Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chamber sides with cab companies

Cab companies in the city have the Chamber of Commerce on their side. The Chamber wants the Police Services Board to reconsider a decision to disallow a rate increase the companies say they need to absorb the HST. President Harold Wilson says it's only fair. He says it will be the cab drivers who will end up suffering.

NWO Fire Update

The fire hazard is low to moderate across the region, including the far north which was at high hazard. A single fire was reported yesterday in the Greenstone District close to the community of Summer Beaver. The fire is small at 0.1 hectares. There are currently six fires burning in the West fire region.'s a gas, gas, gas

Many drivers in Thunder Bay are trying to beat the HST on gasoline.  They are lining up at gas stations to pay the lower price. The K & A Variety on City Road is getting lots of business today according to one employee.   He says it's been "nuts" all day.  The 13 per cent HST kicks in tomorrow.

Party of five found by OPP

Five young adults are safe after getting lost in the bush.  Thunder Bay OPP responded to a call on Sunday from a lost 20 year old.  The man and his four friends were lost on a bush road in the Adrian Lake road in Marks Township.  When officers arrived at the scene they activated their lights and sirens in the hopes that the group would see or hear where the police were located.  Officers walked into the bush for about 1.5 kilometers and located the group.  Everyone was safe.

Science North comes to Thunder Bay

Northwestern Ontario is getting a boost to its Science community. Science North has opened an office in Thunder Bay and C-E-O Jim Marchbank says the office will help promote science in the area by travelling throughout the region in the Cool Science Caravan. The office is located at the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club.

Condo and hotel projects "moving forward"

The Condo and Hotel projects for Prince Arthur's Landing are alive and well. That's according to developer Gisele MacDonald who met with city officials this week to go over the building design. She says the waterfront project remains in gear. MacDonald says they hope to put the condos on the market in September and says there are 3 hotel companies interested in being a part of the waterfront plan.   The design plans and the selected hotel will be presented to City Council in later summer.

Wind farm decision delayed again

The City of Thunder Bay isn't making any decisions on the Big Thunder wind park.  Council has asked Horizon Wind to produce another report, but this time reflecting the concerns of citizens at last night's meeting.  Councillor Linda Rydholm says she's glad they are getting more information from the company.  One member of the public walked out during last night's meeting disgruntled and visibly upset after council asked Horizon Wind representatives a series of questions.  The second draft report will come back to council on July 26th.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Local residents voice their concerns on proposed wind park

The message from a special council meeting on the proposed Big Thunder Wind Park is for city council to hold off on making a decision on the location until all public hearings are finished.  A series of deputations were held and many delegates said there is no need to rush a decision. Delegates also asked council to ensure Horizon Wind holds the proper amount of consultation sessions with the public.  Horizon is holding an open house on August 4th at the Community Hall and August 5th at Lakehead Labour Centre.

Loch Lomond Ski area worried about proposed wind turbines

The owner of Loch Lomond ski area is worried the proposed wind farm will hurt his business.  Ward Bond says he's spoken with his insurance company and is worried he might not be able to get liability insurance with turbines located near his operation.  Bond says the turbines could vibrate the ground jeopardizing the safety of their ski lifts.  Bond adds he's not against the turbines he just wants them located in an area that is away from homes and businesses. Bond was part of many deputations on the turbines at a special council meeting Tuesday night.

Decision time for city councillors

There's big city council meeting taking place tonight. It's expected that administration may recommend to council whether to approve or turn down a proposed location for a wind farm on the Nor Wester Mountains.  Councillors will be meeting behind closed doors prior to the 6:30 start.  It's there they will get a chance to discuss the delicate legal issues surrounding any potential decision.

Phone book features Special Olympics

In the immortal words of Steve Martin in The Jerk..."The new phone book is here, the new phone book is here."  TBayTel is distributing the new version to all it's customers over the next week or so.   It features a tribute to the Special Olympics Ontario Games being held in the city in January.

Crime in the 'hood on a map now

City police are now using the internet to inform you about crime in your neighbourhood. Spokesperson Chris Adam says it's called crime mapping and its like a virtual Neighbourhood Watch. He says different types of crime are marked on a Google Map. He says those crimes are the ones they feel the public is most interested in knowing about. That includes crimes of violence, property crime and even traffic accidents. Adams says those crimes are now marked to show exactly where in the city they happened.  The site also allows you to get e-mail alerts about crime in your area.  Here is the link to the crime map.

