Monday, May 31, 2010

Girl's hockey team recognized by city

The Thunder Bay Queens Midget AA Team were recognized at Monday night's city council meeting.   The team was honoured for winning gold at the Ontario Women's Hockey Association Provincials in Mississauga and for winning gold at the Esso Cup National Tournament in Regina.  Also recognized at Monday's meeting were plasma donor Bert Harding and keyboard virtuoso Conner Curran

Northwest residents still live risky lifestyles

Residents of Northwestern Ontario still live a lifestyle that poses a cancer risk. The latest report card from Cancer Care Ontario indicates we smoke more than the provincial average and are more overweight as well. Michael Power of the Regional Cancer Centre says even cutting down on smoking would help reduce rates considerably.  He says there is also concern not enough of us are getting cancer screened for colon or prostate cancer. The report card also shows the local Centre is doing a good job in cancer radiation treatment.

10am Drinking in honour of FIFA

Starting June 11th, you'll be able to crack open a cold one an hour earlier at your favourite drinking establishment.  The province is allowing licensed bars and restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages earlier in the day during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Minister of Consumer Services Sophia Aggelontitis says the change in drinking hours will help accomodate the delayed game times.  The games are being telecast from South Africa with some games starting as early as 7:30 am ET.

Labour peace at George Jeffreys

The 20 or so professional therapists at the George Jeffery Children's Centre now have a new contract. The two year deal gives them a total wage increase of 4 per cent along with improved benefits. Suzanne Pulice, of the Canadian Auto Workers union says it's a good deal, but still falls short, adding other therapists at similar centre's in Northwestern Ontario make slightly more. The highest paid therapist at the Centre will get over 75 thousand dollars a year at the end of the contract.

Multiple stab wounds cause of death

A post mortem has revealed that Randy Lawrence Cromarty died as a result of multiple stab wounds.  The 39 year old was the victim of the City's first homocide.  28 year old Thea Debra Gliddy is facing a charge of second degree murder.  Gliddy is due back in court June 23rd.

Stolen vehicle found near Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay OPP recovered a stolen vehicle after responded to an accident over the weekend. The single vehicle accident happened on highway 17 just west of Raith at around 9:30 Saturday morning. When officers arrived they discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen in Winnipeg and the 19 year old driver was arrested.

Smoking restrictions in City parks takes effect

Starting Tuesday children's play areas in city parks will be smoke free. The bylaw means smokers will have to remain at least ten metres away from playground equipment, public beaches and entrances to recreational facilities. Thunder Bay is the 6th community in Ontario to regulate smoking in public parks. Vancouver has outlawed smoking in all city parks and beaches effective this September.

Combined Forces Unit makes another drug bust

Over ten thousand dollars worth of drugs are off the streets thanks to the Combined Forces Organized Crime Unit. Officers searched a house in Neebing Friday and found a large quantity of prescription pills and other drugs as well as 17 firearms and cash. Officers were looking for two people who weren't home at the time when they searched the house. No arrests have been made.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lakehead University students graduate

The future begins now for the graduates of Lakehead University who received their diplomas on the weekend. About 2000 students took part in three separate ceremonies at the Community Auditorium. For Fred Gilbert they were the last ceremonies he would preside over in Thunder Bay before he retires as university president. He will do it one final time on Friday as students at LU's Orillia campus hold their convocation.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Baseball officials want cut of concessions

The organizers of the World Junior Baseball Championships want a slice of the concession pie from this summer's event. Warren Philp says they'd like the 15 per cent cut of the gross sales at Port Arthur Stadium that would normally go into city coffers. Philp justifies the request by pointing to the investment the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association has made to Port Arthur Stadium and Baseball Central and the huge economic impact the event will have on the city. Organizers will make their pitch to councillors at City Hall Monday evening. Also Monday, three local residents will ask the city to scrap it's electronic vote counting machines for the upcoming municipal election. One of them is Roy Willis, who wants to go back to hand counting. He says with the current system too many things can go wrong.

