Alberta Education shuts down private Christian school in Cold Lake
'The information provided through this review was alarming,' David Eggen says

Alberta Education has shut down a private Christian school in Cold Lake following an audit that found questionable spending and conflicts of interest.

Trinity Christian School Association, which received more than $5.6 million in Alberta Education funding for the current school year, has lost its registration and accreditation effective immediately, the government announced Tuesday.

In a letter to Trinity’s board chair Tuesday, Alberta Education said the decision was made because Trinity “has failed to appropriately supervise its home education program” and “has failed to demonstrate accountability for funding received from the government of Alberta.”

An audit found that public funding from Trinity Christian School Association was directed to a third party, Wisdom Home Schooling Society, even though Wisdom had “no relationship” with Alberta Education.

In 2014/2015, Wisdom spent $5.2 million, or 90 per cent, of all the home-education grant funding that had gone to Trinity, the audit found.

Wisdom was also found to have retained $988,000 in unclaimed parent funding over the past three years.

“The information provided through this review was alarming,” Education Minister Dave Eggen told a news conference.

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A Ballerina’s Tale,” a documentary about Misty Copeland - the first Black woman to become a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre - will be released in theaters and video on demand October 14, 2015.   The documentary was directed and produced by award-winning Black filmmaker/author Nelson George. (I love stories by, about and for “us.”) 

I first saw Misty back in 2010 when she was touring with Prince.  As she danced to “The Beautiful Ones,” I was mesmerized by her movements, body, strength, grace and beauty.  I thought she was divinity in motion!  

When I got home from the concert that night, I became slightly obsessed with finding and following news about her. Since then, she’s been profiled on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and PBS’ NewsHour, named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” and written her autobiography and a children’s book.  Her ad for “Under Armour” apparel company has received over 9 million views (and counting), and she’s become a sought-after motivational speaker

I’m ecstatic to see this talented, trailblazing, gorgeous woman - who has defied odds and overcome adversity - continue to inspire, influence and soar! 


Meet the teenager who solved his First Nation's drinking water problems
He just graduated from high school, now this teen is running the water plant in North Spirit Lake

A 19-year-old from North Spirit Lake First Nation is the key to solving a boil water advisory in place in his community for nearly as long as he has been alive.

The remote First Nation, about 800 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont., has been under a boil water advisory for 14 years.

Now, a unique program spearheaded by the Northern Chiefs Council (Keewatinook Okimakanak), is allowing people like Quentin Rae to take the initiative and the responsibility for providing clean water in their own communities.

“I have to take care of the plant, make sure chlorine gets in the water to clean the bacteria,” said Rae with a smile during his first week on the job at the end of April.

“I just graduated last year and they gave me the job.”

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Court: Great Lakes wolf hunt must stop

A federal court on Friday ordered a stop to gray wolf hunting in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, saying the animal still requires protection. The ruling overturns a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision that opened up hunting and trapping of wolves for the first time in 40 years.

The court’s ruling was cheered by the Humane Society of the United States, which was among a group of wildlife protection groups that sued the U.S.F.W.S. for its decision to remove the gray wolf from the list of animals deserving of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

“In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed more than 1,500 Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at the Humane Society.

Minnesota hunters shot or trapped 272 wolves this year, more than the state’s target quota of 250. Some 15,000 people had applied for 3,800 available licenses this year. Last year, 13,000 applied for 3,300 licenses.

A Minnesota DNR survey last winter estimated the wolf population at 2,423 — up about 200 or 10 percent from 2013. Officials say the population peaked at 3,020 in 2004 — 17 percent higher than it is now.



Pagan Kupala Rites on Russian Lake Svetloyar

Lake as a lake: not the biggest, not the most beautiful, but it is without no doubt one of  legendary ones. It is the legend of the City of Kitezh that made Svetloyar lake a special place. The man of the past centuries was inclined to see the world as trees, rocks, rivers, lakes – all this has been the subject of attention and worship with Pagan Slavic gods. Swimming in the lake Svetloyar in ancient times was forbidden, as you do not disturb or offend residents of hidden city Kitezh, which, according to legend when Christian era came, hidden itself to the bottom of the lake, along with the residents during an attack by Golden Horde and troops of Batu Khan. On the principles of this magical legend the tradition was built where drinking water from the lake or washing in would give people magical powers and good luck.

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Dogs keep missing Frog Lake First Nation girl safe overnight

[IMAGE: Nine-year-old Meghan is pictured with her loyal dogs Brute, Starky and Prince shortly after she was found. Her family asked that her last name not be used.]

A nine-year-old girl’s family said they feared the worst when she went missing on Wednesday and spent a cold night in the forest alone with her three dogs.

Her uncle said the girl’s disappearance from her home on a First Nation northeast of Edmonton reminded them of Chase Martens, a two-year-old boy who wandered away from his family’s Manitoba farm last month and was later found dead.

“It was very scary, very stressful on everybody,” Michael Cross said. “Being a little girl in the middle of nowhere, in the cold in a spring jacket. It was very overwhelming, I wouldn’t wish that again for anybody’s child.”

