Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drug bust at bus terminal

Narcotics police are reporting a drug bust at the Greyhound bus terminal Tuesday.  They say that a man from Quebec was found with cocaine, oxycodone, heroin and marijuana.   Total value of the drugs seized is almost 35 thousand dollars.

Oxy bust at airport

More oxycodone pills destined for First Nations territories has been confiscated by police. This time two men from Toronto have been charged by police after they were stopped at the Thunder Bay airport on Monday. Officers say they seized 440 tablets concealed in a body cavity. They say while the drugs would fetch 44 thousand dollars on the street in Thunder Bay, in remote First Nations communities they'd be worth 175 thousand dollars.

Highway 11 open again

Highway 11 near Beardmore is now open to traffic.  It was closed for several hours because a tractor trailer carrying a load of cars completely caught fire...that included all the cars that were in the load.  Police say there were about five of them, none new.    No one is hurt.

Missing teens found

City Police say two missing 17 year olds are safe. They say that Courtney Kwiah was found in the company of Chrisopther Suganaqueb. They were apparently hiding from police and family.

North B-I-A goes for image change

The Heart of the Harbour B-I-A is no more. It's been renamed the Waterfront District and chair Suzan Cooper-Rochon says the re-branding helps to connect the area to the new Prince Arthur's Landing project. The logo incorporates the north downtown skyline with a stylized Sleeping Giant.  The new logo was designed by Firedog Communications.

Hobbs says TBaytel belongs in city's hands...for now

Mayor Elect Keith Hobbs says in the right situation he would support selling TBaytel to the private sector. . Hobbs says right now it's a very good asset but when the time comes a sale might be something he would favour.  He says if the asset starts to become less viable then looking at a possible sale to the private sector should be looked at.  Meanwhile Hobbs is very supportive of the company's move into the television market.

Support seen for reviving boating group

There may be a new beginning for an old group that used to promote boating on Lake Superior.   A move is on to resurrect the North of Superior Marine and Marketing Association.   Thunder Bay Tourism Manager Paul Pepe says there was a fact finding meeting on Monday night where interested groups from Wawa to Thunder Bay gathered.  He believes the revival plan has broad support

TBaytel launches TV service

Shaw Cable and Satellite TV providers have new competition in town.  TBaytel has finally launched its highly touted digital TV service.  It was unveiled over the weekend almost 2 years after receiving CRTC approval.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lang talks with MPs

Confederation College President Pat Lang is returning from a quick visit to Ottawa.  Lang took part in meetings on Monday with Cabinet Ministers and MPs. Lang adds they spoke about aboriginal education and applied research.  The meeting was part of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

McLeod launches first kids book

A Thunder Bay woman launched her first children's book over the weekend.  Kiss Me! I'm a Prince was written by Heather McLeod while she was on maternity leave with her son.  The book launch took place at Chapters and included a reading, and interactive kids activities.

Winter Roads Funding announced

The Provincial Government has rolled out this year's funding for the Northern Ontario winter road network.  Minister of Northern Development Michael Gravelle says they've boosted this year's allotment by 300 thousand dollars.  The total budget comes in at 4.5 million.  The winter roads link 31 communities together and spans over 3 thousand kilometres.

Bisson looking into exclusivity reports

The NDP are concerned about reports of tourist outfitters being given exclusive access to Northern lakes and crown land. People have been contacting Natural Resources Critic Gilles Bisson stating signs have been posted saying only Tourist Outfitters can access the lake.  Bisson says he's raised the issue with Minister Linda Jeffrey, but he isn't happy with her answers to date.  Bisson says most of the closed off lakes are in the Wawa area but notes it's probably happening in the rest of the Northwest as well.

Search on for TBSO general manager

The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is looking for a new general manager. It's because Leanne Atkinson is not coming back from maternity leave in February as planned. Advertising for the position will start this week. Clint Kuschak has agreed to stay on as acting GM until March.

Arson arrest made

One person is facing an arson  charge in connection with last weeks fire on Georgina Bay.  A vacant townhouse unit was badly damaged.  Police say the person charged is a 19 year old woman from Landsdown House.

Photos released of Robbery Suspect

Thunder Bay Police have released photos of the suspect involved in Friday's robbery of the Apple Credit Union. A man armed with a hand gun ran off with an undisclosed amount of cash last Friday afternoon. Photos of the suspect can be seen around this story.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dryden hospital decides against smoking ban

The board of directors of the Dryden Regional Health Centre have decided not to pursue a smoking ban. The hospital's CEO Wade Petranik says the board decided against the ban to respect patient rights and because of concerns about the enforcement of the ban. The decision runs contrary to the hospital's advisory board recommendation in favour of a ban. Petranik says the hospital will continue to encourage individuals to stop smoking through various programs. Currently, smoking is allowed in a outdoor courtyard at the hospital.

Two area residents recognized for life saving efforts

A Minnesota woman was is in town Friday to present an award to a couple of area residents who saved her life by administering CPR.

