Monday, April 30, 2012

Municipal Golf Course To Be Closed

The axe has fallen on Municipal Golf Course. City councillors have voted in favour of dispensing with the city's second oldest golf course. In the Councillors voted 8-3 in favour of closing Municipal golf course at the end of the season.  Councillors Joe Virdaramo, Andrew Foulds and Ian Angus were the only three councillors who voted to keep the 9 hole golf course on the city's books. Municipal has been losing an average of $100,000 annually. Council will decided what to do with the parcel of land located outside city limits in the Fall once they've heard a final report issued by Director of Golf Operations, Tom Forsythe.

NOACC Makes Stand

Members of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce are pumped after their Annual General Meeting on the weekend.   The Sioux Lookout gathering produced a number of resolutions they hope will end up being dealt with at Queen's Park.  They include a demand for a protection of the industrial wood fibre supply in the region, the continued twinning of the Trans Canada Highway and support for the research in Northwestern Ontario for a nuclear waste disposal site

Health Unit Begins Courtesy Campaign

Dave Pinner
The District Health Unit is asking drivers in the city to pay special attention to cyclists they encounter on the street. Spokesperson Marita Campbell says a new campaign wants drivers to remember that cyclists are people too. Campbell hopes it helps to improve the relationship between motorists and cyclists in our city.

Hydro Rates Up

Electricity rates for Thunder Bay Hydro Customers are going up as of tomorrow.  However spokesperson Eileen Dias says distribution rates will be going down which may mean virtually no rate hike for the typical consumer.  Meantime, May first also brings with the new summer use schedule meaning that the highest prices for electricity are in the mid afternoon.

Old Fort Scoping Out The Sky

Fort William Historical Park is expanding its view of the universe. The popular tourist attraction is building an observatory with a telescope which spokesperson Marty Mascarin says will be ready by the summer. The project is being done in partnership with the local Astronomical Society.

Memorial Walk Out Of The Darkness

The Out of the Darkness Memorial Walk is back for another year.  Spokesperson Margaret Hajdinjak says the event is meant to reduce the stigma attached to depression and suicide.  The 3.5 km walk around the Confederation College campus is taking place this Sunday.

Accident Claims One Life

A thirty one year old Northwestern Ontario man is dead following a motorcycle accident over the weekend. Police say he was the only person on the motorbike when it left the road on Highway 622, fourteen kilometres north of Atikokan, on Saturday night.  The victim is identified as Brian McDonald of Atikokan.

Small Condo Fire Sunday

No one was injured during a weekend condo fire. Crews were called to North Algoma Street around noon yesterday and quickly put out the small blaze. Officials say it appears to have started in the laundry room.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Folklore Festival Preview

A group of Ukrainian style dancers performed for a crowd at the Intercity Mall yesterday. The group was giving people a taste of the upcoming Folklore Festival on May 5th and 6th at the Fort William Gardens. The festival will feature ethnic entertainment as well as food from around the world.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Semi Truck Accident on TransCanada Highway

Traffic is moving again on a section of the TransCanada Highway off the Harbour Expressway. A Semi truck ended up in a ditch earlier this morning, spilling its contents over the road. OPP say police were on scene to help with cleanup and traffic. There were no injuries.

Friday, April 27, 2012

LUSU To Continue Fight

The Lakehead University Student Union is continuing with its court action against the institution. President Michael Snodden that's despite the fact the Board of Governors lifted its conflict of interest rules, pending a by-law review, to allow the union to speak on a tuition increase. He says the board's decision doesn't mean it's permanent and that they made a commitment to students and plan to follow through with it. Meantime the governors approved across the board tuition fee increases.

Four Named In Child Porn Bust

City Police have released the names of four men who were arrested in connection with child pornography. 26 year old Alan Burkhart, 25 year old Justin Chabot, 42 year old George Korkola and 19 year old Michael Brown. Police say the arrests stem from a recent internet investigation. All four men have appeared in court.