Hydro Board Report at Monday Night Council

There could be one less member of City Council sitting on the Thunder Bay Hydro board. A report is being brought before council Monday night recommending council only have one member sit on the board. The report also suggests the city manager should have a non-voting position on the board. If council votes in favour of the recommendation; the changes will take effect during the next term of council.

OPP to resurrect 44 year old case

The OPP will be dusting off a cold case from the region Monday morning. Sgt. Shelley Garr says the unsolved 1966 murders of Doreen Hardy and Jane Bernard are being used as part of a news conference. However, Garr says police have nothing new to report about the investigation. She says the case will be used to help lauch a new investigative technique for the area. Family members of the two women will be attending the news conference as well. To learn more about the cold case itself go here

Cause of north side fire is undetermined

The cause of the overnight fire at 220 Clavet Street remains unknown. The blaze broke out in the attic of the one and a half storey home. Marty Patterson of the city Fire Service says they've completed their inspection of the fire scene. He says he examined the scene the best he could, but wasn't able to figure out exactly how the fire started and for that reason it's being listed as undetermined. No one was hurt in the fire.

Community Foundation hands out bursaries

Several local students are getting a big boost for their post secondary education thanks to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. Cameron McKee and Tim Rappon were the top recipients getting 4 thousand dollars each. Other winners are: Joseph Tasone, David Tom, Marissa Belcamino, Joelle Fricot, Brittney Marshall, Jessica Rogers, Claudi Blier, Crystal Gingras, Kayla Kjellman, Victoria Mauro and Skylar Wielgosch. They were recipients of 23 hundred dollars each. Pictured: Joseph Tesone and Marissa Belcamino

Highschool grads get money for post secondary

It's the 10th anniversary of Justice Ronald B Lester Memorial Youth Foundation awards. This year's bursary winners were Marissa Belcamino of St. Igantius and Michelle Lauzon of Sir Winston Churchill high schools.
They'll each get 5 thousand dollars each for their post secondary education.
President Susan Lester says they're happy to provide the money to deserving students. Belcamino wants to go to school to become a pharmacist, while Lauzon will be pursuing a career as a pediatrician.

Contact North gets 3.5 million for upgrade

Thunder Bay's Contact North is upgrading it's facilities thanks to the provincial taxpayer. The distance education facility has been given 3 and a half million dollars from the McGuinty government to modernize it's video equipment. CEO Maxim Jean-Louis calls it an upgrade and enhancement. He says in some cases the improvements will see the leading edge technology used to make the students learning experience that much better. Jean-Louis says the government helps Contact North with upgrades on a regular basis.

Wisk Air opens new airport hanger

Thunder Bay's Wisk Air is in it's new home. The company's new hanger at the airport is officially opened. Owner Mark Wiskemann couldn't be prouder.   He says it's emotional for him because getting to this stage has taken a lot of work and effort.  Wiskemann credits his staff and customers and says for that he is both grateful and happy.   He says his company will provide active support to the mining exploration sector including the Ring of Fire cromite deposit in Northwestern Ontario.

Wear the gear-get some milk

The district health unit's "Wear the gear" bike helmet campaign is in its seventh year. City police and crossing guards are handing out coupons for free chocolate milk to those kids who are wearing the proper head gear. Public Health Nurse Marita Campbell says since the start of the program they've seen an increase in helmet use with 11 to 15 year olds. The milk tickets can be redeemed at any Mac Convenient Store locations in the city.

No one hurt in early morning house fire

Thunder Bay Fire and rescue had to deal with an early morning inferno in the North End of town. Crews responded to a report of smoke in the 200 Block of Clavet Street just after one this morning. By the time crews arrived flames had broken through the roof. Luckily no one was hurt and the blaze was put out. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Woman charged in murder case

A person is now charged in connection with the first murder of 2010. City police say that 28 year old Thea Debra Gliddy of Thunder Bay is facing a charge of second degree murder. The body of 39 year old Randy Lawrence Cromarty was discovered in a room of the Inntowner Hotel on Wednesday morning. Detective Sgt. Don Lewis says Gliddy was taken into custody that afternoon when she returned to the area.
Police say Gliddy and Cromarty knew each other. Lewis says that while Cromarty died of a vicious assault a firearm was not involved.  Giddy is due back in court June 23rd.

