Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rescue On Mount McKay

Rescue crews are up the side of Mount McKay this evening conducting an operation.  A fire official at the scene says a man was trying to parachute down when something went wrong and he injured himself.   They say the man was able to talk to rescuers via cell phone.   About 18 men are part of the rescue mission and it's not known how long it might take to complete.  The darkness and the location of the victim have been causing them problems.

Construction Season Slows Down

Construction on several regional infrastructure projects is wrapping up for the winter. The 2013 season was busy for construction crews who began work on a new bridge over the Nipigon River. Bridge replacement took place at the Little Wabigoon River, Melgund River, Bug River and both Nugget and Beaver Creek. Crews also resurfaced stretches of highways 17 just east of Terrace Bay, 72 at Sioux Lookout and 11.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Opening Day For Christmas Cheer Fund

The Thunder Bay Christmas Cheer Fund is announcing some big changes. Today marked day one of the campaign that will focus solely on supporting families with children. Chair Joleene Kemp says the decision to no longer include those who are single or seniors in their campaign was a difficult choice. Kemp says the fund will aim at providing families with hampers filled with gifts and a weeks worth of food. This years funding goal is less than years past set at 140-thousand dollars.

Mishap Had Serious Potential

A 63 year old woman is nursing only minor injuries after her car was hit by another vehicle at the the corner of Madeline and River Street.   Police say it had the potential to be something more serious as it happened just after 4 o'clock Thursday afternoon and was near a school.   Instead a car careened into an empty school crossing guard hut.  They say that an 83 year old man is charged with making an improper turn.  A picture can be found on our web page.

Jersey Day At The Hospital

It's Jersey Day at the Health Sciences Centre.    Staff there are wearing the jerseys of their favourite sports team.  It's all part of a nation wide event sponsored by ParticipACTION to promote a physical and healthy lifestyle.

Local Accounting Students Pass The Test

The working world awaits six Thunder Bay chartered accounting students.  They have passed this year's Canada-wide Uniform Evaluation  recognized as one of the world's most challenging professional entry examinations.  Once they complete their experience requirements, Michael Iorianni, Richard Jagielowicz, Kristopher Mauro, Jennifer McIntosh, Jonathan Racco and Jonathan Valente will be members of the CPA profession.

Holiday Train In NWO This Weekend

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is entering northwestern Ontario on its westward journey through the country.    The train will be in Mobert on Sunday morning then wind its way along the north shore hitting spots like Heron Bay, Marathon, Schreiber, Nipigon and finally on Sunday night it will arrive at the Syndicate Avenue train station Sunday night.  

Gravelle & Boor Talk It Out

The Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle says talks went well with Cliffs Natural Resources.  The two met recently and Gravelle says they talked about the future of the company and their plans for the Ring of Fire.  Gravelle says he looks forward to future conversations with Cliffs President Bill Boor.

Charges Laid In Early Morning Collision

A 24 year old man is facing a total of thirteen charges, including impaired driving,  in connection with a  two vehicle collision overnight.
Police say that  the mishap at James and Edward resulted in both vehicles rolling over and sending a total of five people to hospital who are expected to be released  today.  The intersection is now reopen to traffic.

National Chief Shawn Atleo In Thunder Bay

National Chief Shawn Atleo, along with other Aboriginal leaders are responding to the Federal Governments First Nation Education Act. While speaking in Thunder Bay Atleo says he has felt support from First Nations communities across Canada in wanting more control over their education system. Atleo compared the proposed education act to the residential school system saying it does not provide a guarantee for children to learn about First Nations culture and heritage.

OPP Release Name In Fatal Crash

Kenora OPP are releasing the name of the 57 year old man who died in yesterday's fatal collision on Highway 17 near Percy Lake. Multiple vehicles were involved and caused the highway to be closed for most of the day. Deceased is Benjamin Bueckert of Gladstone, Manitoba.

Two Vehicle Crash At James & Edwards

City Police are still on the scene of a two-vehicle rollover crash at the corner of James and Edwards streets near Confederation College. A total of five people were sent to hospital with unknown injuries. The accident took place around 2 o'clock this morning and Police are advising motorists to stay clear of the scene to avoid traffic tie-ups.