Family confirmed the girl’s name is Meghan, but asked that her last name not be used.

‘I’ve never experienced it in my career,’ police officer says

Meghan went missing with her dogs Starky, Brute and Prince at around 6 p.m. Wednesday on the Frog Lake First Nation, around 90 km north of Lloydminster. She was last seen riding her bike in front of her home.

Her disappearance prompted a search involving 30 to 40 community members and police officers that went well into the night, said Sgt. Barry Larocque.

Police were preparing to ramp up their search efforts by bringing in a helicopter from Edmonton when the girl walked out of the bush with her three large dogs around 7 a.m.

An elder spotted the girl and drove her home in his truck, the three dogs following behind them.

She was taken to hospital as a precaution, but was completely unharmed.

Wearing only a spring jacket and sweatpants, she told police her three dogs kept her warm through almost 12 hours in near-freezing temperatures in the dark forest.

“She said that she had laid down and her dogs kind of huddled around her to keep her warm throughout the night,” Larocque said.

“It is a bit of a wild story. I’ve never experienced it in my career.”

'She’s a very strong girl’

Cross said the three dogs were treated to a big dinner for keeping the girl safe. She’s rarely seen without them, he added.

“They’re always by her side. They’ve just grown together, they’ve bonded very well. The dogs are very protective of Meghan,” he said.

She was settled in at home on Friday, doing well but a little shy from all the attention from media and the community concern about her wellbeing, Cross said.

“She felt kind of bad about that, but we told her, 'Don’t feel so bad, this is how many people love you,’ ” Cross said.

“She’s a very strong girl to spend a night out like that. We love her lots, that’s for sure.”

Oregon wolf OR-3, missing for 3 years, turns up near Crater Lake

October 18th, 2015 - An Oregon wolf presumed dead after he went missing from his pack in the Wallowa mountains three years ago has turned up hundreds of miles away in northern Klamath County.

OR-3, a 7-year-old male who dispersed from the Imnaha pack in 2011, has been spotted in the Cascade Mountains near Crater Lake.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials had stopped searching for the wolf, who was last spotted in September 2011 near Prineville. He’s been missing so long, the radio collar they would normally use to track him has likely run out of juice.

After three years without a trace of OR-3, a hunter’s trail camera picked up an image in August of a black radio collared wolf. Wildlife officials recognized the wolf in the photo as OR-3 and confirmed their hunch last week.

Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the state wildlife department, said biologists do not know whether OR-3 is with any other wolves and they don’t have a good idea where he’s been all this time. They’ll attempt to gather more information about him now that his whereabouts are known.



Collapse of the Perito Moreno glacier ice dam, in Vine form. 

Forest in shape of Minnesota: Oaks hoax? Nope – genuine pine shrine

At first glance, it looks a bit fake, like a Photoshopped woodsy version of crop circles.

But Google Maps doesn’t lie. Tucked into the forests of Park Township in Lake of the Woods County is a 23-acre stand of jack pine trees in the shape of Minnesota.

Reddit users this week were buzzing about the image – and whether it could possibly be real – after someone posted an image of it.
Who pulled this off – liquored-up lumberjacks? Aliens?

No, it was inventive DNR forestry veteran Bill Lockner – in the late 1980s, way before Google Maps.

A timber sale on the state-managed land was pending, so Lockner made it interesting. Without the benefit of GPS, Lockner surveyed out the Minnesota shape, using only rudimentary tools, a compass and hip chain, DNR spokeswoman Jennifer Teegarden told BringMeTheNews.

Subsequently, the land around it has been logged off, and new trees have grown up in the Minnesota shape, Lake of the Woods County water and lands Director Josh Stromlund explained. The Minnesota-shaped stand – roughly 1,200 feet wide at the arrowhead and 1,350 feet tall – is well known by county residents, he said.

via Bring Me The News and Reddit


Lake Michigan is home to roughly 1,500 shipwrecks and it recently treated members of the U.S. Coast Guard to a rare glimpse of some of its ghostly residents, at least one of which dates back to the mid-19th century. The end of winter means the ice has melted from the lake’s surface, but the temperature is still cool enough that the annual algae blooms have not yet occurred. Add to that a still lake bed (stirred up sediment clouds the water) and a beautifully clear and sunny day and the conditions were just right for the lake to appear perfectly clear. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew took these haunting aerial photos during a recent routine patrol on April 17, 2015:

The images come from the area near Sleeping Bear Point known as the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve, which is “one of the richest areas in Michigan for shipwreck diving,” according to the preserve’s website. The lumber industry put the area on a shipping route. The North and South Manitou Islands, just north of the point, provided a somewhat sheltered area for ships hiding from storms.

According to one of the crew members, Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Wilson, spotting shipwrecks from their air over Lake Michigan is fairly common, “but not in the numbers we saw on that flight.”

The shipwreck seen in the top photo is the James McBride, a 121-foot-long brig. She ran aground during a storm near Sleeping Bear Point in 1857 and now rests in 5 to 15 feet of water.