City e-mail working again

The city's e-mail server is back up and running after being down for about 40 hours this week. City Tech Manager Jean Suffak  says about 15 hundred city staff who use e-mail were affected from the Mayor's Office to those who work on Front Street. Suffak says the issues were solved with the help of contracted tech support. She says some overtime was required to fix the problem.

Westgate students team up with MADD

Students at Westgate Collegiate can't say they haven't been told. Their peers staged a noon hour demonstration to highlight the ripple effects of drinking and driving. Teacher Shannon McQuilter-Viau says it's no coincidence it took place just before graduation, typically a time when some students celebrate with alcohol.   The demonstration was done with the help of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Pictured: Student Rory Lalonde wears a pair of goggles meant to simulate the visual effects of being drunk.

Police probing hit and run

City police are asking for your help in locating a driver involved in a hit and run accident. Sgt. Glenn Porter says it took place at the corner of Albany and Egan Wednesday night at around 7:30.  He says a pick up truck was going north on Egan and failed to stop at the intersection and collided with an east bound car.  Porter says a passenger in the car was treated and released from hospital. They are looking for a blue Ford pick-up truck with some significant front end damage.

Horizon Wind announces release of environment report

The next phase of the proposed Nor'Wester View wind farm project is underway. Horizon Wind Inc. has announced the release of it's environmental report, and now there will be a 2 month period where the public can review the draft findings. The company's Nhung Nguyen  says they went over and above what was required in putting together the document.  As an example, she sited the noise study.  Nguyen says under the province's Green Energy Act they weren't required to include that, however because there was considerable public interest in that aspect, they did it anyway.  The first of two public meetings on the report takes place August 4th at the Blake Community Hall in the Municipality of Neebing.  The following day there will be a meeting at the Lakehead Labour Centre in Thunder Bay.  The entire 700 page report can be found by clicking here.

Employing the North's youth

Keeping our young people in the north.  That's the goal of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund's co-op and internship programs.  Minister of Northern Development Michael Gravelle says employers find it beneficial to hire the region's youth.  The NOHFC provides money to businesses employing northern youth.  Over 300 Northern youth are getting on-site job experience through internship and co-op placements.

Thunder Bay now has bike lanes

The City of Thunder Bay now has a series of bike lanes for those people who want to cycle to their destination. A grand opening of the bike lane from Court Street to Boulevard Lake was held yesterday. Active Tranportation Coordinator Adam Krupper says the lanes will benefit the city's tourism industry, since outdoors enthusiasts can bike to various city sights. Bike lanes will also be marked on Walsh Street and parts of Syndicate.

Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit gets big time funding

The province is pumping almost half a million dollars into the Asset Forfeiture Unit. The OPP unit partners with forces across the province including Thunder Bay and focuses on identifying, seizing and managing the proceeds of crime. MPP Bill Mauro says funding this unit will help improve police services everywhere, because the money seized will be put back into the police services to help reduce and prevent crime. The funding totals 494, 162 dollars.

Deer tick tests positive for Lyme Disease

A first for Thunder Bay, as the District Health Unit is reporting a tick found recently has tested positive for Lyme Disease. They say it was found on a dog in the city limits. Medical Officer of Health, Henry Kurban, says it's the first positive test for the disease since the Unit started monitoring and testing ticks in 2005. He says it was submitted last week.  Kurban says with the warmer spring, the tick population in the district has appeared earlier that usual. He encourages people to prevent coming into contact with ticks to reduce the risk of a bite. That includes:
• Staying clear of areas with tall grass; they are common areas to find ticks.
• Wear light coloured clothing to make it easier to see ticks.
• Cover up by tucking pants into socks and wearing long sleeves.
• Check for ticks before going indoors; don’t forget your pets.
• Use insect repellants with DEET; follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Police probe first homicide of 2010

