Sharper, lighter and energy efficient screens are here in your next notebook, tablet and monitor

Good morning folks, today I showed and talked about the sharpest screen display technology available today for personal and business computing.

I showed Sharp’s IGZO screen technology on their 32-inch PNK322B monitor, $7,199. Needless to say it’s an amazing screen, in this case running on Windows. It’s a touchscreen too, in fact ten simultaneous fingers capable on Windows 8. It works with a stylus as well. Sharp does not own IGZO technology but is the first to license it in new monitors, laptops, tablets and phones.

Sharp PNK322B 32 inch ultra resolution ten finger touchcreen and stylus monitor


With a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, the equivalent of four Full HD screens, it’s basically a 4K, Ultra HDTV squeezed down to 32 inches.

The Apple Store also sells a less expensive version without touch screen, the Sharp 32″ PN-K321 – 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor, $3,849 which comes with two built-in speakers.

Now for folks like you and me (hey, I have to send these back) you might wonder why I am showing such pricey items on TV.

Because the very same ultra-resolution Sharp IGZO screen technology is also available on the new Dell XPS 15 laptop starting at $1,899.99 compared to Apple’s MacBook Pro Retina display starting at $2,049. It’s also used on the iPad mini retina and iPad Air, but not that crazy 4K resolution.

Dell XPS 15 with eye-popping 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution


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Let’s talk about the Dell XPS 15 which is sharper at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels compared to the MacBook Pro 15 at 2880-by-1800 pixels with similar IPS screen quality. But it comes with many more customization options such as a combo 1TB hard drive and SSD, or a Samsung 500 GB SSD. Both are armed to the teeth with Intel 4th gen i7 technology (the XPS Turbo Boosts to 3.2 GHz to Apple’s 3.5 GHz). They weigh in within a couple of grams 2.01 kg for the XPS versus 2.06 kg for the MacBook Pro and have a classy tier one look with attention to detail.

The XPS 15, which can surpass $4,000 with options, features a nice feeling medium hard rubber finish around the keyboard and wrist rest area and a sensitive multi finger touchpad.

It comes with Windows 8.1, a must upgrade from Windows 8, as applications recognize the ultra-screen resolution and you can easily change settings to see larger icons that retain their sharpness.

The XPS 15 screen is so sharp, you can’t see pixels with the human eye, it’s like working with today’s sharpest smartphones, but on a much larger screen.  杭州夜生活dell桑拿按摩

Some apps still have some catching up to look their best on these high resolutions. Internet Explorer works great with sharp graphics compared to Chrome browser, as it recognizes the sharper screen, as does Office 365. But Photoshop still shows tiny icons on this big screen. Still, images look drop-dead gorgeous. FYI, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom 5 combo are available for only $9.99 US a month from https://creative.adobe杭州夜网/

IGZO, short for indium gallium zinc oxide, technology lights up its pixels more efficiently requiring less power, about 50 per cent less, and a thinner format. This gives another advantage to the XPS 15 as its battery lasts 10 per cent longer than the MacBook Pro.

The iPad mini retina also uses IGZO screen technology, as does the newest iPad Air, both thinner and longer lasting on batteries, but with a lower display score that more traditional display technologies like LTPS, used for years on iPhones.

I have seen IGZO technology on Japanese tablets and phones with impressive results. Time will tell if pushing traditional technology, like Samsung does, to the limits can match the start of new IGZO technology which has a brighter and energy efficient future.


Edmonton fire crews battle southside fire – Edmonton

Edmonton – Edmonton firefighters battled a blaze on the southside of the city early Saturday morning.

The blaze happened at a building at 70 Ave. and Calgary Tr. At around 1:50 a.m.

Fire officials say they were worried initially about possible hazardous materials because the building was used for industrial purposes.

“In a commercial structure that’s showing full involvement the way that this one was when we first arrived there was no urgency to put anyone inside that building until we knew what it housed,” said Cpt. Brad Kitiuk, Edmonton Fire & Rescue.

Once the owner arrived on scene and identified the materials inside the building, fire crews concluded it was safe to enter and extinguish the blaze.

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©2014Shaw Media

Workers sift through rubble for clues to NYC blast – National

NEW YORK – Emergency workers sifted through debris Saturday from the site of a deadly explosion at two New York City apartment buildings as they worked to reach the basement levels, clearing the way for investigators to search for clues that might reveal what caused the blast.

