Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fatality on the Nipigon Bridge

A 21 year old Lake Helen man is dead follwoing an incident on the Nipigon Bridge.  OPP say that Miles Fawcett was found at 6:30 Sunday morning lying on the road and was pronounced dead at the scene.   Police closed Highway 11 and 17 for about 9 hours while they investigated.   Police not releasing any further details for the moment and are hoping someone who has information contracts them.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Drug Problem For Airlines

Police and airline officials are concerned about drugs being transported on small airplanes heading to isolated First Nations, and are determined to fix the problem by heightening security at smaller airports.

Thunder Bay OPP Det.-Sgt. Chris Lawrence said over 50 people have been charged and thousands of dollars worth of prescription drugs have been confiscated at Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout airports. The most common drug being smuggled is the heavily addictive Oxycodone.

MPP Howard Hampton says the provincial or federal government should be taking action, and funding more small airport security. Airline officials are trying to develop methods of tracking illegal drugs to First Nations.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bus driver hurt in accident

The driver of a city transit bus is hurt after his vehicle collided with a 5 ton truck. The accident took place just after 1 Friday afternoon at the corner of Red River Road and Clarkson. Joe Pucci was the driver of the truck.  He says the bus went through a red light and hit his truck as he was waiting to make a left turn.   Police confirm that bright sunlight may have restricted the bus drivers view of the traffic light.  About 5 passengers were on the bus at the time.  They were not hurt.

Fort William North Stars No More

The Fort William North Stars no longer exist. The team folded, but a set of investors has created a new team called the Thunder Bay North Stars. SIJHL Commissioner Ron Whitehead says it's a new team off the ice, but the same players on the ice. Whitehead says seven investors came forward to create the new team but they still need three more partners. The Thunder Bay Northstars will continue to play this weekend at the Fort William Gardens against the Dryden Ice Dogs.

Ruberto has no worries about new mayor

Councillor Aldo Ruberto says working with new mayor Keith Hobbs shouldn't be a problem.  Ruberto believes there will be no difficulty what-so-ever  between Hobbs and the rest of the returning councillors.   He says it shouldn't be a concern for anyone.  Ruberto won his second term on council in Monday's election.

Trick or eat

The Lakehead University Student Union is collecting food for its student foodbank this Halloween.
Spokesperson Chantelle Clark says they're calling it "Trick or Eat.".  Lakehead students will be dressed up in costume, but will have a LUSU id tag on to identify that they're with the food bank.

Thunder Bay software popular

A Thunder Bay based software company is expanding its salon management software.  Optique Global CEO David Logan says he has big plans for the company and is exporting the software into the states, Australia and England.  The software is being produced in foreign languages as well so it can be sold in non english speaking countries.

Don't throw your pumpkins out

Thunder Bay has a unique Halloween tradition that's going on 15 years. The Great Pumpkin Compost Collection is being offered by EcoSuperior once again. Spokesperson Ellen Mortfield says the pumpkin compost bins will be set up at the Lakehead Labour Centre, County Fair Plaza, and the Westfort Playfield. Since the program started over 276 tonnes of pumpkins diverted from landfill to the municipal composting site.

Fire Fighters honored Saturday

Thunder Bay's Fire Department is holding a celebration today. 8 new firefighters are graduating and 10, 20 and 30 year career milestone pins will also be awarded.  Acting Director of Training Dave Paxton says it's an important day for the department.  Paxton says its a nice way to show their respect for the older members of the department, and inspire the new ones.  The event will be attended by City staff, area MP'S and Thunder Bay's MPP.

Councillors back to work on Monday

It's the first City Council meeting since the Municipal election. City Clerk John Hannam says it will be business as ususal for Mayor and Council. Hannam says they are not a lame duck council so that means they retain all of their decision making powers. Council will hear from the owner of Badanai Motors about an extension to property on Court Street at Monday's meeting.

Police out in full force for Halloween

Thunder Bay Police are urging motorists to drive with care this weekend.  Little Ghosts and goblins will be wandering local streets Sunday night for Hallowe'en.  Spokesperson Chris Adams says costumes should have reflective tape on them so drivers can easily spot children crossing the street.   Adams adds they'll have extra patrols on duty for Hallowe'en.

