Monday, June 25, 2012

$21.4 million in a lottery...What would you do?

Sam CheungSpecial to the Star

The shock of winning $21.4 million in a lottery was nothing compared to the jolts Craig Henshaw felt later.
They were not pleasant.
The story of Craig Henshaw, multi-millionaire, began one day last September when Craig Henshaw, high school teacher, went digging through his pockets for the $35 he had left to pay for some groceries. He had just enough cash to get him through the rest of the week, before the first paycheque of the new school year would come through.
He handed over the cash, plus a 2-month-old Lotto Max ticket. It had been plastered to the side of his fridge while he had spent the summer backpacking in Europe with his girlfriend.

Loud bells and alarms went off. The phone on the lottery machine began to ring.
“Initially, I thought I’d won $21,000,” Henshaw, 43, says. “Then the lady on the other end of the phone chuckled. It turned out that the digital readout on the ticket machine didn’t have enough space for all the digits.”
“No, Mr. Henshaw, you’ve won $21 million!” the lady told him.
The rest of the day, Henshaw says, was “surreal.”
But the thrill of the millions evaporated quickly. Over the next few weeks his world became a whirlwind of broken friendships and financial scams.
Henshaw couldn’t even return to his cozy loft apartment after collecting his cheque. He spent the first few weeks living in a hotel, mainly in an attempt to duck the media and stalkers.
“Six hours after I won, some scam artist had already managed to get my credit card number. The charities started hammering me immediately,” Henshaw says, smacking his fist into his hand.
“My email inbox was full, and my phone was flooded with text messages. People were asking me to pay off student loans. I got 365 texts in the first day.”
Eight months after his windfall, Henshaw is in a reflective mood as we sit in a pub for an interview. Five years ago, I was a student in his classroom at Markville Secondary School in Markham, where he taught woodshop and technology.
Teaching was his passion, and still is. But as odd as it sounds, the money did get in the way.
In the aftermath of his lottery win, what hurt most, he says, was the reaction from his colleagues. Teachers whom Henshaw considered friends were suddenly badgering him to pay off their credit-card bills. His school board email was completely flooded.
The workplace environment became toxic. After a decade of teaching, he made the decision to resign.
“Unfortunately, I’ve had to say goodbye to about 25 per cent of my friends because they were acting really inappropriately,” Henshaw says. “They were asking for money, and being really pushy about it. The friends who I really cherish didn’t really care at all.”
“It was a really sad day for teaching,” says Don Henshaw, Craig’s father. “He was a born teacher. It was all he ever wanted to do, and now he had to leave teaching.”
“The thing about teachers is that you’ll always be a teacher. That’s just who you are,” Craig says. “I could always volunteer. I always taught for the sheer joy of it, and getting a paycheque was just a bonus.”
Consequently, Henshaw now wrestles with his identity. As a teacher, he spent most of his life working hard, more enamored with the passion of being an educator than earning a paycheque. Like many, he worried about his student loans, credit-card debt, and making ends meet until the next payday.
“I used to be the guy who bought no-name cheese, and suddenly I could buy everything in the house just by snapping my fingers. How do you process that? How do you get used to it?” Craig says. “I know a lot of people will say that those are the problems of the 1 per cent. Well, yeah, but I’m still part of the 99 percent. I just have a bunch of money all of a sudden. I didn’t get any sleep at all that first month. I have to figure out who Craig Henshaw is. I’m still working on it.”
Henshaw’s desire to educate is evident in the way he has spent his winnings thus far.
He’s set up education funds for his nieces and nephews. His cleaning lady, whom he described as being on the lower end of the economic spectrum, will be returning to school thanks to his financial aid.
Henshaw believes people should be given a chance to learn. Instead of donating chunks of money to charities, he has opted to set up scholarship funds at his alma mater, the University of Western Ontario.
“I want to call it the Craig Henshaw Nice Guy Award. I want to give it to people who are enrolled in an arts program, that do a lot of graphics work,” Craig says, chuckling. “You know, the ones that always show up early and stay late at the art openings, and they do stuff to make the community a better place. Then there’s going to be the Craig Henshaw Nice Girl Award, which will be the same thing, but for the girls.”
Even with a near-limitless amount of cash, Henshaw hasn’t embarked on the spending spree many people fantasize about. He now lives in an inconspicuous apartment in downtown Toronto. Nothing about his residence or wardrobe screams the fact that he’s a multi-millionaire. He has assigned himself a steady allowance that’s enough to enjoy life, but modest enough that it wouldn’t turn heads.
Mike Nadal, a career counsellor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, approves of Henshaw’s modest spending strategy.
“There are two rules,” said Nadal, a former financial advisor who spent four years advising high-net-worth clients. “The first is not to lose the money. The second is not to forget rule number one.”
That was easier said than done on that day he picked up his cheque from the Lotto office.
The first thing he did with the money?
“I took everyone out for a celebratory dinner at a steakhouse. I didn’t know my credit card number had been stolen yet, so my card was declined,” Henshaw says. “I had to turn to my father and ask him for his credit card to pay for the meal.”
He’s learned much since then.
“The bank people were really good. They listened for about a month straight. They asked me what I was comfortable with, and told me about the risks with my now-portfolio.”
“You don’t get thrown into the business, you know. It’s not like, ‘Oh, and I want a thousand dollars on this’ or anything. What they do is take your money and invest it. Essentially, I don’t even get my money,” Henshaw says, with a bemused smile. “I get an allowance. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s enough to comfortably enjoy life.”
It has also bought him the time re-establish some family relationships.
“I spent the last 20 years working my ass off to try and be somebody, and I neglected my family,” he says. “Now I get the chance to try and re-establish all of the relationships that I used to wish I had time for.
“I’ve seen my father and mom more in the last six months than I had in years. I was always working. But now I have the time to spend with my family. My parents are in the sunset years of their life, and I want to make that sunset bright-orange.”
Henshaw has heard that it takes about a year for the stress of a lottery win to settle. “I’d like to travel,” he says. “Next winter, I just want to take a month and be a beach bum somewhere.”
Craig Henshaw and I have been sitting in a dimly lit pub on the Danforth on a rainy Monday afternoon.
At the end of our interview, Craig calls for our bill. I offer to pay, but my former high school teacher will have none of it.
He slices off $70 from a small ball of bills and lays it down on the table.
“Hey, don’t worry about it,” he says, laughing. “I’m unemployed. I can afford it!”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Man accused of gunning down 3 armoured car guards to appear in Edmonton court