An uplifting moment from the painstaking recovery effort came as crews pulled a large water-damaged Bible from the rubble of the Spanish Christian Church, which was located in one of the two destroyed buildings. About two dozen people, including clergy members, carried the Bible in a solemn procession near the East Harlem site.

WATCH: Exclusive video of Harlem building explosion

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“This was in the depths of the rubble. Somehow God protected it,” said Rick del Rio, a bishop at the Church of God.

The church’s pastor, Thomas Perez, suffered heart palpitations when he saw the Bible, said Letitia James, the city’s public advocate. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital as a precaution, supporters said.

Workers were halfway finished with debris removal by midday. About 1,500 cubic feet (43 cubic meters) of debris had been hauled from the East Harlem site since the explosion, and an equal amount remained at the site, said Daniel Glover, spokesman for the Fire Department of New York.

Truckloads of scattered material will be sifted for any traces of human remains that might not have been found at the site, said city Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. Although the bodies of all eight people reported missing after Wednesday’s blast have been recovered, the rescue operation was continuing in case others may be buried beneath the rubble, he said.

READ MORE: East Harlem explosion: Tests detect natural gas underground near site of NYC blast

Arson detectives and fire marshals were waiting to enter the basements to examine meters, check pipes and inspect any possible ignition sources, such as light switches, that might have caused the blast.

Cassano scheduled a news conference for Saturday afternoon to update the public on the progress of recovery efforts.

More than 60 people were injured in the explosion, and more than 100 others were displaced.

The theory that the explosion was due to a gas leak gained momentum Friday after the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates pipeline accidents, said underground tests conducted in the hours after the explosion registered high concentrations of natural gas.

Gallery: Before and after photos of East Harlem explosion

The NTSB will conduct its own inquiry after police and fire officials determine what might have caused the blast.

Police have identified six of those who died: Griselde Camacho, 45, a Hunter College security officer; Carmen Tanco, 67, a dental hygienist who participated in church-sponsored medical missions to Africa and the Caribbean; Andreas Panagopoulos, 43, a musician; Rosaura Hernandez, 22, a restaurant cook from Mexico; George Ameado, 44, a handyman who lived in one of the buildings that collapsed; and Alexis Salas, 22, a restaurant worker.

Mexican officials said another Mexican woman, Rosaura Barrios Vazquez, 43, was among those killed.

The name of the eighth person recovered, a woman, hasn’t been released.

VIDEO GALLERY: Investigation continues into the explosion in East Harlem

Witnesses describe what they saw, heard in Harlem building explosion


Witnesses describe what they saw, heard in Harlem building explosion


Exclusive video of Harlem Building explosion


Clean up continues at site of Harlem building collapse


NYC Mayor vows city will support those who lost everything in Harlem building explosion


Raw video: Cellphone video captures moments following explosion in Harlem

After touring a Red Cross shelter where some of the displaced residents have been placed temporarily, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged his support to find suitable temporary or long-term housing options for those displaced.

“It’s our obligation as the city of New York, and I know all New Yorkers feel this way, to stand by them,” he said.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the explosion had anything to do with the city’s aging gas and water mains, some of which were installed in the 1800s. More than 30,000 miles (48,275 kilometres) of decades-old, decaying cast-iron pipe still are being used to deliver gas nationwide, according to U.S. Transportation Department estimates.

Fire and utility officials said that if the buildings were plagued in recent days or weeks by strong gas odours, as some tenants contend, they have no evidence anyone reported it before Wednesday. An Associated Press analysis of the city’s emergency call database from Jan. 1, 2013, through Tuesday also found no calls from the buildings about gas.

The blast erupted about 15 minutes after someone from a neighbouring building reported smelling gas, authorities said. Con Edison said it immediately sent workers to check out the report, but they got there too late.

©2014The Canadian Press

George Michael has ‘completely stopped’ smoking pot

TORONTO — Pop star George Michael has “completely stopped” smoking marijuana.

The singer — who often said his pot habit kept him sane and happy — insisted he hasn’t gone near weed in over a year and a half.

“What can I say? I decided to change my life,” Michael told the UK’s Daily Mail.

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The former Wham! singer’s fondness for marijuana resulted in legal problems over the years.

In 2010 he served four weeks behind bars and lost his driver’s license for five years after crashing his car while under the influence of cannabis.

