Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Open House Next Week For Proposed Bridge

The city is giving you a chance to have a say on the new bridge for Trowbridge Falls Park.  There's an open house taking place Monday at the club house at Chapples Golf Course starting at 5 o'clock with a presentation at 7.   The city's Werner Schwar says the consultant will present a recommendation on the type of bridge they have designed along with a series of possible locations in the park. 

Curtain Falls On Forest Fire Season

The Forest Fire Season is over in northwestern Ontario.  Deb Maclean of the Ministry of Natural Resources says it was fairly busy, but not as busy as last year.  She says there were about 660 fires this year compared to over 900 last year.  The amount of hectares burned hit 97 thousand this year , much lower than the more than 600 thousand in 2011. 

Operation Red Nose Needs Volunteers

The holiday season is coming up and Operation Red Nose is back.  Spokesperson Stephanie Bateman  is hopeful for a solid turn out for volunteers.  The Operation Red Nose season did well last year but can always use a few more hands.  Everyone is encouraged to contact St. John Ambulance if you are willing to participate.

Gold Project Into Public Meeting Stage

Lots of public feedback at this week's meetings regarding the Goliath Gold Project near Wabigoon. One of the biggest concerns was the number of jobs the mine would create when it expects to open in early 2015. Vice President Norm Bush says they are expecting to see a big jump creating a thousand direct and indirect jobs.  Bush says right now they are in the development stage of the mine, but they are already looking into finding qualified people for a number of positions that will open up.

Woman Sentenced In Theft Case

A Thunder Bay woman is going to jail for 90 days after being convicted in a theft case that involved money taken from the Port Arthur Polish Alliance Hall. Her lawyer Chris Watkins says that 49 year old Krystyna Dolasinski will get to go to work and serve her sentence at the same time. Watkins calls it fair and balanced.

Police Launch New Survey

Thunder Bay Police want to hear from you. Spokesperson Chris Adams says they've just released their latest online citizen survey. Adams says the survey helps them understand what safety and policing issues are important to the community. To link to the survey click on the link provided and click on the survey button.

Missing Boy Found

The search is over for a missing 14 year old boy. City police had been looking for Keenan Mattinas after he was last seen at his Limbrick Street home on October 12th. Police and family members were able to find the boy just after 6:00 o'clock last night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Union Gas Mileston In Red Lake

A milestone for Red Lake.  Union Gas, along with government officials, are celebrating the completion of a pipeline that will deliver natural gas to the municipality.  District Manager of the Northwest Region David Sword says it's going to bring nothing but good things to residents. Sword adds they have provided natural gas to about 400 homes so far, and plan to add 400 more next year.

Domar In Talks With Northern Iron

In the region, ears are open at Domtar in Dryden.  They have been approached by Northern Iron group to gain access to a railroad right of way on a stretch in Northwestern Ontario that's been lifted for the past few years.

Trick Or Treating Safety Tips

Concerned parents of trick or treaters should know the route their children are taking.  Constable Julie Tillbury says young children should be accompanied by older youth or parents.  Children should also stick to the area they are familiar with.

Halloween & Diabetes

A different kind of trick or treat.  Richard Boon of the Northwestern Ontario chapter of the Canadian Diabetes Association says having diabetes should not prevent a child from having fun on Halloween.  Boon has a safe-tip for those giving out this year.  Boon also suggests for parents to emphasize the fun parts of Halloween such as decorating and costumes, instead of focusing on candy.


The North Of Superior Travel Association will be discussing changes to Ontario's Tourism Markets at its annual general meeting this week.   President Tim Lukinuk expects the changes in funding will dominate discussion. The two day event is taking place at the Airlane Hotel.

Missing 14 Year Old Boy

Thunder Bay Police are looking for a missing 14 year old boy.  Keenan Mattinas was last seen on October 12th at his home on Limbrick Street.  He's described as 5 feet tall and under a 100 pounds with short brown hair.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers.

Gas Soaked Cat Found In Westfort

Officials with the Thunder Bay Humane Society are calling it disturbing. They say a cat that was soaked in gasoline was found wandering on the 14 hundred block of West Mary Street yesterday.  They want anyone who knows anything about this to call them or the police. Director Maryann Kleynendorst is hoping the publicity will help to flush out whoever may be responsible. In addition, Kleynendorst says police have information that there may be more than one cat that was doused.

