Who will fill vacant Winnipeg Jets captain’s job?

WINNIPEG —; The Winnipeg Jets final meeting of the season on Monday was brought to you by the letter ‘C’.

‘C’ for captain.

It was the word of the street down Portage Avenue at MTS Centre.

“It’s hard to find a good captain,” said Jets forward Mathieu Perreault. “I think we have some great guys that can be captain.”

Like Blake Wheeler. The forward is a frontrunner to succeed Andrew Ladd as the next captain of the Jets. It’s a role he said would be an honour to take over.

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    “Obviously everyone wants to wear the ‘C’,” said Wheeler.

    “There’s a lot of pride that comes with that. Given the opportunity, I would respect it.”

    But Wheeler isn’t the only player in the captain conversation.

    “I think a guy like Scheifele (would be good),” said Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers. “He’s a young guy but he has a good, big mouth.”

    A characteristic coupled with consistent on-ice performance players say makes the best leader.

    “Just a guy that plays every night,” said Jets forward Chris Thorburn. “A guy that others can look up to and get advice from. All that kind of good stuff.”

    The Jets aren’t expected to name their next captain until the fall as they try to consider who is best suited for the liability that comes with wearing the letter.

    “We’re in a small, Canadian city,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. “There’s a different responsibility that comes with that. They need to be comfortable with all that’s asked with them.”

Winnipeg city councillor has new pitch for organic waste collection

WINNIPEG —; The debate over how an organic waste collection program would look in Winnipeg is about to fire up again at City Hall.

A motion to halt the proposed collection plan will be discussed at a committee meeting this coming week.

In an email sent to Global News on Saturday morning, the chair of that committee St. Vital representative Brian Mayes, said he supports suspending the current plan which includes three options that would cost between $55 and $11 per year.

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RELATED: City councillor has new pitch for organic waste collection

“It appears the majority of council wants to stop the staff curb-side collection plan, but the majority also want to do ‘something’ on organics,” wrote Mayes.

Mayes wants other ideas to be examined when it comes to a city-run organics collections program, like involving local schools.

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“Working with our colleagues in the school divisions I would hope to encourage students throughout the city to make composting a habit,” he continued.

The Winnipeg School Division and Louis Riel School Division both say they would welcome such a partnership.

But one critic says enough is already being done in schools to promote composting and Mayes’ suggestion is just bumping an important conversation down the line.

“We’re already working on the school front. We don’t need it for schools, it’s a diversion tactic, it’s changing the subject wat we need to talk about is homeowners who want to have their organics picked up,” said Jennifer Feschuk with the Green Action Centre.

Mayes plans to discuss the idea with school trustees next month.

The organic waste collection program will be up for debate on Thursday during the Water, Waste, Riverbank Management and Environment Committee meeting.

Venclexta gets accelerated approval to treat leukemia

TRENTON, N.J. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new type of drug called Venclexta that targets a subset of leukemia patients with a genetic abnormality that makes the cancer harder to treat.

Venclexta was approved for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who relapsed or weren’t helped by a prior treatment and are missing part of chromosome 17. The drug indirectly makes cancer cells die.

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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, one of the most common types of leukemia in adults, is incurable, so when patients relapse, they need to switch to another drug. In the U.S., about 15,000 new cases occur annually and an estimated 4,650 patients die of the disease each year.

Venclexta is the first approved drug in a new class that targets a protein that boosts growth of cancer cells. The daily pill works by blocking that protein, helping restore a cell’s ability to die naturally, whether it’s a cancer cell or an old, normal cell.

Up to 10 per cent of chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients not previously treated have the genetic abnormality targeted by the drug, called a “17p deletion.” The abnormality is much more common in patients who have relapsed or not benefited from a prior treatment. Patients with the abnormality have a life expectancy of three years or less.

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Venclexta, known chemically as venetoclax, was developed by partners AbbVie Inc. of North Chicago, Illinois, and Genentech, part of the Roche Group. It’s manufactured by AbbVie, which will market the drug overseas and sell it together with Genentech in the U.S.

The drug has a list price of $109,500 for the first year of treatment and slightly higher for subsequent years. Patients can get financial assistance reducing copayments to as low as $25.

