Thursday, June 30, 2011

City Solicitor prepares report on lawsuit

The City Solicitor is preparing a report for City Council about a defamation suit against Mayor Hobbs.  Rosalie Evans says the city does have policies in place that covers employees who are accused during their time on the job.  Evans report will be presented at the July 18th council meeting.  Meanwhile, The City isn't releasing a formal statement about the allegations.  Police Chief Bob Herman is seeking 700 thousand dollars in damages centered around comments made by Hobbs during a press conference earlier this spring.

Mayor still to file defence against lawsuit

Mayor Keith Hobbs hasn't filed his statement of defence against a lawsuit issued by The Chief of Police.  Bob Herman filed the defamation suit last Friday, and Hobbs has 30 days to file his defence.  The lawsuit centres on remarks Hobbs made during a spring news conference.  Herman is seeking damages of 700 thousand dollars.  The claims have not been proven in court.  Hobbs declined to comment and Herman could not be reached.

2 Thunder Bay residents appointed to Order of Canada

This year's appointments to the Order of Canada have a Thunder Bay flavour. Lawyer and Adventurer David Shannon along with Doctor Ruth Kajander have been named to the order and will recieve their insignia's at a cermony in the near future.

Keg gives 25-thousand to charity

The Keg is giving a local charity 25 thousand dollars.  Our Kids Count will use the money to offer programs to families with kids under the age of six.

Thunder Bay teen charged with mischief

A poor choice for a hiding spot for a Thunder Bay teen. Dryden Police were called to a Government Street home early yesterday morning by the resident who said someone was trying to get into the home. Police got a description and the accused was found shortly after hiding under a tree at the Tourist Information Bureau. Police say 19-year-old Marella Meekis has been charged with public intoxication and mischief under 5-thousand dollars.

Mishkeegogamang residents heading home

Its good news today for evacuated residents of Mishkeegogamang, they'll soon be heading home.  MNR officials say smoke from a nearby forest fire has blown out of the area and residents will be able to go home tomorrow.  However officials say the area is still under high alert and if the wind shifts residents could be evacuated again. 

Fort Frances man keeps snapping turtles

A Fort Frances man has been fined 17-hundred dollars for keeping live snapping turtles in his home.  Donald Cameron was charged back in February after Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers, acting on a public tip, found the reptiles hidden in the tank of a toilet.  Cameron had been convicted of a similar offence back in 2010.  Snapping turtles are a special concern species under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

Long weekend blitz

OPP and Thunder Bay Police will be out in full force this long weekend. They will target aggressive drivers who speed, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive while distracted or fail to wear seatbelts. The OPP will also be checking on waterways to ensure boaters are wearing life jackets or personal flotation devices.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TSX-LSE deal falls through

A blockbuster deal to merge the Toronto and London stock exchanges has fallen through.  The operator of the TSX says there wasn't enough shareholder support for the deal to take place.  Thunder Bay investment expert Blake Cameron, who predicted the deal might not happen,  says it now makes way for a Canadian deal with the Maple Group

Lang bids good-bye

The Pat Lang era at Confederation College is coming to a close Thursday.  After 11 years as President of the college she is retiring without any regrets.  Lang sites her greatest accomplishment as setting up the Community Nursing Program in the region.   She hopes her legacy will be the people she met and helped change over the years.

Fish for free starting this weekend

It's time to get your family hooked on fishing.Licence-free fishing begins on July 2nd across Ontario. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says it's a chance to try the sport without the hassle of getting a licence.

TBaytel gives 100 k to college

A new lecture theatre at Confederation College is getting  some of its tech equipment  thanks to a 100 thousand dollar grant from TBaytel.   Utility President Don Campbell says the donation shows the goals of TBaytel go beyond making money

Business community is optimistic

Small businesses in Thunder Bay are feeling pretty secure this year.  That's one of the themes in the annual Thunder Bay Ventures Survey.  Chamber of Commerce President Harold Wilson says the results are encouraging.  The Survey shows 51 percent of businesses are planning on hiring new employees this year.  Also almost 70 percent of respondents feel the city's economy is moving in a positive direction and just over 80 percent of respondents say they feel secure about their future.

