Mar 28, 2009

House Fire at 513 William Injures Cops

Got the call early this morning to check this out. Here is the press release from the police.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Friday March 27th, police were dispatched to a disturbance in the 500 block of William Avenue. Upon arriving, officers observed an active fire in a three storey apartment block. Two officers suffered minor smoke inhalation while attempting to clear the building. They were transported to the hospital in stable condition for treatment. Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services also removed a male from the building and transported him to the hosptial in unstable condition due to smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished however approximately 12 people have been displaced due to the condition of the building. The intersection at William Avenue and Isabel remains closed at this time. (12:30 a.m.)The Arson Task Force is investigating the cause of the fire.


Mar 27, 2009

Don't worry! Be happy!

Don't worry! Be happy!, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

The theme song for todays road trip was Don't Worry! Be Happy!

MB Premier Gary Doer would have had that playing in the background if it was possible while we stood on the edge of the newly widened floodway south of Winnipeg during a press conferance this morning.


Provincial Budget

Provincial Budget, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

Just finished shooting the budget thing. Some video and stills. More free press staff at this thing than i've ever seen before. Made me wonder who was covering the real story. Weather and Flood.
Now looking at a nasty drive in this weather.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 26, 2009

Long long day covering #flood09

Now several days into a special project about the flood. Many more to go, but I also ended up catching some dike building and sandbagging along the way.

Catching a quite supper at Eat Bistro. Yum!

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 21, 2009

House fire at 2554 Henderson

House fire at 2554 Henderson, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

Fire at 2554 Henderson started about 1am. At least one person was taken to hospital. The fire was fully involved 3 hours after it started. It flaired up again a couple hours ago.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 19, 2009

Dr. Jon Gerrard - Liberal Leader

The Doctor held a press conferance across the street from the ER at the Health Science Centre.

Standing in front of the parkade it kinda looks like he is facing a black hole.

I have a much better version I took with my SLR which I will post later today.

The Manitoba liberal leader is calling on the NDP government to put into place a smarter system of funding and delivery of health care services.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 18, 2009

$1 million mega birthday gift

Melanie Chaput who works at the St. Boniface Hospital was given a MegaMillion ticket by her parents for her birthday arrives at the hospital after finding out she was the winner of the $1 Million top prize. The fundraising effort helped raise over $2 Million for the St. Boniface Hospital and Research Foundation.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 17, 2009

Lockport bridge for flood stories

Went out to lockport to get some updated file pics of the flood gates.

Was at the other end of the city shooting the floodway this morning.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 15, 2009

Spring? Is that you knocking on my door?

Red rubber boots and a walk in the forest brought a well deserved smile to our faces.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 14, 2009

Scuba for Cancer a 24-hour underwater relay

Over 50 scuba divers from across Winnipeg gathered at the Elmwood Kildonans Pool Saturday for the First Annual Dive for the Cure Underwater Relay. In Manitoba's first 24-hour underwater relay organized by 3 Fathoms Scuba the goal was to raise around $20,000 for CancerCare Manitoba. The effort has already exceeded the goal and is now over $27,000 with more money pouring in.

I have to say that I didn't think this would be a very "fun" assignment, photographically speaking as I don't have an underwater camera. I was thinking what am I gonna take a photo of? The diver going under the water?

Boy was I wrong. There was a guy by the name of Jason Herlick who had an underwater housing for his digital rebel and he offered to take my CF card and shoot a bunch of photos for me... (if only he offered to loan me the camera... sigh).

While I waited for him to do his thing I decided to crawl around on the deck with my cellphone and try to get something... I couldn't just stand there and watch him have all the fun!

Before I knew it one of the veteran divers was down on his hands and knees with me trying to figure out how we could get my phone below the water's surface for a "better" photo. Fifteen minutes later with the judicious use of an underwater mask we got an image... and my phone only got a couple of drops of water on it. OK it's not going to win any awards, but it was really fun to "get" the image.

Then of course I sat down and my eyes rested on my work camera... yeah you guessed it! I couldn't just sit there! Only the first cm or two of the lens ended up underwater. No harm done!!! Those things get more water on them shooting the Blue Bomber games. FUN!!!

I wish I could post the photos that Jason took for us. I will try to link to them from the papers website.

Mar 13, 2009

Mushroom Goodness

Mushroom Goodness, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

My life partner is having a whole bunch of her photographs on display tonight and tomorrow night at Cinematheque prior to the showing of the film Know Your Mushrooms.

The presentation will be in the form of a slide show and I have to say I was a tad jealous to see her beautiful images on display in such a large format.

