Monday, December 31, 2012

Police Investigate Sexual Assault and Abduction

Thunder Bay police are investigating an abduction and sexual assault. A 36 year old woman was transported to hospital and later released following an incident on Thursday night. It is alleged that two Caucasian males in their mid 30s abducted the woman near Blucher Avenue after 9pm. The woman says she was forced into a green 2 door vehicle, taken to a rural location in the north side of the city where she was sexually assaulted. Police are also investigating this incident as a possible hate crime as the victim reported a number of racially motivated remarks made by the assailants. Anyone with information is asked to call the police or Crime Stoppers.

Thunder Bay MP Hyer Reflects on 2012

2012 was the year Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer left the NDP Party. Independent Hyer says he thought long and hard over his decision to leave the party in April. Hyer says there were many reasons for his decision, but a move by leader Thomas Mulcair on the gun registry sealed the deal because it would have forced him to vote against the party line again. Hyer hopes for some parliamentary change in 2013 so MPs can better reflect their constituents' wishes.

OSSTF Considers One Day Protest

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation is considering a one day protest of the Provincial Government's bill 115. The union recently voted in favour of conducting a one day strike but no date has been selected as of yet. Lakehead Public School Board Director of Education Cathi Siemieniuk says she hopes the labour issues will be resolved soon. Earlier this month the Elementary Teachers Federation took part in rotating one day strikes across the province.

Fort William NYE Family Frolic

Fort William Historical Park is once again hosting it's New Years Eve "Family Frolic" tonight. Spokesperson Marty Mascarin says they'll have entertainment for young and old. The new observatory won't be open on New Years Eve but there will be telescopes set up for star gazers taking part in the family frolic.

Know Your Limit

The Coordinator of the City's Drug Strategy says the holiday season can often bring with it binge drinking. Cynthia Olson says beyond regular festive party drinking, there are financial pressures around Christmas and New Years and that often leads to unhealthy drinking. Olson says its important to know your limit.

Police Investigate 6th Homicide

City police continue to investigate Thunder Bay's 6th homicide of 2012. Police were called to a Villa Street home on Saturday night to find a 25 year old with no vital signs and a 23 year old unconcious.
Both were rushed to hospital where the 25 year old was pronounced dead, while the 23 year remains in critical condition. Police say the two men were known to eachother but not related and that alcohol was a factor. No names have been released.

Aggravated Assault Charge

A man who was allegedly assaulted by his girlfriend remains in critical condition at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Police were called to the Brant Street area on Saturday night and arrested the woman. She will next appear in court on January 2nd facing three charges including aggravated assault.

Marathon O.P.P. Make 3 Drug Seizures

Marathon O.P.P. are doing their part in keeping drugs off the street. Three traffic stops in three consecutive days dating back to last Thursday have resulted in the seizure of various amounts of cannabis marijuana. The first was for 8 grams. A Toronto Man faces charges of possession of a controlled susbstance. The second saw police seize 2.2 kilograms of marijuana worth an estimated street value of $44,000. Two men from Yorkton, Saskatchewan are now facing trafficking charges. The third stop saw police arrest a man and a woman from Quebec after they spotted marijuana and 186 ecstacy pills worth an estimated $4,600.

Thunderwolves Capture Tournament Title

The Lakehead University men's basketball team are tournament champions. They captured the 46th annual Winnipeg Wesmen Classic with an 84-67 win over the host team in the final. Ryan Thomson led the way with 22 points. Centre Yoosrie Salhia scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the final to be named tournament M.V.P. Menawhile the L.U. women's team closed out the Thunder Selects tournament in Halifax losing 82-55 to the #4 ranked St. Mary's Huskies. Conference play for both teams resumes this weekend on the road with a pair against the Waterloo Warriors.

Crime Of The Week

Thunder Bay and District Crimestoppers are looking for your help in solving an arson investigation. Fires were set in the laneway between Empire Avenue and Piper Avenue. Sometime between May 14th and June 12th, a series of fires were set, usually after 3:00 a.m. and before 6:00 a.m. Sheds and garages suffered structural damage and in one instance a vehicle suffered severe damage. Police say in these fires, an aerosol can along with flammable materials were used as an accellerant. Crimestoppers is looking for any information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for these arsons. Call Crimestoppers at 623-TIPS or 623-8477.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Police Probe Murder And Serious Assault

Thunder Bay police are searching for any information on a murder and serious assault in the city. They say that two people were found unconscious in a house at 245 Villa Street Saturday night. They say one of them, a 25 year old man, was later pronounced dead in the hospital, the cause of his death has not been determined. The second person, a 23 year old man is in critical condition. Police say the people were known to the homeowner, who made the discovery, and that alcohol was a factor in the incident.