Search fails to find new Prostate Man

The search for a new Prostate Man is over, and no one will fill the role. The Health Sciences Centre tried to recruit a new man for the volunteer position, but Alison McMullen says they couldn't find the right person. 
Instead health officials are starting a promotion to encourage all men over 50 to be Prostate Man and monitor their own health

No pulp fiction...Terrace Bay Pulp set to re-open

Thunder Bay's Buchanan Forest Products is basking in victory. Creditors have voted in favour of the company's plan for Terrace Bay Pulp paving the way for the mill to re-open in the north shore community. Yves Fricot has been the company pointman in the process and he couldn't be happier. He calls it a great vote of confidence by the creditors who have been affected by some really tough times. The mill could re-open sometime next month.

Former PC MPP Leo Bernier died Monday

Former Tory Cabinet minister Leo Bernier died in Sioux Lookout yesterday. He was first elected to the provincial legistlature in 1966 and spent 21 years in office. The man known as the Emperor of the North was 81.

Two suspicious fires are being investigated

Thunder Bay Firefighters had a busy morning. They first had to deal with a garage fire on Summit Avenue just before 4 o'clock this morning. Then crews also responded to a vehicle fire on Crown Street a short time later. Both fires are under investigation.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Councillors trying out pilot project limiting questions

Council has approved a pilot project for two months limiting the number of questions a city councilor can ask the public and administration.  Most councillors were in favour of the change, but Councillor Rebecca Johnson was not.  Johnson says she asks questions that she knows the answers to for the benefit of the public.  Meanwhile, council voted down a resolution limiting how long a council meeting can run.   Many felt most meetings should go past 11:30 if it warrants it.

Library costs run over budget

The Mary J L Black Branch Library continues to run over budget.  The City of Thunder Bay approved 990-thousand dollars in extra costs associated with the library last night.  The latest tender for the project came in at over 4.2 million dollars and was awarded to Aurora Construction.  The additional cost is attributed to the construction market and the redevelopment of the preffered site at the West Thunder Community Centre.

Council approves purchase of new buses

There will be some new buses on city streets.  Council has approved the purchase of six new low floor 40 foot transit coaches from Nova Bus.  The buses will cost the city over 1.2 million dollars.

Canada Day brings the implementation of new long term care rules

The new long term care homes act comes into effect Canada Day and Thunder Bay's nursing homes are preparing for its implementation. Pioneer Ridge Administrator Cindy Jarvela says both the ministry of long term care and area homes are scrambling to implement the new rules. Jarvela says the homes will keep up the status quo and will have fully implemented the new act by years end. Jarvela says inspection teams will be coming into homes and conducting one on one interviews with residents and provide positive and negative feedback to the homes. The new act will ensure home infrastructure is kept up to date, and will also look at how residents are treated. 

City waiting for Hydro Board report

The City of Thunder Bay is going to wait to see what the Hydro board has to say about its size and structure.  Council was considering reducing the size of municipal representation on the board, but has since decided to wait for a report from the board itself.  The proposed make up of the board, if approved, would have only one member of city council on it. The city manager would also have a non voting position on the board.  Council is asking the board to review some of the proposed changes and provide a report on what they would like to see in their organization's makeup.

Police locate lost group

A group of five young adults are safe and sound after being lost in the bush over the weekend. OPP say that they went for a walk on a road in in the area of Adrian Lake Road in Marks Township and couldn't find their way back. Police walked into the bush for about a kilometre and half before the group was found.

Habs re-sign Pyatt

Tom Pyatt is officially with the Montreal Canadiens again. He signed a one year half a million dollar contract. For Pyatt it's a relief to get it done early and it gives him a chance to enjoy the summer worry free. He says he's happy to be back with the Habs. Pyatt says he hopes to use the contract as a springboard for something more longer term in the future.

NAN supports reading program.

The Lieutenant Governor's Summer Reading camp is getting the stamp of approval from the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.  The First Nations organization is helping to promote it. David Onley says the future of the program looks solid.   He says they're getting longer term committments from sponsors.    There are 100 youth counsellors in the program.

L-U hosts 11th Shad Valley

Some of the smartest teenage minds in Canada are at Lakehead University for the annual Shad Valley program . This year there are 65 participants. Local organizer Sultan Siddiqui says it's important to host the program in Thunder Bay. He says it exposes the city to future leaders of Canada. The students will be in the city for a month. This year they're being asked to develop a product that will help to fill a need for the aging population of Canada.

Shelter House Food Drive a success

The Thunder Bay Fire Department's food drive for Shelter House was a huge success. Food was collected at the City's Safeway locations and all but one Metro locations Friday night. Shelter House Executive Director Cal Rankin says the public donated over a tonne and a half of food and over a thousand dollars in cash and gift cards. Rankin says this should get them through the next month or two.

Purse snatcher caught by police

A purse snatcher was arrest by Thunder Bay police over the weekend. The 18 year boy old nabbed the purse from an elderly woman Saturday Evening, and will appear in court today. Police are still looking for a second man involved in the robbery.