That followed drug-related arrests in 2006 (no charges were filed), 2007 (he was banned from driving for two years) and 2008 (cops let him go with a warning).

Michael has also had some high-profile near-death experiences including a serious bout of pneumonia that left him in hospital for five weeks and an incident last year in which he fell out of a moving vehicle on a British highway and suffered head injuries.

While he won’t discuss the accident, Michael said the pneumonia “almost killed me.”

He added: “It was very frightening and I’ll probably never feel quite as safe in life again. I also remember experiencing incredible guilt for my family and friends, because they literally spent weeks not knowing whether I was going to make it.”

Michael, 50, told the Daily Mail he recorded a version of Stevie Wonder’s “You And I” as a wedding gift for Prince William and Kate Middleton.

“I sent them a CD wrapped up in the cheesiest Royal wedding paper that I could find, covered in stamps of the Queen’s head,” he recalled. “And in their card I wrote, ‘Have the best day of your lives so far.’ And I really meant it.”

Michael, who was a friend of William’s mother Princess Diana, said she would have been “really, really pleased that William has met and fallen in love with someone who has the strength of character to be able to deal with the sorts of things that she couldn’t.

Michael’s new album Symphonica is a collection of cover songs recorded with a full orchestra.

©2014Shaw Media

ParaSport Day in Saskatoon – Saskatoon

Watch the video above: ParaSport Day in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – The Paralympics are going on right now over in Sochi, so it’s only fitting that the City of Saskatoon along with partners hosted ParaSport Day on Friday.

Over 50 youngsters of all abilities, from ages 8 to 16, tried a variety of para-sports including wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey, goal-ball and cross-country skiing.

Coaches and athletes from organizations helped the children with skill development at Cosmo Civic Centre.

The free one-day event kicked off with an inspirational presentation from first-class parasport athletes.

“I think it’s fantastic that there are kids here today that have a disability,” said Amy Alsop, two-time Paralympic gold medalist.

“And I think its terrific that there’s kids who don’t have a disability and are here because I think it’s a real good experience to learn what it’s like to play wheelchair basketball and it gives them an appreciation for the student in their school that is in a wheelchair.”

This was the first ParaSport Day in Saskatoon, organizers hope it will become an annual event.

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Price growth to slow again — which isn’t great for economy, experts say – National

OTTAWA – Does Canada still have a too-low inflation problem?

The recent upward drift in the consumer price index, which the Bank of Canada watches like a hawk, appeared to put to rest concerns that the country was headed for disinflation, a period of low and declining inflation.

But it appears the relief may have been premature.

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  • As grocery chains ramp up deals, some see new danger in falling prices

This Friday’s inflation reading for February is likely to again grab central banker Stephen Poloz’s full attention, with some economists predicting the Statistics Canada report will show the annual CPI falling below one per cent, and even as low as 0.5 per cent, from January’s comfortable 1.5 per cent setting.

READ MORE: As retailers ramp up bargains, some see new danger in falling prices 

That will put inflation, or lack of it, back on the central bank’s radar in time for next month’s quarterly monetary policy report and possibly elicit more fretting from Poloz that the lack of price pressure suggests the economy’s output gap continues to grow, or at least is not closing as fast as it should.

The central bank had been breathing easier of late after the economy’s healthy 2.7 and 2.9 per cent jumps in output in the final two quarters of 2013.

But early indicators are that growth has fallen back again — partly due to an unusually bitter winter — but also because the global picture continues to disappoint. CIBC recently downgraded its estimate of growth for 2014 to 2.1 per cent, four-tenths of a point behind the bank’s.

“Very low inflation could be combined with the possibility that the Bank of Canada might have to revise upward its estimate of spare capacity (in the economy),” said Scotiabank Economics vice-president Derek Holt.

“That would continue the long pattern of pushed-out optimism on the output gap’s closure and the return of inflation to the two per cent target.”

The reason this is important is that the longer the bank feels it will take to return inflation to two per cent, the longer it is likely to keep interest rates low to push the economy in that direction. That’s good news for borrowers, such as those wishing to buy a home, but its not so good for the economy generally, Holt says.

“Even soft inflation can influence consumers to hold off spending and business investment decisions,” Holt says. “If business think prices for their end products are not going up or going lower, they will be less inclined to ramp up production.”

Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter is also projecting a weak inflation number for February, although he thinks it will be in the order of one per cent, which currently is the consensus. That shouldn’t worry the central bank overly, he says, even though it is below its target.

