Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Budget takes centre stage at City Hall

The Budget process is underway at City Hall. An overview of the budget was given to council Monday night that came complete with a 2.67 percent tax increase. City Manager Tim Commisso says costs need to be controlled to make a good budget. He said extensive meetings have been held to go over the costs for every department. More Budget meetings will be held next week.

Kaszycki speaks out

Some critics are surprised that as the McGuinty government's Ring of Fire coordinator, Christine Kaszycki hasn't visited camps in the mining zone. Kaszycki defends the decision saying there have been other priorities which included getting to know the communities affected by the massive development.  Kaszycki says as a geologist by trade she has visited many exploration sites.

Medical stop at Thunder Bay airport

An Air Canada flight from Winnipeg to Toronto made an unscheduled stop at the Thunder Bay airport this morning at around 10 o'clock. Manager Scott McFadden says it was due to a medical emergency.  McFadden says the patient on the Airbus A-319 was taken to the Health Science's Centre. 

NAN talks energy in far north

Chiefs from across the Nishnawbe Aski Nation are meeting in Thunder Bay this week talking about the lack of energy infrastructure in the far north.  Deputy Grand Chief Les Louttit says they want to come up with a plan by the end of the three day conference.  Louttit says the Provincial and Federal Government's have a role to play in getting communities onto the hydro grid.

Stabbing suspect turns himself in

Police say that they have a 15 year old boy in custody in connection with a stabbing earlier this month.   They say he was the last of the 4 people officials say were involved in the incident at Junot and Red River Road.  Police say the youth turned himself in.

Youth educators plan conference

About 200 early childhood educators from the district are converging in Thunder Bay next month.  The Social Services Administration Board is holding a conference that organizer Marnie Tarzia believes will lead to some new thinking.

Pellet gun brings out the police dogs

City police are breathing a sigh of relief that a weapons call this morning turned into a false alarm.   They say that just after 9 a concerned person called to report that a teen was seen in the backyard of a Belrose Road home with a gun.  After closing down the area and bringing in the sniffer dogs, police say it turned out to be a pellet gun.  No one was hurt and there are no charges being laid. 

Alex Cameron bursary created

A former Lakehead Pioneer is being honoured through a new bursary.  The Lakehead Public School Board recently created the Alex Cameron Bursary for students who want to attend a Canadian University for Engineering.  Alex Cameron lived in Thunder Bay from 1863 to 1952.

NAN Energy Conference Today

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is hosting a three day conference on First Nation energy needs.  Area Chiefs will talk about energy issues, and what needs to be done to improve the energy distribution.  Speakers at the conference will include reps from the Federal and Provincial Governments and First Nations.  The event kicks off today at the Valhalla Inn.

Bohonos is Howarth's replacement

The Thunder Bay North Stars are bringing in Lonny Bohonos to be their interim coach. The move comes after Todd Howarth resigned.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Core Services Review is getting a big look

The Mayor is keenly looking forward to the Core Services Review Process.  An initial report that included the city's golf courses was presented to council Monday night and Mayor Hobbs says fiscal responsibility needs to be addressed.  Hobbs says he's been in favour of selling the Municipal Golf Course for a long time.  Hobbs also says he thinks all services need to be looked at.  He said he doesn't think there needs to be sweeping changes but it's time to be fiscally responsible.  The golf courses won't be back to council until the end of March.  City Manager Tim Commisso says the second phase of the Review will include the Conservatory.

Cell Towers discussed again

The Bell Mobility towers made its way to council again Monday night.  Councillor Aldo Ruberto tried to get council to vote against sending a letter to the Federal Government that stated Bell held public meetings.  Councillor Marc Bentz says the question was never about whether or not council likes the towers. Bentz says all the concerns will be forwarded to Industry Canada and will be considered before any decision is made.

Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute is booming

The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute spoke to council  to give them an overview on how the organization has grown since Council's initial 5 million dollar investment.  CEO Michael Power says before the investment the Regional Health Sciences Centre had 3 supported Scientists now there is 13.  Power says the TBRRI has brought in 70 million dollars in direct and indirect economic activity.  Power says the next step is to commercialize the research being done here and to see the economic success stay.

LHIN CEO welcomes new duties

Ontario's local health integration networks will be given responsibility for family doctors. The CEO of the Northwest LHIN, Laura Kokocinski, says her organization is prepared to make it work. She says they welcome the news since it'll move the health care system to one that is more patient focused. Health Minister Deb Matthews says the LHIN's will help ensure patients have a more seamless experience between doctor and hospital.

LUSU holding daycare centre vote

The Student Union at Lakehead University is hoping students dig a bit deeper. Spokesperson Neva  Bassingthwite says LUSU is holding a referendum on increasing student fees by five dollars to help build a new daycare centre, adding it's become increasingly clear the current centre isn't meeting the needs of students. The voting will take place over three days next month.

Three locals to take part in suit

We are just days away from a class action harassment lawsuit being filed against the RCMP. Thunder Bay lawyer Sandy Zaitzeff says there could be up to 120 plaintiffs in this case including three in our city.  Zaitzeff says it could take years to settle the suit which alleges women in the RCMP faced on the job harassment

Grann trial underway

The trial of a city police officer is back on at the Ontario Court of Justice. 44 year old Constable Toni Grann has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of Breach of Trust. The charges involve falsified local records in the Ontario Sex Offender Registry

LRCA releases water quality report

The Lakehead Regional Conservation Authority is embarking on improving water quality in Rosslyn.  Spokesperson Bob Hartley says a recent water quality report shows septic systems in the community are potential threats to the two municipal wells.  Hartley adds homeowners will need to have their septic systems inspected.  A series of public meetings on the water quality report will be held next week.  Thunder Bay's water source Lake Superior came through with flying colours with no potential threats to water quality. 

Feds cut off Energy Grant Program

EcoSuperior is surprised the Federal Government has cut short its registration period for the ecoEnergy for Houses program.  The program provides money to homeowners who make improvements to their home that will save energy.  Executive Director Ellen Mortfield says the program was supposed to end in March.  People already signed up for the program have until June 30th to have their follow up home evaluation.

Nash in T.Bay today

Federal NDP leadership hopeful Peggy Nash is campaigning in Thunder Bay today.  Nash says if she's elected to Party Leader she will work to improve regional economic plans and secure funding for public transit.  Nash feels the Prime Minister is using the gun registry to get votes in specific ridings in the North.  Nash says she believes in Leader Jack Layton's gun registry plan that included public consultation over what annoys the public about the registry.

Ontario Scotties Results

A big upset at the 2012 Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Tracy Horgan from Sudbury toppled the previously unbeaten Rachel Homan foursome from Ottawa 7-6 in Sunday afternoon's final at the Kenora Curling Club. Horgan now advances to the 2012 National Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer, Alberta next month.

Howarth steps down

The head coach of the Thunder Bay North Stars is stepping down for personal reasons.  Todd Howarth told the ownership board and SIJHL of his decision recently.  The team's ownership group will make an announcement on Howarth's replacement in the near future.  Howarth is the longest serving coach in SIJHL history.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Missing Man Found Dead

A post mortem exam will be held tomorrow for 31-year-old missing Terrace Bay man Gregory Muckaday.  OPP found Muckaday yesterday in a forested area near the community. They have been searching for him since Monday and do not suspect foul play.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Closed-Door Meeting

Little is being said about a closed-door meeting this week in Thunder Bay involving Mayors from four northwestern Ontario communities and the CEO of Resolute Forest Products. The mayors of Fort Frances, Kenora, Ignace and Thunder Bay were asked to meet with Richard Garneau Tuesday. Fort Mayor Roy Avis isn't saying much about what was discussed.

