Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hike turns hazardous

Thunder Bay firefighters had their hands full helping out a woman who injured herself while hiking. A crew was called to the scene just off of Feaver road where a woman who was hiking by herself injured her leg and could not continue on. Her isolated location made it extra difficult for firefighters; taking them over 5 hours to rescue the woman. She is currently in Thunder Bay Hospital with a knee injury.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Still working on it

Were not out of the woods yet! There is a lot of hard work with long days ahead before all of the fires are under control. The MNR is working closely with local resource managers, Emergency Management Ontario and First Nations communities in planning a safe and speedy return. On Friday, flights were scheduled to bring about 571 residents back to Sandy Lake and Cat Lake First Nations. To date, 882 evacuees are back in their home communities and approximately 2,700 residents have yet to return.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I don’t want a pickle...

The Victoria Inn parking lot on Arthur Street is now a home for scores of  Harleys with this weekend's Ontario H.O.G. rally in Thunder Bay.  Hundreds of Harley Davidson owners are in the city to show off their gleaming machines.  Saturday's highlight event is the parade of Harley Davidson motorcyles from the hotel starting at 10 am.

Cat's skipper Tweets about players

Thunder Bay Border Cats field manager is Tweeting about concerns he has about some of his players. Mike Steed said on Twitter, Friday,  that some of the players aren't getting the message about professionalism.  Steed says as college kids sometimes they don't realize how much of a daily grind pro ball is.

4 laning plans getting back on track

Plans to 4 lane the Trans Canada Highway between Kenora and the Manitoba border are still in the works. Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle says things may finally be coming together after a long wait sorting out First Nations concerns and environmental approvals.  Gravelle couldn't say exactly when work may begin on the project.

Officers help bear get unstuck

Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty.   This morning Sioux Lookout OPP were call to a report of several bears in a residential area. They say one of the bears had a plastic mayonnaise jar stuck on its head.  One of the officers approached the bear and wrestled the jar from its head while the other officer kept a watchful eye on the mother bear in the nearby woods.  Neither officer was injured during the incident and police say the bear appeared to be fine when it ran off into the woods.

Marathon striving for more out of towners

It's baby steps for organizers of the 2nd annual Miles with the Giant Marathon.   President Barry Streib says they are hoping to increase the number of runners who register from out of town this year.  Streib says it's too early to say if the number of overall participants will increase from last year.

More non-profit housing in the northwest

Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services says it should have new non-profit housing units in the Kenora District by next spring.Don McBain is the Executive Director of the agency and says they currently have projects on the go in Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Kenora. Its estimated there currently is a four to five year waiting list for non-profit housing units in the Kenora District.

Poli Sci prof predicts only weeks for Gadhafi

Watch for some critical changes to the situation in Libya. Lakehead University Political Science professor Laure  Paquette says with the rebels cutting off supply lines to Tripoli the clock is ticking on leader Moammar Gadhafi.  She says once the fuel for the army's tanks and planes are cut off it's only a matter of time  and Paquette says it looks like Gadhafi only has weeks to go

New Nipigon bridge highlights announcement

The McGuinty government is doing some pre-election promotion in Thunder Bay with the latest highway spending announcements. Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle says the highlight is the new Nipigon River Bridge. Tenders will go out for the bridge next year.

Thunder Bay set to welcome new judge

A new Superior Court Judge has been named in Thunder Bay.  Bruce Fitzpatrick will be taking over for Justice CD McKinnon who is moving to Ottawa.  Fitzpatrick will be sworn in August 4th and has most recently worked as a lawyer in Peterborough.

Pre-hearing for Reggie Bushie inquest finishes

The Reggie Bushie Inquest could soon begin after almost 4 years of waiting.  The inquest was put on hold in 2009 due to a lack of First Nation representation on the jury, but a pre-hearing wrapped up yesterday to determine the make up of the jury. 

