Friday, March 30, 2012

Westfort incident ends peacefully

A 37 year old man is in police custody following an incident in Westfort Friday afternoon. Police say they were called before 3 o'clock about a man who may have been in distress and may have had a weapon. This drew in the Emergency Task Unit who then managed to get the man to surrender peacefully. He was taken to the Health Sciences Centre for an assessment. They say firearms were located in the home.

Dawson Road could be put off

It looks like Dawson road traffic may not be discussed Monday night after all.  A motion to create a community safety zone on Dawson Road to protect residents from fast moving transport truck traffic is on the agenda but a new motion is being put forward asking discussion to be put off until April the 16th.  No word on why the move is being made but council originally decided to call for a length restriction on vehicles on the road which was shot down by the Ministry of Transportation.

Power to remain in Thunder Bay

Michael Power is staying in Thunder Bay.  His resignation from the Health Sciences Centre and the Regional Research Institute was announced yesterday and Power says he will be opening an office her that will include a support staff.  Our newsroom has been told as many as 7 people could be hired for the Elekta office and Power says it should be up and running by this fall.  Power says his 16 years at the hospital were nothing short of great and is proud of what the Cancer Centre has accomplished during that time.  His resignation takes effect in May. 

Ice Edge Holdings back in the Coyotes Saga

Ice Edge Holdings has been reborn and could be in line to run an AHL team, just not in Thunder Bay.  CEO Anthony LeBlanc said via Twitter, Ice Edge has discussed a plan B with the City of Glendale if the Phoenix Coyotes are relocated.  LeBlanc went on to say his priority is to see the Coyotes remain in the desert.  Possible locations for the Coyotes if they do move are Seattle, Quebec City or Saskatoon.  Quebec City is thought to be the front runner with a new 18 thousand seat arena in the works.  LeBlanc said during Thursday night's Dudley Hewitt Cup Dinner that they remain committed to bringing a professional team to Thunder Bay.

Time to name the worst road in Thunder Bay

Sick and tired of the state of a local road or fed up with endless pot holes? Here's your chance to take some action and cast your vote in the Annual Ontario Worst Roads campaign. Spokesperson Korey Kennedy says the campaign is extremely effective.  He says 90 per cent of roads nominated to the annual list are repaired or are slated for repair.   You can now vote for the worst road and nominations will be accepted until April 24th. (To vote go to

Rickford says FedNor is safe

Conservative MP Greg Rickford is defending the federal budget from area critics who say it will result in the demise of FedNor. Rickford says nothing could be farther from the truth.  He says the regional development program  remains in good shape and reports to the contrary are "disappointing".  Rickford says the budget is designed to draw a balance between keeping the deficit in check and jobs growth. 

MP says budget is on the wrong track

The federal budget is getting the thumbs down from NDP MP John Rafferty. Rafferty says he's disappointed that the government has increased the amount of goods you can bring back duty free from the United States. He's also critical about what he says is a 10 per cent reduction in money for FedNor and a loss of public service jobs.  Rafferty calls the budget a disappointment for the people of northern Ontario

KI wins mining dispute

The Ontario government has settled a dispute over mineral exploration near a northwestern First Nation by buying the land. Toronto-based God's Lake Resources agreed to surrender its mining lease and claims near the KI First Nation.  As a result of the $3.5-million sale, God's Lake Resources does not own any mineral exploration interests.

Arson arrest made

Police are hoping they have put an end to a series of arsons in the city with the arrest of a 17 year old youth.  He's been charged with three counts of arson and damaging property.  It's in connection with two fires on Regina Avenue and one on John Street Road a couple weekends back.   He is still in custody and has a court day this morning

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Plasma Donar Clinic closing in Tbay

Thunder Bay Plasma Donors won't have a place to donate anymore.  Effective April 12th the clinic here is closing its doors.  Officials with Canadian Blood Services say a lack of demand for plasma is the reason for the closure and all 28 full and part time employees will be affected.

Winning 50 million dollar ticket is validated

The search is over. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation says the holder of the 50 million dollar lottery ticket purchased in Thunder Bay will be named in the next several days. OLG spokesperson Dita Kuhtey says the winner has come forward and validated the ticket. Kuhtey won't release any other information about the ticket holder.