Thunder Bay Police are investigating the first murder of the year in the city. Spokesperson Chris Adams says the body of 39 year old Randy Lawrence Cromarty of Thunder Bay was discovered at the Inntowner Motor Hotel. He says it was found at around 8:30 Wednesday morning by a family member. Police say he had been staying at the hotel. Adams says there is a forensic examination taking place at the scene of the crime and there are a number of interviews that are being conducted. He say a post mortem will take place on Friday to determine the cause of death.

Five local boys make Team North squad

Five Thunder Bay boys are going to the Canada Summer Games in Sudbury to play baseball. The five were chosen on the weekend in Sudbury to represent Team North at the games taking place in Sudbury in August.  Pictured:   From left to right, Brendan Toumisto, Amos Sharun, Owen Steele, Kallum Kennedy, Michael Moskalyk

Heart and Stroke Big Bike Ride

It's not too late to sign up for the Heart and Stroke's Big Bike ride.  The fundraiser is taking place throughout the week at the Victoria Inn.  Area Manager Tara Monteith says they still have room on the bike and interested people can show up the day of the ride with a fifty dollar donation.  This year's fundraising goal is 75 thousand dollars.

Snow Birds Demonstration and Community Fund

Northwestern Ontario's aboriginal students will now have access to a quarter million dollar endowment fund for post secondary education. The fund was created by Ontario's transport medicine group "ORNGE" and the aviation company AgustaWestland. The fund was created to help the growing aboriginal population take part in the emerging career field of medical transport. Confederation College President Pat Lang is happy first nation students will have the extra funds to take part in their aviation courses. The community endowment fund was announced at the College's Aviation Day and fly by demonstration of the Snow birds.

Your meds could get you into trouble

A Thunder Bay lawyer has a warning for people who may drive while on certain prescription drugs. Christopher Watkins says there are now tests available to detect whether a driver is on medication. Watkins says that could mean some innocent people could get in serious trouble.   He says there may be a lot of citizens who have suffered injuries and could be driving while on pain medications like oxycodone or percocets. Watkin says they may not be aware they could be in danger of facing an impaired driving charge.  Watkins says a conviction could result in the loss of a driver's licence.

Public School Board supports wind moratorium

The Lakehead public school board is supporting the Norwester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee's quest to get a moratorium on the Big Thunder Wind Park. The decision was made at last nights board meeting by a vote of 4 to 2. Trustee Karen Wilson moved the motion and says conflicting information from Ontario's Chief Medical officer concerns her the most. Wilson says Doctor Arlene King's information conflicts with the views of Health Canada and the World Health Organization. She says she wants to see an independent 3rd party study on the effects of wind turbines before development.

Health care groups join National Challenge

St. Joseph's Care Group and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre are teaming up to help the environment.  All staff at both health care locations are being asked to participate in the National Commuter Challenge next week.   They're being asked to take the bus, cycle, walk or car pool to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.   St. Joe's CEO Tracy Buckler joined Health Sciences Centre President Ron Saddington to kick off the challenge

Hodder Tavern gets its liquor license suspended

The Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission has handed a 35 day suspension to Hodder Tavern. The tavern's liquor license will be suspended from June 7th to July 12th. The suspension follows a few incidents that happened last year including one where a man was served alcohol and was later found dead in a near by lake.

