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Showing news for the month of December , 2016

SPORTS UPDATE SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016
Saturday 3rd December 2016
There are four afternoon games on the busy N-H-L schedule. The New York Rangers are home to Carolina and Boston visits Buffalo. Philadelphia welcomes Chicago and Nashville is home to New Jersey.
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Vancouver and Toronto will renew their rivalry tonight in B-C. The Canucks and Maple Leafs had a very physical game in their last meeting. Winnipeg visits St. Louis tonight and Ottawa is home to Florida. Edmonton will take on the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
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It's a back-to-back for the Toronto Raptors. They will continue their homestand this evening against the Atlanta Hawks. Toronto posted a comfortable victory over the L-A Lakers last night.
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Steve Laycock and Brad Jacobs are squaring off in the early tiebreaker at the Canada Cup in Brandon. The winner will play John Epping in the afternoon tiebreaker. Kerry Einarson is taking on Val Sweeting in the lone women's tiebreaker. The winner plays Rachel Homan in the semifinal.
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Tiger Woods heads into the third round of the Heroes Challenge six shots off the lead in his first tournament in 15 months. He'll be trying to chase down co-leaders Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama heading into weekend play.
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Top-ranked Alabama will be trying to lock down a spot in the U-S College Football Playoff today when it faces 15th-ranked Florida in the S-E-C title game. The Crimson Tide have won all 12 of their games. The Gators are 8-and-3.
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ALL NOVA SCOTIA SCHOOLS CLOSED MONDAY; GOVERNMENT CITES STUDENT SAFETY CONCERNS RESULTING FROM WORK TO RULE AS REASON
Saturday 3rd December 2016
Education Minister Karen Casey announced late Saturday morning that as of Monday morning, Dec. 5, all public schools in Nova Scotia will be closed to students to ensure students' safety. The Nova Scotia's Teachers Union had directed teachers to "work to rule" as of Monday morning, meaning they would only participated in duties as laid out in their provincial contract. Casey says after consultation with school boards, the government believes the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) directive to teachers and administrators to "work to rule" would create unacceptable risk to students. Minister Casey says "The safety of all of our students is paramount," and "It is clear, after communicating with school board officials across Nova Scotia, that the job actions proposed by the NSTU could put our schools in an emergency situation. Superintendents could simply not guarantee student safety, and recommended schools be closed." Casey said more than 43,000 students are supervised at lunch and children could end up stranded in schoolyards, or unsupervised in classrooms, after arriving on buses more than 20 minutes before classes begin. "We were warned that educational assistants may not be there to meet students with special needs as they arrive by bus," said Ms. Casey. "If only one student is stranded by the action directed by the union, that would be one too many." The government's statement says while schools are closed to students, teachers and other staff are still expected to report to work. Casey says the government will bring forward legislation Monday, Dec. 5, that will get students back to school as quickly as possible and classes will resume when boards are assured safety concerns are addressed.  The Nova Scotia Teachers Union, which represents 9,300 public school teachers has yet to respond.


BREAST CANCER SCREENING PROGRAM GETS FUNDING FOR NEW EQUIPMENT
Friday 2nd December 2016
The province is providing nearly 1.9-million dollars in funding to help improve breast cancer screening in the province. New mammography systems and work stations will be installed at seven locations in the Halifax area, Cape Breton and the Annapolis Valley. The new systems are a part of the provincial breast screening program, which celebrated its 25th anniversary yesterday. The equipment will replace older technology.


NOVA SCOTIA SEES MORE JOBS, BUT ALSO MORE JOBLESS
Friday 2nd December 2016
Nova Scotia was the only Atlantic province where the unemployment rate went up last month -- even though it gained 37-hundred jobs. Statistics Canada says a small loss of full-time work in November was offset by a big gain in part-time positions -- but Nova Scotia's unemployment rate increased to eight per cent from 7.6 per cent in October as more people joined the workforce. P-E-I and New Brunswick also had small job gains but their unemployment rates fell due to people giving up the search for work -- with New Brunswick seeing the biggest drop in its jobless rate to 8.7 per cent from 10 per cent the previous month. Newfoundland and Labrador had a small job loss, but a drop in its labour force pushed its unemployment rate down to 14.3 per cent from 14.9 in October.


MURDER CASE INVOLVING RAPPER WHO PLEADED FOR PEACE RETURNS TO COURT
Friday 2nd December 2016
The case of a Halifax rapper who appealed for an end to violence in the city and was then charged with murder is due in court today. Twenty-one-year-old Carvel Clayton is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Shakur Jefferies. The 21-year-old Jefferies was found dead near a suburban Halifax apartment building on the evening of November 12th. Clayton recently penned a song following the shooting deaths of several young black men that galvanized the city and prompted anti-violence marches. Police are continuing to investigate, but say Clayton was known to them.