Oxy's Seized In Pickle Lake

Four Pickle Lake residents have been arrested following a drug bust. OPP, RCMP and Thunder Bay Police executed five search warrants in Pickle Lake. Police seized 564 oxycodone pills nearly 8-thousand dollars cash as well as drug paraphernalia and 2-firearms. Police say 63-year-old James Marino faces 11-charges including trafficking, possession of stolen property and unlawful storage of firearms. David Lockwood, Albert Shingebis and Ida Crane each face 3-charges.

More Responsibilities For John Rafferty

The Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP is serving as a party rep to the Public Safety and National Security parliamentary committee. The committee oversees work carried out by such federal agencies as the Canadian Border Services Agency, RCMP and Correctional Services Canada.

Alzheimer Campaign Hits City

There is a new alzheimers awareness campaign in the city. The ribbon campaign is a simple idea, make a donation and wear a ribbon to remind people of the cause. Spokesperson Kayla Caratti hopes the campaign will bring light to the disease. You can donate and get a ribbon at "Part Source", "Done Right And Auto" and "Fat Guys Auto Parts".

Scott Chisolm Being Honoured

Thunder Bay's Scott Chisholm is honoured. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health selected him as a champion for their cause. Chisholm is the founder of the Collateral Damage Project that shows people left behind by suicide. He'll receive his award in Ottawa on May 7th.

Harbour Project May Face Obstacle

An environmental assessment has turned up some sunken treasures in the Harbour. Councillor Mark Bentz says they've found a sunken ship filled with concrete as well as footings and trestles involved with an area grain elevator. Council will only have to deal with the newly discovered items if they decide to proceed with the second phase of the waterfront project.

Kiev Man Charged For Racing

A 37 year old man from Kiev, Ukraine is facing several driving related charges. OPP were conducting radar enforcement on Highway 17 east of Marathon when they spotted a vehicle speeding at 149 km/h in a 90 zone. He's been charged with racing. His licence is suspended and his vehicle impounded.

FedNor Defends Decision

FedNor is defending its decision to cut a popular funding program. The agency announced earlier this month the Local Initiatives Fund is the victim of federal budget cuts. Aime DiMatteo is Director General of FedNor and says they had to cut 10 percent from their budget this year. Under the Local Initiatives Fund, Community Development Agencies were able to provide grants of up to five thousand dollars to local projects.

New Stroke Rehabilitation Program Launched

Thunder Bay's Regional Research Institute is welcoming a new addition to their team.  Dr. Jane Lawrence Dewar is a brain scientist who will conduct research into stroke rehabilitation.  Dewar will be looking at remapping the brain in order to restore the functions lost from having a stroke.

Dryden Man Charged

A Dryden pharmacist faces a trafficking charge after a two month investigation by members of the Kenora Joint Forces Drug Unit and the Dryden Provincial Police Crime Unit. Robert Button has been charged with trafficking a controlled substance and will appear in Sioux Lookout Court today.

NOMA Finalizes Wishlist

The Provincial Government is getting a laundry list of suggestions from the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association. Delegates in Kenora passed 23 resolutions that will be sent to the Province; including providing payments in lieu of municipal land tax and reversing the decision to close the Travel Information Centres in Kenora, Fort Frances and Rainy River. NOMA members also approved a resolution in support of construction and operation of a ferrochrome facility in Exton.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kiddie porn bust in the city

Police are about to release more information on a child pornography investigation. City police and the OPP say that four arrests have been made in Thunder Bay regarding the possession of kiddie porn. A news conference is taking place Friday afternoon at police headquarters on Balmoral were officials are expected to give out more details

Insurance companies to merge

In the world of business, Thunder Bay Insurance is merging with Gillons Insurance out of Fort Frances. Thunder Bay Insurance General Manager David Baxter says the two companies decided on becoming a bigger independent firm with access to a larger market in Northwestern Ontario.   Baxter says that while there are a couple of early retirements taking place as a result of the merger, overall it has the potential to create jobs.