I wish we could have made arrangements so that I didn't have to work tonight or at least found a sitter so that she could go.

Did I mention how proud I am?

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 12, 2009

Water main break creates foot deep lake for two blocks

Froze the tips of my fingers again. Today I wore my long underwear and its a good thing cause I found myself rolling around in the snow trying to get the right angle for a photo.

The lake started about 50 feet south of the Wellington intersection with Century Street and continued north past Saskatchewan. At times it got to at least a foot deep.

It was interesting to watch people drive through parking lots to get around the police barriers then realize the error of their ways when the water got too deep.

I ended up submitting way more photos to the desk because my first batch focused on city workers trying to clear the ice. My second batch were a lot looser to try to show the amount of water. Good thing I shot the loose pics while I was out there. I would not have been happy if I had to go back.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 11, 2009

Kyle Unger

Kyle Unger (right) with his lawyer James Lockyer (left) outside the courthouse where he was making a new bail application pending a decision from the province on whether it wants to call a new trial. Kyle's first-degree murder conviction for the brutal 1990 murder of Brigitte Grenier at an outdoor rock concert was quashed by the federal justice minister.

After the heat of the Convention Centre I had to move down the street to the Law Courts and found out that I just missed getting Kyle Unger going into the building by five minutes. About the amount of time it took me to drive around the block a few times before getting a parking spot. I should have just run down the street! It was only two blocks...

Ended up spending almost two hours standing outside with a few minutes of warmth in between the doors. It took forever before Kyle came out... we were told there were a few problems with the court papers that needed to be filled.

My job was to do the video which is generally easy as long as you don't let the reporters get in your way. Towards the end of the scrum I managed to get off a few frames with my still camera. This is a big story and it is amazing we didn't have very much art of Kyle Unger prior to this scrum. If I recall all we had was a screen grab from one of the TV stations... I didn't want to miss the opportunity to get a different angle than our still photographer. Now we have lots of art to use.

By the time got back into my car I was very chilled... not just on the verge of frostbite, but chilled to the bone kinda cold.

Career Symposium

Career Symposium, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

Had to mingle with about 8000 high school students at the convention centre today. I think I sweated a few litres because I forgot to leave my parka in the car.
The reporter and I saw this display first, but left it till after we had walked around a bit. The other booth I took photos at was the Bison Transport one. I think we waited half an hour for kids that were articulate enough to get good quotes.

By the end I was very hot and I think you could see the steam rising off me when we stepped outside.

Funny because the next assignment I went to I had to stand outside in -36C temperatures for almost TWO hours.

I love my job. Seriously. No really, if it was -45C and 3 hours I would have been happy.

More latter

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 8, 2009

The Afghanistan Markhor

Went to the Assiniboine Park Zoo today and had to stop and watch a curious display occurring in the Markhor exhibit.

One of the young males was being chased around the pen and we noticed that one of his horns was missing and there was lots of blood running down his face.

At about the same time we noticed this a Zoo caretaker had stopped to look too and he radioed it in to some others. Then we got a little show.

Two Zoo Keepers went into the pen and spent a fair amount of time trying to separate him from the rest of the pack which was intent on chasing him around. It looked like they were showing up just in time, the other Markhor's were not playing games. I think they were trying to finish that poor guy off.

Mar 7, 2009

Power Tobaggan Championships

A few weeks ago I had to drive past Beausejour to another assignment and I saw a sign promoting the championships for this weekend and I made a point of putting the story idea out there this week. I got the green light Friday morning to drive out there and shoot a video and a still for possible use as a stand alone.

Racers from all over Canada and the U.S. came out to the 47th Annual Canadian Power Tobaggan Championships in Beausejour this weekend to compete for top spot on the "world’s fastest and safest track."

Brian Bewcyk (#39) two time World Champion (in above photo) graciously allowed me to do an interview during some down time (ie. lunch) while the rest of his team fine tuned his machine.

Manitoba wrestling championships

Got to shoot wrestling for the first time. Interesting sport. I lucked out and shot a final without realising it and came away with a couple of decent photos.

Will have to update later with those.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 5, 2009

It was a good day and a bad day.

A day to remember, that's for sure.

It was shaping up to be a good photo day.

I got a call to go to a house fire on Alfred which is not that unusual. I was the first media person to get there and it looked like a fairly tame fire, some smoke no open flame that I could see.

I was walking up the street looking at the house trying to find something interesting to focus on when I saw a fireman hammering his fire axe at a boarded up basement window. It was the only active aspect at the time and I crossed the street to get a better shot from the sidewalk in front of the house. I ended up standing beside a couple of cops and civilians, though I didn't think anything of it because I was focused on trying to get a shot of the fireman. I guess I was a little too close to one of the cops because he turned around and started giving me the third degree.