Official election results are in

The City of Thunder Bay has released the official results from the 2010 municipal election. City Clerk John Hannam says they saw an increase in voter turnout with 46 and a half percent of residents voting this year. To view the results online visit the City website or pick up a hard copy at the City Clerk's office.

RFDA gets additional $

Another cash injection for the Regional Food Distribution Association.   This time it's close to a quarter of a million dollars from the provincial government.   Association Chair Larry Brigham says the money goes towards the new building on Syndicate Avenue.

Thunder Bay Golf and Country club could soon get condos

The Thunder Bay golf and country club is another step closer to building a Condo Complex at the golf course. The Organization has pegged Robert Zanette to build the unit. Club President Bob Swan says the development will also mean a new club house and other improvements to the club.  Swan says there are still a couple of hurdles to cross but construction should start next fall.

Northwestern road tops worst roads list

Northwestern Ontario is leading the province when it comes to the CAA's worst roads list. Pelican Falls Road near Sioux Lookout tops the list with Onion Lake road coming 12th. Onion Lake road is schedule for work in 2012, but there is no timeline for repairs to Pelican Falls Road.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spence walks

Not guilty is the verdict for Thunder Bay's Mervin Spence. A jury has acquitted him on a charge of assault causing bodily harm in the death of Scott James in December of 2007. Court was told James died after being thrown out of a Simpson Street bar by Spence. Spence was originally charged with manslaughter, but that was reduced and the jury has now delivered the not guilty verdict on the lesser charge.

Thunder Bay gets award

Thunder Bay's Environment Division was awarded a 2010 Environmental Stewardship award.  The Lake Superior Binational Forum honoured Thunder Bay for eliminating chlorine in its Treatment Water Pollution Control Plant.

Thunder Bay people honored

Two Thunder Bay residents are being honored by the Canadian Diabetes Assocation. Andrew and Derek Lawrence won the 2010 National Advocacy Leadership award.  The two were honored for their insulin pump campaign with the provincial government.

Hobbs wants in on meetings

Mayor Elect Keith Hobbs is meeting with the City Manager today to discuss the wind farm and other important issues.  Hobbs says he wants to be in on any critical meetings happening before he's sworn in.  He wants to know the city's perspective and thoughts on the wind farm lawsuit.  Hobbs says he and the other new members of council are going to have to live with any decisions made before December 1st.

Poverty Free a reality

As we were the first to report last week, Poverty Free Thunder Bay has been launched in the city. The organization is a political group designed to focus on poverty issues in the city. Organizer Aaron Park says while it will take an activist stand, the coalition has other goals as well.   Park says the goal is to work towards the elimination of poverty in Thunder Bay.  Pictured:  Councillor Rebecca Johnson helps launch Poverty Free Thunder Bay

Boshcoff won't give up federal run

Ken Boshcoff says he will leave his city council seat to run in the federal election when it's called. Boshcoff has been chosen to run for the Liberals in Thunder Bay-Rainy River, but his election to Thunder Bay council this week had put that into question. Boshcoff says his decision should be no surprise to anyone.  He says the 23 thousand people who voted for him knew it was a possibility.  Boshcoff says he wouldn't be the first sitting councillor to jump to federal politics

A local town hall stop for Iggy

Thunder Bay is Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's latest stop on his cross country tour. He brought his Open Mike Town Hall to Confederation College. He addressed the issue of FedNor by promising to strengthen the regional development agency, which he says has lost it's importance under the Harper government. He says it's part of his strategy to help get Liberal MP's elected from here. Ignatieff's visit included a trip to the Bombardier plant.

Private members bill scrapped

A private member's bill aimed at ensuring mining companies respect environmental and human rights standards abroad was narrowly defeated in the Commons last night.  At final reading, MPs voted 140 to 134 against the Bill, sponsored by Liberal MP John McKay.  Red Lake Mayor Phil Vinet says the Legislation would have crippled the mining industry in Northwestern Ontario.  Had the bill passed, complaints from the public would be examined to determine whether violated social, environmental, health or human rights guidelines.

