Most-read stories of the week: Cancelled Christmas market, a big baby, pulled Halloween display

Kitchener, Ont., Christmas market cancelled after organizer gambles away vendor deposits

Around 200 local vendors are scrambling after an upcoming Christmas market was cancelled because the event organizer lost their deposit money.

The third annual It’s A Christmas Market was scheduled for Nov. 12 at Bingemans in Kitchener, Ont. On Thursday, vendors found out it was cancelled when event planner Stacy Cliff, who operates Stacy’s Events, posted on a private Facebook page saying she lost their money.

“It is with my most profound apologies that my mental health addiction compiled with my absolute selfishness has created a storm I cannot control,” Cliff said in the post.

“So many of you have followed me, had faith and trusted me through good and bad events. I’ve taken that trust, and wors[e], your money, and have done the very worst I can do, which is not putting it where it belongs.”

Tricia Teves creates resin products for her business Dream Creations. She says she spent hundreds of dollars making product she hoped to sell at the upcoming market. (Stefanie Davis/CTV Kitchener)

‘The shock when the baby came out’: Cambridge, Ont. OB-GYN describes delivering record-breaking infant

A family in southern Ontario is welcoming their fifth child to the world, which also happens to be the heaviest baby born at the Cambridge Memorial Hospital in more than a decade.

Sonny Ayres, was delivered on Monday by caesarean section. The newborn weighed 14 pounds, eight ounces. The hospital database only goes back to 2010, but Sonny is the heaviest baby born at the hospital since that time.

“We were very surprised at how big Sonny was. He was born 14.5 pounds and I didn’t think that I would ever be saying that out loud,” Britteney Ayres, Sonny’s mom said.

Sonny was born on Monday in great health. News of his size quickly spread around the hospital.

Parents Chance and Britteney Ayres hold their new baby Sonny on Oct. 24, 2023. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)

Halloween display pulled in Puslinch after town demands permit

An expensive and elaborate festive display is no longer visible in the Township of Puslinch, Ont., after the homeowner decided to pull the plug because of a permit fee.

“They just seem to be selectively applying this bylaw to whom they see fit,” homeowner Shawn Gusz said.

Gusz normally sets up the display in front of his Puslinch home between Halloween and Christmas.

“On any given year there was $30,000 to $40,000 dollars’ worth of props, lighting, equipment, projectors, all that stuff,” Gusz said.

Last year – the township passed a bylaw, to regulate publicized displays on private property. Gusz was forced to hire off duty police officers to manage it over Christmas.

Shawn Gusz outside of his Puslinch home on Oct. 25, 2023. (CTV News/Colton Wiens)

29-year-old man seriously injured after being shot by police in Kitchener: SIU

The province’s police watchdog says it is investigating after a 29-year-old man was shot by a Waterloo regional police officer in Kitchener.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said the man was taken to hospital with a serious injury.

Officers went to the area of Veronica Drive and Kinzie Avenue around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a call about a man sleeping in a vehicle, the SIU said.

“The officer approached this man in the vehicle and there was an interaction – we’re not quite clear on exactly what happened,” SIU spokesperson Kristy Denette said.

Police tape blocks off a townhouse complex on Veronica Drive in Kitchener on Oct. 25, 2023. (Chris Thomson/CTV Kitchener)

Waterloo Region Indigenous group terminates founder after allegations of missing grant money

The board of directors of a healing centre for Indigenous youth has terminated the group’s founder, Sheena Merling, after allegations of money mismanagement.

In 2022, the group was approved for $145,000 in grant funding from the Region of Waterloo through its Upstream Fund and Community Capacity Fund.(opens in a new tab) But the board of directors with Gizzaagi’in Healing claims it doesn’t know where the money went or if it was spent.

In a statement to CTV News, the board of directors said:

“The money from the Upstream Grant was released to the founder for Gizaagi’in Healing in her name as there was no business bank account open,” the board said. “The board requested time after time, through verbal, written, and being served by a lawyer to have the money transferred and get copies of all the bank statements.”

Sheena Merling was interviewed by CTV Kitchener in September 2022. (CTV News/Tyler Kelaher)