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Ontario schools return to online format after the April Break: Ford cites variants of concern as biggest factor

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As the province records its second highest daily COVID-19 case count, the provincial government decides to mov...

Local support center for sex workers part of constitutional challenge

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By Vasilios Bellos
Cred: Safe Space Website
SafeSpace London is a local organization that supports sex workers, women, and gender non-conforming individuals in crises. Currently, the group along with 24 other members make up the The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform. The alliance is currently launching a constitutional challenge against several amendments that came to life after the enactment of Bill C-36. Board member with SafeSpace London, Melissa Lukings, describes what Bill C-36 is.
“So in 2013, the Bedford case happened and the Supreme Court decided the current laws of sex work infringed upon the constitutional provisions under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Bill C-36 was a response to that. Unfortunately, it ended up criminalizing for the first time ever sex work and related activities, so transactions, things like that. Third party material benefits, advertising, purchasing, and selling, so these are things it criminalized for the first time ever in Canadian history. Since then we’ve been trying to change that because the laws are horrific for real life actual sex workers.”

MLHU on the long weekend

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By Victoria Newman
Mar 31, 2021 10:10 PM
Easter weekend is coming soon! But with COVID-19 case numbers on the rise, many are left wondering how they can celebrate the long weekend.
“When we think about what’s really safe, what’s not safe, and what’s in the middle. You know, on the safest side of things is staying home… and celebrating virtually with people. In the middle there are potentials to see people in an outdoor environment in which two meters maintained so things like a walk. But what really can’t happen is an outdoor party. That isn’t going to be helpful at all. And large gatherings, even outdoors, if people are in close proximity at this point in time is not something we can advise,” said Dr. Alex Summers, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU).

Ontario heading into a "emergency-brake" shutdown starting Saturday

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Ontario heading into a “emergency-brake” shutdown starting Saturday
By Skylar McCarthy
Apr 1, 2021 2:55 PM
Effective on Saturday at 12:01 am, Ontario is imposing a province-wide emergency brake shutdown. This is due to the rising case numbers as Ontario is reporting roughly 2,500 new cases of COVID-19 today. The lockdown is expected to last at least 4 weeks.
From March 26 to 28, provincial case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people. Current COVID-19 related ICU admissions are already over the peak of wave two. ICU admissions are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks.
Ontario is reporting 2,557 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 62,300 tests completed. Locally, there are 743 new cases in Toronto, 484 in Peel, 311 in York Region, 131 in Ottawa, 119 in Hamilton and 107 in Durham.

A funeral for a King

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By Victoria Newman
King Street bike lane in London, Ontario. Photo taken by Victoria Newman/ XFM News.
Cyclists will have one last ride along a downtown protected bike lane.
The “Funeral for a King” event is taking place Wednesday March 31. Anyone can join so long as they wear a mask and follow COVID-19 protocols. Cyclists will meet at Ivey Park at 7:15 pm in funeral attire or as their best Elvis impersonation. They will traverse down the protected King Street bike lane to the Convention Center. Once at the Convention Center, there will be a moment of silence to remember the bike lane.

Federal and Provincial Governments investing in interprovincial snowmobile bridge over Ottawa River

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The Government of Canada, alongside the Government of Ontario and the West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association have announced a large investment in a rail bridge connecting the provinces of Ontario and Quebec over the Ottawa River.
The total cost of the project is around $425,000, and will cover 0.5 kilometers of bridge. The money is being spent on the installation of hardwood decking, rails and signs to ensure that the bridge is compliant with the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs bridge guidelines, as well as the Ontario Motorized Snow Vehicle Act.  The Government of Ontario says that:
“These improvements will provide a safe alternative to crossing the Ottawa River by snowmobile, connect trail networks in Ontario and Quebec and benefit businesses along the route due to the increase in snowmobile traffic. ”

Local bookstore keeps doors closed during St Patrick's Day festivities

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By Vasilios Bellos
Brown and Dickson Bookstore storefront
A controversial St. Paddy’s Day saw a divide within the community. Bar patios were at full capacity, many believing this to be irresponsible as it feels as though the end of pandemic is in sight, vaccinations slowly but surely ramping up. There was a significant police presence downtown, especially on Richmond throughout the afternoon, with no serious altercations between law enforcement and those celebrating.
“We’re definitely encouraged by what we’ve seen so far and we haven’t responded to anything significant at this point,” London police spokesperson Const. Sandasha Bough said Wednesday afternoon.

