Blue Jays beat Athletics 6-5 behind Encarnacion, Escobar for for 4-game split

Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick swings for a two run home run off Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Laffey in the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Toronto Blue Jays took some momentum away from the surprising Oakland Athletics.

Edwin Encarnacion homered and drove in two runs, Yunel Escobar also drove in two runs and the Blue Jays beat the A's 6-5 Sunday for a four-game split.

"We put together a good game," Blue Jays' manager John Farrell said. "We were able to exploit the speed that both guys have at the top.

Josh Reddick hit a three-run home run for the A's, who are 2-3 in August after going 19-5 in July. Coco Crisp and Derek Norris each doubled home a run for the A's.

Tommy Milone (9-9) lost his third straight start and is 1-3 in his last seven.

"Something is just a little off in my delivery and the ball is sailing up in the zone," Milone said. "I couldn't get that one pitch I needed."

Anthony Gose and Kelly Johnson also drove in runs for the Blue Jays, who have won two straight after a six-game losing streak.

Aaron Laffey (3-2) won for the third time in four decisions after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 14th consecutive save.

Toronto had its best offensive output in 10 games. The Blue Jays avraged just under two runs a game in their previous eight.

Rajai Davis scored from second base on a sacrifice bunt from Gose to put the Blue Jays ahead in the first. David doubled to open the game and was already at third base by the time Norris was just getting rid of the ball from Gose's bunt.

"I wish I could say we practiced that, but we didn't," Gose said. "Rajai was on the move and I should have taken the pitch and let him steal a base, but I put the bunt down and heads up base running made things happen."

Norris' double in the second scored Brandon Inge with the tying run, and Reddick's three-run drive into the right-field bleachers put the A's ahead 4-1 in the third.

"A couple of plays here and there cost us," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Encarnacion's 29th home run closed the gap to 4-3 in the fourth, and Toronto took the lead in the fifth when five hitters reached with two outs. Escobar's two-run single and Johnson's RBI single were the key hits.

"We have been struggling the past couple of games," Encarnacion said. "That homer gave everybody a little more emotion and everybody started hitting better."

Adam Rosales doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on Crisp's double to make it 6-5.

NOTES: A's RHP A.J. Griffin went on the DL with a strained right shoulder. ... Oakland OF Michael Taylor was optioned to Triple-A. ... The A's recalled left-hander Pedro Figueroa and right-hander Evan Scribner from Sacramento. ... Blue Jays RHP Carlos Villanueva left the team for personal reasons. Toronto RHP Jesse Chavez was optioned to Triple-A. ... LHP J.A. Happ will move up to start Tuesday's game for the Blue Jays. ... Toronto also selected RHP Chad Jenkins from Double-A New Hampshire. ... The A's are 14-6 in one-run games at home.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
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  • Text of a statement given by father of Calgary mass-murder suspect

    CALGARY - The text of the statement given by the father of 22-year-old Calgary mass-murder suspect Matthew de Grood:

    "I am Douglas de Grood and I am an inspector with the Calgary Police Service, but I am here today not as a police officer, but as a parent and a husband. I speak for my wife, Susan de Grood, as we are one voice.

    "We are shocked and devastated and we are trying to make sense of what happened.

    "We are deeply saddened for what the families and friends of the victims are going through. Your lives have been turned upside down. We know words cannot begin to ease your pain and suffering. Please accept our deepest condolences and know you are in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.

    "Our condolences also go out to the first responders who attended the scene. You had to detach from your emotions to do your job. Your professionalism was exceptional.

    "Like any parent can tell you, a love for your child is unconditional and we love Matthew dearly.

    "Our Matthew is a great kid, full of love, kindness and respect for others. Growing up, he received good grades in school and was active in a variety of sports. As a young adult, he got a part-time job, entered university and became more involved in the community. He raised funds for charities through his passion for running. He had a bright future ahead of him as he was about to start law school in the fall.

    "Just like you, we struggle to understand what happened. We have received an outpouring of support from our extended families, our friends and neighbours, co-workers and even people we have never met. We thank each one of you for your support. We will never recover from this, but the collective support has helped ease some of the pain.

    "We hope someday we will have answers as to why this happened. Regardless, it won't bring the victims back, but we would give anything to do just that.

    "Our final words are to you, the media. We ask that you respect our family's privacy as we deal with this tragedy.

    "Thank you for your co-operation."


    Flags lowered, first funeral set, for five stabbed at Calgary house party - The Canadian Press

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  • Fire at Pinantan Lake took more than just a store


    KAMLOOPS – Every community has its hub. Pinantan Lake’s was the General Store that went up in flames last night.

    All that remains now is smouldering pieces and charred, unopened beer cans. A day later, they explode in the heat. An occasional firework goes off, too.

    The community relied upon Cory George, who owned the store for three years. It was a convenience for groceries, a fundraising hub for local events, and a meeting place to grab a coffee. Some even used George’s phone line, since Pinatan Lake doesn’t have cell service.

    “We sold everything. Absolutely everything,” George said. “Throughout rural B.C. you’re gonna find oodles of these little stores. They all have their own unique stories, but their same story is they bring communities together."

