Monday, June 11, 2012

T.Bay Looks To Be More Age Friendly

The City is getting ready to become more age friendly.  Over the years Council has taken a number of steps to become more senior accessible.  The next step will be at next week's council meeting where they will vote on whether to accept the Age Friendly Charter.

Council Learns About Contraband Tobacco

City Council is a little bit wiser when it comes to the pitfalls of contraband tobacco.  The C.E.O. of Ontario's Convenience Stores Association spoke to Council at Monday night's meeting.  Dave Bryans feels the sale of the illegal tobacco products harms business and youth.  Bryans asked council to support his organization's message against contraband tobacco.

Hillcourt Not Surplus

It appears Hillcourt Mobile Home Park is going to stay under City control.  Councillors voted Monday night to take the piece of property off their surplus property list.  Hillcourt Resident Eric Leat says he's upset over what he feels was a plan by the City to sell the park.  Residents of the park cheered during the meeting and were visibly relieved once the decision was made.

Flood Victims Get Money Off Water Bills

The City is going to give flood victims some relief when it comes to their water bills.  City lawmakers approved a billing program that would provide 207 dollars towards home owner's water bills if they are connected to the City sanitary sewer system.  Those homeowners who are not connected will receive 118 dollars off their water account.  Homeowners with flooding are also exempt from late payment penalties on their next water bill. The rebate program is being implemented because clean up has involved a high amount of water use.

Update On Sewage Treatment Plant

The City continues to assess the condition of its Atlantic Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant.  Officials still don't know what went wrong.  General Manager Darryl Matson says they want to paint a picture of what type of weather hit the Thunder Bay area last month.  Matson adds they also plan to conduct assessments of all of their sanitary, storm and combined sewers.  There is still no word on when the voluntary water restrictions will be lifted.

Peterson Sits On Disaster Relief Fund Committee

Former Mayor Lynn Peterson will sit on a new 8 person Disaster Relief Fund Committee. Council approved the appointments and the formation of the group at its Monday night meeting.  Peterson is joined by a number of other community stakeholders.  The Red Cross and Salvation Army will be non-voting members on the committee.  The group will be in charge of fundraising for the fund and allocating the money to those applicants who do not have insurance for their homes.

Bill 55 Protested

The new budget bill is causing concern for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, as the full extent of the bill is not known to the general public. CUPE's Jules Tupker says a section of bill 55 could allow for privatization of services that Ontario citizens rely on. CUPE held a protest today in front of Michael Gravelle's constituency office.

Tensions Boil Over In East End

Tempers are running high in the East End as residents try to cope with their flood damaged homes.  Police report that in one case two neighbours got into a verbal battle which escalated into a near violent incident when one of the neighbours went into his home and came out with a pick ax and chased the other man down Hargrave Street.  No one was hurt.  Police have a charged a 55 year old man and have him in custody.

T-Wolves Add Size

The Lakehead University men's basketball team have added some much needed size. They announced 6-foot-9 Centre David Kohler will be joining the team as a transfer from Medicine Hat. Kohler joins Dwayne Harvey and Joseph Hart as newcomers who are expected to step-in right away for the team that was ranked number-2 in Canada for much of last year. Head Coach Scott Morrison meanwhile is with Canada's Under-18 men's team as they prepare for a competition in Brazil.

Funnel Cloud Reported In Rainy River District

There are reports of a tornado touching down in the Rainy River district. Emergency officials say it happened last night in the Stratton area. There are no reports of any damages or any injuries. David Rogers of Environment Canada says a system passing through the area was prime for severe weather and prompting a number of warnings. Because of the funnel cloud report, much of the district was briefly placed on a tornado watch.

Naked Man Arouses Police Suspicion

Police are still looking into a South Brodie Street incident which they are calling "Bizarre." They were called to the 300 block of Brodie where they found a man naked and covered in blood on the porch roof of the residence. The man was reportedly yelling out obscenities. Police were forced to call in other emergency service personnel to help ensure the man's safety before transporting him to hospital. The 19 year old remains under observation at the Health Sciences Centre.

3 Teens Charged With Mischief

Three teenage boys are facing thirteen counts of mischief. City police responded to a number of weekend reports of spray paintings to buildings, fences and vehicles. A 15, 17 and 18 year old were all taken into custody and charged with 13 counts of Mischief. The 15 year old also faces and additional charge of breaching probation.

Water Consumption Down 10 Per Cent

City officials are crossing their fingers today for the water treatment plant.  Two more pumps are being tested and if they pass, the city's Atlantic Avenue treatment plant will be back operating with four out of the five pumps.  Mayor Keith Hobbs is commending residents who are conserving water.  He says water consumption during the crisis period has gone down about 10 per cent.  We could know later today at the earliest if the voluntary water restrictions have been lifted. In other flood news, two public meetings have been added for June 23rd at the Slovak Legion and the Moose Hall.

Emergency Operations News Conference June 11, 2012 10 AM

Streaming video by Ustream

Pumps And Pools Coming Back

Two additional pump motors will run through a battery of tests and could be operational today at the Atlantic Avenue Water Pollution Control Plant. If all goes well with the re-commissioning of those pumps, the City could re-open the Canada Games Complex, Churchill Pool and Volunteer Pool tomorrow, which would mark two weeks that the pools have been closed.

City Says Water Treatment Plant Held Up

The Water Treatment plant is doing just fine after the weekend rain. City Manager of Infrastructure and Facilities, Darrell Matson says the beleaguered Water Treatment Plant held up nicely with the rain that fell on Friday and overnight. Matson will be on hand today at the Emergency Control Organization's daily meeting.

Flood Relief Fund Committee Forming

City Council will spend its meeting tonight creating a "Flood Relief Fund Committee." Councillor Joe Virdiramo says the commitee will deal with applications for money to replace items deemed as essential. Virdiramo says they'll be formalizing the committee at tonight's meeting.

Almost 1300 Hectares Burned In The Northwest

Four new fires are now on the Ministry of Natural Resources watch list. One started in the Nipigon District, another in the Red Lake District and two more in the Sioux Lookout area. So far there have been 192 fires that have burnt almost 1,300 hectares in the Northwest region.

Oranges To Be Delivered To Michael Gravelle's Office

Labour and community groups will deliver oranges to Minister of Natural Resources Mike Gravelle's constituency office today, in protest to a proposed law that the Provincial Liberals are trying to pass through the budget. The groups are calling on M.P.P.'s to avoid repeats of the ORNGE air ambulance scandal by removing Schedule 28 from the provincial budget. Schedule 28 is an act in the Liberals' budget bill that will transfer authority from the legislature to a Minister or private corporation. Concerned Community member, Jules Tupker, says "The Liberals should be making government more open, more transparent and more accountable. Instead they're giving us legislation that goes the other way."

Cats Lose First Game At Home

The Thunder Bay Border Cats are no longer undefeated at home. They lost 14-2 yesterday to the Willmar Stingers, dropping their record to 4 and 8 on the season. Tonight their 5 game home stand continues with the St. Cloud Rox rolling in for the first of 2 games.