local news briefs

Four grow-ops busted by Winnipeg police
Four search warrants were executed on Oct. 5 by Winnipeg police at separate addresses, leading to the seizure of more than half a million dollars worth of marijuana, reported CTV News.

The four warrants were executed on Harrow Street, Lorette Avenue, Morley Avenue and Rue Richot. The address on Rue Richot was reported to have held 352 marijuana plants — the most of the four addresses — with an estimated street value of more than $395,000.

The number of plants at the other three addresses ranged from 48 to 60, with estimated street values of $53,000 to $71,000.

Three people have been arrested in connection to the grow-ops: a 38-year-old man at the Rue Richot address, and a 36-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man at the home on Harrow.

All three have been released on a promise to appear in court and are facing numerous drug related charges.

Two men charged for resale of Jets tickets
Two men were arrested separately earlier this week after allegedly trying to sell Jets tickets to undercover Winnipeg police officers. They are now facing scalping charges, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

The face value of the tickets wasbetween $80 and $145; they were sold to undercover police officers for between $850 and $1,500, said Const. Jason Michalyshen.

At least one of the alleged scalpers is a season ticket holder, said Michalyshen.
The tickets were seized and turned over to True North Entertainment. Both men were issued provincial offence notices for a violation of Section 60 of the Amusement Act, scalping, and then released.

Province and physicians agree to fee increases
The province and the physicians of Manitoba have ratified a new agreement that allows for competitive general rate increases of 10.6 per cent over the next four years.

As part of the agreement, the government will increase the amount paid into a Physician Retention Fund, designed to keep doctors in Manitoba, by 66 per cent, the government announced in a press release.

The government stated that over the life of the agreement, the new deal will improve funding for medical services by $125 million.

In addition, a new tariff fee has been created for chronic disease management, which will allow doctors to concentrate more on the patients who need the care most.

Doctors voted on the four-year pact by mail-in ballot and have agreed to work alongside the province to establish primary care networks in Manitoba.

U of M’s faculty of music outreach program continues to grow
Continued support from the local community has allowed The Bridge: Music Learning for Life, an outreach project, which provides music instruction to under-served neighborhoods, to expand significantly over the past eight years.

The program, spearheaded by Steve Kirby, the director of jazz studies at the University of Manitoba, gives at-risk youth a chance to find positive ways of expressing themselves and become more connected with the community.

David Asper recently contributed $25,000 to the program to purchase instruments and support immediate program costs.

Between 75 to 100 students participated in a pilot project, run out of Hugh John Macdonald School from January to June 2011,many of whom went on to participate in Kirby’s Jazz on Wheels band and the U of M’s summer jazz camp.

This year’s Bridge program now includes formal classroom time, plus after-school training. Students who participate in the program are primarily between Grades 7 and 9, and come from a wide range of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Most have no prior music knowledge.

“The most astonishing thing about the Bridge program,” Kirby said in a press release, “is the learning curve for these kids. They’re wide open to everything and don’t know what they can’t do, so the sky is the limit. They just kept exceeding our expectations.”