Ontario Special Olympic Winter Games

The Special Olympics Ontario Winter games are just over 8 months away.  Thunder Bay is hosting the games this year, and Creator Dr. Frank Hayden paid a visit to the City today. Hayden says the games could have a million dollar impact on the City's economy.  The games will involve more than 300 athletes and 125 coaches from across the province.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fire Service to check for working smoke alarms

The Thunder Bay Fire Service is starting it's door-to-door smoke alarm checks again. Chief John Hay says it's part of a 5 year plan to go to every home in the city and make sure there are working smoke alarms on every floor.   He says they'll go to homes and ask residents if they want a home inspection and to be educated on smoke detectors.   Those inspectors will then help residents who don't have any alarms help them be in compliance with the law.  Hay says no charges will be laid if inspectors are welcomed into the home

Two Mac's robberies remain unsolved

City police remain on the watch for a suspect or suspects in two Mac's store robberies on the weekend. They say that in both cases a man was involved in the robberies and the culprits had their faces covered. Police have not connected the two robberies. One took place at the Syndicate Avenue store early Saturday morning the other early Monday morning at the May and Dease location.

Snow birds fly by Wednesday

It's aviation day at Confederation College. The event will celebrate the growth and success of aviation in Northern Ontario. During the event, Helicopter Transport Medicine group "ORNGE" and the college will announce new opportunities for students in the health care field. A fly-by by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will take place at noon at the School of Aviation flight hangar.

Horizon Wind to release report this week

The next important step in the development of the proposed Nor' Wester Wind Farm takes place this week. On Thursday Horizon Wind will be releasing the environmental report regarding the wind turbines. At the same time company officials will also provide details about the next public open houses. The release of the report is significant because city councillors have said they would not make a decision on the location of the 18 turbines until after that report was made public.

Violence against women funding

18 not for profit groups in the Thunder Bay area will be sharing over 53 thousand dollars in provincial government funding. The money will be used to run violence against women programs and buy resources and equipment. The organizations receiving the money work in the Thunder Bay-Superior North and Thunder Bay-Atikokan ridings.

Thunder Bay new home activity will grow in 2010

It's going to be a great building season for Thunder Bay.  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released it's Spring housing market report on Tuesday.  Thunder Bay's new home activity will increase by 27 percent in 2010.  The CMHC is also calling for existing home sales to grow and reach 1 thousand five hundred and fifty units this year. 

Robbery suspects remain in custody

Two Thunder Bay residents are due back in court next week in connection with a weekend armed robbery. Police say a man and a woman entered the Syndicate Avenue Mac's Store on Sunday morning armed with a knife. They ran off with some cash. The suspects were later caught and appeared in court Tuesday.   The 32 year old man and 27 year old woman were remanded in custody.

Woman opts for jury trial in fraud case

A Thunder Bay woman is asking for trial by judge and jury in connection with a fraud case involving the Port Arthur Polish Alliance Branch #19.   The lawyer for Krystyna Dolasinski says a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for October.  Christopher Watkins says the hearing will help build his defence by continuing to explore the strength of the prosecution's case and concerns that centre around the strength of that case.  Alliance officials say they found about 100 thousand dollars was missing from their accounts over a two year period.  In court on Tuesday,  Assistant Crown Attorney Gil Maille said that charges of Breach of Trust and Misappropriation of Money were withdrawn.  He says however,  she still faces charges of  Fraud and Theft over 5 thousand dollars and Falsifying Documents

OPP long weekend activity

Not much activity on the long weekend for Thunder Bay OPP. Police did pull over one vehicle in the area of Highway 61 and Arthur Street this morning. When speaking with the driver, the officers noticed the 37 year old man was showing signs of impairment. He's charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving over 80 milograms; that's twice the legal limit. Police also issued 3-3 days licence suspensions over the May long weekend.

Leon's furniture protest

Thunder Bay's skilled labourers are protesting in front of the Leon's building. Glen Drews is the head of the electrical construction workers for the region and says they're dissapointed they didn't use local workers. Drews adds Leon's shouldn't expect locals to buy their furniture since they didn't employ anyone locally. Leon's Furniture store is presently being built down from Walmart on Fort William Road.

King's stereo building demolished

Demolition work is complete on the King's Stereo Building. Clean up has commenced and is expected to take several weeks. M Hashy and Sons Contracting Owner Michael Hashy hopes to have Syndicate and Miles Street open by this afternoon. The materials of the demolished building are being hauled to the City landfill.