MNR Warns Against Feeding Animals

The Ministry of Natural Resources wants to remind the public to not feed wild animals. Communications specialist Kathryn Lyzun says feeding them not only takes a toll on the animal, but also spreads disease. Lyzun says that beyond dependency and disease issues, feeding animals near roads increases the opportunity of them being hit by a passing vehicle. She adds that it's important to appreciate wildlife from a distance.

Gravelle's Year in Review

Thunder Bay Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle is looking back on the year that was. He feels his biggest achievement in 2012 was the first section of highway 17 getting four lanes and he thinks that Northwestern Ontario's economy is going to take off in 2013. Gravelle says he's proud of many accomplishments throughout the year but notes it is also the year he received a diagnosis of cancer. Gravelle says he's received lots of wonderful support from his family and constituents.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Robbi Weldon Prepares for 2016

Thunder Bay's Robbi Weldon is remembering  a gold medal year as 2012 winds down. Weldon won gold in the Paralympic Road Race at the London Games this past Summer. She says it was a huge thrill and she now has a new goal of representing Canada at the next Paralympic Games in Brazil in 2016. Weldon will will begin training with a new pilot next year as her old pilot, Lynne Bissette, is now retired.

NOMA Looking Ahead

The President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is vowing to keep working towards improving the region's economy. Ron Nelson says they'll be plugging away at a number of ongoing issues in 2013. Nelson says one of their biggest achievements in 2012 was seeing the Northern Policy Institute come to fruition.

Friday, December 28, 2012

KPDSB On Labour Talks

The fate of extracurricular activities could be decided early this week.  School boards are expecting an update from the Ministry of Education before school starts up again.  Jack McMaster is the Director of Education of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and remains optimistic that a solution can be had.  The cancellation of extracurricular activities has also put NorWOSSA sports Leagues on hold. 

Mauro Talks 2013

Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro has big plans for 2013.  He hopes to make several major infrastructure announcements in the New Year but is keeping mum.  Mauro says he will also continue to work towards ensuring the Mission Island Power Plant stays open.

Rafferty Talks New Years Resolutions

Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty is setting some New Years Resolutions.  Rafferty says his goal for 2013 is to get support for his private members bills.  Meanwhile, Rafferty calls 2012 frustrating and hopes the parties will be able to better work with eachother in the New Year.

OPP Satisfaction Survey

The Ontario Provincial Police have released their annual community satisfaction survey.  The survey revealed that over 95.8 percent of Ontarians feel 'safe' or 'very safe' in their communities.  Staff Sergeant Hazel O'Brien says that there is a common issue throughout the province, including Northwestern Ontario.  O'Brien adds that a major issue in the region is the use of alcohol and drugs.

Illness Declared Over

A gostrointestinal illness at a local retirement home is now being declared over. Officials with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have lifted restrictions on visitors to Chartwell Select Retirement Home on Arundel Street.

Thunderwolves In Action

The Lakehead University Thunderwolves hockey team is back on home ice tonight. They play the defending national champion McGill Redmen in the first of two non-conference games tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Fort William Gardens. The men's basketball team begins play at the Winnipeg Wesmen tournament today at 1:00 o'clock against the Northern B.C. Timberwolves. Meanwhile the women's basketball team is in Halifax for the Thunder Selects tournament. They'll take on the Dalhousie Tigers at 5:00 o'clock Eastern to open the tournament.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Floodway Project In 2013

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority wants to finish dredging the McIntyre Neebing floodway in 2013. Chair Bill Bartley says the million dollar project depends on getting funding from the Province and the City. Bartley says it's one of their biggest projects.

Law School Big Achievement For 2012

Lakehead University is most proud of getting the Northern Law School off the ground. President Dr. Brian Stevenson says it was one of the big achievements of 2012. Stevenson says in the New Year he hopes to complete their 5 year strategic plan.

Assault With A Weapon

A 51 year old man is facing charges of assault with a weapon after an early morning incident Christmas Day. Police say a noise complaint turned violent on the 400 block of Prince Arthur Boulevard. A man refused to answer his door and became uncooperative and began waiving a knife at police. Police were able to arrest the man at gunpoint after pepper spray was used to get the man to relinquish the knife.

Break & Enter Boxing Day

A 28 year old man is charged with break and enter, and aggravated assault after a Boxing Day incident on Rankin Street. Police were called to the home to deal with a man that had just broken in and assaulted a person with an axe. A 35 year old man was struck in the back with the axe and was sent to the hospital. Police say the accused was found a short time later at his home on Kensington Drive and was sent to the hospital with injuries that he received during the altercation on Rankin Street. Both men are in hospital in good condition and the investigation is continuing.