Venclexta was tested in 106 patients with the abnormality, about 80 per cent of whom had their cancer go into remission, at least partially. Those patients are still being followed. So far, the benefit from Venclexta has ranged from three months to 19 months in the study participants.

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Serious side effects reported in patients include pneumonia, fever, low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and abnormalities in metabolism. More common side effects include low levels of blood-clotting platelets, diarrhea, nausea, respiratory infections and fatigue.

Venclexta is awaiting approval in Europe. The FDA gave the drug multiple designations that hasten review and approval. It also received accelerated approval, so additional patient testing may be required.

The companies said the drug should be available for patients within a week.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Overview | HealthGrove

City pushes back against Regina transit collision numbers

REGINA – Transit drivers in Regina were involved in about four collisions per week last year, but the city is urging residents to pump the brakes and take a hard look at the numbers.

In 2015, transit buses in Regina were involved in 198 collisions. The city’s director of transit, Brad Bells, said the department aims for zero accidents, but given the amount of time on the road this figure isn’t a surprise.

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“We’re out there a lot of driving hours. So 198 accidents when you total 365,000 of service in a year, we try to think that’s a fair measure to have inside of those long hours,” Bells explained.

The city has 115 buses in its fleet that operate about 1,000 hours per day. Bells said there are about 180 bus drivers.

Of the 198 accidents in 2015, bus drivers were at fault for 84 of them. Forty-six resulted in SGI claims, and racked up a cost of $183,429.28.

Bells said he doesn’t know of any injuries that occurred in these collisions, and most take place in the winter.

“Again we really don’t want any accidents, but when we do have accidents we are reviewing them and trying to correct the situation,” he added.

These reviews include going over surveillance footage from cameras on the bus, speaking with the driver, and performing additional safety training if the driver is involved in numerous collisions in a short period of time.

To Bells’ knowledge, the need for this kind of training didn’t come up in 2015.

For the purpose of these numbers, a collision includes the bus making contact with anything, ranging another vehicle to a tree branch.

Over the past five years, 2015 has seen the fewest collisions, with the most taking place in 2013 with 271. The average amount of collisions between 2011 and 2015 is 232.

There were 10 collisions in the paratransit fleet, all of which were the fault of the bus driver and all went to SGI. The claims cost was $43,992.76. However, these are not city employees, and the paratransit bus service is contracted by First Transit.

An interview request with First Transit was not returned at the time of publication.

‘Dora the Explorer’ actress suspended from high school for vaping in bathroom

NEW YORK – The teenage actress who voices Nickelodeon’s spunky Dora the Explorer character was given special treatment after she was caught vaping in a private high school bathroom, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by another student’s parents.

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The parents of a 14-year-old former student at Manhattan’s Avenues: The World School, identified as M.S. in a state Supreme Court civil case, say their child was forced out of the private school while 15-year-old actress Fatima Ptacek was only suspended for three days after they were caught using a vapour pen to inhale caramel-flavoured water last December.

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The lawsuit refers to Ptacek by her initials but identifies her as being the voice of Dora and an actress in an Oscar-winning movie.

“The fact that F.P. is a known actress for being the voice of Dora Explorer may have played a role in why she was ultimately not expelled even after the school threatened as much, and M.S. was expelled instead as a scapegoat,” says the lawsuit by the parents, Nadia Leonelli and Fredrik Sundwall.

Ptacek’s publicist did not return a request for comment on Monday. Neither did a spokesman for Nickelodeon.

School spokesman Bruce Bobbin said disciplinary matters are “private and confidential,” and he declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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Leonelli and Sundwall want their daughter reinstated in the school and are seeking $40,000 in damages to cover tuition payments and legal fees, according to their court filing. Their daughter had never been in trouble before and succumbed to peer pressure because she wanted to appear “cool” in front of Ptacek, the lawsuit said.

Dora the Explorer, which premiered in 2000, features a bilingual Latina main character and her adventures inside an animated world. Ptacek voiced the title role from 2012-2015 and has voiced Dora’s character on the spinoff Dora and Friends: Into the City! since 2014, according to her website.

Dora the Explorer | PrettyFamous