So, I moved back to the other side of the street and started shooting some video. A TV guy showed up right about then and set up beside me. After a few minutes the cop came over and apologized for taking my head off. I was quite surprised at this... I've never had a cop apologize for doing his job. So, I was feeling pretty good, but it was still an uneventful house fire. No injuries (thank goodness) and no flames. Until I heard that there were some dogs still in the house.

I decided to go around back to see what was up and that's where I hit paydirt! I tried to wave to the TV guy and get his attention, but he was looking the other way... oh well! You snooze you lose.

The cop was back there too, but didn't stop me from moving around to get the shots and video. Before I knew it all the dogs were packed into a truck and off they went.

I still had to stick around to get the District Chief on camera, otherwise I would have been transmitting the stills back to the paper.

After the Chief I drove back to the paper in a really good mood. Then I found out that a couple of good reporters had been turfed. As well as the Auto/Homes editor who basically kept me in freelance money for a number of years while I was just getting started at the paper.

Sad sad day. One I will never forget.

Mar 4, 2009

Vincent Li trial Day 2

Vincent Li trial Day 2, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

I was sent at the last minute to the law courts to shoot video of the main characters as they come out the doors.

Tim's mom spoke to us and I managed to get a little bit of video of the doctor that spoke on the stand though he didn't talk to us.

After it was all over our video editor showed up to do a stand up with Mike McIntyre, so I stuck around and did some wide shots of that. We'll see if it gets into the final package.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 3, 2009

Plane makes emergency landing

On my way back to the newspaper office to drop off a video from the Siloam Mission assignment I got a call from my editor to head straight to the airport where a plane was going to be landing without its landing gear.

I was just turning onto Selkirk Ave. at the time and was fortunate to be able to go all the way down to Route 90 without much traffic getting in my way.

I made it close to where I wanted to be and was pulling to a stop at an intersection when I saw the plane coming in. I quickly grabbed my camera and shot a sequence through the front window of the car. I felt bad at the time for not being twenty seconds faster in seeing the plane. I wish I could have been able to jump out of the car to shoot that.

Oh well... I still got the shots though.

I think that a fellow photographer at the paper got the better shot from a different location. Top one in this compilation.

I even managed to shoot a small bit of video before the battery went dead in my video camera...

Residential School Victim Donates $50,000 to Siloam Mission

William Woodford is an 85 year-old whom we should all look up to. Having gone through the residential school system from 1929 to 1942 (will have to double check those dates) and suffered all kinds of abuse he joined the military and fought for our country. Now, he has donated the money from the residential school class action to the homeless via Siloam Mission.

Here is the press release from the Siloam Mission. The press release was not updated to include the extra $10,000 he donated during the press conference.

WINNIPEG, MB, March 2, 2009— This past Friday, Siloam Mission staff at 300 Princess Street received a surprise when an elderly man - over 85 years old - walked in and donated $40,000 because the mission was helping his family and friends; the donation was the man’s residential school settlement.

“Included in the hundreds of people Siloam Mission serves daily is the generation of residential school abuse survivors and many of their family members. This donation is symbolic because it represents a tragic event in our nation’s history that has contributed to the problems that lead to homelessness not only in Winnipeg, but across Canada,” states CEO John Mohan. “I never cease to be amazed at the great things people do, especially, in this case by someone who was wronged so greatly. I personally express my appreciation to the donor.”

The elderly man, had never set foot in Siloam Mission and had never used the services offered by the mission. His only goal was to help out and give his money to a place that was doing a “good” work helping others - helping his family and friends.

Margret, the man’s niece, who is also elderly, lives in Manitoba housing and comes to Siloam Mission for her morning coffee.

When staff realized the amount of the donation a member came and spoke to the older gentleman, who was having coffee in the drop-in centre, and asked if he was sure that he wanted to donate such a large sum. The elderly man was adamant that this was what he wanted to do with his residential school settlement money.

Over 80% of those served at Siloam Mission come from an aboriginal background and many of those are victims of abuse.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network

Mar 1, 2009

FortWhyte Alive

FortWhyte Alive, originally uploaded by mdcellphoto.

The Mid-August 1890's diorama. Must have taken a long time to make. It's very detailed.

Had planed on spending more time outside, but the windchill was almost -30C.

Did go down the toboggan run a couple of times and said hi to the swan in the "duck room."

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on the MTS High Speed Mobility Network