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Most read stories of the week: Conestoga Mall robbery, house explosion hearing, cancelled Valentine's Day


Three facing charges in Conestoga Mall robbery, one suspect fled in stolen vehicle

Waterloo regional police say they’ve arrested three people and one person was taken to hospital following an armed robbery at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo. According to police, they were called to a jewelry store at around 4 p.m. Thursday after receiving several reports of an armed robbery in the mall.

Witnesses told CTV News that they saw the incident happen at Raffi Jewellers. A viewer also shared a video which appears to show at least two people wearing all black walking around and grabbing items from the glass cases.

"Officers quickly arrived in the area of Conestoga Mall and made three arrests," said Const. Brad Hickey with the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS). "Officers went inside the mall and they did evacuate the mall. The reason for that is we want to ensure the safety of all individuals inside the mall and we also want to ensure there is no outstanding suspects in the mall."

Initially there were reports of gunshots inside the mall but, according to a media release by WRPS, there was no evidence of shots fired. Police believe that it was the sound of breaking glass.

'Time to move on': Reaction as Udo Haan found not criminally responsible for wife’s death, house explosion

A Kitchener man, who was charged with killing his wife and then blowing up their home in 2018, has been found not criminally responsible.

Udo Haan admitted he committed the offenses, but the judge found he was suffering from delusions at the time. Haan’s home on Sprucedale Crescent exploded on Aug. 22, 2018.

His wife Edra Haan was found dead in the couple’s backyard. It was later determined that she had been killed before the blast.

Her husband Udo was charged with first-degree murder and three arson-related counts.

On Thursday a judge ruled he was not criminally responsible.

Edra Haan’s brother was relieved to see the matter dealt with in court after waiting four-and-a-half years.

"It is closure that it’s over," said Al Pinheiro. "It’s not really what we were looking for, I guess. But at the end of the day it was the proper call."

Kitchener school cancels Valentine’s Day in the classroom

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner but at least one school in Kitchener is canceling the day of love in the classroom.

"They missed out on so much from the pandemic and then to pull this out from under them. We already bought our Valentine’s Day card and our kids really personalized them," said Stephanie Robinson, a parent of three kids who attend Jean Steckle Public School.

In a notice sent to parents Friday, Jean Steckle Public School said, "While we acknowledge the celebration of Valentine’s, and are mindful of the popularity of that day, it is not celebrated by all students/families in our community. It is essential that all students feel welcomed and reflected at school, and that our celebrations do not negatively impact our families and students."

The notice also tells parents: “Please do not send in Valentine cards for exchanges, or food items, as we will not be doing any class or school wide celebration.”

Robinson said the school told parents that they could hand out cards before or after school.


Kitchener restaurant says it’s owed $11,000 from Uber Eats

A Kitchener restaurant says it will no longer be offering delivery through Uber Eats because the company owes them $11,000 in payments dating back to Jan. 10.

“Our portion was not deposited, so we contacted them [asking] what’s going on,” Ali Elina, the owner and operator of 1001 Nights Shawarma, told CTV News. 

Elina said when an online order is made the entire payment goes straight to Uber Eats and it’s up to the delivery company to pay the restaurant its portion of the profits, but when he contacted Uber Eats, Elina was told the money was sent to a separate account that didn’t belong to his restaurant.

“This is not our account. It might be hacked or something,” he said. “They did not take any action.” 

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson with Uber Eats Canada said: “We are working with the merchant to investigate and rectify the situation.”

1001 Nights Shawarma on Block Line Road in Kitchener, Ont. (Feb. 2, 2023)

WRDSB trustee takes issue with board’s public response to 'child abuse' claim

A Kitchener public school board trustee has released an open letter of dissent, arguing a recent communication to parents from the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) may have a “chilling effect” on those who may wish to voice concerns in public forums.

On Monday, Mike Ramsay took issue with a letter released by the board on Jan. 20, on the direction of trustees, addressing a series of concerns raised by a parent at a public meeting on Jan. 16.

The letter addressed what the board chair called “unfounded accusations of child abuse” and “misinformation” among other concerns raised at the meeting.

“I’ve never seen [this] in the history of the board and I don’t believe there’s any justification for this; for such a public response,” said Ramsay. “Why the departure from past practices?”

The WRDSB letter does not name any parent, but alludes to concerns “framed as questions” while carrying an “accusatory” tone and “coupled with inflammatory language and misinformation.” The open letter notes as the comments were made in a public forum, administration decided to address them publicly.

Waterloo Region District School Board trustee Mike Ramsay appears during an interview with CTV News in this file image from 2022. (CTV Kitchener) Top Stories

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