An 11-year-old girl named Isabel gave police this drawing of a man seen trying to break into vehicles in the McMillan area of Abbotsford.

Here’s Abbotsford’s top stories from the last week

An 11-year-old’s sketch of a B&E suspect, The News challenges a publication ban and more from the last week

Here’s some of the top Abbotsford News headlines from the last week:

Girl’s ‘brilliant’ drawing of B&E suspect hailed by Abbotsford police

After an Abbotsford resident and his daughter spotted a man trying to break into vehicles Friday, the resident reported the suspicious activity to police, including a drawing of the suspect by his daughter.

The Abbotsford Police Department tweeted a picture of the drawing, praising the 11-year-old.

“I thought it was brilliant,” said Sgt. Judy Bird.

Read the full story here.

Abbotsford News challenges publication ban on name of school stabbing victim

The family of a girl killed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School two years ago feels muzzled by a publication ban on the victim’s name, a representative of the family says.

Now, The News is challenging that publication ban, imposed by the B.C. Review Board, arguing there’s no reason for the ban and that the board doesn’t have jurisdiction to impose such bans on victims’ identities. The News also argues that the publication ban is in contravention of the “open court principle.”

“That principle allows the public to better understand their justice system, and the media to hold accountable those involved in the process,” said Ken Goudswaard, editor of The News.

Read more, including the full six-page argument posed by The News, here.

Abbotsford schools rehire all crossing guards after contract changes

All crossing guards laid off by Abbotsford Community Services in October have been successfully rehired, the Abbotsford School District says.

The school board was updated on the issue at a public meeting Tuesday, nearly two months after ACS served notice that it would be ending its contract for the service. The contract termination, at the time, had crossing guards and residents concerned about the future of the program.

The school district will be taking over all operations of the crossing guard program.

Read the full story here.

Rally cry in Abbotsford against gang killings

Abbotsford’s gang issues require a nuanced approach, according to several speakers at an anti-gang rally this week.

The forum included Kulwinder Singh Malhi as a speaker, the father of 19-year-old Jagvir Malhi, who was fatally shot on Nov. 12 at Ross and Simpson roads. “Our child has left us. We must make it so that no other child leaves us,” he said in Punjabi.

As well, Mayor Henry Braun spoke at the meeting, taking aim at issues with the criminal justice system.

Read the full story here.

As rents rise, Abbotsford families face hard decisions

The average rental home in Abbotsford and Mission now costs $924, an increase of 7.9 per cent over the previous year, according to the annual rental report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

That’s among the highest increases in the province. And because the rate includes increases on existing tenants, who have rent increase controls, it’s important to note what’s not in the report: How much vacant units are increasing.

Logan Pelletier wrote that the two-bedroom basement suite he rented for $650 eight years ago which he’s since moved out of, now goes for $1,200.

Read our full story here.

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