Saturday, August 31, 2013

OPP Gives Safety Advice For Long Weekend

People boating irresponsibly is one of the many things Provincial Police will be on the lookout for this long-weekend. Sergeant Shelley Garr is also reminding motorists to slow down and not drive distracted. OPP will also be cracking down on impaired drivers across the region.

Cross Canada Rollerblader Visits Thunder Bay

A cross Canada rollerblader is stopping in Thunder Bay this weekend. Kevin Ebra is following the footsteps of Terry Fox and is determined to travel from Toronto to Vancouver in 120 days. Ebra leaves our city on Sunday with his next stops being Kaministiquia, English River, Dryden, Vermillion Bay, and Kenora.

Blind Man Bikes For Charity

Thunder Bay is going to be a popular stop for people on cross Canada fundraisers. Craig Aucoin is doing a back to back bicycle tour across the nation in support of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Aucoin is blind and will be riding his bike through Ontario this weekend.

Pigeon River Border Backup

You can expect long line ups at the Pigeon River Border Crossing this weekend. Canada Border Service Agents say the peak traffic times are Sunday from 4 pm to 7 pm and Monday from 11 am to 7 pm. To help move the process faster your asked to bring your travel documents and receipts.

LU Looks For Homestay Hosts

Lakehead University is looking for people in the City who want to host an international student coming to Canada to learn English. It's part of the Homestay program which last 15 weeks at a time from September to December, January to April or May to August. Homestay hosts receive 700 dollars per month when they provide a room and meals or 475 dollars a month when just providing the room

Coast Guard Rescues Boaters

Two people are safe and sound after a water rescue on Lake Superior Friday.  The rescue coordination centre in Trenton says that the Canadian Coast Guard in Thunder Bay brought the two back to shore after their 26 foot boat took on water about a mile south of the city.

Forest Fire Update

There were no new fires reported in the Northwest Region August 30. The forecast is calling for more rain for the next several days and the forest fire hazard is expected to be low across the region. The rain will help with lightning strikes that have started fires. The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program has a lightning-locator system that helps track strikes of lightning that have potential to start new wildfires.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Water Rescue On Superior

A water rescue on Lake Superior.    A spokesperson at the rescue coordination centre in Trenton says that a 26 foot Bayliner boat started taking on water Friday about a mile south of the city and the two people in there called for help.   A rescue unit from Thunder Bay picked them up and brought them to the yacht club unharmed.

Poverty Free T.Bay To Rally

Poverty Free Thunder Bay plans to rally at MPP Michael Gravelle's nomination meeting Tuesday night. Chair Terri Carter believes Premier Wynne will be in attendance and she wants to greet her with three demands.  Carter is looking for the Premier to demonstrate a commitment to reducing poverty.

NOHFC Programs Under Review

The Provincial Government is conducting a review of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.  It means new programs will be created and launched at the end of October.  Applications for funding through the old program will be accepted up until September 30th.  The changes are being made to reflect the priorities set out in the Northern Ontario Growth Plan.

Hospital Family Rooms To Become Patient Rooms

The overcrowding problem at the Health Sciences Centre is at a new level.  The hospital is now renovating family lounges to make more room for patients.  The fire department told the hospital they could no longer house patients in hallways which spurred the decision.  CEO Andree Robichaud says the rooms only need a little tinkering.  The decision will mean 14 patient spots, which is two more than what the hallways were providing.  Robichaud hopes to have the new patient rooms ready by mid-October.

Baby Boomers Not Ready For Retirement

More and more seniors in Northwestern Ontario are digging deep to make ends meet.  Recent studies show that debt levels are on the rise across the country, especially for the elderly.  Frank Fabiano is a local trustee in bankruptcy, and says many seniors depend on their old age security or pension plans.  At the same time, Fabiano says baby-boomers are also feeling the crunch, as many of those born between 1945 and 1964 say they haven't saved enough for retirement.

Transit Still Experiencing Problems

Thunder Bay's Transit Service is still having technical difficulties with their scheduled arrival time phone line isn't working.  Bus riders are being asked to use the paper schedules, the transit website and Nextbus dot com.


