Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Argueta Inquest Jury Deliberating

The jury in a coroner's inquest into the death of Gustavo Argueta is in deliberations.  The 24 year old was killed while inspecting a bridge over the Mackenzie River.  The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.

Hospital Looking To Fill Positions

Thunder Bay's Health Sciences Centre continues to work towards filling the roles of two key executives who left the facility recently.   CEO Andree Robichaud says they hope to fill Scott Pott's corporate services position by the fall. The job posting closes on Friday and interviews are expected to take place shortly after.  Robichaud adds that Lori Marshall's previous job has been brought under the umbrella of another hospital department and a new position is being created to deal with communications and aboriginal affairs.

Collision At Algoma & Clavet

City Police are on the scene of a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Algoma and Clavet.  They say one person was sent to the hospital.  Officers have Algoma blocked off from Clavet and Monroe and expect it to be open by two today.  

NWO Resident On Species At Risk Panel

Added responsibility for Wabigoon's Brad Maggrah.  Maggrah has been apointed to the National Aboriginal Committee on Species at Risk.  The Committee was created with the mandate to provide the Minister of Environment with advice on the handling of the Species at Risk Act.  His term will last 3-years.  Maggrah is the current President of the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People.

More ELA Speculation

A report in the Globe and Mail says the Ontario government will pay to keep the Experimental Lakes Area operating in the long term.  The province and the federal government continue to negotiate the transfer of the research station to the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development.  There have been concerns that the provincial involvement would only be one-time funding.  Ontario Natural Resources Mininster David Orazietti tells the Globe and Mail that the money will be below 2-million dollars but isn't commenting on a specific number.  The exact funding formula hasn't been determined.  A tentative transfer agreement expires at the end of August.

Hospital Looking To Rent More Space

Thunder Bay's Hospital is considering renting out the fourth floor of the former McKellar Hospital to ease overcrowding.  Spokesperson Dr. Mark Henderson says before that can happen they have to formally ask the local health authority and Provincial Government for support.  Henderson says the hospital is overcrowded and the extra rooms at McKellar would house patients who know longer need emergency care but can't go back to their homes.

ELA Fate Still Up In The Air

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says the Liberals are all talk, no action.  Speaking specifically about the Experimental Lakes Area, west of Vermilion Bay, Campbell says there's been no word as to what the next step is.  Campbell says once she heads back to Queens Park in September, she is going to ask Premier Kathleen Wynne herself where things are at.

OPP Investigating Infant Death

Provincial Police are investigating the sudden death of a six-week-old baby girl in Big Trout Lake.  Officers were called to the nursing station Monday morning, and the child was pronounced dead.  Police say the deceased is Shantelle Sainnawap.  A post mortem is being done in Toronto.

Fire Crews Busy With 2 Fires

City firefighters were called to the scene of a house fire at 937 Home Avenue around 8-o'clock last night.  Crews had cut open portions of the roof to get at the fire that may have started in the attic. There were no injuruies and the investigation continues.  Meanwhile...there was heavy smoke damage after a small fire at an apartment on McTavish Street.  The blaze appeared to have started in the kitchen when boxes were left on a stove that was accidently turned on. There were no injuries.  

Collision At Expressway

Commuters late yesterday afternoon had to deal with delays at the intersection of the Thunder Bay and Harbour Expressways. A transport truck tipped over spilling part of its load which may have shifted causing the unit to roll.  The driver of the rig was not injured.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Car Hits Pedestrian

Thunder Bay Police are looking for the public's help in completing their investigation into an auto pedestrian collision in Oliver Paipoonge.  On Monday afternoon a green sedan struck a 17 year old man walking at the intersection of Rosslyn Road and Queen Street.  Police say the driver stopped and asked if the pedestrian was ok but left without leaving a name or contact information.  Officers are looking for the driver or any witnesses.

OPP Investigate Death

OPP are investigating the death of a 55 year old woman in Strange Township.  Staff Sgt. Jim Graham says they were asked by the family to check in on the woman who resided alone on Northside Road.  Police found the woman dead on Monday and says the death doesn't look suspicous.  A post mortem exam is taking place in Toronto on Wednesday.