MPP Invites Health Minister to Region

No word yet on whether Ontario's Health Minister will consider an invite to visit to the Kenora-Rainy River riding. MPP Sarah Campbell issued the invite to Deb Matthews so she could hear first hand about the challenges faced in the region's health care sector. The ongoing efforts to staff the Rainy River Health Centre's emergency department was among issues prompting the MPP to issue the invite.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New website hopes to connect Thunder Bay

Do you want to know whats going on in Thunder Bay, well a new website is hoping to be able to answer your questions.  OUTLETPOWERED has just launched and the site will help events, organizations, people or businesses connect with the community.  Founder Kayla Quinn says sometimes it's hard to connect with things you are passionate about and this site will help bring it all together.  Quinn hopes to open a physical location this summer that will give people a place to meet and discuss all things Thunder Bay.

Lakehead Public Board embraces Twitter

The Lakehead Public School Board is embracing Twitter.  Communications Officer Bruce Nugent says the board sees social media as a way to stay connected to students and parents and since they've started using Twitter, traffic on the Board's website has increased.  Nugent says he wants to do a survey to see if social media increases awareness about what's happening at the schools.

Police close Kam River hole case

The hole in the ice on the Kam River is now a closed case.  Police say they received a call from a person who fell through the ice Wednesday night and managed to get themselves out.  Police says the person is in fine health and the case is closed.

Michael Kelly sentenced to life.

The jury has found Michael Kelly guilty of First Degree Murder in the death of Judie Thibault.  The Alberta man was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years.  He was charged in the death that happened in 2000, although Thibault's body wasn't found until 2004.  Thibault's family is happy with the verdict. 

Collision sends pedestrian to hospital

A 25 year old woman is lucky to have only minor injuries after being hit by a car.  The woman and 2 others started walking across Oliver Road towards the Hospital after being motioned by a motorist.  An eastbound car hit the woman and she was taken to the hospital.  Police say no charges have been laid at this time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Terrace Bay Pulp is under creditors protection

The situation for Terrace Bay Pulp has gone from bad to worse.  The mill is under creditors protection.  Forestry Minister Michael Gravelle couldn't be reached but did send us a statement saying he hopes the facility can return to successful operation under new ownership.

OPP looking into fatal fire

OPP are investigating a fatal fire in Red Lake.  The Blaze tore through a house yesterday and destroyed the building.  OPP says a 49 year old woman was found inside the fire and they say the cause isn't suspicious.

An ice hole causes some tense moments

A hole in the ice on the Kam River lead to police searching the area.  Police Spokesperson Julie Tilbury says people in the area over the lunch hour say they saw foot prints leading to the hole.  Tilbury says a search turned up nothing and if anyone did fall through they likely escaped. 

Police make major drug bust

Over 130 thousand dollars worth of marijuana is off the streets thanks to a huge police bust.  Officers searched a pickup truck and a house Monday and found over 14 pounds of marijuana and cash.  A 27 year old man and 26 year old woman have been arrested and are facing several charges.

OPP still looking for missing Terrace Bay man

OPP in Terrace Bay are still looking for a missing 31 year old man.  Greg Muckaday hasn't been seen since early Monday morning at his house.  A picture of the man can be seen on our news page. 

No change for Hobbs on golf

There's no change in Keith Hobbs stand on city golf courses. He still believes at least one of them should be sold. His comments come as a new report states the courses will never make money. That report goes before city council on Monday.

Bartley stays LRCA chair

No change at the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority.  Bill Bartley is back as Chair of the LRCA.  It follows the Annual General Meeting.   Donna Blunt returns as Vice-Chair.

Move over Motor City

Minneapolis TV stations will begin broadcasting in Thunder Bay on Shaw Cable starting on Tuesday. The company has been calling it's subscribers with an automated system informing them of the changeover from the Detroit and Rochester stations. The CRTC gave permission for the switch late last year.