CO Alarms Soon To Be The Law

Carbon Monoxide alarms will soon be the law for all homes in Ontario. A private members bill put forward four years ago by Tory MPP Ernie Hardeman has gained final approval in the legislature. Hardeman says the death of a Provincial Police constable and her family as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning spurred him to get involved. Currently, carbon monoxide detectors are only required in homes constructed after 2001.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tbaytel Expands Free Wi-Fi Area

Thunder Bay's WiFi corridor is now open a little wider. Tbaytel's President Dan Topatigh says it's part of staying competitive against other wireless companies. The city has announced that City Hall, the Current River Rec Centre, the 55 Plus Centre and the West Thunder Community Centre are now free Wi-Fi hot spots.

Resolute Faces WSIB Accusations

A spokesperson for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is confirming that Resolute Forest products is facing some legal problems involving the company's Thunder Bay sawmill.   The board says that it's accused of four counts of failing to report work related accidents within three days.    The board would not confirm the exact safety issues that are involved saying they are now before the provincial offences court.  

Police Confirm Death In Highway 17 Crash

One person is confirmed dead in a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 17 between Vermilion Bay and Kenora.  Provincial Police say the crash occurred about 20-kilometres east of the Highway 71 junction overnight. Police say the victim is an unidentified man. Several other collisions involving transports were reported on the highway and the road is closed to remove all of the debris. Provincial Police say the highway won't reopen until the MTO completes sanding operations. OPP are asking motorists heading west from Thunder Bay to take Highway 11 at Shabaqua Corners.

CN Bridge Road Repairs Started

CN bridge officials are working on the road section of the James Street Swing Bridge. Spokesperson Lindsay Fedchyshyn says work is ongoing. Fedchyshyn says they're not sure what other work needs to be done and when it will be complete. The bridge is still closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Police Looking For Driver

City Police are looking for the driver of a stolen truck that was involved in a collision this morning in the area of Hilldale Road and Wardrope Avenue.  A call was made to police about the single vehicle accident just after 6:20 this morning.

AFN Chief Shawn Atleo In T.Bay

The Assembly of First Nation's Chief Shawn Atleo is speaking at A chiefs conference on the Fort William First Nation this morning.  Yesterday, Regional Chiefs rejected the Federal Government's Education Act. They plan to implement their own education plan on a community level.

DSSAB Looking At Draft Budget Today

The Social Services Board's 2014-2015 budget is coming in at just over 73 million dollars.  The board will discuss the fiscal document at it's meeting today and CAO Bill Bradica says there are some savings that will bring the total cost down.  The board is looking at decreasing the amount area municipalities pay by two and a half percent.

Rickford Not Amused With Province

The federal minister responsible for the Ring of Fire says he's not amused by some of the rhetoric coming out of Queen's Park this week.  Kenora M.P. Greg Rickford is responding to premier Wynne's invitation to come to the table.  Rickford says they've been a willing participant all along.  Rickford says he was caught off guard by the announcement of a development corporation for the Ring, because the federal government was not consulted beforehand.

Horwath Says Open Government Meeting Is Interesting

Thunder Bay is going to play host to the Provincial Government's first "open government" engagment team meeting that's taking place on Monday at the Valhalla Inn.  NDP Leader Andrea Horwath thinks its interesting that the Liberals need to create a committee to find ways to become more open. The meeting will take place from six until 9.

Alzheimer Rendezvous Tonight

The Alzheimer Society is hosting an evening with TVO's Steve Paikin.  The host of "The Agenda" is speaking at the 12th annual Alzheimer Rendezvous. Spokesperson Ashleigh Quarrell hopes the event will raise 50-thousand dollars.  The event gets underway tonight at the Victoria Inn.

Local Officer Honoured

City Police Staff Sergeant Ryan Gibson is being honoured for his part of the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run. He took part in the Torch Run's International Conference in Orlando, Florida. Gibson was selected to take part because of his volunteer involvement with Special Olympics Ontario.

Charges Laid In Suspicious Death

A 26 year old Seine River man has been charged with 2nd degree murder following a police investigation in Fort Frances. Provincial Police say they have arrested Peter Deafy for the death of 45 year old Leo Whitecrow. Whitecrow was found dead at the Midtown Motel on the morning of November 2nd, last year. Deafy is set to appear in court tomorrow to answer to the charge.

Bearskin Execs Get Award

Bearskin Airlines top execs are being honoured for their charity work. President Harvey Friesen and VP Cliff Friesen won the Jim Glass Humanitarian Award.  The award is presented by the Air Transport Association of Canada and Transwest Air.

United Way Needs Help

The United Way Campaign is closing in on the halfway mark for their fundraising campaign with five weeks to go. Campaign Chair Walter Flasza says there will be several events in December to help them reach their goal. There has been just under one and a half million dollars raised so far, the goal is to reach two point seven million.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Salvation Army Gets Money From Target

The Salvation Army's breakfast program in Thunder Bay is benefiting from a charity donation by Target Canada.   The department store giant is splitting the 160 thousand dollar donation among 23 Salvation Army programs in the country.