EDMONTON - A 21-year-old man accused of killing three armoured vehicle guards and injuring another during a robbery at the University of Alberta is scheduled to appear in court today.

Travis Baumgartner is expected to be formally charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Baumgartner was being held in B.C. after he was arrested at a U.S. border crossing near Abbotsford on the weekend with $330,000 in a backpack.

Police say Baumgartner was one of five guards working for G4S Canada who were loading a bank machine at the university when shots rang out.

Guards Eddie Rejano, 39, Michelle Shegelski, 26, and Brian Ilesic, 35, died at the scene.
Guard Matthew Schuman remains in critical but stable condition in hospital.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Manitoba Internet-drug pioneer arrested in Miami

A Manitoba man and pioneer in the Internet pharmacy industry was arrested in Miami on charges of selling counterfeit medicines, a report says.
The Wall Street Journal says 38-year-old Andrew Strempler appeared Thursday in a federal court in Miami.
It says he could face up to 20 years in prison for each of the three charges against him.
The Journal quotes a court clerk as saying that Strempler is expected to be arraigned next week.
The report said Strempler’s former company,, sold and shipped fake and otherwise misbranded drugs to American customers under the false pretense that the products were safe and legal.
It said the sales occurred between early 2005 and the summer of 2006.
This isn’t Strempler’s first run-in with counterfeit drug allegations. In October 2009, Strempler lost his credentials to practice in Manitoba after a three-year probe into allegations he sold counterfeit drugs to the U.S. He was charged with professional misconduct earlier in 2009 by the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association.
The allegations were brought to light after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they had suspicions about Strempler’s Manitoba-based company, saying in August 2006 that lab tests of intercepted shipments found counterfeits of widely prescribed drugs such as Lipitor and Celebrex.
-- Canadian Press, Free Press staff