Inflation is on the rise

The Inflation rate in Thunder Bay is way up.  Along with Halifax our rate is the highest in the country at 4.3 percent.  That's ahead of both the province and the country which rose to 4 and 3.7 percent respectively.

Public Board approved budget

The Lakehead Public School Board has approved its budget for the next school year.  The budget comes through at just over 135 million dollars.  The Board also announced it will be laying off 20 secondary teachers because of declining enrollment.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Canada Day celebrations set

Marina Park is again the site for the city's Canada Day celebrations. City events supervisor Doug Henry says organizers are prepared for 20 thousand people who are expected to attend. The stage show begins at 5:30 and opening ceremonies take place at 6:30.  Henry says it's Thunder Bay's biggest one day event.

Gliddy to face trial

The Thea Gliddy murder case is going to trial. The 29 year old Gliddy is charged with 2nd degree murder in the death of Randy Lawrence Cromarty in May of last year. His body was discovered at the Inntowner Hotel. A trial date is expected to be set in the coming months at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Camelot Street.

Investment advisor faces disciplinary hearing

A hearing is scheduled July the 11th for a Thunder Bay investment advisor who is facing a disciplinary proceeding in front of an industry securities watchdog.   The hearing by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization will probe allegations against Terry Norman Dyck relating to his knowledge of a fund he was recommending to clients when he worked at a local investment firm.

LU Prof endorses Water Street for Multi-Plex Location

The North downtown is getting another endorsement for the location of a proposed multi-plex.  LU Economics Professor Livio Di Matteo says the Water Street location will serve to draw visitors to our waterfront and showcase what Thunder Bay has to offer those who attend conferences and trade shows.  Di Matteo says as far as parking goes, parkades can be built to fix the problem.  

The end is creeping towards Gadhafi

The pressure on Moamar Gadhafi continues to mount.  Lakehead University's Political Science Expert Laure Paquette says with the International Criminal Court calling on his inner circle to arrest him, its only a matter of time before they turn on him. 

Local company is honoured with Premier's Award

A Thunder Bay company now has some added bragging rights as the result of a government award for helping to strengthen the local agricultural industry. Boreal Birch Syrup is one of the recipients of the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. The company makes syrup from birch trees in the area. The award was presented in Sturgeon Falls Tuesday.

Gas prices drop again

If you heading out of town for the weekend and need to fill up, well you're in luck.  Gas prices are dropping again in Thunder Bay.  The price of regular has dropped to a buck 25 a litre at a number of stations.

Three boys nabbed for stealing

Three young boys are in police custody after a number of vehicles were broken into in Westfort.  The three aged between 15 and 17 were spotted by officers just after 4 o'clock this morning on Rosslyn Road and took off into the bush.  Officers with the help of the Canine Unit captured the boys and found a number of stolen items.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Groups fight for Multi-Plex

Everybody wants a piece of the Multi-Plex pie.  The Bay and Algoma Business Association and Victoria Avenue BIA pleaded to council to consider locations on their side of Thunder Bay.  Councillor Larry Hebert and Mayor Keith Hobbs feel its too early to narrow down their choices to just three sites.   The Downtown Waterfront, Innova Business Park, and a site on Airport Lands will move to the next phase of a feasibility study.

Art Gallery looks to the future

Thunder Bay's Art Gallery wants to move to the waterfront.  City Council has asked for a report to see if they can dove tail a new art gallery building into a phase of the waterfront development project. Director Sharon Gowin says they need to double the size of their current location at Confederation College.  Godwin adds they love their current home but moving to the waterfront would give the art gallery more visits from foot traffic.  The report will come back to council in November.

No injuries in boat collision

Two boats full of people are safe after their vessels collided on the south end of Whitefish Lake Saturday night. OPP say a boat full of four people capsized after striking a fishing boat. There were no injuries and the fishing boat managed to stay afloat with some damage.