    Now locals will have no choice but to make the 40-minute drive to Kamloops to buy essentials, at least until it's re-built, which George intends to do.

    Authorities are still investigating what caused the fire. It burned last night without any response from firefighters.

    “It’s been put out by itself. There’s no fire service here,” RCMP Cpl. Mike Mucha said. The RCMP remained on scene since the fire to ensure nothing compromises the investigation.
    Community members have struggled to get a volunteer service in the area, none more so than George himself—long before his store burned down. He has raised money for the Pinantan East Paul Lake Fire Department Association to get a volunteer-based fire hall to house the association’s small fire truck. The Thompson Nicola Regional District discussed selling the association a piece of property for $1 to help the hall get started.

    But so far, the hall remains unbuilt and the fire truck remains unused in storage.

    George says while the fire truck wouldn’t have made a significant difference this time, plenty of luck was also involved: Rain, no wind and nowhere for the fire to spread. He worries a fire can easily spread to other buildings or in the bush if someone isn't around to stop it.

    “This could have been totally different,” he said. “In the future to help us stop these things from happening, we need to have fire service.”

    To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Teachers give strike notice


    THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — The teachers union and the province are still very far apart in negotiations and as a result teachers have served 72 hour notice for stage one job action.

    On Wednesday, April 23 teachers will begin a ‘low level’ stage one, which means teachers will no longer be doing administrative work and supervisory roles like recess.

    “There will be no immediate disruption to students. It does not ask teachers to stop participating in extra curricular activities and they will continue writing report cards and communicating with parents,” B.C. Teachers Federation President Jim Iker says of the job action. “Teachers will not undertake any supervision outside of regularly scheduled classes, not attend any meetings, no routine printed or electronic communication, they will not attend prior to one hour before or after instructional time.”

    He notes it has been six weeks since teachers voted 89 per cent in favour of job action and with little progress made between now and then notice was issued this afternoon.

    Iker says class size and composition as well as staffing levels are the biggest concerns facing teachers at the bargaining table and the current offer from the B.C. Government is ‘unfair and unreasonable.’

    “We’re asking for a cost of living adjustment and market adjustments to catch up with the rest of our colleagues in other provinces,” Iker says. “It’s very fair and reasonable. We know it won’t get us up to our colleagues across Canada, but it’s an important start.”

    “Yes it will cost more to give our kids more resources and make our education system better, but we think it’s worth it.”

    Iker will not speculate on how long the first stage of job action will last and says it depends completely on the bargaining table. Teachers are willing to stage rotating strikes of one day per week as part of a second stage of action if necessary.

    “We will give the government more time to avoid any school closures,” Iker says, “But our patience is running out.”

    To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Campaign to keep mass murderer behind bars begins again


    WEST KELOWNA – It’s a horrible tradition that puts the surviving members of the Johnson and Bentley families and their friends through hell.

    Mass murderer David Ennis, also known as David Shearing, is up for a parole on Sept. 4.

    In August of 1982 Ennis murdered grandparents George and Edith Bentley, parents Bob and Jackie Johnson and their two daughters Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, in Wells Gray Provincial Park. They were on a family camping trip. The two young girls were sexually assaulted, although that part of the crime didn't surface until after Ennis was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the six murders.

    Since his first parole hearing in 2008, Tammy Arishenkoff has led the charge to keep him behind bars with petitions and letter writing campaigns.

    Arishenkoff was a friend of the Johnson family, especially Janet Johnson, who was a classmate.

    “He should never get out for what he’s done and he’s not an individual who has any comprehension about what he’s done or any remorse,” Arishenkoff said. “He needs to stop going before the (parole) board. He needs to stay in prison and accept his fate. Die there basically is what he should be doing.”

    This time, Arishenkoff is using social media in a big way. Along with the Facebook group Justice for the Johnson-Bentley Families: Keep Their Killer Behind Bars! she is also using provides an efficient way to gather petition signatures, but it also allows people to print off a form letter to send to the parole board. 

    “Every piece of information that goes to the parole board has to be reviewed,” she said. “The mound of stuff gets exponentially bigger every two years.”

    Over 1,000 people have already signed the petition and she expects a lot more over the next six weeks of the campaign.

    At his last parole hearing at the Bowden Institution in Innisfail, Alta. in 2012 over two dozen people showed up.

    “The parole board had never seen that many people for a parole hearing for anybody never mind 28 or 30 years later,” she says.

    Arishenkoff said she is cautiously optimistic they’ll be successful in September, adding all they can do is make sure their voices are heard.

    Her secondary goal is to change the legislation that lets mass murders like Ennis apply for parole every two years once they are eligible.

    She said the surviving families go through hell every two years as they confront Ennis at his hearing and are reminded of the horrible events of 1982.

    “The family never gets a chance to heal. “

    For more on Arishenkoff’s campaign to keep David Ennis behind bars you can go to her Facebook page or

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Arrest made in Amanda Todd case

    A Dutch media outlet is reporting the arrest of a 35-year-old man in the Netherlands in connection with the Amanda Todd case.