Cancer Care Ontario opens office in Tbay

Cancer Care Ontario is setting up shop in Thunder Bay.  Vice President Rick Skinner says the first satellite office outside of Toronto is now open and will develop and test new software to be used across the province.   Skinner says with Thunder Bay's emerging technology industry, placing the office here is the absolute best choice. 

Rec centre vandalized

Damage is estimated at up to 10 thousand dollars after vandals hit the Current River Rec Centre overnight. Police say a security guard called them after noticing someone had broken in. They say windows had been broken and that a fire extinguisher was set off. Current River Councillor Andrew Foulds says the incident angers him.

Michael Power resigns

One of the most influential people at the Regional Health Sciences Centre is parting ways with the organization.  Michael Power has resigned from his position as Executive Vice President, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management.  Power accepted a position with the medical technology company Elekta as the North America Vice President.

Catholic Board weighs in on funding

The Provincial Government is increasing the amount of money it gives school boards by 1.7 percent.  Catholic School Board Spokesperson Tom Mustapic says they don't know what that means for them.  The increase in funding comes at other cost savings measures announced in the budget including amalgamating school boards and closing under-used schools.  Meanwhile, the Province is capping the number of credits students can take in their fifth year.  It's part of a cost saving plan included in Tuesday's Provincial budget.

OFAH reacts to MNR plan

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is meeting with the Minister of Natural Resources to discuss the proposed 3 year plan for the MNR.  Spokesperson Greg Farrant  says they need to find out what the proposed cuts will mean to them.  Farrant says he wasn't surprised they've been waiting for cuts to be announced for some time. 

Don't lie at the border

People continue to lie to border guards at the Pigeon River crossing.  Border agents have been busy last month writing 10 warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods and conducting four seizures.  In one situation, a man bringing in a snowmobile trailer told the guard he paid 400 dollars for it.  After doing some digging the guard found that the trailer actually cost 800 dollars and the man had faked his invoice.  He was forced to pay over 220 dollars; had he just told the truth the tax on his trailer would have come out to 20 dollars Canadian.

Gravelle talks MNR plan

The Ministry of Natural Resources is embarking on a 3 year transformation plan that could include cuts to offices and staff.  It's part of the Provincial Government's budget and Minister Michael Gravelle says the plan is in it's early stages.  If the budget is passed the plan will be implemented.

Suspicious death in Pikangikum

OPP are investigating a suspcious death in Pikangikum First Nation.  A 17 year old boy was reported missing two days ago and his body was found later behind someone's home.  A post mortem exam will take place in Toronto.

Accessible Sports Council new site

Thunder Bay's Accessible Sports Council is celebrating it's one year anniversary.  They're launching a website today showing the community what sports they offer to disabled athletes.  Spokesperson Tessa Soderberg says they just want to get people more active and involved in Thunder Bay's sports community.Click here.

Safeway stores raising money

Thunder Bay's Safeway Stores continue to raise awareness and money for a number of local causes.  This year they'll be collecting funds for Special Olympics Ontario and Easter Seals.  Money being raised will take place in the month of April.

Spithoff falls in spelling bee

Thunder Bay's Jacklyn Spithoff didn't make it to the next round of spelling bee competitions.  She finished in the top 10 last night in the National Competition being held in Toronto.  Spithoff attends Crestview School.

12 year old boy safe after wandering out on ice

A 12 year old boy is safe after he was rescued off of Chubb Lake yesterday in Neebing.  A 7 person rescue team and air boat was deployed to grab the boy who was stranded on the far side of the lake.  Fire and Rescue are reminding the public that area water ways are not considered safe and we should not venture out on local ice.

Field Naturalists buy land

The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists are purchasing two more pieces of property on Bowman Island.  The Field Naturalists bought the land and now owns and protects more than a thousand hectares of land.  Bowman Island is set to become a National Marine Conservation Area.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hobbs likes provincial budget

The Mayor is content with the provincial budget.  Keith Hobbs says he's happy to see the government working towards balancing the budget, but is disappointed about a lack of details for the Ring of Fire.  Hobbs says he'd like to see some infrastructure plans or some sort of documentation but so far he hasn't seen anything.  Hobbs says he thinks with the Conservatives already coming out against the budget he can't see the NDP supporting it either, Hobbs says he won't be surprised if we head back to the polls.

