Everything You Need to Know About Edmonton: May 22 2013

The Wanderer Online provides Edmontonians with a daily recap of the last day in news. Our long-form – and sometimes irreverent and witty –  recaps will keep you up-to-date with the latest happenings across the city. Enjoy and stay tuned.

A brief hostage situation at the Edmonton Law Courts set off a brief fury of activity on Twitter, but activities continued normally at the courthouse and nearby Churchill Square. The situation developed when an inmate in the courthouse’s cellblock took another inmate hostage, prompting a response from the Edmonton Police Service’s Tactical Unit and negotiatiors. The situation was thankfully resolved within less than two hours.

High winds and dry conditions have continued to create a dangerous situation in the Edmonton area. A fire ban is currently in place for the City of Edmonton, due to fire conditions being “extreme”. It’s for a good reason – a wildfire in nearby Brazeau County has prompted the evacuation of some 200 residents. Despite the continuing dryness, our summer menace – the mosquito – is out in full force. Yay.

Service Alberta unveiled Alberta’s top baby names for 2012, with Liam and Emma topping the list for boys and girls respectively. Alberta saw a record of over 52,000 births last year, with over 15,000 in Edmonton alone. The province also released an iOS app for expectant parents to browse the popularity of names in Alberta, with data going all the way back to 1980. Or, for those people who are curious as to how popular (or not) their name is. Be sure to check out the linked Edmonton Journal article by former Gateway editor and Top 100 recipient, Alex Migdal!

The federal government’s suspension of funding for the National Research Council’s Major Resources Support program is having a major impact on research in Canada. Contributing to an op-ed to the Toronto Star, Dr. Larry Heaman, the Associate Dean of Research at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Science noted the crippling effect that this will have on the University’s Canadian Centre for Isotopic Analysis. The facility, which has maintained an open-door research policy for some 50 graduate students and 10 full time research staff, will face job losses and will be unable to develop new and innovative techniques without the critical government support. The state of Canada’s federal support for research has prompted significant concern in the Canadian scientific community, particularly given Canada’s drop from 16th to 23rd among economically-developed countries in overall expenditures relative to GDP on research & development. For more on this, be sure to check out Alan Shapiro’s article on the decline of federal support for Canadian science here.

Finally, folk band Mumford & Sons filled Rexall Place with enthusiastic fans last night. If you were like me and stuck at home or elsewhere, check out photos of the concert in the Edmonton Journal.

CC photograph courtesy of bulliver on Flickr.

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