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Former ag minister Whelan dies

TORONTO -- Eugene Whelan, a folksy farmer in a green Stetson who spent a dozen years as Canada's flamboyant minister of agriculture, has died at the age of 88.

Kirk Walstedt, a longtime friend and former colleague, said Whelan died Tuesday night from complications from a stroke. Whelan served as the Liberal MP for Essex-Windsor in southwestern Ontario from 1962 until 1984. He was agriculture minister from 1972 through 1984, except for nine months in 1979-80 when the Conservatives formed the government.

In 1996, Whelan was appointed by then-prime minister Jean Chrétien, a former cabinet colleague, to the Senate.

B.C. woman found dead in water tank

LOS ANGELES -- A Vancouver woman who was last seen at a downtown Los Angeles hotel almost three weeks ago is believed to have been found dead Tuesday in a water tank at the top of the building, authorities said.

A worker at the Cecil Hotel on Main Street discovered the body -- believed to be that of Elisa Lam, 21 -- about 10 a.m. while responding to a complaint about low water pressure, sources said.

Police said the body had not officially been identified. That will be done by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. Sources familiar with the case said it was too early to tell whether the person was the victim of foul play but said the location was being treated as a crime scene.

German skier killed in avalanche

INVERMERE, B.C. -- A 34-year-old German skier was killed and another skier injured after being buried in an avalanche in the Purcell Mountains in southeastern British Columbia.

Columbia Valley RCMP said a group of skiers was out with a guide from RK Heliski when the slide occurred Monday just east of Jumbo Mountain, overtaking three men.

The B.C. Coroners Service identified the man as Gotz-Thilo Ries, of Karlsehie, Germany.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 20, 2013 ??65528

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