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I’m sure all of you have heard of the bus stabbing in Canada, but I just have to get all this down before it’s deleted. The first story is half hilarious, half disturbing, and the second article is just plain..terrifying. In my opinion, the second article is more gruesome than the first (ya gotta think about it)


Man stabbed, beheaded on Greyhound bus by apparent stranger

Gabrielle Giroday and Ian Hitchen, Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, July 31, 2008

BRANDON, Man. — Screaming passengers fled in terror from a Greyhound bus as an unidentified fellow passenger suddenly stabbed a man sleeping next to him, decapitated him and waved the severed head at horrified witnesses standing outside.

The apparently unprovoked assault left 36 men, women and children stranded Wednesday night on the shoulder of the darkening Trans-Canada Highway near Portage la Prairie, Man., about 85 kilometres west of Winnipeg, watching while the bus driver and a driver of a nearby truck shut the crazed attacker inside the bus with the mangled victim. Reports Friday said the suspect tried to eat parts of the victim.

At a media conference Thursday afternoon, RCMP confirmed they have a suspect — who is not believed to be from Manitoba — in custody, but offered few new details about this baffling homicide. The suspect, a man in his 40s, is expected to be formally charged today.

“By the time the police arrived, the driver and the remaining passengers had all safely exited the bus,” said Sgt. Steve Colwell.

He said officers could see the man walking around inside the bus, but said he refused to exit. The standoff lasted for hours.

“At 1:28 a.m., the suspect . . . attempted to jump out of the bus after breaking a window. He was immediately subdued and arrested without incident and is currently in RCMP custody,” Sgt. Colwell said.

The victim’s name has not been released but a number of tribute groups on the social networking Web site Facebook identified him as 22-year-old Tim McLean, a carnival worker from Winnipeg.

The Facebook group posted early Friday entitled R.I.P. Tim McLean lamented the young man’s death.

“R.I.P Tim McLean, You are loved and you will be missed dearly!” the site description read.

McLean’s father, Tim McLean Sr., told CBC News on Thursday night that he was in the process of trying to get confirmation from the police that his son was, in fact, the victim of attack.

Witness Garnet Caton said the attack was unprovoked.

“The guy just took a knife out and stabbed him, started stabbing him like crazy and cut his head off,” said Mr. Caton, 26, a passenger on the Edmonton-to-Winnipeg bus.

“Some people were puking, some people were crying, other people were in shock. . . . Everybody was running, screaming off the bus.”

Mr. Caton said the attacker was only on the bus for a brief time, after boarding in western Manitoba.

Passenger Cody Olmstead said he had been watching a movie on the bus just before the attack began.

“We were watching Zorro; next thing I know, I hear someone screaming.”

Mr. Olmstead, 21, told reporters he had smoked a cigarette earlier in the trip with the victim, who got on the bus in Edmonton.

He said the victim said he was going to Winnipeg.

After the bus pulled over and the terrified passengers fled, Mr. Olmstead said the attacker was taunting those outside with the victim’s severed head.

“He came back, standing in the doorway with the head, looked at him, dropped the head and went back and started cutting buddy back up.”

He said when police showed up, the taunting continued.

“He come up and picks the head up and he’s waving it in the window. I just smoked a cigarette with this man earlier — like, the head. He’s shaking it back and forth in the window.”

Mr. Caton said he and other passengers prevented the attacker from getting off the blood-soaked bus by threatening him with makeshift weapons — a hammer and a crowbar.

“We were telling him, ‘Stay put, stay put, stay there, don’t try to come out.’ He tried to get the bus working and the bus driver disabled the bus somehow in the back. I’m not sure how he did it, and at that point, I think the police showed up,” he said, adding officers rushed them away.

Mr. Caton and other passengers said the attacker and his victim, who was listening to music on headphones, were sitting together at the rear of the bus, and the attack appeared to be unprovoked; no words were exchanged.

He told a TV station the attacker had actually changed seats to sit next to his victim just before the killing.

Mr. Caton described the man who attacked the passenger as bald and wearing sunglasses. He seemed oblivious to others when the stabbing occurred, said Mr. Caton, adding he was struck by how calm the man was.

“There was no rage or anything. He was like a robot, stabbing the guy,” he said.

