FYI London

This Week's Top News Stories

Pals survive Erie ordeal
David Kindree and Chad Lehtonen had their share of battles when they played against each other in university hockey.

Snowmobile death toll rises
Ideal conditions and inexperienced operators are proving to be a deadly combination for snowmobilers.

Girl, 15, to get wish for birthday implants
Jenna Franklin is only 15 but thinks she knows the secret to a successful future -- bigger breasts.

Smokers laugh, gasp at graphic warnings
The reaction of Londoners to new cigarette packages with graphic pictures of diseased lungs and rotting gums has ranged from revulsion to mirth, retailers say.

Homolka return to Joliette likely
Karla Homolka will be transferred from the Saskatoon maximum-security prison where she underwent psychiatric tests back to the medium-security Quebec facility where she was photographed partying with other inmates, her lawyer has confirmed.

'I love you,' fugitive tells hubby
A smiling Loren Koval told her husband she loved him when they appeared together for the first time since their surrender.

London's wild winter poses special hazards
London's winter wonderland is not without peril.

Police hunt for pair after cruisers rammed
London police are anxious to find drivers of two stolen Jeeps that rammed two police cruisers during a movie-like joyride early yesterday morning.

London's Curnoe subject of major exhibit
Former London artist Greg Curnoe is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Concerns grow over farms using sewage sludge
Concern about spreading of sewage sludge on Ontario farms is growing, say a former provincial environment minister and regional agricultural advocates.

Guess gets bail during appeal
Notorious love-struck juror Gillian Guess was ordered freed from jail so she can pursue a bid to appeal her obstruction conviction to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Five injured in Via Rail collision
A Via Rail train travelling to Windsor from Toronto struck a tractor-trailer stalled at a crossing near Stoney Point kilometres east of Windsor.

Day to reward Ontario MPs
Stockwell Day will reward the only two Canadian Alliance candidates to get elected in Ontario with high-profile positions in his shadow cabinet, Sun Media has learned.

He's a kid on a (trade) mission
From playing computer games to designing Web sites to hobnobbing with the prime minister, Canada's business elite and foreign leaders.

Bad weather deals London another blow
Mother Nature belted London yesterday with another lake-effect punch, a snow blow that hit below the belt, right around the wallet.

COLUMN: 'I brushed very, very closely with death'
After several weeks of reflection and a few weeks away from the date of my 37th anniversary in this career, I've come to the conclusion I still have the need to research cases and to write.

COLUMN: Ottawa turning blind eye to young hookers
When you think of 2001, you may think children. As in the future.

COLUMN: Municipal report cards of dubious value
Report cards intended to show how efficiently your local government spends your tax dollars are on the way.

COLUMN: There is no non-abusive assault
Late last year, a Leamington woman was convicted of assault for beating her four-year-old son with a stick.

COLUMN: Miss Lillian shows how to dance woes away
I'm sitting in a long, white room filled with mirrors and five-year-old girls.

This Week's Special Reports

Probe of China meeting urged
An RCMP investigation into a cabinet minister's trip to China, based in part on Free Press stories, will not go deep enough, the Alliance party's organized crime critic charges.

Web of smuggling still growing
Somewhere in a dingy sweatshop in New York City, Shou Mei He, a shy and waif-like Chinese girl, endures long hours hunched over a sewing machine to pay her debt to vicious snakeheads.

This Week's Special Reports

Wells wants a trade to Mets
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher David Wells doesn't believe his team is trying to win, thinks Toronto fans stink and wants to be dealt to the New York Mets.

Jaguars join east-end fray
The east side of London has seen its share of intense high school hockey rivalries, especially those involving Lucas, Clarke Road and Laurier.

Summer Games headed along right Lane
They negotiate the TV deal.

Ilderton foursome has Hearts to win
In 1978, Sheila Selzter of the Forest City Curling Club, playing out of The Ivanhoe, skipped a rink to the Ontario women's championship.

Area rinks struggling at Ontario senior finals
Area rinks are on the rocks at the Ontario senior men's and women's curling championships in Gravenhurst.

Knights face Storm head on
London Knights defenceman Josh Chambers, felled by a shot during a game in Owen Sound on Saturday night, will play tonight at the Ice House against Guelph.

By George, Titans will run
The Tennessee Titans don't want to be hardheaded or stubborn. It's just what they do.

Steve Coad's weekly NFL picks

Verbeek nails Nos. 507, 508
Pat Verbeek was almost embarrassed that he moved into 25th place on the NHL's career goal-scoring list as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 last night.

One scout's view of Spezza: Spitfire centre 'did pretty well'
When NHL scouts return to North America and pore over their notes on Canadian centre Jason Spezza and defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, they'll be reminded that both players are just 17.

Finns shatter golden dreams
Maxime Ouellet couldn't stop Finland and then he couldn't hold back the tears.

Canada 2 wins from gold after beating U.S.
Canada's coach was not about to give his team's world junior hockey championship semifinal opponent, Finland, any inflammatory comments to tape up in its dressing room.

COLUMN: Get used to it: We don't own the game anymore
Hockey autopsies have become as much a part of post-Christmas blues as debts and broken toys, both as unavoidable as death and taxes.

This Week's Top Lifestyle Stories

Doing it with zest
Have coffee with Diane Clement and her vivaciousness is bound to rub off.

This Week's Top Entertainment Stories

Castaways in Oz
Well, at least they shouldn’t want for food or footwear.