Pellet Fire At Canada Malting

Thunder Bay Firefighters will be at Canada Malting, the old Sask Pool 7 elevator on the waterfront as they continue to monitor a pellet fire. Fire crews say a pellet bin was seen smouldering causing smoke. Crews at the scene were having a difficult time getting water on the pellets according to Platoon Chief Les Newman. Newman says the cause of the fire is still being determined.

Council Passes EMS Plan

City Council is maintaining the status quo when it comes to the operation of Superior North EMS and it's stations across the district.  Council approved a report last night saying none of the 14 stations across the district will be closed in the foreseeable future.  However, Chief Norm Gale no longer has to consult with communities before closing a station.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Greenlight To Sir John A Office Building

City Council is giving the green light to Nordmin Engineering to set up a technical office in the old Sir John A MacDonald School.  Council ratified the decision at it's meeting last night.  The project will be allowed to go ahead if the project undergoes a traffic study and the property keeps an open green space.

Council Talks City Lean

Talk about how the City is doing financially turned into a blame game around the council table last night.  Council received a report showing several departments combined were over a million dollars over budget.
Councillor Trevor Giertuga says it's not fair to ask City Manager Tim Commisso to find savings and then not follow through on his recommendations. Councillor Iain Angus defended council's decision to go against the City Manager's suggestions in regards to the Botanical Conservatory and Municipal Golf Course.

Council Goes Behind Closed Doors

Thunder Bay City Council is spending some time behind closed doors.  Council met behind closed doors before it's regular meeting and started the main meeting late.  After debating several topics council decided to reconvene their private discussion.  They spent two hours behind closed doors Monday night.   Items discussed included property, and an update on the Horizon Wind lawsuit.

Council Hears Low Income Housing Request

Habib Enterprises wants to create an affordable housing unit on Victoria Avenue.  Ahsanul Habib asked City Council Monday night to either reduce the property tax on the property or provide a grant towards the project.  The vacant building has room for 21 units.  Habib says the project has Social Services Board approval and can only receive funding from the Provincial Government's Affordable Housing Program if the City helps.

Leaf & Yard Waste Collection

It's time to put your raked leaves and yard waste out on the curb for city pick up.  The collection will take place from Thursday until Wednesday November 14th.  Spokesperson Jason Sherband says you can put out your waste on your regular recycling day.  Clear plastic and Halloween leaf bags are also acceptable.

Porter Cancels Toronto Flights

Hurricane Sandy is forcing Porter Airlines to cancel their flights in and out of Toronto.  For Thunder Bay flights that means seven flights are affected, four from Toronto to Thunder Bay and three leaving Thunder Bay for Toronto.  If your flight has been cancelled you can reschedule without paying the fees or get a full rebate for a later flight.

Novartis Flu Vaccines Suspended

Thunder Bay's Health Unit is reassuring the public after Canada suspended the distribution of flu vaccine made by the company Novartis.  Spokesperson Darlene Binette says they are no longer using Fluad and Agriful because tiny clumps of virus particles can be found in some of the shots.  Flu shot clinics are still open and the Health Unit is using other unaffected vaccines. Binette says they did offer Fluad and Agriflu earlier in the season but are putting that on hold for now and no unexpected adverse side effects from the shot have been reported.

Pepper Spray Sends Family To Hospital

A scary incident on Cumming Street this past weekend. A family of 5 was sent to the hospital after three people standing outside of a Cumming Street house attacked the homeowners after being asked to leave their property. Police say the homeowners were attacked physically and with pepper spray. The suspects are described as a 20 to 25 year old woman with long hair, a 20 something man with dark short hair, and a teenage male.

Another Murder For Thunder Bay

Police are now calling the death on Belton Street last week a murder.  They say that the body of 52 year old Salvatore Larizza was found by family members in a house on Thursday morning.   The cause of his death is not being released. Police spokesperson Chris Adams says the victim was known to them and that the house was the subject of a previous investigation but he would not elaborate.  Police say they have set up a dedicated tip line for his case, it's 684-1330.

Be Seen Campaign Kicks Off

The District Health Unit is trying to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe when it's dark outside. Public Health Nurse Marita Campbell says it's the second year for the "Safe and Be Seen" campaign. She's hoping people pick up one of the reflective arm bands being distributed for free. The arm bands are available at various local outlets which include: The District Health Unit, the Parking Authority, Eco-Superior, Westfort Foods, George's Market, Fresh Air Experiences, Petries Cycle and Cycle Path.