Healthy Halloween for Diabetic kids

When your handing out candy this Halloween, don't forget that some kids are diabetic. The Canadian Diabetes Association is offering some suggestions on how to keep Halloween healthy. Spokesperson Richard Boon says there are a number of treats you can dole out such as stickers, yo yo's, or halloween themed pencils. Parents can trade with their kids for the candy for a new movie, or a toy.

Attawapiskat gets sporty

Canadian Tire and the Provincial Government are teaming up to build self-esteem in First Nation youth.  A Canadian Tire Jumpstart Youth Wellness Worker will be helping create sports activities for youth in Attawapiskat.  President Dan Thompson says the wellness worker will bring along an activity kit full of items that will help start sports activities.  As part of the program, Olympic Athlete Sami Jo Small will speak to youth in Kashechewan, Attawapiskat and Fort Albany.

New EMS Headquarters completes design stage

The Design for the new Superior North EMS Station has been completed.  The design was created by Thunder Bay's Habib Enterprises and will now go to tender.  Officials say the building will meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design to the gold standard.  Construction is set to begin in the spring.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bentz happy to be back on council

Mark Bentz says he's looking forward to another four years serving as Northwood Councillor. Bentz won back his seat in Monday's election.  However, he admits some scepticism about the waterfront project may have caused a slight backlash against him.  He says the election of Keith Hobbs as mayor isn't a concern for him.  He calls the returning council members a "great group" who will be happy to work with him.

Accident injures one

One person is recovering after being injured in an afternoon traffic accident on the Trans Canada Highway. It took place just west of the Terry Fox Lookout at around 2 o'clock.  A dump truck collided with the rear of a flatbed transport truck. OPP say that the injured man was not seriously hurt. There was a fuel spill as well, after a gas tank split open. Traffic had to be reduced to one lane for a few hours.

Crews respond to fire in West Fort

A person has been sent to the hospital after a fire broke out in West Fort. The cause of the house fire in the 900 block of Crawford Place is not yet known. The blaze originated in a rear bedroom where the man in his fifties was found.

Fort Hope First Nation Update

Police in Fort Hope First Nation say there aren't enough officers to fight high crime.  The Reserve says crimes such as arson are out of control so it has declared a state of emergency.  Sergeant Jackie George says the community needs patrols 24 hours a day, but there just isn't enough funding.  The reserve's chief says people are so afraid of arson, they sleep with a fire extinguisher.

Pepe provides update on tourism zones

It will still be several month's before the new Northern Ontario Tourism Zone is officialy incorporated. Thunder Bay's Paul Pepe is a member of the transition team and says a lot of legal work remains.  Pepe says they have decided to break-up the North zone into 3 sub-region's.  A total of 1.54-million dollars has been allocated for tourism-related initiatives in Northwestern Ontario.

Thunder Bay Hydro still dealing with outages

Most of Thunder Bay has its lights on today but Thunder Bay Hydro is still dealing with a few outages. Spokesperson Eileen Dias says a poll fire knocked out power to around 300 customers in the Balsam and Huron area, but that should be back by this evening. Dias says hopefully the worst is behind us. She says crews will also be working on a number of isolated outages across the city.

Kids deliver critical message

The message of preventing child abuse is being spread across the city by children themselves.  Over 12 hundred grocery bags have been decorated with prevention slogans by local school students.  The grocery bags are being distributed by Quality Market.  Pictured:  Hailey Madigan of Crestview School.

Windy conditions are a nuisance

People may have had a hard time chasing down errant garbage cans and other items that got caught up in the high winds yesterday.  One person had to grab their trampoline after it became airborne and hopped over a fence.  Trampoline made its way over the fence in Parkdale.  Winds yesterday were gusting up to 70 kilometers an hour. 

Local Liberal eager for Federal Leaders visit

Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is paying a visit to Thunder Bay on Thursday.  Yves Fricot is the Federal Liberal Candidate for Thunder Bay Superior North and says the state of the economy will be just one issue that he will address.  The Liberal Leader will be speaking for an hour and a half at Confederation College.  Ignatieff will also tour the Bombardier facilities in Thunder Bay and hold court with Liberal faithful at Gargolyes in the evening.

