A seven-year-old British girl who had been declared missing in 2008 was reunited with her father after being found in Montreal last week. According to the CBC, Pearl Da Massa was allegedly kidnapped from her home in Manchester, England by her mother, Helen Gavaghan, who claims she fled with her daughter to escape an abusive relationship with her husband. Pearl lived in hiding for three years, moving from Mexico to the United States and then to Toronto before finally being spotted on the metro with her mother, whose suspicious behaviour regarding her daughter caught the eye of a fellow commuter who alerted the police. Gavaghan is expected to be extradited back to the UK where she will face abduction charges.
Don’t step on the cracks
A pedestrian bridge that passes over CÃ´te de Liesse Road was closed last week after inspections revealed the overpass’ structure is too weak to safely support the weight of the people crossing. CTV Montreal reported that despite warnings from both the city and engineers, pedestrians have continued to use the crumbling bridge to avoid the roughly 500 metre walk to the next available crossing. This most recent example of Montreal’s deteriorating infrastructure comes two days after anti-collusion chief Jacques Duchesneau proposed that the Quebec government hold public and private inquiries into the connections between organized crime and the province’s corrupt construction industry.
Prochaine station: ton cellulaire
The daily commute of most Montrealers will be getting a technological upgrade in the next year as the STM has announced that it plans to install a massive cellular network in the metro tunnels by the end of 2013. According to a report in La Presse last Friday, Bell, Rogers, Telus and VidÃ©otron will be working in collaboration to provide their users network coverage and boost the mobile reception in all 68 metro stations. Adding Wi-Fi access to the underground transit system is also in the works as well. Now all the STM needs to do is improve wheelchair accessibility in the metro, and maybe throw in some air-conditioned subway cars while they’re at it.
Montreal-born cell biologist wins Nobel Prize
Montrealer Dr. Ralph Steinman has been posthumously awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine, according to the Gazette. Steinman, who studied biology and chemistry at McGill, died of pancreatic cancer only two days before the official announcement from the Nobel Foundation on Monday. He shares the prize with Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann for their groundbreaking discoveries related to the workings of the human immune system.