Day 3 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgTarrick Fakira-Martin had an “exclusive opportunity to neglect, abuse and kill Lady,” his German shepherd found buried in a shallow grave on July 3 of last year.
However, after three days of testimony at the Elgin County Courthouse, defense counsel argued while there is no doubt Lady died that day, what happened to her and how she died remains unanswered.
Fakira-Martin was charged last July after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of injuring an animal on the trial’s opening day, Oct. 7.
Fakira-Martin has always maintained the dog drowned in Kettle Creek near an area known to some as Suicide Hill.

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Day 2 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgA disturbing Facebook video and a grisly PowerPoint presentation highlighted Day 2 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged in St. Thomas with injuring an animal.
The accused was led into the courtroom Wednesday morning in handcuffs after his arrest late Tuesday on three counts of breach of bail conditions on an unrelated charge.
Fakira-Martin was charged in July of last year after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty Monday at the Elgin County Courthouse to charges of injuring his dog Lady, a female German shepherd.
The first witness Wednesday, Aaron Watt, a neighbour of Fakira-Martin, said he saw Lady and her owner almost every day and often gave him dog food when he had no money.

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Day 1 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgTrial update: Due to a busy court schedule today, Day 2 of the trial has been pushed back to Wednesday (Oct. 9).

The recounting of Lady’s injuries proved traumatic today (Oct. 3) and the trial scheduled to last three days at the Elgin County Courthouse will determine if the actions of the German shepherd’s owner, Tarrick Fakira-Martin, led to her death.
Fakira-Martin was charged in July of last year after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of injuring an animal on the trial’s opening day, in front of  Justice Glen Donald.
The first witness, St. Thomas Police Service Const. Dan Ainsworth, recounted the events late on the evening of July 3, 2018, when he responded to a grassy area at the end of St. Catharine Street adjacent to the rail yard.

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Year-round homeless shelter in St. Thomas a step toward ‘the urgent goal of homes for all’


city_scope_logo-cmykWith the opening for the season at the homeless shelter serving St. Thomas and Elgin, what was once deemed “possible and probable” is set to become a reality.
A reality, mind you, that is a sad reminder of day-to-day life for the homeless and near homeless in the community.
Gathered outside Inn Out of the Cold, housed at Central United Church, St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston announced Thursday (Oct. 3) the short-term shelter that has served as a ray of hope to the homeless for the past 10 years is to become a year-round shelter service.
This will be achieved through a two-model approach, explained executive director Lori Fitzgerald.
“Our normal model is that we open November through April. We open at 6 p.m. for a hot meal and we offer some activities and programs to move people forward and connect them to services.
“That is followed by a good night’s sleep in a warm place and a good breakfast before heading out at 8 a.m.”

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EML federal candidates field questions on diverse issues from climate change to freedom of speech


city_scope_logo-cmykThey lined up patiently behind the microphone at Memorial Arena in St. Thomas, awaiting their opportunity to question a half-dozen of the Elgin-Middlesex-London candidates in the Oct. 21 federal election.
Close to 200 people attended Wednesday’s (Oct. 2) all-candidates meeting hosted by the Aylmer Express, with the hopefuls queried on a wide range of subjects ranging from the national debt and climate change to electoral reform, taxes and freedom of speech.
A no-show for the event was the Green Party’s Ericha Hendel. The Sudbury resident and Laurentian University student was parachuted into the riding after failing in her nomination bid in the federal riding of Nickel Belt.
Addressing climate change and related spinoffs, including the relevance of electric vehicles and support for intercity transit, consumed a good portion of the two-hour meeting.

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Is Ontario really leading the way in dealing with climate change as the environment minister claims?


city_scope_logo-cmykClimate crisis marches were again held around the globe yesterday (Sept. 27) including here in St. Thomas.
The province’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks did not attend any local rallies, as was the case with a rally held last Friday in front of city hall.
Instead, he issued a media release where he noted, “Today, I would like to recognize all the young Ontarians who are making their voices heard on the serious issue of climate change.”
But just how seriously are Conservatives at both the provincial and federal level dealing with the implications of climate change?
At a massive rally in Montreal, federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was the only head of a major federal party not in attendance.

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Backing the guarantee with a financial pledge, St. Thomas/Elgin to get its long-awaited end-of-life hospice


city_scope_logo-cmyk“I can guarantee there will be a hospice in Elgin county . . . during my term.”
Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek issued that assurance last December and less than a year later, Deputy Premier Christine Elliott backed that guarantee with a $1.6 million pledge to open an eight-bed residential hospice to serve St. Thomas and Elgin.
Friday morning (Sept. 20) Elliott, who is also the province’s health minister, made the announcement at Memory Garden in Pinafore Park and added once the facility opens, the province will provide $840,000 annually toward the operating costs.
The annual funding is projected to cover approximately 50 per cent of the hospice operating costs.

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