    The media report says he faces harassment and extortion allegations.

    The 15-year-old Port Coquitlam, B.C., girl killed herself in October 2012, after posting a YouTube video detailing her harassment.

    More coming...


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  • Downtown holdup, no suspect in custody

    KAMLOOPS – A clerk at a store in downtown Kamloops was robbed Thursday morning by a man with what may have been a hypodermic needle.

    RCMP say the man walked into the store in the 200 block of Victoria Street at around 10 a.m., presented a needle and demanded cash.

    He took off on foot with some money and was last seen walking southbound on 3 Avenue. No arrest has been made.

    Police are going door-to-door in the neighbourhood looking for businesses with video surveillance cameras and asking the owners for the recordings. They’re hoping one of the cameras caught the suspect on tape.

    Investigators are also trying to figure out if Thursday’s robbery is linked to other recent holdups.

    The RCMP are looking for a man about 5’ 8” with a slender build. He was wearing an olive green hoodie and dark coloured jeans.

    Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call the Kamloops RCMP detachment at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • NHL playoffs filled with Rockets, Blazers, Vees and Vipers

    THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — The National Hockey League playoffs began this week and all but three of the 16 teams that made it to the first round have a player that at some point played for Kamloops or Kelowna during their Western Hockey League career.

    In total, 17 former Blazers or Rockets are playing in the playoffs right now while another nine are in coaching or management positions.

    Even more impressive is the number of former Rockets currently playing. Only four teams in the running for the Stanley Cup do not have a former Kelowna player on the roster.

    In total a fifth of all players in the NHL this season, 187 of 983, were part of the WHL at one point and another 70 WHL graduates are currently in coaching or management positions.

    Another half dozen players and staffers have also played with the Penticton or Vernon teams of the B.C. Hockey League at some point in their career.

    Nolan Yonkman, Kelowna Rockets
    Asst. Coach Scott Niedermayer, Kamloops Blazers

    Jarome Iginla, Kamloops Blazers

    Duncan Keith, Kelowna Rockets (and lived in Penticton as a teenager)
    Kris Versteeg, Kamloops Blazers

    Tyson Barrie, Kelowna Rockets

    Blake Comeau, Kelowna Rockets
    Ryan Johansen, Penticton Vees

    Jamie Benn, Kelowna Rockets  (older brother Jordie also plays for the Stars)
    Vernon Fiddler, Kelowna Rockets
    Advisor, Hockey Ops. Mark Recchi, Kamloops Blazers (from Kamloops)
    Scout, Dennis Holland, Vernon Lakers

    Mitch Callahan, Kelowna Rockets
    GM, Ken Holland, Vernon Vikings
    Head Coach Mike Babcock, Kelowna Wings
    Asst. Coach Tom Renney, Kamloops Blazers
    Scout, Marty Stein, Vernon Essos

    Robyn Regehr, Kamloops Blazers
    Dir. Goaltender Development Kim Dillabaugh, Kelowna Rockets

    Brett Bulmer, Kelowna Rockets
    Asst. Coach Darryl Sydor, Kamloops Blazers

    Josh Gorges, Kelowna Rockets (from Kelowna)
    Travis Moen, Kelowna Rockets

    Luke Schenn, Kelowna Rockets
    Head Coach Craig Berube, Kamloops Jr. Oilers/Blazers

    Chuck Kobasew, Kelowna Rockets
    Beau Bennett, Penticton Vees

    Scott Hannan, Kelowna/Tacoma Rockets

    Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, Kamloops Blazers
    Goaltending Consultant Corey Hirsch, Kamloops Blazers

    Eric Brewer (from Vernon)

    Round one of the playoffs will conclude by the end of the month. The top four teams in each conference will then face-off  to determine who will play in the Western and Eastern Conference finals. The winners of each conference will then play for the Stanley Cup. Each series is a best of seven format, taking a minimum of four games to determine a winner.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

    -This story was updated at 10 p.m., April 17 to correct the spelling of Beau Bennett.

  • Fire at Pinantan Lake could make life less convenient for residents

    KAMLOOPS - A tiny town 35 kilometres east of Kamloops lost its only store in a fire last night.

    Kamloops Rural RCMP responded to the fire at the Pinantan Lake Store around 11 p.m..

    A tenant who resided in a suite at the location noticed smoke coming from the basement and exited the building. Though the fire spread very rapidly, the tenant and a friend went back into the suite to find two cats but fire was coming through the floor and they had to leave. The cats weren't found and it's not known if the felines made it out.

    With flames at one point reaching over 50 feet high, light rain and lack of wind were welcome, keeping the fire from spreading to nearby neighbours.

    Provincial fire investigators were called and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The building itself, a Pinantan Lake landmark for the past 40 years was a total loss, RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush said in a press release.

    Members of the Pinantan East Paul Lake Fire Department Association are still waiting on construction of a fire station for the volunteer firefighters in Pinantan Lake.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

    This story was updated at 1:42 p.m. to include details from an RCMP press release.