“If they could actually hold inflation at one per cent, I don’t think the bank would be too uncomfortable with that,” he said. “The concern is you are too close to deflation for comfort and if anything hit the economy, we could dip into the dreaded deflation territory.”

The classic example in the modern era of deflation damaging the economy is Japan in the 1990s, where actual average price drops had the unwanted effect of convincing consumers to hold off buying decisions in order to take advantage of lower prices down the road, triggering a reinforcing cycle of lower economic activity and still lower inflation.

Canada is nowhere near that point, economists note. Canada’s low inflation record of the past two years is almost certainly a symptom, rather than a cause, of both a weak domestic and external economy.

Even if Friday’s CPI comes it at the low end of expectations, it will likely be an aberration due to what Jimmy Jean of Desjardins Capital Markets calls an “arithmetic quirk.”

Inflation jumped through the roof February 2013, meaning Friday’s reading will be based on that inflated base effect. On a month-to-month basis, it is known that gasoline prices rose as have utility costs.

Another reason to take a more benign view of inflation is that the Canadian dollar has lost about 10 per cent value over the last several months — with some lag, that depreciation should pump up import prices and heat up inflation across the economy.

Still, Holt said should Poloz take note of the low inflation phenomenon in next week’s speech or next month’s policy report, it could have a dampening impact on long-term interest rates, as well as place more drag on the low-flying loonie.

At the very least, the inflation report will reinforce the message that the bank is not even close to raising interest rates, agreed Porter.

Medical staff say services stretched as self-harming teens seek help – Winnipeg

Mental health services are strained as a growing number of teens show up at emergency rooms across Canada with self-inflicted injuries and suicidal thoughts, say pediatric psychiatrists.

“We’re seeing twice as many kids as we were 10 years ago,” said Dr. Hazen Gandy, division chief of community-based psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

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“Commonly it’s cutting,” he said of kids typically aged 12 to 17 who slash their arms, thighs or bellies with everything from razor blades to the sharp edges of protractors.

“It could be burning themselves. It could be bruising themselves by repeatedly banging their fist against the wall. It’s a way of kind of giving the body a whole different set of inputs that allows them not to feel so awful inside.”

Self-harming is a symptom of deeper issues such as anxiety or depression that stem from complex causes, Gandy said. But what’s clear is how climbing caseloads are affecting the health system, he said.

“One of my greatest concerns is that as these services are stressed, greater numbers of mental health providers are now themselves showing wear and tear and are on the verge of burnout,” said Gandy. He has practised in Ottawa for 20 years and says he has seen wait times grow to eight to 10 months for outpatient services.

“This is an issue across the country.”

The hospital says recent statistics show an unprecedented spike in ER visits for kids in mental health crises. In 2012-13, it reported that 2,900 children and teens under 18 sought help – up 64 per cent since 2009-10 and the highest number of pediatric emergency mental health visits in Ontario.

Doctors say they are not only seeing a distressing rise in the number of kids seeking help for self-inflicted wounds, but many specialists report that they don’t have the hallmarks of a psychiatric disorder. That is leaving doctors with no clear answers as to why they’re seeing so many more kids with these kinds of injuries.

Dr. Kathleen Pajer, chief of psychiatry at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, says she has watched the number of kids with self-inflicted wounds or suicidal thoughts rise steadily in her ER and colleagues in Canada and the U.S. are seeing the same trend.

“A lot of kids don’t really meet the criteria for these disorders,” she said. “Instead, they seem to be suffering an existential crisis that is sort of, ‘I’m empty, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t have any grounding and I don’t know how to manage my negative feelings.”‘

She suspects there are many factors that may drive teens to hurt themselves. Families are more fragmented, kids in her area appear to be smoking more marijuana and many don’t have the skills to deal with stress, conflict or loss, she says.

Gandy agrees and said both girls and boys who show up at the hospital often share a troubling trait: they lack coping skills.

“They don’t actually experience a lot of adverse events in their lives,” he said of those who enjoy increasingly affluent upbringings with supportive parents.

When something does go wrong – like a breakup, a death or poor grades – many young people are completely thrown, Gandy said.

“They kind of go from pretty average, functioning kids to suddenly they can’t cope. They can’t manage. They’re depressed.

They’re presenting to emergency departments, hopeless.”

