Friday, March 2, 2012

Facebook poll puts Event Centre in the North Downtown

A Magic 99.9 Facebook poll asking residents where they'd like to see the proposed Events Centre built is getting a lot of responses.  So far over 700 people have cast a ballot and the Waterfront is coming out on top with about 50 more votes than Innova Park.  Councillor Aldo Ruberto says despite the apparent near deadlock he doesn't think the location should be decided by a public vote because most people don't know all the sides of the proposal and therefore can't make an informed decision.  Ruberto thinks most of the people who voted for Innova business park aren't looking beyond parking. The Airport location received only about 20 votes. 

Feds cut summer job centre funding

It could be tougher for students to find jobs this summer.  The Federal Government has cut its funding for summer student job centre and according to the Chair of the Student Committee of the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy its going to be hard on both students and employers.  Colleen Peters says moving to a more online service sounds more efficient but will make it harder for students and employers to connect.  Colleen Peters says the loss of the job centre will force students to use the already over taxed adult job centres.

LU trimming Board

A new look is coming to Lakehead University's Board of Governors.  The institution has decided to trim its board from 30 members to 17.  Board Chair Colin Bruce says its in an attempt to become, leaner, more agile, more transparent and more accountable.  The changes will come into affect after September's annual general meeting.

Local business owner wins big

Thunder Bay's David Thomas has a bulging bank account now that he's won two million dollars in the Heart and Stroke Lottery. Thomas says he's been buying tickets for 10 years.  The 34 year old Thomas, who runs Salt & Pepper Catering, says he has no plans for  his winnings.

Teachers don't want to loose sick days

Sick days appear to be at the centre of negotiations between the Province and the Ontario Teachers Association.  The Head of the Lakehead Elementary Teachers Association Ellen Chambers says the province is trying to undo 20 years of collective bargaining by limiting teachers to 6 sick days a year.  Currently teachers can bank 200 sick days and then get them paid out.

Gliddy to stand trial in May

The dates are now set for another murder trial in Thunder Bay.  Two weeks have been set aside for the trial of 29 year old Thea Gliddy. She is the woman who is charged with second degree murder in the May 2010 death of 39 year old Randy Cromarty. His body was found in a room at old Inntowner Hotel, which doesn't exist anymore. Police say he was the victim of a serious assault. Giddy's jury trial will take place May 14th until the 25th.

Northern Committee passes

The goal of creating a new committee for Northern issues at Queen's Park has passed its first hurdle.  The motion received all-party support Thursday night in the Ontario Legislature.  Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says she proudly supports the bill saying communities in this region have wanted such a committee for years.  She hopes that the Standing Committee on Northern Issues can be created fairly soon to deal with concerns of local residents.

Angus talks economic development

Local residents are being asked what they think about a proposed regional economic development agency for Northwestern Ontario. Iain Angus was in Dryden recently to talk about the new initiative. Angus says this won't be just another level of bureaucracy. Angus says they want some feedback on the kind of board the new agency should have and who should sit on the board.

Job bank shut down

No word on when the federal government's job bank will return on-line.  The site was shut down because of what Human Resources Development Canada called a serious security issues limited to a few federal employee accounts.  Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty says it comes amidst jobs cuts at Service Canada.  Rafferty says the site being impacts both employers posting jobs and employees looking for work.

Fatal explosion investigation complete

The Ministry of Labour has completed its investigation into the fatal explosion at Terrace Bay Pulp; but the process has yet to be complete.  Ministry spokesperson Matt Blajer says the incident is still under review and that's all he can say.  In October of last year, a Terrace Bay Pulp worker was killed when a blow tank exploded.

Dryden fraud leads to charges

Dryden Police have charged a 34-year-old woman following a lengthy fraud and theft investigation.  Police say they received complaints from the Dryden Ski Club and the Shaw Walleye Masters back in December that one of their volunteers defrauded them out of a substantial amount of money.  Walleye Masters Committee Spokesperson Joe Barron says they are disappointed but are staying focused.  Dryden Police say Allyson Dunham faces 2-counts each of theft over 5-thousand dollars, fraud over 5-thousand dollars and criminal breach of trust.

Contract extension in Dryden

A good day for unionized staff at Community Living Dryden and Sioux Lookout.  The Communications, Energy and Paper workers Union says its 90-members have voted 100-percent in favour of extending their contracts by 29-months.  Spokesperson Stephen Boon says the relationship between the two sides has been relatively good, so the members agreed to forgo all aspects of the bargaining process and simply duplicate the previous negotiated wage increases from the last contract.  Staff will see a 4.75-percent increase over the course of the deal, which is now set to expire in September 2014.

NAPS arrest someone for fire

Nishnawbe-Aski Police have arrested a 13-year-old boy for allegedly starting a large fire at the Sandy Lake First Nation elementary school.  The February 19th fire caused extensive damage to Thomas Fiddler Memorial School.  Police arrested the young teen on Wednesday.  The boy has been charged with break and enter as well as arson.  He has been released on conditions and is due in Court on April 17th.  The school will be closed for the remainder of the school year due to the damage it sustained.

Mac's Mart robbed

Thunder Bay Police are looking for a suspect in an early morning robbery of the James Street Mac's Mart.  A man made off with a small amount of cash and cigarettes.  Police describe him as six feet tall with an average build.  He was wearing a white jacket with red on the shoulder.  The suspect's face was covered with black cloth.  Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Gun range still on the drawing board

A new gun range in the city is still far from being a reality. City administration is to bring back a report on a request by the local Fish and Game Association. City Councillor Paul Pugh says he has his own concerns about the proposed gun range in the Government Road area. He's received phone calls from people worried about having a gun range in their neighbour and even possible health concerns. Pugh calls them serious issues that will have to be addressed. The Association is asking the city for over 600 thousand dollars to put towards the project.