Friday, April 1, 2011

No sign of Wabasse after two day dive

An OPP dive team from southern Ontario is heading home after an unsuccessful search for Jordan Wabasse.  Divers searched the Kam River for two days without finding any sign of the 15 year old.  City police say they'll conduct a shoreline search of the area once the snow and ice melts away.

Wind farm opponent slams city

Some tough talk against the city over the proposed lawsuit settlement with Horizon Wind. Sam Bachinski, an opponent of the wind farm project on the Nor' wester Escarpment, says the latest turbine relocation plan is simply a cop out. He says it still allows Horizon to construct as many turbines as it wants to. Bachinski adds, "administration got us into this mess" and should have fought Horizon tooth and nail on it. City councillors are hearing about the proposed settlement at Monday night's meeting

City lawyer recommends wind farm settlement

The City of Thunder Bay is one step closer to solving the dispute with Horizon Wind.  Administration is proposing a deal to council that would result in changes to the wind farm project and settle the 126 million dollar lawsuit.   The change sees Horizon Wind agreeing to not build turbines number 10 and 11 near Loch Lomond, but the city has agreed to allow the company to build turbines 8 and 9 where they were originally supposed to be. Council will consider the changes at it's next meeting on Monday.  Below is a rendition of the proposed locations.

Click to enlarge

Bandshell being torn down

The Waverly Park Bandshell is old and tired and it looks like its days are numbered.   The city is demolishing the outdoor entertainment stage.  It's part of the long term plan to spruce up the park.  It should be torn down by the middle of this month.

Caribou survey comes to an end

The MNR has wrapped up a month long aerial survey of caribou in Northwestern Ontario. During the survey, MNR staff monitored caribou distribution and population. Spokesperson Gerry Racey says all the information collected is used when decisions need to be made.  The MNR will continue to monitor caribou into the spring and summer.

Wasaya program wraps up

25 people now have full-time jobs at Wasaya airways thanks to a new training plan. The company just wrapped up it's 'Taking flight' program that teaches first nations people about aviation. President and CEO Tom Morris says they saw the need for aboriginal people in their field.  The training introduced new skills and how to gain employment opportunities in aviation.

Earthwise Copyrighted TM

Thunder Bay City Council is tackling the topic of copyright infringement at Monday night's meeting.  Last month, the city found out the name "Earthwise" was already in use by a Southern Ontario Hydro Company and that they would have to lease its use.  City Lawyer Rosalie Evans says she's going to tell councillors they can lease the name for a one year period and rebrand their current Earth Wise program.  Councillors will also hear about the ongoing 126 million dollar Horizon Wind Lawsuit.

Salary of former LHIN CEO takes centre stage

Jan Beazley
The former CEO of the Northwest Local Health Integration Network is in the spotlight. Gwen Dubois-Wing only worked two months last year yet made 276 thousand dollars. Board chair Jan Beazley says the reason for the huge salary is a private matter because the details of the contract negotiated with her are considered confidential. No reason has been given for Dubois-Wing leaving the Network

Bruzzese takes over Gliddy case

There's a new lawyer involved in the Thea Gliddy murder case. David Bruzzese is taking over after her previous lawyer, Chris Watkins stepped aside due to a conflict of interest. Bruzzese says he now has to get up to speed. The change of lawyers means the preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday needed to be postponed.

Mauro thinks it's still a good deal

Thunder Bay Atikokan's MPP says work from Toronto's new transit plan will still benefit the City. Bill Mauro says the changes in the Bombardier light rail contract are not as bad as it seems. Mauro adds Bombardier will be paid for the 130 cars they will build; not 770 million dollars for the original order of 180 cars.

Gliddy Case Update

For the second time this year Chris Watkins is off a case because of a conflict of interest. Watkins is no longer the defense lawyer for Thea Gliddy, because he once represented the person whose death she is being charged with.  As a result, Gliddy's preliminary hearing that was originally scheduled for Monday has been postponed.  The new date is expected to be decided at a hearing set for April 26th. 

Intership Program is back for another year.

Students looking for a head start in their careers will be getting a helping hand from the provincial government. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is once again helping local business provide paid internships to students across the Northwest.  MPP Michael Gravelle says this program is vital for keeping students in the North. Gravelle says over two thirds of students who have taken part in the program have been able to find meaningful full time employment.

Search continues for second day

It's day two of the underwater search by the OPP.  Crews are examining the water just east of the James Street bridge for signs of Jordan Wabasse.  The OPP'S Underwater Search and Rescue unit is using sonar devices to scan the river bed.  The search of the water on Thursday turned up no results.  The 17 year old teen has been missing for just under two months. 

More downtime planned

There will be more downtime for workers at the AbitibiBowater mill in Fort Frances.  Operations will be curtailed for two weeks begining May 2nd.  The mill is currently in the middle of a shutdown that began on Monday.  Poor market conditions are being blamed.

OPSEU sounds warning bells over layoffs

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is sounding the alarms over layoffs at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.  OP-SEU Spokesperson Len Mason says the layoffs violate the terms of their agreement and will be challenged.  Dean Dr. Roger Strasser says the moves were made to offset budget shortfalls. The school says they are eliminating 21 staff positions and 3 management jobs.  Staff could choose to bump others from their jobs depending on their seniority.  The layoffs affect staff members at campuses at Lakehead and Laurentian University.