Monday, January 31, 2011

Youth Services Board proposed

Councillor Iain Angus wants to create a Youth Services Board for organizations that provide activities for area youngsters.  Angus says he came up with the idea for a board after the Underground Gym asked for municipal funds.  He says it's a way for Council to show leadership.  Councillor Rebecca Johnson says there are already a number of youth committees; so why would they reinvent something they already have.  Councillor Joe Virdiramo and Mayor Keith Hobbs
said they like the idea of the board but they don't think it's the right time to embark on the project.  The proposal is being put on hold and will be discussed again during the Strategic Planning Process.

Council approve 1.9 million dollars in grants

Thunder Bay City Council has doled out almost 2 million dollars to 16 community groups.  The cash flows from the Community and Cultural Funding Program.  The Community Auditorium, Museum, Art Gallery, and Symphony Orchestra are just some of the organizations who received grants.

Black Path to be examined

Thunder Bay's Mayor Keith Hobbs is vowing to turn the McIntyre area's "black path" into a safe path.  Councillors asked a variety of questions to the 17 year old who started the petition to get the walkway lit and monitored by video cameras.  Hobbs feels community policing would help make the pathway safer.  Councillor Andrew Foulds says lighting makes residents feel more confident and safe.  Administration will be providing a costing report to council on February 9th.

90.5 FM wants municipal cash

Thunder Bay's Information Radio Station is looking for cash from the City of Thunder Bay.  90.5 FM is a broadcasting service that repeats a steady loop of local weather, road and emergency information.  The group wants 18-thousand dollars from the city as a lease payment.  The money would be used to pay the employees who update the radio feed.  The station began broadcasting in the fall of 2010.  If the city doesn't provide the cash the company will either apply for a commerical licence or pull the radio station out of the City.

T-Wolves defenceman retires

Pierre-Marc Guilbault has left the Lakehead Thunderwolves hockey team after deciding to retire .The defenceman is an engineering major from St. Julie, Quebec.  He only played 14 games this season after suffering a November concussion. While he's been cleared by doctors to play, he's decided to focus on his studies so his can graduate from Lakehead this spring

Police Inspector faces misconduct charge

A member of the Thunder Bay Police is suspended after being charged with misconduct relating to an alleged neglect of duty.  Police say that Inspector Dan Taddeo is facing Police Services Act charges in connection to how he supervised a worker.  He will be in court February 16th when police say details of the case will be made public at that time.  The investigation was conducted by Toronto police at the request of Chief Bob Herman.

Daycare case back in court

It's back to court in March for a former daycare worker charged with fraud.   Sherrel Pucci is also charged with theft and passing off forged papers after Footsteps Daycare reported to police that the organization had been missing 15 thousand dollars.  Police say Pucci was the daycare's Executive Director at the time of the alleged fraud.  Pucci will make a court appearance March first when some of the evidence is presented in a hearing prior to the actual trial.

ARF gets millions to renovate

Thunder Bay's Ed Fukushima is on his way to developing a wood pellet plant in Atikokan. It comes with today's announcements of a wood allocation from the government. MPP Bill Mauro says Atikokan Renewable Fuels is also getting a grant from the provincial taxpayer through the Northern Ontario Heritage Funding totalling 1 and a quarter million dollars.  The wood allocation is worth 180 thousand cubic metres annually.

Beardy welcome Rickford's appointment

It's a thumbs up from Nishnawbe-Aski Grand Chief Stan Beardy. Beardy says Greg Rickford's appointment as parliamentary secretary in the Indian Affairs department is a welcome move. The Grand Chief says the Kenora MP is very familiar with NAN issues and has all the information he needs to lobby for them in Ottawa.

Cairo museum worth protecting: Tronrud

Egypt's National Museum is being protected from looters during this time of political unrest and Thunder Bay's Tory Tronrud  says that's a good thing. The curator of the Thunder Bay museum says the exhibits in Cairo are some of the most valuable in the world.  He says that includes the artifacts of King Tutankhamun. Tronrud says he's happy to see ordinary citizens are helping to guard the museum

Rickford gets INAC slot

The workload for Greg Rickford is now a bit heavier.   The Northwestern Ontario Conservative MP is now the parliamentary secretary to the Indian  and Northern Affairs Minister.