TATAMAGOUCHE CEC CLOSED THIS AFTERNOON
Friday 2nd December 2016
Nova Scotia Health Authority wishes to advise the public that the Emergency Department at the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital Collaborative Emergency Centre in Tatamagouche  is temporary closed and will reopen this evening at 8 p.m.   This closure is necessary due to an unexpected lack of physician coverage. Patients with emergencies will be redirected to the Colchester East Hants Health Centre or the most appropriate emergency department for care.  The overnight coverage (8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) provided by the paramedic, registered nurse and oversight physician team will be available as usual.


STUDENTS WALKING OUT OF CLASS IN SUPPORT OF TEACHERS
Friday 2nd December 2016
As teachers prepare for work-to-rule on Monday, many students around the province are showing their support by walking out of class today. Students from North Nova Education Centre are expected to walk out at 12:45 pm, while Northumberland students plan to leave at 1:05. The Chignecto Central Regional School Board sent out a release advising against a walk-out, saying that all students who take part will be considered absent without excuse. Many students say the walk-out is to send a message to the province to take the issues seriously and resolve the dispute with teachers.


WALK IN MEMORY OF CATHERINE CAMPBELL THIS WEEKEND
Friday 2nd December 2016
This weekend will see people gathered in Stellarton to remember a fallen police officer. Sunday afternoon will mark the very first Catherine’s Walk for Awareness of Violence Against Women, in honor of Constable Catherine Campbell. The walk is part of the 16 Days of Activism, which began November 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10. In Canada, the 16 Days of Activism also include the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6. Campbell's family will host the walk, beginning at 2pm Sunday at the Community College campus in Stellarton.


GAS, DIESEL COST A BIT MORE
Friday 2nd December 2016
Fuel prices continue to rise. A litre of regular self-serve gasoline is up almost two cents to $1.055, while diesel crept up to $1.039 per litre.


NEW AGREEMENT WILL SEE LONGER TRACTOR TRAILERS ON THE HIGHWAY
Friday 2nd December 2016
A new agreement among Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia allows drivers of long-combination vehicles -- known as L-C-V's -- to drive between all four provinces. L-C-Vs are multiple tandem trailers hauled by one tractor truck and they can be as long as 40 metres. Provincial officials say these longer vehicles offer shippers a more cost-effective option as they can move more goods at one time, reducing fuel consumption and gas emissions. New Brunswick's government says such vehicles are already in use on four-lane highways following a pilot project that confirmed the value and safety of having longer trucks on the road.


ARE THE LIBERALS BACKTRACKING ON ELECTORAL REFORM?
Friday 2nd December 2016
Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef says she hopes to introduce electoral reform legislation in the spring. But she is dismissing the long awaited report from a special all-party committee on the issue, which recommends the government design a new proportional voting system and hold a national referendum to gauge whether Canadians would support it. Monsef says the committee "took a pass" on suggesting a specific voting model, failing to do the job it was tasked to do. However, the mandate Monsef gave to the committee was to conduct a study of viable alternatives to replace the first-past-the-post system. She did not direct the committee to recommend a specific voting model. Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose accused Monsef of insulting the intelligence of Canadians and Green party Leader Elizabeth May accused her of disrespecting all committee members.