Credit Card Policy On Council Agenda

City lawmakers get back to business tonight and on their to do list is updating their credit card and travel expense policies. City Manager Tim Commisso says up until now councillors had been operating under credit card guidelines and this will allow it to be formalized into a policy. Commisso says the changes were not prompted by any sort of misuse of credit card or travel abuse.

Wawa Still Recovering From Flood

Wawa is still reeling from last week's massive flood. Two lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway south of Wawa have reopened after they were washed out last week. Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki says the sections of highway that were washed out on the north side of town should be reopened by Wednesday. In the meantime the town is housing residents from a nearby First Nations community who have been displaced by the flood. Nowicky says they are also keeping an eye on superstorm Sandy, hoping it will not bring more precipitation to the area already affected by the flooding.

Local Resident Remembers The Bounty

The tall ship HMS Bounty is no more. The crew members abandoned ship after they were caught in the middle of  Hurricane Sandy  off the coast of North Carolina.  At last word 14 crew members were rescued, but 2 are reported missing.    Thunder Bay's Rochelle Smith sailed with the Bounty over the summer as a volunteer and she says she's in shock and says it's a sad day in the tall ship community.  Smith says the captain has sailed in hurricanes before and may have believed he it was safer at sea rather than at port.   Thousands of local residents got a chance to board the Bounty when it visited our port in 2010.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Questions Still Surround Belton Street Death

It won't be until Monday that police will have more to say about a death they are treating as suspicious.  They found the body of a 52 year old man in a house on Belton Street on Thursday morning.   They say a post mortem examine is being done on the body and until that is complete, they won't have much more information to give out.  

Cyber Police Scam

Police are warning of an Internet scam that goes under the guise of Canadian Cyber Police. The malware program accuses you of illegal downloading and demands a 100 dollar payment to clear your name. Police say there's no such thing as cyber police and instructions to remove the malware can be found on the Internet.

State Of Emergency In Wawa

OPP are warning motorists about a washout in the Wawa area.  The community has declared a state of emergency because of heavy rainfall.  Several residents are cut off and police are warning motorists to stay off roads in the area unless absolutely necessary after heavy rain overnight washed out the Trans-Canada Highway.   Highway 17 at Wawa is closed in both directions as a result of high water levels that eroded the road.

NWO Voice On Health Panel

A Fort Frances woman is giving our area a voice in seeking change to Ontario's health care system.  Cathy Emes is one of 32 people selected to an advisory panel created by the not-for-profit group The Change Foundation.  She says it was formed because of changes the Ontario government is seeking.  The group first met last month where they had a chance to express their concerns to the province's Associate Health Minister.

Teaching Autistic Kids Soccer

The Lakehead Express Soccer Club is teaming up with Autism Ontario.  The program lets kids meet new friends.  21 players will be taking part from October to March to introduce kids with autism to the basics of soccer.

Spooky Charity Run Sunday

The Canadian Diabetes Association is holding it's first charity walk and run.  The Cash Store Financial's Freedom Run is being held Sunday at Boulevard Lake.  Spokesperson Alexandra Erickson says it's a halloween themed event.   The event starts at 10 am.

Rent A Human Book Saturday

You can rent a "human book" Saturday at the Waverley Resource Library.  There will be several volunteers on hand who represent local stereotypes.  Spokesperson Joanna Aegard says it's a first for Thunder Bay.  The event will run from 10:30 to 3 Saturday. 

Parlez-vous Français?

A French Immersion teacher at Hammarskjold High School is getting a prestigious accolade.  Matthias Ruppenstein is the winner of the Canadian Parents for French award.  The award is for teachers who show leadership in promoting french learning.

Leek On Prorogue

The new Liberal Leader will be named in January.  Northern Region VP Anthony Leek says January 25th date works to get business at Queens Park back up and running.  Dalton Mcguinty prorogued the legislature and resigned as Premiere two weeks ago.

OFAH Talks Hunting Safety

This year's hunting season has already taken the lives of four people in the country, including two in Ontario.  The incidents involve firearms that were either accidently discharged or because the hunter was not fully aware of the target.  Arnold Beebe is an instructor with the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers, and has some safety tips. Beebe says all hunting fatalities can be easily prevented by taking the proper precautions.