Anti-flyer petition hits city

A Winnipeg man is in Thunder Bay collecting signatures on a petition he hopes will lead to a law that will help reduce the amount of flyers that come to your mailbox.   Rod Graham says as it stands right now too many flyers make their way to the landfill. Graham says he's taking his anti-flyers crusade across Canada.

North End drug bust

A 29 year old Thunder Bay man is facing several charges after a North End drug bust. He has been charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking and for possession of brass knuckles. Police also seized over 7000 dollars cash.

Abuse victims tell their stories

The male victims of sexual abuse are speaking out . The Thunder Bay Counselling Centre is holding a workshop at the Da Vinci Centre today and Executive Director Nancy Chamberlain says it's for professionals in the community who want to tell their stories. The workshop is being held as part of National Victims of Crime Awareness week.

Council to talk future of golf course again

City Council is talking about the possibility of selling it's Municipal 9 hole golf course. The controversial topic is back up for discussion at Monday night's meeting. Councillor Andrew Foulds says he wants to keep the course. The report on the Municipal golf course recommends closing it after the current season.

Graffiti management plan launched

Starting today if you spot graffiti on your property you can call 211 and report it.  It's part of the City's Graffiti Management Plan.  Acting General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, Charles Campbell says it's important to get rid of graffiti as soon as possible.  The plan also includes a 50 dollar rebate for homeowners and small businesses to help defray the cost of removing the spray paint.

Target to open next summer

Intercity Mall is going to be home to a future Target store. The new Target store will open in the summer of 2013, and will employ 150 to 200 team members. Hiring for store team members will begin in 2013. The company recently purchased the leasehold interest in the Intercity Shopping Centre site.

Terrace Bay Pulp looks for extension

Terrace Bay Pulp and its Monitor Ernst and Young will be back in court tomorrow. They're requesting an extension on the protection period from creditors. According to documents on Ernst and Young's website, they would like to have it extended to June 15th.

Mayor happy to see action at Global Sticks

There's signs of life at the Global Sticks plant in Oliver Paipoonge. Mayor Lucy Klusterhuis says it's reassuring to see activity at the business. Klusterhuis says the company has worked really hard to bring it back into part time operation.

LUSU challenging board of governors

  Lakehead University's Student Union is taking the school's Board of Governors to court. They're challenging the board's conflict of interest by-laws which they feel remove the rights of student governors to participate in decisions involving tuition fees. LUSU says the Governors are silencing student voices.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Police training causes confusion

City police are trying to snuff out some confusion about a training exercise they ran on Tuesday.  They say took place at Gary's Towing on Alloy Drive.  Police say that callers to our news tip line may have thought there was a big police operation going down, when in fact it was for training only.

Let the detours begin

The construction season is officially underway.  The city says that as of 8 a.m.Thursday Northern Avenue will be closed between May and Vickers.   It's so that sewer work can take place.   Officials say it should take just over a week to complete.

Hundreds of calls and emails after MP jumps ship

The head of the Thunder Bay-Superior North NDP Riding Association is still fielding hundreds of calls and emails days after MP Bruce Hyer's decision to quit the party. Maurice Grinstead says members are sympathetic to his plight knowing he has to find a new candidate to run in the next federal election.  He admits that while a lot of people are angry at what's happened others are  understanding.   Ginstead says it's too early to nominate a candidate, that will have to wait until 2015.

Motorcycle Ride for Dad June 16th

Organizers are gearing up for the 12th annual Bell Motorcycle Ride for Dad this June.  Bell Spokesperson Terry Young says they have a new route this year that will start at the Keg.  Health Sciences Foundation President Glen Craig says the event not only raises money but also awareness about Prostate Cancer.  The ride will take place Saturday, June 16th. 