Masters says royal invite is in order

A former Thunder Bay mayor says our new mayor should invite Prince William and Kate Middleton to the city. A report in London says the couple plan to visit Canada in July. Former mayor Jack Masters says all it would take from Keith Hobbs would be a letter to Buckingham Palace. For his part, Mayor Hobbs says he will look into the idea.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anglers get fined for breaking rules

The Ministry of Natural Resources is fining three Michigan men $1,350 for catching too many Northern Pike. Back in August when a M.N.R. officer came across the men they had 27 pike; that's nine over the legal limit. The men were fishing near Geraldton (where the case was heard in court last week).

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Police say a man was robbed early this morning on Simpson Street near Rowand.
Around four a.m., a man walking northbound was approached by two men and a woman.
According to police, one of the men pulled out a knife and stole the man's wallet and cell phone.
Police were unable to find the suspects after searching the area and are still investigating the incident.

Road Rage

A 26-year-old man is charged with assault after a road rage incident.
According to police, the man was cut off by a 36-year-old man on Edward Street Friday evening. Both men pulled on to Riverview Drive where an altercation began. Eventually the 26-year-old got a 2-foot piece of leaf spring from his vehicle and swung it at the other man, causing minor injuries.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Carl Ave. bust nets ecstasy and oxy

There's been a big drug bust in the city. Police say they raided a home on the 200 block of Carl Avenue Friday morning. Sgt. Murray Brown says over 100 thousand dollars worth of drugs were seized including over 2 thousand ecstasy tablets and 878 Oxycontin pills.  A 38 year old man is charged,

Tunisian link to Egypt unrest unexpected

The political upheaval in Egypt may be taking some people by surprise, but not Thunder Bay's Laure Paquette. The Lakehead University political science professor says she's seen it coming for some time, but admits the cause was unexpected.  She says many believe the political protests in Tunisia were the reason Egyptians took to the streets.   Paquette advises to watch for how the government there reacts to the protests and if there is a heavy handed clampdown.

Pedestrian hurt in traffic accident

A pedestrian is hurt following a traffic accident on the city's north side.   The elderly pedestrian was in the wrong place at the wrong time.   According to police he was hit by an automobile  in a 2 vehicle mishap around 3:20 Friday afternoon at Memorial and Lisgar. Everyone involved--inluding the pedestrian--was taken to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre where they were later released with minor injuries. One of the drivers involved is being charged with careless driving.

Hyer talks election speculation

Parliment resumes on Monday and area MPs are bracing for a possible election. Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer says election speculation has been spreading quickly. Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer says he doesn't think of himself as a candidate, just an MP. Hyer hopes his VIA Rail Service bill will make it to the floor sometime in the Spring.

Rafferty stands up for pension bill

Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty is anxious over the fate of his pension bill.  He'll be making a last minute plea to his federal counterparts on Tuesday.  Rafferty says there still are some Liberals and Conservatives who are not supporting his bill. 

Black Path Petition reaches 500 signatures

Thunder Bay's Black Path is being singled out as being unsafe.  17 year old Cassandra Spence has collected 500 signatures on a petition calling for the path to be lit and monitored by security cameras.  Spence will be presenting the petition to council on Monday.  The McIntyre area walkway runs through Castlegreen, McVicars Creek and continues behind the Landmark Inn.  Spence says people don't feel safe using the large trail at night.  The pathway was the site of a murder last fall.

No Blood Shortage in NWO

There's a blood shortage in the United States, but here in Northwestern Ontario we have nothing to worry about.  Cold weather and traffic accidents taxed the system in the South.  Canadian Blood Services Spokesperson Adrienne Silver says inventory levels are good.  Silver notes Thunder Bay's plasma inventory is healthy as well.

OPP drug bust EMO

The OPP have arrested two people on trafficking charges after pulling over a vehicle in Emo.  Members of the Community Drug Action team stopped the vehicle yesterday on Highway 11.  Officers seized over five pounds of marijuana.  The drugs have a street value of about five thousand dollars.

Wood Allocation Speculation Swirls

A provincial government news conference on Monday is garnering the attention of Atikokan Renewable Fuels.  There's speculation that MPP Bill Mauro is going to make an announcement about their wood allocation rights.  Thunder Bay's Ed Fukishima says he'll comment on the company's fate after the announcement in Atikokan.

Bentz likes what he sees; so far

This week marks the marathon of budget meetings for the City of Thunder Bay. Mark Bentz chairs the meetings and says he hasn't had a chance to read the entire lengthy document, but notes at first glance he likes what he sees. Bentz says so far he feels comfortable with a proposed 1.6 percent tax increase.

No injuries after chimney fire

An Oliver Paipoonge family on Polar Road is not hurt after a fire this morning.   Chief Mike Horan  says it was a chimney fire which his crew managed to put out quickly. He says there is minimal or no damage to the house.

