Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crimes, Misdemeanors and Google Steet View

New Developments in Torch Mess

Assault charges were dropped last week against a 19-year-old Kitchener woman for the altercation between torch security and protesters during the Olympic torch's run through Downtown Guelph on December 28th. As reported in the Mercury, a new charge of mischief was made against Brittney Simpson. The assault charge was dropped because there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction” according to Assistant Crown attorney Steve Hamilton. A second person arrested in relation to the incident is still facing an assault charge with an additional mischief charge filed against her in court last Monday. Both Simpson and Kelly Pflug-Back from Guelph will be back in court on March 5th.

In other Torch related news, Guelph Police said last week that there was no evidence to support Pflug-Back’s charge that she was assaulted by torch security during the protest. Guelph Police spokesperson Const. Michael Gatto said that the police have two videos of the incident provided to them. “They both had different angles of the scene,” Gatto said of the videos. “Neither video showed any evidence of an assault that took place to match up with what Kelly Pflug-Back was describing.” Pflug-Back, meanwhile, is sticking to her guns. “It’s ridiculous,” she said. “There is a hospital record of the contusion on my lip. I was punched.”

Guelph Goes Google Street View

Guelph can now count itself among the lucky few, one of 150 Canadian cities, that can see itself in full detail on Google Street View. “I am so pleased that we are on the map, so to speak,” said Christine Chapman, program and partnership co-ordinator with Guelph Tourism Services at the City of Guelph. Canada just became a part of the Google app early last year despite the occasionally controversial nature of the program due to its highly detailed photography. Cars equipped with special cameras took the images of Guelph last spring and summer, which explains why when you look at different areas of the city some trees have no leaves and others are lush and green. To check out Street View for yourself, just go to, type in an address, drag the little orange man on to the area of the map you want to see the street view of and enjoy.

Perfect Attendance Goes To…

The numbers on attendance for city council from 2009 are in, and the winner of the perfect attendance award is Mayor Karen Farbridge. The Mayor’s stats include face time at 38 council meetings, 27 closed meetings and 46 committee meetings. Ward 5 Councillor Leanne Piper also had an impressive finish with 38 council meetings, 27 closed meetings and every meeting of the CDES and land ambulance committees. Not included in the count however were meetings missed while councillors were representing the City at meetings or conferences. As well, it should be pointed out that aside from the Mayor, city councillors have to, you know, work a job and make a living since being a city councillor is only a part time gig.

Crime Beat

In follow-up to an item in The Beat last month, the mysterious case of an 83-year-old man charged with several incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti, saw our octogenarian tagger plead guilty in court last week. Max Mahr of Guelph was arrested and charged on September 30, 2009, with five counts of mischief under $5,000, with an additional charge of wilful promotion of hate being laid following a further police investigation. No word on sentencing, although all parties are due back in court on March 8 for a pre-sentencing report.

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