What are local bars expecting this St. Patrick's Day?

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By Vasilios Bellos
Cred: Scot's Pub Facebook Page
Last years festivities were very toned down in the city of London. Many are fearing this year that COVID fatigue may play a role in individuals not taking the restrictions as seriously this time around, especially with the recent increase in house-party related cases.
In terms of bars and restaurants, it has already been made clear that police will have a significant downtown presence throughout St. Patrick’s Day. These businesses were not open last year due to the full COVID shutdown, so they are dealing with a brand new experience.
Billy Thomson, General Manager at The Scot’s Corner on Dundas Street, describes how preparation for this years St. Patrick’s Day is unique.

The tabletop game that has been thriving in the online world

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By Tim Magallanes
Mar 14, 2021 2:32 PM
Dungeons and Dragons, also known as D&D, hasn’t been hindered by the pandemic but has rather progressed in popularity.
D&D is a tabletop role-playing game where players can make their own characters and explore fantasy worlds. Games also feature Dungeon Masters or DMs that help guide the players through the worlds they explore but also play against them.
Over the years, D&D has definitely been more open and many people have gotten into the role-playing atmosphere. Because of the game’s audience mostly consisting of younger adults, D&D’s online presence was already very prominent.

Back at school during the pandemic

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It's certainly not an understatement to say that the pandemic has changed a lot of things. One of those things...

Etiquette: it applies to more than just dining

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By Bailey Sherrah
Photo by Arthouse Studio / Pexels
Etiquette, what is it?
Think of it as polite actions: things you would enjoy if someone else did them for you. Historically known as a guide line of how to treat others with respect, including yourself.
Adeodata Czink is the owner of Toronto etiquette consultancy, Business of Manners
. Czink says good etiquette begins the moment you walk through a door.
“You want to commend attention by your presence. You want to look tall with great posture, open the door wide, step in and give yourself a moment to look around. You have arrived and you are great.”

How COVID is affecting children's development

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It's been just over a year since the Global Health organization deemed the coronavirus a global pandemic. One ...

The new moon: A time to launch new projects

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Today the new moon will vanish from our sight. The night will only be illuminated by the natural light of the ...

Western alum create app to eliminate online shopping hassle

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After graduating from economics and software engineering at Western University, co-founders Shawn Miller and A...

What will Fanshawe look like in the Fall?

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By Skylar McCarthy
Fanshawe College. X FM News file photo
Fanshawe College recently announced that it will expand in-class instruction for the Fall 2021 semester. The current plan is to expand face to face delivery by up to 15%. The plan would also permit more of a return to the vibrant con-campus student experiences. This comes after we’re near the one year anniversary that saw the college shift to emergency remote delivery due to COVID-19.
With more vaccines being distributed, Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin is optimistic. However, he also says there two deciding factors that could limit that increase.
“First, space is the limiting factor. With the guidance over the health unit, inside our classrooms, there’s still a two-metre space. That’s one of the largest limiting factors that we have as we play in the fall,” Devlin stated. “But we will soon need to decide for Fall 2021, So students from around the province, some from around the world make the necessary plans that support the learning option and the program that they picked.”

London Police Services investigating a stabbing in the Kensington Village area

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By Jordan Laroche
Photo Cred: London Police Services Twitter
A woman has died after being rushed to the hospital with life threatening stab wounds in the city’s Kensington Village area. Police were called to the scene by a neighbor who heard screams from a few houses down and when they arrived, they located the woman who was suffering from obvious trauma.  
Police have taken one suspect into custody, but they have not ruled it a homicide just yet and are waiting for the coroner to determine the cause of death.  
CBC London reported that neighbors believe it was a domestic attack and that the suspect was a youth who knew the victim.  

