Monday, September 19, 2011

Walsh Street Sidewalk a go

A sidewalk planned for Walsh Street will go forward. Some councillors wanted to cancel the sidewalk contract because they were concerned about trees in the area. The sidewalk project will go ahead because Council's vote was a tie.

Mechanic amendment takes 3 hours

It took three hours for City Council to approve a zoning change so a Kline Road Mechanic could operate a business out of his home. Neighbours for and against the project squared off throughout Monday night's meeting, and Mayor Keith Hobbs had the final word before the vote saying he's not going to vote against a person's livelihood. Leon Giardino will be allowed to operate a mechanic shop on his property as long as he doesn't store the vehicles outside of his shop.

Kline road mechanic shop squabble

Many neighbours aired their support for a home business mechanic on the Kline Road. Leon Giardino is asking City Council for an amendment so he can operate a small mechanic shop on his property.  Some residents are against the mechanic shop saying it would bring an increase in traffic and noise. One resident described allowing the operation as opening Pandora's box.  Councillor Trever Giertuga took a shot at the deputants against the mechanic shop saying one of them supported a similar operation last year.

Grow op registry get nod from all parties

A Progressive Conservative call for a registry on houses used for grow ops or meth labs is getting a nod of approval from the other parties.  Thunder Bay Superior North Candidate Anthony Leblanc says its a good way to protect home buyers.  Liberal incumbent Michael Gravelle says the plan would enhance current legislation aimed at eliminating grow ops and meth labs and NDP Candidate Steve Mantis say it could be expanded to include all existing problems with the home.

Union Gas decreases rates

Finally some good news for cash-strapped homeowners in Northwestern Ontario.  Union Gas says the cost of natural gas will be decreasing slightly during the colder months.  Vanda Wall of the Ontario Energy Board says the rate change comes into effect October 1st.

Camp destroyed after fire

An East Loon Lake camp is completely destroyed after a fire over the weekend. Shuniah Fire Chief Blair Arthur says the investigation continues. The owner escaped through a window after his dog woke him up.

Watkins gets jury wish

A Thunder Bay Lawyer is getting his wish from a Superior Court Judge. Justice John McCartney has accepted Chris Watkins request to look into the make up of the jury for his latest trial. Watkins says this decision will have major implications depending on how the jury trial pans out.   Watkins says he feels current juries fail to properly represent the area's First Nations demographics.

Community Living workers could strike

Workers from Community Living Thunder Bay are in support of strike action.  The workers represented by OPSEU voted 96 percent in favour of a strike.  Bargaining resumes this week.  The strike deadline is this Saturday at one minute after midnight.

Mac's Mart Robberies

Thunder Bay Police are looking to the public in hopes of identifying a robber over the weekend.  Police officials say two Mac's Marts on the North side of town were robbed Saturday morning and the description of the suspect is similar.  Police say they aren't ruling out the possibility of a single suspect.

Red Cross set to open up a Northern First Nation Office

A Northern First Nation will soon be home to a satellite Red Cross office.  The office is being funded in part by the Paterson Foundation and will help provide first aid, injury prevention and other services to First Nations Communities in the North.  Red Cross Manager of First Nations Projects Melanie Goodchild-Southwind says a specific community has not been chosen yet but the process will soon start.  The Paterson Foundation is providing 200 thousand dollars over the next two years to finance the project.

Diabetes Association informing patients about Weight Loss Surgery

The Thunder Bay Diabetes Association is hosting an information session about weight loss surgery for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.  Spokesperson Richard Boon says the session will explain which patients this procedure is designed for.  He says it's for morbidly obese patients who's weight is putting their life in danger.  Boon says the session will take place next Wednesday at the Slovak Legion.

Madder "ecstatic" at tentative deal

One of the happiest people in the city today is the president of Confederation College. Jim Madder says he's pleased to see an end to the strike by the province's college support staff after a tentative agreement was reached. He's is looking forward to getting back into the routine.   Madder thinks it'll take till the end of the week and adds that the fitness centre and day care centre are the priorities.

More Mac's stores robbed

City police are still on the alert for who may have been responsible for two Mac's store robberies on the North side. Both took place early Saturday morning  and both were at knifepoint.

Bell talks towers at council

Bell is coming to talk to City Council about its proposed cell phone towers. Council put off making a decision last month about a proposed tower in the area of John Street Road. Area residents are against the height of the tower.

Housing market staying strong

It's a hot housing market in Thunder Bay and according to the Real Estate Board, it isn't going to slow down anytime soon. President Diane Erickson says the average house price in Thunder Bay is up to just over 167 thousand dollars. The average house price in Canada is just under 350 thousand dollars.

Hot line targets bed shortages

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions has launched a new hot line aimed at bed shortages in local hospitals. Judy Bain is a local union representative and says too often elderly patients are forced to wait in the hospital while they wait for a long term care bed to open up. Bain says the occupancy rate is more than 97 percent in the local hospital, and that puts stress on the entire health care system.

Gun registry top priority

The Federal Long-Gun Registry is one of the Harper Government's top priorities for today's start of the new session of Parliament. Kenora MP Greg Rickford says he hopes to have a bill to dismantle the Registry in place sooner rather then later. Rickford notes it all depends on what games the opposition play, noting it's an issue that continues to divide the NDP.