Friday, August 6, 2010

Health Sciences Centre feeling the heat

Officials at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre are scrambling for answers. It's because some patient's pharmancy papers from the old Port Arthur General Hospital have been found around the site of the building which is now being demolished. Hospital officials are trying to determine how the papers were disposed of and why the confidential health records were exposed to public view

The "Iceman" among 6 new Hall of Fame inductees

There will be 6 new inductees into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.  World curling champ "The Iceman" Al Hackner, BMXer Jay Miron, hockey star Greg Johnson and free style skiier and two time Olympian Dave Walker will be inducted in the athlete category.    Being inducted as builders are hockey coach George Gwozdecky Jr. and baseballer Fred Bragnalo.   The Hall of Fame induction dinner takes place Saturday, September 25th at the Valhalla Inn.

Gravelle talks forest tenure reform

Minister of Forestry Michael Gravelle is defending his government's forest tenure reform plan.  The plan suggests putting wood allocation into the hands of local management forestry corporations. Gravelle says he understands that many stakeholders have voiced their concerns over the idea. He vows they will use input from stakeholders in making final decisions. Gravelle adds a new forest tenure system won't be in place for another 3 to 5 years.

Reviewing Ontario's Workplace safety

A report on improving work place safety is set to be released in December.  Tony Dean is the Chair of the government appointed review panel and says they received input from Thunder Bay and across the province.  Dean says they want to beef up training for new employees and will report back to the Minister of Labour this fall.

OPP comment on being forced out of Pikangikum

Members of the community of Pikangikum forced 11 OPP officers out of the town on June 30th. An investigation is ongoing and not much more is known about the incident. Superintendent Ron Van Straalen says many people in Pikangikum rely on the OPP. Van Straalen says they have a good relationship with the community and notes the community is not necessarily upset with the police.

NOSM employees could strike

Labour unrest for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay and Sudbury.  Clerical, administrative and technical staff have voted 97-percent in favour of a walkout if contract talks break down.
Overtime, workload, sick leave and job classification are the issues of contention.

Bending Lake Iron Ore plan approved

The provincial government is approving a plant that will breath new life into the former Steep Rock Mine near Atikokan. Bending Lake Iron Ore Group is proposing a processing facility for ore from a planned mine at Bending Lake while Brett Resources would use it to dump tailings from a nearby gold mine. Henry Wetalainen of Bending Lake Iron Ore says approval allows their plans to enter the environmental assessment process. Wetaliainen estimates the project will cost about 900-million dollars and create about 700 construction jobs and another 300 when up and running.

Treaty Three critical of SIU report

Grand Council Treaty #3 continues to be critical of the OPP response to a shooting incident in downtown Kenora.  The Ontario Special Investigations Unit released a report into the shooting of 39 year old Grassy Narrows resident last week clearing an OPP officer of any wrong-doing.  Grand Chief Diane Kelly says she's disappointed with the finds in the report and also the policies and procedures of the OPP.  Kelly says if she can't get answers from the OPP Commissioner or Ontario's Solicitor General, she will file a complaint with the Independant Police Review Director.

More active fire season

The 2010 forest fire season appears to be more active than in previous years. However, Debbie McLean of the Ministry of Natural Resources says it's only because those previous years were very slow in the Thunder Bay District. She says last year by this time there were 35 fires while this year there have been 54. In the region there have been slightly over 323 fires

Outbreak over

The respiratory outbreak at Roseview Manor is over. All visitation restrictions that had been in place on the Primrose Wing have been removed.

Combined Forces Drug Unit make two busts

The Combined Forces Crime Unit made a big bust in Geraldton yesterday. Officers search a home and seized over 400 grams of hash, 39 grams of marijuana, and 202 oxycodone pills which have a street value of over 25 thousand dollars. A 53 year old Geraldton man is facing a number of charges. Meanwhile the Unit has charged a 55 year old Thunder Bay man after discovering a grow op last week. Officers found over 60 thousand dollars worth of marijuana in a house on Francis street last Wednesday and have charged the home owner with unlawful production of marijuana.

Cascades damaged by vandals

The Cascades Conservation Area has been hit by Vandalism for the second time in recent memory. Over the August long weekend someone tried to set fire to the interpretive panels. The Panels were installed last week to replace the ones that were destroyed over a year ago. The new panels received some minor smoke and fire damage to the corners.