Spence acquitted of manslaughter

A man facing manslaughter charges has been acquitted.  23 year old Marvin Spence was facing the charges in connection to the December 2007 death of 44 year old Scott James.  A bouncer at the time, Spence kicked James out of a bar on Simpson street, James died shortly after.  The Judge found insufficient evidence to prove Spence landed the blow that killed James and acquitted him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thunder Bay man has messy police stop

Reports out of Timmins say a drunk driver with triple the legal amount of booze in his blood drove the wrong way on a one way street.  When Timmins police pulled him over the Thunder Bay man told the officer he soiled himself.  He was fined over a thousand dollars and is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for 18 months after pleading guilty on Tuesday.  The man told the police officer he had just moved to town for a job.

Weather impacts bus routes today

City buses will be making a number of detours thanks to the wild weather today.  Many vehicle accidents, drainage issues, and fallen trees have caused the routes to be altered.  There will be delays and stops may be missed on the numbers 9, 11 and 2 routes.

Rafferty on HST warpath

Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty is criticizing the Government for not exempting legions from the HST on poppy sales.  Rafferty says its like taking money from veterans.  Legions use the poppies as a way to remember fallen soldiers and as a fundraiser for their local chapters. Rafferty says it robs legions from money, and taxes the public act of showing respect for veterans. A private members bill asking for an exemption is being introduced but if passed won't help until the next Remembrance Day.

Foulds vows to work with Hobbs

Andrew Foulds was one of the 10 councillors to get re-elected in Monday's civic vote. The Current River rep says he's confident he'll be able to work with the new mayor Keith Hobbs and is looking forward to the next four years.   Foulds hopes to continue what he calls,  a relationship of respect with the other councillors

Hobbs still on cloud 9

Keith Hobbs says it still hasn't sunk in yet. He says his first day as mayor-elect has been a whirlwind of news interviews. He says he's already planning to lay the groundwork for his first term.  Hobbs says he's also looking to make some connections within the higher levels of government.

Lines down everywhere

The evidence of today's wind and rain storm is everywhere.  On Balmoral between the Oliver Road and Beverly,  there are several downed power poles. It's forced the closure of that section idefinitely.  At the height of the outage over the noon hour there were 10 thousand Thunder Bay Hydro customers without electricity.

Power outage affects traffic lights

Hydro, Fire and Police crews have been out this afternoon at various intersections in the North Ward.    A power outage has taken grip as the result of the wind and rain storm we're experiencing.   Police have been directing traffic because signal lights are out.

Power outages reported across the City

The wicked weather has caused a number of power outages in the City.  10 thousand Thunder Bay Hydro customers are without power.  Thunder Bay Hydro Spokesperson Eileen Dias says crews are doing the best they can to restore power. Trees have fallen on power lines, and the powers outs are wide spread across the City. 

Great Lakes Cyclone hitting Thunder Bay

Hold on to something heavy today because the Great Lakes Cyclone is paying us a visit. Environment Canada's Geoff Coulson says the very intense system is effecting Thunder Bay.  He says the storm will be strong winds gusting to 70 kilometres an hour and as much as 50 millimetres of rain by tomorrow evening.  Coulson says the temperatures will prevent any snow from hitting the area but Western Manitoba is a different story where Major snowfall warnings are in effect. 

Oliver Paipoonge reelects Klousterhuis

Lucy Klousterhuis earned another term as Oliver Paipoonge's Mayor. Klousterhuis says it was the first election since the two wards merged.  The community elected three new councillors Monday night.
Meanwhile,  the official election results are in in Shuniah.  891 votes meant Maria Harding could keep her job as Mayor.

Johnson finds the new make up of council exciting

Rebecca Johnson was one of 4 Councillor's at large re-elected in last night's election. Johnson says its going to be interesting working with new mayor, Keith Hobbs.  Johnson says it'll definitely be different but having a different view on council is exciting.

Chief says "no comment"

There's lots of reaction to yesterday's election,  but there's at least one person who isn't saying anything.  Police Chief Bob Herman says he won't be commenting on the election results.    Mayor-elect Keith Hobbs has been a vocal opponent of how the Police Service is run.