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A major storm is now behind us, after it brought heavy rain and strong winds to the B.C. south coast Sunday and into the early morning hours this morning.  About 7,800 BC Hydro customers in the Lower Mainland were without power as of 5 a.m. Monday morning, with the hardest hit areas within Surrey and Langley due to trees down across wires.  More unstable weather could be ahead for this afternoon, but not to the extent which was seen Sunday.


Ukraine’s president appeared in a video message at the Grammy Awards asking for support in telling the story of Russia’s invasion of his country.  In his address piped to the audience in Las Vegas last night, Volodymyr Zelenskyy likened the attack to a deadly silence threatening to extinguish the dreams and lives of the Ukrainian people.  Ukrainian officials say they have recovered hundreds of slain civilians in the past few days in areas recently retaken from Russian troops.  Ukrainian authorities accuse the departing forces of committing war crimes and leaving behind a “scene from a horror movie.”  Russia’s Defense Ministry claims photos of bound and bullet-ridden bodies have been “stage-managed” by the Kyiv regime for the Western media.”


Abbotsford Police are asking for your help in finding a suspect after a woman was sexually assaulted Sunday morning.  Police say a woman who was walking through the parking lot of a local business was approached by a man she didn’t know at around 4 a.m. in the area of South Fraser Way and Gladwin Road. During the encounter, police say she was sexually assaulted.  The victim was treated in hospital, and police say she is traumatized.  The suspect was driving a grey or silver van. He’s described as a South Asian man around 30 years old with short brown hair and a beard.


It was a chaotic few days at the border over the weekend now that fully-vaccinated travellers are able to make their way across without a COVID test lineups disturbed local traffic.  The deputy Mayor of Blaine says there was a lot of traffic lined up right through the middle of intersections and blocking the regular in-town traffic from being able to come and go…As for the impact on businesses, the Mayor says it’s too soon to tell.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales picked up between February and March but are still down from a year ago.  The B-C board says last month’s sales showed a 27 per cent increase from homes sold in February and a 24 per cent decrease from sales recorded in March of 2021.  The Board chair Daniel John says the numbers indicate the market is experiencing a much calmer pace than it saw last year, but activity and prices remain elevated.


A UBC zoology professor with expertise in infectious-disease modelling says the province has seen a slight uptick in cases of a second COVID-19 Omicron variant since many health orders, including mask mandates, were relaxed.  Sarah Otto says there may be more COVID-related hospitalizations in what she calls a “second Omicron wave” attributed to waning immunity.  She adds that she’d like to see a fourth round of COVID-19 vaccinations rolled out soon.  Health Minister Adrian Dix has said the province will provide an update tomorrow on possibly making a fourth COVID-19 dose available to certain vulnerable people.


Tesla C-E-O Elon Musk is taking a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter by purchasing approximately 73.5-million shares.  Musk has been raising questions about the ability to communicate freely on Twitter, tweeting last month about free speech and the social media platform.  He also said he was “giving serious thought” to creating a new social media platform.


Tiger Woods is teasing a return to competition at this week’s Masters in Augusta, Georgia.  The possible return to competition comes just over a year since he nearly lost a leg in a car crash.  Woods says it will be a game-time decision on whether he competes.


A member of the B-C Liberal caucus is resigning her Surrey-area seat after 13 years in order to become Canada’s first Chief Accessibility Officer. Stephanie Cadieux is the first woman with a disability to serve in the legislature and in cabinet, where she held a number of portfolios including children and family development, social development and labour. The 49-year-old has used a wheelchair since she suffered spinal injuries in a car accident when she was 18 years old. A document from Employment and Social Development Canada announcing Cadieux as the first Chief Accessibility Officer says she is an advocate for diversity, accessibility, disability inclusion.


Government officials in B-C say they are taking steps to help alleviate a shortage of veterinarians in the province. Advanced Education Minister Anne Kang is pointing to the doubling of the number of seats the government subsidizes at veterinary colleges. Kang says the move would provide nearly 10.7-million dollars to support 40 students entering the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan this fall, up from 20. Victoria veterinarian Doctor Helen Bell welcomed the news, saying vets and their staff have been burning out under a “crushing Workload.”


B-C’s independent police watchdog service says it’s investigating after a man sustained a non-life-threatening injury while being taken into custody by Vancouver police. The Independent Investigations Office says the incident occurred Friday night. It says police said they received a report about a man with a weapon and the injury occurred after he was located by responding officers. The office provided no further details. 


A big change is perking at a major coffeehouse chain. The new interim C-E-O of Starbucks says the coffee icon is suspending its share repurchase program. Howard Schultz, who also founded the company, says it’s making the change to put more profit into the company’s employees and its stores. There’s been speculation that Schultz was brought back to help Starbucks fight a growing worker rights campaign that has seen some unionization.


Experts in the U-S have warned of a mental health crisis facing children since the COVID-19 pandemic started. They say that is now playing out at schools in the form of increased childhood depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, fights and thoughts of suicide at alarming levels. Sharon Hoover of the U-S National Center for School Mental Health says many children bounced back after the extended isolation, but for others it will take longer.  


The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has been called in after the victim in Friday’s (April 1) shooting later died in hospital. The 48-year-old man, who was shot inside a residence in Whalley, was transported to hospital and “despite life-saving efforts he did not survive,” said Surrey RCMP Staff Sgt. Andrea McKinny in a release about nine hours after the shooting. IHIT has now taken over the investigation. It was at 2:27 p.m. that police were called to the 12600-block of 97 Avenue for a report of a shooting, according to a release from Cpl. Vanessa Munn. Munn said two “two suspects fled the scene on bikes and police quickly flooded the area.” She added officers were abe to track the suspects and they were taken into custody and arrested.