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Two teenagers charged in relation to death of international student

Police have arrested two Ottawa men, John Ruch, 19, and Steve Kozielo, 18, in relation to the death of 23-year-old Carleton University engineering student Tausif Chowdhury.

Ruch and Kozielo have been jointly charged with one count of manslaughter and one of robbery. Both men are students at Gloucester’s Norman Johnston Secondary Alternate Program.

Chowdhury, an international student from Bangladesh, was found dead the morning of Nov. 27 by two cyclists on the Sawmill Creek pathway, which lies between the South Keys OC Transpo station and the Airport Parkway.

He left his home around 9 p.m. on Nov. 26 to withdraw an undetermined amount of cash from his bank account according to friends, which police believe he planned to use to buy marijuana from a dealer. Police believe the robbery was planned, but the attackers did not intend to kill Chowdhury, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Friends described Chowdhury as a brilliant but humble student.

Chowdhury’s body has been flown to Bangladesh after a funeral prayer at the Ottawa Mosque.

—Jasmine van Schouwen

Three groups honour FSS with year-end design awards

The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) building received three honours from separate organizations for its design and engineering at the end of 2014.

The 272,000-square-foot, 15-storey building located on the western boundary of the downtown campus was named the Top Institutional Building at the annual Ontario Concrete Awards in December.

Despite some mechanical issues in the fall that caused some of the foliage to die, FSS’s six-storey living wall snagged the Award of Excellence at the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference in Nashville in November.

The Ontario Wood Works! Program also recognized the building’s design with the Interior Wood Design Award. Wooden structures are found throughout the building, notably in the atrium that connects it to Vanier Hall.

FSS opened just over two years ago, making it one of the university’s newest buildings. It was the first time the faculty’s 10,000 students, 260 professors, and 100 staff were brought together under one roof.

Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto and KWC Architects of Ottawa designed the FSS building. The living wall was designed by Alan Darlington of Nedlaw Living Walls.

—Miriam Saslove

Flu virus hits ottawa hard

Ottawa is seeing an unusually high number of cases of influenza this year, including two deaths.

According to Ottawa Public Health, there have been 149 cases of the flu this season, 20 of which required hospitalization. There have been 19 flu-related deaths in Ontario this season. A lag in data means there may be more cases than reported.

The majority of cases have been seen in those over the age of 65.

Most cases have been due to the emergence of influenza A, H3N2, an aggressive strain of flu which is not entirely prevented by the flu vaccine, but the effects of which may be mitigated by it.

It is partly a result of the aggressiveness of the strain and partly changes in the virus. Ottawa Public Health notes that vaccination remains the best method of protection against the flu.

The high incidence of flu cases is being seen across North America. In the U.S., 15 children have died as a result of virus.

—Jasmine van Schouwen