Judith Taylor was attending the Red Rock Folk Festival's closing ceremonies in 2009 when she went into cardiac arrest. Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey and visiting nurse Wendy Houston acted quickly by administering CPR and saved Taylor's life

Taylor, who had a heart condition at the time, says she feels lucky to have been at the festival when she collapsed because individuals trained in first aid were on hand to help.

Harvey says it was fortunate he and Houston could help and adds that learning CPR and first aid is much easier than many people think.

The award was presented at a Superior North Emergency Medical Services dinner on Friday.

West Victoria Avenue crash

There was a head on collison yesterday on West Victoria Avenue. A pick up truck and a car collided around nine in the morning. Police say the driver of the car was taken to the Regional Health Science Centre by ambulance. The driver of the truck had minor injuries. The traffic unit is investigating the crash.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Highway 11 traffic slowed near Nipigon

The OPP are controlling traffic this morning on Highway 11 near Nipigon in order to create some breathing room for workers pulling a tractor trailer out of a ditch. The truck went off the road early this morning. No injuries were reported.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wage increase on the way

City Council is supporting an interim wage increase for firefighters.  The City and the Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association agreed on an increase retro active to 2007.  Fire Fighters have been without a wage increase since then.  The settlement will be presented to council for ratification on December 7th.

Commission completes hearings

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is moving on. It spent last week in the city gathering statements from native residential school survivors. Commission chair Murray Sinclair says the stories he heard have many similarities.  Sinclair says the affects of the abuse they faced, will be felt for many generations.

AIDS spreading in Thunder Bay

Aids Thunder Bay is seeing an increase of people testing positive for the AIDS. Spokesperson Bob Manson says the statistics are alarming and notes over the last 24 years there's been at least 1 infection each year in the City.  Manson says the disease is being spread in the aboriginal community and notes awareness is key.

Fort Frances woman wins at McDonalds

A Fort Frances woman is 25-thousand dollars richer after playing McDonald's Monopoly. Harriett Wagner uncovered the instant win prize during a recent visit to the McDonald's restaurant at the Fort Frances' Walmart.  It's believed to be the first time a person from northwestern Ontario has won a major prize playing the the McDonald's contest.

Bell working on PST rebate

Bell Canada is working with the Union of Ontario Indians to provide PST rebates to its First Nation customers. Spokesperson Jacqueline Michelis says they were overwhelmed with the amount of calls they received about the refund.  The rebates will be retroactive to September 1st when the PST was to be exempt from phone, satelite and cable bills for First Nation residents.

Kiwanis honours police

The Westfort Kiwanis Club is holding it's annual Officer Appreciation Awards tonight.  This year's recipient is Constable Jim Wright. Kiwanis Spokesperson Jim Kalyta says they started the awards in the 90s as a way of giving back to the police.  Wright is a member of the Emergency task unit and volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society and Arthritis Society of Canada.

Credit union robbed again

For the 3rd time in 8 months the Apple Credit union on Cumberland Street has been robbed.  It took place Friday  afternoon and involved a man armed with a handgun. He got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and took off in a silver mini van.   Police spokesperson Chris Adams says investigators are looking at possible links between this robbery and the ones that took place in August and April.

Richard Jagielowicz wins CA Rockstar Contest

Lakehead University Student Richard Jagielowicz has won a provincial competition.  Jagielowicz created a music video about accounting and won the "Rule the Tube 2010 CA Rockstar" contest.  He says he's happy and hopes employers in the Thunder Bay area take notice.  The LU student won 1 thousand 500 dollars and gets to attend a chartered accountants conference in Southern Ontario.

Operation Ghost

Its being dubbed Operation Ghost and its resulted in the arrest of several individuals. Inspector Tom Dirling is the Program Management officer with the OPP Drug Enforcement Unit and says the charges are a result of a six month investigation in the Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Ignace areas. Drugs purchased and seized include 185-grams of cocaine, 14-pounds of marihuana, over 2-thousand Oxcondone tablets. The street value of the drugs is 245-thousand dollars. Officers also seized 125-grand in cash and 70-thousand dollars in vehicles.

Thunder Bay man charged in Sioux Lookout

A 30 year old Thunder Bay man is charged with robbery in Sioux Lookout.  OPP responded to a robbery at a local hotel on Wednesday.  The front desk clerk was approached by a masked man demanding money.  The clerk was able to force the man out of the hotel, but was hurt in the process.  The Thunder Bay man is charged with robbery, obstructing police, and disguise with intent.

Christmas Cheer Campaign Underway

If you want to keep up to date on Thunder Bay's Christmas Cheer Campaign you can go online.   Chair Linda Gambee says the site will be a big help.  Last year the group fed over 5-thousand people.  Gambee says they've noticed more and more need at Christmas time with people still being out of work. This year's fundraising goal is 165-thousand dollars.  The charity group has a new site at http://www.thunderbaychristmascheer.com/

Special Olympics fundraising continues

The call is going out for financial help for the upcoming Special Olympics. They are about 200 thousand dollars short of their fundraising objective. Chair J-P Levesque says they are reaching out to the community by trying to get more corporate sponsors and to get more people to adopt an athlete.   He says they're hopeful.   The games take place in January.  Meantime the Athletes Village will be at two local hotels.  RBC provided the 40 thousand dollars towards the costs. 