SPORTS DECEMBER 2 *UPDATED 10:35 AM*
Friday 2nd December 2016
After last night's postponement, the Weeks Junior A Crushers hope the weather is better as they travel for two games – tonight against the Yarmouth Mariners, then on Sunday afternoon it's the Commandos in Dieppe.
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The Weeks Major Midgets have a pair of games at the Wellness Centre this weekend: Saturday night at 8 they host the Halifax MacDonald's, followed by Cole Harbour Sunday at Noon.
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In Junior Hockey, the Pictou County Scotians host Antigonish at the Trenton Arena Sunday night at 7pm.
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The Wearwell Major Bantam Bombers have one home game and one away this weekend. It starts at the Wellness Centre Saturday at 5:30 against Bedford, then it's off to Cole Harbour to play the Storm Sunday morning.
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In the NS Female Midget AAA League, the Northern Subway Selects are in Truro to face the Panthers Sunday at 11am.
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The YMCA of Pictou County's Ugly Sweater 4K Run is coming Saturday, December 10. Run, walk or jingle into the holiday spirit with your friends, family and dogs. The event will start at the YMCA at 10am. $10.00 entrance. Donations to the Strong Kids Campaign accepted. 
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The 7th Annual Oliver Hudson Graham Memorial Cancer Sucks Cup is will be Thursday Dec. 22 and Fri. Dec. 23 at the Trenton Rink. Again this year, donations will be collected, either monetary, or of toys (Wipeable, NON-Stuffed, and suitable for newborns to age 16). All monetary donations will be used to purchase gas and grocery cards that will be given to families of sick children on the 6-Link floor of the IWK and at the Ronald McDonald House in Halifax. Oliver's Express t-shirts will also be on sale leading up to and during the tournament. For more information, search: "7th Annual Oliver Hudson Graham Memorial Cancer Sucks Cup" on Facebook.
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Active Pictou County is again offering free and low cost skating events at each rink in the county through March. Many rinks have also set aside their own times for senior skates, family skates, adult skates and more. Visit www.activepictoucounty.ca or ‘Like’ the Active Pictou County Facebook page for a full schedule. Active Pictou County and “Thrive” Nova Scotia have also set up free swim times at the Fisheries Training Pool in Pictou on Saturdays from 12:00-1:00pm and at the YMCA pool at the Pictou County Wellness Centre on Sundays from 3:00-4:00pm. This program will run until the end of March and is open to everyone.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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The Montreal Canadiens continue their west coast road trip with a stop in San Jose to play the Sharks tonight. Montreal has lost six of its last 10 games but still sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 16-5-and-2 record. The Sharks top the Pacific at 14-5-and-1 and have won back-to-back games.
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The Calgary Flames host Minnesota in the only other game on the N-H-L schedule tonight. Calgary is coming off a 3-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Wild are coming off a tough 5-4 loss to Vancouver, also on Wednesday.
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The Toronto Raptors will look to extend their winning streak to a season-best five games tonight as they welcome the L-A Lakers to Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are 12-and-6 to start the year, trailing Cleveland for the lead in the Eastern Conference by just one-and-a-half games. The Lakers, meanwhile, are 10-and-10, good for ninth place in the West.
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Canada's Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves aim to halt a three-game slide as they take on the Knicks in New York. Around the hardcourts, Boston is home to Sacramento, Cleveland visits the Chicago Bulls, the Clippers are in New Orleans and San Antonio entertains the Washington Wizards.
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Olympic champion Jennifer Jones gets the morning off before taking on Kelsey Rocque in round-robin play at the Canada Cup in Brandon, Manitoba. Jones leads the women's standings with a perfect 4-and-0 record through the first two days of competition. Jones will play Ottawa's Rachel Homan in the night draw.


SCHOOL INTO LOCKDOWN IN CAPE BRETON
Thursday 1st December 2016
Memorial High School in Sydney Mines was placed in a lockdown this afternoon after police say two men were spotted going into a wooded area near the school with rifles. Cape Breton Regional Police say neither the school nor any students were directly threatened in the incident. Police say the lockdown was put in place because of the close proximity of the men with guns to the actual location of the school.


ARABIC SPEAKING AID WORKER TO BE ADDED TO STAFF OF COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Thursday 1st December 2016
Nova Scotia's Community Services Minister says an Arabic speaking case worker will be hired in the coming weeks as her department readies for an expected influx of Syrian refugees requiring income assistance. Joanne Bernard says she has no indication yet how many refugees will be requiring assistance because their arrival in the province was staggered over several months, but she expects the initial group of people to begin seeking help in January. Bernard says the department has French and Mi'kmaq speaking case workers and made a decision about two months ago to be pro-active in anticipation of federal sponsorship support for refugees expiring after a 12-month period. She says it is much easier to help people when there is someone available who can speak their language. Bernard says while there are always strains on the income assistance budget, there are also fluctuations in the numbers of people getting help and new cases are dealt with when people qualify for assistance.


POLICE TO PROBE INTO DEATH OF MAN IN CARE FACILITY
Thursday 1st December 2016
A police probe has been launched into the nursing home death of a 79-year-old Halifax-area man, as his wife alleges he was pushed by another resident with severe dementia, fell and died several days later. RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke confirmed that Gordon Birchell died at the Ivy Meadows home on Oct. 29 and that police have opened a suspicious death investigation, but declined to provide any details on what occurred. Joan Birchell, Gordon's wife, said in an interview that she was told by a staff member that Birchell was pushed on Oct. 24 at the home in the Halifax suburb of Beaver Bank by a female resident with severe dementia. The 79-year-old woman says her husband was hospitalized and returned to the home, where he later died. A spokeswoman for the privately owned home, operated by the Halifax-based Stevens Group, said an investigation is underway and declined further comment. The medical examiner, Dr. Matthew Bowes, said in an email that his office is still investigating the cause of death, while a Health Department spokeswoman said an investigation has been opened under its Protection of Persons in Care legislation into the incident.