Dugmore takes medical leave for cancer treatment

The city's Waterfront Project Manager is taking a medical leave of absence to get treatment for cancer. Katherine Dugmore says she looks forward to returning to the position in the near future. Until then Tourism Manager Paul Pepe will be Acting project manager.

Industrial accident victim from Thunder Bay

A 24 year old Thunder Bay man is the victim of Friday's scissor lift accident in Shuniah Township.  OPP identified him as Gustavo Argueta.  He was on the fully extended lift when it tipped over falling about 50 feet to the ground.  He was pronounced dead at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.   

Humane Society not investigating injured puppy

The Humane Society's new Inspector has only been here a month and is already up to his shoulders in work.  Clancy Martin has taken up the post and one of his first tasks is looking into last week's report of an alleged abused puppy.  Martin says because there are no witnesses there is no conclusive evidence of any abuse.  Martin says if anyone has more information on this case call 475-4425.

Rainfall warning in effect

Expect lots of rain and some scattered Thunderstorms today.  Our Meteorologist Bill Laidlaw say a slow moving system will dump about 20 to 30 millimetres of rain on us this afternoon.   Laidlaw says heavier thunderstorm cells could bring more rain.  Once this rain pushes past overnight, Laidlaw says warm humid weather will be coming our way.

RFDA gets donation from Union Gas

The Regional Food Distribution Association in Thunder Bay and the Rural Cupboard Food Bank in Kakabeka Falls have received $7,500 from Union Gas in support of their mission to provide food and necessities to those most vulnerable.

Local player drafted to the NHL

Thunder Bay could have another young NHLer in a few seasons.  Justin Sefton was the lone Thunder Bay player drafted over the weekend.  He was picked up in the 3rd round by the San Jose Sharks.  Sefton says his goal for next season is to earn an invite to San Jose's main training camp. The 6'2" defenceman skated for the Sudbury Wolves last season and says he can bring solid defensive zone coverage and physicality to the table.

Work orders issued after fatal accident

A total of 8 work orders have been issued to a Sudbury company after a fatal industrial accident in Shuniah Township on Friday. Matt Blajer of the Ministry of Labour says Tera North Construction is the company facing the orders after the worker fell from a scissor lift.  The accident took place at the construction site of the McKenzie River Bridge.   A 24 year old worker was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Man dies after falling 50 feet

A 24 year old Thunder Bay man has died after falling 50 feet at a construction site.  The Ministry of Labour and the OPP are investigating the incident that happened Friday afternoon.  The man was operating a scissor lift near the McKenzie Bridge on Highway 17 when it tipped over and he fell. 

Massive Forest Fire nears Mishkeegogamang

A massive inferno more than double the size of Thunder Bay continues to inch towards a Northern First Nation.  The fire which is already over 57 thousand hectares is now within 10 kilometres of the already evacuated Mishkeegogamang.  Over 200 MNR personnel are battling the blaze but strong winds and a lack of rain have hampered efforts.  Officials say rain in the forecast will help. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Multi-Plex process moves forward

City lawmakers will narrow down the choices for a proposed Multi-Plex location at their Monday night meeting.  The three in the running include the Downtown Waterfront, Innova Business Park, and the Airport.  If approved, a second phase feasibility study will look closer at the costs and parking issues related with each site.

Rafferty stands up during marathon filibuster

The filibuster continues in the Commons, where the Harper government is trying to pass a bill to end the Canada Post labour dispute. It's not known when the debate will come to an end.  Its been going non-stop since Thursday evening.  The N-D-P is stalling the back-to-work bill, calling it Draconian.   Among the New Democrats who spoke in the debate Friday evening was Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty.

Friday, June 24, 2011

OPP investigate industrial accident

OPP are responding to a second industrial accident in the Thunder Bay area this week. A 23 year old man was operating a scissor lift on the McKenzie River Bridge in Shuniah when it tipped over. He fell over 50 feet, and was transported to the Health Sciences Centre with serious injuries. The investigation is continuing.