Following is a listing of events in and around London for the week of Jan. 5 to 11.

Traffic will move you
There’s a bleak message in Steven Soderbergh’s harrowing new drama Traffic.

Del Toro where he wants to be
Benicio Del Toro knows that a grain of salt can get pretty weighty.

Hollow Man full of special effects
Of all the 1930s Universal horror monsters -- including Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolf Man and the Mummy -- only the Invisible Man has not been the subject of endless remakes.

Talking about vagina new to Walsh
Mary Walsh, the irreverent star of CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, welcomes the opportunity to perform in the Toronto production of The Vagina Monologues.

Beatles top rock poll
Revolver, which bridged the Beatles' moptop era with their experimental years in the studio, has been judged the best album in rock 'n' roll history by experts in a VH1 poll.

The 100 best rock albums
The top 100 albums in rock 'n' roll history, as judged in a VH1 poll of musicians, recording executives and journalists:

Music File
Alan Frew in concert

Image conscious
Like his photographs, Larry Towell's views of life are presented in vivid, black-and-white images.

Small blessing
In her 30 years as an actress and model, Candice Bergen has been called everything from dependable and outdoorsy to an ice queen.

This Week's Top Business Stories

Airport complex set for expansion
There could be three new developments at the Skyway Industrial Park near London International Airport announced this spring, one of which may be related to the proposed LondonAir, an airport official says.

Retail vacanies filling up quickly
Despite persistent vacancy woes in London's downtown, the city's retail vacancy rate dropped last year to 6.86 per cent from 9.37 per cent in 1999.

Housing sales top 6,000 for a fifth year
For the fifth straight year, home sales in the London area last year topped 6,000, considered the benchmark for a solid year, says the president of the local real estate board.

Shovel shortage grows critical as snow piles up higher, deeper
London retailers are having shovel trouble.

Kia Rio: a budget statement
Competition is intensifying for the younger buyer with little money to spend.

New gadgets surf net with ease
Want to do e-mail and Web surf without the hassle of a computer?

E-BUSINESS LAW: Taxing e-commerce thorny issue
E-commerce is affecting one of life's certainties -- taxes.

U.S. Federal Reserve move will help, but tough times still ahead, analysts warn
A surprising move yesterday by the U.S. central bank to cut interest rates is further proof the American and Canadian economies can avoid a full-blown recession, sparked by economic fears that have sapped consumer confidence in recent weeks, analysts say.

Buck up as stocks stumble into 2001
Stocks on Wall Street and Bay Street started 2001 on a sour note yesterday, hung over with the same problems that sent North American markets plunging late last year.

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At 12, London Web whiz Keith Peiris is youngest Team Canada trekker ever

He's a kid on a (trade) mission

From playing computer games to designing Web sites to hobnobbing with the prime minister, Canada's business elite and foreign leaders.

Yeah, life's interesting when you're 12-year-old Keith Peiris.

New York-based Interep, a sales and marketing company with $1.4 billion in sales, is kicking in most of the $30,000 cost to send its Web designer, Keith, and his father on next month's Team Canada trade mission to China led by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

"Some people hesitate because he is young. I say: 'Take this kid seriously because he will deliver,'" said Deepal Peiris, Keith's dad.

And Interep takes the boy seriously.

"We weren't hesitant at all to contribute to it," said Victor Lerio, project director for corporate communications. "We really wanted to support Keith.

"(The Team Canada trip) is a great opportunity for him to showcase his work (including and He's a really good role model for the younger generation."

Keith is president and chief executive of Cyberteks Design, a company he co-owns with his mother and runs from the basement of the family's Pond Mills-area townhouse.

He'll be the youngest participant ever in a Team Canada trade mission.

Keith is a self-taught virtuoso in Flash, the latest Web design technology that creates moving images transmitted on narrow bandwidth.

He was the first to respond to Interep's request for Flash Web-design proposals. Father and son went to New York where, Lerio said, Keith had to prove his skills.

A Grade 7 pupil at St. Bernadette Catholic elementary school, Keith said he tries to keep work and school separate.

"If I don't, no good will come of it."

Keith got his first computer as a pre-schooler. "I played games, obviously," he said.

He got involved in Web design in 1999 using free online templates he customized.

"From there I discovered the limitations," he said.

Today, Keith has five part-time employees working from their homes in London and seven commissioned sales people in various centres in the United States.

The trade mission will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong from Feb. 9 to Feb. 18, said Natalie Dube, a spokesperson with the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Department.

Keith's goal on the trade mission "is the same as the other 300 businesspersons going -- to diversify the Canadian economy by closing deals.

"The Canadian economy is completely based on the U.S. economy," he said.

Keith's dad, vice-president of operations, is an accountant who has worked in sales and marketing and was once president of a computer company. He said his son pays him a fair wage to administer the business.

"Still, I have not taken a single decision on my own. He has to learn the process," he said.

Dad sees his role as supporting his son's interests and ambitions.

"But we take our parenting responsibilities seriously. I force him to go to sleep."


by Shelley Lawson
The London Free Press
Keith Peiris, 12, president and CEO of London Web design firm Cyberteks Design, will be part of the Team Canada trade mission to China and Hong Kong next month.
SUE REEVE The London Free Press

"Some people hesitate because he is young. I say: 'Take this kid seriously because he will deliver.' " -- Deepal Peiris, Keith's dad . . . "We take our parenting responsibilities seriously. I force him (Keith) to go to sleep."


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