Monday, April 4, 2011

Council votes for settlement

Thunder Bay City Council has voted to support the settlement with Horizon Wind.  Mayor Keith Hobbs asked to have the vote deferred but the motion was lost, he had a number of questions he wanted administration to answer.  Councillor Iain Angus says too much money is at risk to not support the settlement.  Councillor Andrew Foulds says if the City had to pay for the 126 million dollar lawsuit it would mean they would be unable to pay for any road work for several years.  Hobbs voted against the settlement as did Neebing Councillor Linda Rydholm.

Concerned citizens have their say

Thunder Bay City Council got an earful Monday night on the Horizon Wind settlement.  Lorella Piirik says the city will lose out if the settlement goes through.  Piirik notes the cost to decommission the turbines will cost more than what's set out in the settlement.  Piirik adds the city should not give up it's Loch Lomond road allowance.  Several people protested outside of City hall last night and stayed for the regular meeting.  Seven deputants spoke out against the proposed settlement.

WCO pays visit to Council

The leader of an anti-wind farm group wants City Council to change some of the clauses found in the proposed settlement with Horizon Wind.  John Laforet is the President of Wind Concerns Ontario and says council should hold off on voting on the settlement that would kill the 126 million dollar lawsuit.  Laforet thinks council needs to maintain control of the Loch Lomond road allowance; calling it the city's only bargaining chip.

Council ok's truck traffic study

Thunder Bay City Council is moving ahead with a truck traffic study on Dawson Road. McIntyre Ward Councillor Trevor Giertuga introduced the idea and says it's all about safety.  The study will look at the feasibility of diverting transports to the new Shabaqua Highway by limiting the weight and speed limits on Dawson Road.

Earth Wise leased for one year

Thunder Bay City Council is leasing the name Earth Wise for one year.  They made the decision Monday night.  A Southern Ontario hydro company owns the rights to that name.  Mayor Keith Hobbs spoke to the Mayor of Cambridge in an attempt to get use of the name; but found out the hydro company is seperate from the municipality.  Administration will brainstorm new names for the City's "earth wise" program and start rebranding throughout the year.

Council competes with Federal Election

Thunder Bay City Council isn't going to let the Federal Election stop them from holding their Monday night meeting.  Council was considering moving their meeting to Tuesday May 3rd to accomodate election night but most of council voted against the move.

Local bar in trouble with AGCO

The Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission is getting tough with a local bar owner. Spokesperson Lisa Murray says the liquor licence for Dragon's Den Sports Bar has been suspended with a recommendation that it be revoked. Murray says some serious public safety issues are involved.  That includes police stopping three drunk and impaired drivers who left the bar, and serving people who appeared drunk.   The bar owner Mike Komar says he is devastated,  and plans to answer to the allegations which he says have yet to be proven.

Local Tory echos national party theme

The Conservative's in Thunder Bay Rainy River are saying constituents don't want to go to the polls. After one week on the hustings Moe Comuzzi-Stehman says she's heard a common theme, that they don't want a election while the economy is recovering. Comuzzi-Stehman also says job creation and families are a concern.

School board works on budget

The Lakehead Public School Board continues to work on it's budget.  Deputations from support staff, teachers and a variety of education professionals will be heard tonight at their monthly meeting.  Budget Meeting Chair George Saarinen says there's even a section on their website where you can have your say.  The board has yet to hear what their funding levels will be for the upcoming school year.

Alcohol seized from Northern First Nations

A large amount of alcohol has been seized from a northern Ontario First Nation community. Nishnawbe-Aski Police say around 330 bottles of alcohol were discovered in Kashechewan First Nation. Sgt Jackie George says police discovered the alcohol in hockey bags. George says the total street value of the alcohol was around 16,500 dollars.

Busy Week For John Rafferty

NDP MP for Thunder Bay Rainy River John Rafferty says its been a busy first week on the federal campaign trail. He is trying to cover as much constituency as possible. Rafferty says that he has noticed people seem more engaged in this election than he predicted.

Arrest made in weekend robbery

City police have a man in custody in connection with a weekend robbery.  It took place at the Mac's store at 340 North May Street early Saturday morning.   Police say the 30 year old Fort Hope man was arrested Saturday night at a South Court Street apartment.  

Wind farm opponents ready for political rumble

City councillors are being asked to bite the bullet tonight.  Administration is recommending they settle a 126 million dollar lawsuit with Horizon Wind over the wind farm project on the Nor' Wester Escarpment.   Councillors will be doing it under the watchful eye of wind farm opponents who promise to be there in full force.

St Ignatius is back to normal

The Catholic School board is praising the custodian crew at St Ignatius High School.  Executive Director John De Faveri says a man broke into the school and went on a mini rampage Saturday night.  Around 8 to 10 thousand dollars in damages were handed out, but workers quickly cleaned up yesterday and everything is business as usually.

Update on Waverley Park Bandshell

Now that the Waverley Park Bandshell is history don't expect it to be replaced right away. City parks coordinator Werner Schwar says that even though they made short work of demolishing the wooden structure there is no budget to rebuild this year. Schwar says the steel beams are expected to be removed by this weekend.

Ken Boshcoff is enjoy the campaign

Former MP for Thunder Bay Rainy River and Liberal candidate Ken Boshcoff is happy with the first week of his campaign.  Boshcoff says voters are telling him they want an MP that can get the job done.  He says we are on the verge of an economic breakthrough and need an MP that can make Ottawa understand the needs of the Northwest and come through for the needs of the people.  Boshcoff says he's looking forward to the candidate debates which will kick off next week.  

Snow causes power outages

The snow also caused some outages across the city.  Thunder Bay Hydro officials say around 400 customers were without power yesterday night in the North Downtown as well as sporadic outages across the city.  Heavy wet snow sticking to power lines and trees combined with some wind is being blamed for the outages.

April snow day for rural students

The snow has led to some cancellations this morning.  All rural buses have been cancelled for both the public schools and Catholic and French Schools.  Crestview, Five Mile, Gorham and Ware, Kakabecka Falls, McKenzie, Norwester View, Valley Central and Whitfish Valley schools are all closed today as well as Thunder Bay Christian School.

Old man winter gives us another shot in the arm

When you look outside this morning you might feel like you went back in time overnight.  We are back into a winter wonderland.  Around 3 centimetres of snow is covering the area and a couple more centimetres could fall this morning before changing to scattered rain showers.  The snow won't last with highs later this week reaching past the double digits on the plus side.