Mr. Caton said the victim boarded in Edmonton, was wearing hip-hop clothing and appeared to be around 20 years of age.

After the killing, the other passengers were later taken to Brandon, Man., to be interviewed by police and to stay overnight at a hotel there.

Crisis counsellors were also at the hotel to provide support to the passengers, and counsellors could be seen chatting with them outside the hotel as groups went out to local stores for snacks or to smoke cigarettes.

One small boy, who was with an adult man and woman, was given a plush teddy bear by a crisis health worker.

“The first thing I heard was something like a terrible type [of] yowl, and that was from the guy who got stabbed,” said an elderly woman on the bus, from Winnipeg.

The woman and her adult daughter said they were three or four rows in front of the man when the attack began.

“[My daughter said] ‘Oh my God,’ and everybody else started screaming,” she said. “They had terror in their eyes.”

Two other passengers on the bus, a 22-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman from France, said they were heading to Winnipeg after visiting the woman’s father in Whitehorse. The 22-year-old man said in French that he saw a man holding a long knife repeatedly stab another passenger. He and his girlfriend said they were shocked by the attack, and the isolation in the middle of the prairie when it occurred.

“There was nowhere to go,” she said.

Speaking in Quebec City, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said the issue of safety on buses may need to be examined more closely once the legal process of this case is over.

“We’re never closed to looking at how Canadians can be more safe and more secure,” Mr. Day told reporters in Quebec on Thursday. “This particular incident, as horrific as it is, is obviously extremely rare.”

Greyhound spokesman Eric Wesley, speaking from Texas, said drivers are trained to get help as soon as they can when incidents occur.

“This is very rare, unique occurrence. Bus transportation is one of the safest modes of transportation. This is highly unique that something like this happened,” he said. “Our drivers are trained to provide the safest travel for all our passengers, and every time an incident occurs, they know to pull the bus over and call 911.”

Mr. Wesley said counselling will be provided and monetary compensation will be determined on an individual basis.

“We are going to do whatever we need to provide the passengers with counselling or any other measures to make sure they’re taken care of.”

With files from Canwest News Service, Global News

——————————-

Someone tries to cash in on Manitoba bus beheading
Aug 19, 2008 05:43 PM


THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG–Someone claiming to be a sister of the young man stabbed and beheaded on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba last month has been trying to use the horrific killing to collect money.

The unidentified person posted messages on the Facebook social-networking site last week, claiming to be Tim McLean’s eldest sister, Amanda.

“I thank you all for your support of our family. It has been hard to deal with, but life must go on,” one message read.

“If you would like to make a donation to help our family, we have set up a PayPal account to do so. Contact for more details.”

The impostor also contacted Ron Schinners, who had set up a tribute page to McLean, with a story of financial hardship. The family was having a hard time paying for all the funeral expenses, Schinners was told via instant messaging, and had to quit jobs to help each other through the ordeal.

Schinners was so moved by the story that he turned control of his Facebook tribute page over to the person he believed was the victim’s sister – despite never having met her or talked to her on the phone.

“I was doing it out of the kindness of my heart, but I was also being deceived and I felt really stupid,” Schinners said today from his home in Port Alberni, B.C.

The pleas for donations were on a handful of McLean tribute pages for a couple of days before people got suspicious. They pointed out the McLean family had already set up an account to accept donations at branches of TD-Canada Trust.

Schinners eventually heard from the real Amanda McLean. At the same time, someone reported the matter to the RCMP and the person posting as Amanda McLean was removed from Facebook, he said.

Manitoba RCMP would not confirm whether an investigation was under way, citing privacy laws.

McLean, a travelling carnival worker, was on his way home to Winnipeg from Edmonton on July 30 when he was attacked onboard the bus.

Vince Weiguang Li, 40, of Edmonton has been charged with second-degree murder. He is undergoing a psychiatric assessment and his next court date is set for Sept. 8.