2 From N.B. Arrested On Canada Wide Warrants

A man and a woman from Saint John are in trouble with the law in Northern Ontario. A 42 year old Woman and a 54 year old man were spotted speeding on a highway East of Thunder Bay on Christmas Eve. The black SUV sped away from police only to be stopped by a spike belt later after Ontario Provincial Police say they stole gas from a regional station. Police learned the vehicle was stolen and the occupants were wanted on Canada Wide arrest warrants stemming from an incident in Fredericton where the occupants allegedly tried to abduct a female at knife point and then stole her vehicle. The woman driver from Saint John, New Brunswick is now facing six charges including fleeing from police, being unlawfully at large and two counts of possession of stolen property. The 54 man, also from Saint John, New Brunswick is charged with possession of stolen property, theft under $5,000 and being unlawfully at large. Both were remanded into custody.

Weldon Gets Votes For Athlete Of The Year

Thunder Bay's Robbi Weldon is among Canada's top women athletes for 2012. Weldon earned 1 first place vote and 2 second place votes for the title of Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year after winning gold in a Paralympics road cycling race. Soccer player Christine Sinclair is a runaway winner of the 2012 Canadian Press Female athlete of the year. Sinclair won the golden boot award at this year's Summer Olympics after scoring a record 6 goals, including a hat trick in a 4-3 extra-time loss to the United States.

Ammonia Leak

City fire crews will be back at Nor'West Rec Centre today to help re-open the facility. 2 trucks and a Hazmat crew were called in to help Oliver-Paipoonge Fire Services yesterday after an ammonia leak was discovered. Fire officials had to help with the shut down of the refrigerating unit and conduct a walk through. Crews will be back at the recreation centre later today to ensure a replacement part is properly installed and that it is safe for the public to re-enter the building.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day Shopping

Stores are open for boxing day and shoppers are out in full force.  Many, including Travis Setala, are just out to see if the shopping really is better. Setala was hoping to get a good deal on a camera but couldn't find the deal he was looking for. He says the crowds don't bother him: "I don't mind coming out. It's something to do after Christmas."  The post-Christmas shopping is attracting lots of people despite the cold weather.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Man Dies In Hwy 17 Accident

A 32 year old man is dead and his 2 year old daughter is in Winnipeg Hospital after a fatal motor vehicle collision, 10 kilometers east of Ignace on Highway 17.  Police say a westbound pick up truck crossed into the eastbound lane hitting a Pontiac.  The 69 year old driver of the westbound pickup and 17 year old passenger both from Hawkestone Ontario were taken to Dryden Hospital.  The name of the deceased has been held until notification of next of kin.

Pedestrian Vehicle Accident Near Arthur

Thunder Bay Police are continuing to investigate a pedestrian vehicle accident last night at the intersection of Arthur and Edward Street.  The incident happened around 7:00 last night and the 63 year old woman was sent to hospital with minor injuries.

OPP Nab Drunk Driver

Someone is going to be on Santa's naughty list.  OPP are charging a 55 year old woman with drinking and driving.  Police say the incident stemmed from a call yesterday at around 1 o'clock from a concerned motorist reporting a vehicle seriously out of control.  Officers say she was driving with four times the legal limit of alcohol in her system on the Thunder Bay Expressway.

Highway 17 Open

Highway 17 east of Ignace is open to both lanes of traffic after a fatal motor vehicle collision last night.  The highway was closed for most of the evening while Police investigated.  No other details are available at this time.

Missing Teen Found

14 year old Abigail Olafson is safe and sound.  Thunder Bay Police are reporting that she returned home safely.  Olafson was reported missing December 20th and police say tips from the public assisted in bringing Olafson home.

Crimestoppers Crime Of The Week

Thunder Bay District Crimestoppers and Thunder Bay Police are asking the public to assist with locating several firearms that were stolen from a local residence. Sometime between October 18th and 24th of this year, someone broke into a David Street home. The suspect gained entry through a basement window. Once inside, the lock on a gun locker was cut and 4 firearms and ammunition were taken. 2 rifles and 2 shotguns were taken along with ammunition and cash from the gun locker. Crimestoppers is asking anyone with information about who may have taken these firearms or where they may be located to call Crimestoppers at 623-8477 or 623-TIPS. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fatality On Highway 17 Near Ignace

Highway 17 is closed 10 kilometers east of Igance because of a motor vehicle fatality.  The highway will be closed for an unknown amount of time.