Safety zone proposed as traffic solution

Transport traffic on Dawson Road is once again coming up for discussion.  At Monday night's City Council meeting councillors will be asked to approve a community safety zone on the road and to have a more gradual increase in the speed limit.  Chair of the Inter-Governmental Committee Joe Virdiramo says other ideas like length restrictions or different signage wasn't approved by the Ministry of Transportation so a different approach was needed.

Hospital CEO supports wage freeze

The CEO of the Health Sciences Centre is supporting the wage freeze in the Provincial Hospital.  Andree Robichaud says no body likes to see their wage frozen but at the same time is a move the government had to make to reign in rising health care costs.  According to the Sunshine List, Robichaud made 390 thousand dollars last year, but still is eligible for a performance bonus despite the wage freeze. 

LHIN boss not bothered by pay freeze

No complaints from the CEO of the Local Health Integration Network about the government freezing her salary. The directive was part of the province's budget this week. Laura Kokocinski says she is willing to do what's necessary to help with deficit reduction. According to the latest Sunshine List, Kokocinski was paid just under 250 thousand dollars last year.

Health care bureaucracy changing

Changes are taking place in the health care system in Northwestern Ontario. The North West Local Health Integration is out with a new 10-year plan that will put more of an emphasis on local care. CEO Laura Kokocinski says they are introducing a three tiered system that will include so called local health hubs. Five new Integrated District Networks are being created to handle health care in Northwestern Ontario; the District of Thunder Bay, the City of Thunder Bay, the North, Kenora and Rainy River.

Lakehead School Board translates website

The Lakehead Public School Board's website is going multilingual.  Aboriginal Liason Officer Amy Farrell says parts of the site are written in Ojibwe.  The project was funded by the School Board's Parent Involvement group.

LUSU fails McGuinty budget

The Lakehead University Student Union says the McGuinty Government's budget failed to help students.  President Mike Snodden says the budget is bad news for students and is including cuts to Ontario Works Study Program and scholarships.  Snodden says Dalton McGuinty likes to call himself the Education Premier but that's not the case.

Pot bust on Highway 17

Marathon OPP have snagged quite a hefty amount of pot. They pulled over a vehicle travelling westbound on the Trans Canada and seized over 150-thousand dollars worth of marijuana. A 31 and 23 year old Edmonton man and woman are charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Hyer on cyber crime

Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer wants to see the RCMP investigate a case of cyber crime linked to the NDP Leadership election.  Officials say more than 10-thousand ``fake'' Internet addresses were used to jam the N-D-P leadership convention's online voting system.  The tech company that ran the vote says the attack delayed voting for several hours, and pushed Thomas Mulcair victory as party leader late into Saturday night.

Grassy says no to logging

The Grassy Narrows First Nation says the Province has promised not to allow logging in its Traditional Land Use Area in the Whisky Jack forest while an appeal of a court ruling in going on.  Last summer, the Ontario Superior Court ruled the government couldn't take away Grassy's treaty rights by allowing clear cut logging near the community. Since then the Provice has decided to appeal the decision.  Grassy says that a no-logging agreement now prohibits any forestry activity in about 50-percent of its traditional land use area.

NAN reacts to budget

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is panning the Provincial Government's budget.  Grand Chief Stan Beardy says it does nothing significant for the First Nations people.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gravelle calls budget responsible

The McGuinty government is getting heat from the Chamber of Commerce because it said so little about the Ring of Fire mining development in the budget.  However MPP Michael Gravelle says the development is not being put on the back burner and continues to be a priority for the McGuinty Government. Gravelle says one highlight of the budget that especially pleases him, is the continuation of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund as a stand alone organization.

Mauro answers budget criticism

Liberal MPP Bill Mauro says even though not much was said about the Ring of Fire in the budget, the government remains committed to the massive mining development. Mauro says issues surrounding the Ring of Fire are getting attention from a variety of ministries. Mauro is answering criticism from the Chamber of Commerce over how little was mentioned about the Ring of Fire in the budget. Meantime, Mauro is confident public sector workers in Thunder Bay will buy into the government's request for a pay freeze to help reduce the deficit.

