· The Pulse
By and
  • An audit of the Edmonton Police Commission and Edmonton Police Service recommended by new city auditor Hoa Quach was quietly shelved by city council on Monday, reports Postmedia. Council went into private to receive legal advice and then never held a vote on the audit. Coun. Aaron Paquette, who brought the audit motion forward in December, told Postmedia that a revised audit may still be possible.
  • City council has decided to spend $14 million to build a new above-ground, three-level parking garage at the Orange Hub. A motion from Coun. Anne Stevenson to instead set the money aside and explore alternatives was defeated 9-4. Construction is expected to be complete next spring.
  • Coun. Michael Janz is calling on the city to clamp down on excessive vehicle noise. He plans to introduce a motion asking for a report with fine and penalty options. "We need to exercise every single tool and throw everything we can at these guys. It's gone on far too long," he said.
  • The Edmonton International Airport is now part of the Aira Airport Network which is an online service that provides live, real-time assistance to people with visual impairments using a smartphone app. "With Aira, from curb to gate, our travelers who have visual impairments can now have a memorable airport experience, confidently and independently," said Steve Maybee, EIA's vice president of operations and infrastructure.
  • A group of Afghan refugee children exited quarantine and were bused out to the soccer centre in east Edmonton for a chance to run around and play soccer, basketball, football, and hockey for the first time since landing in Canada. "They've been living under a lot of anxiety, a lot of tension, a lot of danger," said Sharon Yeo, director of immigration and settlement services with Catholic Social Services. "And so once they've arrived in Canada and they have that sense of relief that they're able to start anew, the kids are able to have that freedom to play." CSS partnered with Free Play For Kids to offer the activities.
  • Edmonton police arrested a 34-year-old man after he allegedly uttered Islamophobic threats and attacked a vehicle occupied by a Muslim woman and her kids near a mosque — he has been charged with mischief under $5,000 and uttering threats. The incident occurred on New Year's Day, and is, Islamic groups say, part of a larger trend of violence toward Islamic people.
  • Three people have died in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak at Villa Caritas, an acute-care geriatric psychiatric hospital in west Edmonton. The outbreak began in early January, and, since then, 120 patients and 35 staffers have tested positive for the disease.
  • Some parts of Edmonton are seeing snowballs pop up, seemingly out of nowhere. Called snowrollers, they are formed by a combination of sticky, wet snow; the wind blows a small bit of snow that then continues to roll, or — as its name suggests — snowball, picking up more mass.