Dr. Laurence Katz, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Manitoba who also sees patients at the children’s hospital in Winnipeg, agreed that many kids don’t have the skills to manage their emotions.

They sometimes turn to self-harm as a result, he said.

“We’ve had a five-fold increase in the number of psychiatric consultations being done at our children’s hospital emergency room in the last 10 and 15 years,” he said.

“We’re all trying to figure out (why) we’ve all got this large increase in presentations to our emergency rooms and we don’t have answers to that.”

He uses a method of treatment called dialectical behaviour therapy, which helps give kids alternative ways of coping so they don’t harm themselves.

Many kids also say they’ve been bullied on social media, but they also appear to be using it as a way to share information on how to self-harm, Pajer said.

She said kids seek related advice online without parents or teachers knowing, contributing to a contagion effect for those struggling to cope with stress or, sometimes, to fit in with others who are cutting.

Kim St. John, divisional head of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Janeway children’s hospital in St. John’s, N.L., said the number of children arriving for mental health help has soared over her 25-year career.

“We would probably get maybe two or three in a week maximum,” she said. “Now we’re getting several in a night.”

The province’s largest health authority, Eastern Health, started tracking mental health statistics in 2012. Those results so far suggest the number of youth who arrived at the Janeway emergency department for depression, suicidal thoughts or self-harm jumped to 418 last year from 280 in 2012.

“It has become almost a fad to cut now,” St. John said. “And many of the young people that I see that cut do it to belong to a group or to stay within a group. They post it on Facebook.”

Bullying in the schoolyard is different than the sort of virtual pile-ons that happen as kids feel emboldened to say things online that they would never say face-to-face, she added.

“Personally, I would love to see that access to social media was significantly restricted until adulthood.”

The fallout includes crowded wait rooms and longer waiting lists for outpatient care, doctors say.

Katz said even though demand for adolescent mental heath services has increased, resources have not.

“If a child needs to be contained in a safe place within a hospital then we do that, but it’s clearly overburdening our hospital beds,” he said.

“There is definitely increased demand and that’s creating a crisis in the system.”

Taber police investigate man’s death

EDMONTON – The Taber Police Service is investigating the death of a man who’s body was found Friday night inside of a home.

Police said when officers arrived at the home in the 5200 block of 48th Avenue they found the man unresponsive with injuries to his upper torso.

Police attempted CPR on the victim until EMS arrived and took over medical care.

The victim was pronounced dead by EMS.

A woman was arrested at the scene and she remains in custody.

The Taber Police Service is investigating the man’s death.

An autopsy is schedule for Monday morning in Calgary.

The name of the victim has not been released.

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  • UPDATE: Alleged animal abuse near Taber not criminal

  • Taber man dies in farm machinery accident

  • Former Taber man found guilty in sexual abuse cases

©2014Shaw Media

Comedian David Brenner dies at 78

LOS ANGELES – David Brenner, the lanky, toothy-grinned Tonight Show favourite whose brand of observational comedy became a staple for other standups, including Jerry Seinfeld and Paul Reiser, died Saturday. He was 78.

Brenner, who had been fighting cancer, died peacefully at his home in New York City with his family at his side, according to Jeff Abraham, his friend and publicist.

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“David Brenner was a huge star when I met him and he took me under his wing. To me, historically, he was the godfather of hip, observational comedy,” comedian Richard Lewis said in a statement. “He mentored me from day one. … His passing leaves a hole in my life that can never be replaced.”

The tall, thin and always sharply dressed Brenner became one of the most frequent visitors to Johnny Carson’s Tonight in the 1970s and ’80s.

His 150-plus appearances as guest and substitute host turned the former documentary filmmaker into a hot comedian, one who was ubiquitous on other talk shows and game shows.

He also briefly hosted his own syndicated talk show in 1987 and starred in four HBO specials.

Brenner moved with the times, trading routines about the humour of everyday life for jokes about social and political issues, and appearing on MSNBC and Fox News Channel cable programs.

Although his career faltered, he worked steadily through 2013 doing standup. A four-day gig last December included a New Year’s Eve show at a Pennsylvania casino-resort in which he showcased young comedians.

Brenner, who was raised in working-class south Philadelphia and graduated with honours from Temple University, was “always there helping a bright young comedian, whether it be Richard Lewis, Freddie Prinze or Jimmie Walker, and he was still doing it until the very end,” Abraham said.