The 4th photo shows what remains of the Rising Sun, a 133-foot-long wooden steamer that was stranded north of Pyramid Point on October 29, 1917. All 32 people aboard were saved and she went to pieces and now rests in 6 to 12 feet of water.

Head over to The Smithsonian and NPR to learn more about these awesomely spooky sights.

[via The Smithsonian and NPR]

BP spills tar sands in Lake Michigan, threatening drinking water supply for 7 million people
March 28, 2014

A BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana leaked up to 1,638 gallons of oil into Lake Michigan Monday afternoon, an incident that occurred less than two weeks after the U.S. lifted BP’s ban on seeking new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP says the spill, which has since been stopped and contained, was caused by a “disruption in the refining process” at its Whiting refinery in northwest Indiana. Dan Goldblatt, spokesman at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, told ThinkProgress that his office was notified at about 4:30 CDT Monday of an oil sheen, which EPA officials said on a press call Thursday totaled about 5,000 square yards, on Lake Michigan. Mike Beslow, On-Scene Coordinator for the EPA, said that when he visited the site around 9 p.m. Monday, the sheen was no longer visible.

Lake Michigan acts as the drinking water source for 7 million people in the Chicago area alone, but EPA officials said on the call that the drinking water wouldn’t be affected by the spill. The EPA, BP and the Coast Guard are leading the cleanup effort, which involves placing booms on the water, scooping up oil, which has been turned hard and waxy by cold weather, with their hands, and cleaning up a nearby beach that was contaminated. BP told Reuters that they have had “no reports of any wildlife impacted,” and EPA officials confirmed this on the call.

The presence of a sheen on a body of water is typically viewed as a violation of the Clean Water Act, and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said during the call that officials would look into whether action should be taken against BP.

“I can assure you that EPA’s lawyers will be looking at this matter and determining whether or not enforcement action will be appropriate,” she said.

The Whiting refinery, which was recently upgraded to process oil from the Canadian tar sands, has drawn the ire of environmentalists in the past, due to its pollution of Lake Michigan. Last September, Indiana regulators ruled that BP must cut the amount of mercury pollution it releases annually into Lake Michigan from the refinery from 23.1 parts per trillion of to 8.75 parts per trillion. The new rule marks a “modest but significant” change, according to the NRDC, but is still above the federal mercury limit of 1.3 parts per trillion.

The Whiting refinery was also at the center of a November lawsuit by Chicago residents, who sued BP, Koch Industries, and other companies over the storage of vast piles of petroleum coke, a byproduct left over from the refining of tar sands oil. The Whiting refinery currently produces about 600,000 tons per year of petcoke, but the recent $3.8 billion expansion has the potential to up its petcoke production to 2.2 million tons per year.

Spokespersons at BP did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress’ request for comment. The spill comes on the heels of a barge collision that spilled up to 170,000 gallons of oil into into Galveston Bay Saturday, and just over a week after a spill of 20,000 gallons of oil was reported in an Ohio nature reserve.


White Utah man gunned down by black police officer, media omits race

There is a story out of Salt Lake City that has largely been under the radar. A 20-year-old white male, who was likely unarmed, was killed by a black police officer after he failed to heed the officer’s warnings and reportedly reached toward his pants. It was later learned that the victim, Dillon Taylor, was wearing headphones and likely did not hear the officer. Police haven’t said whether he was armed.

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Protesters lined the sidewalk across the street from Salt Lake City police headquarters Monday afternoon to express their outrage at a spate of recent police shootings of unarmed people.

Among the demonstrators were friends of Dillon Taylor, the 20-year-old man who was shot dead by Salt Lake City police outside a 7-Eleven last Monday. Police were responding to a report of a man with a gun, but Taylor’s supporters say he was unarmed.

“It didn’t make sense to me when I first heard everything, and they tried to say he had a gun,” said Taylor’s friend Aaron Swanenberg, who came to the protest straight from Taylor’s funeral. “I knew Dillon. He never packed a gun.”

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You’ll notice that there’s something mysteriously missing from this story: The race of the victim and the race of the police officer. There’s a simple reason for this. It’s because the officer was black and the victim was white. The story actually parallels quite well with the story of Michael Brown but it doesn’t fit the media narrative.

(For video and more analysis, go here)

Don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t rush to judgement in either of these cases. We need to have full investigations so that a jury can make an informed, unbiased decision and justice can be served. But media hypocrisy here cannot be denied. They have an agenda to push and a narrative to control.

Pink Lake Hillier in Australia | Andrea Maizzi

Lake Hillier is a pink-colored lake on Middle Island, the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, Western Australia. From above the lake appears a solid bubble gum pink.

Unlike other pink lakes in the world like the one in Retba and the salt ponds at San Francisco Bay, the pink color of Lake Hillier has not been decisively proved, although it is speculated that the color could arise from a dye created by the organisms Dunaliella salina and Halobacteria. Another hypothesis is that the pink color is due to red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts. That the color is not a trick of light can be proved by taking water from the lake in a container – the pink color can be found to be permanent.  

Information Source: via Amusing Planet