Monday, October 31, 2011

Fire season comes to a merciful end

The Ministry of Natural Resources is happy this forest fire season is finally over.   Spokesperson Debbie McLean says it was one of the busiest they've seen in years. She says there were 13 hundred and 30 fires which cost the government 230 million dollars to put out.  In addition a modern day record 600 thousand hectares of forest were destroyed.

Police bust grow op

Police are charging a 54 year old man with a number of offences after busting up a grow op.  Officers searched a home on Saari Road in Oliver Paipoonge Friday and found almost a hundred thousand dollars worth of marijuana.

Poppy time again

It's that time of year again. Time to remember those who gave their lives in battle by wearing a poppy. George Kearney of the Fort William Branch 6 Legion says veterans will be selling them until November 11th, and like aways, it's for a donation.  The money raised is used to help local veterans.

Local teen victim of weekend mugging

A 17 year old boy is now out of hospital after being mugged on the weekend.  Police say he was walking home from a party early Saturday morning and went through a construction zone on Junot Avenue. They say he was jumped by 5 people and was beaten and robbed.  He was left unconscious and woke up about 5 hours later and walked the rest of the way home. From there he was taken to hospital for treatment.

CAW fighting proposed EMS changes

The union representing paramedics says it's not sitting down and taking it. Kari Jefford of the Canadian Auto Workers says plans by Superior North EMS to transfer jobs from communities in the region to Thunder Bay is not acceptable.   Jefford says the union is meeting with local politicians this week to discuss the issue with them.

A deal for senior's home workers

Over 600 workers at the city's seniors homes have something to cheer about.  Union spokesperson Kari Jefford says they have a new contract.   She says it's the result of the arbitrator's award.  She says workers will find out about it on Wednesday and the public will be given the details on Thursday.

Confederation College passes on condolences

With word that 21 year old Jimmy Robert Monias has passed away, Confederation College is passing on their condolences.  He was taken off life support Sunday night.  Monias was a student at the school, and student services has made counselling services available.  Flags at Confederation College will be at half-staff.

Limbrick Street assault victim dies

The 21 year old victim of an assault over the weekend has died as a result of his head injuries.  Jimmy Robert Monias passed away last night, and Police Spokesperson Chris Adams says the fight broke out at 22 year old Kyle Ivan Rae's Limbrick apartment.  The two were known to each other and alcohol played a factor in the fight. Rae remains in custody and is charged with Aggravated Assault.  Adams says the charge will be upgraded in the next day or two.  A postmortem exam will take place in Toronto this week.

27 year old cold case revisited

Thunder Bay Police are rehashing a 27 year old murder. Back in 1984, 17 year old Scott Dove went missing in his north end neighbourhood. He was later found in December in a rock quarry off of Copenhagen Road. The number of tips have been limited in recent year and Police are hoping new information will come forward.

More artwork unveilled at waterfront

More artwork has been installed at Prince Arthur's Landing. This time its a series of artistic panels at the Spirit Garden. The panels were designed by Thunder Bay artist Randy Thomas.

Be Safe Be Seen

Thunder Bay's Health Unit wants pedestrians and cyclists to be seen on area roadways.  Spokesperson Marita Campbell says it's often hard to see people on the side of roads.  The Health Unit is handing out free reflective strips as part of their "Be Safe, Be Seen" campaign.

Halloween weather warm

Thunder Bay's weather for Halloween will be warmer than normal. Our Meterologist Bill Laidlaw says the nice temperatures will stay with us the rest of the week.  Our low for tonight is plus 2.

Quiet gate night

Thunder Bay Police are reporting very few incidents from Gate night yesterday.  Police say there were no major incidents of mischief.  Gate night typically brings house egging, toilet paper in trees, and smashed pumpkins.

Cariou talking tourism

Not a lot of growth in the tourism industry this past summer.  That's the feeling of the Executive Director of the Ontario Sunset Country Travel Association.  Gerry Cariou says the sluggish American economy continues to be a drag on the local tourist industry.  Cariou does say they did see some improvement with border crossing issues, with fewer complaints this summer.

Rafferty reintroduces Private Members bill

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty wants to again protect the severance of workers when their companies face creditor or bankruptcy protection. Rafferty has reintroduced a private members bill he brought forward last year. Rafferty says his bill acts on a promise made to forestry workers in Northwestern Ontario who lost their jobs with the closing of their mills in recent years.

HST Confusion

Confusion remains over the Harmonized Sales Tax. An Ontario Real Estate Association survey finds that 66-percent of Northern Ontario residents wrongly believe that the HST applies to the purchase price of resale homes. The Association stresses that the HST doesn't apply to the purchase price of a resale home.

