Williams Lake mom says police punched her handcuffed daughter

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is calling for an independent investigation after a mother from Williams Lake alleged an RCMP officer punched her daughter in the face while she was handcuffed in the back of a police car.

On September 10 Jamie Haller, 17, was reportedly running away from what her mother called the ‘Indian Outlaws’ when someone called the police on her behalf. In a statement from Jamie’s mom, she says she found her daughter on the ground and crying, with police cars surrounding her.

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“I saw Jamie on the ground, crying and handcuffed,” said her mother, Martina Jeff. “I got out and ran towards her. She was having a panic attack. She is very small and has never been in trouble with police before.”

She was not allowed contact with her daughter, who was then reportedly placed in the back of a police car. Jamie started to kick the windows and yell for her mom, and her mom said she heard one of the officers say “keep kicking and you’ll see what happens.”

“He put his whole upper body in the car and started punching,” said Jeff in a statement…”When I looked in the car I saw my daughter. Her face started swelling really bad. There was blood coming down on each side of her mouth. She was handcuffed, with her hands behind her back.”

The BCCLA is asking for a review from a senior officer outside the Williams Lake RCMP detachment.

Jeff says she was able to pick her daughter up from the police station the morning of September 11. She was not charged, and reportedly received no medical attention. She took her to emergency right away.

Her mother says her daughter was not able to go to school for a week due to the injury to her eye, and she could not work because her boss said her face was too marked up.

“The community needs confidence that these serious allegations will be investigated fully, promptly and as impartially as possible under our current system. If wrongs were committed, the public wants to know that they will be dealt with in accordance with the law – whether those involved are employed as law enforcement officers or are members of the public,” said Robert Holmes, Q.C., president of the BCCLA. “The community needs to trust that when someone calls 911 for the police, they will be treated with respect and not end up in hospital because of injuries sustained due to police actions.”

A French onion soup that ups the onions and adds mushrooms for good measure

French onion soup is a classic well suited for fall. The dark, rich broth and cheese-encrusted top are perfect for fending off a chilly evening.

For our version, we added a few more members of the onion family (leeks and shallots), a handful of herbs, as well as the earthiness of mushrooms. If you’d like to keep it vegetarian, you can swap out the beef and chicken broths for vegetable broth.

Onion and Mushroom Soup

Start to finish: 1 hour

1 pkg (60 g/2 oz) dried porcini or similar mushrooms

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250 ml (1 cup) boiling water

75 ml (5 tbsp) butter, divided

3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

50 ml (1/4 cup) white wine

2 leeks, white parts only, cleaned and sliced

2 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh thyme

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh rosemary

45 ml (3 tbsp) all-purpose flour

500 ml (2 cups) chicken broth

500 ml (2 cups) beef broth

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

4 slices stale crusty bread

4 slices fontina cheese

Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Cut or break dried mushrooms into small pieces and place in a heat-safe bowl. Pour boiling water over mushroom pieces and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 45 ml (3 tbsp) of the butter. Add onions and cook slowly until well browned, stirring regularly, 15 to 20 minutes. If onions begin to get too browned, add a couple teaspoons of water. When onions are browned and caramelized, add wine and stir to deglaze pan. Add leeks, shallots, garlic, thyme, rosemary and remaining 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter.

Increase heat to medium-high and cook until leeks are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat everything. Pour in chicken and beef broths, then stir well and bring to a boil. Add steeped mushrooms (including liquid), then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat broiler.

Ladle soup into 4 oven-safe crocks. Top each with a slice of stale bread, then a slice of the cheese. Arrange crocks on a rimmed baking sheet, then place under broiler and cook until cheese is melted and begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve topped with fresh chives.

Makes 4 servings.

We had to know: What sort of muffin could we bake if we spent $16 a pop?

So political kerfuffle aside, you have to wonder exactly what a $16 muffin would taste like.

Last week’s news that the government supposedly paid $16 apiece for breakfast muffins at a U.S. Justice Department conference set off critics of government spending.

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Hilton Worldwide, the hotel company that hosted the 2009 confab in Washington, disputes the accuracy of the claim in a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general. The hotel called it an accounting thing, explaining that the price included various drinks and gratuity charges, in addition to the muffins. The IG stands by the report.

Which all kind of misses the most compelling issues. If you did spend $16 on a muffin, what would it look like? How would it taste? Is it even possible?

The typical muffin baked in an institutional setting such as a hotel costs about 50 cents or less, not counting labour. If you go crazy extravagant and reach for the top-shelf organic flour, maybe some hand-harvested wild blueberries from Maine and fancy sugar, you’re still going to max out around $1 per muffin on raw ingredients.