T.Bay Man Charged In Collision

OPP are charging a 24 year old Thunder Bay man with a drinking and driving related charge.  It stems from a single motor collision on Highway 622 just north of Atikokan. He'll appear in Atikokan Court on January 23rd.

Safe Drivers In T.Bay

Thunder Bay drivers are being recognized as some of the country's safest. The Safe Driving Study comes from Allstate Canada and is based on the amount of collisions per one-hundred cars the company insures. Thunder Bay placed tenth amongst communities with the best collision rates at 4.3 percent between 2011-2013.

DSSAB Meeting To Discuss Pets

The Social Services Board is going to discuss how best to deal with client's pets ruining their housing units. In some cases the board has been left with a 30 thousand dollar repair bill. CAO Bill Bradica says it's a tricky situation. Bradica says there's been reports of staff being bitten by animals and even some tenants being hurt by other people's pets.

Police Seize 50K Worth Of Drugs

 A 44 year old Montreal man is facing a variety of drug related charges after a search of a North side hotel room on Monday.  Staff Sergeant Murray Brown says they seized 50-thousand dollars worth of crack cocaine and prescription Fentanyl powder. The man will be in court on Friday and Police are asking the court to deny his bail.

NOMA Meets With Premier & Ministers

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is pleased with their recent meetings with the Premier and Natural Resources Minister. President Dave Canfield says they spoke about the Thunder Bay Generating Station and the property reassessments on large industrial properties. Canfield says talks with the MNR's David Orazietti went ok and notes there are still some struggling points with the Forest Industry.

Mass CPR Training Session Planned

Superior North EMS, the City and the Heart and Stroke Foundation are working together to provide a mass CPR training session this Saturday.  Deputy Chief of EMS Wayne Gates says it's important for the public to know what to do when someone is having a heart attack. The free mass training session will take place this Saturday at Westmount Public School from 10:30 until 12:30.

LU Signs Agreement With Aboriginal Leaders

Lakehead University is signing an agreement with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation as well as several other First Nation groups.  The agreement is meant to set up a respectful working relationship regarding the Faculty of Law. Aboriginal leaders will meet on a semi-annual basis to discuss issues relating to Aboriginal perspectives of the law.

Hospital Gridlock Gets NDP Attention

The over crowding at the local hospital is reaching the ears of Provincial politicians at Queen's Park. NDP Health Critic France Gelinas says cancelling surgeries because there aren't enough beds is unacceptable. Gelinas feels if there were more community supports people wouldn't have to rely so heavily on the hospital's emergency department.

Chiefs Reject Education Act

Regional Chiefs meeting in Thunder Bay this week are rejecting the Federal Government's First Nations Education Act.  The Ontario Regional Chiefs held a news conference on Wednesday to say they have plans to implement their own education vision through a direct action strategy which will be implemented by communities across the province.

Vets Get NOMA Support

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is backing local veterans and calling for the Federal Government to keep the Thunder Bay Veterans Affairs office open. NOMA passed a resolution today calling for the Feds to change their mind on the scheduled office closures. World War 2 Veteran Roy Lamore says the Federal Government's planned closure of the local office is disrespectful.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Energy Task Force Video Sent To Province

The region's energy task force is spreading their message through a new online video.  Members of the group delivered a copy of the 16 minute video to members of the Provincial Government.  The video outlines Northwestern Ontario's electrical system and the role that the Thunder Bay Generating Station plays in the region.

Northwestern Ontario - A Place to Grow Electrically from Generator on Vimeo.

Horizon Wind Releases Statement On Meeting

Horizon Wind isn't giving much credence to word they walked out of a meeting with Fort William First Nation Tuesday.  The company released a statement about the meeting and said it was clear the community wanted to speak to the Province about its perspectives on the wind farm project and clarify the process. They say they are still willing to speak with the First Nation and carry out any on-going discussion. The release goes on further to say they are actively looking for participation on a Community Liason Committee that will allow for two way communication and  make sure problems that come up are raised and addressed. The company adds they welcome further conversation with members of the Fort William First Nation.