NOMA On Camping

The local tourism industry has taken another hit.  The Province is cancelling overnight camping in nine Provincial Parks across Northern Ontario, including one in the Northwest.  Ron Nelson is President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and says the government is hollowing of services in our communities. Nelson says the area is already reeling from the closure of three Travel Information Centres and possible reductions at Ministry of Natural Resources offices.

Search Is On For Missing Man

O.P.P. and the Emergency Response Team in Fort Frances are searching for a missing man. A 43 year old man from an Aboriginal Community on Rainy Lake went out for firewood Wedneday afternoon and never returned. A search began using Treaty Three Police and a Ministry of Natural Resources helicopter as well. They found his vessel overturned at approximately 9:00 O'clock last night. E.R.T. members and marine officers from both agencies are working with community members to continue the search today.

New Walmart Is Open

The County Fair Walmart is now open!  During a grand opening celebration this morning just over 8-thousand dollars was provided to several community groups.  Assistant Manager Jason Otholt says they're happy to give back.  Some of the recipients of the donations include The Children's Miracle Network, Special Olympics, and the Ontario Native Women's Association.

Increase In Border Traffic For September

More and more people are visiting the United States. Officals with Canada Border Services say officers checked just under 55,000 travellers for the month of Spetember and processed more than 26,000 vehicles at the Pigeon River border corssing. That's an increase of just under 4% in the number of people headed to the U.S. and an increase of just over 3% in the number of vehicles checked from the same time last year.

Thunderwolves Take On Mustangs

The rivalry will be renewed tonight at the Fort William Gardens as the Lakehead university Thunderwolves take on the Western Mustangs in an O.U.A. West Division battle. The Thunderwolves lead the division with a 4-1-1 record while Western has struggled out of the gate going 2-and-2. Interim Head coach Mike Busniuk says special teams will be key. The Thunderwolves and Mustangs play at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Fort William Gardens.

City Hosts Spooktacular Sunday

The City is making use of it's waterfront by hosting a Spooktacular Sunday from 1 until 5.  Organizer Angie Jensen says they want to get all of the City's kids involved in arts.  Jensen says the event is free so everyone can take part.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Police Probe North Side Death

Thunder Bay Police are calling the death of a 52 year old man suspicious. Constable Julie Tilbury says the investigation began after a call to a Belton Street home on Thursday morning.
The Criminal Investigations Branch and Forensic Officers are heading up the probe.

Campbell Launches Back To Work Campaign

Kenora Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is in Thunder Bay today to launch the "MPPs Back to Work Campaign."  The Ontario New Democrats are circulating a petition calling on the Liberal government to put the provincial legislature back to work.  Campbell launched the Northwestern Ontario  campaign today at the local Ministry of Northern Development Office.

Tosca Reno In T.Bay Friday & Saturday

Clean Eating Guru Tosca Reno is going to be teaching people how to eat healthy at an upcoming workshop.  Reno is in the City Friday for a book signing at Janzen's Pharmacy on Bay Street and Saturday for a workshop at the Victoria Inn.  Reno feels anyone, anywhere can eat clean since you can always get access to an apple.  Her book signing is Friday from 2 until 4.

Poverty Reduction Process Underway

  The City is creating a poverty reduction strategy.  The poverty reduction committee held its inaugural meeting recently and Chair Paul Pugh says the strategy has been a long time coming.  Pugh says they hope to have a plan in place by September 2013.

Police Attend Shuniah St. Address

City police are backing off from using the word standoff, but they say that they were sent to a Shuniah Street address to look for a person. Residents were left wondering about an increased police presence this afternoon. Spokesperson Julie Tibury says they ended up finding a distraught person at another address and that no criminal charge is involved.

Zellers Preparing To Close

The Intercity Mall's Zellers store is getting ready to close it's doors. They've started to mark down their merchandise in advance of Target taking over in 2013. Target Spokesperson Tamar Nersesian says renovations will take six to nine months. The Target store is expected to open in the summer of 2013.

NOMA Talks McGuinty

The President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is looking at the positives surrounding the resignation of Premier Dalton McGuinty. Ron Nelson says this now provides a window of opportunity. Nelson says they will grill the candidates on everything impacting the north including mining, tourism and the forestry sector.