The Windsor Star from Windsor, Ontario, Canada on January 6, 1993 · 5
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The Windsor Star from Windsor, Ontario, Canada · 5

Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 6, 1993
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THE WINDSOR STAR Metro Editor Bill Hickey 256-5533 More County News Page A8 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 1993 A3 Interim casino mustnt be shoddy, city warns By Lauren MoreStar City Hall Reporter Do it right or not at all, say city councillors reacting to the Ontario governments interest in building a temporary casino in Windsor. Municipal Affairs Minister Dave Cooke (NDP-Windsor-Riverside) said Tuesday the province must seriously consider operating a scaled-down version of the casino in an existing downtown building until the new complex can be built. THE PROPOSED 7,000-square-metre casino, which would be twice the size of Windsor Arena, "could take up to two years to build. Thats too long, Cooke said, considering Michigan and Quebec are also preparing to open casinos. But Cooke stressed no decision has been made and it will be up to cabinet to determine if an interim casino should be pursued. Cabinet is expected to consider the issue early in February. But City Council will wrestle with the temporary site idea in a special closed meeting Thursday night The provinces Casino Project Team wants the citys views on the casino concept by next week. An interim facility runs the risk of looking makeshift and of being too cramped, said Councillor Margaret Williams. The worst thing we can do is to have people coming into town, booking a weekend and not be able to get into the casino, said Williams, who also chairs the board at the tourist and convention bureau. Lets do it right If we cant do it right lets wait Williams said. But Councillor Rick Limoges said a temporary casino would give the province a chance to test the market. Wed have a better feel for whats out there, rather than just take the consultants word for it Limoges said. BUT HE AGREED the interim facility mustnt be shoddy. We have to make sure its well-appointed, that its not just a bingo hall," Limoges said. Logistics is another concern, he said: Is there enough parking to accommodate casino crowds? Can the streets handle the influx of traffic? Limoges doubts it, even for a temporary casino: Not really, in terms of parking and traffic." The marketing campaign for a temporary casino would have to be See INTERIM, A4 Driver who left victim comatose fined, loses licence By Roseann Danese Star Court Reporter A driver who struck and severely injured a man directing fire trucks during a false alarm at an Erie Street hall, was fined $1,000 Tuesday and given a one-year licence suspension. Robert Ptasinski pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing bodily harm in the Feb. 1 accident that left Celso Barichello comatose with severe head injuries. Ptasinski, 21, was originally charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, but the Crown prosecutor and defence lawyer struck a deal just hours before the trial was expected to start Tuesday. DURING A HEARING in the absence of the jury, the defence took issue with the fact that during his arrest Ptasinski, a Polish immigrant, was given an interpreter who works in the communications department of the Windsor Police Service. Lawyer Andrew Bradie argued there was a breach of privacy when the civil ian police employee acted as an interpreter between Ptasinski and a legal aid lawyer before a breathalyser test was given. HAD MR. JUSTICE John McGarry ruled the breathalyser reading was in-admissable as a result of the interpreters position with the police, the Crowns case would have simply come down to why Ptasinski didnt see the victim in the roadway, said assis-. tant Crown attorney Randy Semeniuk. The Criminal Code defines criminal negligence causing bodily harm as showing wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others. Semeniuk said the Crowns case hinged on the testimony of a scientific expert expected to comment on the breathalyser reading. Without the expert, it would have been difficult to prove negligence, he said. Barichello was injured as he stood on Erie Street directing two fire trucks to St. Angela Merici Hall, where a false fire alarm had been sounded. See DRIVER, A4 Under the US! CHECKING OUT display board is Robin Macheske It was another evening of action, numbers and concentration Tuesday night at Downtown Bingo Country on Wyandotte Street East And it wasnt all for nought, either. Robin Macheske of Garden City, Mich., who had her number dabber working well for her, soon found herself calling Bingo and being rewarded to the tune of $80. She wasnt the only one to have good fortune and win a game. Hatixle Gashi, of Windsor, also cashed in with a winning game as the nightly pursuit for the pot of gold spelled B-I-N-G-0 continued. HATIXLE GASHI, of Windsor, holds up a winner after calling Bingo! City digs deep to aid charities By Paul McKeague Star Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA Figures on charitable donations issued by Statistics Canada show that Windsor is one of the most generous cities in the country. The median charitable donation by Windsorites in 1991 was $170, well above the Ontario median of $150 and the national median of $130, the federal agency reported Tuesday. The figure was also up $10 from Windsors median donation of $160 in 1990. The median is the amount which is higher than the annual donations of 50 per cent of the population and lower than the donations of the other 50 per cent Windsors record was topped by Sarnia, where the median was $200 in 1991, and by St Johns, Nfld., where it was $230. But the median donation in Windsor was higher than that of any other large urban area in Canada. The median was $150 in London and Toronto, $160 in Kitchener and only $130 in the nations capital. The figures were $140 in Halifax, $100 in Montreal and $130 in Vancouver. WINDSORS median donation was more than double that of Quebec City, which was only $80, the