Sources:
First article: National Post
Second article: The Star

This is absolutely, amazing. Finally, people in high power positions are working to treat drug addiction as a medical problem first and not a misdemeanor. Allowing places such as these supervised “shoot up centers”, and providing clean needles is just the way to prevent all sorts of bad things from happening (besides becoming addicted in the first place), like the spread of HIV from dirty needles, and overdoses resulting in death. At least this way, an illegal substance is controlled, making more people more safe than they are currently, because now, it’s all out on the streets. People are acquiring HIV and hep C all the time, and people are dying all over the place from ODs. A center like this would be a great way help addicts, and allow the main hospital to treat (mostly) non-drug related incidents. But no, Bertha Madras, the head deputy director motherfucker of demand reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control, is an idiot (big surprise, right?). No matter how hard we (as a country) try to make drugs disappear, they’re not going to, and she (and we) need(s) to wake up to that. Remaining in denial about this fact of life, and taking on the philosophy Bertha has by thinking a CLEAN, SAFE, NURSE-SUPERVISED injection center will make everyone think that the United States government is giving up it’s “war on drugs” is utterly ridiculous, and believing that “we will succeed” is totally unrealistic! “Sixty-five similar facilities exist in 27 cities in eight countries, but no U.S. cities have considered creating one” Gee, I wonder why that is. Is it because other countries are more efficient than we are in basic problem solving skills? Hmm…

Users Shoot Up

By LISA LEFF, AP

Posted: 2007-10-19 14:41:14

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 18) – City health officials took steps Thursday toward opening the nation’s first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses.

Hoping to reduce San Francisco’s high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a 4-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 users a day self-administer narcotics under the supervision of nurses.

“Having the conversation today will help us figure out whether this is a way to reduce the harms and improve the health of our community,” said Grant Colfax, director of HIV prevention for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Organizers of the daylong forum, which also included a coalition of nonprofit health and social-service groups, acknowledge that it could take years to get an injection facility up and running. Along with legal hurdles, such an effort would be almost sure to face political opposition.

Bertha Madras, deputy director of demand reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, called San Francisco’s consideration of such a facility “disconcerting” and “poor public policy.”

“The underlying philosophy is, ‘We accept drug addiction, we accept the state of affairs as acceptable,”‘ Madras said. “This is a form of giving up.”

Sixty-five similar facilities exist in 27 cities in eight countries, but no other U.S. cities have considered creating one, according to Hilary McQuie, Western director for the Harm Reduction Coalition, a nonprofit that promotes alternative drug treatment methods.

“If it happens anywhere in the U.S., it will most likely start in San Francisco,” McQuie said. “It really just depends on if there is a political will here. How long it takes for that political will to develop is the main factor.”

Drug overdoses represented about one of every seven emergency calls handled by city paramedics between July 2006 and July 2007, according to San Francisco Fire Department Capt. Niels Tangherlini. At the same time, the number of deaths linked to overdoses has declined from a high of about 160 in 1995 to 40 in 2004, he said.

Colfax estimated that there are between 11,000 and 15,000 intravenous drug users in San Francisco, most of them homeless men. Like many large U.S. cities, the city operates a clean-needle exchange program to reduce HIV and hepatitis C infections.

Advocates plan to work on building community support for a safe-injection center, including backing from Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors.

While it’s too early to tell what the room in San Francisco would look like, Vancouver’s InSite program is located on the upper floor of a low-rise building in a downtown neighborhood where drug users shoot up in the open.

The site, exempt from federal drug laws so users can visit without fear of arrest, has 12 private booths where addicts inject drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crystal. They can use equipment and techniques provided by the staff, said Thomas Kerr, a University of British Columbia researcher who has extensively studied the program.

While 800 overdoses have occurred on the premises, Kerr said, none of them resulted in death because of the medical supervision provided at InSite. His research also has shown an increase in addicts seeking drug treatment and a decrease in abandoned syringes, needle-sharing, drug-related crime and other problems since the clinic opened, he said.

The results indicate the idea is worth replicating, despite the criticism it may attract, Kerr said.

“I prefer the approach of the Vancouver Police Department, which was: ‘We don’t like the idea of this, but let’s look at the evidence and at the end of three years we will tell you either this is something we can support or it’s something we can’t support,”‘ he said.

Source: AOL.com

I just returned from the Board of Education meeting where they APPROVED a proposed health benefits package for Baltimore County Public School employees that will cover both same-sex and opposite-sex couples!! It’s one more step forward, people! The following article is from MAY 24, and is outdated, since the contracts are NO LONGER at risk.