Property taxes could go up

It looks like City taxes could go up. Administration is recommending property taxes be increased by 1.64 percent. City Treasurer Carol Busch says the increase could have been higher but thankfully the city's assessment grew. Property taxes for the average residential property could come in at 2-thousand 502 dollars which is a 40 dollar increase over 2010. Busch notes the tax rate is not finalized and Council could change that number during it's many budget meetings this month.

Travel outside of Thunder Bay could be tricky

Some heavy snow could be hitting parts of the Northwest today but Thunder Bay will be pretty well untouched. Our Meteorologist Bill Laidlaw says we won't be getting much in town but area's south towards Duluth and west towards Kenora will be getting heavier amounts of snow.  After this system Laidlaw says the temperatures will stay on the colder side for at least the next week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Retired cop makes a take down

A retired city police officer and his wife are not hurt after he managed to thwart a break and enter to his Murray Street home this morning. Peter Toohey was awakened by a the sounds of breaking glass. He managed to run down one of the suspects.  Police caught another man nearby and charged both of them.

Police get cash for guns and gangs

Thunder Bay's Police Department is getting over 600 thousand dollars in provincial funds.  The money goes towards the City's guns and gang rapid response team.  Chief Bob Herman welcomes the cash noting it's money the force wouldn't normally have.

Atikokan stays with OPP

The township of Atikokan will continue to have the Ontario Provincial Police patrol its streets.  Town council has agreed to renew a five-year policing contract with the O-P-P with costs to come in just under one-point-five million dollars. That's about one-hundred thousand dollars more than what the town expected to pay in 2010.

Lim disagress with Greenpeace

Greenpeace might think the Forest Industry is getting away scot-free from the Endangered Species Act; but the Ontario Forest Industry Association disagrees.  President Jamie Lim says they were promised the industry would be exempt from Caribou habitat legislation but it just hasn't happened.  Meawhile, P.C Finance Critic Norm Miller is throwing his support behind the OFIA.  The Province recently posted changes to the act on the Environmental Bill of Rights website.

Busy time at Fort Frances Border

A busy month of December for Canada Border Services Agency officers at the Fort Frances border. Statistics released show more than 42-thousand people passed through the border last month.  Among them a Canadian who attempted to avoid paying additional fees on more than a thousand dollars worth of items purchased in the U-S.  The agency says the individual was asked to report inside, but left the property first to drop off the undeclared goods at a nearby parking.  Both the goods and the person's vehicle were seized, and later returned, but not before the individual coffed over 15-hundred dollars in penalties.

Children died of smoke inhalation

Two children killed in a fire in a remote Northwestern Ontario First Nations community earlier this month died of smoke inhalation. Both children, boys aged two and three, died in a house fire in the community on January 13th.  Nishnawbe-Aski police say a third child, a six-month-old girl, is reported to be doing well in the pediatric unit in London. Police say the cause of the fire is determined to be accidental with no foul play suspected.  The children's parents suffered no major injuries in the fire.

Gilbert seeks Tory nod

The Progressive Conservatives in Thunder Bay-Atikokan may have a bit of star power to put up against MPP Bill Mauro. Former Lakehead University president Fred Gilbert is seeking the Tory nomination for the October provincial election. That nomination meeting in Tbunder Bay is scheduled for March 20th.

L-U Library renovations complete

Lakehead University is showing off it's library these days. It's because the facility, known as the Chancellor Paterson Library, has undergone some 1.2 million dollars worth of renovations thanks to Ontario taxpayers. The institution held a media event to help highlight the improvements which include finally having wi-fi access.

See Us, Hear Us launched

Ginoogaming and Long Lake First Nation teens are taking part in an unusual photo assignment.  Dilico Children's Foundation is launching the See Us, Hear Us Project in the two communities.  Spokesperson Celeste Pedri says the teens will train to be photographers and take pictures of their communities.  The teens will be taking pictures of healthy and unhealthy relationships in their communities.  The Ontario Trillium Foundation provided 65-thousand dollars towards the project.

2 arrested after morning break in

The next time you try to break into a house make sure it isn't a retired police officer's.  Thats the case of a man and a woman who are behind bars after an early morning break in.  Just before 4 this morning the pair broke into the house on Murray Avenue.  The 74 year old retired officer woke up and managed to apprehend the woman. The Man was picked up by police close to the house a short time later. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Local racer takes on the world at Monte Carlo

A Thunder Bay woman is the only Canadian driver in the 100th Monte Carlo car rally that starts Thursday in Glasgow, Scotland. Joan Hoskinson says the 6 day race is her third and it never grows old.   She says it feels special to be accepted as part of the centennial celebration.   Hoskinson says she is the only driver representing Canada.