Second arrest in Pikangikum murder

Police say that a second arrest has been made in connection with a murder probe in Pikangikum First Nation.   It follows the death of 32 year old Fitzgerald Owen whose body was found on the side of the road in the community on April 14th.   One charge has already been laid in the case against a 23 year old man and now, as a result of further investigation,  police have charged a 29 year old woman, who is a resident of the community, with aggravated assault.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two vehicle mishap in Westfort

Only minor injuries to report following a two vehicle collision just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday.  It took place at the intersection of Edward and Walsh.  

Mayors R Us

Three former Thunder Bay mayors, and our current mayor Keith Hobbs, are joining forces to help charity. They have agreed to raise money for the United Way. Hobbs, along with Ken Boshcoff, Jack Masters and Lynn Peterson made the announcement at City Hall Tuesday afternoon.

Water plan in final stages

The process of guaranteeing the safety of local drinking water is taking its final steps. The Lakehead Source Protection Authority says its final plan for the government is available to the public for review and comment. Chair Bill Bartley says it's a culmination of 9 years of work with the Ministry of the Environment. After the review process the plan goes to the minister for approval in August.

Stark art exposes disorder

A eye opening photo project is on display at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. The project is an artistic attempt to raise awareness on eating disorders. Spokesperson for the local support group Healey Gardiner says eating disorders are much more common than people think. The display will be open from April 25th to the 29th.

New web scam hits city

City police are warning resident to be aware of the latest in a long line of Internet scams.  Police say this one involves a caller to a home claiming to be from Microsoft and trying to gain remote access to your computer.  Police say that's an open invitation to someone gaining access to all your personal information. Police have received 6 complaints locally so far.

Wilson supports Hyer's decision

The president of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce doesn't appear too concerned about Bruce Hyer's decision to sit as an Independent in Ottawa. Harold Wilson believes that Hyer will still be able to represent our city's needs on Parliament Hill.

Concession better than election

The decision by the minority Liberal government to make budget concessions to the NDP is better than an election. That's the feeling of Chamber of Commerce President Harold Wilson who says it's more important that Chamber concerns remain on the table at Queen's Park.

PARO launches online courses

Thunder Bay's Paro Centre is reaching out to remote First Nation women.  Starting in May they'll be offering online learning classes.  Spokesperson Linda McGuire says they want to teach women about forming business "clusters."  McGuire says women have been forming small groups for years but they haven't thought of it as a  way to form a business.

Blood tragedy remembered

People living with diseases they got from tainted blood are gathering in Thunder Bay today. The Northern Ontario Region of Hemophilia is holding a remembrance ceremony for those impacted by the 1980's Tainted Blood Tragedy. Spokesperson Teresa Genereux says the tainted blood gave 700 Canadians HIV and Hepatitis C.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Innova touted for Mining Centre of Excellence

Consultants hired by the city say that Innova Park could be the site for not only a new events centre, but a proposed Mining Centre of Excellence. As part of the study looking at the Junot and Golf Links roadway the consultants told councillors Innova Park can accommodate quite a bit of activity. The consultants also say the area could be the site for big box retailers. However Mayor Keith Hobbs believes the entire study is flawed because it's been shown the mining industry is not interested in moving to Innova. 

Rafferty disappointed over Hyer's decision

Bruce Hyer is not getting support for his decision to leave the NDP from his federal Thunder Bay colleague. MP John Rafferty believes that Hyer's plan to sit as an independent will compromise his ability to be an effective MP. Rafferty thinks he should have honoured the possibility of working within the system and solving his problems instead of just leaving.

Hyer quits NDP

Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer is embarking on a new journey in the House of Commons. He has quit the NDP to sit as an Independent. Hyer says there are many reasons for his decision, but a recent move by leader Thomas Mulcair on the gun registry sealed the deal because it would have forced Hyer to vote against the party line again. Hyer also says he's disappointed with the dysfunction he sees on Parliament Hill.