Andrew Strempler is former President and Chief Executive Officer of Mediplan Health Consulting Inc. and which he founded in 1999. [1] Strempler also helped establish the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) in November 2002. The company was sold in part in 2007 to the Group of Companies, the effective date of change for service provided to customers was January 31, 2008. [2]
He also helped form the Manitoba Internet Pharmacists Association (MIPA) in 2003 and sat as Vice-Chairman on the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.
Mr. Strempler's company,, was found by the US Food and Drug Administration to be selling counterfeit medicines to customers in the United States.[3] In 2010, Mr. Strempler was stripped of his license to practice as a pharmacist in Manitoba for dealing in unapproved medicines, and had left Canada to "an island off the coast of Venezuela," where the Winnipeg Free Press located him "distributing generic drugs from an online pharmaceutical business."[3]
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Manitoba. Andrew grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Three employees of an armoured car company are dead and a colleague is in critical condition following an attempted armed robbery

Three employees of an armoured car company are dead and a colleague is in critical condition following an attempted armed robbery at the University of Alberta in Edmonton this morning.
“Tactical were called out, as were canine unit … Homicide has been called out,” said Scott Pattison, an Edmonton police spokesman.
“What I can tell you is that three people are dead.”
All four victims are employees of G4S Security.
"Our hearts go out to our victims' families and to all our employees at the Edmonton branch," Robin Steinberg, a spokesperson for the security company, told CBC News. "It is just devastating.
Steinberg says the employees would have been armed while on the job.
Police say the shootings happened on the north side of HUB Mall, which houses retail shops and student residences. (CBC News)Police say the shootings happened on the north side of HUB Mall, which houses retail shops and student residences. (CBC News)
The shootings happened inside HUB Mall, which houses residences for students.
Student Ravedh Seeberath told CBC News that he heard the shots around 12:30 a.m. MT while studying in the mall.
"As I was walking down, that's when about 30 tactical officers were rushing toward me, passing me with complete firearms … the whole works, and police dogs," he said.
"That's when I went back to my books, grabbed what I could, and told the other ladies in that little study area that we should get out of there."

'Busting down the door'

The bodies were reportedly found by volunteers from Safewalk, an organization that provides escorts to students on campus at night.
They say they investigated after hearing a thud to find a wounded man behind a locked door beside a bank of ATMs in the mall.
They then contacted campus security.
Ian Breitzke, 21, watched from his window as police arrived at the scene.
“They end up busting down the door and ended up pulling out all the bodies that were in there. They pulled out a couple that I could see were dead,” he said.
“After a few moments after that they pulled out the man who was still alive … EMS ended up taking him to hospital.”
Police say they are now searching for suspects in the shooting, but are working with little information.
“Whether it is one suspect, two suspects, numerous … we have no details of that at this time,” said Pattison. “You could call it a manhunt.”

University offers help

A university administration statement released Friday said the school is "saddened about those who lost their lives last night, and we extend our condolences to their loved ones.
"The safety and security of our students and staff is our first priority, and our campus protective services are working closely with Edmonton police," the statement said. "Counsellors are available to students living in the residential portion of HUB. If there are students directly affected by this tragic incident who feel they cannot take exams scheduled for Friday, they can defer those exams per our existing procedures."
The statement said residents in the HUB Mall will be able to leave the building but will not be allowed to return until the mall is reopened.
Other parts of the campus are operating normally.

Source of this story

Thursday, June 14, 2012

B.C. health officer: Legalize ecstasy

VANCOUVER — B.C.’s top health official says taking pure ecstasy can be “safe” when consumed responsibly by adults, despite warnings by police in Alberta and British Columbia about the dangers of the street drug after a rash of deaths. Dr. Perry Kendall asserts the risks of MDMA — the pure substance originally synonymous with ecstasy — are overblown, and that its lethal dangers only arise when the man-made chemical is polluted by money-hungry gangs who cook it up. That’s why the chief provincial health officer is advocating MDMA be legalized and sold through licensed, government-run stores where the product is strictly regulated from assembly line to check-out. Just like the growing chorus for marijuana legalization, Kendall believes crushing the dirty ecstasy-saturated black market and its associated violence requires an evidence-based strategy that revolves around public health. “(If) you knew what a safe dosage was, you might be able to buy ecstasy like you could buy alcohol from a government-regulated store,” Kendall said in an interview. He posits that usage rates would decrease.

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