In a statement, Walker called Brenner “a true comic genius” who was “my mentor and taught me about life and comedy.”

Although Brenner took a brief stabs at TV fame, with the 1976 sitcom Snip and the talk show Nightlife he hosted in 1987, he didn’t achieve the success of Seinfeld’s self-titled NBC sitcom or Reiser’s Mad About You, and he saw Jay Leno follow Carson as Tonight host.

Brenner’s take on his career path, as he described it in a 2000 interview with The Associated Press, was that he put family before stardom.

He said a long custody battle with a girlfriend over their son, Cole, forced him to curtail his TV appearances and visibility beginning in the mid-1980s, when Brenner lived in Aspen, Colo.

“In a nutshell, I couldn’t work more than 50 nights a year (out of town) or I’d be an absentee father,” he said. “That was when they were giving out the talk shows, the sitcoms.”

He was asked if he regretted his decision.

“I didn’t even make a decision. I didn’t even think about it. How could you not do it? I don’t mean to sound noble,” Brenner said. “Besides, I come from the slums of Philadelphia and everything in my life is profit. My downside is what most people would strive a lifetime to get to.”

Decades ago, he had burned out on filmmaking — “You don’t change the world by doing documentaries,” he told CBS Sunday Morning in 2013 — and decided to give comedy a try. He was on the verge of quitting when his effort to impress talent bookers at Tonight worked.

His career soared after his first appearance in January 1971. He went from being nearly broke to overwhelmed by a then-hefty $10,000 in job offers the day after he was on the show.

“I never thought this was going to turn my life upside down and give me my whole future,” he told Sunday Morning.

He also recalled how hard Carson made him work on Tonight, asking Brenner to do a monologue each time he appeared. Other veteran comics headed straight for the couch to banter with the host.

Carson’s explanation was “I like to sit back, smoke a cigarette and laugh for six minutes,” Brenner recalled.

In a 1995 interview with the AP, Brenner imagined a different path with Tonight.

“I really believe that had … Johnny Carson retired in the early ’80s, then I would be sitting behind that desk,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt.”

Brenner wrote five books, including the post-9-11 I Think There’s a Terrorist in My Soup, published in 2003. His last HBO special, David Brenner: Back with a Vengeance, debuted live in 2000.

In a statement, his family said he left a last laugh: A final request that $100 in small bills be placed in his left sock “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.”

Besides son Cole, Brenner is survived by his wife, Ruth, sons Wyatt and Slade and a grandson, Wesley. Funeral plans were not immediately announced.

©2014The Associated Press

Students, teachers help design new Saskatchewan schools

Watch the video above: Designing new Saskatchewan schools

SASKATOON – This past fall, Saskatchewan announced it would be investing in nine new joint-use schools to address the province’s booming population and bursting classrooms.

Saskatoon’s Hampton Village is just one of the neighbourhoods slated for a new school and new details were released this week about the expected design.

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Come 2017, a Catholic school will be situated on one side, a public will be on the other and they will be joined together by shared facilities, like a gym and library.

“Lots of outdoor learning, outdoor environments and just lots of open area,” recommended Luke Yakubowski, a grade eight student.

After a week of brainstorming and 140 blueprints to choose from, 11 students identified an open concept as the number one priority necessary for learning.

Their ideas are reflected in small scale models, to be passed to the design consultant to be incorporated.

“They’ll have a lot of common features but there will be unique things based on the size and shape of the lot in the school so there will certainly be some significant variations,” said Don Morgan, Saskatchewan’s education minister.

Four new schools will be built in Saskatoon, three in Regina, one in Martensville and one in Warman.

All are a public private partnerships and the tender will be bundled as one package, expected to cost about $400 million.

“What happens when you bundle a project is you take small contracts that would be accessible to local contractors and that would be subject to a lot of competition and you role them up into a larger project that now becomes inaccessible to local contractors,” said Mark Cooper, Saskatchewan Construction Association president.

The association is in talks with the provincial government, encouraging a split in the construction of the nine schools, into three separate projects.

Controversy aside, students say the big picture cannot be lost.

“We just need more room and a better way for the kids to learn and achieve their success,” said Yakubowski.

During the students’ week of brainstorming, a lot of thought was given as to how the neighbourhoods would be able to use the schools as a community space.

The design phase is expected to be complete by June.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 students will attend the elementary schools.