Man marks major milestone with the Canadian Blood Services

A Thunder Bay man is celebrating 2 major milestones.  John Burns turned 80 years old today and marked it by making his 534th plasma donation at the Canadian Blood Services centre.  Burns says he's proud to still be able to give after all these years.  If you want to donate call 1-888-2-donate.

Two wanted in connection with early morning fire

Thunder Bay police are looking for two girls after an early morning fire.  No one was hurt in the blaze at a line of row housing on Georgina Bay that police are investigating as an arson.  6 firetrucks and 22 firefighters were called in to deal with the 2 alarm blaze just after midnight.  Two girls in their late teens were pulled from the building by a care taker, but when he called 911 they fled the scene.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Festive RIDE program set to begin

The police will be starting their Festive Ride program soon. Scott Smith of the city police says there will be scores of officers who will be out stopping vehicles starting December first.   It will be dedicated staff from  the city police, OPP, RCMP and the Anishinabek Police. New drunk driving laws mean the vehicle you are driving could be impounded.

Creative writing award for Thunder Bay youth

Several Northwestern Ontario first nation youth are being honoured for their writing.  Vanessa Trimble from Bearskin Lake, Erik Fiddler from Sandy Lake, and Thunder Bay's Nakita Guillet all received the James Barleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing award.

Mauro wants snow tire rebate

Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro wants more Northerners to use snow tires.  He's calling on insurance companies to offer a rebate for those motorists who pay extra for the heavy duty tires.  Mauro says a snow tire rebate is win win for both drivers and insurance companies since people will be safer on the road and there will be less claims.  Mauro introduced a motion in the Ontario Legislature on Thursday.

Wildlands league likes new route

The Wildlands League is happy with a transmission line route in Northwestern Ontario. The route will be ran along side exsisting roads in the Dryden and Ignace area. Spokesperson Anna Baggio says the new route won't hurt the boreal forest habitat, caribou, or waterways.  The re-routing of the transmission line to Pickel Lake was part of the McGuinty Government's "long term energy plan." The transmission line will provide electricity connections north of Pickle Lake.

Bell Canada Under Attack

Bell Canada is being accused of failing its First Nation customers.  The Union of Ontario Indians says its members have had a hard time getting their PST refunds.  Spokesperson Maurice Switzer says some people have had to wait on the phone for over 4 hours.  Others have reported that the customer service agents knew nothing about the pst exemption situation.  All phone, cable and satelite bills were expected to be PST free as of two months ago.

Students help the needy for Christmas

The students at St. Bernard's elementary school are helping needy children and their families. They're donating items for Dilico Family Services. This is the second year of the program.

A flash freeze is coming our way

Its going to go from bad to worse for road conditions today.  Environment Canada's Geoff Coulson says a flash freeze warning is in effect.  He says temperatures will drop to minus 10 this afternoon which will freeze the wet slushy conditions we have right now. Coulson says the cloudy wet weather will move out of the area tomorrow but return again for the beginning of next week.

Student Transportation Services explains bus cancellations

Slippery conditions gave many students in the area another day off of school today.  Dave Carroll of Student Transportation Services says he and a collection of bus operators decided conditions were too dangerous this morning.  Carroll says wet weather and below zero temperatures often make driving difficult this time of year.

ONWA explores violence issues

Aboriginal women remain vulnerable to violence according to a local activist. Lorene Rego has organized a day of information to educate people on the issue. She wants to keep it top of mind adding that violence against Aboriginal is pervasive and in most cases it ends tragically.  They are also the most at risk group in Canada on issues relating to violence.  The day of information is being put on by the Ontario Native Women's Association

Another Snow day for Rural Students

For the second time this week rural students will have a snow day.  Kakabeka Falls, Gorham and Ware, Valley Central, Nor'Westerview, Whitefish Valley, McKenzie, Five Mile and Crestview schools along with Thunder Bay Christian School are all closed today.  As well all city and rural school buses have been canceled.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Contraband booze seized

Almost 6 thousand dollars worth of alcohol bound for a northern First Nations community, is out of circulation.  Police along with security at the Deer Lake Airport seized numerous bottles of vodka this week. Alcohol is not allowed in the community located about 700 km northwest of Thunder Bay. 

Evans to discuss curfew proposal with colleagues

The idea of a youth curfew in Thunder Bay is getting the attention of city Lawyer Rosalie Evans. Mayor-elect Keith Hobbs is floating the proposal. Evans says she plans to find out how other municipalities handle the issue when she meets with municipal lawyers in Toronto.  That gathering takes place a week from this Friday.

LU Prof awarded Research Chair

Lakehead University's research efforts continue to rewarded.  This time it's through a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Education for Dr. David Greenwood.  Greenwood is one of 8 LU Professors to be awarded a Canada Research Chair.

Johnson says curfew idea has merit

Mayor-elect Keith Hobbs may have at least one councillor on his side that's in favour of a youth curfew. Hobbs says he'd like to see a midnight curfew for those under 16. Councillor Rebecca Johnson says the idea has merit and is worth discussing.   Johnson says in the past police have said curfew would be too hard to enforce