Headlines: May 31, 2022

· The Pulse
  • Two days after Justice Minister Tyler Shandro ordered Edmonton to develop a safety action plan within two weeks, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi's office confirmed new plans for a Chinatown post-COVID vibrancy fund, which will come from the city's $1-million reserve and be dispersed by the Chinatown and Area Business Association. The plan also includes a $300,000 grant for the association to pay for private security, a Chinatown needle cleanup program, daily street and alley cleaning, additional public washrooms, and more. Sohi also reiterated that the root social causes of safety issues are the province's responsibility. Sohi and Shandro are scheduled to discuss the plan on May 31.
  • Construction has officially begun on the 102-Street-to-Lewis-Farms portion of the Valley Line West LRT project. Lewis Farms will eventually host a transit centre and expanded park-and-ride services. Construction on the line began in 2021, and the city currently expects it to be finished by 2027.
  • The Lofts is a new comic book about the people who were permanently evicted after the Katz Group bought the A. MacDonald Building in 2016 as part of ICE District development. Written by Rylan Kafara and illustrated by Spyder Yardley-Jones, the book was launched at a pay-what-you-can event at The Aviary on May 28 along with live music.
  • The mother of a man who died after an altercation with staff in August 2021 at the Edmonton Remand Centre is stunned and angry after seeing his autopsy report, Postmedia reports. Daniel Winston Robinson, 50, who was jailed for an unpaid ticket for driving without insurance, was handcuffed and held in a prone position for some time. He suffered "prone restraint cardiac arrest," which led to brain damage and death six days later. "This was not an accident," said Marilyn Hayward, but the Edmonton Police Service deemed the death non-criminal. A fatality inquiry has not yet been scheduled.
  • The city's Transforming Edmonton blog profiled the Community Outreach Transit Team, part of a two-year pilot it launched in 2021 in partnership with Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society to "provide compassionate support" to people in the transit system experiencing difficulties related to housing, mental health, substance use, and finances. The team aims to build "trust and relationships that help people work towards long-term solutions."
  • The Edmonton Elks have recruited Ashley Callingbull, a model from Enoch Cree Nation, as a new game-day host, joining CISN Country's Chris Scheetz. Callingbull is the first Indigenous woman to win Mrs. Universe and to appear in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. "Being a proud member of Treaty Six, I've always been a fan of Edmonton's sports teams. I'm excited to join one of my hometown teams with the Edmonton Elks," she said in a news release.
  • The Western Conference final between the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche pits 2015's No. 1 draft pick, Connor McDavid, against 2013's No. 1 pick, Nathan MacKinnon, notes the Canadian Press. They're now leading teams that haven't been to the final four since 2006 and 2002 respectively.
  • A well-known fence at 102 Avenue and 116 Street that depicted Nastassja Kinski's famous nude pose with a snake has been repainted with nine Oilers jerseys. Excitement arising from the team's recent playoff ascent has been "overwhelming," said Al Lawrence, who painted the fence with his roommate Warren Silampas. "I could sit outside here, and it's just constant positive responses, and people are really just behind this fence."

Correction: An earlier version of Headlines stated the launch event for The Lofts was on June 4, when it in fact happened on May 28.