Here in The Associated Press test kitchen, we started searching for ways to bump up the price of your basic muffin. The end result was anything but basic. We’re also pretty certain you’ll never see one of these babies served at a government conference.

Getting the price-per-muffin that high was hard. We took the obvious steps first – organic flour, sugar and milk, cultured butter, sea salt and free-range eggs. But we still weren’t even close. A rare honey imported from Zambia helped, as did a healthy amount of pricey macadamia nuts and some Tahitian vanilla beans.

But in the end, the only way to get to $16 was to reach for some old-fashioned booze and gold. That’s right, we glazed our muffins with a chocolate sauce made from organic dark chocolate cut with reduced Scotch whisky (the good stuff!) and edible gold-leaf flakes.

The result? A rather stunning and intense muffin that would cost a mere $192 per dozen (not counting labour) – or $16 each.

$16 Muffins

Start to finish: 1 hour


625 ml (2 1/2 cups) organic all-purpose flour

15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) sea salt

90 ml (6 tbsp or 3/4 stick) unsalted cultured butter

125 ml (1/2 cup) maple sugar

125 ml (1/2 cup) imported honey (the rarer the better)

Seeds scraped from 2 Tahitian vanilla beans

2 free-range organic eggs

125 ml (1/2 cup) organic milk

500 ml (2 cups) chopped dried strawberries (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drained)

250 ml (1 cup) chopped macadamia nuts, lightly toasted


500 ml (2 cups) top-shelf Scotch whisky

500 g (1 lb) high-end, organic dark chocolate, chopped, divided

30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted cultured butter

30 ml (2 tbsp) imported honey (the bigger the carbon footprint, the better)

5 ml (1 tsp) canola or vegetable oil

12 fresh strawberries

250 ml (1 cup) chopped macadamia nuts, lightly toasted

50 ml (1/4 cup) gold leaf flakes, loosely packed

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F). Line 12 muffin tins with muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, maple sugar, honey and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Add half the flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour mixture, beating and scraping bowl between each addition.

By hand, stir in dried strawberries and macadamia nuts. Spoon mixture into lined muffin tins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

While muffins bake, prepare topping. In a skillet, heat Scotch whisky (be careful, it will flame). Bring to a gentle simmer and reduce to 125 ml (1/2 cup).

In a heat-safe bowl, place half of the chocolate, butter and honey. Pour hot reduced liquor over chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until completely smooth and glossy. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine remaining chocolate with oil. Microwave on high in 15-second bursts, stirring between, until completely melted and smooth. One at a time, dunk each strawberry into chocolate, covering about three-quarters of the berry. Set on waxed paper, then refrigerate for several minutes to harden chocolate.

Once muffins are cool, spoon chocolate glaze over top of each, spreading it to coat top surface. Sprinkle macadamia nuts around outer edge, then sprinkle gold leaf over centre surface. Top each with a chocolate-covered strawberry.

Makes 12 very over-the-top muffins.

Source: Recipe by Alison Ladman.

Woman testifies at torture case abouthorror of seeing her ex in hospital

CALGARY – Lindsay Airhart was horrified to see how her former boyfriend had deteriorated from the big, strong, carefree man she had known to the bruised, beaten and emaciated individual lying in a hospital bed looking back at her.

“He was a frail, lifeless body,” Airhart said softly from the witness stand. “He looked like he had been starved. He had burn marks inside of his legs. Every couple of inches there was a cut or a bruise. Some were infected. Some were new and some were old.”

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Airhart was the first witness Tuesday at the trial of Dustin Paxton. The Crown alleges Paxton brutalized, tortured and starved his former roommate over a period of years before dropping him off at a Regina hospital in April 2010.

The 31-year-old is charged with aggravated assault, unlawful confinement and sexual assault. The roommate, who just turned 28, can’t be named because of a court-ordered publication ban. Paxton has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Airhart, 29, testified that she and the alleged victim had had a relationship and even though they eventually split up, they remained good friends.

She described her former boyfriend as being about five-foot-eight and weighing 220 pounds – slightly overweight, but a happy and healthy individual.

Airhart told court that after the two broke up, her former boyfriend and Paxton became good friends. When Paxton moved to Calgary, she wasn’t surprised that her ex-boyfriend went with him from Winnipeg, she said.

Airhart kept in touch with the man, but that contact eventually stopped and she got worried. She said she reached out to Paxton and was told there had been an accident – her former boyfriend was in hospital after having an industrial freezer fall on him at work.