Jimi's owners back in court

Still no decision made in the Jimi the dog saga.  His owners will be back in court in March in connection with the dog park death of Gus the Chihuahua.  Defence lawyer Francis Thatcher says his clients are facing breach of the dog owner's liability act.  Fletcher says they'll be arguing that Jimi is not a pitbull and he did not kill Gus.

Smith to carry Canadian flag

A big honour for Lakehead University's Jordan Smith.  The Thunderwolves hockey star has been chosen to carry the Canadian flag during the opening ceremonies at the World University Winter Games.  They are taking place in Turkey starting on Thursday.

Board "banks" new age learning

The Public School Board isn't ready to test out a "new age" educational idea. Board Director Cathy Semieniuk says they're not going to consider opening a school to be run by the Northern Lights Education Initiative just now.  She says they have banked the idea and doesn't rule out bringing up the initiative in the future

10 year sentence for Gregorchuk

A Thunder Bay man is going to jail for 10 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Christopher Gregorchuk was originally charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of Richard Quimet in 2009. Court was told after Quimet was beaten to death, his body was taken to a remote area up highway 527 and burned. His co-accused, Eric Lindstrom will be back in court next month.

Wilson talks Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire mining development remains a hot topic for the Chamber of Commerce.  President Harold Wilson tells a pre budget committee in Thunder Bay, the government must get back what it spends on the project.   Wilson posed the question what if the smelter isn't in Thunder Bay or the region.  The Chamber head wants the government to track the infrastructure expenses that are put into bringing the project to fruition.  Wilson says if the smelter is moved out of the Province the government should hand them a bill for the work that was done. 

Beardy at Pre-Budget Consultation

The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation wants the province to improve police detachments in NAN communities. Stan Beardy made that plea to a pre-budget hearing in the city complaining that many detachments are in dilapidated states. Beardy also asked for an infrastructure program so reserve housing and water issues can be addressed.

Electricity concerns highlight hearing

Electricity concerns are high on the list of many community leaders in the northwest. That was made clear at a provincial pre-budget hearing in the city. Committee chair Pat Hoy says the worries were about the reliability of future supplies of electricity.   Hoy calls the energy issue a long term concern.  The committee will now take the local input and try to make it a part of their budget recommendations to the finance minister.

Lim speaks at Pre-Budget meeting

The Ontario Forest Industries Association is calling on the government to change the provincial building code.  President Jamie Lim spoke at the Pre-Budget Consultation session in Thunder Bay Wednesday.
Lim wants contractors to be able to use lumber in six storey buildings.  She feels the move would help the local Abitibi Bowater mill and other sawmills, and OSB facilities.  Lim says that's just one way the Province can help the region's forest industry.

Canfield speaks at Pre-Budget hearing

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is calling on the Provincial Government to upgrade the region's electricity transmission line.  Vice President Dave Canfield says the Northwest is going to need an increase in power to deal with the Ring of Fire and other emerging opportunities.  Canfield says Southern Ontario wouldn't stand for an outdated electricity system, yet the government expects the North to accept one.  Canfield spoke on behalf of NOMA at the Pre-Budget consultations in Thunder Bay.

Hillier and Mauro work it out

PC Northern Development Critic Randy Hillier tried to call out the local Liberal MPPs at a Pre-Budget consultation session yesterday in Thunder Bay; but had the tables turned on him.  Hillier sent out a news release asking why there weren't any Thunder Bay area MPP's at the pre budget consultation.  But only moments after the making the release public, MPP Bill Mauro showed up.  He was late because he was attending a Health Science Centre news conference but took it all in stride. Mauro and Hillier were spotted later having a friendly chat.

Research Institute going to MaRS

The dollars signs are starting to show in the eyes of those at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.  They've entered into a deal with MaRS Innovations, a company that takes medical inventions and tries to sell them.  The first idea to be put on the market from here is a new X-ray technology.   The Institute hopes it's the first of many patents developed at the Health Sciences Centre to be commercialized by the company. 

Police looking for robber

Police are looking for a mugger this morning.  Officers say a women was opening her car at the McIntyre Centre yesterday when a man in his 20's grabbed her purse and ran off.  The K-9 unit was brought in but no arrests have been made.