NOSM Gets Award

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is on the receiving end of an award that recognizes good work in medical education.  The ASPIRE award was given to NOSM at a medical conference in Prague.

Victim Fleeced For 25K

Police in northwestern Ontario are releasing details about a scam that has left one resident owing 25-thousand-dollars. The victim was told to cash a cheque for the scammer without realizing it was a trick designed to leave her on the hook for the entire amount. Police say the sender of the cheque had befriended the victim over several months, gaining her trust.

Police On School Buses

Kids of all ages will be heading back to school Wednesday. City Police are reminding motorists to pay close attention to students crossing streets and getting off buses. Sgt. Glenn Porter says they'll be on area school buses looking for bad drivers.  Porter reminds college and university students that they'll be staging RIDE checks as well to look for drunk drivers.

Man Gets 60 Days For Breach

A 32 year old Murillo man is  serving time for disobeying a Manitoba court order not to be in the company of anyone under 18.    In a Thunder Bay court this week Tony Barnes was given a sentence of 60 days in jail and a years probation on the charge.  Barnes was also given credit for the time served since he was taken into custody in late April.

LU Prof Says Syrian Attack Certain

A Lakehead University Professor says it's  almost certain that Syria will be attacked.  Laure Paquette, who sometimes does research for the U-S military,  says that the only question is how the United States will lead the attack and when. She believes it will come in the form of a drone or stealth  attack.   Paquette says there is no other option but for the world to react to a chemical weapons attack.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

LRCA Flood Watch

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is issuing a flood watch for the Thunder Bay area including O'Connor, Conmee, Gillies, Shuniah and Dorion.  The LRCA is putting the watch in effect because of the heavy amounts of rain expected tonight.  Staff are continuing to monitor the weather conditions.

Fed Funding For Mining Project

The Federal government is handing out 87-thousand dollars to two groups to allow them to participate in the environmental assessment for the Griffith Iron Ore redevelopment project in Ear Falls.  Wabauskang First Nation is receiving 50-grand, while the Metis Nation of Ontario is getting 37-thousand dollars.  Both groups will be able to review and provide comments on the Environmental Impact Statement and draft Environmental Assessment Report.  Northern Iron (Corp.) is hoping to reopen the once prosperous Mine, with hopes of cementing a 20-year mine life.

No Cause Yet In Moose Death

There still isn't a cause of death for Chippewa Park's seven year old bull moose.  A post mortem exam is done but some tissue samples were taken and sent to a lab in Guelph for analysis.  The moose was found by staff at the zoo early Tuesday morning.  Analysis of the tissue samples is expected to take seven to ten days to complete. 

Summer Sounds Well Received

It's over.  The summer's final City Hall Sounds event wrapped up Thursday at City Hall.  The program was put in place to liven up the area around the City's South Core which saw live music, arts and crafts and local food.  Crime Prevention Coordinator Amy Siciliano says since the program was well-embraced they're going to look into how best to move it forward next year.

CEDC Celebrates Summer Company

Thunder Bay's Community Economic Development Commission is heralding the benefits of the Summer Company program.  Organizer Stacia Kean says they had 11 businesses created by local youth. The provincially funded program is for students between 15 to 29 years of age.   A wrap up ceremony was held on Thursday for the local students who took part in this summer's program.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

The Thunder Bay area is under a severe Thunderstorm watch.  The storm cell started last night in North Dakota and is making it's way into the City this afternoon.  Environment Canada Meterologist Geoff Coulson says it could become a doozy of a storm with hail and strong winds.  The forecast is calling for up to 20 to 30 millimetres of rain.

Gravelle Happy With Remediation Plan

The Ministry of the Environment and the owners of the defunct Superior Fine Papers have come to an agreement over the clean up of their Thunder Bay mill.  MPP Michael Gravelle says there have been concerns over industrial waste on the site for several years and he's happy the site will be remediated.  Gravelle says making sure we have a clean source of water is vital and the clean up of the former mill site will help ensure that.