South Pole Expedition

A Thunder Bay man is preparing for yet another exciting expedition. Dale Shippam and his team, including Dr. Heather Ross, will be cross-country skiing to the South Pole in a week's time, all to raise awareness for organ transplants and donation. Their fundraising efforts have so far contributed more than 1.4 million dollars to Toronto General Hospital's heart and transplantation research projects. To follow Shippam's progress, you can go to

Missing Person Abigail Olafson

Thunder Bay Police are asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing person. 14 year old Abigail Olafson was last seen by her family on the 20th of December at home. She is described as Caucasian, 5'-4", 115lbs, fair complexion, reddish/brown straight hair, with a pierced nose and a scar over her left eye. Abigail was last seen wearing a slim-fit brown leather jacket, jeans, black boots and carrying a multi-coloured ethnic back pack.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

18 Year Old Charged Following Collision

An 18-year-old Thunder Bay man has a court date in the New Year following a collision involving two cars early this morning at the intersection of Tupper Street and Prospect Avenue. No one was injured but the man was charged for driving with over 80 milligrams of alcohol in his blood. Thunder Bay Police want to remind people not to drink and drive.

Outbreaks at Roseview Manor and Hilldale Gardens

Officials at the Health Unit have declared an outbreak of respiratory illness at Hilldale Gardens Retirement Living along with an outbreak of influenza A at Roseview Manor. In an attempt to contain this illness, family and friends are asked to limit visits to the facilities and to contact them for more information. The Health Unit is urging people to stay at home and refrain from visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities and retirement homes when feeling unwell to avoid spreading infections to those most vulnerable.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Norovirus Culprit In Food Poisoning

The Health Unit is confirming through lab tests that the Norovirus was the cause of food poisoning at 3 events catered by Maltese Grocery. To date, 85 people have reported being ill. Now that the Health Unit has determined the source of the outbreak, Maltese Grocery will be reopening catering operations. The Health Unit says the grocer has a good inspection record and the illness is generally spread to people through contaminated food or contaminated commonly-touched surfaces.

Tourism Guide Out

The city's new tourism guide is out. There are 100 thousand of them printed at a cost of 70 thousand dollars according to Tourism Manager Paul Pepe who says advertising helps to offset the costs. Pepe says the guide is available at all hotels, motels, tourism centres and online.

Police Officer Ok After Late Night Incident

A city police officer is now out of hospital after being hurt last night while trying to arrest two men.  A man approached an officer at McDonald's on Memorial Avenue and demanded a ride home; he was arrested for public intoxication after allegedly becoming belligerent.  Constable Julie Tilbury says when the officer was getting into the vehicle, a second man opened the passenger side back door and let the arrested man out.  A 39 year old man is charged with Obstructing Police, Resisting Arrest and Being Intoxicated In A Public Place.

Toys For Tots Campaign A Success

It's another success for Thunder Bay Firefighters Toys for Tots Campaign. Spokesperson Bob Vander Ploeg says they give the money to the ladies at Christmas Cheer who then go out and buy the toys. $153,530 was raised during this year's Toys For Tots Campaign.

Weldon Plans For Brazil 2016

Thunder Bay's Robbi Weldon is remembering a golden year. The local cyclist won the women's "B" Road Race at the London Paralympic Games back in September. Weldon says she now has new goals for representing Canada 4 years from now. Weldon will begin training with a new pilot next year as her old pilot, Lyne Bissette, is now retired.

Police Association Gives To Needy Pets

It's not just humans that need love on Christmas.  Thunder Bay's Police Association is donating 250 dollars and a bunch of food, blankets, toys and treats to the local Humane Society.  Vice President Jim Glena says they've been donating to the humane society for sometime. Two Police Constables will be delivering two cruisers full of goodies to the local humane society today.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Province Gives Cash To John Howard Society

The Provincial Government is providing 28-thousand dollars to a new Health & Wellness program in Thunder Bay. The John Howard Society will deliver the program for low income people. The program is expected to teach people how to eat healthy within a budget.

Bentley Coming To Town

Energy Minister Chris Bentley will be in town next month.  He'll be meeting with Mayor Keith Hobbs about the Ontario Power Authority's decision to halt the conversion of the Mission Island Power Plant.  Representatives from the OPA, and MPP Bill Mauro will also be invited to the discussion.  A Spokesperson with the Minister says Bentley will spend the day talking with officials about the conversion.

Flood Makes Top 10 List

Thunder Bay has the dubious distinction of making it to the top 10 list of weather events in Canada for 2012.   Meteorologist Geoff Coulson of Environment Canada says, at number 8,  we joined other communities under the title; the year of the urban flood.  Coulson notes the event shattered weather records and was one of a kind for the kind of damage it caused.

Book Of Condolences For Newtown

Thunder Bay residents are being given the chance to reach out to the people of Newtown, Connecticut. City Clerk John Hannam says a book of condolences is open at City Hall to allow you to express your sympathies following that tragic shooting. The book will then be sent to the Mayor's Office in Newtown.