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS UNHAPPY WITH PROVINCIAL COAL EXTENSION
Thursday 1st December 2016
wo environmental groups are slamming last week's agreement allowing Nova Scotia to use coal-fired electrical plants beyond the new federal deadline to phase them out by 2030. The Margaree Environmental Association and the Sierra Club Canada-Atlantic say 80 per cent of the current coal burning capacity in the province can be shut down by 2020. The groups say that can be achieved through more wind and solar power projects, power from the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador, and by importing 500 megawatts of power from Quebec. Neal Livingston, co-chair of the Margaree association, says the Nova Scotia government has been setting itself up as an environmental leader when it actually will be one of the last jurisdictions in Canada to continue to burn coal. Gretchen Fitzgerald, of Sierra Club Canada-Atlantic, says her group remains opposed to the proposed development of Cape Breton's Donkin coal mine because of its implications for climate change and the local environment. Although proponents have said the goal is to export the mine's coal to foreign markets, Fitzgerald says its operations alone will have an adverse effect on provincial targets for reducing greenhouse gases.


PROVINCE AND U.S.-BASED UNIVERSITY SIGN DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
Thursday 1st December 2016
Nova Scotia and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth are teaming up to develop new marine technology. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen O'Neil and UMass-Dartmouth signed a memorandum of understanding. Wednesday's agreement creates a partnership between UMass-Dartmouth's new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Halifax-based Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship. The Standard-Times of New Bedford reports that both organizations will provide space for marine technology incubators. They'll also research and develop new commercially viable marine technologies, and engage in student exchange programs. UMass-Dartmouth assistant vice chancellor Toby Stapleton calls it "a significant step in solidifying a long-standing relationship." Wednesday's signing occurred at the fifth annual Maritime Innovations Conference in Fall River.


CCRSB PREPARES PARENTS FOR WORK-TO-RULE
Thursday 1st December 2016
The Chignecto Central Regional School Board has issued an information sheet for parents and guardians regarding the work-to-rule by the NSTU that is set to begin on Monday. The sheet includes important information for parents regarding drop-off and pick-up times for students, the impact on extra-curricular activities, including the much anticipated Christmas concerts in the coming weeks, and the impact this may have on other programs offered within the school building. To read the information sheet, including the FAQs, follow this link.


MLA PAT DUNN DECRIES "OLD-SCHOOL POLITICS" IN CHOICE OF BUILDING SCHOOLS
Thursday 1st December 2016
Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn says the Liberal government owes the families of Trenton an apology for playing dishonest old-school politics with their children's education. Auditor General Michael Pickup tabled his report yesterday regarding funding for upcoming school capital projects. Trenton is on the list to replace its two aging facilities, but was passed over for schools in the Minister of Education and Premier's ridings. Dunn calls it the sad, old way of doing things.


HATE THE WEATHER? COULD BE WORSE - YOU COULD BE IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Thursday 1st December 2016
People in New Brunswick are bracing for another round of messy, wet weather while thousands of residents are still without power following a storm earlier in the week. Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for much of the province, saying central and northern parts of New Brunswick could expect up to 25 cm of snow today. The Fredericton area is expected to get a mix of snow and rain, making travel throughout the region dangerous due to reduced visibility and heavy snow. The latest system comes as NB Power works to restore thousand of outages mostly in the south of the province following Wednesday's pre-winter storm. Environment Canada is also warning of potential flooding from Lower Escuminac north to the Acadian peninsula and into the Bay of Chaleur.


POWER PROBLEMS STILL AFFECTING DOZENS: NSCC STELLARTON OPENING DELAYED *UPDATED 8:15 AM*
Thursday 1st December 2016
NSCC Campus in Stellarton has delayed their opening because of power issues. Classes will begin at 9:30am. There are still a couple hundred customers without power this morning according to the NS Power outage website, with restoration expected by 2:15 this afternoon.


MEETING ABOUT PICTOU SCHOOLS TONIGHT
Thursday 1st December 2016
The third public meeting in the review of Pictou-area schools is tonight at 7 at the Pictou Academy gym. The School Board's School Options Committee is making its recommendation in January. The Committee has said from the start it is in favor of a Primary to Grade 12 school in the town, but what configuration it will be is being determined through the process.


