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Bad day for B.C. man

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- A Kamloops, B.C., man is recovering from what RCMP in that southern Interior city call a bizarre sequence of events, after he was burned in a grass fire and then hit by a train.

Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said the 51-year-old was drunk when he fell asleep Wednesday afternoon while smoking in the grassy area behind his Kamloops-area home.

Learned said the man woke to find his clothes on fire and flames around him, but rather than call for help, he raced to his home, grabbed a bicycle and fled.

Mounties were responding to reports of a man running from the scene of a suspicious fire when they got another call that a pedestrian had been hit by a train along the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.

Police quickly determined the two cases were linked, and said the man is now recovering in hospital from a gash to the head, caused by the train, and serious burns caused by the grass fire.

Learned said the man's woes continue because it's believed the bike was stolen, and he is also a possible suspect in a September assault on a Kamloops bus driver, but no charges have been laid in any of those cases.

Mayor's house raided

LAVAL, Que. -- Dozens of police officers were raiding the personal residence and the city-hall offices Friday of the mayor of Quebec's third-biggest municipality, Montreal-area Laval.

The searches aimed at Gilles Vaillancourt make him the highest-profile politician in the province, so far, to be targeted by one of the many recent raids by the new police anti-corruption squad.

About 70 officers from the provincial police anti-corruption unit were searching the different locations Thursday; Vaillancourt was not home when the officers arrived there, his press secretary told The Canadian Press.

Laval city hall was evacuated after the raids began, around 4 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the anti-corruption unit wouldn't say what was being seized but she confirmed material was being gathered as part of an ongoing investigation.

The mayor has in the past expressed outrage on occasions when accusers tied him to allegations of crooked cash dealings.

E. coli vaccine touted

EDMONTON -- Researchers believe shooting an E. coli vaccine into cattle, mixing probiotics into feed and zapping boxes of ground beef with radiation are preventative methods the industry should be using to keep the bacteria out of the food chain.

"We shouldn't have to be concerned about the food that we eat making us sick," says Rick Holley, a food scientist at the University of Manitoba. "We should be able in this country to go to the store and buy some food and bring it home, and have every confidence that the meal is going to be nutritious and safe."

There has been worry over meat safety in Canada since an extensive recall of more than 1,500 beef products from the XL Foods processing plant in Brooks, Alta. was issued.

Bioniche, a company based in Belleville, Ont., produces a vaccine that reduces the amount of E. coli growing inside cattle, thereby limiting the bacteria the animals shed or poop into the environment.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2012 A18

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