at the agency and his private work overseeing Clinton’s server in New York.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton needs emoticon help and other revelations from her emails

Pagliano, who previously worked for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination and declined to answer the committee’s questions. In a sworn deposition last week, Pagliano also refused to answer questions posed by lawyers from Judicial Watch, including who paid for the system and who else at the State Department used email accounts on it. Pagliano also would not answer whether he discussed setting up a home server with Clinton prior to her tenure as secretary of state, according to a transcript.

Other State Department officials told congressional investigators that Clinton never responded to internal offers to set her up with an official State account and an agency computer. Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Clinton did “not know how to use a computer to do email. So it was never set up.”

Wet weather eases Saskatchewan wildfire concerns as does year-round mitigation

It can be both a blessing and a curse.

Rainfall in Lampman, Sask., and surrounding areas on Thursday has prompted the province to deploy the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) to assess the damage caused by a major downpour.

Communities in the southeast and Rosetown area affected by large amounts of rain this past weekend are also encouraged to contact PDAP with any questions they may have.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo to pay tribute to Fort McMurray wildfire

  • Saskatchewan NDP concerned about wildfire budget

  • ‘We don’t have insurance’: Cautionary tale from Fort McMurray homeowner

    READ MORE: SaskAlert app will keep people in Saskatchewan informed of emergencies

    In Saskatoon, rainfall amounts are still slightly below normal but a far cry from what we experienced last year.

    “Last year in Saskatoon, there was only 14 millimetres of precipitation through May and June and that’s the lowest I think on record for that time period so it was really, really dry,” said John Paul Cragg, an Environment Canada meteorologist.

    “This year, we’re six times that amount.”

    In 2015, Saskatoon slowly sizzled it’s way into the history books. It was the driest May on record and June was the fifth driest ever recorded.

    READ MORE: Dangerously dry conditions, what rainfall amounts are required

    According to Cragg, those rainfalls would come in July and August and says it’s hard to forecast what we can expect for the rest of this summer.

    “Saskatchewan is a very dry place, all in all, but with one thunderstorm you can receive 100 to 150 millimetres of precipitation, a third of your yearly precipitation amount in one storm.”

    Approximately 15 millimetres of rain can ward off wildfires for a week in regions most at risk in the province and it appears any amount of precipitation is only helping to assist fire crews in northern Saskatchewan as long they’re not accompanied by lightning.

    “We had 264 wildfires to date in the province compared to 477 fires last year at this time,” said Owen Price, wildfire prevention and mitigation specialist with the Ministry of Environment.

    READ MORE: How you can stay safe and save lives this severe weather season

    While precipitation plays a key role so does education, said Price.

    “Typically, in the province over half of our fires are human caused fires so we like to get that message out.”

    In 2004, 104 Saskatchewan communities were assessed for wildfire threat potential. Approximately 59 to 61 per cent of those were rated high to extreme and they’ve been working with wildfire officials every since.

    “These are things that are unfortunate but if they’re well prepared it can make the event go a little more smoother.”

    According to Price, crews right now are at the ready for fire starts but by fall they will turn their focus to vegetation management.

    “We reduce any of the ground fuels, any of the dead and downed trees, standing dead.”

    Crews also thin tree lines to keep fires from spreading into a community.

    “If we can get the fire to change its fire behavior and reduce it by going to the surface then our crews are more successful in managing and extinguishing these fires.”

    For more information on wildfire management, visit the province’s website.