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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Sask. couple prepared to take legal action for $950K baby bill

Watch above: A family from Humboldt, Sask., faced with a $950,000 hospital bill after a premature birth in the United States, may get themselves a lawyer. Jessica Kent tells us travel insurer Blue Cross is refusing to pick up the American tab, at least for now.

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HUMBOLDT, Sask. – Saskatchewan parents Darren Kimmel and Jennifer Huculak are overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from strangers around the country to deal with a near million-dollar U.S. medical bill. Amidst the concerns of bankruptcy and lawyer bills, a glimmer of hope; a woman from Lavenham, Man. has set up a crowdfunding page to help.

In October 2013, the pair went to Hawaii. At six-months pregnant, Huculak’s water broke two days into the trip and she was airlifted to Honolulu where she spent six weeks in a hospital on bed rest. Baby Reece was born via C-section nine weeks premature and spent the next two months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

When the couple from Humboldt, Sask. got back home in February, they were slapped with a $950,000 medical bill. Their insurance provider Blue Cross refuses to pay the bill, according to the couple.

Watch below: Parents of ‘Million Dollar Baby’ speak out about their ordeal

In a letter sent to Huculak, Blue Cross stated, “we are unable to provide coverage for any medical expenses incurred for Ms. Huculak’s baby … In addition, please note that Ms. Huculak’s travel policy expired November 9, 2013.”

READ MORE: Travel insurance tips to avoid a million-dollar baby

Kimmel said Blue Cross assured them they were covered and added they only had coverage until the Nov. 9 because they were supposed to be home on Nov. 8. The couple says they are prepared to take legal action if Blue Cross continues to resist payment.

If the crowdfunding page takes off and Blue Cross does end up paying, the couple will donate the money raised to the NICU in Saskatoon.

12 holiday activities in and around Edmonton – Edmonton

EDMONTON — The 2014 holiday season is upon us and there is no shortage of activities in the Capital Region to get you in the festive spirit. Here are 12 events you might enjoy.

Christmas Choir Concerts

‘Tis the season for Christmas carols!

WHEN: Nov. 22 – Dec. 20

WHERE: McDougall and other Edmonton churches, the Winspear Centre and the Legislature

COST: Free to $20 at local churches, $24 to $93 at the Winspear, and free at the Legislature

File photo

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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Festival of Trees

Check out over 100 decorated trees and seasonal displays (and maybe get some ideas for your own holiday decor). There are also free activities for the kids on Christmas Lane, including a family scavenger hunt on Nov. 27.

WHEN: Nov. 27 to 30

WHERE: Shaw Conference Centre

COST: Children (2-12) $2; Youth (13-17); $5 Adults $10; Seniors $5. Tickets will be available at the door. Sales support the University Hospital Foundation.

WEBSITE: Festival of Trees

A Christmas Carol

Watch Charles Dickens’ classic novel come to life. The play tells the story of how bitter Ebenezer Scrooge learns to open his heart and embrace the spirit of Christmas.

WHEN: Nov. 29 to Dec. 23

WHERE: Citadel Theatre

COST: Tickets start at $30 and are ‘pay what you can’ on Nov 30, 2014

WEBSITE: A Christmas Carol at the Citadel

Legislature Light-up

The holiday season at the Legislature will kick off with a choral performance and cap off with the ceremonial lighting of the grounds, which will boast over 300 sparkling trees.

WHEN: Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Alberta Legislature Grounds

COST: Free

WEBSITE: Legislative Assembly of Alberta

Luminaria

Stroll through candle-lit pathways, sip hot apple cider beside bonfires and glittering ice sculptures, and enjoy the seasonal sounds of a cappella singers.

WHEN: Dec. 6 – 7, 5 to 9 p.m.

WHERE: Devonian Botanic Garden

COST: Adults $9.50; Seniors $7.50; Child (7-12) $4.25

WEBSITE: Luminaria

Kurimoto Japanese Garden

Devonian Botanic Garden

CP Holiday Train

The CP Holiday Train is North America’s longest rolling food bank fundraiser. Over the three weeks of the program, musicians play more than 150 concerts from a boxcar turned into a travelling stage. Performers this year include the Odds and Roxanne Potvin​.

WHEN: Dec. 9, Train arrives at 7:45 pm, Show is at 8:15 pm. It also stops in Leduc the night before.

WHERE: 7935 Gateway Blvd., South of the Edmonton CP Station

COST: Free but attendees are encouraged to bring either a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Edmonton Food Bank.

WEBSITE: Holiday Train

The Nutcracker

A holiday staple set to Tchaikovsky’s score, the Nutcracker tells the tale of Klara and her Nutcracker as they battle against the evil Rat Tsar and his army of mice.

WHEN: Dec. 12 – 14

WHERE: Jubilee Auditorium

COST: Tickets start at $29; Discounted ‘rush’ tickets are also available for students and seniors the day of. (Call 780-428-6839 for details.)

WEBSITE: Alberta Ballet

Singing Christmas Tree

The production — complete with a live orchestra and a 35-foot Christmas tree filled with 150 singers— is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

WHEN: Dec. 18 – 21

WHERE: Jubilee Auditorium

COST: Tickets start at $35. All net proceeds go to local charities, organizations and children in need.

WEBSITE: Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree

The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant…Ever!

