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Mint’s newest coin showcases famous Falcon Lake UFO encounter in Manitoba

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One could be forgiven for describing the mint’s newest coin as rather otherworldly.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s newest offering features Manitoba’s most famous UFO encounter, which happened in 1967 when Stefan Michalak went looking for precious metals near Falcon Lake.

“I was very surprised, frankly. They called me out of the blue and said ‘I have this idea,'” said Stefan’s son, Stan Michalak. 

“It’s not every day the mint calls and says, ‘Hey, we’re going to do a coin.'”

Stefan, whom his son says was a “rock nut,” was searching for gold, silver and other precious metals and gems in Whiteshell Provincial Park one May long weekend in 1967. At about noon, two craft appeared in the sky, he said, and one landed about 50 metres away from Stefan on a flat rocky area.

The other craft left, but the first stayed, said Stefan. He observed it from the bush for about half an hour before approaching it.

“In his mind, he reasoned, ‘This must be some sort of a military experimental craft. They’ve landed here by mistake or maybe out of need. Maybe they’re in trouble,'” said Stan. “‘I’ll offer to help them out.'”

When Stefan approached the craft, which he later described as saucer-shaped and made of a stainless steel material, he touched it and the heat melted the fingertips of his heavy gloves. There was an opening he put his head through, said Stan, but he didn’t enter.

The craft then expelled a cloud of gas and lifted off, knocking Stefan off his feet, setting his shirt aflame and leaving a distinct pattern of burns on his chest.

There will be only 4,000 of the collectors coins minted. (Royal Canadian Mint)

The coin shows the moment the craft lifted from the rock, with a figure lying on the ground with a hand in the air, as if to ward something off. In the dark, the craft on the coin glows, as does the gas coming from the ship.

The coin is ovoid and uses more colours than traditionally found in a coin, said Stan.

“They sent me a proof that had their original thought, which was kind of cute,” said Stan. “Originally, it was going to have alien eyes on it, so it looked like the shape of an alien head.”

Erica Maga, product manager for the coin, said the idea came to the team during their annual research.

“We thought it was such an interesting story that it was one that we had to share with Canadians,” said Maga. “Everyone is sort of fascinated by this subject matter and we thought it would make a really interesting coin design.”

The coin has been in production for a few months but went on sale Monday, said Maga. The coin’s egg shape, while unusual, was also used for coins with a hot air balloon and featuring Ukranian pysanka.

Maga confirmed one of the earliest designs featured glow-in-the-dark alien eyes.

“We had talked around a lot of really wacky ideas and interesting concepts for this one, but in the end, we wanted to try and stay as faithful and true to the story as we could.”

Despite the Manitoba connection, the coin is being minted in Ottawa instead of Winnipeg, said Alex Reeves, external communications advisor for The Mint. The Winnipeg facility does currency coins, while the Ottawa facility specializes in collector coins.

Stan, who co-wrote a book about his father’s encounter, said he hopes the coin helps end his family’s saga.

“We just decided to put this to rest, and I think the mint, giving me a call and saying ‘We have this idea,’ I think it just puts the ribbon on the box to finally close it forever.”

The $20 legal tender coin can be ordered from the mint’s website. It retails for $129.95.

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Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

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One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

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Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

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An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

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Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

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With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

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