Jury to begin deliberations today

The Michael Kelly murder trial is about to go to the jury. Justice John Wright will be giving his instructions to them this morning.  In his closing address Crown Attorney Dan Mitchell told the six men and six women that there can be no doubt , based on the evidence presented, that Kelly was the killer of Judie Thibault   He says the evidence showed Kelly told an undercover officer facts that only the killer would know about the case including the 22 calibre gun, the shot to the back of the head and the carpet her body was wrapped in. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Golf report sets course debate on fire

The debate on if the city should sell the city run golf courses is raging.  A report is coming to council Monday that shows the courses will never make money.  Councillor Andrew Foulds says while no decisions will be made for months, he thinks this is just another attack on public services.  Councillor Ken Boshcoff on the other hand says if there is a time to sell it is now. 

Murder trial winds down

The closing arguments are complete in the Michael Kelly murder trial. In his final address to the jury Defense Lawyer Gil Labine said it would be up to them to decide whether Kelly would lie to an undercover police officer, to get his hands on half a million dollars being offered to him to confess to the killing of Judie Thibault. Labine also showed them that the so called hold back evidence that Kelly told undercover officers about, was information that was known in the community through various means including police news releases. Kelly is charged with First Degree Murder in Thibaults death.

Lakeshore collision turns tragic

A 9 year old girl has succumbed to her injuries after Monday's collision on Lakeshore Drive.  OPP say Paige Matte-Gurney died yesterday in hospital.  The other injured child is still in hospital.

NDP's Peggy Nash coming to T.Bay

You can have a pub night with the latest NDP Leadership candidate to come to Thunder Bay.  Peggy Nash will be in the City on Monday and is hosting a "pub night" at Tony and Adams for NDP supporters.  The event runs from 7 until 9.

Feds can do more for First Nation drug problem

Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer wants the Federal Government to subsidize a new drug treatment for people addicted to prescription drugs. Hyer says more needs to be done to help area First Nations that are experiencing a prescription drug abuse epidemic. Hyer says the Federal Government needs to scrap the Methadone treatment in favour of a new drug that is more effective.

Hyer on PM meeting with First Nations

Tuesday's meeting between the Prime Minister and Canada's First Nations people is being panned.  This time the bad review is coming from MP Bruce Hyer.  The local MP thinks the PM should have made more of an effort towards scrapping the Indian Act.

Hudak at Confederation College Thursday

The leader of the Progressive Conservatives is coming to Thunder Bay today to talk about modernizing the province's apprenticeship system.  Tim Hudak will be speaking to Confederation College students about what he would like to see happen with the system.

Rafferty says McGuinty passing the buck

MP John Rafferty says Premier Dalton McGuinty is passing the buck when he claims First Nations are a Federal responsibility.  Rafferty says that's not the case since the Province of Ontario signed both the Treaty three and nine treaties.  The local MP says the McGuinty Government has failed to provide equal funding for first nation education.

OPP still searching Highway 17

Highway 17 between Marathon and Ney's Provincial Park is closed due to a police investigation. It stems from an early morning incident involving OPP trying to stop a vehicle near Terrace Bay. During the chase the car hit the ditch. The two suspects in the car fled; one man has been caught the other remains at large. OPP are requesting motorists NOT to pick up hitchhikers and to report any pedestrians observed on Highway 17 between Terrace Bay and Marathon.

Softwood Lumber deal for 2 more years

Canada has quietly extended the Softwood Lumber Agreement for another two years.  The deal will now expire in 2015.  Kenora M.P. Greg Rickford says while softwood lumber exports have been declining in recent years, the deal does provide market certainty for producers.

ORNGE lay offs

There are no cuts being made to ORNGE posts in Northwestern Ontario. 18 jobs were cut at the Province's air ambulance headquarters in Mississauga. The cuts are being made as a way to reduce costs. The restructuring only affects office positions and not pilots or paramedics.