lowest of any major city. Statistics Canadas figures show that Newfoundland, Canadas poorest province, is also its most generous. Its median contribution was $230. The Newfoundland figures reflect the fact that people in poor and rural areas tend to be more giving than people in large urban centres which are more impersonal, said Paul Fran-coeur, of Statistics Canada. Quebec traditionally has a low rate of charitable donations. Its median of $80 was the lowest of any province. See CITY, A4 30 years after abuse, victims healing begins By Brian CrossStar Staff Reporter MALDEN CENTRE - Someone - someone important believes him. Imagine how Harlen Cousineau must feel, after the Christian Brother he accused of abusing him at the SL Johns Training School in Uxbridge 30 years ago was found guilty by a judge in December. For the first time, I feel like a human being, the Malden Centre resident says. I feel like an equal to others." In 1963, he was a 12-year-old kid sent to the reform school to cure a rebellious streak. During nine months there, he says, he was beaten, cut, burned and sexually abused. But when he was out and told people about his hellish expe- rience, he was ignored or told to forget it, that there was nothing he could do to repair the wrongs he had suffered. Then two years ago the news broke that police were investigating abuse allegations at the school and at St. Jerome's, another reform school run by Christian Brothers east of Ottawa. TWENTY-EIGHT FORMER Christian Brothers and employees, including seven from St. Johns, were charged with various offences, from common assault to sex-related charges. Their cases have been progressing through the courts. A priest was found guilty of five charges in October. In November a former brother was found not guilty of brutalizing boys. And in December the man Cousineau testified against was found guilty of three counts of assault Bernard Recker, of Peterborough, can still appeal his conviction. Seven other charges against him were dismissed, including three which were based on Couslneau's claims that Recker beat, lashed and burned him on the back. The judge did find enough evidence to convict Recker for using a wet towel rolled into a rat tail to snap at Cousineaus naked buttock. Several times, Recker drew blood. At almost 42, Cousineau is tall, balding and gaunt. Recker is 52, no longer a young man. I PICKED HIM OUT in the courtroom, and I had no problem whatsoever, said Cousineau, during a. recent interview in the house trailer he shares with his wife and stepson. I would look in the face, more or less saying Im not afraid of you, Im not 12 years old any more. At first, Recker sat tall and looked defiant, Cousineau said. Near the end of the trial, he was looking downward, dejected. When asked what punishment Recker should get, Cousineaus eyes get large as he says: This may sound strange." Hed like Recker to get counselling, not jail. If he goes to jail, then Im no better than he is. Why put him through what I went through? Cousineaus charity isnt mirrored by all the 650 former students of the two schools who have come forward with abuse allegations. Some still want revenge, conceded Cousineau. Hundreds of Windsor-area boys between the ages of seven and 18 were sent to St. Johns during a period of 40 years for minor crimes, for being labelled incorrigible or just because society didnt know what to do with them. Five local men, now in their 40s, have made abuse allegations to police. A support group for former students called Helpline has worked out a compensation package worth $13 million, which comes from the See 30 YEARS, A4 Soviet defector held passion for homeland Former KGB agent Tomas Schuman always spoke with passion about the Soviet homeland he abandoned 23 years ago. But friends say his love for Russian vodka followed him to Canada and ultimately led to his death. The 52-year-old Russian propaganda expert who recently taught at the University of Windsor died Tuesday at Grace Hospital of a massive heart attack following a life-long fight with alcoholism. Friends and colleagues in Windsor remember Mr. Schuman as a brilliant diplomat and a gifted linguist, who loved his Mother Russia and yearned for her liberation. HE WAS ONE of the most gifted, impassioned men Ive ever met, said Jim Martin, an administrator at St. Clair College. He had an absolute love for Russia he was always frustrated by the way it was abused by its leaders. Mr. Schuman, whose real name was Yuri Bezmenov, was born in 1939 to Ukrainian parents. After his defection, he adopted his new name and identity on the advice of the CIA and RCMP. The son of a high-ranking military man, he was groonied for diplomatic work and recruited by the KGB in 1962. He worked around the world for the Novosli Press Agency the public relations arm of the KGB. Mr. Schuman defected in 1970 while working as a press officer at the Soviet embassy in India, where he was helping with the Soviet backing of the rebellion in Bangladesh. His second wife, Anna, still lives in Moscow; their 21-year-old daughter, Vlada, lives in Italy. Mr. Schuman worked on an Ontario farm for three years before taking a job with the CBC in Montreal. There he met his third wife, Tess. He enjoyed Canada he liked living in a free society," Tess said from a friends home in Windsor Tuesday night. He wanted to go back to Russia someday ... but he didnt know if it was safe yet. In the early 1980s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he helped establish the Russian publication Panorama. He wanted people to know what was really going on in Russia, Martin said. Most recently, he worked with a group trying to establish North American businesses in Russia. Mr. Schuman moved to Windsor following his divorce in 1989 and began teaching public relations at the University of Windsor two years later. Just before Christmas, he was in Montreal for a brief visit with his ex-wife Tess and their two children, 14-year-old Tanya and 10-year-old Jonathan. He died two weeks later. The funeral is scheduled for Friday.

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