STUDY SAYS TOO MANY UNKNOWNS INVOLVED IN SHIPPING OILSANDS STUFF
Thursday 1st December 2016
A new study being published next month says it is impossible to carry out a complete risk assessment on the shipment of bitumen, because not enough is known on how the substance behaves in the ocean. The report -- which will be publicly released in the journal Frontiers in the Ecology and Environment -- examined date from more than nine-thousand papers on oil and the environment. The study authors say approving new oilsands products is "problematic, maybe even bordering on irresponsible" because saltwater studies on the effects of bitumen are almost non-existent. A mix of sand, clay and heavy oil, bitumen is mined and mixed with fluids to enable it to move through pipelines. The report's authors say their work underscores the need for more research on the matter before the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver is due to enter service. The federal government gave its blessing to the project this week.


TRUMP'S WORK TO "SAVE" FACTORY NOT ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE
Thursday 1st December 2016
As Donald Trump claims victory on behalf of factory workers in Indiana, the details of a deal between the U-S President-elect and an air conditioning company remain hazy. Carrier has agreed to keep its Indianapolis plant open, sparing about 800 union workers whose jobs were to be outsourced to Mexico. But that means hundreds are still likely to lose their jobs, as roughly 14-hundred people are slated to be laid off. Neither the company nor the incoming president has said what the remaining workers might have to give up, or what incentives Carrier was given to change its mind.


SPORTS DECEMBER 1 *IMPORTANT UPDATE 9:50 AM*
Thursday 1st December 2016
***Due to driving conditions in New Brunswick, tonight's Crushers game against the Woodstock Slammers has been postponed. Mother Nature has not been to the Slammers, as three of their last five games have been called off. ***
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The YMCA of Pictou County's Ugly Sweater 4K Run is coming Saturday, December 10. Run, walk or jingle into the holiday spirit with your friends, family and dogs. The event will start at the YMCA at 10am. $10.00 entrance. Donations to the Strong Kids Campaign accepted. 
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The 7th Annual Oliver Hudson Graham Memorial Cancer Sucks Cup is will be Thursday Dec. 22 and Fri. Dec. 23 at the Trenton Rink. Again this year, donations will be collected, either monetary, or of toys (Wipeable, NON-Stuffed, and suitable for newborns to age 16). All monetary donations will be used to purchase gas and grocery cards that will be given to families of sick children on the 6-Link floor of the IWK and at the Ronald McDonald House in Halifax. Oliver's Express t-shirts will also be on sale leading up to and during the tournament. For more information, search: "7th Annual Oliver Hudson Graham Memorial Cancer Sucks Cup" on Facebook.
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Tonight's games in the Chediac Furniture Labatt's Nova hockey League at the Thorburn Rink have been cancelled.
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Active Pictou County is again offering free and low cost skating events at each rink in the county from November through March. Many rinks have also set aside their own times for senior skates, family skates, adult skates and more. Visit www.activepictoucounty.ca or ‘Like’ the Active Pictou County Facebook page for a full schedule. Active Pictou County and “Thrive” Nova Scotia have also set up free swim times at the Fisheries Training Pool in Pictou on Saturdays from 12:00-1:00pm and at the YMCA pool at the Pictou County Wellness Centre on Sundays from 3:00-4:00pm. This program will run until the end of March and is open to everyone.
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NATIONAL SPORTS
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Toronto F-C will meet Seattle in the M-L-S championship game after beating Montreal 5-2 in extra time to take a 7-5 aggregate victory in the Eastern Conference final. Montreal had won the first leg 3-2 at home. Toronto will host the Sounders on December 10th in the M-L-S championship game, becoming the first Canadian team to play for the title.
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The Toronto Maple Leafs couldn't overcome a quick barrage from the Calgary Flames. Freddie Hamilton and Kris Versteeg scored in the opening minute of the game and the Flames went on to beat Toronto 3-0. Chad Johnson stopped 39 shots for his third shutout. Matt Stajan also scored for Calgary.
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Ryan Carpenter scored his first N-H-L goal as the San Jose Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1. Logan Couture had two goals and an assist and Kevin Labanc also scored for San Jose. Earlier, Anders Lee scored the tiebreaking goal with 27 seconds remaining to lift the Islanders to a 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
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It was a sloppy game but the Raptors still came out on top. Kyle Lowry poured in 29 points and Toronto overcame 20 team turnovers for a 120-105 win over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies. DeMar DeRozan added 24 points and Patrick Patterson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors.
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Russell Westbrook scored 14 of his 35 points in overtime and posted his fourth consecutive triple-double to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Washington Wizards 126-115. Westbrook added 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth triple-double this season and the 46th of his career.
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A person familiar with the negotiations says Major League Baseball and its players' union agreed to ban smokeless tobacco for all new big leaguers. The ban does not apply to any player who already has at least one day of major league service. Several cities have banned the use of smokeless tobacco in ballparks, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.