Swimming Advisory For Chippewa Park

Thunder Bay's Health Unit is issuing a swimming advisory for the Main beach at Chippewa Park.  The advisory doesn't close the beach or stop anyone from swimming there it just lets swimmers know about the water conditions.  Swimming in water with high levels of E. coli can cause skin, eye, nose and throat infections, as well as stomach illness. 

E-Bingo Approved

Thunder Bay Community Bingo is getting its wish and is joining forces with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to offer electronic bingo.  Councillor Rebecca Johnson says it's good news for the local community groups that depend on bingo as a fundraiser.  Johnson notes e-bingo will help cut down on the number of volunteers that are needed to run a bingo. Council gave it's approval at last night's meeting.

MNR Reports No New Fires

It seems like everyday there's a report of new forest fires in Northwestern Ontario.  However the Ministry of Natural Resources says there hasn't been any new ones for a couple of days. There are 35-fires active in the region, 32 of which are being monitored.

Fraud Warning

A scam in Northwestern Ontario, but this time the warning is out from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.  The Commission says people claiming to be with Sental Insurance have been targeting mostly Royal Bank of Canada clients.  They are asking for personal information in an effort to sell identity theft protection insurance on behalf of the bank.  But the Commission says the firm is not associated with the bank nor is it licensed to do business in Ontario.

LU Alumni Golf Tourney Sold Out

Lakehead University's Alumni Golf Tournament is sold out.  The 30th annual event will be held on Tuesday August 6th at the Whitewater Golf Course.  Organizer Mark Tilbury says money raised goes towards student financial aid.  They hope to raise over 45-thousand dollars from this year's event.

Research Conference Coming To T.Bay

Thunder Bay is going to host a major Canadian Research Conference this fall.  Organizer Rhonda Koster says it's the first time the Rural Revitalization Foundation has held a meeting in Northern Ontario.  The October conference will focus on finding ways to help grow rural Canada and will see 200 delegates take part.  

Crowded Jails

Dryden Police Inspector Kevin Glenister isn't surprised with a new statistic regarding Ontario's jails.  The Ministry of Community Safety and Corrections shows that almost half of the province's jails held more prisoners than they were designed for.  Glenister says they send majority of their prisoners to Kenora.  Glenister says all prisoners under 18-years-old either go to a facility in Kenora, Thunder Bay or Sault Ste. Marie.

Ribfest Is Back!

Ribfest is back for another year, August 23rd to the 25th.  The Waterfront District BIA is bringing back the event to Court Street and Park Avenue. This year's event includes a best local rib competition as well as a competition between four out of town ribbers.  Over 20-thousand people turned up in droves to last year's event and even more are expected this August. Celebrity Chef Corbin Tomaszeski will also be on hand to talk about entertaining and cooking. BIA President Suzan Cooper Rochon says a portion of the proceeds from the beer garden will go towards Our Kids Count and the Dew Drop Inn.  

New City HR Director

Maureen Panizza is the City's new Director of Human Resources and Corporate Safety.  The appointment was made official Monday night by City Council.  City Manager Tim Commisso says Panizza is familiar in the role since she has been in it for the past six month in an acting capacity.  Panizza has been with the City since 1999.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dilico Workers Ratify New Deal

A strike by 350 Dilico workers is over.  CEP Spokesperson Marvin Pupeza says it's good news with 80 percent of employees voted to ratify their new deal.  The employees head back to work on Wednesday.  

Golf Links Road Construction Continues

Drivers take note...starting on Wednesday the intersection of Golf Links Road and the Harbour Expressway is going to be closed to all turning traffic.  The intersection will remain open to east-west traffic.  City officials say the turning area is being closed to allow for repaving of the expressway's eastbound lanes.  The closure should remain in effect until Sunday.

