Thursday, March 22, 2012

Council expenses declining

City Council is getting ready to look at the annual Council, Board and Committee expenses report.  The report will be released at Monday's meeting and shows a decrease in spending of about 33 thousand dollars in 2011 compared to 2010.  Leading the way savings wise was Rebecca Johnson who paid 35 thousand 320 dollars.  Councillors Paul Pugh and Andrew Foulds were the most frugal expense wise, spending only 20 dollars each.  Mayor Keith Hobbs was paid the most, earning about 108 thousand dollars with his salary and expenses while Joe Virdiramo was the highest paid Councillor taking in just over 47 thousand dollars including over 6 thousand dollars in expenses.

EMS headquarters ready to occupy

As of Monday the administration at Superior North EMS will be working out of the brand new headquarters building on Junot Avenue. Chief Norm Gale says the paramedics will then be moved in by the end of next week. He expects that the complete transition will take some time with a few growing pains possible.  Gale promises that 9-1-1 service will not be interrupted during the changeover.

Border Cats sign 6

The Border Cats have added 6 players for the upcoming season.  The team announced the signing of 3 infielders, a catcher and two pitchers.  Last year's top defensive short stop Brett Kay will be returning to Cats who will open the Northwoods League Season Monday June 4th at Subway Field at Port Arthur Stadium.

Habitat announces two home builds

Habitat for Humanity is building two homes for families in need in the city this year.   They will be located on Home Avenue and Mary Street.   Meantime, Habitat is back on the fundraising trail.   They've announced a partnership with local paramedics who have donated a kids playhouse which will be raffled off.

DSSAB voices concerns

The District Social Services Board is voicing their concerns about the Province's social assistance system.  The local organization says the system is broken and they have some ideas on how they could fix it.  They suggest calculating basic needs and shelter rates according to local market rates including basic telephone and transportation costs.  Meanwhile, Bill Bradica is the board's temporary CAO.  He's filling in for Melissa Harrison who is on medical leave.

Hefty marijuana seizure

A 20-year-old woman faces possession charges following an investigation. Nishnawbe-Aski Police seized a package that was sent from Timmins to Kashechewan First Nation. Police say the package contained 44-hundred dollars worth of marihuana. Police say Shelly Hughie of Kashechewan has been charged.

OTF funding

A major honour for a youth project in the Northern reserve of Kashechewan.  The Kashechewan Youth Video project and Nishnawbe Aski Nation has won the Ontario Trillium Foundation Chair's Award.  The project brought youth and adult allies together to address school drop-out rates, drug and alcohol abuse and a high risk of suicide.  The Trillium Foundation says the initiative has had an expectional impact on the community.

NDP leadership race nearing end

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is backing Nicki Ashton for the Federal NDP leadership.  New Democrats will choose a new leader this weekend.  Campbell says Ashton understands northern and rural issues and is clearly the best person to lead the party.  She adds that the 29-year-old Manitoba MP was one of the few leadership candidates who promised to bring new ideas to the table. 

Highway 11 open

Highway 11 east of Atikokan is now open.  A section between Quetico Park and Kashabowie had been closed last night while emergency personnel dealt with a burning vehicle.  No other details of the incidents are immediately available.