Cancer Care Northwest launches plan

Cancer Care Northwest is launching its four year cancer plan.  Vice President Michael Power says they'll be putting money towards advancing their IT department.  Cancer Care Northwest also plans to start a new Palliative Care Program.

Lab gets 1.3 million dollars

Over 1.3 million dollars in public funds is going to a bio energy lab at Thunder Bay's Abitibi Bowater mill.  The lab will use federal and provincial tax dollars to extract lignin from black liquor a by-product of the paper making process.

Cheques must be picked up

The postal dispute is forcing the city to ensure that welfare cheques are delivered to those in need.    The Social Services Administration board  and the District Housing Corporation  say all social assistance cheques for July will not be mailed and must be picked up next week at the CLE's Coliseum building.

Hawks may extend Sharp's Contract: LeBrun

It looks like Thunder Bay's Patrick Sharp could be about to get a contract extension with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.   ESPN's Pierre LeBrun is Tweeting that Sharp's agent met with GM Stan Bowman and they agreed to talk again in a few weeks.  LeBrun adds that the Hawks are confident they can hammer out an extension.  Sharp is a year away from unrestricted free agency. 

Donations needed to help abused puppy

A 2 and a half month old puppy is at a vet clinic after being rescued from an owner who allegedly beat her with a golf club.  New Hope Dog Rescue Owner Valerie Mackett says she's looking for donations to pay for 35 hundred dollars worth of surgeries.  Donations can be made online or by calling New Hope.

Changes at the Canadian Wheat Board could affect Port

The Thunder Bay Port Authority is cautiously optimistic about the future of grain shipments if the Canadian Wheat Board loses its monopoly. CEO Tim Heney says he believes Thunder Bay will still be a competitive option for shipping overseas but business could be lost to the states.  At this point there has been no changes to the CWB but gutting the board has long been a priority of the government.

NOSM Grad Tracking Study

The Provincial Government is earmarking 1.14 million dollars for a tracking study of Northern Ontario Medical Students.  The five year study will examine graduates feelings about the program.  It will also look at factors that influenced students' choice of specialty, residency program and practice location.

Stop the Emerald Ash Borer

The City of Thunder Bay is worried about a bad bug that could kill all of the ash trees within the city. Urban Forester Shelly Veccio says the Emerald Ash Borer isn't in Northwestern Ontario yet and we should keep it that way.  Veccio says the bug will hitchike on firewood so always use local wood.  Studies have shown that the invasive pest will be in Thunder Bay within the next five years.

Wilson takes in Ring of Fire talks

Thunder Bay's Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the work being done to advance the Ring of Fire. President Harold Wilson took part in a two day conference and says the next step is to help first nation businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce is lobbying the Provincial Government for business development for First Nations.

Full evacuation called for Mishkeegogaming

The First Nation community of Mishkeegogaming is being completely evacuated.  The community is being overcome with heavy smoke from a forest fire that has moved to within 15 kilometres of the First Nation community.  The MNR says the community isn't threatened at this time but the fire is not under control. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Manslaughter plea in 2010 death

Guilty is the plea as two Thunder Bay women avoided a trial in the death of a Big Trout Lake woman in September of 2010. The woman's body was found in a room at the Arthur Street Travelodge Hotel. Joanna Vivier and Michelle Morris have pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will now be sentenced November 16th when more details of the case are expected to come out

Arson charge laid in weekend fire

The resident of a Pruden Street apartment is charged with setting a fire to his own place. Police spokesperson Chris Adams says it follows an investigation into the blaze which took place over the weekend.  The 53 year old is out of custody and is scheduled for a court appearance next month.

Thunder Bay aims to become "Walkable"

A new active transportation group is aiming to make Thunder Bay more walkable.  The Thunder Bay Health Unit held a one day conference aimed at finding ways to make the city more pedestrian and bike friendly.  Spokesperson Stasha Star says they'll eventually bring their findings to City Council. Star says they're goal is to encourage people to walk to the grocery store or work instead of reaching for car keys.