School contracts at risk
Unions weigh rejecting pacts after Balto. Co. drops partner benefits
By Gina Davis
Sun Reporter
Originally published May 24, 2007

A surprise decision by the Baltimore County school board to strip domestic partner benefits from recently negotiated labor contracts threatens to upend the tentative settlement – and runs counter to a national trend of more employers offering medical coverage to unmarried couples.

The board’s move Tuesday night stunned union leaders, who say they had been led to believe that this was the year that the county school system would join other large employers in offering the coverage.

“This is not the first time we have brought this to the board and it seemed to be supported during the process,” Lisa Norrington, a teacher at Patapsco High School who serves on the teachers union board of directors, said yesterday.

Now the tentative agreements seem in danger of collapsing, union leaders said. Norrington said she had received about 30 e-mails by early afternoon yesterday from members who recommended that the system’s five unions reject the board’s approved package, which includes an average 4 percent raise for about 13,000 workers.

“People are saying we should not vote on a contract that doesn’t have a domestic partner benefit,” she said.

School board President Donald L. Arnold said that the panel eliminated the provision because the language in the agreement specified that it would cover same-sex partners, but did not mention opposite-sex partners.

“It’s very simple,” he said last night. “The cost is not the holdup. The issue is equity.”

He said the unions could resubmit their proposals with language covering opposite-sex partners for a board vote but that he could not ensure such a proposal would be approved.

Cheryl Bost, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said union negotiators have consistently said that the provision could apply to opposite-sex unmarried partners.

Arnold said last night that the school system is assessing the cost of providing benefits to domestic partners.

Bost said, “I’m hoping I can take them at face value that they’re looking at the cost and not just stalling to get this to go away.”

Among school systems in the metropolitan region, Baltimore City schools offer domestic partner benefits to all employees. Howard County offers them only to same-sex partners, while Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Carroll counties don’t offer them at all.

The Baltimore County school board’s action comes as more employers across the nation are extending medical coverage to unmarried partners, research shows. The benefit is a low-cost way to attract and keep qualified workers while fostering a diverse workplace, studies have found.

In its 2006 benefits survey, the Society of Human Resources Management found that 42 percent of the nearly 400 companies that responded to their questionnaire offered some form of domestic partner benefits. That group found that employer participation in such benefits had increased over a five-year span.

In addition, the survey indicated that for the second consecutive year, the number of employers offering the benefit to all unmarried couples was comparable to the number offering it to same-sex partners.

To qualify for such benefits domestic partners must be responsible for each other’s well-being, generally meaning that they must have lived together for at least a year and must share financial responsibilities, said Ken McDonnell, program director for the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

A Society of Human Resources Management and Commerce Clearing House survey in 1999 found domestic partnership coverage to be one of the top three benefits sought by employees.

McDonnell said much has changed since the late 1980s when employers worried that their health-care costs would skyrocket because of AIDS-related care for what they thought would be mostly gay workers and their partners under the domestic partner coverage.

He said those employers who offer the benefit to only same-sex couples tend to experience low participation, mostly because there aren’t as many gay workers as heterosexual staff, and both partners in gay couples tend to have their own coverage.

For most employers, domestic partner benefits add less than 1 percent to their costs, according to a 2005 study conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting firm.

McDonnell said a major shift in attitude came in 1996 when IBM began offering the benefits.

Seeing a huge employer latch onto the idea “gave big legitimacy to it,” he said.

A school system, McDonnell said, might feel conflicted about adding the benefit.

“They might not want to seem to be seen as teaching homosexuality to kids,” he said.

Melanie Nolet, who heads the health and physical education department at Patapsco High School, said she hopes the unions hold fast on the issue.

“The county trains its teachers to create an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity in the classroom and with our students’ families,” said Nolet, who said her partner is a woman on leave from her teaching job at a county school. “If they want to retain highly qualified teachers, we need to be made to feel we’re valued and considered equal in this system.”

Bost said the unions have been pressing for the domestic partner benefit for six years. She said that about a month ago the school system’s negotiators asked the unions to consider changing their proposal – which requested benefits only for same-sex partners – to include coverage for opposite-sex partners.

Union leaders said yesterday they don’t know whether they’ll recommend that their members reject the board’s approved contracts, but they hope to see the provision included in an agreement their members can accept.

gina.davis@baltsun.com

Source:

BaltimoreSun.com Please note: You can only view the original article with the cache text from Google on (since the article is old).