Cellphone Sting Round 2

City police say Thunder Bay drivers still don't get it.   Sgt. Glen Porter says they conducted another series of traffic stops on the James Street bridge Wednesday afternoon and over a hundred drivers were charged. Porter says the number of cell phone violations were also up from last week.  

Hope Yet For Popsicle Stick Plant

The idled popsicle stick plant in Oliver-Paipoonge may get new life after.  Councillor Aldo Ruberto says the operator of an ice cream making plant in Jiaozuo, China appears intrigued.  The topic came up during the just completed visit to our Chinese sister city.

Bluffs Closed Till Monday

The City is closing the bottom of the bluffs trail from the entrance to the Hydro One Corridor until Monday.  During the closure it will be resurfaced.  The public can still access the trails running from the top of the bluffs to the hydro corridor, however there isn't an alternate trail at the bottom of the bluffs.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Local Man Fined For Letting Dogs Run Wild

A Thunder Bay man is facing over five thousand dollars in fines after being found guilty of letting his two unlicensed German Shephards run free in the Paquette Road area.   City By-Law Enforcement Officer Ron Bourrett says they've also placed a restrain order on the dogs.  Bourrett says they charged the man with a heftier fine because it wasn't the first time the dogs were running loose and scaring people walking along that road.

Slave Auction Removed From Ads

Beaux Daddy's Grill House and United Way are making some changes to their upcoming "Ultimate Guy's Night Out" fundraiser.  The print and radio ads for the September 19th event promoted a "Slave Auction" which caused several people from the public to complain.  United Way Spokesperson Kristy Pochailo says they've since changed it to "ultimate server auction" and didn't mean to offend anyone.  Pochailo says they'll be making sure the ads on the internet and radio doesn't contain the term "slave auction".

Onion Lake Road Collision

A developing story to tell you about.   Police are investigating a two vehicle collision that sent one person to hospital with unknown injuries.   They say it happened on Onion Lake Road this morning at about 9:30.   Police are expected to release further details shortly.

Premier In T.Bay Next Week

Ontario's Premier is touring Northwestern Ontario starting next week.  Kathleen Wynne will be holding a jobs and growth roundtable in Thunder Bay with area business leaders.  Chamber of Commerce President Charla Robinson says they're happy to take part and will bring up the need for more skills training.  The Premier will also be attending the opening ceremony for Lakehead University's new Faculty of Law. 

More Crack Cocaine Seized In City

A 27 year old Toronto man is charged with trafficking crack cocaine after police seized 97 thousand dollars worth of the drug.  They searched an Academy Drive apartment yesterday and found 324 grams of crack and almost 2-thousand dollars in cash.   The man is also charged with proceeds of crime under 5-thousand dollars and breach of probation.

MNR Fire Contracts Extended

Contracts have been extended for Ministry of Natural Resources seasonal fire fighting staff.  The MNR is keeping its staff on until the middle of September.  Fire information officer, Debbie McLean says the unseasonably warm weather is credited with the extensions.  There are currently 26-active fires in the northwest region.

Minor Incident At Jail

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is investigating an incident at the Thunder Bay District Jail.  Spokesperson Brent Ross says there's not much he can say about the Monday afternoon event.  Ross says the Ministry isn't releasing any details about the health and safety of inmates or staff because the matter is under investigation. Ross says the minor incident was resolved quickly.

Labour Peace At School Board

There will be continued labour peace for Lakehead District School Board and its staff for the upcoming school year.  The board held a special meeting last night and approved a recommendation between the Ministry of Education and staff unions on a number of mandatory items in their benefits package.  Director of Education Cathi Siemieniuk says it shows they value their staff.   School starts for all public school students on September 4th.

Costly Living In NWO

It costs almost 5-thousand dollars more to live in northwestern Ontario than in Manitoba.  That's the findings of a new report from the Province of Manitoba.  Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association President Dave Canfield says he's not surprised the cost of electricity, home heating and insurance is so much cheaper in Manitoba.  The study found that a utility bundle in Manitoba costs 27-hundred dollars compared to 76-hundred in Ontario.  