9 year old boy is a hero

A Thunder Bay grandmother says she's lucky to be alive and its all thanks to her 9 year old Grandson.  Louise Taylor was driving home from Kapuskasing when she lost control on highway 11 and rolled her vehicle several times.  Her grandson Gage stayed calm and pulled her from the wreck.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fire ban lifted

Just in time for the long weekend the city Fire Service is allowing outdoor burning.  The improved weather conditions means the fire ban has been lifted.

Local golf courses included in online poll

First it was your favourite baseball park and now there's a move on to find your favourite Ontario golf course.   A list of the top 100 will then be published.  Thunder Bay's private courses are on the list, the Fort William and Port Arthur Country Clubs along with Dragon Hills and Whitewater.  You can vote here

Construction site still idle

The Ministry of Labour is still investigating a tragic platform lift accident at a highway construction site at the MacKenzie Bridge that happened back in June.   The Ministry of Labour's Matt Blajer says work at the site is still not taking place because one work order remains outstanding.

Stranger in pick up truck creeps out kids

Thunder Bay Police are looking for a man in his 60's or 70's after children at an East End park complained.   They say that a man in a white or silver pick up truck was hanging around Atlantic Street and Pacific Avenue and called for the kids to approach him , but they didn't and he drove away.    No one was hurt.

US Debt crisis won't hurt investments long term

Don't be too concerned about the US debt crisis.  That's the feelings of Thunder Bay Scotia McLeod's Blake Cameron, who says the political battle south of the border is causing problems but it won't last.  Cameron says the last quarter saw a lot of corporations post profits which should in the long term cause growth in the stock markets.

NOSA offers to help council deal with deer

The Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen's Alliance is offering its support to council in finding a solution to the city's deer population.  Executive Director John Kaplanis says one option would be to use bow hunters within city limits.  Kaplanis says he thinks the reason for an increase in deer numbers, is the fact the city is in prime deer habitat where there is no hunting. 

Forest fire concerns ease

The forest fire situation in Northwestern Ontario is not as bad because of this week's cooler weather. Carin Glassford of the Ministry of Natural Resources says the intensity has eased and it's the first day since June 10th that there hasn't been a new fire started in the northwest.  There are currently 108 fires

Condolences for Norway from Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay residents are now able to express their sympathies to the people of Norway following this week's double tragedies. Deputy City Clerk Sheelagh Hendrick says a book of condolences is open to sign at City Hall between 8:30 am until 4:30 pm  each weekday.   The book will be available until Friday of next week and then be forwarded to the Norwegian Embassy.

City will not be a transportation hub

Don't expect Thunder Bay to play any role now that forest fire evacuees are starting to be sent home.  The province's Deputy Minister of Community Safety Ian Davidson says unlike a week ago, our city won't be directly involved in moving people because the plan is to fly people directly home instead of having stopovers.

Another heat wave coming our way

Its back to beach weather heading towards the long weekend.  Our Meteorologist Bill Laidlaw says it'll be nothing but sunshine and highs near 30 right through the long weekend.  Laidlaw says the humidity won't be as high as it was last week, which will make the heat a little less intense.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Murder charge laid in Poplar Hill death

Police say a 19 year old Poplar Hill First Nations resident is facing a charge in connection with a death in the community north of Red Lake on the weekend.  They say Curtis Moose is charged with Second Degree Murder after 20 year old Aaron Strang of Poplar Hill was found on the road with serious injuries and later pronounced dead.

Evacuated residents set to return

Nearly 400 people from two First Nations communities are being allowed to return home in Northwestern Ontario. The all-clear has been given for residents to return to the Sandy Lake and Fort Hope First Nations. It follows news this week that about 150 people from another Mishkeegogamang First Nation decided on their own to return home. There are still about three-thousand evacuees waiting for the smoke to clear so they can return home, as crews battle more than 100 fires in the region.

