Headlines: Nov. 7, 2022

· The Pulse
  • As of Nov. 3 more than 14,000 Edmonton students were absent from school due to illness. Alberta Health Services said it has seen an increase in respiratory illnesses, leading to an increase in respiratory outbreaks at schools. In the Edmonton Zone the number of schools with outbreaks was 65, up from 22 on Oct. 27. "I've never seen this many viruses in children so frequently and so severe," said Dr. Tehseen Ladha, a pediatrician and assistant professor in the department of pediatrics in the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "All my clinics are children with respiratory viruses, with stomach flus, and many of them are children that have virus after virus. They've been sick since school has started."
  • The first solar panels were installed on the roof of the $18 million Windermere Fire Station No. 31, which will be the city's first net-zero energy facility. In addition to a 382-panel solar array, the new station will include a geothermal field where heating and cooling energy is harvested from the ground, Global News reports. The station is expected to be operational in the spring.
  • Popular downtown restaurant Tres Carnales Taqueria was ordered to close on Oct. 31 after a health inspection found evidence of a "significant" pest infestation, including mice droppings and traps "full of live and dead cockroaches." Restaurant co-owner and operator Daniel Braun told CTV News that all issues have since been addressed and that the "source of these issues are outside the building and within parts of the building." A statement posted on the restaurant door said it would be closed briefly and "the best culinary and service experience for our guests and positive working conditions for our team are our priorities." A thread on the Edmonton subreddit attracted more than 250 comments, including from individuals claiming to be former staff who suggested the restaurant has had issues for years.
  • Gary Dewar, director of the Edmonton Valley Zoo, said the facility is not facing imminent closure despite signing off on a $10.9-million capital budget request for urgent repairs. "We are not at risk of being shut down or losing our accreditation. In fact, we just recently had our accreditation renewed on Oct. 17," he told Postmedia. Dewar said the funding request is to ensure the zoo meets new standards it anticipates in the future. Officials are also preparing for the death of 47-year-old elephant Lucy, who Dewar expects has between five and 10 years left to live. "As she ages, she's going to have probably more and more health problems, and we're doing our best to mitigate those and prepare as much as possible for what the future might hold," Dewar said. Captive elephants in North America live to 45 years on average.
  • The public skating rink at ICE District officially opened on Nov. 5. The rink is open from 10am to 10pm daily during the winter, and skate rentals will be available soon.
  • A new episode of CBC Edmonton's podcast The Loop features conversations with Edmontonians living on the streets.