While you were sleeping The loss of Stuart McLean, #Resist via sport, name change for reconciliation, and the mystery of the disappearing chicken


Here’s our roundup of the best stories this morning.

We all mourn: Stuart McLean, the bestselling author and soft-spoken humorist whose gentle celebration of life’s biggest and smallest moments endeared him to legions of faithful listeners of CBC Radio’s The Vinyl Cafe, has died. He was 68. Tributes immediately poured in from fellow entertainers, broadcasters and fans who were quick to salute McLean’s heartfelt aims to unite Canadians in a way that helped us understand each other, no matter our backgrounds. Fellow CBC veteran Peter Mansbridge called McLean a master storyteller who helped shape the public broadcaster and reach the country’s furthest corners: “I can remember many times when we were together that he’d just start telling stories, it could be a story about something that happened in the news the day before or something at work the day before, but he’d tell it in that magical way and you’d sit there totally involved in the way he told them.”

Taking a Knee: Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin, who hosts the Edge of Sports podcast, will take part in a panel discussion called Taking a Knee, Taking a Stand: Resistance and Sport in the Age of Trump. He will be joined by freelance writer and sports activist Shireen Ahmed, Concordia’s Sexual Assault Resource Centre co-ordinator Jennifer Drummond and poet and anti-racism organizer Rana Salah. While some sports fans may want their heroes to stay out of politics and contentious societal issues — to just “shut up and play” as some have put it — Zirin says athletes and those who write or talk about them in the media should be using their prominent platforms to change attitudes. The event is free and open to the public: Feb. 17, 6:30 to 9 p.m., 1455 de Maisonneuve W., H-110 Auditorium.

A time for reconciliation: The federal government is facing pressure to change the name of the building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office — the Langevin Block, across the street from Parliament Hill. The building is named after Hector-Louis Langevin, a politician and father of Confederation who also happens to have expressed strong support for establishing what would become Canada’s government-run residential school program. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde wants Ottawa to seek out a new name for the building in consultation with indigenous peoples, which he says aboriginal communities would take as a sign of good faith in the government. Last month, Calgary said it would rechristen its Langevin Bridge as Reconciliation Bridge.

Where do you hide a 1,000-pound chicken? That’s what sheriff’s deputies in Alexander County, North Carolina, are trying to figure out as they search for the concrete statue that disappeared from a farm west of Taylorsville over the weekend. While the chicken may be heavy, it’s only 3 feet tall. Deputies think the statue was taken sometime between 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday from the driveway of the farm. Chief Deputy Tod Jones told the Hickory Daily Record the statue’s base was found several miles away. Jones said the statue is valued at about $1,100.

This three-foot-tall, 1,000-pound chicken was stolen from a farm in North Carolina.

This three-foot-tall, 1,000-pound chicken was stolen from a farm in North Carolina.

Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press, Associated Press