MNR study

A Ministry of Natural Resources study gives anglers some credit in keeping walleye stocks healthy in Northwestern Ontario. The habits of anglers in 157 walleye lakes were received. Researcher Len Hunt says they did prove that lakes close to anglers do face fishing pressures. The study also disproved a theory that anglers target the best lakes until fish populations go in decline.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Northern Woods fire

Firefighters are saying cutting torches that were used by salvage company employees were responsible for the start of the fire at the old Northern Woods lumber mill on Saturday. The fire was under control by 1 pm. 4 pumpers and an aerial platform were used to extinguish the fire. Damage is said to be minimal and no firefighters were injured on the scene.

Assault in South side

A 20 year old man is in Thunder Bay Hospital following an alleged aggravated assault. Thunder Bay police responded to a call in the city's south side just after 6 pm on Saturday. A 22 year old man will appear in court today. Police say there were no weapons involved.

Golf Links Rd. closed today

A heads up for motorists travelling in the Golf Links Road area today. Thunder Bay Hydro Spokesperson Eileen Dias says they're closing that road between Central and Oliver today until 6 pm. Hydro is setting poles in the area. Burwood is the alternate road for Golf Links.

Gate night warning

Ghosts and goblins will be out this weekend, but local police will be keeping an eye out for other mischief makers. Constable Julie Tillburry says it's gate night in the city, traditionally an evening of lots of minor incidents of vandalism. Tillburry says there will be an increased police presence on the streets.

Forest fire season over?

The forest fire season officially comes to an end on Monday, but there will likely be fires still burning across the Northwest. 8 lightning-caused fires are still active inside Quetico Provincial Park. Jennifer Young of the Ministry of Natural Resources says the fires are being monitored and none are posing any threat. Young says a fire management plan for the park allows fires to burn in certain areas to help regenerate the forest.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fire at Northern Woods

Firefighters are investigating the cause of a fire that broke out early Saturday morning at the old Northern Woods lumber mill. District Chief Gilles Tellier says they will remain on the scene until they take care of the last few hot spots. Firefighters responded to the call just after 5 o'clock this morning. There have been no injuries reported and the cause is unknown at this time.

Latest Macs robbery

Another Macs convenience store was robbed early Saturday morning. Police say this time it was the Victoria/Waterloo street location. The culprit threatened the the store clerk with a weapon, then made a clean getaway. No one was hurt in the incident.

Hyer wants replacement post office

Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer is calling on Canada Post to find a replacement location for the Dorion post office. The current postal outlet is set to close at the end of November due to highway construction. So far no replacement location has been announced.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Traffic delays expected on Monday

Motorists may experience some delays Monday morning as three 60 tonne pieces of a mill will be hauled through the city. Michael Anderson is the President of the moving company and says traffic delays could be experienced on the Harbour expressway.  The parts are being transported to a Timmins Mill.

Airport increasing fees in 2012

Thunder Bay's Airport is increasing it's landing, terminal and bridge fees.  President Scott McFadden says it's a necessary rise in costs.  The rate changes will come into effect in 2012.

Mac's robberies continue

No one is hurt following the latest Mac's Convenience store robbery.  Police say it took place this morning at the May and Dease location. They say a masked man armed with scissors robbed the clerk of money and cigarettes.

Tembec and MOE bury the hatchet

The battle involving the idled Tembec Mill site in Marathon appears to be over. A provincial tribunal has accepted an agreement between the province and the company on the environmental cleanup. Environment Ministry spokesperson Lisa Brygadier  says the company now has deadlines to meet.  Brygadier says if the terms of the agreement aren't met, previous ministry orders will be forced on the company again.

Festive train coming back

A popular family oriented fundraiser is coming back to Northwestern Ontario for another year. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will roll into Thunder Bay December 2nd . Spokesperson Kevin Hrysak says they will once again be collecting food and money for area Food Banks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cross Country Skiing in T.Bay

The Thunder Bay National Development Centre Cross Country Ski team is hoping to increase its profile. They kicked off the season by unveiling this year's squad yesterday and Coach Eric Bailey says its time the sport started taking centre stage in Thunder Bay.

Aboriginal Health Care Conference Friday

Thunder Bay is playing host to an Aboriginal Health Care conference Friday.  First Nations and Hospital staff from across Ontario will be discussing what they're doing to improve the quality of Aboriginal health care.  Ontario Hospital Association Spokesperson Lina Lopez says they'll be hearing from a variety of speakers including reps from Sioux Lookout's Meno Ya Win Health Centre.

Campbell wants to work with Gravelle

Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle can expect a call from Sarah Campbell in the very near future. The Kenora-Rainy River MPP and Natural Resources and NDP Aboriginal critic says she's anxious to sit down with the Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP to share ideas. The former Thunder Bay resident believes the Northwest will benefit by having two local MPP's working together.