Chamber Prez puzzled by budget

The president of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is surprised by the new Ontario Budget.  Harold Wilson says it was expected that the government would postpone corporate tax cuts, but the Liberals threw a curve by vowing to not make any changes until after the deficit is erased.  Wilson is also disappointed that while the Ring of Fire was mentioned, there was no action plan outlined.

Police warn about debit card scam

You might want check your bank account as soon as possible.  Thunder Bay Police are warning the public about a debit card scam affecting the city.  Officials say a number of people are reporting unauthorized withdrawls from their accounts after using their cards. 

Local women joint harassment suit

Three Thunder Bay women are among the 150 current and former female members of the RCMP who are alleging harassment and are part of a class action law suit against the force.  Lawyer Sandy Zaitzeff says their stories are just as "awful and horrendous" as all the stories across Canada.  He says they include Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, broken relationships and depression

Don't expect the Syrian Situation to calm down

Syria appears to be accepting a UN plan to end the brutal crack down on civilians in the middle eastern country, but according to an LU Political Science Expert it likely won't change much.  Laure Paquette says Bashar Assad wants to squash his opposition and will likely try to see how much he can get away with despite the new resolutions against him.

Sister City Committee gets funding for trip

Our municipal officials are backing the Sister Cities committee.  Council approved 10 thousand dollars in funding to help send a delegation to Gifu Japan.  Chair of the committee Aldo Ruberto says for every dollar the city spends on the program, 18 dollars is returned through things like exchange students living here and private sector investments.

Police constable found not guilty

City Police constable Toni Grann's courtroom saga is over. She has been found not guilty in her Breach of Trust trial. Her lawyer Clay Powell says she's relieved. Grann was acquitted on all 11 charges in connection with falsified records in the Ontario Sex Offender Registry. Meantime Grann still faces Police Act proceedings connection with the incidents and remains on suspension.

Urban forest plan open house Wednesday

The City's Urban Forest Management Plan will be up for scrutiny Wednesday and Thursday at a series of public open houses.  City Forester Shelley Vescio says it's a way for the public to learn more about their plans for the trees in the City.  Vescio says the management plan also calls for more trees to be planted.  The open house Wednesday is from four until eight at the West Thunder Community Centre.

LU hosts youth conference

Lakehead University will play host to a youth conference next week.  Spokesperson Emily Lauzon says they hope to make today's generation more socially active.  The deadline to register for the April 5th event is this Friday.

First ship in our harbour this afternoon

MV Tim S. Dool is the first ship to come into the Thunder Bay Harbour.  It kicks off of the local navigation season.  The Kaministiqua and Pineglen are also arriving in the Port today.

Shelter House wants 40-thousand dollars

Shelter House is looking to raise over 40-thousand dollars in their annual raise the rent campaign.  The organization is taking in money today from 30 people who are expected to raise one month's rent in a one bedroom apartment.  Each participant is expected to bring in at least 625 dollars.

Union gas gives cash

Union Gas is helping bring a leadership conference to Thunder Bay.  The company provided 5-thousand dollars to Leadership Thunder Bay Monday.  The two day conference will take place in April and will bring together local youth and area leaders.

OPP release info on bodies found in lake

The Ontario Provincial Police have recovered all four bodies from Selkirk Lake, north of Kenora. OPP say the body of 53-year-old Edward Everson was located Sunday, while the bodies of 43-year-old Dianne Otto and 42-year-old Chris Mainville were found on Saturday. All of the bodies were located in the water in the same area the body of 55-year-old Robert Kantimere was discovered on Friday. Police confirm there was a vehicle on the shore, but at this point the OPP say they don't know why the four ended up at the lake and on the ice.

Police investigate arson

Thunder Bay Police are investigating another case of arson this morning. This time a fire in the 200 block of east Francis Street broke out just before 5 am this morning. City Fire fighters were on the scene and extinguished a shed which had been totally destroyed. If anyone has any information they are asked to contact Thunder Bay Police or Crime Stoppers.