OPP prepare for weekend blitz

The OPP will be out in force his long weekend to enforce traffic laws. Sgt. Shelley Garr of the Thunder Bay OPP say they are trying to prevent serious accidents on the highway by going after the so called "big 4" causes of collisions;  aggressive driving, impaired driving, seat belts and distracted drivers.  Also police will be making sure drivers slow down when passing emergency vehicles on the shoulder of a road.

Potential phone scam warning

A listener to our radio station is concerned that some local residents could be taken in by a possible phone scam. He says that a person called him several times saying she was from the Microsoft computer maintenance department and claimed their computer was getting error messages from him. Police here say they haven't received any complaints and Microsoft's website says they never make unsolicited calls to help fix your computer

Beckwick appointed acting tourism boss

The city has its interim Tourism Manager to take over while Paul Pepe is handling the waterfront project.   Lisa Beckwick is moving from her position at Human Resources to run the tourism portfolio in an acting capacity.

LU prof weighs in on American debt crisis

Lakehead University economics professor Livio Di Matteo is disturbed a country like the United States is on the brink of a debt default. Di Matteo calls it irresponsible and doesn't believe the worst case scenario will happen. He thinks that instead of defaulting the government will shut down and programs will be suspended until the politicians work out a deal. Di Matteo is confident a solution will take place, it's only a matter of when

Police still looking for missing teen

Its been almost a month and there is still no sign of a 14 year old missing teen.  Kelsey Loon was last heard from on Canada Day and was reporting missing by her Guardian June 29.  Police Spokesperson Chris Adams says officers believe she is staying with friends in Thunder Bay.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thayer gushes over city donation

There's high fives all around at Thunder Bay's RegenMed after city council's decision to award the company half a million dollars. CEO Bob Thayer says it proves the city is behind the company's efforts to develop a human bone and tissue bank.  Thayer says the money is going towards developing freeze dried tissue

Rafferty surprised by Layton revelation

Thunder Bay M-P John Rafferty is expecting to see Jack Layton back in the helm as strong as ever. Rafferty says he was surprised by the news that Layton was stepping down temporarily to be treated for cancer.  Rafferty says the NDP Caucus will meet Wednesday to discuss the appointment of an interim leader.

Out of province firefighters "recycled"

Some 116-forest fires continue to burn across Northwestern Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources Information Officer Carin Glassford says they are starting to see some new blood come in to assist weary firefighters. 600-fires have been reported this season, with over 560-thousand hectares of land consumed. That's the third highest on record since 1917.

Evacuees not returning too soon

The Province isn't going to jump the gun and allow First Nation residents to return home.  Over 34-hundred evacuees are staying in 13-communities. Ian Davidson is the Deputy Minister of Community Safety and he says patience is the key right now. Davidson adds that the Government wants to ensure affected communities are fully stocked with food, water and other items before they start sending residents home.

Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Centre gets funding

Agriculture in Northwestern Ontario is getting a big boost from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.  MPP Bill Mauro says 621 thousand dollars in funding will go towards research in fertilizer.  Mauro says while agriculture isn't a huge industry in the region, it is becoming more important with the increase in demand for locally grown food.

Catholic Board names new superintendent

The Catholic School Board's new Superintendent of Education is coming back home.  Maria Vasanelli is originally from Thunder Bay and attended Lakehead University.  She is going to return to the city after years of holding down various high level education positions within the Ontario Catholic school system in Southern Ontario.   Vasanelli is replacing Joan Powell who is now the Director of Education

City donates $ to RegenMed

The city is getting itself into the business of regenerative medicine.   Councillors have agreed to donate half a million dollars towards RegenMed to help it become a human tissue bank for transplant operations.   As well councillors have formally given approval to last week's decision to build  stylized light sculptures at Port Arthur's Landing as part of the waterfront development project.