Airhart said she went to Calgary to visit him after he got out of the hospital.

She noticed Paxton’s mood had changed for the worst.

“He was grumpy. You could tell in his voice and physical attitude he just wasn’t happy,” she said.

What’s worse, she said, the two men didn’t appear to be friends any more.

“(Paxton) treated him like a piece of crap,” said Airhart. “At one point he got angry and sent him to his room.”

Her concerns magnified when she caught up with her former boyfriend again on another visit to Calgary.

“He looked sick,” she said. “He was tiny. His skin was yellow. He said everything was OK and it was his job that was taking its toll.

“The next time I saw him was when he was dropped off at the hospital in Regina.”

The man was down to less than 90 pounds when he was admitted. Crown prosecutor Joe Mercier said the victim was a mere shadow of his former self.

“He was dropped off at the Regina General Hospital in critical condition,” the prosecutor said. “He was severely malnourished, he had wounds over his entire body and his lips were severely damaged.”

Mercier said he intends to call 50 witnesses during the trial, which is scheduled to run five weeks, who will testify that Paxton dominated his roommate. Mercier said he will be calling an expert witness who deals with human captivity and who will explain the extent of the containment and domination suffered by the victim.

“I expect the evidence to show that Mr. Paxton began to mentally and then physically dominate,” said Mercier.

“They will also testify to the steady degradation of his mental and physical state. He began to lose weight and constantly had injuries to his face and ears and was totally submissive to Mr. Paxton.

” Mr. Paxton controlled his movements.”

Container-grown perennials can quickly go to pot if not overwintered properly

Perennials and containers make a great gardening combination, but they will quickly go to pot if overlooked in the winter.

Plant roots are vulnerable to freezing in containers, where the soil hardens more than it would in the ground. Stems and branches – particularly those on small trees and shrubs – need protection from the deep chill as well as from snow and icy buildups. Containers should be cared for to prevent splintering and crumbling.

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“The most important thing you can do when overwintering container plants is ensure that they’re vigorous and established,” said Leonard Perry, an extension horticulturist with the University of Vermont.

“Young plants that you just pop into a pot and haven’t rooted yet may not do so well,” Perry said. “The healthier they are going in, the better their chances.”

Perennials should survive long periods of extreme cold if given pre-season care. That includes:

– Feeding. Slow-release fertilizers applied before the first killing frosts arrive boost plant hardiness. Feeding should end once the plants go dormant. “With good fertility, you don’t have as many overwintering problems,” Perry said.

– Watering. Soils must be moist when the perennials are stored to help protect the roots.

– Pruning. Trim and dispose of all foliage after the plants go completely dormant. That keeps slugs and other insects from laying eggs in the residue, according to a “Simple Sensible Solutions” brochure from Walters Gardens Inc. at Zeeland, Mich., North America’s largest grower of wholesale perennials.

– Trenching. Bury pots – plants and all – for improved insulation. Add a layer of mulch. Unearth and return them to their usual sites the following spring.

– Covering. Anything from evergreen boughs to blankets, straw to shredded bark can be used to safeguard pots and their contents. Securing a piece of bubble wrap or burlap around the pots also helps. Be quick to remove them once the weather warms.

– Storing indoors. Move potted plants into an unheated garage, basement, greenhouse, cold frame or similar site that matches their hardiness zone. Make sure it’s a place where the temperature stays above freezing.

Protecting the containers can pay off with additional seasons of service. “I raise my container plants off the ground in winter so they don’t freeze to the surface,” said Peter Cilio, creative director for Campania International, a designer and manufacturer of cast-stone garden accessories in Pennsburg, Pa.

“Some of the containers have feet for that purpose, or you can use pieces of wood,” he said. “A little height lets water escape through the drain holes and keeps the containers from splitting or cracking in freeze-thaw cycles.”

Large pots seem to last longer, Cilio said. More soil means better insulation. “Smaller pots constrict plant roots, hindering drainage.”

Choose your perennials well, especially for proven longevity in northerly climates. Potted perennials that are tough enough to endure at least a couple of hardiness zones colder than where you live are likely to survive extended exposure. That would mean using, say, Zone 4 plants in Zone 6.

And don’t forget rodent control. Mice like to cosy up to container plants in cold weather, especially those that include grasses.

“Begin baiting for mice about a month before covering your perennials,” the Walters Gardens horticulturists write. “This will help reduce their populations going into winter.”


For more about overwintering containerized perennials, see this University of Massachusetts Amherst factsheet:


You can contact Dean Fosdick at deanfosdick(at)netscape杭州夜网