Hebert Happy With OEB Decision

The Ontario Energy Board is confirming the need for the Thunder Bay Generating Station.  In a decision made last week the OEB ordered Power Generation to enter into an operating contract for the remainder of 2013.  Councillor Larry Hebert says it's good to hear but notes it still isn't a decision to convert the plant to natural gas.  The OEB says the removal of the plant would have a bad impact on electricity reliability in the region.

Open Spot On Con College BOG

There's an open spot on Confederation College's Board of Governors.  The three year term starts September 1st and the deadline to apply is by August 31st.

Superior North EMS Gets Funding Boost

Superior North EMS is getting a boost in their funding.  The Provincial Government announced a 4.8 percent increase in land ambulance funding.  EMS service in the region will see just over a 11 million dollars in funding for 2013.

Coroner Inquest Starts Today

A coroner's inquest into the death of a man who was killed while inspecting a bridge over the Mackenzie River starts today.   Gustavo Argueta died in June 2011 while on the job.  The inquest is expected to continue throughout this week with 15 witnesses taking the stand.

Dilico Contract Could Be Ratified Today

The three week old strike at Dilico could end as early as today as voting on a new proposed deal wraps up.  The 350 workers went on strike citing low wages and poor working conditions.  If the recommended deal is approved workers will go back on the job August 6th.   

Sister City Partnership Renewed

It's another five years.   Thunder Bay has renewed its sister cities agreement with Duluth.  Mayor Keith Hobbs calls Duluth a true sister city.   Aldo Ruberto, Chair of  Sister Cities Advisory Committee. says it shows a long-lasting relationship between ourselves and our closest international city.

MNR Gets Provincial Cash

The Ministry of Natural Resources fire attack base in Armstrong is getting a 9 and a half million dollar face lift.  Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle says it's going to be a complete rebuild.  Gravelle says the reason for the upgrade is to help improve the province's forest fire fighting abilities.  

City Council Meets Tonight

E-Bingo is up for discussion at city council tonight.  Thunder Bay Community Bingo has proposed an agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to implement Electronic Bingo in the city.   Councillor Ian Angus says Thunder Bay Community Bingo helps local charities.  Angus says he believes council will approve the agreement.  Meanwhile, the city is on pace to be 2.5 million dollars over budget, and it may be because of the late start to spring.  Angus says the odd weather played a role in the budget with the increased cost in snow removal.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Forest Fire Hazard In The Green

 At last, the forest fire hazard situation in our area of Northwestern Ontario is down to low. However Ministry of Natural Resources Spokesperson Deb McLean says there is still quite a bit of activity. McLean says the hazard in the northern parts of the region is still at moderate, but the rain is expected to help that.

Mining Matters Back In Rainy River

Rainy River Resources is bringing back the Mining Matters initiative. The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada program gives people a chance to learn more about the mining industry. Company vice-president Kyle Stanfield says two separate sessions will be held in Barwick this week.

ETFO Supports Inquiry

An inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women is supported by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. Local President Anne Saltel says it's unfair that the federal government has said no. Saltel says the ETFO believes all people should have the same equity, adding the government seems to be treating Aboriginal women like second-class citizens.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Two Car Crash

Only minor injuries to report after a two vehicle collision. The crash happened this morning at the intersection of Victoria and Edward Street. The occupants of the cars were attended to by paramedics at the scene.

Terrorism Prevention Comes To NWO

The fight against terrorism has come to Northwestern Ontario. Rainy River Community College is offering a two-year program that will teach students how to detect and deal with terrorist activities. Coordinator Steve Kovacic says demands for increased security has driven its need. The program is being run in partnership with Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Car Rams House

One man is recovering from facial injuries after his car rammed into a house on the 700 block of James Street this evening.   Police say that the incident took place just before 7 of o'clock and may have been the result of a medical condition.  

Agreement Renewed

It's another five years.   Thunder Bay has renewed its sister cities agreement with Duluth.  Mayor Keith Hobbs calls Duluth a true sister city.   Aldo Ruberto, Chair of  Sister Cities Advisory Committee. says it shows a long-lasting relationship between ourselves and our closest international city.