Have a laugh at this quirky Christmas pageant which features the Herdmans, “the worst kids in the world.” They don’t know anything about Christmas, beyond the hamper they get every year, and have only showed up because they heard there were free refreshments. “What has the potential to be the worst pageant ever turns out to be the best one as everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas.”

WHEN: Dec. 18 to 22

WHERE: Varscona Theatre

COST: $20 to $24

WEBSITE: Tix on the Square

The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant…Ever!

Tix on the Square

It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show

Experience the classic holiday tale of despair and redemption performed as a 1940s radio broadcast by a cast in full period costume with live music and sound effects. It’s a perfect holiday treat with classic holiday music and hilarious commercial breaks.

WHEN: Dec. 18 – 23

WHERE: Capitol Theatre, Fort Edmonton Park

COST: Adult tickets start$12.60 for a matinee show; $18.90 for an evening performance;

WEBSITE: Fort Edmonton Park

Candy Cane Lane

What would the holiday season be without a walk, drive, or sleigh ride down the beautifully-decorated Candy Cane Lane in west Edmonton? It’s been an Edmonton Christmas tradition for over 40 years.

WHEN: The Lane will be lit up from Dec. 12 to Jan. 4 this year.

WHERE: 148 Street between 100 Avenue to 92 Avenue

COST: Please bring a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank.

WEBSITE: Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane

Global News

Skating

Grab your skates and hit one of the city’s public rinks for a romantic date or some free family fun.

WHEN: Check here to see when the City rinks open

WHERE: Hawrelak Park, City Hall, Victoria Park Oval, Rundle Park, etc

COST: Free

WEBSITE: City of Edmonton

FILE: Skates on ice.

LEHTIKUVA / Marja Väänänen

Honourable Mentions: 

Take in the Festival of Light at the Edmonton Valley Zoo Dec. 5 – 14 — complete with artistic light installations, winter crafts, ice skating, and fire dancers.If you’re dreading doing your Christmas shopping amid mall mayhem, check out one of Edmonton’s craft sales for unique and locally made gifts; or take in the Culture Collective Arts Market and Variety Show for a side of entertainment with your shopping.Go sledding!Sign up for the massive #yegsnowfight so you don’t miss out when it happens.

If you have any other suggestions for Christmas activities in and around Edmonton, share them in our comments section below!

Follow @TrishKozicka

©2014

Move over selfie, there’s a new word of the year

EDMONTON – The editors of the Oxford English Dictionaries have picked “vape” as the word of the year for 2014.

The word is most commonly used to describe e-cigarettes. It originated as an abbreviation of vapour or vaporize. The definition was added to Oxford’s online dictionary August 2014 as a verb meaning “to inhale and exhale vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.”

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    Governing E-cigarettes

Editors say we are now 30 times more likely to come across the word than a few years ago, when e-cigarettes first hit the market.

“Vape” beat out words like “budtender” (the person at a marijuana dispensary), “bae” (the Danish word for poop, according to the Urban Dictionary, but it’s usually used as a term of endearment for a romantic partner), and “slacktivism” (the practice of lazily supporting causes online) for the 2014 honour.

The 2013 word of the year was “selfie.” The year before that, “gif” won the spot over “YOLO.”

©2014

Tim Hortons’ coffee, breakfast sandwich prices to go up next week

WATCH: How much will your morning cup of joe cost over a year with Tim Hortons’ latest price hike?

TORONTO – Your morning stop at Tim Hortons is about to get a bit more expensive.

The restaurant chain says it plans to raise prices for both coffee and breakfast sandwiches at its Canadian locations starting next Wednesday.

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A cup of coffee will go up by 10 cents, on average, though the change will vary by region, and the price of a breakfast sandwich will also rise in all provinces except Ontario.

“We have been able to hold our pricing stable since spring of 2011, however due to rising operational costs there will be a moderate increase,” spokeswoman Michelle Robichaud said in an email.

The cost of breakfast sandwiches, like bacon and egg on an English muffin and the turkey sausage sandwich, will go up 10 cents to $2.99 before tax.

The move comes as Tim Hortons says it faces “significantly higher operating costs,” which include rising prices for coffee beans and meat on the commodities market.

But it’s not just food prices that have been expensive for the company.

READ MORE: Tim Hortons coffee coming to a Burger King near you?

During the third quarter, Tim Hortons booked $27.3 million in costs related to Burger King’s agreement to buy the company. The deal is worth more than US$11 billion in stock and cash, but still requires the approval of shareholders and regulators.

Earlier this month, Tim Hortons’ chief financial officer, Cynthia Devine, hinted that a coffee price increase could be on the horizon as futures contracts for Arabica beans nearly doubled this year due to various factors, including lack of rain in Brazil.

“It’s something that we will, and are, working on closely with our restaurant owners to understand what actions may be necessary,” Devine said during the company’s most recent financial results conference call on Nov. 5.

READ MORE: ‘Painful changes’ await Tim Hortons under new owners: report

In October, the price of Arabica beans jumped to a two-and-a-half year high, as weather forecasts for the region suggested that next year’s crop could be dramatically impacted.

Tim Hortons locks itself into long-term contracts with coffee suppliers, meaning most deals were negotiated more than a year ago, which gives it flexibility and protection from market fluctuations.

Other coffee companies have already pushed their prices higher, including Starbucks which made the move during the summer, Keurig K-Cup maker Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and J.M. Smucker, which makes the Folgers brand.

©2014