Police Chief weighs in on homicide rate

Thunder Bay's Police Chief says social issues are the reason why we are being called the murder capital of Canada. JP Levesque says it isn't as bad as it sounds because the stats are all based on murders per 100 thousand people.

Lakehead ranks 11th in Canadian Universities survey

Lakehead University's President isn't overly concerned with where his school ranks in a Maclean's magazine survey.  Dr. Brian Stevenson says the school moved up a spot and now sits at 11 tied with two other Canadian schools.  Lakehead ranks second among the five undergraduate universities in Ontario.

Mauro talks city road contracts

At least one city road contract is not going to be completed this year. Engineering Manager Pat Mauro says there will be some asphalt work which will have to be carried over into next season. However Mauro says there's no indication that road work is overly delayed as suggested by one city councillor.

Murder rate not alarming to Hobbs

Keith Hobbs says he doesn't take much stock in statistics.  That's why the Mayor's not overly alarmed about our city being rated as the murder capital of the county by Statistics Canada.   Hobbs says the city is working to get to the root of our violence issues...specifically drug and alcohol abuse.

Mac's considers options

Mac's Convenience Stores in Thunder Bay may be changing the way they operate as the result the recent rash of robberies.   Company spokesperson Sean Sportun says that a variety of ideas have been considered including experimenting with a buzzer system along with reconsidering which stores should stay open 24-7.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stats Can says T.Bay has the highest homicide rate

Thunder Bay has earned a not so flattering title.  Statistics Canada has crowned the City the deadliest in the Nation in 2010.  For the second year in a row, Thunder Bay has the highest homicide rate in the nation.

Stone balloon animals unleashed on waterfront

Prince Arthur's Landing is now home to 10 stone balloon animals. Public Art Coordinator Reana Mussato says kids played an important part in picking the art work. Granite from Vermillion Bay was used in some of the structures.

Police examining cold case

Thunder Bay Police are dusting off a cold case from 1985.  October 26th marks the 26th anniversary of the death of Kip James Hallow.  Hallow's body was discovered on Vickers Street North at Weigand Avenue just before 2 am. Police believe his death was a result from injuries sustained in a hit and run.  Officers are remapping the location of the original incident Wednesday at 3.

Mac's officials continue to meet in T.Bay

Thunder Bay Police and Mac's Mart Officials continue to meet this afternoon to talk about the recent string of store robberies.  Detective Inspector Phil Levesque says he knows Mac's Mart isn't in favour of a buzzer system but they will continue to push for a similar system.  Other safety precautions discussed include clearing the clutter from store windows.

Long Gun Registry Challenge

Kenora MP Greg Rickford has issued a challenge to his fellow Members of Parliament from Northern Ontario.  Rickford says he wants them to support the government's legislation to abolish the long gun registry.  Rickford expects the legislation could be passed sometime early in the new year.

Wanted Quebecers caught here

A couple wanted on Canada wide warrants, are back in Quebec after being captured in Thunder Bay this week.   The OPP say police in Longlac  originally contacted them about the two and requested the help of police here who picked them up after they got off a Greyhound bus.

OLG quarterly payout

The latest payout to the city of Thunder Bay from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is 640 thousand dollars.   That quarterly sum amounts to 5 per cent of the revenue from the slot machines at the local casino

Police face teen with knife

City police are reporting an encounter with a knife wielding teenager Tuesday night.  They say that it was after they went to  a call at a north side address.  They say the youth met them at the door holding a knife and refused to put it down.  Police were able to subdue him and take the 15 year old into custody.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mac's Officials meet with CPC

Meetings between the Crime Prevention Council and Mac's Mart officials are being described as productive. Acting Coordinator Sheila Hendrick says the company expressed an interest in becoming part of the community surrounding their stores. Hendrick says she will continue to meet with the two local Mac's Mart representatives.   Mac's Mart officials met with police and the council to discuss the recent rash of store robberies.

City budget meeting in the books

Just a handful of people turned out to an open house on the City's budget directions for the next two years.  Anne Ostrum says she understands the City has an infrastructure shortfall that needs to be taken care of.  City Manager Tim Commisso says people are concerned about the possibility of taxes being raised to help pay for the rising infrastructure deficit.  The comments from the meeting will be brought to council November 28th.

Raffery wants to hear from his constituents

Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty is going to let his constituents do the talking on the latest legislation to scrap the gun registry.  Rafferty says he wants to hear from the public.  The new legislation includes a clause to destroy the records collected through the registry.

NAN looking at gardening to increase healthy eating

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation wants healthy food at affordable prices for their people.  Spokesperson Joseph Leblanc says that's why they're holding a food symposium looking at reintroducing gardening to First Nation communities.  Farmers from across the Northwest are sharing their trade secrets with NAN and helping them create community gardens.