Marathon OPP Report Incidents

Marathon OPP are reporting several collisions on Highway 17 recently. Police dealt with transports hitting rock cuts, a truck hitting a guide post, and a cattle vehicle hitting a rock cut on Monday. The OPP are encouraging drivers to drive at appropriate speeds considering road conditions, visibility and driver experience. Meanwhile, OPP are also reporting a pick up truck hit a woman as she was walking across the road in the Pic Mobert First Nation. The incident happened early Tuesday morning and EMS brought the injured woman to the Wilson Memorial Hospital. Police have interviewed the driver and will be following up with further interviews of people on the scene.

Horizon Walks Out Of Talks With FWFN

Horizon Wind isn't commenting on why it walked out of a meeting that included Fort William First Nations Chief Georjann Morriseau.    Morriseau says the meeting was called to discuss treaty rights with Horizon and the Ministry of Environment  before any decisions are made  on the company's proposed wind farm on the Nor' wester Escarpment.  She says that shortly after the meeting began company officials walked out without giving a reason.  Morriseau considers the consultation process with Horizon to have broken down.

Casino Staff Vote To Join USW

Office staff at the OLG Casino want to join the United Steelworkers Union.  In a certification vote on Monday, staff voted 83 percent in favour of joining the USW.  The administration staff vote comes after the casino's gaming floor employees voted to join the union as well. The union now represents 210 casino employees.

Mazza Hiring Creates Political Storm

The Wynne government is getting hammered over the decision by the Health Science's Centre in Thunder Bay to hire former Ornge CEO Chris Mazza for work in the ER.   Progressive Conservative Frank Klees is especially critical of the move  since Mazza had such a tainted past with the provincial air ambulance service.  Klees calls the hiring of Mazza a complete disrespect for the taxpayers of the province. Health Minister Deb Matthews says the decision to hire Mazza was a local one.

Horizon Wind Meeting Held Today

The Fort William First Nation, Horizon Wind and the Ministries of Environment & Natural Resources are meeting in Thunder Bay today.  They're discussing the planned wind farm on the Norwester Mountains. Escarpment Committee Spokesperson John Beals says they held a rally outside the meeting this morning to support the First Nation. The Ministry of Environment is currently reviewing Horizon Wind's renewable energy application.

Matthews Questioned Over Hospital Crisis

The provincial government is under pressure to ease the gridlock situation at the Health Science's Centre in Thunder Bay.   Health Minister Deb Matthews, under questioning at Queen's Park, says the government is trying to make sure the health authority is very focused on finding ways to resolve the overcrowding problem and calls it  a top priority

Rafferty Weighs In On By-Elections

Thunder Bay Rainy River MPP John Rafferty is weighing in on the results of last night's Federal By-elections. The Liberals retook Toronto Centre and the Montreal riding of Bourassa while the Conservatives reclaimed two Manitoba ridings. Rafferty says the NDP have no regrets. Rafferty notes it's too soon to say if last night's election results will be an indicator of how the next Federal Election will go.

City Plans Out Appeal Strategy

City Manager Tim Commisso is playing his cards close to his chest.    City councillors held a closed door meeting last night with Commisso and the city lawyer about the Resolute Forest Products tax assessment appeal.  And while councillors approved a course of action for administration to take,  Commisso won't say what that is. Commisso says we will likely find out the city's position when the appeal hearings continue in the Thunder Bay next year.

Councillor Wants City Logo Changed

Councillor Aldo Ruberto thinks the city logo should be changed to include the sleeping giant.  He made his pitch to fellow councillors at City Hall last night.  While some like Iain Angus and Rebecca Johnson think it's a waste of time there were others supporting the idea like councillor Brian McKinnon. City administration is now going to look at the proposal and will come up with a recommendation in September of next year.

Friendship Centre Pleads For Support

The head of the Indian Friendship Centre plans to tackle opposition to a proposed youth centre on High Street head on.  Bernice Dubec told councillors she doesn't believe there will be an increase in vandalism in the neighbourhood as a result of the new facility.   Meantime the councillor for the area, Paul Pugh, came out in full support of the project saying it will be a community building in a residential area.  
Officials are asking city councillors to support the proposed 9.8 million dollar centre.  The issue will be back before councillors in the new year.

Sally Ann Will Not Change Sobriety Policy

L to R Patty Hajdu, Rob Kerr
The Salvation Army admits a proposed Cold Weather Plan may conflict with its no drunks policy.   The plan is being set up by Shelter House to get the homeless off the street during the winter months. Rob Kerr of the Salvation Army says they will not change the sobriety rule as part of the plan. He says it's because many of those people who come to their shelter are trying to get away from those influences.  Organizers of the pilot project are asking the city for 35 thousand dollars