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Newsstand: January 14, 2013

Feeling chilly today after that weekend weather? In the news: An audit's got Mammo in hot water; accusations that Darwin was abused; a Globe report looks at a call-volume differences for Toronto fire trucks; school support staff ratify a new agreement; and the temperature's back to normal, which is not 15C in mid January.

Mammo’s in trouble—an audit of Giorgio Mammoliti’s (Ward 7, York West) 2010 election books found that his campaign spent $12,000 over the limit, a violation of the Municipal Elections Act. The 43-page report alleges that Mammoliti spent $39,530 on his campaign in the last municipal election, which is $12,065 over the allowable amount. Other contraventions of the act—relating to contributions, campaign expenses, and financial reporting—were also found in the audit, which was ordered by the city’s compliance audit committee after a retired teacher filed a complaint about the councillor’s campaign finances. The committee meets on February 4 to decide on legal proceedings; if found in defiance of the act, he could face fines, ouster from office, and/or a ban on running for election for eight years.

The saga of Darwin the Ikea Monkey takes a sad turn with the sanctuary where he now resides alleging that the monkey was abused by his previous owners. Sherri Delaney and the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, now housing Darwin, claim in court documents filed on Friday that the monkey’s former owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, and her family abused Darwin by strangling him, hitting him, and leaving him locked in a dog crate. Nakhuda denied the claim through her laywer Ted Charney, who said “What we have is a defendant who has extreme views about people owning primates.” Nothing extreme about thinking a monkey is your child equivalent though, right?

Ahead of the discussion at council this week about cuts to Toronto fire services, the Globe and Mail reports that fire stations across the city see substantial differences in the number of calls received. A truck at 5318 Lawrence Avenue East, for example—set to be eliminated under the new budget—made 720 runs in 2011, while one at 7 Lapsley Road in Scarborough made more than 1,600 and the city’s busiest truck, at 12 Grosvenor Street, made 4,777. As well, the fire service’s own data shows that its staff get up to eight times as many calls for medical emergencies as for fires—a problem because sending a fire truck out for a medical emergency gets expensive quickly.

Support staff at Ontario schools voted on Sunday to ratify two-year provincial agreements. Local CUPE units including the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the York Region District School Board, and the Peel District School Board were part of the more than two dozen successful votes on Sunday.

Warm enough for you on Saturday and Sunday? Toronto’s unusually balmy weekend broke temperature records. Temperatures on Saturday reached 15C by mid afternoon, easily beating the old record of 9.5C on January 12, set in 2006. And on Sunday the mercury got to just over 14C. But don’t get excited for patio season yet—the Weather Network lists today’s high at 1C, feeling like -6C.

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