Daughter of murder victim will use trust fund money to attend York

It was supposed to be a head start in life for two young girls whose mother was murdered 11 years ago, wrote the Toronto Star Aug. 28. But the $100,000 donated by the Toronto Star to a trust fund in 1998 became mired in a bureaucratic maze to the point where the money appeared to be missing.

This week, the Star came to the rescue by tracking down the funds that had been earmarked for Aisha Barrett, 18, and her younger sister. The girls’ mother, Christine Ricketts, 31, was strangled in a Don Mills apartment building on March 5, 1998, while working as a door-to-door subscription salesperson for the Star.

Barrett has already been accepted to the Law & Society Program at York University, and now plans to enrol for next September. She has even mused about going to law school after completing her undergraduate degree and eventually becoming a lawyer.

“I’m going to university to get the whole university experience and we’ll see where that takes me,” said Barrett, who graduated from high school this spring with a grade average in the mid-80s, and has since been working at McDonald’s in the hope of saving some cash. “Now I don’t have to worry about having to apply for OSAP.”

Fine arts grad Tammy’s feet are happy

As long as she’s dancing, Tammy Lacas’s feet are happy, wrote Niagara This Week Aug. 27 in a story about the York grad (BFA Spec. Hons. ’05).

The Niagara Falls native is set to open a dance studio on Queen Street in the heart of the city’s arts and culture district. She says the move to the street provides her with an opportunity to represent dance in the district. “I knew I had to be down here. There are so many opportunities for the students to participate. I hope to add another artistic element to the street,” she said while looking around her studio, which is currently being renovated.

Lacas started dancing when her mother signed her up for jazz lessons when she was just two and she hasn’t missed a step since. The lifelong resident of Niagara Falls danced locally for 17 years before obtaining a degree in dance from York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. She taught until two days before her daughter, Araya, was born two years ago.

“Anyone can dance. My thing is to take someone with two left feet, who says he has no rhythm, and fix that. Give me an hour.”

York grad named coach of Oakville Blades hockey team

Oakville Blades president and general manager Carlo Coccimiglio has announced a coaching change for the 2009-2010 season, naming Jason Nobili (BA ’96) as the new head coach, wrote Oakville Today Aug. 27.

While Coccimiglio will increase his involvement with the hockey operations and general manager’s role, Nobili will handle the day-to-day on-ice product.

Nobili is entering the 12th season of his coaching career and first as the head coach of the Blades. Last season, the 35-year-old coached within the Toronto Maple Leafs system as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Reading Royals (Pennsylvania) in the East Coast Hockey League.

On air

  • Paul Baxter, sessional professor in criminology in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about a threat by Ontario lawyers to boycott legal aid work on CBC Radio, Ottawa, Aug. 27.