Auto Insurance Break Coming

A break on auto-insurance premiums is coming to Northwestern Ontario, eventually.  Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says she's happy the Liberals have finally got the ball rolling.  Campbell says people should expect a reduction of 100-dollars by next August, and then 200-dollars once the whole 15-percent reduction is complete.

Grassy Narrows Assault

Provincial Police are assisting Treaty Three Police in investigating an assault in the Grassy Narrows First Nation.  Police were called to a home Monday and upon arrival noticed two men who had injuries.  One of the men was taken to hospital and released, while the other was sent to a Thunder Bay hospital.  Meantime, police have charged 32-year-old Everette Brown of no fixed address with two counts of aggravated assault.

Spence Reportedly Re-Elected

Chief Theresa Spence is reported to have been re-elected to a second three-year team as chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation in northwestern Ontario.  A final vote count could be made public today.  Spence made headlines last winter by going on a liquid diet for six weeks as she demanded a meeting with the prime minister to discuss treaty rights.

Scattered Swimming Advisories At Local Beaches

It's a mixed bag of news for local swimmers.  The Health Unit is lifting the swimming advisory for Boulevard Lake's Sunny Side beach.  However, swimming advisories are now posted at the main beach at Boulevard Lake and Chippewa Park.  Swimming advisories are just a precaution and don't prevent people from swimming.

Done Deal

There will be continued labour peace for Lakehead District School Board and its teachers for the upcoming school year.  The board has approved a recommendation between the Ministry of Education and the teachers union on a number of mandatory items to their benefits package.

Drainage Program Extended

The City's drainage rebate program is being offered for a longer period of time.  EcoSuperior offers the program for the City and Spokesperson Jamie Saunders says its for any homeowners who want to install flood prevention measures. So far 250 applications have come into EcoSuperior.

Chippewa Moose Found Dead

The City is investigating the unexpected death of a seven year old bull moose at the Chippewa Wildlife Exhibit.  The animal died overnight Monday but was discovered by staff early this morning.  A vet conducted a post-mortem exam on the moose today, but final results are not yet available.  Earlier this summer, a vet determined the moose had worms, a common condition among moose in captivity.  The City says the moose was given ample food and water, and was kept cool via shelter and a sprinkler system.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Library On The Move

The County Park Library is looking for a new location in the surrounding neighbourhood.  The Library Board hasn't been able to agree on a new lease agreement with the owner's of the County Fair Mall and the lease expires October 31st.  Spokesperson Tina Tucker says they have a new site in mind and until they can secure the spot they hope the mall will allow them to go on a month by month agreement.

Police Welcome Stun Gun News

The Thunder Bay Police Service is welcoming the news from the province, that front line officers will now be allowed to carry stun guns.   Spokesperson Chris Adams says it's an idea they have always supported.  However Adams says it could take up to two years to impliment. 

Serbian Men Charged With Trafficking Oxy

Thunder Bay Police are reporting the seizure of 659-thousand dollars in Oxycodone.  Police have charged two Serbian nationals in connection to the drug trafficking investigation.  Over 3-thousand pills were taken from a Memorial Avenue motel room.  Two men in their 70s are charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, and proceeds of crime. 

Teens Get Hands On Experience

Over a dozen aboriginal youth have a better idea of what it takes to start their own business.  The teens took part in a training program at the Northwest Innovation Centre this summer. Spokesperson Melissa McClement says some of the youth even started their own businesses.  Other businesses included a community radio station, and film production company.

Dryden Manager Post Filled...For Now

The City of Dryden has found a replacement for outgoing Airport Manager George Friesen. Long time employee Norm Sanders has been appointed Acting Airport Manager and is now in control. The Airport will be included in a comprehensive review of all city services and officials say decisions with regard to management at the Airport will be dealt with after the review.  Friesen announced his resignation last month.

Busy Night For City Police

City Police were kept busy Monday night.  Officers responded to a call of an unwanted person outside a North Cumberland Street residence which led to a male being pepper sprayed.  He's been charged with assaulting a police officer and breach of probation.  The officer was not injured during the arrest.  Meanwhile, Police are investigating a rash of tires being slashed in the Limbrick Place area.  At least 13 vehicles were targeted overnight.