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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Around the Rings

Posted: 01/27/2010 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Devo to Whip It, whip it good, in Whistler

VANCOUVER -- Devo is set to whip up some excitement at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The influential new-wave innovators behind the '80s smash Whip It will perform live at a medal celebration in Whistler, B.C., on Feb. 22.

Devo rounds out the lineup of 15 acts scheduled to perform at the Whistler ceremonies, joining Feist, Usher, Our Lady Peace and the Fray.

Nelly Furtado, the Barenaked Ladies, Loverboy and Hedley are among the performers scheduled for medal ceremonies in Vancouver.

 

Terrorist threat low

 

VANCOUVER -- The threat of a terrorist attack against the Vancouver Winter Olympics remains low, officials say, despite the Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S. airliner and Britain's decision last weekend to raise its terror threat level.

"The current threat assessment right now is still low," said Cpl. Joe Taplin, spokesman for the RCMP-lead Olympic Integrated Security Unit.

"The ISU has a plan for a medium threat level, which we could either ramp down or scale up if it's necessary. But we continue to gather and monitor intelligence that's coming from sources both domestic and international."

About 15,000 police, military and private security personnel are responsible for protecting Vancouver and Whistler during the Games, with security budgeted at about $900 million.

 

Olympics going to pot?

 

VANCOUVER -- That sweet scent in the air during next month's Olympic Games might be the smell of success. Then again, it could just be the weed.

It will be far from business as usual for much of Vancouver during the Olympics, but marijuana advocates and police say the city's laissez faire attitude towards the infamous B.C. bud won't change.

"Our officers show an exceptional amount of discretion with respect to people smoking marijuana and that will continue," said Const. Lindsey Houghton, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department.

That's not to say police will completely turn a blind eye. "...I'm sure there will be people who do it and I'm sure our officers will do their best to remind them that that's against the law," Houghton said.

 

Beware rental fraudsters

 

VANCOUVER -- RCMP have launched a fraud investigation after a New York couple hoping to see their son go for gold at the Olympics lost $8,000 in a rental scam in Whistler.

Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said Tuesday that Ben and Lois Mesler, parents of U.S. bobsledder Steve Mesler, thought they'd rented a home in the resort town after placing a classified ad on the website Rent2010.net.

Mark Szekely, who operates the online rental site, said a man calling himself Jason Hartlen responded to the Meslers' ad and collected the money.

Szekely said Hartlen had not registered with his site, so he cannot track the identity of the alleged scammer.

 

-- From the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 27, 2010 C3

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