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Newsstand: August 5, 2014

The long weekend is officially over. Single tear. In the news: two music festival deaths are linked to drugs, a Brampton funeral home sues the family of a man killed at last year’s Caribbean Carnival parade, turn-of-the-century newsboys help commemorate the beginning of World War I, and a 14-year-old becomes the youngest person to successfully swim across Lake Ontario.

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Toronto Police say that two people died after taking drugs that were ingested during VELD Music Festival at Downsview Park over the weekend. Deputy Police Chief Mark Saunders confirmed on Monday that 15 concert-goers have reported illness or medical distress due to illegal substances, and he urged anyone still in possession of drugs purchased at the two-day event to turn them over to police. Saunders was unable to confirm which drug specifically was linked to the deaths and illnesses, but mentioned there was speculation it could have been either ecstasy, GHB, or MDMA.

The family of a teen who was killed after being pulled under a float at last year’s Caribbean Carnival parade is caught in a messy legal battle with a funeral home over a massive unpaid debt relating to his funeral services. Scott Funeral Home says that Rueshad Grant’s funeral cost $28,856.62, and is suing his family for an outstanding amount of $15,556.62, along with a $2,537.66 interest charge. A statement of defence for the family alleges that they were advised by Scott Funeral Home that they could obtain large insurance settlements over their son’s accidental death that would cover the cost of the expensive funeral services, which included catering and limousine service. However, because Grant’s death was considered a vehicular accident and the Grant family did not have car insurance, very little insurance money materialized in the end. A lawyer for the family said that they were under the impression that they had time to pay off the remaining debt, and were shocked by the legal action.

Sometimes promotional events go very wrong, but every now and again you’ll come across one that deserves at least a golf clap. Such is the case with an event that was organized by the tourism office of Flanders, Belgium, on Monday. A group of men dressed as old-timey newsboys shouted “EXTRA! EXTRA!” while handing out fake historical newspapers that contained a summary of key events of the First World War in order to mark its 100th anniversary. Similar events took place in both Manchester, England, and Dublin, Ireland. Touted as a way to educate the public about the 620,000 Canadians who enlisted during the war and the roughly 60,000 who are assumed to have lost their lives in battle, organizers say that it was also a way for Belgians to commemorate the impact that foreign countries had on the war.

Finally, 14-year-old Trinity Arsenault became the youngest person in history to ever swim across Lake Ontario on Monday, when she ended her 52-kilometre journey at Marilyn Bell Park. Arsenault completed the swim in just over 24 hours, travelling through 15-foot waves and thunderstorms. Arsenault’s mother, Christine Arsenault, completed the swim herself in 2011, making them the first mother-daughter team to ever achieve the honour.

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