Monday, July 25, 2011

City to probe deer problem

City councillors are supporting Linda Rydholm's request to have the city investigate ways of solving the deer problem in Thunder Bay.  She says the time has come to do something about it and hopes as many organizations as possible are consulted so that all options can be debated

Emergency officials now wait

It's a waiting game now for officials in charge of moving forest fire evacuees through the city. Organizer Greg Hankkio says they are just waiting for instructions from the province on how we will handle returning evacuees. Officials will be meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue.

PA Stadium reaches semi final

The quest to make Port Arthur Stadium the best ballpark in Canada is at the next stage. Local Baseball Association President Larry Hebert says an online poll has pushed Thunder Bay into the semi final round of voting. Voting in the semi's begins August 8th

Subdivision plans cause objections

There's opposition to a proposed subdivision on Tuscany Drive. The developer is asking the city to approve a mix of single and multi family units. The residents in the area object to the possibility of rental houses. The developer will not say if the multi family dwellings would consist of condos or townhouses. City councillors have postponed a decision on approving the plan until the developer can come back with details.

Accident knocks out power

Power for about 400 Thunder Bay Hydro customers in the Dawson Heights section of the city should be back on by 5 o'clock. The outage was the result of traffic accident when a vehicle hit a hydro pole on Dawson Road at around 1:45 pm. At the height of the blackout about 16 hundred customers were without electricity.

Jack Layton has new cancer

Jack Layton has been diagnosed with a new cancer, and is taking a leave of absence as leader of the federal N-D-P.  Thunder Bay NDP MP Bruce Hyer says the news isn't a huge surprise to him saying he noticed recently that Layton's voice was weak and that he was struggling.    Hyer doesn't think the party's effectiveness will be hurt while Layton is away

Death in Poplar Hill FN

OPP are investigating the death of a man on the Poplar Hill First Nation north of Red Lake.  Police say a man with serious injuries was found on a road in the community Friday night.  Police say 20 year old Aaron Strang of Poplar Hill was pronounced dead shortly after.  No one is charged

MNR dealing with 114 wildfires

The Ministry of Natural Resources says the 114-active fires burning in Northwestern Ontario have consumed over half a million hectares of land.   That's the same size of the Province of Prince Edward Island. Information Officer Owen Vaughan says another fire of note is Sioux Lookout 70 which is 4 and a half times the size of Thunder Bay.   He says over 2-thousand personnel are battling the wildfires.

Robertson back in court next month

A Thunder Bay man who is charged in the death of his 61 year old wife remains in custody.    63 year old John Robertson will be back in court August 17th on the charge of 2nd degree murder after his lawyer George Joseph receives a psychiatric report.    Robertson surrendered to police back in April after the body of Elaine Robertson was discovered in the couple's Oliver Road Apartment.

Man in wheelchair hit by Taxi

A man in a wheelchair suffered serious injuries after being hit by a taxi.  The incident happened late Saturday night, on Memorial Avenue when he was trying to cross the street.  Police are investigating and the 54 year old man has been airlifted to Winnipeg.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Forest fire update

Fire crews are doing all they can to keep fires in North Western Ontario under control. Fire crews are in communities where fire is close in proximity and they have installed sprinkler and other protection systems to protect properties in those communities. On Friday the last planned evacuation was completed with a total of 3,591 northern residents evacuated to other communities for temporary accommodation.

Wheelchair collision

Thunder Bay police are investigating a collision involving a person in a wheelchair and a taxi cab. The collision occurred late Saturday night on Memorial avenue. Its reported that a man was trying to cross the street in his wheelchair when he was hit by a taxi driver. The man has been taken to Thunder Bay hospital with serious injuries.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Police pursuit ends on foot

City police made short work of a pursuit that occurred Friday night. It's reported that Police pursued a man driving impaired in Thunder Bay's South side. Once the driver entered a residential area the pursuit was called off for safety reasons. Police later found the man parked on the corner of Simpson and Dease street. When confronted the man fled the scene and police continued the pursuit by foot. The man was caught and taken into police custody.