Fire Department deals with shed fire

A house on McPherson Street saw their shed get torched yesterday. Just before 6:30 crews responded to the call and when they arrived they found the shed completely engulfed in flames. Officials are calling the fire susupicious.

Time saving measures coming to Council.

The move is on to shorten long winded city council meetings. Councillors will be considering two possible solutions at tonight's meeting. One is a proposal to have all Monday night council meetings end at 11:30 pm. Any further business would be settled the next evening. The other proposal would be to restrict councillors questions during presentations by the public and to administraiton.  Also at council several major contracts are being considered by city councillors tonight. One is for the new Mary J. L. Black Library, another is for the re-roofing of the Canada Games Complex. There is no cost associated with those two projects in the council agenda. Meantime councillors will also vote on the purchase of 6 new transit buses at a cost of 1.2 million dollars.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Drug bust in Conmee

Two men are charged after a drug bust in Conmee Township on Thursday. After a raid on Enders Road, police say they found marijuana plants, seven pounds of dried marijuana, magic mushrooms, and cannabis resin totalling over 100-thousand dollars. Police say the men will appear in court in August.

G20 causes chaos in Toronto

The opening of the G20 summit caused chaos in Toronto throughout the day yesterday, as protestors set police cars on fire and broke into several businesses. The main group remained on the destructive streak more than four hours after their violence began. Police say the violent group were dressed in black balaclavas, and used a Black Bloc tactic to evade arrest. Police were dressed in riot gear as they tried to keep the protestors under control. The summit continues today.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Walleye coming to Thunder Bay

Next week, a new monthly magazine will be available in Thunder Bay. The goal of the Walleye is to promote arts, culture, and entertainment within the city, by offering local coverage and a comprehensive events listing. Editor Tiffany Jarva says the magazine will spotlight people, events, and ideas that help shape and define Thunder Bay as a community. Sections will include The Top Five, Music, Film, Food, Getaway, and more. The free magazine will be available July 1.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Come on feel the noise

The city is experimenting with noise around the City Hall Transit Terminal. Transit Manager Brand Loroff says it's part of a study for a possible future terminal location. He says it's being done to gather data on what the noise and air quality would be at any given location in the city. The current site at City Hall is only temporary until a new temporary location on Violet Street is ready. The study will be taking place all this week.

New occupational health clinic open

Workers in Thunder Bay will have a new resourse to utilize. An occupational health clinic opened yesterday on Barton Street. It is a pilot project designed to assist clients who would normally directed to the Sudbury office of the Occupatyioanl Health Clinics for Ontario Workers. It's an offshoot of the Workplace Safety Insurance Board. Steve Mantis of the local Injured Workers Support Group says the pilot project is long overdo. Mantis says having these services is great for workers across the district.

Paramedics get latest lifesaving device

There's new equipment on board city ambulances. Superior North EMS has purchased new devices that will help paramedics open air passages of heart patients. Deputy Chief Wayne Gates says its another useful lifesaving tool called call Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Devices.   All 35 ambulances have been equiped with the devices at a cost of 42 thousand dollars.

Cats make roster moves

Injuries and such are keeping the Thunder Bay Border Cats on their toes. The club announcing that pitcher Nathan Kennedy is out for rest of season with a right elbow injury. Released were two players, catcher Brooklyn Foster and infielder Joel Stubbs. Added to the roster are three players: pitchers Alex Murrieta and Connor Little along with infielder Sean Miller-Jones

Local mother faces charges in child's injuries

A 38 year old Oliver Paipoonge woman is facing charges in connection with the hospitalization of her 3 year old daughter over the winter. Police say the woman is charged with Criminal Negligence and Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life. The toddler was transported by air ambulance from her family's home on Candy Mountain Road in the early morning hours of February 16th. Police were called after hospital staff felt the child's injuries were suspicious. The little girl is still recovering in hospital. The woman has been released from custody and will be back in court August 9th

Clelia II back for the season

The Cruise Ship Clelia II is back in the city for another season . It arrived in port after 6 Friday morning. The ship will only remain here for half a day or so on each visit. Time enough for the 100 or so tourists to roam the city. It's the first of 10 trips to the city this season.

Local film industry gets a shot of adrenaline

There's a new website up and running designed to help the local film community grow. It got off the ground with the help of the city's Economic Development Commission. CEO Steve Demmings says they're reaching for a global audience.   Among other things, the website is collecting a data base of possible filming locations in the city. Local filmaker Dave Clement says it's just what is needed to help make film production easy in Thunder Bay, by giving us a better shot at the potential 30 million industry dollars that could be up for grabs.  Clement says it's possible to get 10 to 15 million of that  here

Thursday, June 24, 2010

T-Wolves sign fromer OHLer

The Lakehead Thunderwolves Hockey team has it's first signing for the new season. Mike Quesnele is a defenceman from Sault St. Marie . Quesnele played 5 seasons for his hometown Soo Greyhounds of the OHL, his best year coming last season where he scored 13 goals and added 41 assists for 54 points – good for fourth in team scoring.

