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March 15, 2010 | By Kim Murphy
At least two people were killed and 30 injured after a massive avalanche smothered a high-risk snowmobile rally in southern British Columbia, police said Sunday. "It's certainly a small miracle that we didn't end up with a complete, massive group buried under the snow," said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Most of the estimated 200 spectators and participants were accounted for, he said. An avalanche 150 yards wide and as much as 1.6 miles long thundered down a steep snow bowl at the Canadian Rocky Mountain resort of Revelstoke, where competitors were attempting to scale the treacherous slope on high-powered snow machines during an unsanctioned rally Saturday afternoon.
February 13, 2010 | By David Wharton
Standing in the predawn chill, holding a cup of coffee with both hands, Sara Reoch recalls that she never wanted the Olympic Games in her city. Too much money. Too much construction. Too much traffic. "Oh, God no," the 59-year-old retired teacher said. "I voted against it." And in the years since a contentious referendum supported Vancouver's pursuit of the Games -- it passed by less than two-thirds -- her voice contributed to a steadily growing chorus of public dissent.
February 6, 2010 | By Kim Murphy
While past Olympics have been magnets for protests over issues such as aboriginal rights in Australia and oppression in Tibet, the Vancouver Winter Games are preparing to host one of the biggest displays ever of organized opposition to the Olympics themselves. Building on years of disgruntlement over the increasingly corporate nature of the Games -- and widespread alarm over a projected $5.6-billion price tag -- a resistance network has vowed to post thousands of protesters outside venues, some of whom aim to disrupt the events.
January 17, 2010 | By John Flinn
High over kingdom come, Candice Bednar, a mother of three from Connecticut, is clinging to the unnervingly vertical face of a rock spire called Nimbus Tower. Bednar, 40, is the unlikeliest of rock jocks: She doesn't have Popeye-sized forearms, a devil-may-care attitude about great heights or the names of Sherpas in her Friends and Family Plan. She's never even set foot in a rock-climbing gym. Instead of pulling herself up by tiny finger- and toeholds, Bednar is ascending something called a via ferrata , Italian for "iron road."
December 17, 2009 | By Kim Murphy
The leader of a violent Canadian drug gang known as the United Nations -- which has transported millions of dollars in cocaine, marijuana, firearms and cash up and down the West Coast -- was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in a U.S. federal prison. Officials said that the sentencing of Clay Franklin Roueche, 34, marked a turning point in British Columbia's attempts to stamp out a gang war and slow the flood of illegal drugs across the U.S.-Canada border. In the late 1990s, Roueche, who once made his living as a scrap-metal salesman and welder in the comfortable suburbs east of Vancouver, founded the notorious U.N. gang, which prosecutors called both "corporate and violent."
October 18, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Canada has detained a ship believed to have been trying to smuggle nearly 80 migrants to its Pacific coast, police said. A merchant vessel named Ocean Lady was intercepted off Vancouver Island, and the people on board said they were trying to reach Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. The origin of the vessel and nationalities of the 76 people were not immediately known. The ship was escorted to a dock near Victoria, British Columbia, where authorities will interview the passengers and crew, police said.
October 11, 2009 | Chris Erskine; Susan Spano; Leslie Anne Wiggins; Judi Dash
Snow coming early to SoCal Southern California ski areas are gearing up for an early season. Snow-making is already taking place at Mountain High (above, photographed last week), thanks to the October cold snap. Meanwhile, Big Bear and Mammoth are awaiting the real stuff as more storms were predicted this week. For Mountain High, where wildfires threatened just a week ago, the snow-making was the earliest ever. "We . . . will open as soon as possible," says John McColly, the resort's director of marketing.
September 27, 2009 | Kim Murphy
When the pain in Christina Woodkey's legs became so severe that she could no long hike or cross-country ski, she went to her local health clinic. The Calgary resident was told she'd need to see a hip specialist. Because the problem was not life-threatening, however, she'd have to wait about a year. So wait she did. In January, the hip doctor told her that a narrowing of the spine was compressing her nerves and causing the pain. She needed a back specialist. The appointment was scheduled for Sept.
September 23, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Dan Walker Veteran who buried burned flag Dan Walker, 81, an Army war veteran who was honored for retrieving and burying a U.S. flag that had been burned in protest during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, died Sept. 16 of prostate cancer at his Fort Worth home. Walker was captured by TV cameras carefully retrieving the flag remnants so they could be buried properly. "I didn't want someone sweeping it up with a broom and putting it in an ashcan," Walker, a West Point graduate and veteran of World War II and the Korean War, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram afterward.
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