London Police Services are investigating the death of a pre-school aged child

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By Jordan Laroche
Photo Cred: London Police Services Twitter
London Police Service is working with the Office of the Chief Coroner in an investigation of the death of a pre-school aged child over the weekend.  
London Police Services Middlesex-London Emergency Services were called to the 700-block of Nelson street on Sunday. After arriving they located a child who was announced dead at the scene. 
An autopsy was performed on Monday, but the cause and manner of death have not been determined and will remain under investigation.  
Anyone with information related to this is being asked to contact London Police Services (519) 661-5670, or CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information can also be sent anonymously to www.londoncrimestoppers.com.  

How do you start a car restoration?

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Restoring a car is a pretty big process that requires a lot of time, work, commitment and money. There are man...

London's music festivals hoping to rock the stage once again

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By Ryann Scheib
Past Sunfest concert / Global News
The pandemic has brought a pause to in-person events and live music. Making artists and concertgoers alike miss the large crowds and entertainment.
Two of London’s largest music festivals, Sunfest and Rock the Park have yet to make final decisions for this season, but are keeping a close eye on the pandemic and provincial guidelines.
Alfredo Caxaj, the executive co-artistic director of Sunfest says that the annal festival will happen in July with no question, but the format remains undecided.
“We hope that in one way we could do some kind of in person activities, or could be a combination of virtual things. So kind of a hybrid thing,” says Caxaj. “But if that’s not possible, we’ll do it virtually as we did last year.”

Perseverance Rover: The Local Connection

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By Skylar McCarthy
On February 18, the Mars Perseverance rover landed in the Jezero Crater. However, this isn’t the first time we put a rover on Mars. The Curiosity rover was the first one back in 2012, but cameras at that point never showed the rover land. But there are also Canadians who are also helping with the project. Tim Haltigin is a Senior Mission Scientist at the Canadian Space Agency. He’s helping lead the team that’s planning the science program for the overall Mars sample return campaign. He says Canadians from all aspects are working on the project. 

The challenges of making music during the pandemic

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Fanshawe's music industry arts program was one of the hardest-hit programs when the pandemic first started. Se...

Environmentally Significant Areas and why their importance

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By Michael Elioff
Photo via Pixabay
London has 21 Environmentally Significant Areas. The areas exist on both private and public land. Around half of these areas are managed by the Upper Thames Conservation Authority. Brandon Williamson is a land management technician for the conservation and he provided some insight on ESA’s.
In order to be designated as an ESA, the City of London has what Williamson describes as an exhaustive list of criteria that must be met.
“Some of those things would be, sensitive ecological features like bogs, or open grassland prairie Habitat, habitat for species at risk, that type of thing”

How is Youth Homelessness a local issue

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By Skylar McCarthy
Wokandapix/ Pixabay
London is currently in a homeless crisis. More shelters are having to be made, including the new youth shelter that was just opened last summer. Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) worked on planning this shelter for three years, and a few days after it opened, it has reached full occupancy ever since. Roughly 35,000 to 40,000 Canadian youth are homeless, with only 7000 seeking a safe place for shelter.
60% of homelessness in London were under the age of 30 when they first experienced it. 26% of people looking for shelters in London are under the age of 25. Steve Cordes is the CEO of YOU. He says that the first step to help local youth is developing a plan and supporting those individuals.

Why should we be feeding our animals the proper nutrients?

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By Leanne Wilson
Mar 6, 2021 1:01 PM
Having a proper diet and lifestyle is important for us to maintain. It’s crucial that we also need to be looking at the right foods that we are feeding our animals.
Some people even enjoy going down by the river to feed the birds, but is what we feed them really healthy for their diet?
Bird sitting in birdhouse in the woods / Pixabay
Brian Salt is the Founder of Salthaven Wildlife and Education Centre. He found Salthaven 25 years ago due to his passion for wildlife creatures. He says
“People will feed them the wrong diet. A lot of bread gets fed to ducks and geese. We’ve done autopsies on animals that have died from being fed bread, what happens is that you feed them dough. They die of emaciation on a full stomach or a full crop.”

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