Woman charged in police shooting

After a two week long investigation, the OPP have laid charges against a 39 year old Grassy Narrows woman, who was shot by an officer in downtown Kenora.  Helen Proulx has been charged with assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer, uttering death threats and possessing a weapon dangerous to the public.  Superintendant Shelley Garr says members of Kenora's Crime Unit have been looking into the circustances surrounding the shooting.  Proulx is still in hospital recovering from her injuries so a court date has not been set yet.

Habs keep Pyatt top of mind

Thunder Bay's Tom Pyatt is one step closer to a possible signing with the Montreal Canadiens. The team has presented him with a qualifying offer. While Pyatt says it's a routine move....he's pleased the Habs seem interested in keeping him. He says contract talks with the team were going well before he left. The club indicated to him that he was a part of the team's future going forward. Pyatt says he's interested in continuing with the organization. Had the team not given him the qualifying offer, Pyatt would have become an unrestricted free agent as of July first.

Cabinet minister pumps HST

Thunder Bay is the latest stop for the McGuinty governments HST bandwagon. Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello went to a local business to promote how the tax will lower some prices. She says that over 83 per cent of goods and services will see no difference in prices, while 17 per cent will see a price increase. The HST will be introduced on Canada Day.

Business owner sings HST praises

A local business owner is touting the benefits of the new HST. Craig Urquhart of Intercity Industrial Supply explains that the tax will mean fewer costs when he buys his supplies.  For him, waiting to make his order after the HST kicks in on July First will mean a saving of 23 hundred dollars which he calls significant for his business.   Urquhart was part of a news event held with Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello

M.Y. Clelia visits Thunder Bay

Keep your eyes on the harbourfront. The first cruise ship to visit Thunder Bay this summer will be docking at 6am Friday. The 100 passenger boutique cruise ship the M.Y. Clelia II will be visiting Thunder Bay ten times this cruise ship season. The cruise ship will be at the docks until five pm.

Get Fresh Thunder Bay

Get fresh Thunder Bay!  The Food Action Network and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit wants people to buy locally grown food and is launching a number of initiatives this morning.  A new online local food store will be unveiled and copies of the "Get Fresh Thunder Bay" guide will be released.  The guide will now include information on local restaurants and caterers who are making a significant effort to use local food.

Sour Cherries land provincial award

Two northwestern Ontario agriculture businesses are being honored by the Government.  Mountain Fresh Farm in Kakebeka and Rainy River District Regional Abbattoir received the agri-food innovation excellence award.  James Sovren owns Mountain Fresh Farm and says their sour cherries landed them the provincial award.  Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Northern Development Michael Gravelle and Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro presented the awards in Thunder Bay on Thursday.

Thunder Bay's Angioplasty Unit gets an expansion

The Angioplasty Unit in Thunder Bay is getting a face lift. Tom Jones Construction has been given the tender for that will see a second Angioplasty studio built at the Health Sciences Centre. Vice President Scott Potts says right now the hospital can't meet the current demands making the Angioplasty Unit expansion greatly needed. The 12 million dollar project should be completed by next fall.

There will be no blockade

There is some confusion surrounding a possible Fort William First nation blockade of the Trans Canada Highway. CTV is reporting about 300 band members will be holding the blockade for 5 hours today, but according to Thunder Bay OPP the blockade has been cancelled.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quake shakes southern Ontario-Thunder Bay

Folks in southern Ontario are buzzing about an earthquake Wednesday afternoon. Reports have the quake centred just north of Ottawa and measuring at 5.0 (revised) on the Richter Scale. One witness just outside of Ottawa says it lasted about 30 seconds and was "kinda scary". She says things were knocked off shelves. She says she never experienced something like that before. Meantime, there are some people who believe they felt a bit of the southern Ontario earthquake here in Thunder Bay. Susan Bushby works at the airport and says she touched a doorway and felt it moving back and forth slightly. She says they even saw hanging clothes swaying as if they were blowing in the wind. Bushby says it was a bit of a shock.

Waterfront Development equals jobs

The City of Thunder Bay is giving itself a pat on the back.  Since the redevelopment of the waterfront started; 333 local jobs have been created.  Two football fields worth of fill has been added to the Prince Arthur landing to create the land along the shoreline. Waterfront Project Manager Katherine Dugmore says 28 million dollars in contracts have been awarded to date.