Murder Tips Coming In

Police say the public is responding to a tip line set up following the last week;s murder in the city.  They say a number of tips have been followed up and it remains active.  Thirty year old Shannon Hogan died after being found with serious injuries in a laneway behind a Lake Street house.  The cause of her death is not being revealed.

Former Investment Dealer Hit With Big Fine

A former city investment dealer is feeling the sting of the law. Pirkko Ramsay must pay a 200 thousand dollar fine after the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada found she misappropriated client funds and failed to cooperate with investigators. The financial violations took place when she worked at the Thunder Bay branch of CIBC Investor Services

Lots Of Rain On The Way

The Thunder Bay area will be wet over the next day or so.  Environment Canada says a broad area of low pressure over Lake Superior is giving much of Northern Ontario persistent showers..which have been heavy at times due to thunderstorms.  A few locations have received over 20 millimetres since yesterday evening.  Rain is expected to begin to taper off tomorrow, but some areas could receive up to an additional 40 millimetres by Saturday morning. 

Things Looking Up For Treaty 3 Police

A major obstacle has been cleared in keeping the Treaty 3 Police Service Open. A new board was elected this week at the service's annual general meeting.  Local Public Service Alliance of Canada rep Judith Monteith-Farrell says the new board is much more open to working with the union. The changes mean the closing of the force has been postponed a year.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Severe Crime Drops In City

Deputy police chief Andy Hay says the latest stats showing a drop in severe crime in 2012 is helping to make us a safer city.  He credits the hard work of  police and community members especially the Crime Prevention Council.   Hay notes however there is a long way go since we still have high murder and domestic assault rates.

New Sports Honour Roll Announced

Two local hockey players and a medal winning paralympic swimmer head this years list of inductees into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.   Andrea Cole was the first female from the region to have won a gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Sydney.  Katie Weatherston was the first female from northwestern Ontario and the first athlete from Thunder Bay to win a gold medal for Canada at the Olympic Games in Turin. Tony Hrkac is the only regional hockey player ever to have won the coveted Hobey Baker Award as the outstanding US College hockey player.

Red Lake Wildfire Eases

The Ministry of Natural Resources says a fire in the Red Lake area is now being held. The blaze, 50 km northwest of the community, started on July 3rd and was caused by a lightning strike. It  has burned more than 18-thousand hectares.

Safeway Deal Does't Affect NWO

Empire Company, which owns Sobeys stores in Canada, has struck a deal to sell some of its newly acquired Safeway properties in a sale-leaseback deal with property management company Crombie of Nova Scotia. None of the stores impacted are in northwestern Ontario.

New Gold Close To Goal

In the world of business,  the New Gold mining company says its planned take over of Rainy River Resources is one step closer to reality.  New Gold is giving shareholders of the mining exploration company until August 8th to accept the cash and stock offer .  New Gold says it's just a few percentage points away from its goal of acquiring 90 per cent of Rainy Rainy shares.

More Stanley Cup Info

The time and place are now set for presentation of the Stanley Cup in the city.  It will be at the Fort William Gardens on August 2nd from noon until 2:00.   Patrick Sharp of the NHL Champion Chicago Blackhawks will be on hand to show off the hardware

Dam Work Postponed

The swimming season can continue at Boulevard Lake. The city has decided to postpone work on the Current River Dam. Spokesperson Pat Mauro says they can't find any company to do the 3 million dollars worth of repairs adding the tenders came in higher than what City Hall had budgeted for. As a result of the decision water on Boulevard Lake will not be drained and the beaches will stay open.

Thirteen Year Old Charged In B & E

A 13 year old boy is facing charges after a Dawson Road lottery store was broke into  yesterday.  Cigarettes and bus passes were stolen.  A court appearance is scheduled for today.  

Dryden Losing Another Senior Staffer

The City of Dryden is losing another senior member. George Friesen has announced his resignation as Airport Manager effective September. Friesen says he's worked with some great staff for the past 23-No replacement has been named. Friesen is moving to Alberta to pursue other opportunities. The City is now without a full-time Economic Development Officer, City Manager, Library Manager and Recreation Manager, among other high level positions.